Few days ago our son graduated from his therapeutic school. Next year is mainstream High School. There many challenges ahead of us but I feel like we can face them now because we, as family in very different place now. When I look back I am amazed at the fears we had.
We were afraid of medications but what a positive difference medication made in his life. He is not longer at grip of his never ending mood swings . Medication did not make him into a zombie but actually, it had an exact opposite effect. Now, instead of dealing with never ending mood swings and paranoia , my son can channel his energy toward creative projects and study. He is an amazing cook and programmer.
We were devastated when public school insisted on a transfer to therapeutic school. We imagined Gulag like setting, isolation rooms and restraints. Nothing could have been further from the truth. My son finally was in a place where teachers understood who he was and worker daily with him, along with therapists and behavioral specialist on learning how to become highly functional human being. Our son made several close friends.
We had fear of mandatory family therapy. We were so used to teacher and strangers in stores accusing us of being bad parents s of a "spoiled brat". Instead, in the family therapy we found support and understanding of our difficulties. Were were finally given practical advice on how how to deal with life. We were encouraged rather than berated.
We got our family life back, our young son became a joyful little boy again not a scared neglected sibling whose needs always came second to one crisis or another.
Are we anxious about the high school years and future and future in general? We are, but we are not longer afraid.
The fear of the future is hard o overcome when dealing with special needs. We are beginning our next phase of therapies and this time medication is included. My son is only 7.
AuntLavender, homeschooling mom of 4 ages 13, 12, 10, & 7
I am an adult and mother struggling with Bi-Polar disorder. I have chosen to not be on meds currently and am functioning pretty well. Its nice to see parents being so supportive and loving with their Bi-Polar children. I wonder what a Theraputic school might have done for me?
My mother has, since I have been diagnosed (which btw took until I was 22 and had my first child and almost killed us both), used my disorder as an excuse. A way to excuse my behavior, every move I make, and just to excuse me from being her embarrassment. She tries to be supportive but it seems that no matter what, my Bi Polar is to blame for me.
I look at my disorder as a way of being. A part of who I am and that my brain is functioning differently, rather than it being a disease. I need to learn to work with my brain and in return, need patient people in my life who understand and want to learn to work with me.
I wish you luck in parenting your children.
my darling wonderful brother Jay was diagnosed with BP when he was fourteen. he stopped taking meds after he turned 21. he died by suicide just 3 months ago. it is the worst nightmare you could imagine. he went to alternative high schools, he had lots of treatment. he had attemptted it once before and threatened it twice before.
all i can say to you is educate youself about suicide and suicide prevention. BP people are one of the largest groups of suicides. i would read anything put out by the american suicide prevetion groups. read kay redfield jamisen's book night falls fast.
please educate yourslef about this. and educate your child and everyone who cares for them. always make sure you have all the phone numbers of his friends and that they have yours. you never know who will be the person they will reach out to at the end.
i hope this doesn't depress you too much, but someone kills themselves every 20 minutes. i don't want anyone to ever fo through the hell that my family is going through.
to you for your loss.
Alenushka congratulations on all the progress your son and your family have made. How great that you were able to find a good school and the right therapists. I hope that we can find the same for my son. Good luck in high school.
Thanks for your post, I'm glad you son is doing well. My son also had bipolar disorder (and GAD and separation anxiety disorder) and we do fear for his future. There is a 15% rate of death by suicide which terrifies me as my bipolar grandfather took his own life. All you can do as a parent of a bipolar child is just keep on going and keep fighting for your child. My son is on meds and doing well now, I hope it stays that way. I personally believe strongly that bipolar disorder should never be left unmedicated but to each their own.