Wednesday, July 13, 2011

A Little Light Reading: Bipolar Edition

I lost some hair off the right side of my head today.  I received a 6-inch scratch down my left calf.  Tomorrow the bruises on my hips and right foot will probably make themselves visible.

I'm not complaining.  They are what happens when you have a child with a mood disorder.  Battle wounds, if you will.  Today was a bad day, to be fair, but still.  Battle wounds.

When I decided to blog tonight, I considered a few topics.  I thought about writing an extremely lengthy and involved post about seeing both M2's psychiatrist and therapist on Tuesday, but I don't really want to rehash it all.  I'd rather focus on the positive.  I thought about describing the beautiful humidity-giving rain that we received yesterday and today and ignoring the mood issue altogether, but I couldn't simply brush off everything that's happened this week... today, particularly.  It was when I looked over at my end table and saw the books I'd hauled off my bookshelf that inspiration struck. 




The following list contains books I've read while trying to figure out what's going on with M2.  This is definitely not a comprehensive list of books on stubborn children or those with mood disorders; in fact, I'd love more suggestions.  But it's a start.  If you're struggling with a child and begin to suspect bipolar disorder, these are some suggestions.

This was the first book I read when M2 started having her fits.  I really like Dobson's take on parenting... most of the time.  I own a couple of his other books as well.  But this one, while it might be useful for most children, didn't encompass what I deal with.  It's helpful with M1 on occasion, but in general... no.  Still, it's a good book, and I'm glad I have it.

After that, someone suggested this book:

"The Explosive Child" is, I have discovered, one of the most popular books for parents of children with mood disorders, ODD, etc.  When I first read it, I thought it was sheer bunk.  It's extremely simplistic, basically breaking all potential solutions into three categories, and after I read it, I thought, "What a piece of crap!"  I thought about tossing the book and even laid it in the pile to go to Goodwill.  However... and this is a big however... I found myself mentally referring to it on a regular basis.  After a couple of weeks, I put it back on my bookshelf, where it's lived ever since.  I have an inkling that the book will become even more useful as the kids' teen hormones kick in... I'm already using some of the methods with M1 when he gets angry and disrespectful.  It may be simplistic, but the methods do work.  Mostly.  There are days when nothing's going to work, and I'm going to have to understand that, too.

This book came into my home when someone first mentioned bipolar being a diagnostic possibility.  It is largely considered the 'bible' for many kids with bipolar disorder.  It's extensive, exhaustive, and covers everything from the diagnostic process to how bipolar works biologically to medication options to inpatient treatment to... well, everything.  It's an amazing book, but sometimes it's just a little too much.  So when M2's psychiatrist suggested this book,

I got it.  It covers a lot of the same topics as "The Bipolar Child," but it takes a lighter approach and talks more about comorbid conditions, such as the anxiety that M2 also has.

So that's that.  I hope this helps someone.  If anyone has suggestions, I'm always happy to hear them, because heaven only knows I'm going to need all the resources and help I can get.

Tomorrow... books I own regarding Asperger's disorder, sensory issues, and even allergies.  In other words, books I've read for M1.


Beth said...

Hang in there. It'll get better. :) It may be worse first - but it WILL be better again.

Mom on the Verge said...

Ah, the Explosive Child. Maybe it's time to revisit that one. I bought it after the book "Laying Down the Law" didn't work. ;)

I also have "The Goodenoughs Get In Sync", a shorter more digestable version of "The Out of Sync Child".

My battery's dying. More later...