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! 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.