Do these symptoms equal something serious? - Mothering Forums

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Old 07-01-2010, 07:30 PM - Thread Starter
 
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My wonderful, loving nanny said something today to me about my daughter and now has me a little worried and wondering if she might be on to something. My daughter is moody and one minute can be so nice and the next can be totally opposite. My nanny described it as being like bi-polar.

My understanding of bi-polar in kids is that it is way more drastic than what my daughter does but I don't want to dismiss it if it is a possibility. Here is some of what her personality is like:

My daughter doesn't have major tantrums and never has, even as a 2 year old. She is very controlling of things. If you tell her something is white, she will say it is black. If you tell her she can have 1, she will want 2. She is always pushing the envelope on EVERY.LITTLE.THING.

When playing with new kids she doesn't know, she tends to be very shy. Once she gets to know the kids, she tends to be bossy. And after becoming really close to them, she begins to sabotage the friendship and becomes a bully (verbally) to them.

She is very hypersexual and frequently goes into her room to masturbate at least once a day.

She tends to lie about lots of things, even things that are inconsequential.

She is a huge carb addict and would eat nothing more than carbs if I let her all day.

She could be getting along fine with her brother and they are playing nicely and then she will do something or say something to irritate him. She is an EXPERT at pushing his buttons and knows exactly what to do to get him angry.

What I don't know is how much of this is the age (she is 5 years old), how much is the fact that her dad and I are recently divorced (although many of these symptoms occurred before the divorce as well), or is there something more serious going on??

Do these symtoms sound alarming to you?
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Old 07-01-2010, 07:39 PM
 
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If it's something that rings true to you, there's no harm in having her evaluated, but I think it's quite a leap and rather irresponsible of the nanny to slap a psychological diagnosis on a 5-year-old based on those behaviors, most (all, actually) of which sound well within the range of normal.

Did she use the term flippantly, like as a synonym for moody, or was she actually trying to alert you that she thinks your DD needs a psych evaluation?

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Old 07-01-2010, 07:42 PM
 
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Is masturbating every day normal for a 5yo? I have a 5yo and I don't even think he's realized that his penis is for more than peeing yet.

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Old 07-02-2010, 01:05 AM
 
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A lot of that sounds like normal kid and sibling stuff. The masturbating may or may not be in the range of normal. If her mood swings seem really drastic I would suggest looking at her for signs of early puberty, not bi-polar. It doesn't sound like she has really drastic, over the top, out of control mood swings though. It just sounds like she is a normal kid who happens to like masturbating more than other kids.
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Old 07-02-2010, 02:59 AM
 
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Originally Posted by One_Girl View Post
A lot of that sounds like normal kid and sibling stuff. The masturbating may or may not be in the range of normal. If her mood swings seem really drastic I would suggest looking at her for signs of early puberty, not bi-polar. It doesn't sound like she has really drastic, over the top, out of control mood swings though. It just sounds like she is a normal kid who happens to like masturbating more than other kids.
I agree with this. And she sounds similar to my DD. (I was also told by my DD's ped that the masterbation is normal unless it interferes with daily activities...as in, that's all she does and all she wants to do, and does it constantly. She was pretty close, lol, but now at 8 it has tapered down dramatically)

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Old 07-02-2010, 10:17 AM
 
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The moodiness and evolution of relationships sounds VERY similar to my 4.5 yo dd. I've been hoping that it's a stage, but am talking with her how we treat our friends, etc. and very conscious of leaving playdates if she starts to become verbally nasty. I don't think she's got a major psychological issue-- just a certain temperament and a certain developmental stage combining to be somewhat unpleasant for a time (I really, really hope so!)
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Old 07-02-2010, 05:18 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by limabean View Post
If it's something that rings true to you, there's no harm in having her evaluated, but I think it's quite a leap and rather irresponsible of the nanny to slap a psychological diagnosis on a 5-year-old based on those behaviors, most (all, actually) of which sound well within the range of normal.

Did she use the term flippantly, like as a synonym for moody, or was she actually trying to alert you that she thinks your DD needs a psych evaluation?


I think she sounds normal, though seems like it could be challenging at times. My 4.5 year old is sort of like this, especially with pushing envelop for every little thing, lying, being a carb addict.

But if something is creating a lot of issue in her and your life, it won't be a bad idea to seek advise with a counselor. "Normal" kids can see counselors, too, if they need.
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Old 07-06-2010, 12:09 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks everyone! I feel a little better that everyone thinks this is fairly normal. I was with her all day for the past 4 days and I didn't notice anything that seemed overly alarming to me.

I was able to get her to talk a little and she told me that she doesn't always enjoy playing with other kids and that most of the time she prefers to play on her own. She has been like that since she was a baby though. I think that having the nanny's daughter there all day, everyday the previous week was too much for her.

And she definitely needs her day a lot more structured than my other child. When she is bored, I noticed that she needed a lot more help finding things to do.

We are going to take her to a therapist though to help her deal with her anger and to learn how to let her feelings out as she has a very hard time crying when she is sad.

Limabean to answer your question - My nanny actually said "I think there might be something going on in her brain. Almost something like bi-polar." It didn't sound flippant to me, but I also don't want the nanny to get it into her head that there is something wrong with DD because I don't want it to affect how she treats DD.
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Old 07-06-2010, 02:50 PM
 
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I think it is extremely unlikely your child is bipolar. Alot of what you describe is normal 5 yo/sibling behavior. I think your recent divorce could have something to do with it and you should explore that possibility. As adults we put critical events as happening on one calendar date. But children go through the process too, they almost always know something is going on before an adult tells them. It can make them feel many things and your dd may need a safe place to explore those feelings. The other thing I would consider is an OT evaluation.
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Old 07-06-2010, 06:09 PM
 
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It sounds a lot like my almost 5 year old. Except maybe the masturbation part.

He is pretty shy and instead of trying to make friends he will give kids mean looks when they try to play with him (like at the park). He's not like this when he is in a structured setting where I have set up the situation to meet other kids.

He also is lying a lot a lately about often silly things and a huge carb addict.
We've also had a lot of behavior issues for almost a year now and dealing with his ability to express anger in an appropriate way.
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Old 07-06-2010, 08:43 PM
 
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She sounds a lot like a number of the five year olds I know. It's an odd age when they start to try on more adult ideas, but can't really get them to fit yet.
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Old 07-06-2010, 11:10 PM
 
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Quote:
My nanny actually said "I think there might be something going on in her brain. Almost something like bi-polar."

given all that was said, has your nanny had others in her care? How much experience does she have with this age group? How long has she cared for your child and how long has she felt this way about the issue?--these are what I would start with

could it be that the nanny doesn't really know how to describe this and used the term bi-polar but really means something other?

I would talk more with her and find out if there are other things that lead her to feel this way about your child. She might have just said this but feels there are other issues going on and wants to see how you process this.

we aren't with your child and the nanny is so I would look deeper into what prompted her to say this to you now

 

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