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Well it went okay generally. The psychiatrist is actually a woman, for some reason my mind was thinking it would be a man. We were there for about an hour and a half. The reason why I am sort of on edge about it is it that she said that they don't normally diagnose bipolar in children but that it could possibly be bipolar. She asked about all his symptoms but kept focusing only on the rages and aggression. She kept saying, "So the biggest problem is the raging?" and I tried to explain to her that yes that is a big problem but the depression is just as much a problem. Honestly he has tons of symptoms and they are all a problem. She said she wouldn't rule bipolar out though. She wants us to put him on risperdal for the aggression and rages. Anyone have any info on it? Should we try it? I am incredibly apprehensive to try medications without having the solid (and IMO proper) diagnosis of bipolar. I would feel much more comfortable trying a mood stabilizer first. In the literature she gave me on risperdal it says it is a mood stabilizer but I don't think it is. The other thing I am upset about is that she says that DH and I need to go to a counselor to learn parenting tips. That actually makes me really mad because his issues are not our fault. IMO we are excellent parents. I don't know where she got the idea that we need to see a counselor. DH clarified and asked if Elijah was to see a counselor or us and she said us. She also wants us to contact this mobile crisis team who will come into our home and watch us and tell us how to change things. DH and I both agree there is no way that is going to happen. We don't have anything to hide but we are not into having the government or any other organization look into our private lives. I'm not interested in being monitored by "Big Brother." We homeschool, extended breastfeed, cloth diaper, do only gentle discipline, don't vaccinate, etc. There is no way I am inviting someone into our home to monitor us. Uh uh, no way, not gonna happen. Also we can't afford a counselor anyways, we are both full time students. We are supposed to be going back to see her in 3 weeks and she said she wants us to be in counseling within a week. I am pretty sure she will be upset if we don't follow that recommendation. All in all I am left feeling uneasy. We are still on the waiting list for the Bipolar Clinic in London and we are hoping we will get accepted into that program because it seems like a better choice. This psychiatrist is nice enough but she doesn't seem to believe young children can have bipolar. She is ordering an EKG and an EEG and other tests which I suppose is a good thing.
 

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I think, IMO, that the idea of getting family/parenting counseling can be an ok thing, even a positive thing. Think of it this way - perhaps a counselor could suggest some alternate methods, ways of calming/coping/managing, that you and your DH haven't thought of. Sometimes when I'm in the midst of major crisis problems with my son, it helps to have someone gently suggest options that I just can't come up with on my own, even though I'm 100 sure I've tried every single thing under the sun. And on another front, parenting your son must be very, very stressful. A counselor might simply be a good way for you to unload some of that stress in a positive way. I'd gently urge you to at least consider the idea. Tell the dr. you saw today that you're willing to consider counseling OUTSIDE the home, and that you need financial assistance to make that happen, and see where she takes that. You're not locked into one direction here.<br><br>
I'm so glad you're finally moving forward with Elijah - I'm sure he's going to benefit greatly from all your efforts for him.
 

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I don't know anything about that med. Is it safe in bipolar?<br>
I'm sorry she didn't seem knowlegeable about bipolar in kids. It seems like he needs something. Gosh, this is hard. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/hug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="hug">
 

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I agree that seeing a counselor doesn't have to be a bad thing. It could help to get a different perspective or some ideas from someone outside the home.<br><br>
I don't know much about that med in bipolar kids but I agree it's worth looking into more before giving it to him. I think it's great she's scheduling the other tests and ruling other things out though. Looks like you're getting somewhere! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/hug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="hug">
 

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I agree with the previous points regarding counseling. Instead of thinking about it in terms of "learning to be a better parent" how about looking at it as "helping you cope with the stress" and/or "helping you stay connected with your spouse."<br><br>
Maybe?
 

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We are parents very much like you, and we have benefitted from family counselling as a COMPONENT of a larger treatment plan. None of the psychs we have ever worked with have criticized our parenting choices: THEY are not participants in the mommy wars, typically, and even the psychoanalyst we saw had nothing critical to say about cosleeping and extended breastfeeding. What's more, you don't have to follow all the advice, you can even be critical or disagree, and you can stop or switch if you find a particular counsellor is a bad match. None of the counsellors we've worked with has ever suggested that we are anything but excellent parents: in fact, this can be a really good source of reinforcement when others, say the school, suggest that the problem may be you not the child. You can point to extended counselling and psychiatric expertise that says otherwise.<br><br>
Family counselling can also be the route toward getting Elijah individual treatment for him if that is clearly what is needed, and it sounds to me as though it is. But I wouldn't be put off if they start with the family, or if one of their goals is to rule out abuse as a cause. It IS a possible cause of rages -- but it will be very clear to them that you are not abusive parents. I wouldn't worry that this won't be clear -- at least, it has never been our experience, as parents very much like yourselves, than anyone ever jumped to the conclusion that we were abusive. Instead they say things like 'clearly you know your son very well and you're well in tune with him' or 'obviously your son has a very firm attachment, and that is a big positive'.<br><br>
I am far from an expert on bipolar, but I was just reading today that diagnosis of bipolar in children younger than ten is becoming increasingly controversial just now among psychs -- BUT that the one set of cases where they definitely agree that action needs to be taken, even if the label 'bipolar' is deferred until a later age, is where there is a family history and acute behavioural issues. So the psych's reluctance might be a reflection of this new controversy rather than of any real doubt about what is going on with Elijah.<br><br>
Sorry I can't help with the Risperdal. I would definitely follow up and ask.<br><br>
I hope this is the beginning of good new things for your family.<br><br>
Fiona
 

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I am sorry. It seems you have so much on your plate right now and it's overwhelming, which is totally, absolutely normal. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/hug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="hug"><br><br>
I agree that the therapy idea isn't a criticism against your parenting. With almost all mood disorders, the best treatment is a combination of therapy and medications. With him being so young, you, as the parents, are going to have to help him learn coping methods until he gets older, and learn how to adjust your parenting to his needs. It does not mean in any way you're not an excellent parent.<br><br>
I also think it's a good idea that she didn't diagnose him right off the bat as bipolar, you need to establish a better relationship with a mental health team to get the best picture of his needs. It does sound like she is thinking of a mood disorder and that is a great start, she didn't blow it off but maybe is taking it slow?<br><br>
AFAIK Risperdal is a mood stabilizer used in the treatment of bipolar. It is also classified as an anti-psychotic. I would do more research on it, unfortunately there is not a lot of information out there for young kids, Child mental health is woefully behind where it should be.<br><br>
Good luck. I am sure you will make the best decision for your son, you are a good mother to him. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">
 

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1) Risperdal-- I have bipolar II and dd has depression, and we've both been on risperdal, without much luck. But, as you know, there is a huge variation in individual response to psychoactive meds, plus, your ds is way younger than us (dd is 17), so I can't even guess how it will affect your son. Risperdal is an antipsychotic, but is prescribed for other purposes, in our case, for anxiety. I noticed no effect on anxiety, but it made me jittery and I had 2 minor car accidents until they gave me a beta blocker. I went off it when I got pregnant, and told my doc I would not go on it again. She asked me to look into Geodon or Abilify instead, which I haven't started yet. DD finds the risperdal makes her very tired, and also hasn't noticed any improvement in her symptoms.<br><br>
2) I know you feel strongly that ds is bipolar, and given your history, I suspect you're right, but personally, it would give me some comfort that the doctor is taking a fresh look, and considering all options. I just hope she listens to you and doesn't become overly focused on just a few of his symptoms, and as you fear, is not someone who believes that kids can't be bipolar. That would be counter-productive.<br><br>
3) I agree that family counseling can be really helpful, and does not mean that you're not good parents. It absolutely should NOT be INSTEAD of individual counseling for ds, but in addition to. Also, I'm not familiar with the Canadian health care system, though, so maybe your concerns are valid -- are they related to CPS, or mandated reporters? Will they have the power to take your kids away or force you to make changes, just if they don't like what they see? Are they so anti-AP that your parenting choices would be grounds for intervention?
 

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am posting from my phone so pardon typos.<br><br>
Risperdal is a mood stabilizer and is in the class atypical antipsychotic. I have taken it and responded very well. I had to stop because I was lactating well after the kids had weaned. It is approved by the FDA for bipolar patients and within the last year to treat rage and aggression issues in children on the autism spectrum.<br><br>
My son started it two months ago at a dosage of .125mg and then we bumped it up to .25mg. It has made a huge difference for him and he will remind us if we are late in giving it to him. A mood stabilizer without an anti-depressant can work to alleviate the depression and rapid cycling.<br><br>
Dfinitely do your own research on the medication's use in children. I know that it is a powerful drug and it is a personal choice. One good thing is that it is fast acting so you should see changes quickly. If you'd like to pm me I can send you some links later at home.
 
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