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.