Posted June 4, 2010
My daughter Cassie was diagnosed when she was 12 1/2. That was 3 years ago. I knew something just wasn’t “right” when she was 2 years old. She had terrible mood swings. She never wanted to cuddle or be hugged and was extremely independent. She was very, very particular. She stacked her clothes for the next school day in neat piles on her nightstand. If her room was out of order, she went into a frenzy, demanding WHO had touched her things. She would cry one minute over something very minor, then burst into laughter the next minute over absolutely nothing. She wants to shop constantly and stays busy from dawn until dark. She also spoke many times of killing herself and how she was “worthless.” She also verbalized wanting to hurt her sisters.
All I could think of was my younger sister and her son, both diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder. My sister attempted suicide when she was 14, went to a psychiatrist, lied to him, etc. The psychiatrist told my mom to commit her, but no one really knew much about it in the early 80s. She was then diagnosed with Manic Depression and put on Paxil. My daughter is currently on Abilify, 5 mgs daily. She is going to see a new psychiatrist next week to see about changing the medication, or dosage, because she and I feel that it is not working anymore. I am terrified of Tardive Dyskinesia and/or seizures – two potential side effects of extended anti-psychotic use.
Because of my sister’s suicide attempt, I tend to give in to Cassie more than to her three sisters (money-wise), afraid that she might try to kill herself. I know now that she has had the control all along, so I am working on that. Now that Cassie has passed the age of 14 (my sister’s age), I feel better about it. This disorder is wearing me out, and her sisters are also worn by it.
My mother didn’t know how to handle this disorder when my sister was diagnosed. She doesn’t handle it very well and is not on speaking terms with my sister. I work hard at keeping lines of communication wide open – talking, calling and texting her when she is out, going places with my daughter, asking her how she is feeling, etc. This BPD stuff can be a monster! But, like all monsters, we have to let it know who is boss, learn to control it, and watch it carefully… and love those whom it has inflicted.
My daughter also complains of dizziness and stomach aches. I really don’t think they are related to the Abilify, because they started before she was on the medication. She used to worry a LOT, too. She worried about everything, from getting homework finished to hoping the dog doesn’t get out the front door if her sisters opened the door too wide. On the Abilify, even though it isn’t working as well as it used to, she does NOT clean her room unless she is in one of her manic modes. Prior to taking Abilify, nothing was out of place.