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Children with Bipolar Disorder

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My 9-year-old has been displaying the early signs of bipolar disorder for years now. I have bipolar disorder & there's other mental illnesses like depression and alcoholism on my side & my husband's side of the family... our poor kids!

Anyway, our son has been diagnosed with everything from general behavior disorders to ADHD to other stuff I can't remember. I've known in my heart all along the culprit would end up being bipolar disorder, like me, because he's just like I was at that age--it's just that he has a parent that recognizes that something's not right. (My parents thought I was just obnoxious, defiant, and apathetic.)

We've finally switched to one of the best pediatric psychiatrists in our state who shares the same concerns I have. He hasn't yet made a diagnosis, but he's having us read "The Bipolar Child." There's also the possibility of OCD and other things, but bipolar would explain a combination of things.

Also, the meds his last doctor kept him on have given him facial tics (Focalin). She refused to accept any diagnosis other than ADHD, but the meds (none of them) ever worked!

Can any of you relate? Did your kid(s) inherit your BPD? Or, do you have a child with it & you don't where it came from? I'd like some advice from any of you who have experience with bipolar children. I never know how to discipline. One day a method may work & the next day, it won't. I feel like I'm kinda just walking blind at this stage. Sad

I'd appreciate any insight, advice, or even just encouragement. Thank you.
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replied May 18th, 2008
Extremely eHealthy
I have 2 out of 4 sons with bipolar disorder. My family and my husband's family both have bipolar disorder. Yes, my poor kids, too. I told my husband we are a genetic nightmare! Who knew? We never ever dreamt our kids would have these issues.

The Bipolar Child is the bible of child bipolar disorder. I refer to it all the time. The first time I read it I laughed and cried. Dr. Papolos must have been peeking in the windows of my house and watching my son. He describes my 10 yr. old to a tee. I knew there was something wrong when he was only 3. It took about 3 years for me to finally figure out what was wrong. The psychiatrist asked me what I thought was wrong and I told her bipolar disorder and she said she agreed. She was glad to have a parent that was accepting of the diagnosis. Most parents want to deny the fact and it only prolongs treatment options.

Discipline is difficult. I feel like I must be the worst parent on the planet. I try to be consistent but his moods are not consistent. He is a rapid cycler and has mixed states at times. This makes him very emotionally labile. Crying one minute and an hour later giddy and hyper and laughing. I use time out a lot. When he rages I put him in his room. My youngest son seems less severe. He presents differently. He is not as defiant. My older son has become more defiant as he has gotten older.

I could write you a novel. Feel free to pm me with any questions or just to sound off. We can swap war stories. I feel your pain and know what you are going through. I will be glad to offer you any suggestions. Let me know how I can help.
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replied March 26th, 2009
Disciplining a bipolar child
I agree....its so hard to discipline. Everytime we try something my daugher shruggs it off. Discipline does not work for her, she does not change her actions because of it.
It doesn't help that NO DOCTOR (pdoc or therapist) has any idea how to discipline her either! They're quick to say "don't do this, don't do that" but then when you ask how to discipline they're vague...typical.
What are we to do????????????
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replied April 12th, 2009
Bipolar Child Treatment
My son too is Bipolar and a ultra ultra rapid cycler. He's 14, and was diagnosed at 3. He has become one of the most loving, kind, conciderate kids I've ever known and plans to become a minister. But he wasn't always that way. He has hallucinations when he's manic & used to be extremely violent. He even tried to dig bugs out of his penis with a pencil, kill the cat in the freezer, we had to hide the knives... It was bad! It all turned when he was about 9-10. We found a great therapist who taught him HOW to releease anger by SHOWING him, and he's on Lamictal & Depakote for mood stablilization and 150mg of seroquel at night. If your Dr. wont listen get a new one! Time is everything here. It's your child's childhood we talking about. Search for someone that will help until you find them. We went through 6 before we got the help we needed and it worked. With the right help, and med combo this is something you can look back on, instead of living with... I wish you the best of luck.. It will get better, there is hope.
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replied April 17th, 2009
Child with Bipolar
HI, I too have a child with Bipolar. He is now 20, but exhibited symptoms by age 5. Unfortunately, we had never even heard of Bipolar at that time. By the time he was 12, the illness was causing very rapid cycling mood swings, anger, rage, and suicidal thoughts. He went back and forth from my sweetie, to this kid I did not recognize! Several times a day! Just like a roller coaster...

Part of my therapy of being a parent of a child with Bipolar, I made a website and wrote an ebook detailing my son's symptoms from the time he was 5 years old to the present time--20 years old. If anyone reading this is interested, go to http;//bipolarmonster.com. I'm sure you will recognize the "Bipolar Monster"!

Blessings to you as you raise your struggling children.

Milly
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replied April 19th, 2009
There may be nothing wrong w/ him atleast ADHD wise-that's why those meds don't work for his "ADHD" he's a 9 year old boy for goodness sake!! wait till he develops and becomes the person he is b/4 u pump him w/ drugs. It may be easier for u to live w/ him on meds but its just wrong
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replied April 28th, 2009
daughter w/ bipolar
My husband and I adopted our granddaughter, she was 2. We knew the mom had a history of mental illness but was not prepared for a diagnosis at 4 of bipolar, among many other things. She is now 11 and things have taken a huge turn for the worst. Rages and what seem to be nothing for the average child. Defiance, agruing, she knows everything and anything - don't try to tell her she doesn't. We are at our wits end. Discipline is so hard. The littlest thing sets her off, like time to take a shower, time to get dressed for school. Would love to hear any tips any one might have!
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replied April 28th, 2009
Not working for me
apparently I have joined the wrong group. I can't even respond to multiple postings because it says I have not waiting long enough to post another post. How is that helping?
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replied April 29th, 2009
yeah iuno this site's dumb about that kinda stuff anyways if you still want a suggestion- fish oil has really been helping me balance my moods- i take around 2500 mg's every day, she's so small i duno if you should start with 1000 mg n' work your way up i could tell it was helping me w/in just a few days goodluck n' also she's a preteen so that's typical behavior but i'm sure a bp preteen is impossible.
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replied August 11th, 2009
I have 4 kids 2 of them (middle kids) have Bipolar Disorder,ADHD. (all of my kids have ADHD) I can totally understand all of the ups and downs with medicines been there with mine and still rapid cycling with both of them. I do not have Bipolar. It is a good thing that I work in Special Education and can try different things that might work for awhile then we try some new ones. Yes the punishments don't mean a thing to my 16 year old when she is in her manias or when she is severely down. I have her go to her aunt's when I work to her watched 24/7 .Well that now is changed because she stole from them during her mania. I have to work something else out. Her meds are not working. She has been through so many of them.
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replied August 12th, 2009
I need some more ideas for punishments for my daughter,already use no phone or computer,grounding to the yard. timeouts to her room. Any other ideas out there for a 16 year old???
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