Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Bipolar Tendencies SUCK!!!!

[for full disclosure: Salamander does not have an official Bipolar diagnosis, as his incredible mood swings can be explained within the frame work of his other medical and DSM-IV diagnoses. The term Bipolar Tendencies however is appropriate to describe the intensity and unpredictability of his mood swings when they strike. They don't strike as often as they used to; in fact, things have been *relatively* calm since about mid February. But we're entering another cycle and with hormones now entering the playing field, I think we'll be in *strap on the good ole' flak jacket and take cover* for a little while. And we have a full moon at the end of this week I believe.. ]

It's been one heck of a *bipolar* rollercoaster morning... Oy.... the slightest little thing set Salamander off. He is finally starting to calm down, but it's been (in)tense here since about 7.45 am after he got up *on the wrong side of the bed*...

I had to decide to send Potatey to his school/camp for the day, as there was just no way I would be able to focus on calming Salamander down otherwise. I feel bad about having to basically send Potatey away, but it was for the best. At least he's now in a safe, supportive and fun environment and, hopefully, by the time he gets home again things will have evened out a bit and I will be able to focus on him (the hurt look on Potatey's face will stay with me for a while though).

Hard to describe what triggered the 'blow ups' of this morning. As usual, it was a stack up of little things. Salamander has been having a really tough time for the past 24 hours or so regulating his moods and emotions, and once that frontal lobe decides to take a leave of absence and hands the reigns to the subcortex.. foggettabout the *take a deep breath and count to 4* approach.

I'm tired.. and the day has barely started.. Salamander is taking a soak in a warm bath right now, so hopefully that'll help him even out a bit.

Having an autism spectrum disorder is no picnic. I get that, especially for kids that are much more severely affected in that department than Salamander is. But man, add his medical issues (especially the meta/mito piece) and the bipolar crap to it, and I don't care HOW *high functioning* Salamander is considered to be, the combination SUCKS!!!


At 12:00 PM, August 12, 2008 , Anonymous Jeanne said...

Hello, Just wanted to pop in and tell you I'm thinking of you guys and sending you some good energy.

For all you lurkers out there, we should all pay close attention to Petra's posts, as she is forging a path we will be soon traveling with our kids. Hopefully we'll learn some valuable information to bring to the table when we're dealing with these (and/or other) issues.

At 1:49 PM, August 12, 2008 , Blogger Petra said...

Thanks Jeanne, and thanks.

Well, I'm sure I'm not the first parent trying to guide a *volatile* boychild on the road to puberty and adolescence. And I'm sure I won't be the last. I just hope that we all get through the next few years in one piece, as my gut instinct is telling me that what we're dealing with now is just the beginning of the *fun*.

I want to make one thing very clear. I love Salamander with all my heart and I'd gladly give both my arms and legs if that was *the cure* for Salamander's neurotransmitter issues. As that is what these moodswings are - neurotransmitters that go kooky. Salamander has had trouble regulating his neurotransmitters (and I know what underlies that) for as long as I can remember; and once dysregulation strikes, none of the *behaviors* are willful, premeditated or deliberate. The frontal lobe checks out and Salamander (the *real* Salamander) just comes along for whatever trip the subcortex decides to go on (also known as *Mr Hyde takes over* - not a very good analogy as Mr. Hyde is an utter psychopath without moral or conscience. This is most definitely NOT the case for Salamander).

That being said, he knows he needs to control how he acts and reacts when dysregulation strikes. And he also knows that I won't cut him any slack when it comes to what is and is not an appropriate and acceptable way to behave.

I do always try to remember that, while it is hard on me when he has an episode like this (as I become punching bag, anchor, negotiator, mediator and therapist all at once), it is infinitely harder for him to loose control like that. Learning to control your temper is hard for anybody. Learning to control it when you are an intense young man with neurotransmitter and executive functioning deficits going through hormonal changes is almost impossible.

A friend of mine suggested last week that I get Salamander back into some kind of martial arts program. Indeed I need to do just that...


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