When we were working on getting Tim admitted to his RTC (residential treatment center), part of the paperwork requested was a chronology of development, treatments, diagnoses, and medications that had already been tried. I presented them with nearly 30 pages of information that detailed his history, from first diagnosis at age four to the weeks leading to his admission. They were amazed at the information I’d chronicled, and often refer to that document at our quarterly staffings when discussing current progress and next steps.
We know that bipolar disorder is cyclical, but it’s so easy to get looped into the daily ins and outs, and battles over school and behavior to be able to understand when the cycles start and when they stop. Forget about realizing what triggers those seemingly random bouts of rage and anxiety. We’re just trying to get from one day to the next with everyone intact! When we sit down in front of the psychiatrist we see maybe once a month, how can we answer the question, “so, how did the month go?” I don’t know about you, but my memory is a huge block of swiss cheese on a good day. If it wasn’t for the daily charting of Tim’s behaviors, moods and meds I forced myself to get into, I’d have no way of remembering his last med adjustment, let alone the impact it made.
Read the rest at CABF .