Back from NAMI Basics class #2

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by gcvmom, Sep 25, 2009.

  1. gcvmom

    gcvmom Here we go again!

    We reviewed brain physiology and the major mental illnesses (ADHD, depressive disorders, ODD/CD, anxiety disorders, bipolar, Schizophrenia) which was nothing new. But it was helpful to see the various hallmarks of the disorders and how there is often overlap.

    Which got me wondering about my own difficult child's because of the symptoms I see and how they fall into various camps. Time will tell, for instance, if difficult child 1 goes on to develop bipolar (I could see him going the BPII route, while difficult child 2 is more BPI).

    Much of the data in the class materials is 10 years old, which was a little disappointing. But some of it is based on things that have been confirmed in the last 5 years or so (especially as it relates to medications and their effects on BiPolar (BP) kids).

    One couple has a 15yo daughter who just got her diagnosis this year and is currently on her second hospitalization since January. She started sneaking out at age 12 to have sex, and has now moved on to street drugs. They are at the stage where many of you have been where they are trying to figure out what to do in the next 2 weeks to 30 or 60 days when she is discharged, because she cannot come home anymore. I really wanted to hand them a piece of paper with this web address, but it just isn't the time yet! I'm sure I'll get a chance to talk with them in the coming weeks.

    Next week we get to go over the medications. Majority of parents there have BiPolar (BP) kids, which is nice to know that we're all dealing with similar issues.

    One elderly woman (70's at the very least) said she was just there to learn and hopefully help people at her church (where this is being held). Well, she doesn't just work at the church, she's actually a professor of neurophysiology at a private college here! Very cool. No wonder she had no problem pronouncing some of the vocabulary that had others stumbling as we took turns reading! :p

    Several of the people there had gone to see Dr. Amen who has been pushing his PET scans for the last decade or so (most psychiatrists don't support his methods at all -- ours says the guy is just in it for the money), and most had positive things to say, which I found interesting. At $3,500 a pop, and he takes no insurance (and most insurance won't cover a PET scan for mental health diagnostic purposes), I guess if you have lots of disposable income and are desperate for a fast answer, he'd be worth trying.
  2. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member are in SOCAL...why dont you watch for the Dr.Phil tickets for one of his shows on this issue? You cant be far from his show. He takes questions from the audience!
  3. Sheila

    Sheila Moderator

    Good for you! Knowledge sure helps us sort things out in our own minds.

    Personally, $3,500 would have been a HUGH bargain compared to what we've paid out is cash over the years. Can't even put a $$ amount on the time spent discussing "issues" with-school personnel, home chaos, stress, time off work, etc.

    How wonderful it would be to get have the scan done, and presto -- conclusive diagnosis resulting in at least a direction to take?

    Excellent move in the right direction regarding medications and bipolar.

    Confirmed, huh? Could have done that by polling members of this board. lol Heck, polling not necessary -- just spend some time reading the threads....
  4. gcvmom

    gcvmom Here we go again!

    Janet, people here pay ridiculous amounts of money for lots of unproven treatments for just about anything you can think of because they hear a soundbite and take that as the gospel truth.

    Sheila, I've learned more about mental illness from this board in the few years I've been around here than I'd learned in all the years before! We have an awesome collective pool of knowledge and experience that is always growing!
  5. miles2go

    miles2go Member

    medications and effect on BiPolar (BP) kids? Can you tell more, please?
  6. Nomad

    Nomad Guest

    Did the folks who went to see Dr. Amen get any help?
    Where is his office?
    Also, does he advocate the use of any medication at all?

    Thank you.
  7. gcvmom

    gcvmom Here we go again!

    miles, medications will be covered in next week's class :)

    Nomad, of the people there who had seen him (I think it was two), they were happy with the results. He does rx medications -- he just uses the (expensive) PET scan to decide which areas of the brain are involved in the patient's situation and uses that info to choose the medications. Here's his website with location info:

    Our psychiatrist (and many in the field) does not really subscribe to this guy's methods, mainly because he feels that it's not been scientfically proven (although he does have some success stories) through the usual studies, and because he seems to really be in this for the money (he does not take insurance, and most insurance plans do NOT cover PET scans for this type of diagnosis.
  8. Shari

    Shari IsItFridayYet?

    Let me know what you think of the class when its over. I took this a couple of months ago with my exMIL and we were a bit disappointed.