Thursday, June 16, 2011

I Surrender

Today was a really bad day.

I called my husband at work, crying and waving the white flag. Please come home.

I surrender.

* * *

Things have gotten much worse over the last 3 days.

Day 1: It started out with our first rage in over 2 months. As I held my son down on the ground, he screamed how he couldn’t hold his anger in anymore, while his younger brothers cried in fear. Once his nightly melatonin took affect, he fell asleep on the couch. Just 45 minutes later, my husband woke him up to move him upstairs into his bed. As he began to awaken, he punched a fist up at my husband while his jaw clenched down with anger, all while his eyes remained rolled back into his head from sleep.

Day 2: After a fun day of swimming, his anger returned. He became impulsive and destructive, having to be held down again as he complained about his anger returning every evening.

Day 3: I woke him up in the morning and was startled to see his expression. His eyes looked feral, filled with rage as he stared at the wall, while he laid motionless. His only words were, “I still have anger”. As the day continued on, he was impulsive and explosive, while threatening his brothers, and at times even growling at them to scare them. At bedtime, he was crying because he still felt angry and had too much energy to sleep. Thanks to the Melatonin, we were able to get him to bed.

Today’s erratic behavior brought up a lot of emotions inside of me. I was frightened, sad, angry, overwhelmed and disappointed. At one point, I started to cry and I couldn’t stop crying. Sometimes, rages feel like just another rage, other times they feel like all the rages combined.

I think having 2 months without rages made me lose my defensive edge and I started to let my guard down. Once things began to escalate and objects were thrown against the wall, I started to crumble, feeling every scream to my core.

Then... I surrendered.

* * *

Thankfully, our psychiatrist called today and has ordered the Lamictal for us to start. After pointing out that I couldn’t even get through a phone conversation with him due to my son’s threatening behavior, he encouraged us to take this next step. He advised that we should get things under control now, instead of waiting until he’s older and stronger. I also recognized that my son is suffering with all this anger and it wouldn’t be right to allow it to continue if we can help him.

Please pray for my boy that he doesn’t have a bad reaction to Lamictal, this next step scares me.


  1. I'm sorry. That is so tough for you and him. Unfortunately the Lamictal will take weeks [could be 6- 8 weeks] to work if it is going to work. He needs an antipsychotic in the meantime. It will work instantly. Don't be scared of them, they are just dopamine blockers. They will give him some relief. You can use it as needed and then discontinue it as the Lamictal starts to take effect.

    I'm hoping for some better days for you guys.

  2. You are one of the strongest people. I give you so much credit for the patience and dedication you have for your son.
    Just remember, you are doing everything you can to help him.
    I hope your newest path for him is successful.

  3. Mama Bear, First, (((((hugs)))))) to you! I understand how our defences diminish when we are out of crisis mode, then when crisis hits we feel it 1000 times more. I'm sorry your son is struggling so much right now. I think Meg is right. From what I've read it takes time, but our experience with Risperdal (an antipsychotic used to stabilize mood ) has been immediate and it has the added benefit of helping them sleep. Second, I will be praying for both your son and your whole family! Keep us updated.

  4. Praying for you this morning and throughout the day today! Hugs!!!

  5. I'm so sorry that you're having such a tough week. It's so much easier when they're in school and have their routines they can count on, isn't it?

    I hope this new step is helpful, but I agree that you might want to try a little risperdal just in the short term. It was a "wonder drug" for us and it started working immediately. I wish we could use it permanently, but because it makes him eat, he's packed on too much weight. The abilify seems to be working for us for now.

    Hang in there. You are doing a great job handling this with as much grace and patience as anyone can expect!

  6. I'm so sorry. That is so hard. You finally start to feel like you're all making progress and WHAM!! that nasty little disease rears its ugly head again. It's so tough! I hate to hear this. You are not alone in these feelings. I'll keep praying for you and yours. :)

  7. Love, kisses, hugs...anything else I can do...please let me know!

  8. Prayers for you and your son. It is so hard on both of you. (we just switched from Abilify to Risperidone [Risperdal] because of weight gain with the Abilify... both have been helpful with lessening the frequency, intensity and duration of the rages--but not eliminating them--it all depends on individual body chemistry.)

    And I know your fears about the meds. Risperdal was recomended to us four years ago--and we dutifully read all the literature on it and completely freaked out and said no to all medication (except Melatonin) at that point. Four years later I have a different perspective.

  9. Mama, I've been thinking about you guys. Is today any better? And I'm with Heather. I used to be SO scared of all of the meds but now I see they can be a God-send. They have given my son a really great year and he now has control of his life.

  10. Heather, that's so funny... we had severe weight gain from the Risperdal, so we just switched to Abilify (after trying three other meds in between!). This one seems to be working and he hasn't been so ravenously hungry on this one as he was on Risperdal. There was a point over the holiday break from school where I was physically wrestling boxes of cereal out of his hands after he'd eat the ENTIRE BOX and still claim to be hungry. I also have him training for a 5K, so we're running every other day and up to a mile and a half now. I'm hoping the exercise helps with the moods... it does with my husband! He's chemically depressed and suffers anxiety, so runs marathons to help control his moods. At this point, I'll try anything!

  11. Thank you so much everyone for your encouraging and supporting words and thank you Meg for following up with us. So far, it's been a good day. We had a picnic date with my dad and it was good to get him out of the house. I just picked up the Lamictal and we’re now home, so we’ll see how things go. It seems his symptoms are the worst in the evening.

    But this morning, I did have some concerns. He wasn't angry, but actually very happy, having a lot of fun organizing his room. This sounds great, but in the back of my head, I also wonder could this be a cycling of mania or hypomania? He was very into organizing and had lots of plans for his room and talked very excitedly about all the fun he was having.

    Then about an hour into it, he came to me complaining, “I’m having that strange feeling again”. He then went on to explain that as he was organizing his room, he started to feel like he was in a dream state, then heard me laughing at him, taunting him by saying “you lose” (even though I wasn't even around), then he said the sounds around him became louder. He said it all stopped when he came to tell me.

    So obviously his moods are still messing with him.

    His doctor wants to give the Lamictal a try, he’s trying to avoid the antipsychotics right now because his last experience with Seroquel made him suicidal. But it’s all trial and error right, so who knows where we’ll be next month. I’m glad that we’re doing this during the summer when I can monitor him better. You all made an excellent point about the time we’ll need to get to the right dose, so it’s good to get this going now instead of during school.

    I found it interesting when I picked up our prescription and the pharmacist was going over the order. When he found out that my son was already on the max dose of Tenex and Trileptal, he was surprised that he was handling it all so well, he said that those drugs alone, especially at the max dose, can make you pretty lethargic, then when he heard that he was also taking melatonin to help him sleep he was shocked.

    It’s quite a journey we are all on!

  12. Lots of virtual hugs to you.

    I have heard such wonderful things about Lamictal. Hopefully it will kick in soon.

  13. Sending hug and prayers your way. Please keep us updated.

  14. @Gina, our pdoc said that she's seen both Abilify and Risperdal sometimes have weight gain, and sometimes not. And sometimes when one produces weight gain the other won't in the same person. I hope that is the case.
    @Mama Bear, it is all trial and error. (I wish it wasn't, but it is.)

  15. I read you comment on Pink's post. You are very wise. I am so sorry you are having these problems with your son. My grandson is displaying a bit of this behavior. He is 8 yrs. old. Anyway, I am on lamictal and it helped me immensely . I don't see your son having any problem with this medication. He may need to have the dosage tweeked. It may not even work for him, but I doubt there is any harm in trying it. Peace.

  16. Hugs and kisses and lots of love and prayers your way. I am also so happy that you have such a great support system in all your posters. What a wonderful thing to see so much love and support from a great community of fellow travelers.

  17. Middle Child- Thanks for stopping in on my blog, I'm so glad Lamictal has been a success for you, I've heard a lot of good stuff about it and look forward to seeing the same results for my son.

    RedBird- Thank you for the love and I have to agree that I am so blessed to have such a great supportive community!

    I'm happy to share that I feel so much better tonight! : )

  18. If it were called Cancer, then you would be my friend. If it were called the flu then you would help me get better. But since its bipolar I stand alone

  19. Oh Mama Bear I am so sorry for you and your son's struggle right now. I couldn't imagine what it must be like for your family. I hope the Lamictal works too. It sounds like he could benefit from an antipsychotic. If he takes an anti depressant it may be good to lower that dose or stop it all together to see if his anger diminishes. Sometimes an antidepressant can send a bipolar person into manic fits of rage and more. Abilify is most helpful to me when I am in those sort of awful moods. I agree with the psychiatrist that it is time to be more aggressive in his medicine regiment. Just until this mood passes then you can decrease, then when he gets into rage mode you increase the meds again. Thus is the roller coaster cycle of treating the bipolar spectrum. I am frequently having to tweak my dosage of meds.

    Your family is in my prayers.

  20. I don't post often but read your blog daily and am always pulling for you and sending good thoughts your way. What an awesome mom you are! My daughter- 16- just diagnosed in the last year and a half with Bipolar 2. Our experience with any antidepressants was definitely increased agitation, really rapid cycling- now she is on Lamictal, Seroquel, with Lunesta and melatonin to sleep. Our pdoc has said more than once that the Seroquel would make most people sleep all the time but not for my girl- we have to add melatonin and a sleeping med. She is mostly stable on this "cocktail" but we are always tweaking and as In the Pink says we probably always will be. Originally I worried so much about all the meds- fretted and stressed. Now I am so thankful for them and for the fact that she is doing so much better... Moms will always worry. I think we just have to listen to our kids and your very bright son is expressing himself so well. He does not feel well and you are listening and responding with good medical care- Yay YOU!

  21. Anonymous- I agree that mood disorders, including bipolar disorder can be isolating for both the patient and their family. That is one of the reasons I write this blog, so we can find one another and give each other the support we so need.

    In the Pink-Thank you for keeping us in your prayers! Right now my son is not taking an anti depressant, but I do want to look into dropping the Tenex if we can, the last two times we tried to drop it he became very impulsive, but hopefully Lamictal and Trileptal together will cover that.

    E- Thank you so much for commenting, it’s good to hear from you again! You are right that us moms will always worry. I was wondering, you mentioned that your daughter was diagnosed with bipolar 2 in the last year and a half. What was her symptoms prior to the diagnosis (as a child) and what made them determine it was bipolar 2? If you don't care to share on this forum, you can email me.

  22. Hi. I stumbled across your blog today while doing an image search for flags. I am sorry to hear of your family's struggles and my heart goes out to you. I appreciate your love and courage and for sharing with us. I wanted to let you know that I shall be praying for you and your family. All my life I have had Avoidant Personality Disorder but it was only revealed to me two years ago. I have to say that Jesus Christ has delivered me from so very much in my past - Obsessive Compulsive Disorder spritually wrought from being harassed and oppressed by demonic forces, and He is helping me SO MUCH with this APD ... I would like to recommend a couple of books to you that may be of help. The first is "A Way of Escape" by Neil Anderson and the second "The Beautiful Side of Evil" by Johanna Michaelsen. My blog is: if you want to learn more or talk. Kind regards, Neil (Pewter7)