Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Is it Just Me or Is Everyone Having a Hard Time Right Now?

It seems like a lot of bipolar kids are ending up in the hospital (or very close to it) right now. We are having issues here and I'm starting to wonder when that point will come.

Taz had a big episode of uncontrollable...I don't even know what to call it....rage? No. It alternated between extreme aggression and hysterical sobbing. I switched from restraining him to rocking him. It lasted about an hour. This was on Friday.

What scared me about this episode is that I had a lot of trouble keeping Chica safe. If she got close, which inevitably she would being 1 and wanting to be with me, she would or could get hurt.

The weekend consisted of a lot of violence as well but Dh was here to help. Dr. S (psychiatrist) upped the Abilify to three times a day to see if it would help. We just started it today but it's already been rough. Taz woke up and almost immediately slapped his sister in the face. Later in the day he smacked her hard on the head then tried to kick her in the face. This isn't even counting the aggression towards me and Dh. Biting, kicking, scratching, hitting, with purpose and all his strength behind it.

He's getting to the point where I can't move him safely anymore. If he's in the car and doesn't want to get out, it's not as easy to pull him out and "force" him inside as it used to be. I'm sure most of you are way past that with older kids but Taz is so young that we've been able to do that until recently. I've had to put him in a booster seat in the front passenger side (with air bag off) because every car trip he has tried to hurt Chica. I end up watching the rear view mirror more than the road.

The unrestrained violence towards us and more importantly, Chica, has been a huge concern for me lately. It is getting worse and more severe every day. Dr. S is talking about which local hospitals to bring him too in case we need to.

I really don't want to. Obviously. But probably even more than a parent of a biological child doesn't want to. With Taz being adopted I'm afraid leaving him overnight in a facility without us will be too traumatic and he'll never recover. I'm afraid it will shake his attachment and security with us to it's core and that will create a whole other issue.

But I'm scared and overwhelmed with how to keep Chica safe at home alone. I'm investigating how to get some help. The story about Jani Schofield gave me the idea of contacting psychology students at local campuses to do internships with us. I don't know if that will turn anything out. We may not be famous enough.

I'm at a loss of what to do. I keep them separate as much as one person can keep a 4 year old and a 1 year old separate. I never leave them alone together. I even walk backwards if I have to go to the other side of room so that my eyes never leave them, especially if they are playing close to one another.

It's hard living in a state of hyper-vigilance. I feel like I'm going to lose my mind. Or I'm gonna start growing eyes in the back of my head or something.

Anyway, I do want to post about a school issue I had today. Maybe I'll get to it tomorrow.

And finally, those of you with hospitalized children or who are headed that way, I am so sorry and wish you all the support and hope in the world.


  1. I've been wondering about you. I am sorry to hear that things aren't going so well. I was once at that point of having to keep Erin safe all of the time so I know what it is like. I would love to connect through email of Facebook if that would be okay with you. You can find my email on my profile page. If not, no hard feelings.

  2. I'm sorry it's been rough for you guys lately. I have to say I'm just thankfully coming to the end of a fairly long, horrific manic cycle myself.

    My psychiatrist and I have kept track since I've been seeing him and we've even tried to piece together my cycling since I was quite young. It seems as if I have a really bad patch every year sometime between April and July.

    He has told me that it's a fairly common trouble spot for those of us with bipolar. Kind of a reverse seasonal affect disorder...a mania/mixed cycle palooza of sorts!

  3. I understand the challenge of keeping the other kids safe. I still have haunting memories of what my son has done to his brother while I was driving the car, Great idea about moving him closer to you. As he gets older, he may target Chica even more, I hope the docs can help before it gets to that.

  4. My son is in the hosptial inpatient right now and I have to say it has been a very rough experience for us and he is in a nice hospital. They have two padded, locked rooms on the ward and use them often and it's excrutiating to hear your child or others in there. My son is coming home tomorrow but today when I went to visit him they put a tiny 4 year old girl in there just for not eating her dinner and let her stay in there screaming and crying and pounding on the walls for an hour. I had a massive tension headache by the time I left just from hearing her and not being able to help her. They had done the same thing to my son earlier in the day and I thought I was going to have a stroke when I heard him in there bawling. It's pretty gross so think twice before going the inpatient route. I do think it's rough on the kids - and rough on the parents if you don't like to see your child treated that way.

  5. Before I get to my main point, let me stress that what I am about to say is not questioning your judgment in any way shape or form. I realize you did what you thought was necessary.

    But if Rye is in a nice hospital, I would hate to see what a horrible one looks like.

    I am sorry, putting anyone much less a 4 year old kid in a padded room for not eating dinner is plain and simple, abuse. That is not treatment.

    You wouldn't put someone in a regular hospital who refused to eat dinner in a seclusion room, right?

    In some ways, things have not changed from the Nelly Bly days.


    PS - For those folks who think I am doing some 2nd guessing and have no idea what I am talking about, I worked at a special ed school where I was attacked by students. We were taught to use Mandt restraining, which is the gentlest form of restraint.

    Only if we couldn't get the kid under control, was the quiet room allowed to be used. And I can't remember anyone ever being in there for an hour.

  6. Anonymous,

    What Meg said was concerning to me too. Putting a 4 yr old in a padded room to scream and cry is just heartbreaking. I don't plan on putting my 4 yr old in a hospital anytime soon. I have heard really terrible scary stories and I have heard some really wonderful success stories. But in both scenarios it is no doubt very hard for the children and families involved. There are times where hospitalization is warranted. Especially for an older child who is dangerous to keep in a home while out of control. Unfortunately there are times when young children, even 4 yr olds, go into hospitals, mainly due to unsafe behavior to themselves (running into traffic, suicide threats, etc.) It is sad and disturbing to think of these little kids that way but I've known it to happen. There really should be an in between service to help families before going to the hospital. There is one here but the waiting list in months long. We've already been waiting 3 months. As I explained in my post, it is very difficult to keep a 1 year old safe from an unstable, violent child. At least for one person to do by themselves. I can't imagine if the aggressive child were even older. Thanks for stopping by my blog. Like you said, we can not judge another parent's decision. Most of us are just doing the best we can.

  7. Taz's Mama, sorry if my disclaimer wasn't clear in my previous message. I wasn't second guessing Meg for putting Rye in the hospital as I realize people are doing the best they can.

    My point was that putting a 4 year old kid in a padded room for refusing her dinner if that was all she did is abuse and not treatment.


  8. My previous comment didn't go through so let me try this again.

    Sorry if my previous post wasn't clear. I wasn't 2nd guessing Meg for putting Rye in the hospital. I realize people do the best they can.

    But if the 4 year old's only offense was refusing her dinner, then putting her in a padded room is abuse and not treatment.


  9. Anonymous,

    I completely agree. It is abuse and there is nothing "treatment" about it. If it were my child, I would have freaked out!