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Feeling discouraged

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by Tigger » Thu Apr 06, 2017 8:59 am

Last night I went to a transition meeting for all 5th grade students who are going to 6th grade (middle school) next year. This is my third time sending a child off to middle school. But, it's my first time sending a child with a profound disability.

A little over a year ago he was a normal, albeit ADHD dx, kid. Now he's missed about half of the past year of school. I sat there listening too all of the great things the middle school offers to incoming students and realized, there is just no way my kid is going to be able to handle going to a regular school. His mood disorder keeps him from being able to show up most days, and the ADHD is presently untreated because the medication is destabilizing so he can't even read a book for more than 1 - 2 minutes.

Today he's home with me because he had another mixed state episode--which is the most heartbreaking thing to watch an 11 year old kid go through. Holding his head and crying because it hurts so much. Stomping around and screaming to try to alleviate the agitation. Begging me to help him feel better. Besides holding him--when he could bear that--I gave him risperidone. That was all I could do.

What's his life going to be like if he can't show up for it?
_______

Mom to 12 year old boy with bipolar

Meds: 300mg Lamictal; 300mg Lithium; 10mg Abilify; .50mg Risperdal
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by AvantGarde » Thu Apr 06, 2017 9:39 am

I flunked two years in a row, both the 8th grade. First for agoraphobia and the second when my BP symptoms started. It was not a big deal, I learned how to live with my unstable self and thrived through. And I didn't have medication!
I'm sure if it takes a while it won't be a big deal, the most important thing is that he feels comfortable in his own skin.

Schools provide accomodations for kids with issues, learning disabilities, whatever. He surely can have a way of making his way through school with his issues, with the school's help and your help too.

I wish you the best of luck :)
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by Xandra92 » Thu Apr 06, 2017 11:12 am

I missed about a quarter of my 3rd grade year, half of my 4th grade year, and then a month of my 5th grade year. First, it was treatment for an eating disorder, then it was Bipolar and ADHD. Then there was a month where I just needed additional help. At that age, hormones and chemicals are all over the charts and constantly changing. Finding a way to stabilize yourself is hard. Impulse control issues resulted in suspensions here and there throughout middle school. Then, when I was in school, I wasn't always "there". I missed a lot, but I'm better because of it. I mentally show up to so much more than most people my age because I know what it's like to miss out. I will never take a day, a night, a dinner, a conversation for granted.

Your son is 11, right? That's already a tough age. He may miss some stuff, but it will even out! It was a long 7 years for both me and my family. But it does get better.
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by Tigger » Thu Apr 06, 2017 12:16 pm

Thank you both. I'm trying to take the long view. Today was a rough day.

It really helps to hear about your experiences. Knowing that you missed alot of school and life and feel that you are okay for it--and maybe even better for it--is helpful.

Thank you :)
_______

Mom to 12 year old boy with bipolar

Meds: 300mg Lamictal; 300mg Lithium; 10mg Abilify; .50mg Risperdal
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by Pancake » Thu Apr 06, 2017 3:03 pm

At that age, hormones and chemicals are all over the charts and constantly changing.

So much of this. It is possible that's an element at his age?

My son would rage at the internet and have to go outside and walk (stomp) it off for a few years, and that's "normal" teenageryness.

Mixed states are one of the least fun places to be, and for someone who doesn't have bipolar your description is spot on, you have some really good compassion and insight into what it must be like. As hard as it is for both of you, I'm sure he will appreciate that.

For meds... I take a benzo when the mind-torture ramps up to *extreme* (fortunately it doesn't happen to me very often). Then I sleep through it and try again the next day.
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by Tigger » Thu Apr 06, 2017 3:48 pm

Hi Pancake-

Thank you for your kind words. It really, really does help.

I'm sure that he's in the beginning stages of hormone changes. He's certainly had a bit of a growth spurt. And he's gained 10lbs since the fall--but we think that's the medication, not a natural weight gain. He was a pretty skinny kid so it's not a big deal, but something we have to watch.

I would say, though, that he's not in the teenagery stuff yet. I have two older boys (almost 16 and 13) and the irritable, asshole-y, short-tempered narcissistic behavior is fairly distinct. And thankfully with those two short lived. My 11 doesn't seem to be experiencing that particular brand of jerkyness. This seems more like a brain disorder than a hormone surge, if you know what I mean. But you know, it's really hard to tell. It could also be partly because it's spring here in New England. So many potential variables. I just don't know. I just want a way to help him live his life.

And thank you all for being willing to chat with me about this. It's one thing to talk to other parents (which is super helpful). It's another thing entirely to talk to people who have similar experiences. I know you are all different and have distinct challenges, but it's enough for me to get a better idea of what he's going through. Thank you.
_______

Mom to 12 year old boy with bipolar

Meds: 300mg Lamictal; 300mg Lithium; 10mg Abilify; .50mg Risperdal
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