I talked with my kid's psychiatrist this morning.
We have a tentative diagnosis of Bipolar Disorder. He's going to add a mood stabilizing medication in addition to the increased dosage of Celexa and we're going to see what happens.
I should have seen this coming. Really. When Numbah Two was little, we had him assessed for Oppositional Defiant Disorder...which can be the way BD manifests itself in little kids. He's always been moody and prone to swings from one end of the spectrum to the other: either vivacious, the life of the party, always wanting to be out with friends and able to talk to everyone or cranky, downright spiteful, agressive, isolated and pessimistic. I know that some of that is normal teenage behaviour, but NT seems to go through phases.
When I went to see him last night, he was very 'up'...he wouldn't stop talking, couldn't be interrupted, bounced from one subject to another without really focusing on any one thing, had all these ideas about what he was going to do when he got out of the hospital. He said he hasn't been able to sleep for 4 or so days, and the staff reported that yes, he was very agitated all day and had had difficulty sleeping the night before. Compared to how he was when he was admitted for the first time - pessemistic, feeling isolated, sad, talking about suicide, cutting himself, using drugs and alcohol - well, it's the other extreme. Obviously, there's some stress and anxiety involved because of where he is, but I've seen this kid stressed out before and this behaviour is different. Very different.
The more I think about his childhood, his behaviour throughout it and our family history, the more I think that yeah, Bipolar disorder fits all the symptoms he's exhibiting (and has exhibited).
I can cope with whatever the diagnosis is; with whatever his disorder is. I'm not afraid anymore, I just want my child to be stable and I'll do whatever I need to do to help him achieve that. I say 'help him' because I honestly think that this is something he has to do for himself. I can't do it for him - I WON'T do it for him. He's going to have to learn to be accountable for his condition and his behaviour, I'm not going to let him go down the 'I've got bipolar disorder/depression so I'm not responsible for what I do' road. I'll help him as much as I can, but...I'm not going to do all the work for him.
I know it's not all my fault, too. I know that it's not the way he was raised...this is an organic brain chemistry thing; it's nature rather than nurture. That takes some of the sting out, but it still smarts. It still hurts.
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