Updates – Aj without Medications #bipolar #mooddisorder

So we have survived one week with Aj off of medications. The medication he was on wasn’t really helping anything anyways but sadly he does need some form of mediation to keep his mood disorder straight. We have had some really great moments with Aj, the first part of the week was decent but Aj was also having the stomach bug that is going around. I think the stomach bug kept Aj at bay and kept his moods somewhat level or at least low key. While Aj still exhibited the mood disorder symptoms, they were mild and easily managed. I couldn’t really gauge school level situations because of the stomach bug he wasn’t in school but one day last week, it was only a three day school week to begin with.

I have noticed that Aj is more vocal at age 7 without medications than obviously he was from age birth to four years. This is to be expected, children don’t usually start to realize their feelings nor know how to express them at such a young age. I always say my first born, and only daughter, was my first experiment in whether my parenting style really works to help children be confident, independent and well rounded. My second born, first son, Aj, is my second experiment with working on a different parenting style as he thinks differently than my other two children. Aj is a very literal child who sees the world in black and white.

As adults we learn life isn’t always black and white, it isn’t clean cut. Sometimes people ruin experiences for others, sometimes we have to pay for mistakes other people make or have made. Aj doesn’t see life that way, to Aj if he did no wrong then he shouldn’t have a consequence. While Aj is also famous, at home, for saying he didn’t do something that he did, you can immediately tell that he is fibbing you. Aj is much like me in that we are incapable of lying, it’s not something we are very good at. Usually we smirk or have this avoidance of eye contact so extreme that it’s blatantly obvious that we are lying. I am thankful Aj picked up that gene from me, because it make it easier to work with him.

I had a meeting last week with Aj’s counselor who still insists yes Aj has a mood disorder, but since he has not been on correct medications for going on about six months now, his learned or enabled behaviors are starting to come back. I won’t lie, that is my fault completely. I am the parent but I do my best, as do all parents, and with a mood disorder child it’s sometimes easier to deter a total mood fluctuation by allowing some behaviors to go unnoticed, rather without consequence. This isn’t a good way to parent but I am not perfect and now am able to see what I have to work on with Aj again, but it’s minimal issues and will be easily worked through.

I cannot say if I feel Aj needs mood disorder medications or not just yet. It has only been a week without medications, he stopped medications on January 20th. So we will see how this plays out, on February 5th he sees his current psych and I am sure by then I will have more feedback about my experiences and observations regarding Aj without medications. For now, I am simply staying strong and moving forward.

 

Living with a Child who has a Mood Disorder #bipolar #mentalhealth #happilyblended

Today my heart broke yet again. Watching my seven year old son struggle through life while being on the wrong medication. The medication that worked the best for our son was risking his health. Aj had to be removed from one medication because he gained far too much weight and it was time to change, even though the medication was helping a lot and an increase in dose wouldn’t have capped him at the limit, it would have enabled him to gain more weight and in turn create health risks.

Sadly that is the case with our seven year old son, he is constantly out growing his medication. Aj metabolizes medication in such a quick way, doesn’t matter what it is. As a baby, he had severe ear infections and antibiotics never touched them. It was ridiculous. Then there was medications to assist in helping Aj sleep, both natural and prescribed in the past five years, that would only work for a few days up to possibly a week time before he couldn’t sleep again.

Here we are today, with a son who has a mood disorder – nos and his medication is not proper. Capped out on the current medication there is no room to move and quite frankly this isn’t the right medication anyways. There are few other options for a child with a mood disorder – nos, at least as far as I’ve been told. The counselor mentioned a medication a couple of weeks ago and was going to discuss options with Aj’s psychiatrist – we shall see how that went.

In the meantime, I spent a good hour listening to my seven year old son cry and cry and cry. Aj has learned to express some of his feelings through words, but usually he expresses through rage and anger. Today was a day that after a rageful angry situation from him, I was able to talk in a calm voice and keep talking until he broke down in tears. Aj expressed that he is sick of not caring about anyone or anything, he hates that he cries all of the time, he hates feeling the way he is feeling. Sadly he has heard me say one too many times that his medication is wrong so he did mention that, but I think that’s more him repeating something I had said. All of the other feelings and concerns he was telling me as he balled his eyes out sitting on my lap, broke my heart. They were from his heart. He is struggling and it’s nothing he can control without proper medication.

Therapy only helps so far with a mood disorder – nos. Therapy aka counseling is a very important tool to utilize when one has a mood disorder – nos, but it needs to be combined with the proper medication. At this point I feel I am just watching my son slip away, back into the person he was before we ever even started down this path of figuring out what was up with him. I fear that if it’s not resolved soon Aj is going to keep going downhill and let me tell you what, I will be damned if I let my son struggle like this anymore. It has been about four months of a roller coaster ride of emotions and we cannot take it any longer; Aj hates it, I hate it, his Dad hates it, his siblings are moving further away from him. The youngest boy is starting to act like his brother, and it’s just so detrimental to the well being of our happy home and my kind hearted compassionate son.

I keep praying that the counselor can get through to the current psychiatrist, because we cannot see a new one until March of 2014. I do have an appointment scheduled but we have to wait …

Many Get Depressed During Holiday Season

I never understood fully why some people suffer from higher levels of depression during the holiday season until I had three kids. I am a happy go lucky sort of person but I too struggle with low levels of depression from time to time, however I am also one who uses my resources to rise above the feelings and move forward quickly doing depression research online.

Depression is a serious illness that affects numerous people but there is help and there is hope. From an online atmosphere such as a depression forum to a local meeting with a counselor or groups for those who suffer from this illness you can find the help you need to recover. I am a firm believer that people need to make sure they are in tune with who they are, what they are feeling and move beyond their pride to seek help and gain the support they require to get passed this hard time in their lives.

If you are reading someone’s blog and they seem to be reaching out for depression help don’t be afraid to reach out to them in a friendly, caring way or if you feel that you shouldn’t step in, at least try to find a way to get them to get depression help. I have watched as a couple bloggers were seen on the news and covered all over the Internet for having committed suicide because they were dealing with such high levels of depression. We can’t ignore the signs and we need to think of the blogging community just as we would our own in real life community and reach out when someone sounds slightly under the weather.

Stepping up and being a friend from the get go is all one may need to move forward from the holiday depression, but at times when depression is far more serious for this person they may truly need professional help.

Just Listen to me; Medication Options Suck

When my son Aj was born believe me the last thing I ever thought of was having to deal with a child who has a mood disorder. Everyone who isn’t living in my household seeing the day to day mood changes of my five year old can lend advice and speak without knowing the exact situation but when it comes down to it, believe me I am a no med kind of mom, I hate the idea of tossing meds at my children.

Three years ago I finally got a pediatrician to listen to me about Aj’s aggressive behavior, how he only has one major emotion “anger” and compared to his other two siblings this has proved to be something unique to Aj that hasn’t changed with parenting style changes, counseling and constant visits with pediatrician and other specialists. My son truly has a mood disorder, now what kind I have no clue but I will be betting that it is bi-polar because 1) it runs in my family BIG time and 2) I watched my sister grow up with it not being diagnosed until early 20′s.

Aj exhibits all of the symptoms that my sister had and I will be damned if I let it get the point where he is attempting suicide and struggling at even living a normal life; something my sister has gone through & to this day struggles with because she can’t afford medication. I want nothing but the best for everyone, this especially pertains to my children and if that means medication to help a chemical imbalance .. I will do it. Three years of counseling, pediatricians and being diagnosed ADHD then changing parenting styles and still having a child who doesn’t respond to normal consistent discipline – it all points back to bi-polar based on results with discussions with all of his doctors and the counselor we see. I have been told to keep him on his ADHD medication even though they have agreed now that he is not truly ADHD.

A bi-polar child will NOT respond to normal discipline techniques, why? Because it’s a freaking chemical imbalance in his brain. This child is only five, he is trying to learn how to tell what emotion is what, how to deal with various situations – it’s all a part of growing up, however, he has to deal with it in a different way because his impulse is so bad due to the imbalance and my heart just breaks. The mood changes are so extreme that my family is falling apart; he doesn’t have a close relationship to his siblings, barely a close one with me and his father. Getting into friendships at school? Yeah that is difficult for him too. This poor child has been through so much, yet I know it’s a miracle he is here and loved so dearly.

So as we move forward waiting to see a pediatric psychiatrist I get to hear from others who say “wait” who haven’t’ walked in this kids shoes nor mine and then wish to maybe judge thinking that I am just a mom who tosses medication at my kid because I am too lazy to learn new parenting styles – nope that isn’t the case. I truly have been open minded, working with the counselor on implementing various strategies and being consistent. We are all 99%  sure my son has a mood disorder and it sucks to live with this as a parent, I can’t imagine how he feels at age 5 living this way.

Aj often will say “I don’t want to be bad, I don’t want to be mean. I can’t help it” And it’s true, should this go further and mean that he is bi-polar or even has some mood disorder then it is very true that this child can not control his outbursts until he is on proper medication.

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Mood Disorder in First Year After Child

I think that most woman and their partners need to be educated about postpartum depression if they are planning to have children. Postpartum depression is real and it can truly affect your life in many ways. I see all too many deaths of children at the hands of their own mothers lately and had we the education during OBGYN care and in society in general I would like to think there would be less issues of children dying at the hands of their mothers.

I am in no way saying that postpartum depression is an excuse for a mother to murder their child, however, what I am saying is that I am fully aware of the chemical inbalance having a mental health issue creates. While I was pregnant the topic of postpartum depression never really came up, sure the doc mentioned this may happen but never really was it talked about in detail or later on. I recall telling my OBGYN during one of my pregnancies after my child was born that I felt depressed, unable to move, felt worthless and was really struggling with negative mood swings. These mood swings led my life in a crazy direction for the next few years and had I been educated, received necessary care for that problem, I wonder if things would have been different for my personal life.

In all reality it doesn’t matter the what ifs behind my particular situation nor does it matter for anyone else. Unfortunately what has happened, has happened so why can’t we take a moment to find a way to educate woman and families about the crazy level of depression and mood disorders a woman can have when her hormone levels are fluctuating so badly after the birth of a baby? We need more education and there has to be a way to get more education out there to all!

Please watch this video .. I have been here … I can relate to almost every story on here! It is sad, we need more help & education!

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