I started the journey with my middle child at age 2 and most of you who have been reading since then know my story but for those who don’t, my son Aj was born angry. He had one emotion, angry, since the baby years and up. At age 2 his Dad and I finally started to see various specialists who once again were not sure to diagnosis a child so young with anything. Later on Aj was diagnosed with ADHD, however, the mood changes are what made the ADHD diagnosis not 100% certain according to his counselor.
Finally about six months ago Aj was diagnosed with a mood disorder, bipolar to be exact. Although I believe the diagnosis is not 100% bipolar and they are calling it more of a mood disorder due to his age of only 5 years old, I am happy in some ways they finally were able to try out a mood disorder medication called Risperdal also known as Risperdone in it’s generic form.
Being a parent who doesn’t want to medicate a child, that was the last option for us, his Dad and I first thought maybe the parenting technique we used simply wasn’t working for Aj and that we would need to be trained so to speak on how to parent Aj. The “training” wasn’t really taking and with a bipolar child it wouldn’t take. Growing up knowing what bipolar is, for it runs in the family, I knew Aj had it. I didn’t care what the specialists and doctors wanted to say, I knew it and I know my kid.
The pediatric psychiatrist has Aj on .5mg of Risperdal two times a day, one time in the morning and one time in the evening. This dose is working wonders. No longer is Aj having major anxiety at school, no longer is he angered over everything, the mood he has is relatively steady and he still has his high spirit and energy levels. It is almost as though Risperdal has been a true blessing for Aj, giving him a chance to not have to go through what so many with bipolar go through; suicidal thoughts and actions, manic mood changes and so much more that can come along with this disorder later in life.
Aj does chores, helps around the house, attends various activities without much issues and has a great time enjoying the life of an almost six year old. It amazes me everyday to see how outgoing and talkative Aj has become. I love to see him smile for pictures and give me a hug for no reason. Never having been overly affectionate, he still only gives hugs on occasion but the smallest hug any day from him means so much more for I know it is a rare occasion.
I have been asked if Aj would outgrow bipolar and the answer is quite simply “NO”, bipolar is not something anyone can outgrow, however, I have hope that there is a possibility it may be a misdiagnosis and not 100% bipolar, that meaning he may learn how to handle the mood changes and not need medication for the rest of his life, but if he truly is bipolar then yes he will need some form of bipolar medication for the rest of his life in order to function in any somewhat normal way in society.
No I don’t like saying my son is bipolar, but I am educated enough to know a diagnosis doesn’t cripple a child, any child with any medical issue can make the world a better place if they are loved and encouraged to reach for the stars!