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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Does anyone deal with this? His Psychologist thinks he is bipolar, there is a family history.
The Psychiatrist says he has ADD and prescribes Adderol (sp?) it helps but it is just masking the symptoms so i don't give it to him most of the time.
I can't believe we are going through this, i never thought i'd medicate my child, but he gets out of control sometimes ...see the Lying , cheating & stealing thread in gentle discipline (i'm not sure how to do a link)

I think he is bipolar, there is no other explanation for it. He talks suicide at age 10, and has been doing it for a while.

He has 'fits' where he is upset about one thing and he expands it to everything else, destroying his own things and others.

I'm too tired to go on , but i just wondered if anyone else has this problem??

Blessings~K~
 

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Your son does sound like it if he is lying and talking about suicide, medicating him will help. I don't agree with meds often but in *true* cases of bipolar and adhd I do believe in it. ITA with sully about the stimulant med too, I'm shocked your doc put him on it actually. My ds was mis dx'd bipolar but I know he didn't have it and I thought adhd at first (turns out he is mildly autistic) and the doc out right refused to prescribe adhd/stimulant meds even after the bipolar meds did nothing for him. He was too afraid if he was right (and he wasn't) that we would make ds manic.

My ds never talked about suicide or killing himself and he didn't steal, he has issues yes but I knew in his case it wasn't bipolar but in your son's case it does sound like it.

Good luck! There is an ezboard for bipolar children and it's a great board just not sure I can link it here. Before we had ds's dx worked out I lurked there a bit.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thank you guys for replying, It helps to not feel so alone.

I am deathly afraid that he might attempt suicide when in one of his impulsive "fits" I've caught him with his window open
Maybe i am overreacting but it is hard to see your child feel so unhappy. I'll have time to write more later
 

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I have heard anectdotally (sp??) that adderall can pull out emotional issues more in children prone to them....other stimulants for whatever reason are not as prone.

Do you feel like the psychologist is really helping you?
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Yes, I feel the psycholigist is really helping, he always comes out of a session feeling better and Dr Griffin knows him better than the psychiatrist...

also, the meds dr. makes him sit in the room as we discuss him, something i do not think is a good idea...i don't want him thinking there is something wrong with him. He definately needs help and the aderall does help more than anything else yet, i just wish the meds dr. would see that DS is bipolar (a mother knows)

I am bipolar and am helped tremendously by the meds, i had tried everything else from herbs , homeopathy to acupuncture and nothing really helped until i got on the right meds...i hate to admit it, but i am a much better mother and am not suicidal anymore. I want that for DS, thought he still can't swallow pills (had a fish oil cap dissolve in his mouth once
)
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by BelovedK
Does anyone deal with this? His Psychologist thinks he is bipolar, there is a family history.
The Psychiatrist says he has ADD and prescribes Adderol (sp?) it helps but it is just masking the symptoms so i don't give it to him most of the time.
I can't believe we are going through this, i never thought i'd medicate my child, but he gets out of control sometimes ...see the Lying , cheating & stealing thread in gentle discipline (i'm not sure how to do a link)

I think he is bipolar, there is no other explanation for it. He talks suicide at age 10, and has been doing it for a while.

He has 'fits' where he is upset about one thing and he expands it to everything else, destroying his own things and others.

I'm too tired to go on , but i just wondered if anyone else has this problem??

Blessings~K~
My son is nearly five and is bipolar. I am shocked a doctor would give your child adderal for his symptoms since they can cause mania, suicidal thoughts and other problems. Children with mood disorders need to be on mood stabilizing medications (antipsychotics, seizure meds, or lithium) before having other ADD/ADHD symptoms treated. A great book to read is the Bipolar Child. Their are several online groups and organizations with lots of resources as well. The toughest part is finding a doctor that will treat your child and work with you. We did nearly everything prior to getting meds for our son -- taking meds is the best thing we could have done for us and our family. He still has his tough days but we have had so much improvement in the last year, and even the last six months that has made all our lives better. Feel free to PM me.

Kim
 

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I just wanted to invite you over to the Bipolar Thread in Mental Health: http://www.mothering.com/discussions...d.php?t=275368

It has been a couple of weeks since anyone posted, but I'm sure I'm not the ONLY member who has a subscription to it . . . there are a lot of us at MDC who are either bipolar ourselves or dealing with it in a spouse, child, or family member. You will find lots of support here.
 

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I wanted to say that I think it is a good idea that your sons condition, medication and treatment be talked about in front of him. I had mixed feelings about this at first, but now I know it is beneficial that these children are completely aware what is going on about their own medical care and what lengths we are willing to advocate for them. Dylan has been present for 90% of our conferences/appointments with our psychiatrist. He is aware that his behaviors are wrong, inappropriate and sometimes violent. He is so aware of his medications and when he doesnt have them as well. He is not even five yet and will tell you if something is wrong with his medications or not working right. We also encourage him to talk about his behaviors with his psychiatrist

I will post most later, busy busy -- baby coming in 6 days.

Kim
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Congrats Onthefence, and good luck in the birth of your baby.

We had a really terrible time just now. DS knows that he can't control his words and actions when he is really angry, i think it is wonderfull that he knows that and can verbalize it.

Those were good points about his being in the room during visits, i'm still 'on the fence' though. Today , i resorted to punishment, which really exasperated the situation, i'm at the end of my rope though. Today , he told my 5yoDD that the tooth fairy doesn't exist
:


I know it is not his fault. His Dr keeps on telling us that he has ADD and there aren't many child psychiatrists around here taking new patients, so that hasn't been an option, thats why he prescribed the adderall. It helps him to feel good, though i think almost anyone would feel good on basically, speed. He is even nice to his sis when he is on it. I don't give it often.

Gotta go , DS is looking over my shoulder

ME=
 

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I know how you feel. I've cried more tears then you can imagine. I can't encourage you enough to find a psychiatrist. BEG. That is what we did. I had to beg for help. Even if you have to travel some, I can't encourage you enough to do this. Find one that believes in childhood bipolar disorder, you'd be surprised at those who don't.
Also, gather as much information and support you can. Buy the Bipolar Child book. It changed our lives, just knowing we weren't alone meant a great deal to us.
Again, I can't warn you enough about giving adderal or stimulants to a bipolar child when the bipolar is not treated. Of course they feel good on it, it causes mania -- this can come about in a form of elation.

I would start keeping a diary of his behaviors, mood swings, sleep patterns, etc. This will be very helpful down the road.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
OnTheFence, I haven't been begging hard enough, usually when we go for a DR appt, he is in a good phase (usually)
I will look into the adderall , bc he is in a really good mood when on it, which could indicate hypomania. DR told us that he might be bipolar,, but he didn't want to medicate him as such bc enough tests haven't been run on the meds for children
:
He suggested Lamictol, which i take and is very helpfull (i hardly experience any symptoms anymore) it just makes me so
that the dr will not be more proactive, esp reading the website linked by Sandrajoon (btw, thanks, i found it interesting)
Getting these children young seems to be one of the keys it seems, why doesn't a dr realize this???
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by BelovedK
OnTheFence, I haven't been begging hard enough, usually when we go for a DR appt, he is in a good phase (usually)
I will look into the adderall , bc he is in a really good mood when on it, which could indicate hypomania. DR told us that he might be bipolar,, but he didn't want to medicate him as such bc enough tests haven't been run on the meds for children
:
He suggested Lamictol, which i take and is very helpfull (i hardly experience any symptoms anymore) it just makes me so
that the dr will not be more proactive, esp reading the website linked by Sandrajoon (btw, thanks, i found it interesting)
Getting these children young seems to be one of the keys it seems, why doesn't a dr realize this???
Yes, treating bipolar early, making children aware of it, how to manage it is a big plus. Medication is hard giving it too children. I will not lie, it was very hard. Some meds have been tried on children, like Trileptal. It is a seizure med that has been used on children for years as young as 1 for epilipsy so they do know what it causes in children. Other drugs used with children are not approved -- but many are for children that are your sons age. My son definitely takes medication not approved for his age, and this was not the first one we tried.
Dylan has been on several different meds. Finding the right combo is hard. Sometimes we thought we had things right, only to have really bad problems down the road. Dylan has been on Depakote for nearly a year, in combination with other drugs, but it was only until the last six months we have really tweaked it. We are very fortunate in that Dylan has not had any of the typical side effects seen with depakote. He is not over weight at all, his hair has not thinned, the concentration in his liver isnt even at what they consider a theraputic dose, even though he is on 750mg of Depakote. The one thing he does have is increased hyperactivity with the Depakote -- which is very unlikely, but Dylan tends to respond differently to all meds than the average joe. He takes Tenex to take away the ADHD symptoms, which is a blood pressure medication. Our lives are so different, his life is so different.

I will try to post more later.

Kim
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Thanks Kim, You definately are well informed. I think i will talk to his DR about Depacote, hopefullt it can be chewed. DS will chew the nastiest stuff(just not fish oil :LOL ) just not swallow. I see that as a big obstacle.

I think i will hop over to that thread in mental health (didn't even know there was a forum for mental health.)

I will also write more later when i have more time , we are on our way to visit their father for his day.

Happy fathers day , all of you dads (if ther are any here)
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by BelovedK
Thanks Kim, You definately are well informed. I think i will talk to his DR about Depacote, hopefullt it can be chewed. DS will chew the nastiest stuff(just not fish oil :LOL ) just not swallow. I see that as a big obstacle.

I think i will hop over to that thread in mental health (didn't even know there was a forum for mental health.)

I will also write more later when i have more time , we are on our way to visit their father for his day.

Happy fathers day , all of you dads (if ther are any here)
Depakote can't be chewed because it can eat away the lining of the stomach and cause digestive/gastric problems. They do make Depakote Sprinkles though that can go on food that they normally use for adults and children who cannot swallow. I am very fortunate that since my son has been on medications (age of 3) he will swallow all of them!
While I think Depakote is wonderfulm its not right for everyone, there are other drugs out there that can stabilize mood for children that are not as powerful. This was our last choice before Lithium or hospitalization, and our psychiatrist was hesitant to do it because he had patients die on it. I have to say its hard taking a risk with a med you know has killed people, but when you think about the suicide rate in bipolar males, even in children, its scarey. Children also have little impulse control and when you are thinking of your child diving out a window or grabbing a knife, etc. The risks of the drugs don't seem nearly as high as the risk of your child harming themselves or others. Even if unintentional.

I also wanted to comment yesterday on something you said in your post about having to have punished your son for his misbehavior. Our son is punished and I had a hard time doing it, saying it, admitting it but no amount of gentle discipline and reason works with him. Often natural or logical consequences do not matter to these children, they are willing to accept or deal with those, and do it again and again. I used GD and PD with my son and it was like a slap in the face (and at 3 he was so violent my husband and I would be black and blue from his rages). We had tough love boot camp in our house, we read 123 Magic and Rosemond, and at 4 we Ferberized him for bed time. All has worked. For nearly six months our son lost every toy he owned, his ceiling fan, his bed but the mattress, he had locks on the closet, a lock on the reverse side of his door and I had to call the fire marshall to get permission to put plexiglass over his window because he was trying to escape through it and beating it so bad that I was afraid he would go through the glass (we actually never got to putting it in) I'm sure to some people we were like Monster Parents that CPS should be called on. I had my attny and shrink phone numbers by my front door should a social worker from CPS ever show up. Five months ago after he started to stabilize we told him he had to "earn" his things back (keep in mind he is FOUR) He worked very hard to have his room painted and the 40something odd holes repaired in the walls (that he began putting there when he was 1) and get new carpet. He got a new bed, with all new bedding, and all his toys were slowly replaced or put back in his room. Now without medication, and our "strong" parenting I don't think he would have been able to do it. But he has a room like a regular child, even with a TV and DVD player in it. He even keeps it clean. Vastly different than six plus months ago when it looked like a padded room. I just wanted to tell you this about our family because I know how hard, sad, depressing it can be when you are trying to parent a child with emotional, mental, behavioral problems. "Normal" parenting seems to fly out the window and you often feel like a failure or loser -- I can't express to you how many times my husband and I have felt like horrible parents and even abusive parents. I often tell people that Dylan has made me question and often go back on every parenting ideal I ever had, but I had to finally release a part of who I was to do what was right for my child and entire family, rather than an ideal that wasn't working.

Right now things are going good, things are "normal" and "stable" but it took us a long time to get her. Just know you are not alone.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Its good to hear you say that (about the GD vs PD) I don't think anyone understands these children unless they have one.
I applied the punishment as the 'rule' like the sun rises, it just is Not initiated by me, but just something that happens if he acts in a certian way...it does tend to escalate things though and thats why i doubt it . I try to remain calm throughout the "fit'.

Some of the ideas that you posted are the same ones suggested to me by other (but nonAP) people...

Thanks for understanding.

Its scary to think that a remedy could actually kill a child , i don't even know what to think, what to try. I guess i'll have to beg his dr. once again and drill him for info.
I think the dangers are why he hasn't prescribed any BP meds yet, though if the adderall is making him hypomanic, then isn't that just as bad??
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by BelovedK
Its good to hear you say that (about the GD vs PD) I don't think anyone understands these children unless they have one.
I applied the punishment as the 'rule' like the sun rises, it just is Not initiated by me, but just something that happens if he acts in a certian way...it does tend to escalate things though and thats why i doubt it . I try to remain calm throughout the "fit'.

Some of the ideas that you posted are the same ones suggested to me by other (but nonAP) people...

Thanks for understanding.

Its scary to think that a remedy could actually kill a child , i don't even know what to think, what to try. I guess i'll have to beg his dr. once again and drill him for info.
I think the dangers are why he hasn't prescribed any BP meds yet, though if the adderall is making him hypomanic, then isn't that just as bad??

Yes hypomanic can be dangerous. My friends son tried to kill himself on adderal last year. Yes, you read that right, kill himself. He's four. He got loose from her in a parking lot ran across a road then into a major highway and ran out in front of 18 wheeler. (she had her 2 year old with her too) He told her he wanted to know what it was like to get runover. He was having dillussional thinking on the adderal (common I might add if the bipolar isnt treated) There are meds that are not nearly as dangerous as say Depakote or Tegretal for bipolar. As I mentioned Trileptal, but often is not strong enough, is fairly safe in children. Risperdal has some undesirable side effects, but they often wane after the body/child get used to them, as are other antipsychotics that act as mood stabilizers. I wish I could tell you there was some herb or homeopathic treatment for bipolar, while success has been found with using fish oils, they are often used with conventional therapies too, as melatonin in bipolar patients.

I know many here are not in favor of Dr. Phil but his ideas on parenting strong willed children work. He is one who recommends removing everything from a child's room and having them earn it back. These children have to grow up and live in the real world, function in schools, have jobs, and have relationships with others -- they need to know boundaries and that specific behaviors are unacceptable. Often times, the punishment doesn't fit the "crime" and is not "logical", but its there to remind him if he does this then he is going to have to loose or do something he doesnt like to do. Some good books to read are The Explosive Child and another The Defiant Child. I also like Rosemonds books on more straight forward parenting (though I particularly don't like him) because it works and Dylan has really flourished under that type of parenting. Most bipolar children require lots of structure and discipline to function well.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
OnTheFence said:
Yes hypomanic can be dangerous. My friends son tried to kill himself on adderal last year. Yes, you read that right, kill himself. He's four. He got loose from her in a parking lot ran across a road then into a major highway and ran out in front of 18 wheeler. (she had her 2 year old with her too) He told her he wanted to know what it was like to get runover. He was having dillussional thinking on the adderal (common I might add if the bipolar isnt treated)

Yikes, That sounds so scary...what did she do? how did she prevent it? It sounds like some of the things my son has ~said~, just not acted on...i'm on the phone to his dr tommorow.

Before i knew i was bipolar, i had some suicidal fantasies so i understand what it is like to be so depressed that you don't want to go on. I never tried to act on it though...to me, hypomanic was either a really, really good mood, or intense irritation and a 'get out of my way' kind of feeling, so i can see how the combination (i guess mixed states) could be dangerous esp if the hypom. is the result of a drug.
 
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