Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Dailies #12

This last weekend has been mixed - I got David to the doctor Friday so he could get his medicine refilled - he only stayed home fifteen minutes - seemed tense and on edge the whole time - the next day I thought he had watched the Ohio/Michigan game with his uncle - but when I finally talked to him Sunday evening I found out he had stayed in his apartment instead alone - and he was slipping - sounded depressed - didn't seem to care about anything - said he wasn't coming home for thanksgiving because he didn't like turkey - I had my brother go over to check on him and try to talk him into walking over to his place - David would not leave his apartment. Trying not to panic I waited awhile then called back - he told me he was so good that he wasn't even going to mention either one of the movies he was supposed to be analyzing in the paper he was working on - I asked "but isn't that what the paper is about?" he just laughed. Now I started praying - he seemed so far away - I called my brother again - he said he would call him back. I forced myself to wait two hours before calling again - telling myself that there are some things you just can't control. David answered and immediately began to talk cheerily about an upcoming movie and what he wanted for Christmas. Though relieved I knew this mood could be a symptom of mania - I reminded him to take his medicine, told him I loved him, and bid him good night - then like many other nights I lay in bed praying that the good night would not turn into goodbye.

This is an excellent article by a woman suffering from schizoaffective disorder - gives a perspective from the inside.
A mind taut with pain - Health - Times Online

Thursday, November 16, 2006

#35 Between Hope and Despair

The holidays are marching in with plans for get togethers, baking, shopping trips - in years past this time of year has been my favorite - Even last year I threw myself into the season - in an attempt to make it the best Christmas ever, a kind of celebration that David was still with us - In this I made a grave mistake and missed the important signs that were pointing to the fact that David was headed into depression and another attempt at suicide. This year I feel quite ambivalent - confused as to which way to turn - on one hand my usual excitement is building - I am beginning to make lists and plans - but in a way I hesitate to even think of the Holiday - I am becoming ultra vigilant watching David's every move - hoping that the season will not affect him as it did last year - and as I watch - I see odd signs that things might not be as well as I hoped - for instance I have been going up at least once a week to clean his apartment, take up his medicine, and bring back his laundry. This week I bought a cheap set of sheets so that I could bring his back to wash and he mentioned that he had only slept in his bed a few times - it then dawned on me that his bedroom looked unlived in - in fact it appeared that he spent most of his time on the futon in front of the TV watching SouthPark - all the seasons were spread out over the floor and every time I walked in the show was on - with the same episodes he has watched at least a hundred times each. I suggested that he come home the next day to stay a night since he is about out of medicine - still on the waiting list at the new psychiatrist - and our family doctor said if he came in he would write a couple months worth of his medicine - David mumbled some excuses and refused - and it was then that I knew he had built himself a tight routine in a tight space not doubt for reassurance - the familiar was comforting to him - and now that I think on it - he really hasn't been going anywhere except class, my brother's apartment, and the occasional dinner out with his grandma - he must feel safest there in his own spot with SouthPark playing over and over - I think of him as a child - always upset when his structure was threatened. He has said that he's coming home for Thanksgiving, but now I wonder how hard it will be to get him to leave his nest - and what is he pushing out by these self isolating actions - the Holidays - the same winter blues that snowballed into madness last year. Should I be concerned about this? Should I force him to come home for the holidays? I really don't know if he refuses if I could stand carrying on as usual thinking of him sitting alone on his futon, eating roman noodles and watching Kenny die for the billionth time - or am I not being realistic - I think sometimes I give into the illusion that this illness will someday just be gone - I must remind myself that my son is mentally ill and as long as he is content in the life he is living - why should I urge him to change?

Good Advice

This article seems relevant considering my current concerns.

Bipolar Disorder: Holiday Tips for Family & Friends

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Dailies #11

Good news for a change - things are going fairly well - David is getting to class - most of the time and seems to be settled into the routine of living on his own. I do go up to his apartment at least once a week to clean and take back his laundry to wash. I also take up only a week's worth of medicine at a time - though things seem to be OK - I've learned from harsh experience that his moods can take a downward turn quickly. The only issue that is nagging at my mind is his growing obsession with his grades - David will never come right out and say something is bothering him - but if I listen closely to his conversations I can usually pick up clues, and he has been speaking incessantly about what grades he thinks he may end the quarter with - A, B, C and a Pass on his survey class - I think that's great for a any first year freshman, neverless one struggling with the obstacles David does, but he seems to feel he should have done better - I assure his that those grades are fine and listen carefully for any hints that this new worry of his doesn't spur him into a depression.

This article I found to be tentatively hopeful - I know for me and many other parents and loved ones there is always this hidden, mostly unspoken fear that this illness will end in suicide. This study from Ireland adds buoyancy to our hopes.