Monday, July 14, 2014

Mom, He Believes I'm Bipolar

Guess what? Al went to see the Psychiatrist!!!!! (SIGHING and a little misty eyed) He actually went. The night before his appointment I couldn't sleep and woke up with a headache. I knew this was an important appointment and I was praying he would go, that he would want to go. This was a pivotal moment for my son for many reasons. This would be the FIRST time he asked for help and followed though. And this would be the first time he wanted to talk to a professional about his issues all on his own. THANK YOU GOD!

Al came out of the appointment eager to talk to me about it. I was at work, Jr took Al to his appointment. So I was on pins and needles waiting for him to call me. His appointment went 45 minutes over so you can imagine my anxiety. He called... he told me how he really liked the psychiatrist and he felt like he could relate to him. Then he paused and said.... "Mom, he believes I'm bipolar, he took this test on me and it all points to bipolar" and I could hear the relief in his voice. I asked Al "how do you feel about that?" he said "well at least I know I'm not going crazy mom, and it make sense, all the symptoms are me". I've had some time to think about this, and thinking about it... Al first started displaying unstable behavior at the end of his freshman year. Th extreme mood swings I thought where hormonal changes from being a teenager.

So here's what I know about Bipolar Disorder... and the systems DO describe my son to the T, every single one of them!

Bipolar disorder affects men and women equally. It usually starts between ages 15 and 25. The exact cause is not known. But it occurs more often in relatives of people with bipolar disorder. In most people with bipolar disorder, there is no clear cause for the periods (episodes) of extreme happiness and high activity or energy (mania) or depression and low activity or energy (depression).

The following may trigger a manic episode:

* Childbirth
* Medicines such as antidepressants or steroids
* Periods of not being able to sleep (insomnia)
* Drug use

Symptoms:

The manic phase may last from days to months. It can include these symptoms:

* Easily distracted
* Little need for sleep
* Poor judgment
* Poor temper control
* Reckless behavior and lack of self control such as drinking, drug use, sex with many partners, spending sprees
* Very irritable mood, such as racing thoughts, talking a lot, false beliefs about self or abilities
* Very involved in activities

The depressive episode may include these symptoms:

* Daily low mood or sadness
* Difficulty concentrating, remembering, or making decisions
* Eating problems such as loss of appetite and weight loss, or overeating and weight gain
* Fatigue or lack of energy
* Feeling worthless, hopeless, or guilty
* Loss of pleasure in activities once enjoyed
* Loss of self-esteem
* Thoughts of death or suicide
* Trouble getting to sleep or sleeping too much
* Pulling away from friends or activities that were once enjoyed

So there we have it... a diagnosis, 4 YEARS and 10 MONTHS later I finally got him to see someone who could help him. Now to get him off smoking heroin. (Another BIG sigh)

BUT THIS IS ONE WIN in a long battle. I'll take it!!

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