New York Times: The Bipolar Puzzle

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by smallworld, Sep 13, 2008.

  1. smallworld

    smallworld Moderator

  2. house of cards

    house of cards New Member

    Wow, how emotional, thanks
  3. totoro

    totoro Mom? What's a GFG?

    Wow long and so informative! This should be read by most of our families!
    Sounds all to familiar. I was glad to read so many perspectives, seems like lots of thought and research went into this. About time.
  4. luvmyottb

    luvmyottb Guest

    Good article.
  5. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Thanks. A friend emailed me the link, too.
    Heartbreaking piece.
    The first page sounds all-too familiar, then it changes (in reg to my difficult child). Interesting article, either way.
    The NYT is good at in-depth stories.
  6. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    I'll have to read this. Admittedly, I started it on it earlier, then stopped after the first page because right now is not a good time for me to think about all the worst signs of this, plus the fact that this is all the public seems to be aware of. But, if it changes through the article, I will go back and read it tonight after difficult child is settled and I can take a lengthy time on the computer. Thanks for posting it!!

    And to clarify- there might not be any "good" side of BiPolar (BP), but in our experience, most people who don't have experience with it or ways to hear about it (like on this board) think it's all about raging and violence, and that anyone who is raging, violent, or appears to have no consicience is BiPolar (BP). Most people here know that there is a lot more to it than that.
  7. smallworld

    smallworld Moderator

    I think the article is pretty balanced. It also talks about some of the latest research on pediatric BiPolar (BP). On the whole, I felt that the writer tried really hard to paint an accurate picture of what it's like to live as a family with a BiPolar (BP) child. I hope you get a chance to read it.
  8. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    I did- I finished it just about 15 mins ago. One thing I wonder- are these considered average or extreme cases? As compared to may son, it is different. My son is that way intermittently, but not usually. I think maybe that's a good sign. I sure hope it doesn't mean that we are completely off base with diagnosis. My son's pediatrician explained it to me the easiest way, by comparing it to him having asthmatic wheezing as a child. And of course, my doubt about the odd coincidence that my son's manic and raging is really an issue at the same times of year- it just seems too coincidental. I'm reading more and more that some allergy medications can "bring this out". And, I'll always have that "doubt" about what the steroids given to him as a baby might have caused, or triggered. I don't doubt that the genetic predisposition was there- I believe there is a spectrum so it only stands to reason that bipolar would be on the same spectrum as depression and anxiety.

    Anyway- I also wonder if the differences in our society these days brings out tendencies in kids that exasberate (sp) predispositions for mental health problems. I believe it does and I worry about how long it will take for people to in control of laws, policies at school, etc, to figure out that the current system isn't bringing out the best in our kids. Not to mention- what the H88L kind of adult-hood can they have if they have these issues as kids.

    Well- it's a lot of food for thought. But, a very good article and I sat here hoping some people in difficult child's life saw this and read it.

    Thank you, SW! As always, you are a wealth of knowledge!!
  9. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    Unless my son is mis-diagnosis'd and I'm completely off track- it seems to me that it would do everyone (public, difficult child's, teachers/administrators, judges, prospective tdocs, and parents) a whole lot of good if they started out an article about a child so smart or talented in some area that maybe he was gifted, then talked about depression in that child, then talked about how the child couldn't handle certain things at certain times, then talked about how the child became so focused on certain things, then talked about raging and mania, and stressed the part about how all this comes and goes (whether it be every few hours or every few months), and what the reality really is at home and school and community (trying to make friends), etc. Why doesn't anyone do that?
  10. Wiped Out

    Wiped Out Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Wow-this article really hit home. Just the way they were describing James reminded me so much of my difficult child. Thanks for sharing this.
  11. gcvmom

    gcvmom Here we go again!

    Thank you for posting this. I thought it was really well done. Like the mom in the story, I often find myself doubting the diagnosis and the medications at times. But then when I read about symptom presentation, especially with mania, I realize that yes, indeed, my difficult child 2 truly does have BiPolar (BP). Perhaps not as severe as some, but the symptoms are there nonetheless. The term "Manic May" or "May Mania" hit home for me because the last TWO Mays have seen difficult child 2 beginning a manic period that lasts much of the summer. And even on the new medications he has now, I still see it breaking through. The flamboyance, the approaching strangers to just talk and talk and talk to them, the racing thoughts, the pressured speech. It's still there bubbling under the surface. Most people only see bits and pieces of this in him and so they cannot put it all together and understand what's really going on. In and of themselves, these behaviors could be called impulsive, attention-seeking, hyperactive, rude, obnoxious, etc. When you put them all together, it's mental illness.

    I feel fortunate in that we are largely able to control difficult child 2 ourselves so far. He is not hostile towards us, although he can be towards siblings or other kids. I pray we never get to the point where we have to consider Residential Treatment Center (RTC) or some other therapeutic placement as some of you here have had to do. My heart goes out to you.

    I recognize, though, that this illness may continue to change for us. Which way it goes, only time will tell. I'm just so grateful for this place and all of you here to be with me on this journey.
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2008
  12. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    I see those symptoms in my son, too. In my son's own words "there are times I don't feel normal; my body doesn't feel normal and I don't feel pain normal. It can lasts for long periods of time. Then it goes away just like it came. I don't know what to do. I can't help it."

    I know that it is the extremes (ie., any mania, bad raging, depression to the point of suicide) that sticks out in our minds and that is what is always written about. But, I think the reason it sticks out in our minds so much is that we see the other "side" of things too. We KNOW our kids aren't ALL this- as in, there is nothing else in there. We know there are other sides to them. This is why it conserns us parents so much.

    My concern is that if the stories only convey these extremes situations, then the public, the difficult child's themselves, and others think this is 100% the kid. So, they are left with a different impression- the worst of it defines the kid. It's no longer a symptom- it's who the kid is all the time. If being BiPolar (BP) really does mean that they act they way all the time, then I'm sure my son doesn't have it. But boy, when he's symptommatic, he sure fits and maybe even exceeds the criteria.