Study reveals hike in bipolar diagnoses in young children
The number of children ages 2 to 5 who have been diagnosed with bipolar disorder and prescribed antipsychotic drugs has doubled over the past decade, U.S. researchers said. Their report adds to the debate over whether children that young can be diagnosed with the disorder and whether they should be given powerful drugs to treat it. Reuters (1/15)
I know and understand this statistic far too well, having lost a family member to bipolar disorder, and watching others deal with it. Bipolar is a terrible, terrible disease that has gone far too long undiagnosed. And yet, medication is such a hard decision. My son has Tourette’s Syndrome. There are no good drugs for Tourette’s- the side effects of medications are often worse than the very symptoms it seeks to subdue. For that is what medication often does- hide, not “cure”. And Tourette’s overlaps with bipolar- a statistic, again, I am very familiar with. Statistics aside, very dear family members are ALIVE today because of Lithium. But they describe the feeling of “being constantly underwater” and fight the battle every day. Every single day, life is a choice for them. And I admire them every single day for struggling on, and I realize that my life every day is a choice, too. Life is so precious- Haiti, if nothing else, reminded me of this.
I realized once, when I had been staring too long into the abyss of “what if… what might… where?” that Scarlett O’Hara had a trick for all of us- “I’ll think about that tomorrow”. I recognize that some decisions HAVE to be made today- right now, right this moment and no one feels ready for them. But some decisions, some actions, just simply require tomorrow. And maybe another tomorrow and maybe yet another tomorrow until they must be made.
For people making a choice about medication- remember, you are making the best choice you can with the best information you’ve got at this time. You CANNOT think about “what I should have/could have/might have done”. If you make a decision from the standpoint of love, you have made the right decision for today. And tomorrow’s always another day.