My 5yr old daughter has been diagnosed w/ bipolar and early stage schizophrenia...

Effie - posted on 07/14/2010 ( 12 moms have responded )




Anybody else have a child w/ these disorders that can offer support and advise. She was actually diagnosed last Nov. but I find myself having days that are impossible to deal w/ her constant antics. Any advise or suggestions would be great.


Andrea - posted on 07/15/2010




My daughter was diagnosed with bipolar when she was 7. We knew she wasn't the typical kids for years actually I always called terrible two terrible 12 months because her started then. It wasn't till I had more kids and my friends started having kids that I realized her tantrum were not of the normal child. I haven't done a whole lot of reading on schizophrenia but I have bipolar. Her diagnose was kind force or tip of the hand if you will. We had many many issue with her and school and finally they told use that we had to do something or they will. That night she was checked in the hospital to get checked she came out with the diagnose bipolar. As far schizophrenia that very very odd. My daughter dad side of the family has a history of schizophrenia, two of he uncles that were schizophic ended up killing then selves. Some people with bipolar can have traits of schizophernia with out having schizophernia, including hallucinations and thought of death. When a adult being manic-depressive the tend to cycle every few months from being manic or depressive for a long period of time. When a child exspecially younger they are cycle back and forth many times a day causing them to be more unpredictable. Any way the family history of schizophrenia is there for my daughter and they said they would never consider testing her till in her late teens. My daughter had been on many different bipolar meds and even Antipsychotic's. I would get a second opinion I'm not saying you don't know your child or you dr isn't a good one. I just know even though these medicine help to a certain point the side effect are not pleasant. She is 11 now and it's taken this many year to get her med's right. We have had to detox her a couple time to start all over again. My daughter does not know she bipolar she know's what behavior each of the med's helps with. To many people like to judge we don't want her to be singled out because of her diagnose exspecially when she becomes a teen. I will also say we get her reevaluated every year because she was diagnosed so young. Check and see if there are any suporrt group in your area it help to have someone that understand to talk to. We went throw a class a few years back in how to handle certain behaviors.

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Margaret - posted on 10/14/2012




REALLY strongly recommend you do research into food allergies. five and a half is early for this diagnosis, and food allergies are so much at the root of most of the behavior issues these days. Our family has a heavy diagnosis of temporal lobe epilepsy for my husband, and I had a label of schizo-affective disorder in pregnancy of first son, but it is all related to food allergies and possible seizures in a limited area of the brain (not grand mal seizures with muscle twitching and all that, just behavior symptoms from a part of brain seizing up.)

The two resources you could look up are a youtube video on food allergies and kids between Doris Rapp and Phil Donahue, which shows kids having reactions, and the GAPS diet ladies also on youtube. Look up Natasha Cambell-Smith or GAPS diet on Youtube to learn more. Basically avoiding food allergy foods, for us wheat, eggs and dairy, and then having a higher fat diet for brain health and way upping probiotics. If we as moms have had a lot of antibiotics, if our kids are c-section or had a lot of antiviotics, they are at risk for food allergies from not having a strong enough gut to withstand the onslaught of yeast in their intestines, toxins from vaccines, environmental toxins, artificial ingredients, etc.

Look up the Feingold Society on the web as well. They specialize in behavior issues and kids with food allergies that are undiagnosed, and they have a way of helping these kids.

Finally some kids are so allergic they need treatment, and I know very littel about that. I do know, however, that I was a sick kid, eventually had allergy shots, had adrenal and thyroid fatigue in college and ot this day undiagnosed for man yyears, and it caused OCD symptoms, schizo symptoms, hallucinations, seizure like symptoms, and all went away with food allergy avoidance, hormone replacement for adrenal and thyroid and pituitary, and I know my kids all suffer as well and are better avoiding foods allergic to.

i wish you the best of hope, in Jesus I pray for this as I am a Christian, and I will trust God with you and your daughter as you seek help. Do not limit yourself to pharmaceutical treatments or believe that your daughter is this or that label without looking into all the food allergy options first, though. It can be a real trap and never ever treat the underlying cause, which can worsen if not treated. I believe almost all kids today are helped with this treatment.

Also, before I went into the psychiatric thing totally I'd get a brain scan with one of the Dr. Amen related/referral doctors. Look him up on the web as well, they use a SPECT scan to measure blood flow in the brain to target medications better. My husband thought he had bi-polar II until his scan revealed Temporal Lobe Epilepsy which had spilled into his frontal lobe, and he has had better success with the medication given as a result of that: from bi-polar meds to anti-seizure medications and anti-depressants. He's off the AD now, at his own hand, and it's a bit of a nightmare for me, as I'm expecting baby number 6 and cna't live alone with him like this, have to be at parents' house for now. Anyway, get her a variety of helps and don't just stick with what the docs say until you get the scan and try the food allergy diets, it will really help. I just don't believe kids can have all that without there being a food allergy or reaction of some type, or a seizure issue as well. Take care, MB

Trying To Find Belp For My 7yr Old - posted on 10/10/2012




MY daughter was diagnosed January as bi polar, and paranoid schizophrenia, as well as adhd, its a up and down roller Coster ride everyday, with the major UPS and downs of bi polar, as well as the outages, anxiety, and extreme paranoia, sometimes, she refusees to eat because, her aditory hallusinations, she calls them her "bad people", tell her her food is poisoned, or won't sleep because she is convenced monsters are in her blankets, or under her bed, she rarely sleeps, she is violent, and has been hospitalized twice, and we have tried most "approved" meds with no luck so far. So I know just how hard things can be.

User - posted on 07/15/2010




I am a child/adolescent therapist who works with mentally ill children DAILY, and I suggest you get a second opinion. According to the American Psychological Association, it is unethical to lable children with these extreme disorders until after they have at least went through puberty....most psychiatrist won't use these labels till at least young adulthood. Your child may very well have a disorder, but it is more likely a mood disorder, and this could be caused by a number of things, i.e. change in environment, chemistry in the brain changing, diet, etc. You psychiatrist more than likely prescribed medication, but you should know that medication use in children, when NOT combined with therapy, is less than 30% effective. No child should be taking medication with out also attending therapy because the therapist can do medicaiton monitoring on the effectiveness of the medicaiton and teach the child new coping skills that they can utilize in their everyday life. PLEASE don't accept these labels that have been placed on your other help if you psychiatrist is unwilling to change them. This is absoultely crazy that a 5 year old has been diagnosed with this and it makes me furious...this is why people have such low faith in the mental health system. Also, schizophrenia normally appears around puberty....look at the DSM-IV for criteria needing to be met for these diagnoses....Hope this helps.

Effie - posted on 07/15/2010




thanks Sheila! When I finally got a diagnoses I was actually not surprised as I had my own suspician just by the research I had done on my own. Thanks Jodi for the article but, unfortunately it was just another confirmation that diagnoses was correct. We do not label her- in fact she doesn't even know that she has a disorder. She knows that she takes meds but she doesn't not for what we've just told her it helps her to feel better. I wish it was just explosive tantrums and a vivid imagination but with her its so much more. It's notstop unpredictability, we never know what child we're getting when she wakes up in the morning. She make and attempts death threats on herself and others, wanders away from the house- almost seems lost in her own world, is extremely intelligent, very mean and aggressive, emotional and then very happy and quirky, she seeks all the attention for herself and is never satisfied. She has nightmares and hallucinations and pretty much loses it when anyone interferes w/ whatever she has planned. She has always been high maintanence ever since she was a baby. Those are just a few of the symptoms that she displays.

Sheila - posted on 07/15/2010




well my 9 year old was diagnosed with biplor at age 7 we have gotten 3 different opinions he is now on medication he is better it is really hard on him same as the parent all we can do as parents is be there for the child we adopted my 9 year old when he was 5 weeks old i had never even been around anyone with bipolar we have learned to cope and with the med it gets better i dont like the fact he takes the meds but what ever will help him is what matter

Michelle - posted on 07/14/2010




Definitely get that second opinion I was told by my son Child psychiatrist (my second opinion) that there was no way my child at age 4 could be diagnosed with bi polar because it develops in early puberty around the age of 12-13...many disorders such as ADHD and ODD have the same characteristics as bi polar.....I don't know much about schizophrenia but I tend to believe that at age 5 your child has a great please seek out a different dr. take her to see a pediatric psychiatrist and get an accurate diagnosis

Jodi - posted on 07/14/2010




Effie, I don't know a lot about it, but this is an interesting article on diagnosis of bipolar in children, and the lifetime label, etc. So I guess, after reading your posts, I can see why you need to be careful with this diagnosis.

Anyway, I just thought you may find the article informative :)

Effie - posted on 07/14/2010




well, I'd like to say that this was her first opinion but it's not. When she was 3 she was seen by a neurologist who diagnesed her w/ Sensory Integration Dysfunction and OCD. The Occupational Therapist who evaluated her confermed this. She began OT for 1 yr and then transferred over to Dance. She then began even more strange behaviors to that I brought to her pediatricians attention and he suspected but referred me to her psycologist (which was a challange to find one who would see a child her age.) Her psycologist has been consulting w/ others in her field as apparently my daughters behaviors are very fascinating. She has been recieving medication since then to control some of the behaviors but her Dr. is very cautious because of her age.

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I'd definately seek a second opinion. Bi-polar can usually only be diagnosed for definite during or after puberty. Schizophrenia can in very rare cases affect young children but for females the average age of onset is 30 years old. It would be highly unlikely that at 5 years old she would have one of these conditions nevermind both. If the second opinion confirms it all you can do is be there for her and consider medications if there are any available.

Victoria - posted on 07/14/2010




I also suggest second and even third opinions, one from a neurologist if possible. I've heard of children being diagnosed and finding out that it was hyperactivity or even add possibly sometimes ocd. Remember that some doctors are really, really all about the amount of money they can make off you and find some one you can really rely on to get personal with you about your child. I'm often seeing doctors due to the fact I'm epileptic, and now on top of that I'm pregnant. I prefer to find doctors whom will laugh with me, and talk to me then and there about solutions to problems, especially at home solutions that don't include drugs.

Lyndsay - posted on 07/14/2010




Wow, its really rare to have a diagnosis that young. Personally I would be seeking a second opinion... those are usually adult-onset disorders and the medications available for them can be really harmful to children. Just stick by her and don't give up... since she's still at a young and very active age, her behaviours may mellow out with time. (Then again, maybe not.) Good luck to you both!

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