Journey with Mood Disorder/Bipolar – Fighting For My Kids

Raising a Bipolar KidSince my last blog post on the weight gain with risperidal that has worked well for Aj’s bipolar/mood disorder diagnosis there has been some changes.  For one, it dawned on me that the medication Aj takes to help keep his moods steady also brings on weight gain, therefore one would safely assume there is a contradiction between this medication. For one, risperidal is somewhat based on height and weight of the child for dosing, but at the same time Aj gains significant weight on this medication due to the increased appetite side effect from risperidal. Make sense?! I think not.

With that being said, this medication has truly done amazing things for Aj; when he was first placed on risperidal it was the lowest possible dose. The lowest possible dose worked for nearly a year before his weight gain seemed to really be affecting the dose. The pediatric psychiatrist currently has Aj on .75mg given two times a day. That has been the dose for about two weeks before I noticed that Aj was starting to get his moods more and more. The medication dose change did not seem to help 100% just yet and they had noted to take one week before this new dose would affect him.

Siblings Bipolar AwarenessIt had been about two weeks when reality hit and anxiety came back during transition from home to school. No longer did Aj just go into his classroom after a hug and kiss, no longer was he so agreeable to even get ready for school. The first five years of Aj’s life, prior to medication and proper diagnosis, flashed before my eyes and I could tell my daughter knew that this was just like before. Tears flowed. Hearts raced. And my daughter was just as concerned as I was, reason being? Prior to medication and proper diagnosis Kiara and Aj did not have a real bond, they were unable to form one because the bipolar made Aj unable to really be that sibling. Do not get me wrong, even on proper medication, they both have their normal sibling rivalry and Aj still has his normal six year old testing Mama boundaries going on as is age appropriate. However, when Aj is on the proper medication, things run a lot more smooth in the household and the up and down moods are not there with Aj.

Mama Bear Fights for her KidsBipolar is a chemical imbalance in the brain. Aj can not control his mood swings, the anxiety – none of it.  Some people just DO NOT understand. Heck when my sister was growing up and then later on in life diagnosed bipolar – half of the people in her world did not get it either! It is a confusing mental health condition that few know much about unless they have had it run in their family directly. This means, when Aj has his moods coming back due to lack in proper dosage of his medication due to weight gain, I have to spend time explaining why Aj is the way he is, and that it is a mental health condition. A true condition that is not to be taken lightly.

I get extremely frustrated when I have to not only deal with switching around medication dosing for Aj but also have to explain to new people involved in his schooling about bipolar. You see, there are a lot of people in this world who really do not get bipolar {honestly there is still lots more for me to learn}. Apparently they just seem to think it’s some over diagnosed thing like ADHD or ADD, I don’t know. I am not that type of person, so I honestly have no clue what they are thinking. All I know, is that I will fight tooth and nail for my son, all three of my kids know their Mama always fights strong, morally and for them. No matter what.

So as I journey into the land of Aj’s medication not working as well anymore, I have been told to try to give him .5mg in the morning and 1mg after dinner. This is a way to help see if moods stay steady, anxiety disappears and he can sleep through the night again. After all, the .75mg twice a day was working to some extent, but to up the dose to 1mg twice a day may knock him out cold. Another fun side effect of risperidal is the sleepiness.

I hope to educate more people on the topic of bipolar through my personal journey raising a child with bipolar. I hope to bring more awareness and I hope that if you have a story to share with my readers that you will contact me to share your story on site. This is an important mental health issue for many, both adults and children, it is time to bring the world more awareness to the topic of living with bipolar.


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    1. Thanks. I have found a wonderful community of support on this topic, for both adults and children. It’s so difficult to watch and not be able to “fix it” when he is having his mood swings. Sigh.

    1. It is so super sad. My daughter had a difficult time for Aj’s first five years before we got the proper dx. Everyone was walking on egg shells, no clue just fighting and although my daughter understood — she was still and is still a child who wanted her Mama but I had not enough time to devote to each. Thankful I get that time for her now and a break from being a Mom 24/7. It is a family journey, we all have found we all have to be strong for each other but sometimes it’s just flat out frustrating!

  1. Your avid support is going to mean a lot to them when they get old enough to realize how awesome it really is. I hope the right solution is found, it must be so frustrating for your little one too.

    1. Thank you Rosey. I do feel bad for Aj, now that he is at least on a med that helps him see things a bit clear (even when dose is off he is able to sort of see/understand things better) and then he gets sad. He does not mean to hurt me or lash out, but with the wrong dosage or medication, he is truly unable to control the mood swings and it makes him so sad he cries at times.

  2. Hang in there momma! It’s such a tough journey for everyone, including you. It can become so exhausting but I am proud of you for being so strong. Hopefully the doctors will get it all leveled out soon.

    1. Thank you. Appt is Feb 4th … so trying the .50mg in morning and 1mg at night. He is having bad dreams now, still not sleeping through night. I just hope on Feb 4th they can give us something more to figure this out – either switch to Ambilify like they had said or what not. BUT his normal pediatric pysch is out on maternity leave so now we get to meet and deal with new pysch on that team! sigh!

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