Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Cognitive Therapy and Bipolar Disorder - News #1

I have decided to begin noting news items that I find helpful or interesting – so this is the first. Researchers in Britain, from the institute of Psychiatry in London have completed a study, which shows that patients with bipolar disorder who are given cognitive therapy added to mood stabilizing drugs, are less likely to have relapses. The study also looked at how the combination therapy was more cost effective, by cutting down on the expense that relapses incurred. The full study was published in the British Journal of Psychiatry

Friday, June 24, 2005

18# Pulling Away From the World

That night I asked David how his day at school had went and he told me it was OK. But as the evening preceded he began to share some concerns - he worried that he wouldn't be able to catch up and he didn't understand some of the things that were being discussed since he had missed so many days - I assured him that it would be easy for him to get caught up - but a nagging doubt begin to gnaw at me - David was a genius - he had never had any trouble understanding anything at school and had been able to pick up on complex concepts by just perusing the text - what could be wrong? What if the overdose had caused some brain damage? Maybe it was the medicine that was affecting his concentration? What I didn't know then that I have since learned is that some forms of mental illness can affect the way ideas are organized in the brain and thus can make learning difficult - then I only knew that my son was very worried and considering his past suicide attempt this was unsettling - the next day we went to the councilor for the first time - I was very pleased with him and David appeared to like him - in session David opened up a bit more about school and admitted that it wasn't just the work that had him concerned - he was extremely anxious while there and again felt like everyone was staring at him - he said he didn't want to go back - I thought that this would be a mistake - you know the old saying about getting back up on the horse - but to my surprise the councilor agreed with him - he thought that it would be a mistake to force him to be in a stressful, anxious situation so soon after his attempt - alone he told me that sometimes it took six months to a year to get back to normal life - another reminder of how our life had changed! I agreed to call the school and see if they could set up home instruction for David, at least for a couple of months. To Be Cont.

Thursday, June 09, 2005

17# Snow Storm

The first day David went back to school snow was threatening – gray clouds hung low and heavy as I drove the kids to school. The weather fit my mood of foreboding – all day I worried about my son – how would he answer all the questions – the principal had sent out the story that he had a bad flu and had spent some time in the hospital. I worried that he wouldn’t be able to handle the stress, the stares, the whispers. But when I went to pick them up after school all my fears seemed to be allied. David was smiling and asked if he could run to his friend’s house for a sec and then his friend would bring him home – glancing at the still gray sky and the first few snowflakes – I reluctantly agreed – I didn’t want to seem overprotective and thus embarrass him – OK – but be careful and hurry it looks like its finally going to snow. By the time the rest of us reached home the flurries had turned into a snow squall and the police scanner (my husband’s nosy hobby) was calling for ambulances, rescue, and cops in every direction. We had just missed several wrecks on our road – I immediately started to panic – why did I let him go? I called his friend’s house – they had already left – after I had paced for a good half an hour my daughters suggested that we drive as far as we could and then try to walk up to the wrecks since they had shut down the road – and so we did - we had to walk a good half mile in the wind and snow to get to the first crash and of course – they had just towed off the car and opened the road – it wasn’t my son’s friend – they had just been stuck in traffic - trudging back to the car my fifteen year old daughter said “you wouldn’t have done this for any of us – you would have trusted that we were all right and would get home as soon as we could” I didn’t answer because I knew she was right – I didn’t know how to explain or for that matter stop the emotions that were simmering inside waiting at any minute to come spilling out – primal motherhood – an overwhelming sense of needing to protect my son and a terrible fear that in the end I would be unable to – To be cont.

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

16# Sleepless in Ohio

First off sorry about the long time since the last post - I took a well needed break - now back to the story - that first evening home David was ecstatic - he was so happy to be back in his room with his games and his i-pod - and with us. I was proud of the other kids in that they greeted him as if he had just been on any extended trip - I wish I could say the same - it was as if I had just brought him home as an infant - I couldn't sleep - I kept creeping downstairs to check on him hoping that he wouldn't catch me being an extremely over protective mom - but each time I lay down to sleep, the night that I found him kept playing over and over and then up I crept again. I was exhausted the next day but joyous that I had my son home - and with everyone else up I could relax - and so it went on for days - as soon as I would drift off to sleep I would have nightmares all involving David - always I was deperately trying to save him from some unknown enemy. This insomnia has slowly eleviated - almost six months later I sleep much sounder, but if David has had a bad day or we've had some upset (more on these matters later) again I find myself creeping down those stairs -