first visit with neuropsychologist...bipolar??

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by brandyf, Nov 20, 2007.

  1. brandyf

    brandyf New Member

    although the neuropsychologist didnt say for sure...difficult child has bipolar, but said he has classic symptoms. would take him a week or so to compile a report and contact me. Is this normal? Is it usually this quick? We sat in his office for one and a half hours, he talked to difficult child, had him draw some pics, played some games, while i filled out tons of questionaires, and then talked opennly about his history.

    he said he would need a psychiatrist and mood stabalizers if this is what teh report revealed.

    is this the normal way of going about diagnosing bipolar?

  2. SRL

    SRL Active Member

    How long was the appointment? Did he do any testing? How much info did you provide in advance? Did the neuropsychologist have access to a lot of previous testing and reports from other specialists.

    It would be HIGHLY unusual to get a diagnosis from a neuropsychologist in one appointment.
  3. brandyf

    brandyf New Member

    it wasnt a diagnosis officially. it was just him mentioning that he showed classic signs of bipolar just giving history. the appointment was 1 hour and 30 minutes. testing?? no, unless the pictures my son drew, and the card games they were doing told him something. i filled out an hours worth of paperwork. about 1.5 inches thick of questions. i brought my binder of info on difficult child which starts at 8 months old and goes until now, he did review it. in advance, we spoke over the phone in making the appointment and told him about his suspensions, ODD behaviors, us seeing child psychologists and so on. i did sign a release for him to obtain all teh info from both the child psychiatric and pediatrician. he made sure to tell me it seems bipolar, and that i would get a full report from him in a couple of weeks. he then said if that is what he comes to the conclusion of, he would refer us to psychiatry (which we have already been referred by our child psychiatric, because she agrees as well) we are on our way to medications.

    i am wondering if this is the classic route ppl take to find out if its bipolar.
  4. Steely

    Steely Active Member

    Unfortunately there is not a "test" for bi-polar. It can only be diagnosis based on history, and presenting symptoms. In an hour and a half, only presumptions can be made, and especially at 6 years of age. I thought my son was bi-polar at 6, but a doctor did not feel comfortable making "that diagnosis" until he was 12 and presenting more symptoms - however - that did not prevent the docs from trying mood stabilization medications. Bottom line, if your son's mood is off the charts, and has been for some time, than the bi-polar diagnosis is not as important right now, as finding the right medications.

    NOW - that being said...........your son DOES need a thorough battery of testing performed by this neuro-psychiatric to rule out other things like Aspergers, Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD), or LDs and to determine more information about his mood issues. This generally takes 2 WHOLE days, or one long day, and it includes things like IQ tests, and cognitive functioning tests.

    What did the doctor say the next step was?
  5. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Our neuropsychologist tested Lucas for twelve hours before he mentioned any diagnosis. He'd had a bipolar diagnosis (they are given up in my opinion too quickly these days), but he doesn't have bipolar. The neuropsychologist agreed with me that he was on the autism spectrum rather than bipolar and four years off all medications, obviously neuropsychologist was right and Psychiatrist was wrong. However, Neuro did tons and tons of testing for every possible issue you can imagine. Frankly, ADHD, bipolar and autistic spectrum disorder can look so alike that they are often mistaken for one another. I like that our neuropsychologist was so thorough and refused to jump to any conclusions. On the other extreme, the psychiatrist saw my son running up and down the halls, jumping on furniture, and crying because he was obsessing over a videogame and wanted it RIGHT NOW and deemed him manic. In one hour we had a bipolar diagnosis that I didn't really agree with, but I thought, "Well...I guess he knows more than me..."
    Ten medications later I was sorry I hadn't taken him for a second opinion sooner.
    I think your neuropsychologist is "jumping the gun." JMO from long experience and two misdiagnoses.
  6. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Oops. As for the "normal" way of diagnosing bipolar, well, I am told I have it. I think I do have a mood disorder, a serious one, but I don't get completely manic. However, I get so depressed I can't function and I also get "high." medications have kept me in great control for years. How did it get diagnosed?
    Guesswork. Doctors listened to my symptoms and guessed. That's how they diagnose all disorders. However, while bipolar made sense for ME as I was highly suicidal and non-functional with the switching moods, my son's hyperness and meltdown had nothing to do with bipolar--he never seemed moody to me. If something feels wrong in your gut, check it out again. It's easy for our professionals to make mistakes.
  7. totoro

    totoro Mom? What's a GFG?

    As someone who is pretty comfortable with her daughter's diagnosis I agree with the other's, although, all 3 of K's psychiatrist's feel she is BiPolar (BP), they will not give her that diagnosis due to the wording of the DSM-IV... it is set up to accomodate most adult BiPolar (BP).
    I also agree that a LONG INTENSIVE Nuero-psychiatric evaluation is proper. Our's was 10 hours, I think 6 visits. That does not include all of the paperwork I sent and the hours of paperwork he had me fill out at home, prior to us meeting.

    He did not diagnosis K, he suggested and gave his opinion, and then referred us back to our pediatrician to talk over the final report and his recommendations.
    We then found a psychiatrist and went through a whole day, it would have been longer but we were out of state, with them. At the psychiatrist we saw 2 psychiatrist's and they saw us separately, and then together. Where we all talked and formed a plan. At this point it was decided that psychiatrist felt very strongly that K has BiPolar (BP), and should be medicated, but it was always up to us and we had to make the choice. She was also very clear that we could always so no. She felt strongly about medicating truly severe BiPolar (BP) kids, but she also felt strongly about behavior interventions first... The psychiatrist that diagnosis'ed K was in a Mood Disorder Clinic, we brought a parent report and video with us as well as every piece of documented paperwork we had... They told us it was the best assessment they had, it made it so much easier for them, K also was cycling pretty bad at the time which didn't hurt, as well as hallucinating!!!

    Sorry you are in this situation it is a tough road no matter what the diagnosis.
    Good luck
  8. brandyf

    brandyf New Member

    our next step is to hear back from teh neuropsychologist regarding his report and what he would like to do from there. also, we will continue to see the child psychiatric weekly which set difficult child up with psychiatry, first visit dec 19th. we are going to have a psychological evaluation done soon thereafter the first appointment. then we start mood stabalizers. plus he goes for sensory integration testing november 27. we were told the psychological evaluation is approx 3 hours.