I think we just witnessed a complete cycle of moods. I don’t know if they’ll present themselves like this in the future or if it was just a single incident, but I’m curious if we’ll see this pattern again. It all started last week with him feeling sadness at night for a few days, then anger the next day, followed by a mix of feelings that just confused him. Yesterday, he came up to me crying and before I could respond, he started cracking up and laughing out loud. Then he returned to his normal self with no explanation for his mood shifts.
Today, he’s back to his normal, sweet self. It was like a tornado of emotions, scary to watch, I can’t imagine what it must be like for him to live. During his entire cycle of moods we tried to remain very calm, act as if this happens everyday, reminding him that his brain was making lots of mistakes and soon he would feel good again.
The day after his episode of anger, we spent a little time addressing what happened and discussed solutions for the future that will help him get control back. I think for us, getting him to take a hot shower is our best shot of calming him down, along with me keeping my mouth shut. The more I talk, the more things escalate.
That seems easy enough, but when he wants to hurt us, both of those solutions are pretty hard to do, but we’re going to give it a try. We’re hoping that as he gets older he’ll get better at recognizing his mood shifts and taking steps to control it, but I know that we’re at the beginning stages and it’s going to take a lot of practice to master.
We also have to recognize that his anger is part of his illness, there will be times when we have to wait it out and if it gets out of our control, we’ll need to add another medication. But for now, it’s baby steps...
I can say that today during a playdate he asked if I would send his friend home because he could feel his anger coming on. I did exactly that and my son was able to relax again, with no explosive behavior. That I feel is a step in the right direction!
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For those that recognize their child’s cycles of behavior, does it typically appear in a group over several days? Does it usually start with the same symptom (like depression)? Have you figured out any patterns with your child’s mood shifts? I would love to know!