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Living with Bi-Polar Disorder

Although Sean was only 10 years old, I was out of options, so I called for police assistance. He refused to take his morning medication. Being diagnosed with Bi-polar Disorder at the time made his medication a necessity to help Sean function somewhat normally everyday. As the police entered Sean's bedroom, they found him hiding under the covers. He was afraid he might be going to jail.

After they successfully accomplished the task at hand, they brought him out to the living room for his breakfast on a TV tray. He immediately started throwing sticky pieces of pancakes at the officers. After a stern warning from them, Sean complied. Within thirty minutes of Sean's ingestion of medication and food, he calmed down. He became a totally different person.

As the officers headed for the door to leave, one quietly commented to me that he had never seen a child change so quickly. Sean certainly was a puzzle, but if the psychiatric community agreed to label Sean with Bi-polar Disorder, who was I to argue? Years later I would discover that Brain Injury would become his main diagnosis. It looked very similar to Bi-Polar Disorder, but had many more facets to its description.

By definition, Bi-Polar Disorder is a condition that causes unusual changes in mood, energy and activity. Moods can range from elation and energy (manic) to feeling sad and exhausted (depressive) to a mix of the two extremes.

Some symptoms you may notice include:

  • Feeling overly irritable and excessively tired

  • Feeling extremely talkative, yet exhausted

  • Racing thoughts, yet tired

  • Rapid shifting from extreme sadness to extreme happiness

  • Laughing while revealing feelings of despair

  • Impulsive behavior

  • Feeling irritable even while doing enjoyable activities

  • Having a heightened sense of self-importance

  • Abuse of drugs or alcohol

  • Exhibiting provocative, intrusive or aggressive behavior

  • Having thoughts of death or suicide

There are a number of medications that will help alleviate the symptoms. They helped stabilize Sean. Of course all the pillars of health are essential: good sleep, elimination of processed foods and excess sugar, good connection to friends or a counselor and regular chiropractic care. But after getting in a good rhythm of health, if you still find the symptoms are out of control, medication may become temporarily necessary.

Over the years, I have always sought the healthy alternative in conjunction with medication. I long for the day when medication will no longer be necessary. I am thankful that we now understand Sean and his moods. I created a "Behavior Hierarchy" document that showed the different levels of Sean's behavior. It was my hope that any caretaker (or teacher) could immediately see if Sean was starting to enter a state of anxiety. Then we had natural steps that could be taken, like walking, swinging or swimming. Cross-brain activities calm down the brain, and we really needed that!

Next week I will share the "Behavior Hierarchy" document that has been a tremendous help to us over the years. Until then, I pray you have enlightenment in your situation and good health!

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