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Bipolar children - Page 3

post #41 of 69
Beloved I missed the earlier post about him not wanting to see the psychologist. No, I would not drag him. But I would meet with the psychologist without him and talk to him/her about your son's reluctance to come. See what they have to say. See if they have any ideas on how to re-establish that attachment.
post #42 of 69
Thread Starter 
Hi Heavenly. I am sorry you are going through that with trying to get a Dx, I approached it with the doctor as 'he HAS bp disorder, I need help for him' The confidence in my statement he HAS'' made a difference. He is now 12 though, they are more apt to Dx them at that age. I know that it gets wrse with each episode, imagine if we could treat it really early.

My greatest goal in life right now is to make DS smile, really smile, I want to see him happy.

I never tried to commit suicide, but thought about it when I was at the rock bottom. I know my biological grandfather succeeded in it, I knw nthing else about my family of origin, I am adopted. I have a wonderful family, but have always felt like the black sheep

Has anyone out there had experience with Lamictol? His DR told me that they are prescribing it instead of Depakote now, the side effects bother me though.






Quote:
Originally Posted by Heavenly View Post
Hi, I have read your posts before, I did a search on bipolar. My son has bipolar too but we are having to fight to get the proper diagnosis. We have just started risperdal because his main problem symptoms right now are aggression, rages, threats of bodily harm, and threats to harm himself. I am tentatively thinking it is helping a bit but we'll have to see. I know what you mean about the fear of suicide. My grandfather was bipolar and committ suicide, my mom is bipolar and tried 4 times and I am bipolar and tried once. I pray my son never tries and even more that he never succeeds. He talked recently about thinking he will be dead soon by stabbing a knife through his chest. Scares the hell out of me!
post #43 of 69
I was just wondering if this thread was still active.
My nearly 7 year old has been diagnosed with bipolar. We are all in a state of shock. Of everything we have been dealing with.. this was the only thing that came out of left field and blindsided us..

I really need some support and people who are going through this to ask questions of..

thanks
post #44 of 69
Thread Starter 
I'm still here

My son is stable now. He is on 5htp and Lamictol. I am questioning the Lamictol, but he seems less depressed.
post #45 of 69
Oh where to start?

I guess I'm still realing from this diagnosis. I never suspected it. I always knew that things were not "normal" but chalked it up to Sensory Processing Disorder among other things..

I don't even know where to begin.. but part of me feels that this diagnosis explains alot.. and part of me really wants this diagnosis to be wrong.. because it scares me.. scares me alot..

How can I know for sure.. that this is right??
post #46 of 69
Thread Starter 
unfortunately, you can't know for sure, there is no blood test, you just have to go by whether or not the treatment helps. For me, the DR gave me antidepressant meds (which cause mania if you are bp) and it did, then I crashed, it was bad and I don't recommend putting anyone through that. For my son, we know he has a faMily history. I have looked back into my history, and have seen signs of bp in my bio- mother and my mom's father (who commiter suicide) The history is the important piece, then the Dx is tested with the treatment.

You want to matbe find a dr who will withhold DX of bp until you are certain for insurance reasons. Once tagged with it, it will follow you around. Unfortunate but true. It is the case for me, and now that my son is being treated, I'm sure it will be the same for him.

I'm here if you want to talk, let's keep this thread alive so that perhaps someone else will see it and realize they are not alone.
post #47 of 69
I'm really confused.. The more I read the more confused (and scared) I get..

I was reading this last night. http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/medicatedchild/

It does have a bias against diagnosis BP in children.. but it did have some interesting points and I found the description of the types of BP helpful. I can say with certainty that DS is neither BP I or BP II.. he may not even fit BP NOS..
The thing is.. he does have many of the common symptoms.. but his meltdowns.. while the can be intense (but not always.. usually they are intense if his sensory system is overloaded) they are quick.. maybe a few minutes at the longest.. never have they lasted more than that.. He doesn't take risks or feel invincible (he is often very cautious and anxious about bodily harm), he doesn't talk about harming himself or others, he is gentle with younger children and animals, he may be overly enthusiastic about things (especially Star Wars and imiaginitive play) but has made great strides in allowing others into his fantasy world and not controlling them as much as he used to), he never has a need for less sleep, nor does he wake at night to plan things etc, he doesnt' talk rapidly or seem to have racing thoughts..He isn't hypersexual

I'm really not sure what to think.. We did try him on Zoloft for his anxiety (which is severe) when he was 4. He was on a minute dose and it worked so well.. then the Dr upped the dose to the levels that are typical for a child of his age and weight at the time and he went nuts.. totally hyper (more than usual)..he would just bounce off the walls, he couldn't sleep, he had night terrors (our first experience with them). We had to stop the medication and things went back to normal fairly quickly. The Dr says we can't use SSRI's anymore..
His therapist feels he is HyperReactive neurologicly and that medication will react differently that expected in him..

I'll be back later.. My head is spinning already..
post #48 of 69
I only have a second but I wanted to suggest joining www.bpkids.org. They have message boards and e-mail support groups. I am on one for really young bipolar kids (my son is turning 7 on Friday) and it is great. And just so you know those of us in the midst of bipolar parenting were offended and upset by that frontline piece.

I don't know whether or not your child is bipolar. Is there a family history at all? How many of the symptoms of bipolar does your child have? What were the doctor's reasons for diagnosing bipolar?
post #49 of 69
Quote:
Originally Posted by Heavenly View Post
And just so you know those of us in the midst of bipolar parenting were offended and upset by that frontline piece.
I didn't mention the program to offend anyone. As I said, there was a definite bias against BP in children and I kept that in mind as I read through the information presented. Having been struggling with DS and his problems for years and fighting the Pediatrican about ADHD and not putting him on Ritalin..We are also under the care of a DAN! Dr for DS and talk about bias in the medical community. I am well aware of the bias of Drs for and against conditions and medication.. But I'm sorry if my mentioning the program upset anyone.

Quote:
I don't know whether or not your child is bipolar. Is there a family history at all? How many of the symptoms of bipolar does your child have? What were the doctor's reasons for diagnosing bipolar?
We have no known history of Bipolar on either side of the family tree. There are some mental illnesses.. anxiety and depression. But nothing else.

If I look at the listing of characteristics on this site (and I don't know where else to look, so again.. if this is the wrong place.. I'm sorry..)
http://bipolar.about.com/cs/kids_diag/a/red_flags4.htm


Very Common
Separation Anxiety YES
Rages & Explosive Temper Tantrums (lasting up to several hours) Sometimes but never last more than a few minutes

Marked Irritability He is iritible.. but not an angry child.. he gets angry and iritible when anxious.

Oppositional Behavior Yes, but only to the extent that he'll be stubborn about doing what he is asked to.. like clean your room.. he isn't spiteful, malicious etc.

Frequent Mood Swings I don't feel that he has these..but I may be too close ot the problem to see the forest for the trees

Distractibility Yes, it increases when anxious or when his sensory cup is overflowing.

Hyperactivity Yes, it increases when anxious or when his sensory cup is overflowing.

Impulsivity Yes, it increases when anxious or when his sensory cup is overflowing.

Restlessness/ Fidgetiness Yes, it increases when anxious or when his sensory cup is overflowing.

Silliness, Goofiness, Giddiness Sometimes, but I thought all children his age were goofy at times..

Racing Thoughts Not that I can tell

Aggressive Behavior Yes, it increases when anxious or when his sensory cup is overflowing.


Grandiosity I didn't think so, his psychologist says he has this in his play..

Carbohydrate Cravings Not that I can tell

Risk-Taking Behaviors No

Depressed Mood Not that I can tell, he doesn't seem sad
Lethargy No

Low Self-Esteem Yes

Difficulty Getting Up in the Morning He is often tired.But not from lack of sleep.. He goes to be by 8 pm and usually sleeps all night.
Social Anxiety Yes

Oversensitivity to Emotional or Environmental Triggers Yes, it increases when anxious or when his sensory cup is overflowing.

As far as the "common" red flags listed on that page.. he has the obsession (currently Star Wars) BUT he also has Asperger's
He is also bossy.. this relates to his social problems and anxiety
post #50 of 69
Oh and the reasons that the psychologist suspects early onest bipolar are the grandiouse aspects of his play, how his descriptions of play and participation in imaginitive play seems almost manic at times (we don't see this at home..) in the sessions with him. And we often have said he is like a roller coaster.. he can have periods of time where school is good and he is earning stickers etc.. and then there are times where he really struggles..
Case in point, before the holiday break he was having a really good "run" at school.. earning a sticker each day for behavior etc. Then we have holiday break (which was great very enjoyable) and then he goes back to school and is really struggling.. lots of regression. SO this rollercoaster that he is can be explained (according to the psychologist) by biploar.

I really don't know.. his teacher was surprised by the diagnosis of BP.. she says she doesn't see the mania in school.. She wasn't surprised by the Aspergers Dx, the Anxiety Disorder (Generalized anxiety disorder & seperation anxiety disorder), possible adhd and sensory processing disorder. We have know about all them for many years (aspergers was the most recent addition and fits with his difficulties socially etc)

If this is an accurate diagnosis.. I want to get him the help he needs..on one hand, I'm scared that we are jumping the gun.. and on the other hand,I'm scared that we are being blind and stubborn
post #51 of 69
I guess I scared everyone away...
post #52 of 69
No you didn't scare me away. I have bipolar and I'm really unstable right now so sometimes trying to formulate a thought is overwhelming. I still am not in the right frame of mind to expand on my thoughts right now but I will say that he doesn't necessarily sound bipolar to me. My son fits all of the symptoms to the extreme plus we have a family history. I will respond more later.
post #53 of 69
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by chantald View Post
I guess I scared everyone away...
you didn't scare me away, for some reason i haven't been notified at all of the new posts I have bipolar too, but am stable. My son is much better with his meds which is why I am quite certain the Dx is correct. He actually said the other day "I wish I didn't feel so much better after I take my medicine" He doesn't want to take it, I told him that he needed to and I have no idea what I will do if he someday refuses.

I have to pick my kids up from school now, I will come later and read anything I have missed.
post #54 of 69
Quote:
Case in point, before the holiday break he was having a really good "run" at school.. earning a sticker each day for behavior etc. Then we have holiday break (which was great very enjoyable) and then he goes back to school and is really struggling.. lots of regression. SO this rollercoaster that he is can be explained (according to the psychologist) by biploar.
It seems to me that this could also be explained by anxiety caused by taking a break from an established routine, then having to start going again. I think even NT kids feel that way sometimes, and certainly kids with sensory issues or Asperger's might feel that way as well. (My dd has sensory issues and is possibly on the autism spectrum, and definitely has more anxiety starting something up again after a break.)
post #55 of 69
Quote:
Originally Posted by BelovedK View Post
you didn't scare me away,
I thought for sure I had opened mouth and inserted foot..

Heavenly

I just don't understand why the psychologist felt he had early onset bipolar.. I am waiting for her to call back.. to see what diagnostic tool she used to come to her conclusion.

I read Bipolar Child last night, nearly cover to cover.. If I read what it says on the guidelines they would like to have the DSM revision to include (a seperate Dx criteria for Juviniel Bipolar) he does not meet the criteria..
To name just a few...
He never has episodes where he needs little sleep or is up for hours at night. His meltdowns (the are hardly ever tantrums anymore) while they can be big.. do not throw out the type of energy described in the book that is common for a bipolar child.. nor do they last more than a few moments.. If they last more than 3 minutes I'd be surprised..

I guess I'm trying to say I could go down each characteristic and say No to it or if I said Yes it was in the context of a sensory issue, anxiety issue or his atypical aspergers..

The Dx just doesn't feel right in my gut.. but that certainly isn't a scientific approach..

I'm still confused.. sigh
post #56 of 69
The psychologist finally called back..I took tons of notes..

Here is the gist of what she said

I just got off the phone with the psychologist as I wanted her to explain her thinking.

She says that while she does not feel comfortable saying DS is bipolar, he has some tendencies that have manic qualities about them. So, for example, he is extremely anxious (and has been since birth) and he is also super sensitive to emotions in the enviornment around him.. he then can take this and it just gets bigger and bigger until it takes on a life of it's own.
His agitation is very disinhibited , he can't put the breaks on it, has a manic quality to it
His agitation causes high anxiety and distractibility

Also, she said in the Roarsharc (or however you spell it) test, he often would begin describing things and it would grow and grow until he was king of the world and controlling everything.

He had a lot of images of Flying.. of being grandiouse and a desire to be powerful..

He can also be aggressive as a way to defend himself from others who he feels threatened by.. real or imagined..

She also used a TAT test?

The term Manic Defensive came up.. which she said was different from Bipolar.. but said they would be treated the same medication wise?

BUT..
Bipolar is not on either side of our families
He has NO depressive episodes

So.. I'm confused.. if I read Bipolar child.. He doesn't fit the bipolar model presented there.. She feels that he falls short of a bipolar diagnosis but that he has some red flags...


I feel that much of this can be described by his anxiety.. which is huge.. I asked if we shouldn't look at treating the anxiety (carefully) first and see if that takes care of this.. I'm feeling like that it would make sense to strip it away and see if things resolve or become clearer..?

She suggested I call Westchester Medical Center and seek an appointment with the head of Child Psychiatry there, Dr Flemming Grey.. ?
post #57 of 69
giving us a bump...
post #58 of 69
Thread Starter 
I am sorry I have not replied. I have had some medical things (for myself) going on, and have been preoccupied.

My son is very stable, very pleasant to be around in fact.

From what you are saying, it doesn't sound like typical bipolar. My son got more depressed, then his mania would shoew as an extremely irritable mood, he has the mixed states (like I used to have)

I would be cautious in medicating if you are not sure. I can't remember, have you tried fish oil, cod liver oil, 5htp, and other supplements? You have to be careful because some of them CAN cause mania if the child is bp. google the subject. Nordic Naturals makes a kid's fish oil (the theraputic dose is high, you could find out if you googled it (I don't have the info on hand)
post #59 of 69
BelovedK s: Thanks for taking the time to look in when you are so busy with other things.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BelovedK View Post
Nordic Naturals makes a kid's fish oil (the theraputic dose is high, you could find out if you googled it (I don't have the info on hand)
He does take a Nordic Natural fish oil capsul (adult chewable Omega 3) once a day. He loves them and I could easily up the dose.

He is currently on (we see a DAN! Dr for his Aspergers)
DMAE
Zinc
Custom Amino Acid Blend
Taurine


We just finished a trial of B12 shots


and for immune support:
Probiotics
Astrangalus
Elderberry extract
Colostrum


My mother's instinct is telling me that this "Expansiveness, Grandiouse etc" behavior is related to his anxiety... and part of being 6...
post #60 of 69
Thread Starter 
My mother's instinct told me bp, and I was right. LISTEN to your own!!!!

I will probably be gone for a few days as my puter needs to go in for repairs so if I don't post, that is why, I'll check in when I get the puter back.
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