For those with BiPolar (BP) experience...

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by klmno, Jun 24, 2008.

  1. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    difficult child had started asking questions like "when I'm like this or doing this, is this what you mean by hypomania" and he had started discussing meltdowns (after the fact of course), but REFUSES to discuss his raging. My question is, how much can I reasonably expect him to be aware of himself being symptommatic? Is it that he knows something doesn't feel right, but he is afraid? (He has said this on a few occassions about his body-physically, not emotionally or mentally). Or is it that he can't realize it at all and thinks it is normal- or does he realize it and just wants to "defend" it?

    I'm trying not to over-analyze, but I think it would help me deal with him and the situations better if I had some clue about how much of this he understands. I had expected therapists to help in this area, but this forum and the books have gotten me light-years ahead of the therapists and psychiatrist just saying either "get the psychiatrist to get the medications straight" or "deal with it in therapy" so we never really get anywhere with that bunch. I'm trying to change the doctors, but it will be a few weeks- assuming difficult child gets to come home.

    In the meantime, I noticed that when he can discuss a previous meltsown, I feel like I can help him deal with it and help him in the future from things escalating to that point. With the raging- since he refuses to discuss it at all, I find myself being resentful. Which of course, is not helping anyone. There have been a couple of times that after a rage, difficult child has automatically "tucked his tail" and cleaned up the mess or tried to make amends without me even asking. But this isn't always the case and this has to be dealt with. Sometimes medications do the trick- but I know he HAS to get to a point where we can deal with this.
  2. Shari

    Shari IsItFridayYet?

    In my experience with my difficult child's, both currently diagnosis'ed with BiPolar (BP), they both talk about a physical feeling.

    difficult child said, on medications, he could think better - organize, rationalize, and logic things out. (yet he refuses medications....another post, another day)

    difficult child 2 has talked about a "motor that feels funny in (his) tummy" and is largely responsible for him acting out. The only reason I put any emphasis on this is that he's talked about this motor for 3 years now, and I tend to beleive he is aware of some physical feeling that is off or otherwise not right.

    Sorry I can't help more, but that's been my experience with my BiPolar (BP)'s.
  3. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    Do you have any insight on this "physical" feeling? Does it mean their medications aren't right? Are they in pain? Or is it the "I don't feel normal" that leads to substance abuse? (Based on what my difficult child has said lately- that is whata I'm worried about)

    The only thing that sticks out in my mind about difficult child (he didn't exhibit signs of a mood disorder until shortly before turning 11yo)- when he was about 7yo and had been fussed at, at school, he made a couple of comments saying that he couldn't help it sometimes. He said that one part of him really wanted to be good and do the right things, but another part of him was telling him to "just go ahead and do it" and sometimes, he wanted to so bad that he couldn't stop himself. At the time, I thought he was just battling self-control and I discussed with him what temptation is and that it is hard for everyone, even adults, not to give into it. Maybe that is all it was- but since now I KNOW he has a mood disorder of some sort, I can't help but wonder if there was more to it than that. I often woonder if he has hallucinations or something else. He has suffered from nightmares where he thought someone was about to kill him.
  4. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Good question, Klmno. My difficult child refuses to discuss his ADHD and other issues, too, and while he'll admit he rages, he will split hairs and say he was just speaking loudly, and the things broke because they were just too fragile.
    I had to fill our a camp form that asked how he deals with-discussions of his diagnosis, and I wrote down, "total denial."
    Wish I could help!!!
  5. totoro

    totoro Mom? What's a GFG?

    Since K has had Hallucinations and Suicidal Ideations, severe rages and everything way before she ever started medications or we had any clue... she "knew" something was wrong. She used to say her head felt confused, still does. She wanted to feel right, like everyone else. She knows she is different. She feels she is special, her brain works differently. She says her body also feels like she can't control it. It has to move, has to hit, has to hurt herself. Hurt others.
    She has always been very cognizant of her feelings, lack of and wants help.
    She gets SO sad that she can't control herself an can't control her body...
    She will just sob and say how hard she is trying... I fear for how she tries to "fix" these feelings in the future... if she doesn't learn how soon... before her teens also.
  6. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    That would break ny heart, Totoro. I hope you can find her a good counselor to help her. I know they are SOOOO hard to find- but she is so young and wants help- it breaks my heart to think there is even the slightest possibility that she can't find it.

    It is amazing though, that you are that in tune to her and that she has "let you in" that much. I know you will be there for her and do everything you can- and no one can blame you...
  7. totoro

    totoro Mom? What's a GFG?

    You know I self medicated, because I did not feel right. But I did not have therapy or medications or parents around. I had a lot of chaos and just too much going on in my head. I was always going, getting away.
    So I do have a lot more hope for our kids, because I do see us doing so much more for them. I don't know if his medications are not working or not?
    I would just keep an open dialougue regardless... You know? I think a medication check is always important if our kids feel weird. But maybe he is trying to describe how he is feeling? I am sure it is scary, I still have a hard time talking to husband about some of the things I feel or when I am manic, admitting it!!!
    It is not a great feeling. I hate myself afterwards, I hate that I lose control...
  8. Shari

    Shari IsItFridayYet?

    I would say its more like your son described with my difficult child's...both seemed to want to do the right thing, but had an internal battle with themselves, that seems to be very real to them, to do otherwise. That's my best guess. I am starting to ask difficult child 1, tho, some questions about his childhood. We haven't got this deep, yet, but I hope to eventually be able to ask him about this, too. He's willing to talk so far because he hopes it will help his little brother.
  9. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    So, do you think I should work more on helping him to feel comfortable talking to me after a rage? (I don;t mean 5 mins afterwards- I mean like a few days afterwards)
  10. Shari

    Shari IsItFridayYet?

    If you can find something that he can identify before a rage happens, by all means! difficult child 2 is beginning to realize and verbalize that his "motor" isn't right, and for now, that tells us to proceed with caution. As he gets older, our hoe is that he can identify that feeling and remove himself from situations that could potentially trigger the rage.

    Anything he can identify that is common about the situations is, in my opinion, a huge first step to controling it.
  11. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I get what I call Snap Anger sometimes. That is when I am starting to get in overload mode and I can feel the stress mounting and I know that if I dont get myself out of a situation I am going to snap and do damage. I tend to either self mutilate or punch walls. You wouldnt believe the condition of my walls! I have put so many holes in them it isnt funny.

    There is also this slow building depression where I can do nothing but lay in bed and cry despondently. Nothing makes sense and nothing feels right. I am irritable and moody. I can also want to hurt myself then too but out of a different sort of mood.
  12. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    I also have a mood disorder and did as a kid. I can tell you that I could go from "normal" to "enraged" in a second and had no time to think in transition. I'd just lose it and be unable to reel myself in. For me, I don't believe any amount of talking would have helped because of how quickly the change took place. There were really no outside triggers until I snapped and then it was done. I really needed medications to control it. I don't get that "hair-trigger" rage anymore. I hope the medications hold it at bay forever. I felt a tightness, like a band, around my head and chest all the time when I was depressed, and a detached feeling as if I was living in a dream. Ugh. It was scary and terrible.
  13. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    Thank you for the insight! Is there anything you would suggest for me to say (or not say) to him afterwards? Is there a way that I can help him understand that this is a prt of the mood disorder, without leaving him feeling like it is excused or condoned? (It is basicly excused, but I don't want him feeling like he has an excuse to damage the house and stuff.) Should I explain that this means the medications aren't right?