PTSD, bipolar or both? I hate choices!

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http://www.bullyonline.org/stress/ptsd.htm

Above is a good link to explain ptsd. I highly suggest taking a look before reading this post.

When you have a child with multiple diagnosis sometimes it’s extremely hard to determine which you are dealing with at any given time, if you’re dealing with more than one at a time and how the hell to decide.

This week I found myself feeling like a pretty good failure in the mom department. Because it took 7 days of dude having panic attacks, flashbacks, nightmares and irritability for him to finally be able to explain enough to me to understand what was going on.

We have all heard of PTSD. I often write about our experiences with bipolar disorder and our son. But instead of dealing with our typical right now we’re dealing with one of his diagnosis that only creeps forward every so often.

Often we think of PTSD only affecting front line military vets, police, emts or the like. If we think of it in children we think environmental or abuse. We don’t think of it in victims of bullying.
But it most definitely can be a cause, one people would rather not acknowledge because we don’t think of bullying as severe as war or abuse. Yet it is a form of abuse,and can be utterly devastating to the victim.
And like everything, some people can cope with it or shrug it off better than others. And some it continues to effect for year’s. And please if you are thinking, it’s gotta be something else, or, PTSD from bullying what a joke, either stop reading or open your eyes.

Dude was diagnosed while hospitalized 4 years ago (aged 9). The diagnosis was not made on a whim, in fact it was made only after he’d been there 3 weeks and it was determined by the doctors what was going on was not a result of his previous diagnosis, or that a medication adjustment was needed. This particular stay (his longest to date)  was a direct result of the hell he had gone through. During his stay and following he had specific and intense therapy.
For the most part he trucks on without allowing panic, anxiety and flashbacks to take hold. But with PTSD like most mental illness, there’s triggers that bring it crashing back adding current rational and unrational fears along with it.
At this moment, years later, because of events happening in our world, I have a child whose petrified to leave the house or be alone, which is not fun . It’s days full of phone calls while I work and nights full of nightmares. It means falling behind on schoolwork because he’s trying to overcome panic instead of spelling. It means a lot of conversation and reassurance.
Thankfully he’s older and able to express his fears and understand logic better than in the past. But the anxiety and panic are very real and very scary to him.

And this last week because I wasn’t on the top of my game, I found myself frustrated and confused by the what. What out of the choices are we dealing with, and finding myself digging through the vault of my mind to quickly shift gears and remember the appropriate way to handle it. And some days I wonder why the heck we have to have choices! Wouldn’t one be enough? And then I look at my boy. And I remember the hell he’s been through, and will continue to go through. And I remember to hold him tight, love him and support him and fight FOR him instead of against him. I am not the one living through it, I’m just a bystander and I’ll be dammed if I won’t help him through his hellish days so he can enjoy the beautiful ones.

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