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Showing posts with label kids with bipolar disorder. Show all posts

4 Important Factors to Know When Helping Someone with Bipolar Disorder

The following is a guest post from Steve Johnson. As any parent of a child with bipolar dis...

The following is a guest post from Steve Johnson.

boy suffering with depression

As any parent of a child with bipolar disorder knows, things are rarely easy, but it’s important to recognize potential dangers that come along with it so you can prevent things from escalating out of control. Bipolar disorder is a mood disorder that is characterized by extreme mood swings that are so severe they disrupt a person’s daily life. Nearly 3% of Americans are living with bipolar disorder, and symptoms include “alternating between periods of elevated mood (mania or hypomania) and periods of depression.”

People who have bipolar disorder feel so energetic and abnormally happy that they may make reckless decisions, while they may feel hopeless, overwhelmed, and extremely negative when they experience a depressive state. If you are a parent of someone who battles bipolar disorder, there are a few important factors to know so that you can help him/her navigate life with this mood disorder more successfully.

How I'm Helping My Kids' Bipolar Disorder Naturally (Part 1)

"How are you treating their bipolar?"   It's a question I'm asked quite a...

bipolar-disorder-natural


"How are you treating their bipolar?" 

It's a question I'm asked quite a bit by parents of kids who have bipolar disorder. The reasons for asking vary. Usually it's one of the following:

  • They see my kids doing well and want to know how that's happening.
  • They want to choose something less harsh, but have no idea where to begin.
  • They use natural remedies or traditional medicine, but never knew it could help this.
  • They're just curious, having no idea about natural medicine at all.
I can only begin to answer this question. One post won't do it. A book perhaps, but not one single post.

5 Resources for Parents of Kids Who Have Bipolar Disorder

I wanted to come here with a long list of resources. I really did. But that's not going to h...

family

I wanted to come here with a long list of resources. I really did. But that's not going to happen. 

Why? Because there's nothing out there. Seriously.

I receive emails like this one all the time:

"I want to thank you. Today I almost gave up and accepted that I'd lose my child to this illness. I was convinced no one out there knew what it was like to parent kids who have bipolar disorder. Then I did a search for 'parenting kids with bipolar disorder' and found your blog. I could have written those posts myself! I'm so grateful to find this resource."
And while it brings me joy to know I'm helping, the sad truth is there really are no real resources out there. 

Dear Mom of a Child Who Has Bipolar Disorder

Dear Mom of a Child with Bipolar Disorder, I know you feel so alone in this world. No one co...

mother and sad child


Dear Mom of a Child with Bipolar Disorder,


I know you feel so alone in this world. No one could possibly understand what your life is like. 


No one knows you wake up every day with a question mark hanging in the air. When my child wakes up, what kind of mood will she be in? Will she be happy? Angry? Depressed? 


Most days are good, but you can't predict them. Even if things start well, it could change in a second, right? 


Making Progress with My Child's Bipolar Disorder and My Life

I'm pretty excited about some things going on in our lives lately.  After a month-long depr...

In this week's Homeschool Mother's Journal, I share the progress I'm making in various areas of my life, including my children's bipolar disorder.

I'm pretty excited about some things going on in our lives lately. 


After a month-long depression, during which I almost left the internet (long story), I'm finally back in the swing of things. I'm feeling a lot better about some things in my life and hopeful about others.

Progress. That's my focus.


{This post may contain affiliate links.}


I'm writing again.

I jumped head-first into a 5-day series on adding art to your homeschool. It was difficult to do because I'd lost the desire to write about a month ago. But I did it. We'll see where it takes me. 

My youngest child showing less symptoms of her bipolar disorder.

We've made some changes around here lately. We've taken all white salt (sea salt included) out of the house and replaced it with Himilayan pink salt. The effects have been amazing! So far what I've seen is:

  • Moods are less intense - no euphoria, mania or depression.
  • Mood swings are less frequent - Instead of daily cycling, she may have an episode once every 6-8 weeks. Progress!
  • Better sleeping habits - She sleeps at night and is up in the day as long as she's getting plenty of vitamin D from the sun, too.
Seriously, it's nice to not feel like I'm on eggshells or have to worry all day about her sleeping and waking patterns. That had become almost the sole focus of my life for the last two years.

Are People with Bipolar Disorder Always Manic or Depressed?

Original Photo It's  Mental Health Monday  again and I'm answering a question from a fr...

This article busts the myth that people with bipolar disorder are always either manic or depressed. www.HeartofMichelle.com

It's Mental Health Monday again and I'm answering a question from a friend. 

Regarding bipolar disorder, she asks:


"Are people with bipolar disorder always either really high or really low with no in between? Or is that a stereotype?"

I've lived with and around quite a few people with bipolar disorder. Some don't even realize they have it, but most of them do. I've seen what it's like in adults and in children (there's a notable difference between the two), so I can answer this accurately.



Bipolar Disorder: What Are Racing Thoughts?

Last week, I explained why I don't limit my daughter's Minecraft time . In that post, I m...

Learn what the racing thoughts of bipolar disorder are. www.HeartofMichelle.com #raisingbipolar

Last week, I explained why I don't limit my daughter's Minecraft time. In that post, I mentioned a little about racing thoughts and now I want to explain what racing thoughts are. 


What Are Racing Thoughts?

Although I had tried many times to understand racing thoughts, it was only a year and a half ago that I finally figured it out. Alexis helped me to understand it a little better.

From the above post



"Racing thoughts are a lot of snippets of music, conversations and negative thoughts looping, one over the other, for hours on end. These racing thoughts aren't persistent in that they are not 'playing' 24/7, but when they are, the person feels as though they're going mad."



December of Darkness: Why I'm Dreading Winter

I am not looking forward to winter. In fact, I'm dreading it. This is the first year I haven&...

A mom describes the miserable winters when her daughter bipolar sleep patterns get worse. #kidswithbipolar #bipolardisorder www.HeartofMichelle.com

I am not looking forward to winter. In fact, I'm dreading it.

This is the first year I haven't looked forward to winter. I usually appreciate the change in time and weather. I look forward to fireplaces, bonfires, hot chocolate and all the other cozy things that come with the season.


Not this year. Not even a little. You see, for the last two winters, I haven't seen the light of day. 

Literally. And I hate it.



Why I Don't Limit My Daughter's Minecraft Time

It may surprise you to read this, but I don't set limits on my daughter's Minecraft time....

Find out why a mom who has led her children through a screen-free lifestyle would choose not to limit time on Minecraft. #minecraft www.heartofmichelle.com

It may surprise you to read this, but I don't set limits on my daughter's Minecraft time.


If you know me or have been reading this blog long enough, you know that I'm not big on screens. Each year, our family participates in Screen-Free Week and I've even written a series of posts called Screen-Free Family Activities.


We didn't have television in my home (no service anyway) for many years. My youngest two, who are now 16 and 11, didn't have T.V. until they were 14 and 9.

So why would a mom who has led a pretty Screen-Free lifestyle not set limits on Minecraft?


Why this Teen Girl Should Inspire You to Bust the Stigma of Mental Illness

Alexis is a quiet 16-year-old girl. She keeps to herself and spends a lot of time drawing. She do...

Find out how this teenage girl showed her support of Mental Illness Awareness Week with her art at www.HeartofMichelle.com #BustTheStigma #SayItForward #MentalHealthAwarness

Alexis is a quiet 16-year-old girl. She keeps to herself and spends a lot of time drawing. She doesn't care for conflict, avoiding it at almost all costs. She always strives to be polite, respectful and to not hurt anyone's feelings. She can get along with most people with no problem.

She's a peaceable girl.


She's a Quiet Girl, but Speaks up When Necessary

On Monday, Alexis was telling me that someone she knows "doesn't believe in mental illness or at least she doesn't believe it's common."

I turned to her and said, "Uh, one in four. I just wrote a post about this today because it's Mental Illness Awareness Week. 1 out of 4 adults and 1 out of 5 children. 1 out of 17 of those has a serious mental illness like bipolar, schizophrenia or major depression. Not common? Quite the opposite."

We had a little discussion about all sorts of things. She's had several debates with friends about mental illnesses or even "disorders" that aren't mental illnesses, such as dyslexia and Asperger's. 


She's not afraid to tell it like it is. She doesn't hide from the conflict when it comes to helping others understand, or when she sees the need to bust the myths associated with a disorder.

She's bold when she has to be.


A Day in Our Homeschool Life (Homeschooling Kids with Bipolar Disorder)

It's hard to say what a day in our homeschool life is like. It's not very consistent anym...

See what a day in the life of a homeschool is like for this Charlotte Mason family and how I accommodate kids with bipolar disorder.

It's hard to say what a day in our homeschool life is like. It's not very consistent anymore. Unlike previous years, when I had it all together with a schedule, it rarely works that way these days. I've had to adjust and readjust many times.



Raising Bipolar: 5 Things I've Learned About Myself

When you're a parent, you learn a lot about your children. When you're the parent of a ch...

One mother reflects on what's she's learned about herself will #raisingbipolar kids. www.TheHolisticHomeschooler.com @tmichellecannon

When you're a parent, you learn a lot about your children. When you're the parent of a child with special needs, you learn even more. 

Like all parents, you're getting to know this person with her particular strengths, challenges, and personality. But if the child has a special need, whether mental, neurological, or physical, you must also learn all you can about that particular challenge. And then you learn how to adapt to it.

Something else happens when you are a parent of a child. You learn a lot about yourself. If you have a special needs child, you learn even more. Special needs can really push a parent to the limits, testing all aspects of the parent's abilities, skills, and personality.


Here are 5 things I've learned about myself from raising kids with bipolar disorder.

My Child Is Taking Charge of Her Life

In my life this week... This was a great week. Due to her own efforts, Lorelai was able to sw...


In my life this week...

This was a great week.

Due to her own efforts, Lorelai was able to switch her sleeping schedule around to a more normal schedule. I say "more normal" because I think most of us would consider 4 a.m . a pretty early hour. Yet this is what time she gets up now. Her schedule goes something like this:

  • 4 a.m. - Wake up.
  • 5 a.m. - Breakfast
  • 10 a.m. - Lunch
  • 3:30 p.m. - Dinner 
  • 5 p.m. - Get ready for bed
  • 6:30 p.m. - Bed
No one planned it, but it worked out this way. It's perfect for her. She gets to be up at night (it's dark between 4 and 7 a.m.), yet she experiences daylight, sunshine, fresh air and outdoor activities again.

The change in her moods and even her thinking is phenomenal. Yes, there will be a post about that. Stay tuned!

Also, Alexis came home after spending a month at one of my older daughter's home. I've missed her and am glad to have her back home. 



A Great Day in Our Backwards Life

Our family lives in a battle zone.  Each day, we are at war with an enemy so strong, so indomita...

Raising a child with a broken circadian rhythm is not easy. Few are the days when the child is able to get out and enjoy the daylight. This was just such a day.
Our family lives in a battle zone. 

Each day, we are at war with an enemy so strong, so indomitable, that our efforts at defeating it are nearly pointless. Fight as we may, rarely do we win a battle. What is this enemy who defeats us so regularly and successfully? 


My children's body clocks. 


Sleep problems are the main symptom and cause of bipolar disorder. Their bodies naturally want to be asleep in the day and up at night. They try all sorts of things to get on a normal schedule. 

  • They stay up all night, hoping to stay up all day, so that they'll fall asleep in the evening. 
  • They try to force themselves to bed early. That never works. 
  • They try not eating after a certain time so they lack energy and will simply pass out. 
I've tried this treatment and that. We've yet to find one that affects sleep with any consistency. 

Coming to Grips with My Homeschool Reality

Today I publicly proclaim my commitment to come to grips with my reality.  For two years, I'...

A mother's acceptance of the unusual schedules and accommodations needed to homeschool children with bipolar disorder.

Today I publicly proclaim my commitment to come to grips with my reality. 

For two years, I've struggled against this beast I'll call "Reality". Oh, at first, I blamed it on me. I thought I just needed to make changes. Perhaps I was too depressed, my house too dark, my situation too unbearable. I just needed to fix these things.

In time, I've come to the cold, hard realization that "Reality" is what it is. It's not going to be changed by my efforts, demands or stubborn refusal to comply. 


Our Charlotte Mason Homeschool Schedule (and tweaks for bipolar kids)

As much as I enjoy participating in the blog hop each year, I have to be honest. I wasn’t excite...



As much as I enjoy participating in the blog hop each year, I have to be honest. I wasn’t excited about today’s posting of schedules. At least not posting of my schedule.

There are two reasons for this.
1. My schedule doesn’t really change year to year. I use a Charlotte Mason schedule. Our material changes but not much else.
2. I haven’t been able to implement our schedule for quite a while now.

My Daughter is a Dyslexic Ninja Bipolar Bear

As most of my readers know, some most of my children have bipolar disorder. Around here we mak...



This teenager has a positive attitude about having bipolar disorder.

As most of my readers know, some most of my children have bipolar disorder. Around here we make jokes and laugh about it. 

OK, wipe the shocked look off your face. It's totally OK to laugh at our imperfections.

My experience is that people with bipolar disorder provide natural comic relief. The sense of humor is on par with any professional comic. That's what first attracted me to my daughters' father The sense of humor, that is. Not the disorder.

In this family, humor is the rule of the day and we have an innate ability to laugh at ourselves. My youngest, while having the most severe form of bipolar disorder, is the first to to make wisecracks about her bad moods when she's not in a mood cycle. Alexis (nickname Lexi), who has dyslexia, even nicknamed herself "DysLexi" as a joke. 

It's good to accept things with humor. I mean, the alternative doesn't seem like a great option.

The Week Ahead: Assessments and Placement

Assessments... Placement...    These words strike me as more likely to be spoken by a school a...

a woman grading school work

Assessments... Placement... 
 
These words strike me as more likely to be spoken by a school administrator than a homeschool parent. After all, homeschool gives us the freedom to teach our children at their own pace, right? We can move as fast or slow as necessary. We can do lessons in the morning or at night. We can take an entire week to do field trips if we so desire.

Another thing we can do as homeschoolers is adapt. We can adapt to our children's needs at any time. And that's exactly what I'm doing this week.

I'm honing in on specific issues that need attention. I need to refine what I am doing to accommodate the various challenges my girls deal with daily.

5 Ways Homeschooling Helps Kids with Bipolar Disorder

  "It is a lonely existence to be a child with a disability which no-one can see or under...

A list of 5 ways homeschooling helps a child who has bipolar disorder.


 "It is a lonely existence to be a child with a disability which no-one can see or understand..." - Susan Hampshire
As I learn more about my daughters' individual challenges and symptoms, my understanding of just how fortunate they are to be homeschooled grows. Today I'm focusing on bipolar disorder because it is the predominant challenge in our home.

When you have a child (or anyone in your home) with bipolar disorder, you may be the driver, but this disorder is always riding "shotgun." You can still enjoy the trip, but you maintain a keen awareness that this passenger is next to you. You understand that at any given moment it may grab the wheel and take you on a wild ride.

This is why I believe my children are so fortunate to be homeschooled and I am blessed to be able to teach them.

A New Day: Embracing Changes in Our Homeschool

"If you don't like something change it; if you can't change it, change the way you...

sun rising over beach
"If you don't like something change it; if you can't change it, change the way you think about it."  ~Mary Engelbreit
For my household and homeschool, today is a new day. The sun is shining, the birds are chirping, and I am full of joy. Some people must hit rock bottom before they learn their lessons. I guess I'm one of those people.

Recently, life taught me a few lessons. I'd been trying for a long time to overcome my daughters' sleep issues. I've tried and failed many times to turn it around and force these square pegs into my perfectly round peg holes. In December, my youngest was sleeping 7 a.m. - 5 p.m. and she took me with her on an adventure I never want to relive. In that time, I realized a few things.