bipolar kids

Heather - posted on 01/13/2009 ( 49 moms have responded )

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I was hoping that anyone with a bipolar child around my son's age of 6- would be willing to give me any hints. He was diagnosed in 10/08 after being put on ADDERRAL for ADD. within 2 weekes he was in a full blown psychotic event and admitted to in house tx for bipolar w/ auditory halucinations. We are in weekly therapy and seen by child psych monthly for med checks, but it's learning how to reparent that is EXHAUSTING!!!!!!

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Carol - posted on 12/18/2011

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God bless your family. 1st. get every book you can find on BP kids..read them and then throw them out! (or give them away) take what works for you and forget the rest...every child is different.
2. is was important to be very careful with meds. We found that any stimulant med was bad news....steroids also...benedryl would send my child into a full blown melt
3. Keep a food log...you'll be surprised how much eliminating different foods can help..my daughter triggered on peanut butter. Sugar is an absolute no no...it is a natural mood changer...bad for our kids (bad for any kid really but for ours it's REALLY bad) Not easy but once you eliminate sugar...life becomes sooooo much easier.
4. empower your child. You know he is going to melt. A lot of the melt comes from feeling "out of control"...so when he is calm explain to him that he CAN beat BP and HE can control some of what is going on....for example my child would cuss, hit, throw, and destroy everything around her...we tried putting her in a safe empty room but that only made her start to hit her head on the wall. One day I told her "I understand...you can't help this...I'm on your team and I will help but only YOU can control this BP monster. The next time he comes around YOU tell him no hitting, no throwing! YOU can cuss as loud as you want but, YOU will not let BP make you do things that hurt!" To this day, my child will stand on the stairs with her face red and hands in fists and cuss me out but she has never hit me, hurt herself or destroyed anything since. Sounds simple....it's not...but it is effective.
5. Let exercise be your childs best friend! Exercise releases natural endorphines....the very chemical our kids lack....the more they exercise..the better thier endorphines are. We built a simple obstacle course in the back yard with old tires, some rope..an old tree and a pull up bar made out of pipe. Whenever my DD starts to feel down...I challeng her to a race on the course. She wins of course!
6. In order for anything to work you as a family have to decide what are absolute 'NO's"...what are..50% "no's" and what are..."who the hell cares, as long as he's happy" no's. For us, what she eats is an absolute, exercising when she angry is an absolute, no hurting self or others is an absolute. What she wears is an example of a 50% no..meaning I may say no or I may say yes....a "who the hell cares' no what she wears at home, how late she sleeps on the weekend...things like that. Picking your battles is going to take on a whole new meaning to you!
7. NEVER react to a mood swing. Stay calm no matter what...my family laughs at me...one time I was knitting and a VCR went flying past my head...I never dropped a single stitch ;). Some one once told me to keep reminding myself that the melt down is halfway over and if I engage I will cause it to start from scratch. That was the single best piece of advice I ever got. The second was ignore the well meaning morons who start any sentence with "All you need to do is____________" they havent a clue!

Stephanie - posted on 02/11/2009

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hi everyone, reading the posts make me realize the many commanalities we share-I have a 16 yr. old son who was born 10 wks. preemie w/BPD. I knew immediately something was not right, he cried all day, all night, then went into the toddler years w/low frustration threshold and attention, also has developmental delays. Initially they said ADHD, then depression and anxiety, after many medication trials, stimulants and antidepressants which caused him to cycle rapidly, he was placed on Risperidal which helped control the emotional, angry outbursts. That was 4th grade. In Jr. High they agreed he was BPD and started Lithium. That helped w/stabilization but needed Lamictal cuz he's BPD mostly depressive, and Buspar for anxiety. As of recent we've finally gotten him off of Risperidal and on Abilify. His mood disorder has defined so much of his life and yet is not who he is. He is smart and so loving. He has an IEP, just passed 2 RCT tests!! yay, and we're still plugging along. It makes sense that our kids act out at home, at home they're safe and in school settings it takes all they can do to keep their pieces together, it's exhausting for them. It's like going to work all day w/an anxiety attack and having to act normal. My son knows that at no time is wrong choices and behavior acceptable. He's had to learn coping skills and given rewards and consequences for his actions. We've seen the police, dealt w/kids picking on him, he's mostly a loner and has social deficits, and pushed the school and Dr's hard to make sure he's receiving all and the best that can be offered. There is HOPE! it's a long emotional road but these kids will make it. I also have an ADHD son and a 4 yr old who is displaying signs of the same. My oldest seems to be currently stable, but boy do I know about the cravings for carbs!! One of the hardest pieces is that kids do not present symptoms as adults do making it hard for an accurate diagnosis. Also, only in the last years have the medical professionals understood that children can have BPD as young as in their toddler years. I've learned that consistency, following through, and endless love get these kids through. Would love to hear from other moms.....

[deleted account]

Craving carbs or sugar will preceed "an episode". If you want, I can find the article that relates the two. Do you see the uncontrollable urge before one? I got a small plastic trunk from WalMart and lock it. It's the treat box. Anything he can't have unsupervised goes in there. It's been a struggle.

Jennifer - posted on 02/11/2009

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Hi my name is Jennifer and I have an 11 1/2 year old son who is BP, OCD, and ADHD so I have been told. Been on many different meds and now is on Foclin, ritalin and Lamictal. I have been told what a smart polite child he is. At home is a different story. AM's are hell. he is out of control. then the meds kick in and all is well. He comes home from school and lets loose again! Medicate and things come down. He beats on his younger brother and mouths off to Dad and I. His temper is fierce and he is getting bigger and harder to control. I feel as if we need different meds but cant find new doctors. We live in NJ. Any help?

Oh and anyone else have a child that craves sugar? We can no longer keep any snack in the home. . .hide them he finds them. He hardly sleeps. . .wakes all hours searching for sugar or chips and such.

Any suggestions would be loved at this point! Thanks :)

Kris - posted on 02/10/2009

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Hi ladies - we are in our third week of biofeedback therapy - i have notice results after 2/3 visits so far - he has been having awesome days at school (aahhhh) - this morning when i dropped him off he went to his spot and sit down criss cross apple sauce waiting patiently - definitely a first - so i think we're already starting to see some results - the therapy lasts a while so we've only just begun but i am so ecstatic that we have found something to improve his behavior . . . KRIS

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Karen - posted on 02/18/2009

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Hi,



 



We have a 20year old with bipolar and I'm afraid that the constant monitoring never stops. They are still adjusting her meds every 6months. Once you adjust your expectations (which I know sounds cynical) life seems to get easier.

[deleted account]

My son is 13 and is Bi-Polar, and many more.. To learn to parent is so hard.. With my son I can tell when he is in a MOOD.. Once I see it, I try and back down for a little, and give him a chance to re-group.. Every child handles thnigs diff.. Sometimes my son will go to his room, and is able to re-group, and then others it goes so far as having to restrain him.. I take him to counselors, and some times it works, and then some it dont..  My son takes Risperdone, and abilify which seems to help, and then when he gets in a mood we give him visterill.. SP??

Jennifer - posted on 02/12/2009

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My son is on constant carb crave.  He also finds anything I hide.  If I am not careful he will eat nothing but carbs all day long.  I have to constantly watch him when he sneaks into the kitchen to make sure he is not snacking on junk.  I dont buy too many sweets but it is hard to get him to eat anything that is not carb, he will flat out refuse to eat...

Jennifer - posted on 02/12/2009

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My son is on constant carb crave.  He also finds anything I hide.  If I am not careful he will eat nothing but carbs all day long.  I have to constantly watch him when he sneaks into the kitchen to make sure he is not snacking on junk.  I dont buy too many sweets but it is hard to get him to eat anything that is not carb, he will flat out refuse to eat...

Jennifer - posted on 02/12/2009

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When it comes to the carbs do they hide them and the wrappers do they hide them . .. . he puts them under his bed , behind the couch . . . basically everywhere except the garbage can.



FYI . . My life is for this child. I became a PTO Pres at his school for 2 years just so I could keep an eye on him. He gets every available thing possible at school. . .counslking, xtra staff, test time, OT, and so on.

Vikki - posted on 02/10/2009

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That sounds promising.  I'll have to look into that for Nikolas.  Right now the only insurance we have for him is the Medi-Cal he gets from Disability, since my husband was unemployed for almost a year,  (which of course hardly anyone takes!)  I pay for the Psychiatrist out of pocket, but I have read a couple things about the biofeedback.  It definately looks like something to try.  Thanks for the update and info.

Jennifer - posted on 02/06/2009

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Well my son is polite and extremely smart.  They said bi-polar kids actually can be little geniuses.  I wouldnt completely disregard the possiblity.  I have been through many "possiblities" too and unfortunately bi-polar is a perfect match. 



My son is extremely close to me and very huggy but with me only....only the daycare sees the other side (the aggression) but he has always been very polite with his please, thank you, I apologize etc....just had zero impulse control.  I fought the medication for a long time and now he has been on medication for 2 weeks and it is the best thing that ever happened to him.  Night and day difference!!!!  He is happy, seems content, more playful, more inquisitive, more focused, finally socializing with peers and getting involved in group activities...so much more.  He has never been sleepy or look "drugged" on this medication...he actually seems to have more of a life now.



Im not trying to convince you or anyone about medication...only you as the parent can decide and believe me I know it is a tough one....just wanted to say it worked for my son.

Shannon - posted on 02/06/2009

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Hello..Wow I have finally found a "community" that has gone through what my family has gone through.  My son was diagnosed with depression, anxiety, agoraphobia, and OCD at age 5.  We have been through many different Psychiatrist who say it is Bipolar and it isn't.  "He is too smart and to polite to be bipolar."  They don't live with him.  He is now 11 and starting to go through puberty and the hormones are going crazy.  His grades are slipping and we are trying to figure out if it is a side effect of the Zyprexa he is on or what.  He was never diagnosed with ADHD, but his current psychiatrist said that most children with bipolar family history and being bipolar develope ADHD.  I don't want him on a medication that is going to make him more hyper than what he really is.  Sometimes it is so hard, my son goes through a manic or depressive stage, we get him through it and on the road to recovery, when my dad goes into an episode of mania.  Then also I have a brother with bipolar too, and everyone depends on me to support them.  I am not trying to feel sorry for myself, I just feel exhausted.  I work full time and have three other children.  I think I am going to end up in a psych ward myself.  Anyone have some advice?

Sue - posted on 02/05/2009

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Hi Jenn

Yes I beleive EKA does have kindergarten but I am not sure cause Mike started there in 6th grade. The Docs we've went to have all doen the same thing rule out bi-polar first and give it some other name. I finally proved a Doc wrong last year when the insisted on taking away Mike's Lamictal and giving him Cymbalta which threw him into the worst manic episode I have ever seen. It took a couple weeks to come back to norm after that of course we stopped the cymbalta and they gave back his Lamicatal plus Risperdal and Adderal XR for his ADHD. Supposedly anti-depressants have been known to throw a bi-polar person into a manic episode.

Hope this helps and sorry it has been a rough week.

Jennifer - posted on 02/04/2009

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Yeah that is the neurofeedback right?  I was doing that with my son too, but they didnt have the equipment to go with the lower frequencies and they told me they would let me know when they had it.  I have not heard anything in awhile so had to check into the medication.



I have not moved yet.  Actually dont know where I am moving yet.  Have to find a place soon before the foreclosure or short sale takes place.

Kris - posted on 02/04/2009

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Hi Jennifer - sorry it took me so long to get back to post - i am glad that the meds are helping - and that it has made such a huge difference in your son! I hope that you have found another place to live and that your move is/was smooth - maybe now that he is running on a more even flow things/changes won't be as traumatic -



We started jasun on EEG Brainwave biofeedback therapy a little over a week ago - he is going for his 3rd time today - it's quite interesting how it works - i could really tell a difference after the first session - not so much after 2nd session but they give you a form to fill out to try and monitor/track progress so they can adjust for best results if necessary - he is going again today so we will see how the rest of the week goes -



Well i hope all is going well - write back when you can and gimme an update - KRIS

Vikki - posted on 02/02/2009

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Hi Heather, my son, who is 9 now, was diagnosed at 5 with BPD about a year after his got the ADHD diagnosis.  He also had auditory hallucinations about 9 months back and it was hell for all of us.  He was put on Abilify for the BP, and we changed the Ritalin for Vyvanse for the ADHD and he also takes Depakote.  He gets his blood checked monthly.  I've found the best support, is the boards, websites (CABF, NAMI) , books  (especially The Bipolar Child, I have marked this one up so much!).  For us it's all trial and error, and it's really hard when you have one who is not "special needs" and thinks everything is unfair..  Good luck.   I won't say it gets easier, but if you have a lot of support and are informed it isn't as overwhelming.  Feel free to add me as a friend if you want.  Take care,



Vikki

Jennifer - posted on 02/02/2009

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I heard the charter schools in my area are for only accepting 2nd or 3rd graders no kindergarten.  The Dr you went to was he/she accepting HPN?  The one I just came in contact with seems to be doing well with the meds but wants to toss out the bi-polar diagnosis and look back into possible Aspergers.  They just dont care about the roller coaster they send these kids on.  Even his new therapist is making comments that she doesnt believe it is bi-polar.  Do people just shut down when they hear kids can have bi-polar?  I finally get a diagnosis after testing for everything including Aspergers, finally know what I am dealing with and no one wants to believe it.  Crazy!!!

Sue - posted on 02/02/2009

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HI Jennifer

I was living in Las Vegas and my son is 12 we found a decent Dr. that helped find a good mix of meds for our son. The school was horrible too many kids so I contacted EKA( public charter school) and our son was finally accepted. He did really well, they had smaller classroom sizes and the teachers were always in contact. We plan on moving back to Vegas in the summer and will re-enroll him in EKA again and the Bipolar foundation had a list of Dr.s and one of them is actually on our insurance list.

So, I hope I helped even a little. I remember last year when we moved out there I felt so isolated with him. HE became very manic and was way over stimulated. It took us quite a while to normalize again.

Sue (Mom aof a bipolar 12yr old)

Jennifer - posted on 02/01/2009

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I am sorry for not responding Kris, actually I thought I did but I am looking and guess not.  Things have been so crazy for me lately. 



My son has seen everyone from a ped, counselor, therapist, social workers, psychologist and psychiatrist.  The medications so far are doing remarkable changes to him in just one week.  I had to cut back on the last dose of risperdone because although this medication has never had a side effect of insomnia it was keeping my son up ALL night.  He is now down to 2 doses of risperdone and 2 doses of Adderall.  The school and daycare have given praise to the changes.  He is more focused than ever, getting involved with group activities.  They had a teacher one on one with him and that is no longer required.  He is night and day difference.  Talking more to me and even OTHER people, I even see him playing with toys now.  It is amazing he had tons of toys but would never touch them.  He still has little whiny episodes but has not thrown one tantrum.  I know there will still be days of struggle but for the first time I feel like I have my son back.  Of course I am watching him like a hawk on the meds, but I am thankful so far for this obvious miracle.



Now for the next step to find a new place to live.....I am surprised that he said he is fine with moving.  Normally that is such a traumatic thing for him but he told me he is fine.  He seems not just happy but content.

Alison - posted on 02/01/2009

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My son James has been diganoised with many different things. ODD, ADHD, Severe nonverbal Learning Disability, brain damage and a mild case of shaken baby syndrome. I have severe depression and family hisotry of Bipolarism. James is 8 years old and has espoised of sheer anger. HE will bite, kick, spit, throw objects, lie to get out of trouble or just when talking to you, make holes in walls. When the espoide is over with he is right back to normal as if it never happened. There comes this look over his eyes, kindof deamon like gasey eyes when it all happenes. The Police have been called out to control him and they needed 4 officers to restrain him and calm him down. He is on Respiderol1.5mg per day and Ritilan 20mg SR. I hope someone can shed some light for me as I really dont think he has all of the above diganoises, I am thinking it is Bipolar disorder. The school comments on it all the time, and I am at my wits end not knowing what to do any more. I am a single parent and my parents want to help me out but they can not control James as he has lashed out at them beating up my mother on a occasion, so basicly I am on my own not knowing what to do. Anyone who could give some advice its always welcome. Thanks Alison

Kim - posted on 01/26/2009

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My dauther (8 yrs old) was Dx'd with Bipolar Disorder and anxiety just 6 months ago. THe reason they were able to Dx her so quickly is because of family history. I have BP and so does my sister.



 My daughter was literally kicked out of kindergarten and thats when we started to get the ball rolling. We got the Child Study Team involved and they found that a smaller classroom setting would be best for her. It worked for awhile (she was placed in a school for emotionally disturbed children) but after about 2 yrs she was backsliding very rapidly.  So thats when I brought her to a Pdr and they put her on 4 mgs of Abilify. So far the medication seems to be working but there always days when she is just uncontrolable. I have 3 other children so its hard to deal with them and still try to be a good parent to Katie.



  One good place to get info is DBSA they have pamphlets and books on Bipolar disorder in children. I have gotten alot of support and encouragement from them. Also you can get a mood chart for free and its one of the best tools for me and her Dr to use to evaluate her and see what progress she is making. I strongly urge you to get one and start using it.



  If you ever need to talk feel free to email me at Angel4eva710@msn.com. I will try to help out the best I can.



Hugs and blessings



 Kym

Kris - posted on 01/23/2009

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Thanks for responding Jennifer. Is this your regular Pedi or a psychologist? Can you switch doctors? We lived on Maui for 7 years in a pretty desolate area so there was one pedi for our whole side of the island - she was a good dr. very attentive, would call me if necessary which i appreciate - but every time i brought anything up regarding behavior she would tell me that the kaiser doctors were terrible and so were the schools - so om what am i supposed to do? we moved over to oahu in august last year and there are a lot of doctors here - i tried to get in to this pedi who came highly recommended hoping to find someone that would actually take time to care and help me work on figuring some resolution out but she has a long waiting list so i never got him in - again i was so happy to find this woman who tries to treat without drugs - and im hoping the brainwave biofeedback will shed some light if there are additional issues that we can work on - it's gotta get better -



and i agree with you on your earlier post about double edged sword - i have learned to pick my battles because i feel horrible when i get mad at him for his behavior when i know that sometimes it is out of his control - also i feel bad because they monitor him at school and sometimes i feel it's unfair to punish him at home for his behavior at school since he's already been punished so to speak - i feel like he needs a clean slate at home and if he does something to deserve punishment so be it . . .



i am sorry to hear about having to give him meds - maybe you can start tomorrow so you can be with him and observe how he reacts to the meds over the weekend - you could always try and adjust dosage if it seems necessary.



Well have a good weekend - youll be in my thoughts and prayers KRIS

Carrie - posted on 01/23/2009

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We tried to avoid medication only to give in when my son was 5 and tearing up things at school and his social behavior was way off track for his age.  Between the ADHD and the bipolar, the medication is really helpful depending on the severity of the bipolar.  I am bipolar as well, and know that I need my medication daily. But also need therapy to go along with it.

Jennifer - posted on 01/22/2009

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I know what you are talking about Kris.  Even now that I have the diagnosis of bi-polar (FINALLY), I went to a new Dr tonight to discuss options and he through out the diagnosis after 2 min, refused to read it and said my son is ADHD.  He said bi-polar does not exist in kids and you can not possibly tell bi-polar until they are 18 but he will treat the symptoms.  Then he switched and said he thinks my son has Aspergers, and Asperger children can also have ADHD and bi-polar.  Everytime I tried to tell him I have been down this road he ignored me and just started talking over me. 



He made the decision to put him on respirdol for the mood swings and adderall for the hyperactivity.  I asked him first I heard if he is bi-polar adderall can send him over the edge and he said "yeah that's what the risperdol is for, if I wasnt giving that then yes it could make him go over the edge but if I only give the risperdol he will still be all over the place with the hyperactivity".  Then I asked if medication is necessary can we try the Abilify because first I hate medication but second I heard it is more gentle and wanted to ease into this.  He immediately jumped and said risperdone and abilify are the same.  I asked again because I heard risperdone is stronger.  He just kept cutting me off saying they are the same.  Now I am waiting for these prescriptions to be filled and I am a nervous wreck.  Wondering if the one will make him zombie like and or if the other one will send him soaring. 



I too am a single mom, and it scares me knowing I wont be there to be very careful to watch for signs.   I have to trust a daycare and school that they will be cautious with him.

Kris - posted on 01/22/2009

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tho my son has not been officially diagnosed, i am pretty sure that he has some symptoms of bipolarity and adhd - i am taking him to a psychologist this weekend re; adhd for brain biofeedback testing - and am hoping this will shed a little light - i am fearful that he is bipolar because it runs on his dad's side of the family - it makes me sad that he cannot control his actions and it gets him into trouble both at home and school - but i am hopeful to get some answers to help me deal with his constant tantrums and mood swings - he is a wonderful child very sweet and loving but he has a hard time controling his actions and emotions and it has been tough to deal with - i am a single mom and have been trying to get something figured out with his doctors for a while now - i am so glad i found this dr. who is drug-free in treatment - vs. his regular pedi trying to treat him for adhd prescribing drugs and not really doing any in depth research to diagnose the problem. i am glad i found this board and you moms - i'll let you know how the dr. went after we go this weekend. thanks for reading KRIS

Brenda - posted on 01/21/2009

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Wendy S.B.,

I don't know what it is with this illness that makes them want to come up with that they got a vasectomy, or in my case he told me that he had a low sperm count! so he couldn't have kids. I guess when your 17yrs old and naive on top of a my ex- being a master manipulator that is how I ended up pregnant the first time I ever had sex. Bipolar's are just mind boggling.

Wendy - posted on 01/21/2009

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Quoting Brenda:
They sure are master manipulators--My ex told me that he had a vacetomy after his divorce from his first wife. We were engaged after only two month of dating and stopped using pertection. I got preg. with kyle two weeks later. After i expressed my suprise to his mom and sister they both laughed and told me he was never fixed. they thought it was funny.




Wendy S.B., my ex-husband was bipolar (but I didn't figure it out til we put it together for my son's diagnoises) and he did the same things he lie's, and could be so convincing. They are master manipulators and my son does the same thing. But, with my son I can pretty much tell when he is lieing to me because the story's just don't add up or make any since. Wendy please don't give up in trying to instill good values but please don't be devistated if Kyle doesn't follow the good values becuase how incredibly complex Bipolar it really does its own thing with there heads. The only way they do the best is taking there meds when they are on there own becuase they are the first ones to say they are better and they don't need to take them any more then relapes. It is so crazy how this illness messes with their brains. I probably should have went to court and became power of attorney over my son's health care issues before he turned 18 but it is very difficult to help him when at the ages 18 to 25 they don't want to listen to mom anymore and I didn't want to be legally responsible for his actions when I had no control over him. He is now homeless and muches off of who ever will take him in. It is the hardest thing to not know where is and if he is ok but I can only pray the he keeps my phone number in his wallet so police or hospital can call me. With him not on meds right know I so worry about his temper toward someone that might piss him off. It just never ends the worring.





 

Brenda - posted on 01/19/2009

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Yes, you can add me as a friend. That is totally ok. I will try and be there and help as much as I can. I wll talk to John and pick his brain about the Las Vegas school district

Jennifer - posted on 01/19/2009

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Brenda, do you mind if I add you as a friend?  My email is jenniferhagiu@cox.net.  I really really appreciate the help.  I have family here yes, but they are unable to help me.  They are going through their own things and just one more stress factor is not possible.  Plus my sister-in-law is disabled so she can not handle his episodes for one and second she cant be off her medication long.  So really I am alone in this.  They try to help as much as they can but they cant really help much.



I see my son as a sweet boy, yeah he can be a handful and we have our trials.  Just breaks my heart knowing what I am headed into and I cant do anything.  It really hurts me when I hear people cant handle my son.  He is so loving to me.  My son has been rejected more in his 6 years than I have in 32 years.  I am really the only one that has been there since the beginning.

Brenda - posted on 01/19/2009

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Jennifer, you are on the right track to limit TV and Playstation. You don't want to let him play any games that have any fighting or violence in them no matter how inocent it may seem. It just encourages the behaviors. I was right there with you on trying to figure out what was a behavior that was his choice vs one that was in one of his episodes. But, sometimes if you can stand back for a sec and ask yourself is this seem like an out of control behavior (what was leading up to it or about how long it is lasting). Some other things that these kids can be sensitive to is being to hot or to cold. It can bring on episodes also. Do you have any relatives around that can help you out every once in a while? I have a class alumnus from high school who taught school in Las Vegas for several years. I will contact him and ask him if he know of any programs that the schools have that fits your son's needs. It might take me a few days but I will try and get ahold of my brother tomorrow to get this teachers phone number and I will call him. Also, I will find the title of a book I read about bipolar kids that helped me. I have a horrible time remebering titles, names ect.

Jennifer - posted on 01/19/2009

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Brenda,



I live in Las Vegas, NV and there is almost zero help here.  My son also went through the several diagnosis and his dad is bi-polar, master manipulator etc...everything stated here.  My son is already on that path.  I cant believe how easy it is for him to lie...actually easier to lie than tell the truth and I have heard some bizarre stories.  The aliens in his head told him to do it etc.  I will look up to find your suggestions.



My question on discipline.  I feel like it is a double edge sword.  If I let some things go because it is out of his "control" then he feels he gets away with it then even medication wont change the fact I trained him that way, but if I punish him when he is out of control then basically I am punishing him for something he cant control....I dont know what to do.  I still take away tv, playstation, etc when he does not listen at school, hits kids or teachers and everything else...but try to figure out where are the boundaries.



This site is awesome I have basically been doing this alone for 6 years (even when his dad was around he never cared enough to help) and the guilt of not knowing what to do or how to help, feeling like I was doing something wrong, then with the diagnosis felt I had been to hard on my son...etc.  Finally I am able to see I am not the only one out here.  Just reading here is like seeing a mirror image of my son and it helps reading what has helped others.



 

Vikki - posted on 01/19/2009

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My son (9) has both ADHD and Bipolar (diagnosed with the ADHD at 4 and the BPD at 5).  He has been hospitalized twice, the most recent, last April with the halluncinations, which scared the heck out me.   We have had to change meds so often it's a nightmare to keep up.  Then there is the parenting, learning to figure out the "can't" behavior vs. the "won't" behavior while having another child not understand why his brother doesn't "get in trouble" for things that he does....  Dealing with the school is a whole other issue.  It is exhausting, but I just make sure I have some "me" time, because if I'm a wreck, everything will fall apart too.  Good luck



 

Brenda - posted on 01/19/2009

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Wendy S.B., my ex-husband was bipolar (but I didn't figure it out til we put it together for my son's diagnoises) and he did the same things he lie's, and could be so convincing. They are master manipulators and my son does the same thing. But, with my son I can pretty much tell when he is lieing to me because the story's just don't add up or make any since. Wendy please don't give up in trying to instill good values but please don't be devistated if Kyle doesn't follow the good values becuase how incredibly complex Bipolar it really does its own thing with there heads. The only way they do the best is taking there meds when they are on there own becuase they are the first ones to say they are better and they don't need to take them any more then relapes. It is so crazy how this illness messes with their brains. I probably should have went to court and became power of attorney over my son's health care issues before he turned 18 but it is very difficult to help him when at the ages 18 to 25 they don't want to listen to mom anymore and I didn't want to be legally responsible for his actions when I had no control over him. He is now homeless and muches off of who ever will take him in. It is the hardest thing to not know where is and if he is ok but I can only pray the he keeps my phone number in his wallet so police or hospital can call me. With him not on meds right know I so worry about his temper toward someone that might piss him off. It just never ends the worring.

Wendy - posted on 01/19/2009

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omg. I am so sorry your family had to go through that. Kyle is 9 1/2 and luckily he hasn't shown any signs of sexual behavior. I am still a little apprehensive about having "the talk" with him. I wonder if it would just incourage his curiosity. He never plays with friends unless I am there except for when he is at school. I just hope he doesn't struggle with things like his bio father. He is a liar and a cheat. In the 6 years we were together I cought him with 12 different women. One of them even put my kids on a waiting list for daycare b/c he told her I wasn't in the picture and that he was a single dad. I only found out b/c I used to teach pre-school at the center she tried to enroll them in. I just pray that I can instill good values in kyle so he will never put anyone in the position i was in.

Brenda - posted on 01/19/2009

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Wendy S.D., It is very true that Bipolar can show signs of hyper-sexuality. My son started these signs at age 6 after he was abused by a 12 year old neighbor girl. This led to my having to give up my son to foster care for 4 years becuase the doctors did not help me with the correct diagnoises to get him the right help.

Brenda - posted on 01/19/2009

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Wendy Thatcher,

Boy, do I know about the laundry list of diagnoises that Dr.'s like to hand out and you wonder if they really want to take time to figure it out in the first place. My son, was givin all of those except for the ODD. You name it they gave it. Until, I found a phych.Counselor who did a 4 hour evaluation with my son (first full phych. eval in 12 1/2

years of misdiagnoises and med cocktails ect.) Then we found the right Diagnoises after all the years of strife.

Brenda - posted on 01/19/2009

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Jennifer, I understand were you are coming from with requard a ex-husband running and hiding from his responsiblities. This is a very stressful time for you and your son. I also, understand the not wanting to put your son on meds. Believe me after seeing how these meds effect them you wonder is it worth the price to get them through 6-8 hours of the day then have them sleep the rest. (That is how my son's was affected by risperdone) There is no easy answer with this disorder. What state do you live in? There maybe some programs available to BiPolar Children. Also, one other this to try is get the book "Eat Right 4 Your Blood Type Encyclopedia" This book help you choose foods that will work with his body and not against it - per his blood type. This book also has lots of other information that has work in my life. If you need any help trying to locate help just let me know through a private message or email me at bkutoo@yahoo.com I could do investigating for you and let you know what I find out.

Wendy - posted on 01/19/2009

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my son also has the diagnosis of PTSD or accute stress disorder from years of abuse from bio. father. He is also Bi polar and refuses to take meds. Now he isn't allowed near my kids, but it was a long drawn out battle. My ex's cousin ( also Bi polar) is in her 20's, and started stealing and cutting herself when she was about 15. I haven't talked to them in a few years, but last i heard they had her undercontroll. I hope you don't mind me suggesting this, but it is common for them to be extremly permiscuous. If she isn't already on birth controll it may be a good time for you and your husband to consider it.

[deleted account]

Hi there,



I have a 15 yo step-daughter, who has lived with her Dad and I since she was 7. I think it's almost standard (unfortunately) to start off with the Dx of ADHD, ODD. Our daughter has a list of diagnoses including BP disorder, Reactive Attachment D/O, severe PTSD, (from trauma from abusive bio-Mom) and suspected Aspergers Syndrome. It has been a roller coaster ride for us all. Medication, and I hate to say it, is almost a MUST for some. Most recently, our daughter has been having dissociative episodes and is severely self-injurious. She has had multiple hospitalizations to no avail. They just tell us that she is "chronic".



I am happy to find this group! Good luck to you all and I pray that you all find your comfort zone. We are still searching for ours.....

Wendy - posted on 01/18/2009

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Quoting Heather:

bipolar kids

I was hoping that anyone with a bipolar child around my son's age of 6- would be willing to give me any hints. He was diagnosed in 10/08 after being put on ADDERRAL for ADD. within 2 weekes he was in a full blown psychotic event and admitted to in house tx for bipolar w/ auditory halucinations. We are in weekly therapy and seen by child psych monthly for med checks, but it's learning how to reparent that is EXHAUSTING!!!!!!



my son was 31/2 when they told me he had ADHD. It sent him over the edge too. He was on concerta and then thought he could fly and about a million other crazy things. It took 3 Dr's and 4 different coctails to regulate his meds/  They wanted to institutionalize him and finally that is when i found Dr. # 3. Kyle is 9 now and really doing much better. His bevaviors are manageable, but he struggles in school. He has been held back twice, and has just returned to a regular school after being in a behavioral adjustment class for 3 years. I do not recomend it. I wish i had forced the school to keep him in our district 3 yrs. ago. The BA class was like glorified daycare. He didn't learn a thing.



As far as reparenting goes-- there is light at the end of the tunnel. There was always that question of weither or not i had punnished him for things he couldn't help. Now I know that I did the best i could with the information I had. It all takes time and a whole lot of patience. Little boys trust thier mom the most so he will prob. take it out on you if he is feeling uneasy about the changes he will go through. Just take a deep breath and remind him that you are on his side.

Jennifer - posted on 01/17/2009

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What I was told is ADHD/ADD, bi-polar and Aspergers looks identical in small children.  You dont really know until they are older and start to manifest the disorder unless it runs in the family.  They were able to tell the difference on my son because my son's father and paternal grandmother are both bi-polar.  That finally narrowed it down.  Unless there is something that really stands out for them they could possibly continue to misdiagnose until the child becomes a teenager that is when the symptoms begin to change.  This is just what I was told not sure what is true or not.  However a child with a bi-polar parent has a HIGH chance of having bi-polar.



Thank you Brenda for the advice.  I think I am starting to realize that medication is my only option.  I was just praying for a miracle that I would not have to put my son on those meds.  It also isnt fair for my son to continue to be rejected by everyone because he cant control himself.  I wish I could afford private school unfortunately with my ex-husband hiding from the court, not receiving a penny for help and paying all the medical that is not covered by my insurance...I am now facing foreclosure and have no idea what I will do next.  Private school is really not an option for me right now. 

Robin - posted on 01/17/2009

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How did you know this and what did you realize with this illness? I am curious? My son has Sensory Processing Disorder as of now. We are looking at getting him tested but his behavior changes so much I do now know anything about anything...and it runs in our family.

Brenda - posted on 01/17/2009

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Jennifer, with my experiences with my son I went through hell and back for 12 1/2 years before I finally got the Bipolar diagnoises. I have not seen any studies done on neuro-feedback for Bipolar, I have heard of great successes for ADD/ADHD. I would look into medication for your son like Abilify first to see if you see a difference. If he does go into anger or phychotic episodes I would have some Risperdone around that will take effect immediately to calm him down. If you don't get him on some kind of medication he will probably not be able to stay in school becuase there is way to much stimulus for him. I would try and find a small school possibly private if you can that will work with you. Depending on the state that you live in is how hard the task may be.

Jennifer - posted on 01/14/2009

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My 6 year old son was finally diagnosed with bi-polar after being "kicked out" of 7 daycares in 3 years.  Every daycare said they adore him just can not control him.  I am a single mom and can not find any assistance.  I am always turned down for assistance because I have a decent job.  I went through possible ADHD to Aspergers to ODD to finally bi-polar.   The school removed him from special ed because he is so far advanced educational wise and they do not see any possibility of bi-polar.  They said they have never seen an issue but the daycare before and after kindergarten has tried everything to work with him and once again they cant control him.  Even have someone working one on one with him.



 



I can control him when it is just me.  He is only close to me and his Aunt everyone else he keeps his distance.  Begs for friends but if they just want to play with someone else he gets angry and said they betrayed him.  Everyone sees he is such a sweet kid but I seem to be the only one able to handle him.  Believe me he has his tantrums with me too but not even close to what the daycares have seen.



I really need to get him into all day kindergarten but with the cut backs and the fact that they have not had any issues I am not sure they will help him.  Which means soon he will be in ANOTHER daycare.  I have no idea where to go now or what to do.  I am in contact with some people with a few ideas but it is always helpful to hear from other moms in the same situation.  Maybe something that worked for you can help us.  My son is not on medication and I was trying to help him without it through neuro-feedback but they have not been able to see him recently. 

Brenda - posted on 01/14/2009

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I am a mother of a 18 year old but what I have learned that NO BIPOLAR child should ever be put on Adderrall. It make them act out even more. You need to try Risperdone start with very small doses like .25mg and work up slowly. Unfortunitly, the psychotic drugs make these kids so sleepy. It's really sad that there isn't a drug out there for these kids that doesn't make them sleep so much. But, through my experiences structure, diet and the correct meds make's it a bit easier but still Bipolar is one of the hardest to deal with on a day to day basis. I encourage you to find a suport system that can give you a break becuase it will wear you down so fast and it take all the patience one has to work with these childrens and more so if they are yours. Good Luck!

Kristen - posted on 01/14/2009

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My daughter is 12 now but was diagnosed with bipolar / ADHD about 6 years ago.  We went through many hoptilizations and med adjustments.  A year and a half ago they didn't think my daughter should be in public school anymore, but now she has been mainstreamed fully into a regular class and even made the honor roll.  One of the things that helped was a parenting class offered by selpa (part of the school system) that was geared for special needs children it was called clinical parent training.  I did have to fight hard to get what my child needed at school, but it has been worth it.  We are still learning and it is still exhausting, but not hopeless. 

Becky - posted on 01/13/2009

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Hello..My son is 7 and was diagnosed with ADHD in 06 then diagnosed with bipolar in 08. It is very exhausting learning to be a new parent for one child. He is in weekly therapy, child pysch every other month plus school counselor every 2 weeks. Then last week we started child-parent-relationship-therapy, which I suggest for you strongly. I can already tell a difference. Before this new therapy I was at my wit ends with my son. When he would go into one of his moods, I would lose myself and think I was a bad parent. Remember its not your fault that your son acts the way he does. I was hoping I would find sone hints on parenting here also. I hope I helped you somewhat. ~B

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