Need help with my son's mood swings

Linda - posted on 06/07/2010 ( 11 moms have responded )

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My seven year old son has been diagnosed as having ADHD. He has had seizures since he was two months old. The latest problem we have noticed and the schools have noticed are his mood swings. He is happy and playing one minute and in tears bawling a minute later. If we ask him what is wrong he says he doesn't know. He complains that his head hurts a lot and of a stomachache but at the doctors they aren't doing anything about this. I set him up at counseling but it seemed even there that my concerns got pushed aside with the label ADHD. I am so frustrated not knowing what to do because I believe he needs medicine for some psych issues. He also throws lots of temper tantrums,throws things,hits other kids. He doesn't see that kind of thing at home so he isn't doing learned behavior. Any advice? Another counseling agency diagnosed PDD-NOS unofficially but his neurologist won't even think about that because he says our son shows too much emotion to be autistic.

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Julie - posted on 06/18/2010

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Did you know about twice exceptionality? Instead of thinking that something is negative ex. I see a lot of posts about mental health illnesses, ADHD, things that the doctors will prescribe medication for ....has anyone considered the opposite? Children aren't acting this way because of something that is wrong physically but are acting this way because their needs (cognitive, emotional, psychological) aren't being met which are creating the physical symptoms (stomach and headaches (psychosomatic symptoms). Children with learning disabilities sometimes are very talented and gifted individuals, but that aspect of their lives are overlooked because they are already labeled as "disabled". If you were overlooked, ignored, invisible, frustrated, bullied, etc. and kept trying to be heard and no one listened but passed you off as hyper/down, or increased your meds, or said you needed to "be controlled", just different, etc. instead of talking to you to find out what was going on, wouldn't you act out? Medication should NEVER be the first choice. Talking to the person, whatever their age and advocating for that person should be the first line of treatment. In school, when students came to see me in the health room, if they really were not sick, it was because something was happening at school with students, teachers, or classwork or something was happening at home and they needed a break because their body finally couldn't handle it anymore. I'd find I'd have more visits in the morning, during math and after lunch and around the holidays. Talking to students, not telling them what to do, etc. helps them. I'd stay away from the word control. Who likes to be controlled anyway - other than the person who is doing the controlling, which could be an abuser.
Anyone with a learning disability is at risk for all sorts of abuse and not even know they have experienced it.

Renee - posted on 06/09/2010

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Did you do know mood disorders like bipolar are common with Epilepsy?Tegretol and Depakote are used to treat bipolar.Tegretol helps with aggression.Ask his neuro about trying one of them for seizures and see if it helps his moods.Ask for physciatric referral too.

Dana - posted on 06/09/2010

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My 9 yr old son has the same anger issues. He has Tourettes Syndrome and recently was diagnosed with ADHD. He also has a mild intellectual disability so he is 2 or 3 years behind mentally. He also can be happy and loving one minute and then either crying or in an anger rage the next minute. We never knew what would set him off, but we are slowly learning some of his triggers...such as the dogs barking. This only happens at home, his teachers say he is a great, well behaved child in school! His pediatric neurologist put him on Intuniv for his ADHD (also in the hopes that the side affects would help his Tourette's issues). I have to tell you, the medicine has worked in helping his meltdowns. He used to have so many that we couldn't count how many he had in a day, now he is down to a manageable amount of meltdowns. Now we just need to teach him how to handle his feelings better. He's in group counseling with kids his age with similiar issues and he loves it!
My son also has complained alot about stomach issues (even before the medicine) and has mentioned that he feels nervous alot. I'll mention it to the doctor on our next appt. but I do think the stomach and headaches could be stress/anxiety related. My niece had stomach pain alot and had all kinds of tests done only to find out it was anxiety. She was put on a mild anxiety medicine and has been pain free ever since.
Keep in mind that the hyper-active part of ADHD causes so many thoughts and emotions to just go flying all over the place! Their minds are so hyper that it must be hard to keep all their feelings under control. At least that's what I got out of how our doctor tried to explain it.

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Kathie - posted on 03/22/2011

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Change counselors. Sometimes it can take awhile to find one that you feel comfortable with. We have found a good one and I notice a difference. My son has adhd with distractability. He also has dyslexia and apraxia so he gets frutrated often and easily. She has done wonders. He didn't go for a month because changing insurance and I could tell the difference, so glad to be back. If they are just blowing you off, trust your instincts and find someone else.

Ann - posted on 03/21/2011

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sounds familiar. my son had those behaviours at 7 then the emotions turned to rages and we still dont have a diagnosis. altho aspergers was mentioned by a few this was refused by the doctor. all i can say is keep pushing keep complaining and dont give up. i no how exhausting it can be. do you have a resourse worked? they will work with you and the school to help manage his behaviors. it sounds to me and im no doctor but it sounds possible that his headaches etc could be sensory. my son is affected by load noises, change in temperature, the stress and anxiety causes headaches, and sometimes erratic and unacceptable behaviour . iv set up a little corner in my sons room with light and a radio and teddies cussions. its his retreat when he needs a break or time out its took a lot of time but his behaviour has got better now that hes got used to using it. oh my son also often doesnt no whats wrong or why he feels the way he does thats when they get they ca a little frightened. by making then a placethey can feel same it helps them to overcome and get over the feeling. hope iv been of some help.

Lisa - posted on 03/17/2011

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have your son Thyroid test its just a blood test my son is the same and we had him tested a he had a high Thyroid level gl

Julie - posted on 03/15/2011

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Have you tried checking out the www.fda.gov, www.nih.gov, and the www.cdc.gov websites? They will usually have links to articles and associations so you can find more information, plus if you don't already have a med book, you can look up the meds. How are his thyroid levels - TSH, free T3, free t4, and thyroid autoantibodies (blood test)? Has he complained of headaches, dizziness, numbness/tingling, chest pain, heart beating fast / irregular? Just by looking at the side effects of clonidine it looks like it effects the thyroid gland which controls heart rate, sleep, appetite, metabolic rates, mood, hormone levels - affects skin, hair, blood circulation, growth/healing, etc., etc. . Only your dr. can figure out what's going on, but please keep records of what you are noticing, when, etc. to see if you can figure out if it correlates with anything specific (school related, not sleeping, dealing with diagnosis, meds, bored in school?, being bullied?, combination of things?) Talk with your son and ask him to tell you about his day. Good luck.

Betty - posted on 03/02/2011

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We are having some of the same issues. My 7 year old son was just diagnosed with tourettes, a sleeping disorder and showing signs of ADHD. He has been on Clonidine since Sept. and doctor want to try Strattera but I dont like some of the side effects that are listed on the web site. Think I want to try Intuniv and cut back the clonidine. We are having mood swings and crying alot. Clonidine helps but also says his stomache hurts. Also started complaining about one spot on top of his head that hurts? Dont know what to do next. There is not too much info out there?

Heather - posted on 06/07/2010

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What meds is he on? A lot of meds can cause mood swings, head and/or stomach pain.

[deleted account]

find new doctors right away! Look for a developmental pediatrician who specializes in working with kids with special needs. Ditto for your neurologist. Unfortunately professionals aren't always trained to diagnose developmental or mental health disorders. Call your local Children's Hospital for referrals. You can also contact your federally mandated parent training and information agency, which serves to inform parents about drs, help with school issues, legal issues, etc. You can find yours at www.nichcy.org, click on state resources and then click on your state. Scroll down to Organizations for Parents. If you have trouble finding it, send me a message with your state and I'll find it for you.
take care, Susan

Iridescent - posted on 06/07/2010

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Showing emotion does not exclude autism, but if there is any doubt, find an autism clinic that is trained in performing the ADOS test. Have you brought him to the doctor to rule out a physical cause for his pain? Chronic headaches/migraines and stomachaches do go along with other actual physical disorders, and if you were in fairly constant pain, you'd have every one of the psychological symptoms he's displaying as well. I know I would (and do when I feel ill).

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