Finally joined today after lurking here for a year or more :)

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by Frugalme, May 14, 2011.

  1. Frugalme

    Frugalme New Member

    All of you parents are to be commended for your tenacity and transparency! Thank you for letting me learn from you for over a year. I think I have finally figured out what may be going on with our girl (8 & 1/2) just by reading things on here. I believe she has cyclothymia (sp?) but Kaiser won't diagnose until age 10. Her psychiatric has recommended risperadol but my husband is against it. She has NO friends, obsesses about sex and swear words, morbid and macabre thoughts, is irritable and defiant. The rest of the time she's LOVELY! (haha) Seriously though, it is really affecting our 6 year old and he's ultra-sensitive and has meltdowns at school if anyone even looks at him the wrong way, he is battle-weary. I am doing well actually all things considered. My husband (who happens to be a mental health professional) isn't doing so well. I think he really doesn't want it to be bipolar so is in deep denial.
    Here is the confusing part: Noone in our immediate family (that we know of) is bi-polar. So is that even possible? As I read on here it seems that almost every child with cyclothymia has a close family member with bipolar.
    Any input would be great. My girl is currently on prozac for depression. Has been diagnosis'd with ADHD (I disagree) anxiety, depression and ODD.
    My husband is on prozac as well, I probably need something too (kidding)
    Our son is the happiest kid on the block.
    Started reading The Explosive Child thanks to all of you!
    Any input would be greatly appreciated.
  2. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Hi and welcome to the board :)

    Has your child ever had a neuropsychologist evaluation? How was his early development? Does he know how to relate to his same age peers?

    I am very cautious about young kids and bipolar. My son was diagnosed with it and had a three year stint on heavy medications (HEAVY medications...that gave him terrible side effects). All the while, we wondered how they were getting the diagnosis and finally broke away to go to a neuropsychologist. They do awesome 6-10 hr. testing and son tested on the autism spectrum and not on any mood disorder spectrum (not a surprise to us, but had been a constant battle with psychiatrist). He is off all medications now and is close to eighteen. He is doing much better and has been retested and is indeed on the autism spectrum with no hint of bipolar or even depression. It scares me t hat he was on the medications for bipolar when he didn't need them. This, of course, does not mean your own son doesn't have it...I just am "iffy" about a bipolar diagnosis, since they haven't yet figured out how many kids with the diagnosis. go on to actually have full blown bipolar.

    You may want to do the neuropsychologist evaluation. in my opinion it's well worth it.

    Others will come along, but weekends can be slow.
  3. wintak

    wintak New Member

    Welcome, I'm new, too. I, too have the difficult child 8 year old boy and his sister who is sensitive (not quite as your easy child, but very empathetic, sensitive etc). I agree these people on this board are to be commended for working through these hoops and diagnosis's and such. I'm already so frustrated and worn out and he's only EIGHT.

    Why did it take you so long to post, if I may ask?
  4. exhausted

    exhausted Active Member

    Hi and welcome. My daughter has had all the dxs your daughter has currently at some time in the course of her illness. We didn't start having problems until age 12. After much intervention, including a long residential stay, we found out about long term molestation by an extended family member and a rape. She has since been diagnosed with PTSD and emerging borderline traits. We thought we were protective and functional parents. We knew we were good parents. However....the world is out there and if your kids are super sensitive, any stresser can trip mental illness.

    I am always cautious of diagnosis that don't take place over time, envirnments, and with the best professionals. I believe we lost valuable time, wasted money on treatments that were harmful instead of helpful, and some of the medications were damaging.
    I would find an excellent neuropsychologist (waiting lists can be long but worth it). I would insist on input from her teachers and any others who know her well in other environments.
    I also recommend NAMI-they have a general starting class that educates you on diagnosis and symtoms, and they also have support groups.
    I recommend that you and your husband get on the same page-these kids work both ends against the middle. Despite my husband and I having pretty good parenting skills, our daughter started to take us down. I feel pretty educated when it comes to kids and mental illnesses but its hard to see the forest for the trees when its your own kid (maybe your husband is here). We have had a family counselor for several years. My husband doesn't always buy into the mental health and medication thing, but working with the counselor has helped us put up our strongest front for our girl and deal with differences in a way that helps her.
    Glad you read the "Explosive Child"- I want to tell you that Ross Greens' work is good but not the be all end all. I do not believe in buying into any one philosophy or method of handling our children. They are all different and we are all different. Every situation is different. I believe in a huge bag of tricks (for parenting and teaching) so that I find what fits best for me, my kid and the situation. I like collaborative problem solving for many things, but sometimes behaviorism, Love and Logic, and the word NO are better.
    Please keep sharing and keep us posted. Hugs!
  5. HaoZi

    HaoZi Guest

    And now thinking bi-polar. Take her to a neuropsychologist, that's a pattern that many of us have seen finally land in Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD).
  6. tictoc

    tictoc New Member

    I feel that I should caution against the rising tide of advice on here about discounting a psychiatrist's diagnosis of mood disorder in favor of a neuropsychologist's diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD). All children are different and both mood disorders and ASDs exist in young children. We on this board cannot say that one diagnosis is better than the other for any particular child, other than our own.

    It is good advice to go to both a psychiatrist and a neuropsychologist for a full evaluation of any child with a suspected mood disorder. A neuorpsych just isn't going to diagnosis a mood disorder. They are not qualified.

    MWM and HaoZi have both had the experience of a mood disorder turning out to be an Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD). I have had the opposite experience and I can tell you that misdiagnosing with an Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) is also horrible for a child. We lost valuable time that should have been used getting proper medication for our son. He is now functioning well, though not perfectly, on a heavy combination of medications. And, I am grateful every day for the psychiatrist who finally said, "this is bipolar disorder."

    Your daughter's chronic irritability and fixation on sex words and macabre thoughts are very concerning. Again, we can't say for sure what that means. I can tell you that when my son is stable, he is not like that at all. But, when he starts to cycle, he is irritable, fixates on sexual behavior, and talks constantly about violence. That is when we know that a medication increase or change is due.
  7. HaoZi

    HaoZi Guest

    To clarify, Kiddo's diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) does not override her other diagnosis's - it's an addition that is likely linked to why she reacts atypically to so many medications across across all classes. Her bi-polar is questionable, but since the medications that do help are only covered with that diagnosis, we're not messing with it. Many things can be co-morbid and/or mimic, and considering the medications she was on weren't helping and they were just wanting to trial this that and the other on her, I wanted to be certain that she was being treated for the correct condition(s). These medications can have some serious side effects, and the psychiatrist she started with diagnosis'd her with just ADHD and ODD based on spending 15 minutes with us every 3 months. I've had to push like [bleep] just to get minimal testing to firm up her diagnosis's, even after her stay in the psychiatric hospital.
  8. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    Welcome! It is nice to get to know you now that you know us!You probably have read our initial advice many times. Above all else, trust your instincts.

    If I were you I would go and get a copy of the Bipolar Child by Papalous. It is one of the best if not the best book on bipolar disorder in kids that I have seen/read/heard of. It has the medication protocol that is approved by the board of psychiatrists and a ton more other help. I would jump first to the medication section and ask the doctor why prozac if he thinks she is bipolar? Prozac is NOT a good choice for someone with bipolar who is not currently stable mood wise. It can cause mania in children whether they are bipolar or not, but esp bad in those who are bipolar. It can take a LONG time, past the time the medication is stopped, to get the mood cycling to stop. I am constantly confused and irritated by docs who want to give a diagnosis of bipolar but not treat bipolar. It seems to be common to try SSRI/SNRI medications first if you think a patient is bipolar. Why? No doctor has EVER had a straight answer that wasn't a lot of double speak for I don't know but the drug rep said it was good for everything that exists. I have asked at least five different docs, including one for myself (and there is no way in Hades I am bipolar - simply does NOT fit but is a popular diagnosis and we have one psychiatrist in town who gives everyone the current popular diagnosis whether it fits or not, grrrrr. ) Take the book and some notes on what you want to discuss with you to your appts.

    Trust your instincts. If they scream NO about something, then make NO happen. These docs are experts in a field of study but YOU are the expert in your child. They see her for maybe an hour for the first visit and maybe an hour a year after that. You see her for hours and hours each day. Don't let them tell you that something is or isn't happening unless it is true. They will try, but you have to stick to your instincts and what you know about your child.

    Go to the link in my signature and create a parent report. It is a document all about your child, a way to organize everything about her in one place at your fingertips. It can be a PITA to keep up to date, but it is more than worth it. Esp as you go from therapist to psychiatrist to reg doctor to school to ... You can give them each what they need to know and keep them up to date. Docs also tend to put more weight on the written word than the spoken, so oftent hey will read it and get back to you with something you had asked about and been given the brush of f about, or that happened with me several times.

    From what you describe it does sound like bipolar or hwatever the common term in now. Esp the sex words, obsessive dark and morbid thoughts, etc.... So if you feel it is the right diagnosis, I urge you to learn about the appropriate treatment and push her docs into giving it to her. The approp medications start with mood stabilizers and atypical antipsychotics like risperdal (a flat out MIRACLE drug for my son for several years) and once her moods are stable (will take at least 6 weeks at a therapeutic level of mood stabilizers to be fully stable) then deal with any symptoms that still exist with very small doses of things like prozac, stims, etc... always watching to make sure they don't send her moods cycling. If the doctor doesn't want to put her on these medications, make him give you a good reason why he won't go with the approved medication protocol for the disorder.
  9. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Oh, I don't think mood disorders are impossible in kids. I HAD ONE! I was suicidal at a very early age and never really happy.

    I just think it's good to get a variety of opinions and then go with your gut. My son was so obviously NOT bipolar that I'm mad at myself (and hub) for buying into it at all. My son did not think about morbid or violent things, did not have nightmares, did not try to hurt anyone, etc. Certainly these are worrying behaviors. My son was so classic Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) it was amazing that any psychiatrist missed it.

    I think that getting more than one opinion is best. And Neuropsychs DO test intensively and often do find things that others miss.

    Whatever you decide to do, we are all on your side and here to support you :)
  10. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Welcome, Frugalme and Wintak!

    I hear ya, Frugalme, about not being on the same page as your husband. That male ego thing is a tough one. And denial hits all of us at one time or another.

    I agree, I would get more opinions, but on the other hand, I would work with-the medications more, because it is not normal to be so irritable and obsessive at that age, to say the least. Maybe lean toward Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) and anxiety medications. Get as much info as possible.

    Is your daughter on a pretty tight schedule? Or is she at least on a good routine?

    When you say she is obsessing about sex, is it curiousity? How did she find out so much info to begin with-? Any chance she was exposed to anything personally?
    What was she like as a baby?
    Is she allergic to anything?
    Lot's more questions, but that's a lot for now ... ;)
  11. keista

    keista New Member

    I see or hear prozac and ODD in the same sentence, I have to ask: Was the ODD there before putting her on prozac? Did it get worse after? That was my daughters first medication. Medicated for depression. She had also been difficult in the past and I suspected some ODD while researching her issues, so i really didn't think too much about it when after staring her on prozac and things got worse, the psychiatrist diagnosed ODD. Problem was, that things just got worse and worse and worse. I decided to get her off prozac and had to change psychiatrists to do it, but it was definitely worth it.

    Since then I found several blogs by young adults recounting their stories of being put on prozac as teens and how it messed them up. Unfortunately parents and psychiatrists weren't listening to their complaints - after all they were the difficult children.

    BPII can be subtle. I say if there is any mental illness in the immediate family, then it's definitely possible.