Sunday, August 29, 2010

Isolationism anyone?

So, anyone who reads my blog knows that my son was diagnosed with bipolar depression this summer. We were at the counselor's office this week, and I was going through the pre-screening with her again, when she asked if anyone ever tested T for autism or asperger's. I told her no, he's never been tested for that, but I've been telling people since he was two that something was wrong.

Not that there is anything 'wrong' per-se with my son. He is a beautiful boy, handsome, intelligent, strong, and kind (for the most part.) Then she went on to ask a whole bunch of questions about whether or not he was able to be soothed as an infant or even as a toddler. Whether he did flapping gestures, etc...

Now, I know that he is bipolar. I feel strongly that that diagnosis is correct, but now I am left with a whole new set of questions. Why did nobody think of this earlier? Why couldn't I get anybody to listen to me when he was 2, 4, 6, 8, 10? Why did it take this long for somebody else to see what I see daily?

The only reason I can see for this is isolationism. I am beginning to blame myself for this. I kept him out of organized sports until this year because I couldn't stand the constant pressure. He was/is supremely emotional. The slightest thing at 6, 8, and 10 made him cry or scream. Even in school, he has been the odd man out. He doesn't make friends easily and he gets picked on frequently. Kids, and teachers, think he is bizarre for the crying fits. For a long time, I didn't look for anyone to talk to about this, because I didn't want anyone to know.

I've been looking for support groups for about a year now. The closest thing I've found is the parents meeting when we were doing the intensive outpatient therapy after his diagnosis. We don't have those meetings anymore, because he is just doing the counseling one-on-one now.

Earlier this week, we had a manic episode. For those that don't know my son personally, a manic episode looks like an extremely pissed-off, rage filled kid. Sometimes for minutes, sometimes for hours. This one was new, as it lasted approximately three days. T had a melt-down after practice on Tuesday and screamed at me, and another parent, in public. That hasn't happened in years, mostly because we were never in public together, aside from the grocery store. I told him, after he was calm, that he could not yell at me in public, because he is showing that he doesn't respect me at that moment. He apologized to me, he apologized to the other mom the next day. But all this leads back to isolationalism.

People that don't know T, probably looked at him and thought "why can't that mom control her kid?" My answer: Come live in my shoes for a week, please! Except that I believe I've brought this on myself by not talking to people about it, or even allowing it to be seen.

Please understand, I am not embarassed about my son. I am proud of the improvements he has made. I simply don't want people to judge him, or me, by what they see. I don't know where to go from here. I don't know who to talk to, and I really am tired of living in a box I apparently made all by myself. Any thoughts?


  1. I just want you to know that I read this post. Twice. I didn't want the lack of comments to feel like further isolation to you. However, I have no real thoughts on how to help.


  2. Don't beat yourself up about this--hindsight is much better at diagnosis. Kids are hard because they change every week; it's not until they start to develop stable personalities that it becomes easier to figure out mood disorders.

    There are many, many books on BPD. THere are support groups, too. Take advantage of them all.

  3. Thank you both for such kind comments, I appreciate the sentiments. :)