Hi, I'm new here

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by jdg, May 12, 2008.

  1. jdg

    jdg New Member

    Hello everyone,
    I am new to this site. I think I qualify as an exhausted parent. My 14 year-old has suffered with and was treated for what we thought was depression for several years, but had a crisis this month that required hospitalization. When he was released, he was worse off than when he went in, so he is now on his second hospitalization, and I think we have a diagnosis that is closer to the truth - bipolar II, which seems to fit all the problems he has been having. He is gentle, sensitive, artistic, empathetic, and totally overwhelmed by todays world. I have basically kept him safe for the last three years through sheer strength of will, the close relationship he and I have, and a great deal of driving back and forth to psychiatrists and psychologists.

    1) How many people vote for commiting your child into the hands of strangers as the most difficult thing they have ever done (and please don't let there be anything more difficult)

    2) Is it ok to take a breath and relax for the first time in years because I know that for right now, at least, he is safe and watched, and getting treatment and therapy.

    3) Is there reason to hope that we can move forward from here toward a more stable and productive future for him?

    He is on Depakote, Seroquel, and a touch of Wellbutrin, and they are now working on improving his focus and concentration. At different times in the past he has taken Lexapro, Wellbutrin, Abilify, Geodon, Respridol, Zoloft, Dexidrine, Ativan, and Xanax (disaster!).

    Please tell me I am not alone, and neither is he.
  2. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    Hi! You definitely are not alone- just read my signature area below! It sounds like you probably are on the right track and giving him and yourself exactly what is needed right now. My son just got out of the hospital (short stay) last week. It gives us a breather and lets them look at medications but that alone doesn't solve the problem- my guess is that you realize that by now.

    Don't give up- it would just make it easier on others to give up if you did! LOL! Really, I believe it is our endurance and persaverance and determination that gives these kids their best chance. We can't cure them ourselves, of course, but we yell for help when we need to, work with professionals, school, etc., and do whatever else to help like no one else will.

    Having a MDE done at a teaching hospital with a department for mood disorders helped me- even though the diagnosis was already there. Also, the book "The Explosive Child" has helped a lot. Moreso in concept- I tweaked the strategy a little for my son but the idea behind it helps me a lot and the strategy REALLY helps me work with my son about 85% of the time- which is a drastic improvement in my house.

    If you do a signature it will show up on every post and will be helpful for others responding.

    Again, welcome- and remember that you are not alone and here, you are among friends who probably share many common experiences, thoughts, doubts, etc.

    Oh- my son has only had this diagnosis for almost a year but so far, the only medication that has changed sleeplisness and raging has been lithium (or lithobid- the time release version of lithium). He is on that now, along with depakote er and seroquel. He hasn't been very stable the past few weeks, so we're still working on it. He was stable from last July until March, being on lithobid and depakote er. medications work different on different people- especially kids- but I wanted to let you know that all resources haven't been exhausted yet. (That isn't to imply that you aren't exhausted or feel like pursuing more right now- that is understandable.)
  3. smallworld

    smallworld Moderator

    Welcome. I'm glad you found us, but sorry you needed to.

    You are not alone. Many of us, including me, have walked in your shoes. It is not just OK, but imperative, that you replenish yourself while your son is safe and in treatment.

    My just-turned-15-year-old son spent 6 weeks in a day treatment program at a local psychiatric hospital in December and January. His medications were completely overhauled, and he's doing a lot better at home, although it looks as if we will need to find a new school situation for the fall (we're just starting the IEP process in our county SD because he has attended a small private school for the last 3 years).

    If your son has BiPolar (BP), it is all important to get his medications straightened out. Once the medications stabilize him, he will be able to access therapy. To understand the theories behind medicating kids with BiPolar (BP), you might want to read the informative treatment guidelines at this link:

    While every child is different in terms of what medications will work, I will share my son's experience because his BiPolar (BP) illness lies more on the depressive end of the mood spectrum (like those with BPII). Depakote stopped his manic reaction to Zoloft, but plunged him deep into depression. We then switched over to Lamictal, which works well for depression, and added on various combos of ADs and stimulants. All destabilized his mood. When he went into day treatment, his attending psychiatrist discontinued Lexapro and Focalin XR and instead put him on a second mood stabilizer (Zonegran). Because my son was still depressed but also staying up all night, the psychiatrist added a hefty dose of Seroquel. My son is the most stable he's been in years.

    While Wellbutrin is the least likely of all ADs to induce mania, it still can happen and I'd seriously consider whether it is destabilizing your son's mood. You might instead want to think about Lamictal as a second mood stabilizer or look at upping his Seroquel for depression. What doses is he taking of all his medications?

    Again, welcome. I know you will find a lot of support here.
  4. Wiped Out

    Wiped Out Well-Known Member Staff Member

    You have found a great place to get support! My son has been hospitalized three time and yes, it is one of the most difficult things I have ever had to do. In answer to your second question, yes it is o.k. to relax. In fact, I think it is critical that you use this time to recharge yourself. Do some things just for you. In answer to your third question, I certainly hope so, it's what we all want for our kids. Like sw said, finding the right medication combo and then accessing therapy is important.

    Again, welcome-glad you found us as you will find much support here.
  5. amazeofgrace

    amazeofgrace New Member


    There is nothing harder then handing your kid(s) over to strangers, sadly for me it was slightly easier the second time, I am sure there will be a third and a...........................
  6. tryinghard

    tryinghard New Member

    You are not alone and neither is he. I will hold you both in my warmest thoughts. Welcome.
  7. Christy

    Christy New Member

    You are most definitely not alone. We had our first psychiatric hospital experience last month and it was the hardest thing we've ever done. You'd think after all the stress difficult child put us through, husband and I would welcome the break but all we did was worry about him. The medication, doctors, counselors, all help some but life is a rollercoaster. There will be better days ahead, there will be hard ones too but you get through it. I'm glad you found us, ther is no better place for support from people who understand.
  8. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    absolutely, you are not alone.
    It does sound like he's getting help now. And from the medications you've tried and failed, it sounds like bipolar is the correct diagnosis. He sounds like a wonderful kid, and you are a very understanding mom.
    This is one of my alltime fave quotations, from Pearl Buck:

    'The truly creative mind in any field is no more than this: a human creature born abnormally, inhumanly sensitive. To him, a touch is a blow, a sound is a noise, a misfortune is a tragedy, a joy is an ecstasy, a friend is a lover, a lover is a god, and failure is death. Add to this cruelly delicate organism the overpowering necessity to create, create, create --so that without the creating of music or poetry or books or building or something of meaning, his very breath is cut off from him. He must create, must pour out creation. By some strange, unknown, inward urgency he is not really alive unless he is creating."