Biopolar Diagnosis

Marlene - posted on 06/25/2009 ( 12 moms have responded )

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My daughter is 7 and has been diagnosed with Bi-Polar, the doctor just had me fill out a questionaire & looked at her (for 5 min) and said she was bi-polar, she's now on a very strong medicine Lamactin 200mg; how was your child diagnosed? What medicine are they on? Is it working for you? Do you have a doctor who treats side-effects of the medication with more medication?? (If you'd like to keep your answer private please send me a private message) I'm trying hard to understand this diagnosis. Thank you for your help.

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Abby - posted on 06/25/2009

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I would get a second opinion, because I know many people who were wrongly diagnosed as bi-polar just so the doctors could make money from therapy and medication. It should NEVER take less than an hour to diagnose a bi-polar person, especially a child. Good luck!!

Marlene - posted on 06/25/2009

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Quoting Kelly:

Honestly I started seeing signs of problems with my daughter at about 6 or 7. She eventually got a diagnosis of ADHD, then years later depression, then finally we got the bipolar diagnosis when she was about 15. I honestly wish that we had gotten the diagnosis a lot earlier as she developed lots of bad habits (social and educational) that we may have been able to avoid had we had the right diagnosis years earlier. But being that everyone shows different signs and bipolar shows itself differently in a child vs a teen vs an adult, it is very hard to diagnose them young. I know they are trying to get better at diagnosing early onset but it is not easy as in young ones the symptoms are similar to so many other disorders including ADHD.

My daughter has been treated for bipolar with Seroquel. Then she was moved to Abilify. The Abilify did not seem to be working well enough alone and Lamictal was added. This combo worked wonders for her. I know this is out of range for you at the moment but, she then decided to become sexually active and we put her on birth control. The bc and the Lamictal can counter act each other. We chose to take her off of the Lamictal because the last thing she needed was a baby at 17. We have been struggling to get the meds right ever since. Currently she is taking Abilify 20mg and Topiramate 25mg. Her psychiatrist is looking to wean her off of the Abilify, not really sure why.. will be asking at her next appointment. But this combination of meds is doing ok for her but not as well as I would like and not as good as she was on Abilify and Lamictal.

Good luck with your daughter!


Thank you for the information, I want her to have the help she needs but I just thought (and heard) that doctors actually take the time to get to know the patients before prescribing the medications .. I hope things turn around for your daughter, I know getting the right diagnosis is so hard when they are younger.

Marlene - posted on 06/25/2009

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Quoting Kate:

I would take her to a psychologist and get a full work up. They need to look at her entire medical history, talk to her privately, talk to you and your husband, etc. Then they need to explore non-drug treatment options as well, such as counseling. This sounds very irresponsible, especially for a young child who is now being given strong medicine. I would get a second opinion absolutely and demand a full evaluation.


They absolutely did not do this.  I have contacted another doctor, I thought maybe I was wrong, I am so new to all of this, I appreciate your help!!!

Marlene - posted on 06/25/2009

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Thank you, the doctor has only seen her for about 5-10 minutes at a time, I did an evaluation sheet but if I did the questions on the sheet I would be Bi-Polar too .. she keeps say she sees her "cycling" but whenever we are in there she's quiet and the doctor never talks to them. I have made an appt with another doctor and will speak with her before I make the appointment; thank you everyone for your help!!

Beth - posted on 06/25/2009

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She should have a psychiatric evaluation. This should take a licensed psychologist at least an hour and a half. Also, I have been told that you cannot diagnose a child with bi-polar before they have a chance to form a personality since it is a personality disorder. This does not usually happen until early teen years (since children are constantly changing). I will certainly get a second opinion.

Kate - posted on 06/25/2009

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I would take her to a psychologist and get a full work up. They need to look at her entire medical history, talk to her privately, talk to you and your husband, etc. Then they need to explore non-drug treatment options as well, such as counseling. This sounds very irresponsible, especially for a young child who is now being given strong medicine. I would get a second opinion absolutely and demand a full evaluation.

Kelly - posted on 06/25/2009

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Honestly I started seeing signs of problems with my daughter at about 6 or 7. She eventually got a diagnosis of ADHD, then years later depression, then finally we got the bipolar diagnosis when she was about 15. I honestly wish that we had gotten the diagnosis a lot earlier as she developed lots of bad habits (social and educational) that we may have been able to avoid had we had the right diagnosis years earlier. But being that everyone shows different signs and bipolar shows itself differently in a child vs a teen vs an adult, it is very hard to diagnose them young. I know they are trying to get better at diagnosing early onset but it is not easy as in young ones the symptoms are similar to so many other disorders including ADHD.

My daughter has been treated for bipolar with Seroquel. Then she was moved to Abilify. The Abilify did not seem to be working well enough alone and Lamictal was added. This combo worked wonders for her. I know this is out of range for you at the moment but, she then decided to become sexually active and we put her on birth control. The bc and the Lamictal can counter act each other. We chose to take her off of the Lamictal because the last thing she needed was a baby at 17. We have been struggling to get the meds right ever since. Currently she is taking Abilify 20mg and Topiramate 25mg. Her psychiatrist is looking to wean her off of the Abilify, not really sure why.. will be asking at her next appointment. But this combination of meds is doing ok for her but not as well as I would like and not as good as she was on Abilify and Lamictal.

Good luck with your daughter!

Stephani - posted on 06/25/2009

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take her to another doc.. it is nearly impossible to diagnose kids with bipolar and the fact the he saw her once and did a questionnaire is crazy. I'm bi-polar and i wasn't diagnosed until i was 17 almost 18 and that was after two other diagnoses. please please take her off the med and take her to multiple doctors. bi-polar is hereditary, is there even anybody else that has it...feel free to private message me if you would like to talk more.

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