As most of you who read my blog are aware of, my middle child has had some struggles along the way of his life. Having been born completely irritable all of the time, we knew that something was just not right with him. This is not to say that he was just different than the other child I had, but that something was unique to him. The idea that something was unique to my middle child soon became more obvious as we had another son and he too was a happy baby like my first born and only daughter.
I admit, as parents we did things we may have not done had our son not been so irritable, aggressive and constantly being angry. We enabled some behavior & walked on egg shells with him constantly. I recall us always saying that Aj had one emotion; anger. Can you imagine, as a parent, raising a child that knows only anger? Especially when their mother is a happy, hyper, silly kind of person? It was difficult and to this day I still struggle with wondering why Aj was born the way he was. The thing is though, we finally found what appears to be an answer; bipolar diagnosis and rispderdal for medication!
Bipolar and ADHD are so closely related that they can often go diagnosed incorrectly; being that Aj was first diagnosed ADHD but had major mood fluctuations and all of the symptoms I saw in my bipolar sister growing up, I kept fighting to ensure we had him on the correct medication and had the right diagnosis. Now am I 100% sure that he is bipolar? Yes. I. am. That is not to say that I sure as heck hope that diagnosis is proved to be wrong as Aj grows older, but at this moment, yes I can honestly say after watching my almost six year old grow up that he is indeed bipolar.
I hated having to realize that my son did indeed need medication to get to have any chance at a “real” life of his own. Being bipolar or having any mood disorder can truly affect ones way of creating a bond with other people, loving and laughing at life. I laugh at life daily, I could not imagine having a chemical imbalance creating the possibility of laughing at life seem impossible. This is what our son was faced with, the fact that he was just simply angry without any trauma or situations that would make sense for him to be angry about.
Aj has always been a loved child and has always been sort of the one who stands alone in the family, do not get me wrong, Risperdal has not changed Aj’s unique personality but it has kept his mood fluctuations at bay. No longer does the family have to walk on egg shells with Aj, no longer can he not handle and get over the fact that I said no to computer game time. Aj is a real kid with normal things that upset him. No longer do I have a child who may get volcanically volatile over silly reasons. I have a child who responds normally to the word no and is now accepting that we are teaching him how to be a kid all over again.
At age five, this is fine. We can work hard to get rid of that enabling and walking on egg shells to live with a child who erupts like a volcano. Now comes the real job, unlearning those behaviors that were tolerated simply because it was better for the family at the time. We would have to restrain Aj for hours in order to even get his rage to end, and even then it wasn’t 100% over with. Aj never slept through the night. Aj struggled with forming solid bonds with his older sister and younger brother. In essence we have been “broken” as a family in some ways, but always had the hope and the fight to keep moving forward so that Aj could be one with us again, one who doesn’t have to live angry all of the time.
I am hopeful that this bipolar diagnosis is correct, that the medication is correct now and that we can all move forward in teaching Aj how to live life fully without his volcanic eruptions of violence! I am happy to see my son, for I feel it’s the first time I have seen my son since the day he was born, he is no longer hateful towards everyone and everything. I am proud of us for sticking together the best we could with a tough situation at hand and I am proud to see Aj is forming bonds with his older sister and younger brother in ways they never imagined would be possible!