Child W/ Bipolar

Updated on October 07, 2006
R.G. asks from Prairieville, LA
10 answers

My child has recently be diagnosed w/ bipolar and the outcome is quiting my job and staying home with her...Any advice on how to make this transition?

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So What Happened?

Great news.. My daughter has been on her medication for 4 weeks and seems to be doing well with them.. She comes home today, after being in different programs since June. I want to send everyone a big thank you for you comments.. They have been very helpful.

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C.A.

answers from Houston on

I don't know how old your child is. I have a 9 year old with Bipolar, ADHD, OCD, and many other disorders. I work full time and have wonderful support though there is never enough support to go around. If I had known then what I know now, my first step would be to contact a behavior specialist that practices behaviorism. They can help you with the school system, family issues, discipline issues, other environments such as church and daycare. There are specific techniques that you can employ and if all the places she goes know what to do and how to do it properly (the behaviorist will help with that) then she will hopefully get with the program. The key is consistency. No matter how tired you are of telling her not to do that you have to tell her not to do that even if it feels like the 498th time today. When you start implementing ABA (behaviorism) it will get significantly worse before it gets better so keep hanging on even if you feel like your nails are coming out. This is where friends and family can be awesome to build you up and give you relief. This will be good for her too so she can see that even Aunt Mary will do the same thing as mom. Uncle Bob won't waver either. Giving in is the worst thing you can do for these children. It sounds harsh but I wish I could get back the last 3 years I have been dealing with this and would have appreciated this advise myself.

Important point: Interview multiple behaviorist and don't take the first one that comes along unless you don't have any options. Many will work long distance though it is a bit more expensive at the outset due to travel. After they initially assess your child, your needs and HER needs, much of this can be done through emails and phone conferences. They should be able to help you get a plan in place that will help you not lose your mind. I have just decided to do this and I wish I had done this but did not know these people existed. I am coming from way behind in the game and am already seeing improvements on his behavior and my attitude about how this is going.

If you need a shoulder, feel free to email me privately. Also make sure she has the right diagnosis. If she does not respond to meds the way they say she should you may need to keep working on getting the right diagnosis.
C.

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C.W.

answers from Denver on

I don't know much about bi-polar..
If your still wanting to work I can show you how to work from home. You can email me at [email protected]____.com if you'd like to know more.

Blessings, C.

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J.A.

answers from San Antonio on

I was a bipolar child and life was hard for me for a long time. The hardest thing for my parents was seeing me cry all the time. I was riddled with anxieties I didn't understand and since I wasn't diagnosed until the age of 24 after being institutionalized for postpartum psychosis, I can't tell you what a relief it was to have a name for the madness, and to have medications to treat my illness. I don't even think about being bipolar anymore. It's tougher on the child than on anyone else.I wish I had been diagnosed as a kid because I grew up feeling misunderstood. It's a long story but what I suggest is getting all the info. you can on the illness. The National Alliance for The Mentally Ill (NAMI)is a great source. Always seperate the child from the disease. I was sick for many years, yet I was able to run my own company and recently wrote a book. Try not to be discouraged or worry how you child's life will be cause if Christ can raise the dead, He can definitely heal your baby! God bless you!

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M.B.

answers from San Antonio on

R.

How old is your child? I don't have a child with bipolar (that I know of, I wonder about my 17 year old sometimes). My nephew is bipolar. I know that my sister-in-law had to quit working for a while when he was younger too. I really can't answer any of your questions, but, maybe my sil can. My nephew is 17 now and is doing pretty well. He has his days. But he's going to school in 11th grade and working at McDonalds. If you'd like I can ask her if you could contact her via email. Let me know. My email address is [email protected]____.com

M. B

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M.M.

answers from Reno on

I do not know anything personally about being bipolar, but I can offer some advise on the transition to being a stay at home mom. I had a terrible time transition from my career to being home and these are a few things that I found worked for me...What I would suggest is trying to have a schedule for the week, not each day - just the week. You want to be able to be with your child as much as you can but face it, there are other things that must be done. I try to make a ToDo List for the week that includes the must do's (chores) and the fun things. Use your time management skills from work and apply them to your new day to day life.

The second thing -- do not let yourself or your daughter get isolated at home. It is easy to do and will lead to resentment. Find support groups or somekind of outlet for yourself you will want some time for just you to regroup/reconnect with other women. It will make you a happy person and inturn a better able to take care of your child. Find something for you and your daughter to do. I am not sure how old she is, but I would talk to your Doctor about groups/resources for her. Look into group activities like playgroups, gym or art classes.

Lastly, do not get discouraged. It is hard to transition to being a stay at home mom. Some weeks will be tough, but know in your heart that you are doing the right thing for the right reasons, it will all work out and your daughter will benefit.

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M.B.

answers from Corpus Christi on

It is so easy to become a prisoner in your own home when you become an at-home mom with a special needs child. I would attempt to keep a regular schedule and remember to include fun outings. For my oldest, we had pictures of breakfast, bathtub, puzzles, car, park, books, etc. We lined them up on a velcro strip and used that as our schedule. He loved it. I had to work hard to keep myself from getting bogged down in constant housework. I got caught in the trap of thinking that since I had no income I should keep an immaculate house and have dinner on the table at 6:00. A special needs child can consume all of your time and energy so that is like having 2 full-time jobs. The hardest part for me was finding balance. Give yourself a break and don't expect perfection. What is of lasting importance in life is the quality time you spend with your child. And if you work yourself into a frazzle, the time you spend with your little one will not be of very good quality. Try to keep contact with friends and the outside world. Your happiness will translate into happiness for your children. (I became depressed and it affected the children, that's the one thing I would change about that experience.)

In a nutshell, be patient with yourself and keep your sense of humor. Most things won't matter next month or next year, what will matter is tender moments with your child.

Blessings and best of luck.

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G.

answers from San Antonio on

Blessings on you and your family... I suggest prayer. I will say that as a working mom who recently came home to be with a toddler and new baby, to give yourself a few months of transition time. Be careful to guard against resentment. I know it sounds bad, but it can creep in before you know it.

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M.G.

answers from Little Rock on

How old is your child? I was diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder at the age of 23...however, I was that way since I was about 10 or so. It's just a fancy way of saying she's a "manic depressive"...she's depressed...then she's manic which could be manic-destructive or manic-creative. Did your Doctor put her on any medication? Did you get a second opinion? Check out all of your options before you quit. She can go to therapy and you could join a support group in your area or on the net. Also, really get a second opinion because if she is young it would be really hard to diagnose Bipolar Disorder. Good Luck! Some children have situational depression from a new sibling, moving to a new home, going to school for the first time...basically changing their routines that make them feel comfortable. Some pediatricians and psychiatrists are too quick to jump to mental disease when it could be something as simple as a change in their routine. If she truly is bipolar it would be wise to learn her patterns. You will be able to tell when she's depressed and when she's manic and learn how to handle each of them.

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V.B.

answers from Alexandria on

R., I will never forget the time my step-father was delirious and he was diagnosed with bi-polar. So for over 40 years my mother and I began to notice a pattern in when he had his episodes. If he had an infection or if he ate too many sweets he became very mentally sick. Once he had e-coli and when they gave him antibiotics he became his sweet self again. Keep praying for her and you may want a second opinion if you haven't already checked further. God bless you...oh, they are usually very intelligent in some area and creative.

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D.H.

answers from Houston on

Hi R., I am new to this group so this is my first posting. I have a bipolar child. She was diagnosed when she was 16 years old. She is now 20 and going to college away fron home. This is a major accomplishment. My advice is seeking professional help. My daughter was on meds. She was not on the typical "bipolar" meds. Her psychaitrist used something different and it worked wonders as long as she took them. She was able to stabalize the mood swings and function pretty normally. My biggest problem was getting her to take the meds on her own,because she felt normal and like she didn't need them.
You also have to be firm and not enable certain behaviors. That was my biggest problem. I have a wonderful psych. in town who specializes in children and teens. If you want his name & # shoot me an email. I really think if you get her life under control, there is no reason that you cannot work. it is possible. There are also support groups for parents with Brain disorders called NAMI. They offer a free class to helpyou understand the illness and offer the support groups as well.

My email is [email protected]____.com

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