Friday, August 6, 2010


"There's a transcendental romance to mania, to this drawing together. And I believed that this music is true, that the scattershot visions of madness are holy".
David Lovelace, Scattershot, a memoir of a bipolar family.

David Lovelace talks about going off his meds (lithium) and the manic escapades that follow...
I understand his words and experiences. They mirror my household enough to feel some comfort.
I felt for the first time reading David's words that I understood my son and ex husband's minds traveling, swinging, cranking away while under the influence of their mania.

My 19 year old BP son is contemplating stopping all his psychiatric meds. He has been reading "Comfortably Numb, How Psychiatry Is Medicating A Nation", by Charles Barber. The book acknowledges his already uncomfortable feelings about the pharmaceutical industry.
Now my son has more ammunition to throw out to his psychiatrist that ghostwriters write the criteria to push medications ahead,which doctors then prescribe to BP patients like himself, not really knowing of its true efficacy.

"Are you Bipolar," he rages at me and his doctor. "Do you know how I feel?"

"I am tired of being a guinea pig for you people! You are not helping me", my son voices frequently.

I turned to pharmaceuticals in desperation to help my son now it is backfiring on me.

At the age of 6, his doctors began the search for the perfect "cocktail" to fix his then undiagnosed Pediatric Bipolar Disorder, adult medications are prescribed, (anti-depressants and mood stabilizers). Occupational therapy calmed him and treated sensory integration dysfunction for a short while, homeopathy (rescue remedy) calmed him as well especially after eating hydrogenated foods that he was constantly craving. The trans fats created more hyperactivity and aggressive behavior.

The private school he attended pushed for Ritalin.
His teacher believed he was ADHD. I changed schools.

I made an appointment with a pediatric neuorologist. ( see my blog post, The Long Road to Diagnosis)

After a negative sleep deprived EEG that does not detect seizure activity the MD states my son has "agitated depression" and that is why he tells us he wants to die. He prescribes an anti-depressant. Anti-depressants even though not well studied in children were the first line of defense in hopes my son could lead a "normal life".

The anti-depressants turned up the amplifier on my son's undiagnosed Juvenile Onset BP.

He still could not attend school because of the medication's side effects; drooling, chewing holes into his t-shirt collars and hanging upside down for hours to increase blood flow to his brain consumed his daily activities. I changed my work schedule to stay home with him.

The anti-depressants collided with his brain, severe unpleasant reactions occurred. We switched to a different anti-depressant. He climbed on the roof when I was trying to conduct business calls from home.

We stopped all medications. He became worse. The school was calling me almost every day to come and pick him up.

At age 7 he became so violent one day his Dad and I took him to the nearest psych ward. By the time we arrived he had calmed and they could not see that he was a threat to himself or others. We were referred to another psychiatrist and therapist.

So now, 11 years later, with an anti-psychotic, mood stabilizer and benzo prescribed my son has come to the conclusion his medications are what hold him back. For the last few months he threatens he will stop all of them.

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