I have been diagnosed with Bipolar for 24 years. I thought I might be able to throw in a few things I have learned along the way. Finding the right medications can be a very long process. You have to fight for the right for your child to feel GOOD. Not just okay, not just living in a fog, GOOD. It makes all the difference. Obviously in some of these emergency situations you are looking for calm, but in the long run your child will feel better when they feel good. Listen to YOUR gut, if you really believe a medication isn't working after a fair trial, ask the psychiatrist for a change. They don't like it when you question their authority. The more you have read/learned about the treatments, medications, etc. the better. Bring in books, bring in your journals. They will take you seriously and work with you. I have literally been to doctors were I have known more than they do about the latest treatments/medications. Putting a person with Bipolar on an anti-depressant without a mood stabilizer first is a recipe for disaster. The mood stabilizer keeps the mood swings in check, without it there the anti-depressant can cause all kinds of trouble. Most psychiatrists that treat Bipolar are hesitant to add anti-depressants to the medication mix at all. Doctors tend to try to keep you on long term medication trials. In my opinion (and this is just from experience, if it isn't working in a month, it isn't going to work. Mood stabilizers take effect much sooner than an anti-depressant. Try addiing one medication at a time if possible so you can track how it is working before you add others. Keep a detailed journal. Doses, mood swings, time of day, doctors visits, what the child has said is good/bad about the treatment or medicine. in retrospect, I wish I had done this for myself from day one. If a child is threatening suicide, take it seriously, especially if they have a plan on how they wish to do it. For me, during my period the medications did not work. It was like living a week without medications. It might not happen for everyone, just thought I would throw it in there. For medication help/questions try the website called Psycho-Babble also Braintalk.org is good. The have specific forums for each type of Brain Disorders. Just wanted to share a bit of what I have learned first hand. If you live in Southern California, Dr. * is amazing. In Las Vegas, *. I can't recommend them enough, they are incredible. psychiatric hospitals do help. You get intensive daily help and evaluations and the medications get situated much faster (especially during a time of crisis. It also helps children to see how bad it can get if they don't comply with their treatment. Seeing a young woman throw full size furniture across a room in a rage scared the **** out of me. (we were kept safe during this) And one more thing, LAMICTAL ROCKS and has been a god send!