Marie Gibb

from Lafayette, CA

Our son is ten, and at this point, is only diagnosed with an unspecified mood disorder, ADHD, OCD and ODD. Currently, his treatment regimen is working. However, I wanted to share with you something that may be of interest in you research: the significant mark that BP and mood disorders can leave on siblings. We have a 13 1/2 year old daughter and she has been put through some of the greatest challenges as a sibling of a "special needs" brother. She has had to endure family dynamics that are difficult even for the most stable and seasoned adult mind. Fortunately, she has found refuge in helping other children with special needs at her middle school. It seems to give her a feeling of calm and a sense of contributing in a family life that can present with daily volatility.

Looking back, what could have been done at the time to improve the situation? Treatment, medication, a different approach, or understanding from others around you?

Yes, we are very proactive, however, we underestimated the impact and difficulty that our son's illness and needs were having on our older daughter. The significant impact on siblings is very real.

Back to listener stories

©2018 American Public Media