Thinking about slsh's post...

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by lovemysons, Nov 7, 2008.

  1. lovemysons

    lovemysons Well-Known Member

    I am curious...what have dr's/councelors suggested that you really think helps with Bipolar behavior in your children?

    One thing I learned from AA and Al Anon is to try and not speak in speak in terms of: possibly, could be, may be, might sometimes, etc. One of the things I think children/people with Bipolar do is to "think" in extremes. It's All or Nothing, ya know...I think they tend to see themselves and others in terms of Absolute good or bad too.

    What specifics have you been given to help in raising a child with Bipolar?
    How do you bring down the "temperture" of a rage? Do you speak softly? Do you just listen and not say anything?

    I tend to think that a rage is a bit similar to an unreasonable drunk...and it seems pretty useless to say anything to them at the time they are internally stuck in a rage or negative mindset.

    Anyway, what have you found or heard about that seems to make a difference?
  2. totoro

    totoro Mom? What's a GFG?

    For us and our First psychiatrist and also in her book, and now our new therapist agrees. Is no Negativity.
    These kids have such low self esteem and are very negative and hard on themselves despite their actions.
    She truly believes in CBT. But the most important part being keep the negativity out of the home.
    This means no timeouts, no finger pointing, no yelling, no condescending attitude. We win them over and build them up with positive and love.
    She is not saying no reprucussions, but we do it all with kindness and examples.
    Do not talk down to our children.
    It is so hard to remember how much pain they are in and how hard it is inside their heads and they tend to **** us off so bad, that these are hard rules to follow.
    But I find that it does decrease the violence and the rages.
    I think the whole thing that they are trying to teach us, husband and I, is the how would I like to be treated when I am out of my mind, when I am so down or so angry I am seeing red....
    I do have those feelings at times and I would never want someone telling me to deal with it or just clean my fricken room. Or just get my but up and go to school....
    I think patience and empathy. While teaching our kids to take some responsibility as well. But we have to help them and guide them.
    Sometimes all of this just doesn't work.
  3. trinityroyal

    trinityroyal Well-Known Member

    Two of the things that have worked pretty well for me with difficult child have been the "comparison" and the "do-over".

    The comparison...
    When difficult child behaves inappropriately, I imitate the behaviour and ask how he reacted to it. I then demonstrate a couple of alternative ways of handling whatever it is.

    The do-over...
    Just stop difficult child in his tracks. Tell him whatever he's just done is inappropriate, that he needs to rewind and start again.

    Often the comparison and do-over happen together.

    For example:
    When difficult child's sister arrived at the Residential Treatment Center (RTC) for his celebration yesterday evening, he snarled "What took you so long?" So difficult child had a do-over. Sis went back out the door, difficult child was told to answer politely, greet her and show her in. Took 4 or 5 tries, but he did it.

    The other thing I do is to try to keep all emotion out of it. difficult child's moods and emotions are flying all over the map. If I'm emotional too I just contribute to the chaos. Really, really hard, but it seems effective.

    Toto, you're right though. Sometimes none of the tricks work, and you just have to ride it out.
  4. everywoman

    everywoman Active Member

    I think, looking back on raising difficult child that I did the best I knew at the time. Instead of getting mad at his behavior, I tried to help him find solutions. I wish I had worked harder on helping him find his own solutions. I learned to ignore the rages, because when I reacted it just fueled the fire.

    Now, my interactions with him are rather blunted. If he is in a bad mood, I will not engage with him. If he breaks something in anger, I expect for him to pay for it if it belongs to someone else. He doesn't damage too much these days. If I know he is having a bad day I will acknowledge it, but not try to fix it. If he is in a good mood, I'm the same way. If things go great for a while, I don't put a lot of stock in it and think that he's turned a corner and there will be no more problems. He has a mental illness that will never go a way. We have to learn to live our lives within its perameters.

    Last Sunday he had a bad day at work. He came home surly. I ignored. He sent me the following text: "I just called a quit my jobs. I'm tired of people underestimating me. Ya'll can have the car. It's a piece of ****. I am moving away because I can't stand anyone around here."

    I texted back: "Okay."

    Several days later we were talking about Bi-polar and how some people tell him he isn't because if he was then not taking his medications would send him over the edge. I said, well, they might help with your depressive states like the one on Sunday. And I repeated the text he sent. We both started laughing so hard. And we laughed for almost 15 minutes. He finally acknowledged that medications might help there---put he added that is why he smokes pot :(!
  5. gcvmom

    gcvmom Here we go again!

    While I haven't discussed the specifics with a therapist or psychiatrist on managing the mood swings and meltdowns, I find I spend a lot of energy trying to clarify and diffuse when my difficult child is falling apart.

    difficult child 2 had a meltdown on Sunday night. It was triggered by his frustration over a question he asked that he did not feel was answered to his satisfaction. He was confused by the answer he was getting, and was not able to rephrase his question so that he could get to the answer he was looking for. So he kept repeating himself, getting more and more angry. And the people he was asking (husband and difficult child 1) added fuel to his fire by getting annoyed at his rigid questioning and responded by being rigid in their own responses.

    It took close to 45 minutes for him to stop screaming at them, crying, throwing things in the house (thank goodness it was just clean laundry) and throwing himself on the furniture and floor. All the while, I am trying to figure out what he really wants to know by asking him all sorts of questions, quietly of course, so that he knows that I care about helping him and that I'm not there to criticize or ridicule him. While I'm doing this, I'm trying to whisper/pantomime to husband that he's making things worse and trying to get him to help me diffuse the situation. He finally "got it" and totally changed his tone and attitude. I had to send difficult child 1 away from the area because he was just being a butthead and there was no way he was going to be part of the solution.

    This doesn't happen very often anymore, now that medications seem to be working better. But I think the day before difficult child 2 had skipped his afternoon dose of Seroquel XR and that destabilized him a bit.
  6. Jena

    Jena New Member

    I sat and read all of this. It was def interesting. Yet I sat confused by some of it. I give difficult child time out's. When she calls me an idiot or annoying or yells at me i make her sit in her room to cool down.

    At that point talking to her about the better way to speak to me goes absolutely no where really quick. I do that after she has calmed.

    I also sense manipulation techniques in my difficult child. it's a fine line at times between her "true" behaviors and her "manipulating" ways. It can be very confusing at times.

    What i also find difficult is a true diagnosis. I think at this point I've given up. She's on the medications, their working right now pretty ok for sleeping and tackling some of the anxiety and I mean SOME, yet the anger is still there (not too bad), her insecurities low self esteem.

    I wish I truly knew if she was BiPolar (BP). doctor said very good liklihood yet we have to monitor and watch her now. It's like to me at least, once you have a diagnosis you can begin to look at it from that point. Yet without a firm diagnosis in place it's difficult. we have a bunch of diagnosis's yet not one for is she or isn't she BiPolar (BP)??
  7. totoro

    totoro Mom? What's a GFG?

    Jen I do ask K to take a minute to go and calm down. But we just don't give timeouts here.
    K is not manipulative. Maybe we will have to do TO's one day? Maybe she will be later in life. But not now and not with the type of therapy we are working on.
    For us TO's make things worse and make her hate herself more. It solves nothing for us. By the time she is done raging we can talk about it and do something calm, maybe we can't do what she wanted to, but not as a punishment, but because it would not be good for her. Not mentally.
    When K is in a mood or depressed or raging, she is Mental Illness at it's worse. She screams to make it get out of her head, she hits herself, she begs for us to help her make it go away. She also hurts us and destroys things. But she is not herself when she is doing this. How can I punish this?
    When she is tired or hungry she is easy to react, I need to see these things because she can't at this age.
    When there is a schedule change she can freak at the drop of a hat, I need to remember this and watch for it...
    SO many tiring things....