Tristan is seven years old and has bipolar disorder. He's been hospitalized twice, once for four months. He's currently on a medication regime that includes Seroquel and Depakote and it seems to be working.
I'm starting this blog because I know there are other families out there that are dealing with this same thing. Families that may not understand the treatment options or how to handle doctors with nasty cases of "God Complex."
It's not easy. People have told me everything from "You just don't love him enough," to "It's food allergies. If he were on the proper diet, he would not have these problems."
It's heartbreaking to hear these things from people, especially people who love you. People could never understand what's it's like dealing with a child with bipolar disorder unless they have lived it. It's not about loving your child enough or being ineffective with discipline. It's a documented medical problem that isn't treated by spanking or more attention. It needs medication to manage, much like diabetes.
Sometimes I watch Tristan and I can see the turmoil going on inside his mind. His mind is so unquiet and it breaks my heart that he's going through this and I can't fix it. Managing Tristan and his sisters every day can be very difficult. It's hard to balance the attention he needs with the attention his sisters need. At the end of the day, I am often so exhausted that there isn't anything left for me. But I know this is worth it. The medication, the strict adherence to routine, the doctor's appointments, the therapy, it helps him manage his illness and it is worth every moment that he is not in turmoil or pain.