It all started one evening when I took my son to the store to buy some organizational tools for the game he was inventing. All day he was being very creative and spent hours designing a new dice game with a rule book and characters. I have to say, it was pretty darn clever.
When we arrived at the store, I could tell he was in a great mood and was very excited to purchase these needed tools. But as the shopping continued, he became very silly. During this time I just blew it off, thinking... “boy he’s having a great time”. As the minutes passed, his mood became more elated and out of the ordinary and he started repeating his made-up word, “Kerplupidunkin”. I just laughed it off and focused on the next item on our list, but as time went on he continued relentlessly, saying the word over and over again. Every once and a while, he said with a smile on his face that he didn’t know why he was saying this word but he couldn’t stop. Because his comments came with a silly smile and goofy attitude, I didn’t think much of it. But at a certain point, I started to sense some stress in it all, maybe because it started to make me feel uncomfortable in my own skin.
Once we got to the car, my son made the comment, “Boy, I feel much better now”, I responded with, “Yeah, you sure seemed to be having a silly time.”
Then I heard it... the soft murmur of tears falling as he said, “I really tried to stop acting that way, but I couldn’t. It scared me.”
I was caught off guard with this, rushing to give him a big hug as I reassured him. I had no idea that he was uncomfortable and that he was struggling in any way. While in the store, he was smiling the whole time, maybe a little annoying with his repetitive word, but it looked like he was having fun and just being a silly boy. Had I known that he was scared by it all I would have responded differently in the store, but I didn’t recognize this as anything to worry about, until I heard the words, “It scared me.”
So is this a breakthrough of hypomania? Could this be the same thing as the episode of impulsive cleaning? Is that why he was so creative all day? This is all so new to me. I’ve experienced the rages, the depression, the anxiety, the rapid cycling and scary thoughts, but seeing him suffer when he’s “too happy” is scary because I know that deep down, this could be a symptom of bipolar disorder.