my daughter was diagnosed with bipolar disorder and began taking trileptol for mood regulation. it did little or nothing so we switched to lithium which is regulating moods a bit better but she cannot sleep. then sometimes all she does is sleep. she is 15 years old.
I have 2 daughters and personal psychiatric issues. I have witnessed the effects in adults of some psychiatric medications first hand and through research in adults and through anecdotal information from shows like Frontline available on Netflix. As serious as my psychiatric medical issues are, I would never allow my children to be on psych meds for a number of reasons. Until recently when the US Gov. decided to offer pharmaceutical companies patent extensions in trade for studies on children there were no studies. Think of it as Freudian theory at it's peak. Everyone was being treated from the same theory for every condition and it was incredibly wrong and an unscientific approach to medicine. A person's brain doesn't fully develop until 25 years of age. At 15, your daughter has 10 more years before her brain stops changing. The effects of the medications may not just change symptoms or quel behaviors but alter her entire course of her neurological development.
The biggest problem I've faced with fighting my mental health symptoms is coping skills. If the meds work perfectly, usually the whole dynamic of a person's life changes. What happens if she becomes manic? Will she have to be hospitalized or will she learn coping skill in time to be able to process such intense feelings and curb the crisis and stay safe? I think when a person is still young, behaviors are able to be learned while the mind is still forming and perceptions are always radically changing. Another issue is you can't unring the bell. If a person finally gets some relief from symptoms they've lived with for so long in agony, all of the sudden they know how bad it was. MDs don't warn people to prepare to put into context the vast sums of pain you've felt throughout a long and torturous period of time. They just try as fast as possible to stop you from feeling bad they don't give you any skills on how to reconcile getting better and knowing how bad things were. Puting it another way, if a person walks around there whole life on 2 broken ankles and then at 15 they are fixed and no longer hurt they then can quanitfy the pain from the previous 15 years. It was a lot for me to deal with and it pains me to think about my children having to deal with such huge issues and "hindsight trauma" without having the cognitive skills to understand any of it. When I was a child I was diagnosed with ADD like half of the kids in my school. I wasn't and today's bipolar may be tomorrow's whatever. Ultimately, the issue is symptoms and behaviors. If the symptoms are manageable and the behaviors can be safely addressed and coping skills can be learned, I would do that. It would take a drastically awful situation to get me to allow my children to be on any medication that isn't studied for either of their precious minds. I hope I didn't write too authoritatively, I'm not an expert in anything but my life and what I have given deep thought and reflection about in regards to my loved ones. My wife and I are on the same page. We both know the mind doesn't ever repair damage. New neurological pathways can be formed but damage is forever. Thank you for reading all of this, I feel like maybe I can save relieve some of my pain that lingers around my traumatic relief after over 1/4 century of pain, Michael
I just want to say that lithium can have seriously bad side effects and I do not think a 15 year old should be taking it at all. Her brain is young and still developing. She is only a kid and her teenage hormones are going through a lot of changes which explains all her mood swings. This is NORMAL and she will simply grow out of it. Doctors are too quick to label and drug people these days. Ask the doctor what lab test he has done which proves 100% that your daughter is bipolar. It is complete pseudoscience. These labels ruin peoples lives. Please have lots of patience with your daughter and tell her you love her no matter what. Its hard being a teenager in todays world.
- Lithium Information for Consumers
- Lithium Information for Healthcare Professionals (includes dosage details)
- Side Effects of Lithium (detailed)
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