Dec 16, 2012
commented on I Am Adam Lanza's Mother
I completely understand. I have 6 children. At 14 my now 16 year old daughter (3rd child) was diagnosed Bi-polar and ODD. She had been increasingly violent, had the mood swings, and her favorite phrase was "I do what I want." I always knew there was an issue. My ex husbands mom committed suicide when he was 19, due to undiagnosed bi-polar. He has depression and anxiety, and my daughter, has had full blown anxiety attacks since she was 4. She would also tell people, at the elementary school level, she had fragile feelings. She struggled in school. Although she tests extremely high, she is very disorganized (typical bi-polar). At 14 she came to me shaking saying she needed to go to the hospital, because she just wanted to die. We had always had open discussions in our home about mental illness due to my background in mental health and her dad's family history of mental illness. After diagnoses, she got to point where she refused to take her meds and she hit me. I filed domestic violence charges (had tried unruly before and no one would let me file.) and was the best thing I ever did. Yes, 3 days in jail was hard on her, but the judge court ordered her to take meds and follow all doctors orders or she would be put in a residential facility. That and having a good probation officer was the turning point. With no choice (she did not want to go to residential) she took her meds, we moved her to a special school for kids with behavior issues, and of course continued therapy. She is 16 now and spends half day at that school and half at the local career center. She had one suicide attempt, which would have been fatal, had she not panicked and called, but other than that, she has been doing wonderfully. These kids have to be held accountable. They have to be taught right from wrong, and that their are consequences for their actions. They also have to be taught they have a choice. Manage the illness or let it manage you. Empowering my daughter in her treatment and giving her consequences has worked well. I know many times bi-polar is misdiagnosed as ASD and ADHD and those meds will just make worse. Also every kid different, so one course of meds that works for one, will not work for another. You just have to keep trying, but set the behavior boundaries firm now, or once they get big enough, can be dangerous. I will keep you in my thoughts and prayers.