Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by gennard, Jun 28, 2008.

  1. gennard

    gennard New Member

    I am looking for anyone who has a child who has been diagnosed with bipolar. I am at the end of my rope with my difficult child's behavior. He is currently seeing a psychiatrist but we are not seeing eye to eye on medications chg or diagnosis change so as I make a last attempt to do this I am also looking at making psychiatrist changes. To make matters worse I have lost my job, which equals no insurance, and my medicaide I just got approved for lasts only this month! Today difficult child was asked to stand in time out, he promptly refused, and it escelated into an ALL OUT 1 hour war between myself and my fiance and him (screaming, kicking, spitting,name calling, COMPLETE defiance). Spanking doesnt work anymore, neither does time out, grounding of toys or priviledges and he doesnt seem to care (in these "fits"). When he is finished with his "fit" he acts like nothing happened and everything should be normal. I just dont understand what is happening. I am supposed to move to N.C. in a month where my fiance lives but this has really put a wedge between us as I am scared to make a move with an out of control child in a new environment with no resources. difficult child has been on the same rx for years and I cant help but wonder if something just isnt right.
  2. Steely

    Steely Active Member

    My son was diagnosis with bi-polar when he was 12..........but I knew from age 2. I went through hades and back to get him the right medications, and the right care, because I just knew. doctors told me he was this or that - and put him on medications that made him worse. Finally, after he started exhibiting true manic signs, like sleeplessness, did the doctors feel like the could give him a true BiPolar (BP) diagnosis.

    My suggestions would be:
    *Not move to a new city. This would only escalate his stress level and chaos quotient. Especially with a potential "new dad" in the equation.
    *Not spank him. This only escalates his aggression. Read The Explosive Child by Ross Greene. He gives concrete ways to deal with these kids.
    *Change psychiatrists and get one that is on board with mood liable kids.
    *Once psychiatrists have been changed, insist that your child get off medications that are stims, like Focalin, which can increase aggression impulsivity - and medications that are SSRIs like Zoloft, that can also increase aggression and impulsivity - and try mood stabilizing medications like Lithium, Depakote, Trileptal, etc.
    *Get difficult child a full medical work up that include psychological testing.

    Good luck..............we have walked in your shoes.
  3. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    My son is diagnosis'd with bipolar by his regular psychiatrist, but a higher qualified psychiatrist didn't want to put the life-long label on him just yet because she thought there was some hope that he might stop having uncontrollable mood cycles at some point in the future, although she does agree that he needs to be on mood stabilizers now. So the shorter answer to your question would be that we are treating it as bipolar right now.

    If I interpreted your post correctly, your difficult child just got diagnosis's as bipolar yet has been on the same medications for a while. Your signature indicates that he was diagnosis'd as adhd. I'm not sure about those medications that are listed- others here will be familiar with them I'm sure, but if he is experiencing mood cycling, you really have to be careful with what medications they are taking. Even when you are careful, it still seems to take forever to get them right, as Steely pointed out. With my son, they seem to be right for several months, then he grows or spring comes, and we are back where we started from.

    Anyway, hang in there. Others with more experience than me will be along, but things are sometimes slower here on weekends. (My son has only had this diagnosis for 1 year.)

    PS I just read Steely's post more carefully and I second her suggestions. I didn't realize that none of those medications he is on is a mood stabilizer. If that psychiatrist diagnosis'd him as bipolar and kept him on stims and/or SSRI without even adding a mood stabilizer, then there is a problem. (I learned that one the hard way too- although it wasn't quite that blatent.) I like the MDE's if you can get one, if you can't, at least get another opinion for a child & adolescent certified psychiatrist.
  4. Wiped Out

    Wiped Out Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I agree with Steely. She gave some very good suggestions. I'm sorry your difficult child is struggling so.
  5. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    I third the suggestion. He is not on bipolar medications. In fact, both medications can make bipolar worse.
    also, this is just my opinion, I wouldn't get involved in moving with any fiance or to a new state with an unstable child and a fiance who can't handle him. in my opinion it's asking for a disaster. Good luck.
  6. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Hi Genny, welcome.
    I second/third/fourth the comments about. You've gotten some good ideas here. Slow down the moving process if you can and get some more testing done with-psychs who can prescribe. 8-yrs-old is a good age to get a handle on things. You don't want to wait until the teen yrs!
    How does your difficult child handle transitions? Say, to the grocery store, or just turning off the TV? If those are rough, moving will be rougher. It's a touchy area, where you want to offer information for him to be able to cope, but if you give too much, he may become anxious.
    You said this has driven a wedge between you and your fiance--it doesn't have to be a wedge, just a bit of a slow down. Surely he knows that you love him and want to be with him but you have a responsiblity to stabilize this child.
    I've got my fingers crossed for you.
  7. Sara PA

    Sara PA New Member

    More than make bipolar worse, the combination of drugs that your son is on can cause behaviors that can result in an erroneous diagnosis of bipolar. The daily withdrawal from stimulants (Focalin) can cause what is known as "stimulant rebound" which is often misdiagnosed as some sort of mood disorder or the other. Antidepressants (Zoloft) can cause mood swings, mania, aggression, hostility, etc. There is actually a form of bipolar called antidepressant induced mania/bipolar. There is no way an acurate diagnosis of bipolar can be made with a stimulant and an antidepressant on board, especially for a child so young.