Tuesday, February 1, 2011

It Feels Good

I’m so happy to report that things are going pretty good. My son has shown so much more control on his mood swings, I’m not sure how much is due to his mood stabilizer and how much is due to his maturing brain, either way, we are thrilled to see this progress.

Just last night my son said that it was getting easier to handle moments of anger. On several occasions I’ve found him off in a room by himself relaxing and watching tv quietly. When I asked him what he was up to, he said that he needed to go to a quiet place and distract his brain since his moods kept changing on him from happy to sad to angry. I saw this as huge progress. When he was younger and his moods were cycling, he would feel so bad inside that he exploded on all of us, now it seems that he’s getting a better sense of what’s happening to him and is taking steps to help himself feel better.

We’ve also been using a therapy technique of calling out his mood swings so he can recognize it in the moment. He calls his anger “The Governor”, so whenever he starts to become irritable and defiant due to his mood swings, we just remind him that he’s listening to The Governor and remind him that his brain is making mistakes. More than once we’ve been able to calm him back down or have him agree to go to a place alone to calm himself back down. This is a big step.

As for getting to sleep at night, we’ve seen a handful of nights that he complains of feeling tired for bed, but his brain has too much energy and won’t let him sleep. So on these nights, he gets free reign to do what he needs to do to help him sleep. Just last night I gave him a head massage and he was out like a light.

In school, I’ve started to notice that when his moods are off, he complains of being teased more at school and kids bother him more. I wonder how much is truth and how much is his perception of things when his moods are off. Anyone observe this with their own kids?

It’s been 15 days since our last episode of rage, it’s funny that once things calm down, it seems like 15 days was 2 months ago, I had to count the days in our chart twice since I was sure that it was much longer. I just think that a little peace and stability in our home goes a long way.


  1. That's great!! Hope it continues :)

  2. I have noticed all my Bipolar kids exhibit paranoia when they are not stable, to varying degrees. GB hears a quiet neutral voice as yelling.

    14 calm days are great. I wish you many more.

  3. How great that you are seeing progress! Is he (or are you all) seeing a therapist to help him deal with this? Maddox goes to group therapy ("Friendship Group) with a bunch of 6-8 year old boys who all have ADHD, Aspergers, Mood Disorders, etc. and it really helps him gain a sense of belonging. He sees that he's not the only one and these kids have become his true friends because they sort of understand each other!

    Keeping my fingers crossed for you that you can get many more rage-free weeks going!

  4. Awesome news, Mama Bear! As far as the teasing goes, for my daughter, I think it's a combination of being both hyper-sensitive AND drawing more negative attention to herself with her fits and crankiness when her moods are off. Experienced that big-time this morning--lovely!

  5. I am so happy that you've had some good times! Makes life quite a bit simpler when things are more "normal".

    I think the hyper sensitivity card plays out quite a bit in our kids. They pick up on anything, even those comments that are just in fun or not meant to hurt or cause any anger.

  6. Gina- The friendship group sounds like a great thing! I haven't heard of this in our area.

    I think you all bring up a good point about being hyper sensitive when their moods are off, I think that’s what we’re experiencing.