Anyone have a child diagnosed with bipolar?

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by threeofmine, Feb 13, 2012.

  1. threeofmine

    threeofmine New Member

    My son who is 10 and has been hospitalized twice in the last 6 months for mental health reasons. The Dr.s diagnosed his with ADHD, ODD, SI. He is physically violent when he gets angry. He sometimes doesn't even remember going into these "rages" that sometimes will go on for hours. After his second hospitalization I had asked the dr. about whether it was possible for my son to have bipolar in which he told me not at this age. He is currently failing school because he refuses to do any of the work and his outburst are getting worse since being released on Tenex and Risperdal. Now his current psychiatric is saying its bipolar, that most dr.s don't want to use that label. I was just wondering if someone else has had the same type of issue with the dr.s or should I get a third opinion? He is in the process of being sent to a school for behavioral children and has an IEP after fighting tooth and nail for it and I just want whats best for him. We are doing outside therapy every two weeks along with four hours on in home therapy every week.
  2. Atmylimit

    Atmylimit New Member

    I have a 12 year old son who has diagnosis of ADHD, Conduct Disorder, Bipolar and anxiety. We have been going to counseling and psychiatrists for 7 years now. He has been hospitalized quite a few times as recently as being released in November after being there for 9 weeks. His diagnosis were shifted back and forth for a number of year for the lack of wanting to put the Bipolar label on him too. He's been with this same diagnosis for 2 years now. If you are unsure that this fits him get another opinion. In our case it fit perfectly. My son is also in a behavioral school and sees his therapist once a week, psychiatrist once every 2 weeks and his therapist at school everyday. Let me know if there is anything I can talk to you about. I am at my wits end still with no end in sight.
  3. DaisyFace

    DaisyFace Love me...Love me not

    Hello and Welcome!

    Has your son ever had a neuropsychologist evaluation?
  4. buddy

    buddy New Member

    HI and welcome... Can I ask about the SI diagnosis? What are you doing about that? It often coexists with other diagnosis and you have the adhd diagnosis. Has he been evaluated for Autism Spectrum Disorder? Kids can look very typical and have very high functioning autism or Asperger's and can be mis diagnosis. as bipolar, adhd/odd/anxiety (though some of these can be symptoms under the umbrella of autism)... have adhd medications worked? If not, may be more the SI symptoms....

    Does he go to an Occupational Therapist (OT)? Has he had a speech/language evaluation for auditory processing/language processing and social communication issues?

    My son was on Risperdal and became way more aggressive than his original levels of aggression.

    Has he tried any mood stabilizer medications? (the ones for bipolar)...

    Every child is different and so I am just throwing things out there... If he is bipolar it is wonderful you found a doctor who will treat amazes me that a child with this diagnosis is left to suffer (as many with autism are) because people want to avoid a label. My response to that is every child with behavioral challenges is labeled, I would prefer an appropriate, not gossip or frustration based label such as "troubled child" "rude" "disrespectful" "frustrataing".... on and on.... Just MHO.

    I am so glad you posted, I know there are others here whose stories come close to yours. It is a long and challenging road to parent our kids and you have found a place where many people understand that.

    Happy to get to know you! Dee
  5. totiredtofight

    totiredtofight New Member

    Like you my 10 year old has been in and out of the psychiatric hospital and has gone thru a number of tdocs .. she has even been in school based councilng since first grade.. she was diagnosis'd with adhd,odd,cd.. it was not until her last psychiatric hospital stay that she was given a neuropsychologist and it showed bipolar .. change of medications shes a different child .. now for awhile i had been asking if they were sure about her diagnosis of adhd,odd cd, i even asked several if she was bipolar and was told no .. get your child a neuropsychologist its the only way to know for sure .. if you feel there is something more there more than likely there is .. no one knows our kids like we do ..
  6. threeofmine

    threeofmine New Member

    My son has been seeing hi dr for over two years now and I brought the bipolar diagnosis up the last two times and he was very hesitant. The ADHD medications overstimulated him to the point of the violent outburst, running away from home and stealing. Since they took him off those medications he was like a different child but those issues of anger/aggression has been creeping back in and he gets so easily overstimulated. I took the Aspergers scale test and he scored high but no one from the school district or hospital think that he falls on the spectrum. No one has sent us to an Occupational Therapist (OT) even though I have requested it just to be evaluated. He's had speech and language evaluation but one on one he does great its when he gets into the classroom he bombs. Hes losing friends because of his unpredictability. We see his dr. next week to go over putting him on the mood stabilizer we are slowly weening him off the celexa.

    I have read about bipolar and it does fit him almost to a tee, and his therapist have suggested it also. I am waiting for a neuro-psychiatric dr.s office to call me back but it seems like there is a 1+year waiting list I feel like that is too long to wait. I mean he's ten now and already having major problems. Thanks guys!
  7. amazeofgrace

    amazeofgrace New Member

    "he sometimes doesn't even remember going into these "rages" that sometimes will go on for hours" this sentence made me shudder, only because my son is the same way, and it can be very scary. My son was diagnosed with Bi-polar @ 9. And over the years the diagnosis has remained consistent. It sounds like you're doing everything right, good job mama! I also suggest the neurological exam, Both my difficult child's had them and I cried when their MRI's came back normal. Only because I so desperatly wanted a tangible answer for everything. It's been a long road, @ 15 my son is probably going to be headed for residential after many in-hosps, IOP's and other services. ang in there and keep coming here to CD, it's an awesome place!
  8. totiredtofight

    totiredtofight New Member

    well in my case it worked out for us that she was in the psychiatric hospital and i asked the doctor there... it may be easier to go that route than wait for an appointment if your psychiatric hospital has a neuropsychologist dr on staff ... again in our case the hospital has one full time .. they did the test over 3 days of her stay and all results back in 3 weeks, so i knew before she was discharged .. i know where you are .. a 10 year old with major problems isnt easy,but its not easy for him either .... hang in there ... there is always light at the end of the tunnel
  9. soapbox

    soapbox Member

    Will you allow me to pull out my hair for you?

    Given that 50% of kids with ADHD also have Developmental Coordination Disorder (DCD) (developmental coordination disorder - motor skills issues, fine and/or gross)... chances of needing an Occupational Therapist (OT) evaluation are really high. As in - either way, you need to know. Even if you have to pay for the evaluation yourself, it is worth getting. Occupational Therapist (OT) cannot do dxes... but can write reports that are used by others, including psychiatrists, neuropsychs, and schools. (they also offer therapies that help, if you can afford it)

    And then... what exactly was the Speech Language Pathologist (SLP) evaluation testing for? If it was just for hearing and Central Auditory Processing Disorder (CAPD), then they haven't done complete testing. There are other APDs, and these are NOT being caught (just our own experience, plus talking to others...). APDs look like ADHD especially in the classroom. And the key words in your statement? "one on one he does great". Chances are... its something like a problem with auditory figure ground - what that means is that there is a problem with the filters in the brain that block out background noise. So... in a quiet room with just one person to listen to and no background noise... they do GREAT. And... get into a classroom, and they cannot "hear" a doggone thing, because classrooms are beyond belief for noise. The BEST classrooms are that way - the others are even worse. Teachers don't generally believe this... because they have normal hearing. They don't understand how noisy classroom activities are... rustling papers, scratches of pen/pencil on paper, shifting in seats, sighs, etc. WHITE NOISE. Its brutal. Speech Language Pathologist (SLP) normally does screening, then a referral is needed to specialist audiologist (not the hearing-aid-company ones) for complete testing and diagnosis. There are NO medications that have any impact on APDs. Accommodations help. Interventions help big time - like, personal FM systems, sometimes called auditory trainers.

    I am tossing this out to you, not because this is necessarily your child's problem... but because it was my child's problem... and not having it caught until high school meant that he was being literally driven to insanity by NOT having the diagnosis and NOT getting the accommodations and interventions and NOT being able to push back at teachers... We solved the REAL problem, and... the insanity started to fade.

    Other things can drive kids over the brink, too... not just APDs and Developmental Coordination Disorder (DCD). But perhaps, just perhaps, the real problem isn't a mental health issue. The questions are probably worth asking.
  10. buddy

    buddy New Member

    I am so sorry people dont turn every stone over before they decide a diagnosis. It is unfair to the child. Your child certainly may have bipolar disorder and getting that diagnosis correct will be very important. If he is not or if he has other issues going on that are not treated then it can make the treatment (medications, talk therapy etc.) not only ineffective but it can do harm and time is lost in using the right treatments. (same is true for people who have been told it it is NOT bipolar when it is...sigh).

    I have never asked a dr. if they think a referral is needed. I always listen to them and respect their opinions and also TELL them what tests and referrals I need done. I never am rude or anything but I make it clear I have done my research and have the articles or notes, school work, testing to back up what I am wanting. We are the customers here....and this is MY child's life... our doctor does not have to live with a mistaken or incomplete diagnosis. (not saying that is your situation, just saying how it is for me and responding to what you have written, smile)

    If you think Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD)/asperger's is even a remote possibility many many people miss this. I have sat with kids in my office taking my toys, lining them up, pacing my room because I am new (a change) talking about their amazing interests and when I ask the psychologist when the last 3 year evaluation was have been told we just did it.... NO WAY this kid has autism. I have several times (good thing this is anonymous but my mommy heart is stronger than my employee heart) talked to parents off the record saying things like"as long as you are going to see X maybe ask for a neuropsychologist ....or if I KNOW the person they are seeing I say ask them what they think about Asperger's.... guess how many have autism diagnosis now??? ALL of them. Now of course I saw those kids and others who I worked with totally agreed so it is not like an internet situation where here we are just sharing that many of us have gone thru incomplete evaluations and I think for complicated behavior kids it should be the standard of practice to do complete evaluations....

    Occupational Therapist (OT), S/L (including auditory processing disorders and social communication problems) and neuropsychologist along with the other things that are done like neurology, psychiatric, educational information etc. Just my opinion and if you are comfortable with what people are saying to you of course that is what is best. Just was thinking this because of some of the statements you made possibly suggesting there could be other pieces to the puzzle that could help you and difficult child sort this out. There are no easy answers no matter the results unfortunately. I wish there were. But the options to help really are wonderful.
  11. SearchingForRainbows

    SearchingForRainbows Active Member

    in my humble opinion, this is the best advice ever - So true - We are the "customers," we are paying for services, and the quality of our kids' lives depends on the results of those services. Every child deserves an accurate diagnosis.

    Trust your instincts, don't believe that the specialists know more then you do when it comes to your child... I wish I had learned this lesson earlier then I did. difficult child 1 is both an Aspie and bipolar. When he was young, we were told he had ODD, not fully understanding at the time that this was just a symptom of underlying conditions...

    Thinking of you as you continue searching for answers... SFR
  12. threeofmine

    threeofmine New Member

    I will definetly ask about being tested. I think this plays a large role in his learning at school. The thing is now he is just refusing to do work, or picks and chooses what he wants to do. Thanks!
  13. HaoZi

    HaoZi Guest

    With children diagnosis'ing between unipolar and bipolar can be difficult because children can be naturally bouncy and that can look like mania without being mania. This doesn't mean a child can't be bipolar, it doesn't mean bipolar medications won't help, either. Full testing is the best way to go, get a doctor with an open mind and a lot of experience. While the doctor who tested mine for Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) says he thinks mine is unipolar rather than bipolar (naturally bouncy personality), that because the medications are helping and only covered with a bipolar diagnosis, to not rock that boat and challenge the other doctor on that (she sees a different doctor for her medications, etc). When/if the medications stop working, worry about it then.
  14. SearchingForRainbows

    SearchingForRainbows Active Member

    When difficult child 1 was about the same age as your difficult child, he had failing grades in most of his classes, not because he couldn't do the work, just because he refused to do the work if he wasn't interested in the subject or if he didn't like the teacher.

    Until difficult child 1 was properly diagnosed and receiving appropriate interventions and medication, nothing we tried made a difference in his attitude as far as school was concerned. We tried everything under the sun we could think of - We took away his computer time, his TV time, etc., etc., etc. This only infuriated him to the point of super "melt-downs," complete with throwing things, breaking things, verbalizing, etc,, etc., etc., that could last for hours on end. We tried sticker charts where he could "earn" computer time, etc. if he did his school work. It still didn't work. We still got the same fits of rage if he didn't "earn" stickers on a day when he was determined to use his computer. Unfortunately, he wanted his computer 24/7, 365 days a year... We tried natural consequences. Unfortunately, he didn't care if he flunked out of school. We were worn out to the point where we just thought we wanted him out of our lives, just wanted to put a free sign around his neck and leave him outside...

    What I didn't understand at the time is that until we had an appropriate diagnosis, nothing, and I mean nothing would ever work. I didn't understand the thing that so many people here know, that a child wants to do well if he/she can. I can't stress how important this is. Until your difficult child is properly diagnosed, as long as he isn't physically hurting himself or others, isn't in dangerous situations, I would be easy on him, not force the school work. Five years ago I would never have believed that I would ever be giving this sort of advice!! Hang in there. It will get better!! Thinking of you today... SFR

    P.S. From personal experience, we never found the school to be the least bit helpful when it came to choosing appropriate providers to do evaluations. I'm not sure what the laws are now regarding who picks up the tab for independent evaluations but my best advice is still the same. Research and use your own providers to do the evaluations.