what triggers mania or hypomania?

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by Jena, Sep 19, 2008.

  1. Jena

    Jena New Member


    i hope everyone is happy it's friday. i am....... i absolutely adore difficult child but she's with-dad this weekend. so i'll get a chance to catch up on a few things, get my head together and ready for another week with-her and school.

    so i was wondering has anyone ever noticed particular triggers your child may have that set off a manic episode? im starting to delve into things a bit more, foods she eats, etc. watch her more carefully not just behaviors but what's going on around her to see what if anything sets her off......... yes i know probably should of done that two years ago lol.......

    my research states that sugar, caffeinne, stress can set it off. has anyone noticed anything more particular with their child??

  2. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    Jen, I think it is specific to each person. But, the main things are what you listed- anxiety-ridden situations, stress, over-stimulation/caffeine, etc are supposed to be big ones. The key, it is my understanding, is to identify what the specifics are that is causing it with your child. Another for mine- although it might be coincidence- I have noticed that in high allergy seasons, he is more apt to be manic. Actually, that is when he is manic. He had asthmatic wheeziing as a baby and young child, so I harbor a question of whether or not the steroids used or current allergy medications of even the allergies themselves have something to do with it. Also, I've been trying to research more, since I'm not getting satisfactory answers from tdocs, and I have read on a few psychiatric links that something called "expressed emotion" can do it. This is when the parent (and I assume any caregiver or teacher) expresses strong emotion or emotional reactions to the kid. This could be a big one for me!!

    Good luck!

    Oh- forgot- lack of sleep. If I let difficult child stay up real late or sleep real late and it messes up his regular sleeping habits- it can get him "out of the normal realm". Lack of exercise and daily routine can do it too. They need relaxed environments, according to what I've read.

    Even situations that are normal for a kid to get excited about can get my son into hypomania- he just has trouble sometimes with the moods and actions staying in the normal realm and "reeling " himself back in.
  3. smallworld

    smallworld Moderator

    Triggers do differ for each individual. My son's mania has been triggered by antidepressant use (specifically three weeks of Zoloft rxed for anxiety) and anxiety itself. Lack of sleep can be a sx itself of mania or it can lead to a manic episode. Last winter my son was so anxious about attending a day treatment program that he couldn't sleep. That led to staying up night after night for a couple of weeks without the need to sleep during the day, which is a sx of mania. Seroquel put an end to this manic episode.
  4. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Jen, I have HAD mania. NOTHING triggered it, specifically. Sugar and what I ate had nothing to do with other EXCEPT for caffeine. For about twenty years I was afraid of caffeine because that had triggered two depressive episodes (not manic, but when you get both, you never know which way it will kick you). Sometimes, at times when I should have been the happiest, I'd get depressed and at sad times I'd feel inappropriately happy and I couldn't change it. The day after my beloved grandmother died, I was giggling at the family get together. My mother never forgave me and disinherited me. Yet I was devestated inside, but I couldn't feel sad. Hard to explain.
    You should try logging the moods. There could be a pattern, like, every third day she changes, etc. Then at least you'll be prepared and maybe you can give her a very low-key day with no caffeine before the expected hike. From what I know, just as a layperson who suffered from a mood disorder even as a kid, acting hyper and silly can be from anxiety and/or depression as well as mania in a child. I used to have "good" and "bad" years. Until I hit my teens, I always seemed extremely hyper, volatile, overly sensitive, defiant and unpredictable. Once I hit thirteen I had my first extreme depression and then my cycling slowed down. The problem with BiPolar (BP) is you can't really always monitor eating habits and you can't make life stress free (sigh). The right medications do miracles, but it took until I was 35 for them to invent a medication that helped me about 90%. Your child is getting good, early therapy. That should help her cope as she gets older. Plus new medications are being invented all the time. I had to wait for the SSRI. (((Hugs)))
  5. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    My difficult child is not bipolar (unipolar severe depression,never been manic or mixed a day in his life. On Luvox and doing incredibly well overall) BUT things like processed meats, preservatives, and food color added to the list you made ALL make him much worse. In every way.
  6. Jena

    Jena New Member


    thanks for all the great info as always!!! yes i've tried to log it as you had mentioned, yet for while i saw a pattern and actually knew ok by day 4 she'll sleep again. yet since summer began there is no rhyme or reason at least i don't see one yet or pattern to it. i'Tourette's Syndrome kinda all over the place. i've noticed sugar has an affect, i've also noticed exercise and activities trigger mania in her, or hyperactivity. what would wear another child out and make them tired makes my little girl go over edge with excitement and talking quickly and jumping from one subject to the next and singing and dancing and ahhh!!! lol

    so, now i've introduced the theatre group and a musical instrument the school offered a few she chose the violin only a certain number of children got picked and she was one of them. so i've got bases covered on the outside actiivty thing, working on finding new therapist. sleep is the hardest on the nights she is flying. which yes you are soo correct that def triggers an episode either way. there are nights the meditation works and i can get her down by midnight the past week (5 weeks leading up to school nothing worked it was like nightly torture), then there are nights it does not.

    school is nervous about the thorazine they have asked me to keep her home while i put her on it until i know if it's right medication and it's being accepted by her body with-no side effects.

    this past week after she crashed tuesday and slept until 1 in afternoon she has been sleeping more, heightened anxiety during day and rough a.m.'s getting her going because all hse wants to do is sleep she is alot more sensitive i've noticed crying for long periods of time over simply mishaps yet she is participating more in school..?? go figure, not so much socially just with teacher, work output raising hand..... like a puzzle lol.

    i think a nutrionist is next on my list. i'm thinking start medication, introduce vitamins, continue with yoga and meditation start the therapy again, then in time if medication works wean her off medication. i think i'm beginning to accept my life which is good regarding her, it's always going to be a roller coaster ride. i've been shocked into panic attacks past 3 years and very dramatic over it, yet acceptance is slowly beginning..........

  7. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Why in all that is good and holy would you wean a kid off a medication that works? Isnt that something akin to waking a sleeping baby?
  8. Jena

    Jena New Member

    lol, yes it would be in a sense i'm totally feeling you on that one....... yet my hope or eventual goal and yes long time from now is if possible to have her medication free. i've read great stuff about herbal accompanied by meditation, yoga and therapy can truly make a difference. yet right now stabilizing her from the swings in sleep and mood is my main goal.

    it's my hope, may not be reality, just my hope for her to live a medication free life". we shall see what the future brings.
  9. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    I'm probably asking the obvious, first thing you tried, but just in case... have you tried making sure she gets an early bath, good dinner, relaxing evening maybe playing a board game with you or something, then laying down with her and reading together for a little while, turning lights off and laying with her a few more minutes? When my son was that age, I had to do that several times at the beginning of school years to get him back on a better schedule, then I'd have to do it any time he got over stimulated. Whereas most kids could go to a scout party or something and come home exhausted, mine would come home all wound up. I would have to help him relax before he could fall asleep- then he'd be out cold!
  10. Jena

    Jena New Member


    it's fine that your asking the obvious you never know......and suggestions are always a great thing.

    yes the sleep issues and possible mania has been going on since difficult child is a baby. yet when she began pre k i did just that the warm baths, often with herbal stuff in them to sooth lavender etc. night light in the room, herbal sprays on sheets, calm evenings reading or just laying down watching movie together. yet always did the reading before bed to calm her mind, since t.v. stimulates. tried melatonin kava kava herbal teas, etc. when difficult child is wired nothing works not even the chlonidine she used to be on, yet when she's in calm mode she'll fall asleep.

    she cried when she can't sleep, she gets so frustrated.

    yes and i experience the same thing, when i take her out activites wire her even more, not exhaust her like other children.

  11. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Have you tried the medications yet?
  12. Jena

    Jena New Member


    not yet i'm doing it this friday. she was with her dad this weekend and the school would "prefer" she not be in the bldg when i start her on the medications.......their very nervous about this medication.

    so i'm starting her in 4 days on friday night and she'll be home with me on the weekend so i can observe. i'll also be doing the make a pot of coffee for night and watch her to see if she's ok i hate giving medications at bedtime new one's........
  13. Mania/hypomania are very hard to predict, but we did identify two things that don't look like they were specifically mentioned. We've found with difficult child that he still cycles consistently over a certain period of time, it's just more obvious sometimes versus others.

    After a family crisis; he will always fall apart; difficult child holds everything in trying to help out during these situations most of the time. We're trying to work through the fall-out now from my Dad just passing away. He was a model child throughout Dad's sickness and funeral services.

    Slight, but consistent changes in behavior are also important predictors for our difficult child - the same comments, feedback, actions, etc. seem to happen over and over again. They are usually the foreshadow to the cycling that difficult child is still internalizing perhaps? What we used to be surprised by, we now can sometimes identify and help him to handle a little better. Unfortunately, we are still missing things far too often and end up with an "aha" moment afterwards - but it does seem to help some.

    Diet, exercise, sleep, etc. are all the same for my difficult child as mentioned by others.