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Symptoms of bi-polar disorder in baby?

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Hello,

My husband has recently been diagnosed with bi-polar II. We have a 9 month old baby and I am afraid it will be passed down to him. Are there early signs that I should be on the lookout for? What are they? If he exhibits any of these signs what do I do?

Thankyou
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First Helper tryintohelp
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replied June 3rd, 2008
Supporter
No sane doctor is going to diagnose a 9 month old baby for bipolar disorder. This is a disorder mostly diagnosed to individuals AFTER puberty has come.
Ask your baby's pediatrician what symptoms to look for and when. You can also ask the doctor about the link between heredity and bipolar, if one exists.
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replied June 3rd, 2008
Extremely eHealthy
I am going to respectfully disagree with the above post. Bipolar disorder is diagnosed in children. This is usually in school age children but has been diagnosed in preschool age children. I do agree with Marianne's post in that diagnosing a baby is probably not going to happen. Furthermore, treatment includes medications that have not been used in the pediatric population in children that young. There are not any clear cut symptoms in a baby that you can refer to that may indicate bipolar disorder.

As for your baby having bipolar disorder, the chance is there. It is greater if both sides of the family have history of bipolar disorder.

Try to relax. Enjoy your baby. You can not change the genetic code and prevent any disorders. Try not to worry about this too much. Many people that have bipolar disorder have children that never develop the disorder.
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replied June 3rd, 2008
Supporter
antigone wrote:
I am going to respectfully disagree with the above post. Bipolar disorder is diagnosed in children. This is usually in school age children but has been diagnosed in preschool age children. I do agree with Marianne's post in that diagnosing a baby is probably not going to happen. Furthermore, treatment includes medications that have not been used in the pediatric population in children that young. There are not any clear cut symptoms in a baby that you can refer to that may indicate bipolar disorder.

As for your baby having bipolar disorder, the chance is there. It is greater if both sides of the family have history of bipolar disorder.

Try to relax. Enjoy your baby. You can not change the genetic code and prevent any disorders. Try not to worry about this too much. Many people that have bipolar disorder have children that never develop the disorder.


I'm no expert on bipolar disorder, that's why my advice was to ask her child's pediatrician. Wink
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replied June 4th, 2008
Especially eHealthy
Remember this- though genetics will make your baby more likely to have bipolar disorder than another baby,

your baby still most likely does not have it, and will not have it.

Bipolar can occur in children, but more often occurs in later adolescence. Don't worry about it unless you start seeing problems, and even if you do notice problems, don't assume right away that they are due to bipolar disorder.
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replied June 25th, 2008
Yes, it is believed that bipolar disorder is hereditary, but there is no need to panic! Just keep a close eye on your child. One thing to bear in mind is that bipolar disorder is often mis-diagnosed as ADHD and ADD in school-age children. I remember, when I was little, that I used to go through whirlwind bouts of hyperactivity that used to puzzle my Mum!

The teenage years are crucial, as this is often the stage where symptoms first appear. I, for example, noticed depression really setting in about age 15 and psychosis a few years after that. Also, if your child endures a particularly traumatic event, watch for symptoms. As your child gets older, be open about what bipolar disorder is all about to foster a safe environment for him to talk about any depression/mania or other things that may crop up.

In the meantime, relax and enjoy your gorgeous new bub! Smile

EDIT: FYI, bipolar disorder is strongly prevalent in my family.
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replied June 27th, 2008
I disigree with antigone
Did anyone happen to catch the segment on CBS of how drug companies are paying doctors to diagnose and treat children for bipolarism? If not....7 years ago there were close to 20,000 kids diagnosed with a mental illness...now that number is well over 800,000. These doctors are getting bombarded by drug reps trying to find new markets to sell their drugs.

Are we willing to sell out our kids for their bottom dollar? Bipolar symptoms tend to develop in later adolescents and most often don't require treatment until in their late 20's. The latest trend of saying our kids need to be treated with heavy psychotics is ludicrous. Not only do the medications have a long lasting effect, but the peer pressure of growing up labeled as mentally ill doesn't add to ones self esteem.

Think long and hard before buying into the drug companies hype.
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replied June 27th, 2008
Especially eHealthy
Ok, well I would like to say that one reason that diagnosis has gone up is because we are more aware of different ways that mental illness presents itself and there is generally a better attempt to catch it early and treat it before it's a major problem. Yes, there could be some over-medication going on... but if your child is having major problems getting through life, are you going to deny them help? Plus, just because your child is diagnosed doesn't mean medication is the only answer, therapy can help as well.

As far as growing up with a label, lots of kids with untreated mental illness end up doing horribly in school, don't have friends, etc. Isn't is better to help them cope with the label and be able to be successful in school and successful with friends? If they're untreated, they could be labeled as dumb or weird or something like that, if they're treated, no one might ever know.

Again, I'm not an advocate for "heavy psychotics" for children. But early detection and treatment, yes, bring it on!! Smile
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replied May 14th, 2010
Bipolar Babies
I would like to respond to this thread being a 35 year old woman with bipolar disorder. I was born with it and there were signs during infancy that set me apart from other babies and children my age.

For instance, I would never sleep. I would take ten - 15 naps during the day, and my longer sleep cycles occurred at night. I also was talking by 6 months, had intense nightmares. Family members always commented that I appeared more like an adult trapped in a baby's body. My reflexes were out of this world. Everything happened fast er for me. During childhood, I was obsessed with music and art and had such a creative imagination that I astounded my family and teachers. I was termed gifted. I also was highly emotional and sensitive. I still did not sleep and absolutely no naps. By 5th grade I was suffering from deep depressions and migraine headaches. I was given cat scans and finally medicine to help with those. It wasn't until later in life that I found out those migraines were due to rapid drops in serotonin. Childhood was normal for the most part. I still had problems sleeping, the migraines, even suicidal. I couldn't get up early in the morning because that was when my body finally wanted to go into a deep REM sleep, which was also time for school and so I was quite moody for most of the morning. I was also prone to getting sick often because my body didn't ever feel quite right due to not getting enough sleep. In addition I had strange food cravings that always centered around salty foods like hot dogs, chips, pickles and mcdonald's cheeseburgers to sugary snacks. It seemed to calm my moods, probably raised my serotonin levels. Oddly enough lithium, which is a salt derivative helps with moods. Another thing that I recall in early childhood is night terrors. I had horrible night terrors almost every night, where I'd break out into intense sweats, scream and inevitably wake up.

As a teenager, things were the same. By this time I was put on antidepressants, which made things worse after the first week. When I got into college, I tried mood stabilizers. I was already medicating myself with sleep aids to get some sleep. Sleep is the most important aspect in keeping my moods steady. If I don't get sleep, I'm a mess, but just a good night sleep can reboot my system and keep me going. After ten years of working with meds, I finally found that trileptal and lunesta is the perfect combination. I haven't gained weight and I feel normal. I sleep, get up in the morning like everyone else. I don't have headaches anymore, actually those stopped right before high school. I don't tell anyone I have bipolar because there's no need to. I'm just like everyone else, I just have to take medicine, but the medicine feels more like a vitamin. I have no side effects and everything is great.

My sister just had a baby boy and he is not sleeping at all. He is drawn to lights. He is smiling already at 1 month old and we all get the impression that he is advanced for his age. The question is lingering in our minds as a possibility, but no one is saying anything. But, funny how things are...my sister never had any problems, always slept, no mood swings, calm and perfect baby, child and adult, but now here's her beautiful baby boy, and he's exactly the way I was. I don't thin a baby should be put on medicine and even as children, it would be hard to put them through the side effects of all those drugs to find the right one. Their brains are still growing and those medications are hard on your body, but I do feel like more damage can be done if you simply ignore the problem thinking it will just get better, or deny that there's anything wrong. That can be abusive and bipolar disorder does hurt your mind - depressions are horrible and you don't want those manias to start taking over, because once you get a taste of those, it's like a drug you don't want to let go of, but so much damage can be done to your life - spending money, taking off on random trips and starting projects that never will get finished once you come down and then the depression happens again and it becomes an endless cycle.

Do watch for the signs. I hope this helps. I wish you all the best. Love that baby, chose the right doctors - do not put him on antipsychotics or antidepressants - ever. A good mood stabilizer and something to help him sleep. Make sure he doesn't get into drugs, keep his mind interested in arts, and sports, he will need stimulation. We are usually gifted, and love..a whole lot of love, sometimes you'll just need to hold him and tell him it will be okay.
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replied June 1st, 2010
Babies and Children with BPD
I am 17 and was diagnosed with bipolar disorder in May of 2009. My mother had always noticed that I acted differently than other children my age as I was growing up. For example when I was five months old I went through a period of about two eeks where I could not sleep. I was restless and almost what you would call manic (for an infant, that is). As i got older I would go to the park with other toddlers and young children. When it was time to leave the others would happily say their goodbyes while I would fall apart into tears or simply refuse to leave. Obviously my mom was a bit troubled by my unusual behavior, but no doctor was going to diagnose me with anything except an attitude problem.
Looking back we see that my behavior is similar to the behavior I was exhibiting at the time of my diagnosis, only milder. My doctor told me that I was most probably born with bpd and was experiencing symptoms my entire life rather then having them appear during puberty as it happens in some cases.
However, this did not ruin my childhood in anyway. I did not truly struggle until middle school when I reached puberty. This is when my symptoms became more intense and I began having more pronounce "episodes" (i.e. waking up in the middle of the night or waking up in complete despair)
I do have family history of bpd and studies have shown hat having a parent with the disorder increases a child's risk of also suffering. Just keep this in mind and inform your child's pediatrician of your family medical history. Keep an eye out for symptoms, but don't upset. You will be able to tell if your child is starting to struggle.
Plus,you wouldn't want to worry yourself over nothing if he or she ends up perfectly fine!
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replied October 2nd, 2010
Bipolar disorder type II and an unsettled baby
I am a 34 year old woman, married, with a baby girl just over 7 months old. I have bipolar disorder type II. My mother tells me that as a child I was a calm and settled baby, that I had a routine which may have helped. She says I also slepts a lot, almost all the time. Wow I wish I could do that still. I need a lot of sleep and prior to my marriage I used to sleep heaps, I really need it to function. I love to sleep. I feel tired almost all the time, and am exhausted all the time, as if i have chrnic fatigue or similar. I endured an exhausting pregnancy and vomited all the way through, right up to delivery day. During pregnancy I was triply exhausted and put gained a stack of weight. I also contracted swine flu and had to be hospitalised twice. I spent most of my pregnancy in bed.
Since her birth, my own baby has been very alert and advanced since birth. She would not breastfeed and had poor attachment. When she did attach she would fuss and fiddle so much she couldn't get a feed properly, or would fall asleep immediately. In the end I had to express and bottle feed. The two different milks upset her tummy so we changed to formula only. Not my choice but my milk dried up. She has also been an unsettled sleeper and from one week of age to now has had siturbed sleep (night frights) she wakes up with a bloodcurdling scream once or twice during the night. It is really sad , poor little thing. (I myself often suffer vivid nightmares). She only naps once or twice during the day for approx 5 or ten minutes. During this time she will wake and cry frequntly and takes a LONG time to settle properly.
Occasionally she has slept one whole hour at a time, once even two whole hours after mum had played with her full on all day. What bliss!
She has been 'colicky' from birth. For the first few weeks she wanted to be carried all day which was ok at first but grew impossible as she grew heavier. Now she has an extremely short attention span and grizzles constantly even though fed/changed/played with/loved/held regularly. Even before teething she was always unsettled. The only time she is quiet is when she is out and about being carried through shops or driven in the pram. She used to settle well when being driven about in the car but this changed after 3 months of age. Now she grizzles in the car rides too. When put in the baby car-seat or on the floor she tries to 'leave' ie will lift her head and neck and pull herself up by grabbing a strap with her hand, it really looks as if she is trying to get up and run away! She grunts angrily and roars in fury when her body will not obey what she wants to do! She is like an older child in a baby's body. She loves being in the pram but as soon as you stop moving she grizzles and will work up into a scream of rage. I have tried different methods, such as giving in on demand, or ignoring unreasonable behavior but this does not help. I will check she is dry, fed, /burped/ cuddled, has toys, endlessly, but she will still appear restless. One time after all else failed I let her grizzle, just verbally and physically reasurred her, but did not pick her up, she worked herself up until screaming within seconds. Then afterwards would not settle for ages and it left me frazzled beyond belief. I was crying with exhaustion and frustration. When she does not want to go to bed (nearly always) she can cry/grizzle for hours her endurance is beyond belief. She will scream herself nearly blue when displeased over minor incidents (such as when bathtime is over). She loves her bathtime and it is a lovely time to play and bond. But you can't stay in there forever. Even after extended playtime in the bath and she is tired out, you take her out and she screams blue murder and is inconsolable. She will work herself up so bad she is almost choking it is really scary to see. It can only be described as pure and utter fury.
She has absolutely no patience, she goes from happy to crying/angry within seconds, without warning. If her nappy is wet , only seconds after doing it she is roaring angrily, and you just cannot get there fast enough. And she screams with fury at having to do a number 2, god help you if you are there when she does it it is a three ring circus. When happy, she sings and makes noises to herself, but then works herself up to screaming and crying. It is a bit weird. She will laugh and cry/scream and then laugh/giggle/gurgle again. She was highly intelligent and interactive with her world from day one, and smiled from day three, even managed to lift her head and neck off my shoulder from day one. However she is exhausting as it is impossible to entertain her all day. She will not lie on her blanky or in a baby rocking chair for more than a few minutes and will scream the house down in fury if you walk out of her sight, even behind a chair or something. Some days I feel like I am going to break down, thank God I have a mum who comes around a lot to help me out, and hubby works from home so he can take her for walks/drives/playtime etc.
I love my child and treasure her so much, and I would do anything to please her and love to hear her laugh. She does laugh when you tickle her knees or tummy, sometyimes when you whistle at her ofr make funny faces she giggles. But then other days she just stares at you like she looks right through you. She giggles only if she is in a playful mood. I have experience as a nanny and babysitting, I have never met a baby like her. She is like she is almost constantly angry or grumpy, unless entertained or amused by something she has chosen to like for the minute.
I don't think my baby is an average, or 'normal' baby, I often think that she must have inherited bipolar or similar. In our family it is hereditary, I found out recently our family has many cases of ADD, depression, mood disorders, rage-aholics and cases of substance abuse which is often the result of undiagnosed mental illness.
However I am not sad or worried for her future, as many famous inventors and highly succesful and creative people are bipolar. I guess it must be very frustrating for her to be trapped in that little body when her brain is very advanced and is having such extreme moods, also she is obviously bored most of the time. It is physically impossible to entertain her all the time but we do our best and will love and support her throughout her life. Oh my God I am so tired I could sleep for 20 years. I have always been a person who needs my sleep a lot, and I don't get much these days. I don't know how single parents do it, especially with a baby with this kind of temperament or possible disorder. Myself if I was a single mum with no support, I would go insane, as in cart me away gibbering like a madwoman lol.
Luckily I can have mum or hubby mind bubby while I go for a walk, or they will take her for a drive/outing while I sleep, or relax and watch a movie. A rare treat. Anyone else out there experienceing the same thing?
In public she is an utter angel, quiet, smiling and serene and everything says wow what a good little kid. If only they knew what she is like on days when we have to stay at home due to weather/business etc. Some days her screaming makes my head hurt so much I think it is going to explode! Well she loves music maybe she will put that loud strong voice to good use and be a singer or musician.
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replied September 1st, 2011
Baby with Bipolar
Wow thank you so much for this I never understood why my daughter was so different everything you said she does. Dr always told me she will grow out of it.My husband was just diagnosed with Bipolar also
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replied October 2nd, 2010
Some of the words in my post have been automatically changed by some web editor, such as when I wrote 'she will scream bluemurder 'has been changed to ' blue homicide' which looks weird.
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replied November 20th, 2010
Your post is spot on. At 72 yrs old I have come to realization my father and brother were both bipolar 1. Family verbal history is my father had to be carried on a pillow when newborn. He was musically talented and excelled in piano and organ,was always "on stage"and very successful in his life. My daughter was also like your baby and now very focused and a multi-talented classical musician with several jobs simultaniously plus performing all over the world and two college level teaching jobs. Hang in there. Your daughter may well turn out to be a star!!
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replied November 20th, 2010
Your post is spot on. At 72 yrs old I have come to realization my father and brother were both bipolar 1. Family verbal history is my father had to be carried on a pillow when newborn. He was musically talented and excelled in piano and organ,was always "on stage"and very successful in his life. My daughter was also like your baby and now very focused and a multi-talented classical musician with several jobs simultaniously plus performing all over the world and two college level teaching jobs. Hang in there. Your daughter may well turn out to be a star!!
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replied November 22nd, 2010
Thanks that is great to hear, I can't wait to see what she does with her life. Also something else interesting: when bub first came home she would only settle when laid on my deluxe, ultra cushy pillow! That is how we fed her and cuddled her, as well as she would fall asleep on it! Amazing to hear of your father being carried on one!
She now has a very comfy innerspring mattress, with a lambskin on top, and will not sleep on a bed without one. I too need an ultra comfy and supportive bed and made sure I supplied one for bubby.
Well it is nice to hear of your talented family, you must be very proud! It is getting easier as bub gets older, when I think back comparing the early days to now, I can see things have smoothed out. At least she will always have someone who understands the condition, rather than parents with no idea at all, or being mistaken for a difficult child.
We do not plan to medicate her as we feel that she is too young. I would hesitate to medicate any child unless their life depended on it. When our girl is older we will discuss her condition (if diagnosed as BP)with her and seek professional advice. If she feels that her life/state of mind is unbearable or if it threatens her health/wellbeing then we will look at her choices then, and let her decide. I figure teenage years would be the best time to investigate how she wants to go, but we will monitor her closely and encourage communication and openness so she knows she can trust us with her thoughts, feelings and best interests. The plan: love, cherish and nuture!
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replied June 2nd, 2012
Bipolar Disorder in infants
When we brought our daughter home over 30 years ago there was no recognition of bipolar disorder in infants. She took forever to sleep through the night, she would bang her head on the floor in sheer frustration at 4-5 months. She had trouble sleeping, had nightmares, played hard, slept hard, had terrible raging tantrums, broke a window by accident in the middle of one of her rages (she was only about 5). By 11-12 she'd have mood swings from mild anger to extreme rage, there was no euphoria and in the blink of a minute total out of control rage. I think her euphoric episodes were just periods of time when she was not raging. She threatened suicide, was hospitalized, dropped out of school, drugs,etc. Through all of this no therapist or medical person even mentioned bipolar disorder (and we tried them all). She was finally diagnosed in her late twenties, by then so much damage had happened to her mentally (untreated bipolar disorder just gets worse) and she refused to accept the diagnosis or to take medication. The point I'm obviously trying to make is YES infants can and do have bipolar disorder - it's unusual, but if untreated it will lead to a lifetime of damage and pain. I wish we could have helped her; we tried so hard, because when she wasn't raging she was just so special but - we just didn't know what we could do.As I said above 30 years ago this condition wasn't even on the radar.
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