When Jake was younger, he would sometimes get a crazed look in his eyes (similar to this recent photo) and would laugh like a maniac (no joke). He would deliberately try to annoy people and if someone tried to get him to stop, it would just amp him up. If someone tried to use physical force to get him to stop, Jake would just laugh which would make them angrier. He was a force to be reckoned with while in his “Manic State.” There were times however where he was just the softest, sweetest, caring little boy. His eyes would get big and round, his face would soften and his actions were very gentle. During this time (I called it his “Sweetie Pie” stage), it was not uncommon for him to pick out toys from his room, wrap them up and give us each a present. As we opened our gifts, he would explain why he chose each one for us and would tell us how much he loved us. I so enjoyed his Sweetie Pie stage. Then there were times when he would explode in terrible meltdowns – Screaming, yelling, crying, knocking furniture over, throwing things, hitting, kicking, banging etc. I would try to clear the other kids out of the way for their safety. I got pretty good at restraining him and/or getting him to calm down, but it was exhausting. Other times he would just be Jake, a regular kid – smart, funny, creative and kind. But you never knew when he might change into someone else – content one minute, screaming and crying the next. As I was writing this, I recognized some of his stages as ones that I went through as an adult (throwing chairs, slamming doors, yelling, screaming ) while not being medicated for bipolar. Wow – he’s a lot like me in that way – which is scary. But I am hopeful for him. We both have medication and are doing better. He has gone from not being able to attend school to being at school every day, all day long. And that is something to celebrate.