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Children with BP


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Maybe some of the rest of you can recall that you were BP even in your childhood, and maybe some of you have children you need to keep an eye on. In any way, I thought it would be helpful for me to describe what BP looked like to my parents (also BPers) and to me when I was 7+ years old

I didn't want to play anymore with anyone. I sat in my room and starred at the TV- not even watching it- or would lay in bed and stare at the ceiling, and not cry. If my mom tried to get me into one of her latest projects (constant manic person), I'd cry and slam the door, then get in trouble for acting out. I never did my homework, but scored well on tests. I wrote in my little princess journal about dying, how I needed to just get out of my sad life and go with God and the Angels (I was a very devout kid). I couldn't sleep because I saw monsters around me in the dark and didn't know they were hallucinations.

I went into a manic phase one spring. I didn't know what it was of course. Suddenly I got out my rusty bike and asked dad to fix it, ran around with the other kids, became the homework perfectionist, and student of the year. I could sleep most of the time (absense of hallucinations), and other times the monsters came back. When they did I got out of bed and challenged them to a fight. they'd leave and I'd go to sleep.

This went on for at least a year before my teacher decided I was a nut case, having gone for obviuosly at least 5 days without a good night's sleep and still doing the Elvis on top of my desk.

My parents knew it, took me to the pdoc, and I started with a tdoc.

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I could throw a tantrum for forever when I was a little kid. I'd go on and on and on some of the time. I'll never forget one time when I was in a store with my mom and I wanted this toy that she wouldn't get, and I cried and yelled as I fallowed her around for the next 2 hours or more. Finaly she bought the thing and we left.

And then at one point my dad and I had to switch beds- I couldn't sleep in my room because of the aliens outside of my window. So I slept in the king sized bed for many years with my mom, and that only helped a little. There was always this artificial plant in the corner that turned into a monster at night. And the aliens came to that window a couple of times too.

But I think the thing about me that everyone noticed the most was how little things would send me into this rage. My dad was especialy good at annoying me. But I sware if they didn't tie my shoes at just exactly the right tension I'd fly off. I'd explain my self saying "my skelleton gets hot sometimes" [werido little kid].

And then it wasn't long before I just plain stopped doing homework, but of course continued to do perfect on class work and tests.

But I was nothing compared to my little brother. He's really bad, it's sad, but I think they mostly have his meds figured out now. But it was awful for so long. He screams and thrashes and hits and cusses and threatens to kill people- he's 8. He can't sleep because of monsters in his room, or because of the dream he has where he falls into a hole and can't get out. Then sometimes he's so sweet. He's very creative and loves to color and stuff like that, he does perfectly in school as far as tests and whatnot are concerned,

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I'd been thinking about this a lot in the past few days. Been remembering several points in my life as a child and teen when I just couldn't get out of bed. Well meaning friends would come over and visit, and try to get me to join them and do something. But I just had no interest, no matter what. They couldn't understand, and I couldn't explain it.

Several things you both said really rang a bell.

I never did my homework, but scored well on tests.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Ditto. I went one whole year where I barely showed up for school (as I remember I was absent 2/3 of my 8th grade year). Again, I just couldn't get out of bed, didn't feel well. I showed up on the second to last day and took the Constitution test, which was a state requirement to go on to 9th grade. I got the best score in my class, the 2nd best in the school. They were going to flunk me anyway, because of all the absences. I don't remember how, but we were able to convince them to raise my grade enough to pass and go on to 9th grade.

My mother recently reminded me that same year, in the midst of that depression (which of course no one knew what it was, they just wrote it off to "allergies") one time I decided that I just had to enter my dog in a dog show. Out of the clear blue. I was always like that, getting some hairbrained scheme out of nowhere. I can't tell you how many unfinished projects I had. When I was a kid, my dad would just get angry about all these unfinished projects.

But I think the thing about me that everyone noticed the most was how little things would send me into this rage. My dad was especialy good at annoying me. But I sware if they didn't tie my shoes at just exactly the right tension I'd fly off.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Yup, exactly. Even when I was a toddler, I'd fuss and scream at my poor mother if my blankie wasn't just right!
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Guest Llamanator

Heh. Yeah...I'd have explosive, violent, long lasting tantrums at times if I didn't get something, or for no apparent reason at all when really young (4-ish), before the swings themselves showed up.

I wasn't particularly social to start out with, so me not playing with other kids as much wasn't as noticeable. I never shut up no matter what anyway, so, meh. I wouldn't do homework (acing tests and the fun projects!), would forget to do chores, and would literally have to be dragged out of bed. Sometimes, being dragged out of bed and having my head hit the floor wouldn't wake me up. Or, if it did, I would be barely able to walk because of the fatigue. On days like that, I'd end up bawling over stupid stuff in school. Or trying to fall asleep on my desk. Would get terrified of things like getting on the phone, going to the store, or talking to a stranger. Oddly enough, I'd also get the really particulalry violent, nasty temper tantrums while all this was going on (increased anxiety = violent temper). I DID once ask my dad to kill me because I was too afraid

to kill myself because I knew it would hurt...that would be just a LITTLE hint.

When hypomanicky, I'd do stuff like ask for all kinds of toys at the store, start projects at home, clean my room and rearrange it, stay up all night, run around in circles or back and forth (literally), bounce around and such. In school, I'd get in fights if someone bothered me, blurt out in class, bounce in my seat, and do projects unrelated to class in my seat while simultaneously listening to the teacher, making that teacher upset when asking me questions thinking I wasn't paying attention - and giving them the right answers. Heh. Would get REALLY snarky and make fun of teachers to their faces and get other students in on it and become Asshole Extraordinare. Grudgingly did homework (so many fun projects to do at home!). Talked nonstop. So fast that my tounge couldn't keep up and I'd stutter and stop talking. To everyone. About anything.

Basically, just like being an adult with BP, except stuck in a school stetting and pulling stunts there, and a bit more innocent.

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The biggest thing to know about kids and BP is that MOST USUALLY, according to all the research I have read, and my experiences with a BP kid--they cycle really rapidly, and a whole lot of them are BPII, which means they get very depressed, then just irritable or anxious or nasty.Not usually really manic.  In our family, not knowing what it was, we referred to it as the "pod people coming" and snatching my son's brain.

He flunked out of HS but maxed the SAT"s and other tests he took.  He is very creative, and also ADD, but because he was never hyper, or really manic, all his teachers loved him, and just said, "oh, he just is lazy, or doesn;t work hard enough" so he was never diagnosed until he a year after he flunked out. He was so great and so cool at fooling all of us for so long--it must have been exhausting--  He was, at that point, suicidally depressed but our insurance, the wonderful Cigna, would not pay for any testing to find out WHY, only the treatment.

When I finally had him tested and footed the bill myself, voila--ADD, BPII and learning disabilities out the ass.  Did I, the great nurse-mother, feel guilty?  Oh, you can bet your sweet ass.  Horribly, throw yourself off the bridge guilty.

Having now discovered that he and I are EXACTLY alike in all of these various diagnosaes is very helpful for both of us, altho he has never and says he will never take any medication at all. I try, since I have found stufff that doesn't fry my brain and lets me function--but he refuses.  He says, and has always says, "I have to see if I can do this on my own."  Great--

I also had to apologize to his father, since I had blamed it all on him--sigh--

But it is so helpful and comforting and--well, really nice--having someone really close to you who has EXACTLY the same MI you have.  I mean, its hard to explain, but he and I can communicate our feelings, and problems, and the good shit sometimes without words, even on the phone--sort of telepathically, almost.

What a gift from the goddess that kid is--and what a gift his OCD sister, who raised us both, has been--

China, who never would have lived to grow up without her kids--

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I don't remember much at all from my childhood.  Truama has suppressed a lot of my memory quite nicely but I was very sad, withdrawn and depressed as a child.  As a teenager it just got worse to the point of suicidality, insomnia vs. somnolence, poor concentration, falling grades.  A student to Cs.  Vague physical complaints.  Hmmm...what else? I never got ragey or angry as all of it was directed inward.  I never let any of it out.  It might have helped if I did once in a while.  Nope, just kept swallowing the shit.

All the (hypo)mania came out in early 20s/university.

Karen

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