Sunday, October 17, 2010

not in the literal sense

I've been worrying for more than a week. Sick in my stomach, can't think of anything else- but don't want to think of 'it' kind of worrying.

It was hinted that (potentially) The Girl Child had bipolar disorder. So many of the symptoms fit, stupid red-flag check list. A few weren't quite right, though. I've been going crazy waiting for, and dreading, the appointment- the one that I was expecting would doom us to a lifetime of medications and I don't know what else.

I've seen bipolar disorder, and it's so hard to watch. The spiraling depression, the loss of control. I didn't want that for The Girl- a burden too hard to bear.

Turns out it was nothing of the sort- thank heavens for professionals, is all I have to say. Abandonment fears, and separation anxiety. Totally treatable, and fixable, and disgustingly easy when compared to the alternative.

Turns out I'm not barmy after all, well not in the literal sense anyway.


  1. Summed up well in your tags--a tender mercy, that's for sure. I'm happy for you.

  2. I'm glad you were spared. It's difficult at best. One of ours suffers from mental illness. (The reason we make a lot of trips to Utah.) He's doing a lot better than he was, but not without a lot of courage and effort on his part, and a lot of family support. He is the sweetest kid though - the kind everyone likes to go out of their way for. Hang in there with Baby Girl - stay the course with whatever is prescribed (medication, counseling, whatever) and you'll soon see the light at the end of the tunnel! {{{HUGS}}}

  3. So glad to hear that all is well, Jess. Or at least, workable.

    To tell the truth, I am always a bit suspicious of the diagnosis when I hear that a primary-aged child has been diagnosed as bipolar. It's almost become one of those catch-all diagnoses like ADD and ADHD. I don't mean to say that no one has these conditions (my own nephew definitely does), but I do think they have become all-too-convenient lumping categories for psychologists and psychiatrists. Now, being bipolar seems to have been added to the mix.

    I have close family experience with bipolar disease, and it usually doesn't appear until the person is in their late teens. What's more, there were no symptoms (in the case I'm familiar with) during childhood.

    Your daughter is probably just a somewhat anxious child, which is often the case with creative, intelligent children. Whatever it is that makes people creative also seems to give them lots of colors emotionally. I think it's part of the gift. The trick is to help her learn to be comfortable with her imagination/feelings and find good, adaptive ways to let them out. We have a lot of creative people in my family, and their moods are pretty complex, but everyone does well by appreciating the upside as well as the downside of such complexity, feeling good about themselves as "depthy" people, and using talking and creative outlets to keep all those feelings moving (meaning to get the feelings out on a regular basis).

    Sorry for writing a book here!