Do you think kids with Mental Illness Honeymoon?

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by totoro, Dec 17, 2007.

  1. totoro

    totoro Mom? What's a GFG?

    OK so we finally got a call back from psychiatrist3... after over 2 weeks, after calling him and leaving a message that K was manic and Hallucinating and up over 24 hours during Thanksgiving... No apologies... We saw him last Thursday. Meeting was bad. He said well it seems like she has been manic or hypo-manic going on a month or so and she is cycling and doing worse... YES!!!
    So he wants to hospitalize her for 2 weeks... "To see is she is really doing these things" He said she can't hide these things at the hospital, if she truly is BiPolar (BP)... He will see it... I said well what about Honeymooning? He said "NO way"
    I also said well what then, so then you believe us... what then...
    We still have horrible schools, we still don't have a "team" we still are going weeks with no return calls... we are still not getting the medications that we think she needs... He still thinks she is "just" ADHD...

    We said NO... While I think someone watching her and really seeing her, in all of her glory is maybe a good ideas, I think that person needs to understand Mental Illness, in children. And be a part of a teaching hospital, with access to others!!!
    Not someone who specializes in ADHD...
    So he Kind of agreed with us in a standoffish way... and said he would suggest Topamax... gave us a script and said see you in 3 weeks.
    We will stick with him until we can get our apt to AZ... I think in FEB.... I mean the head of the pediatrician psychiatric dept called us personally... she had to leave for family stuff to India and said she will calls us in Jan.

    But I was just curious about the honeymooning... K does wonderful in new situations... sometimes it takes a month or so for her to show her true colors... and really let it out... he totally called BS on me when I said that.

    He said if she is Manic she will not be able to hide it... I thought about it , maybe if she is in 24 hours??? But I have never been away from her for days... can a child hold it together for a time at a hospital? I have read they can...
    I told him I could... He said well then your not BiPolar (BP)... I said yes I am...

    I just shut up at that point.... But then I thought about it and was thinking well if I was truly manic could I hide it??? From an expert??? I guess part of me feels he is not an expert on BiPolar (BP)!!!

    I guess I have covered and hid it from so many common folk...

    I am just so disappointed... by it all. I just want someone who cares.

    And should we try Topamax???
    I don't even feel that great about Lamictal right now??? This would all be temp. until we got to Tucson... I would want a medication wash and to start over....
  2. crazymama30

    crazymama30 Active Member

    I have not gone thru near what you have, but I know my son does not honeymoon. I do not know if that is the cyclothymia, the adhd, or the fact that he just does not care to hide anything and does not realize he is not "normal."

    My husband was just diagnosed as BiPolar (BP) and adhd. He can, did and does hide his illness from many. I was not shocked by his diagnosis, but many whom he has told were. They say, "they just can't see it" Yah, cuz he does not want them too. I see lots of it!!

    I think you are a true warrior mom and are doing the best you possibly can for your child. Keep on keeping on.
  3. witzend

    witzend Well-Known Member

    I think that they can definitely honeymoon, and that's a good sign. To me, it means that there's hope that one day they will be able to make smart choices about how they will act and react to things that are difficult for them. They can also make conscious choices about medications and whether they facilitate these behavioral modifications or exercises.
  4. pepperidge

    pepperidge New Member

    HI Totoro,

    I am sorry you having such a rough time with your psychiatrist.

    My kids can definitely hold it together in some ways with the "outside" world. so I believe that honeymooning is possible.

    With a child as young as yours, I would definitely question whether the trauma of separation would be worth it. I would have to be convinced that she was really going to get some good attention I guess to put her through a long hospital stay.
    And I think you are right to want to make sure you are dealing with someone well-versed in BiPolar (BP) as that seems to be a big part of what your daughter is suffering from.

    My oldest has been on Topamax for quite some time now. He takes 100 mg along with Lamictal. The topamax seems to have helped some of the rapid cycling stuff. We have noticed no ill effects, no appetite loss, no cognitive dulling. It didn't deal with the depression though, which Lamictal has done more to help with. It is a pretty low dose, but he tends to respond at low doses.

    It didn't do anything for my youngest, except make him more tired and irritable. We saw the effects relatively quickly (couple of days). I would think that if you could try it under good circumstances (not trying other things that would make it difficult to sort out) it might be worth a shot. We titrated up 25 mg at a time (think a week), cause I don't like going up real fast.

    have a good holiday, remember this is a very hard time for kiddos such as ours...
  5. Star*

    Star* call 911

    HI Toto -

    Hmmm, I'm not sure. I do not have much experience with BiPolar (BP) kids. I DO know that we have been told from 3 different pscyhologists regarding Dude over the years that he IS ADHD, PTSD, CD and they are watching him for emerging signs of BiPolar (BP) / Aspergers / and Psychopathic tendencies.

    The first time I put difficult child in a psychiatric hospital we had NO diagnosis. They kept him for a month ONLY because when he was brought it it was because he had totally trashed a pediatric waiting area, cursed a cop for handcuffing him to a bed, and then taking him TO the hospital in the back of a K-9 unit van. He had messed his pants, was screaming at staff at intake and then an hour later was pouting but fine. Three days later the nurses looked at me like I was crazy or just needed a single mom break for brining him there - he was THAT good. He was so out of control the day I took him there he took a grain scyth after a neighbor boy and meant to kill him. Had he caught him - I'm sure he would have taken his anger out on him.

    Every Residential Treatment Center (RTC) that difficult child has been in - he honeymoons to the point where they call us (parents) in and start with the usual questions, as if. When a doctor suggested he was BiPolar (BP) they tried him on Topomax. It did NOTHING for him at all, and made him puffy and he gained weight quickly. He even told the psychiatric doctor a month later "I already have enough problems doctor, I don't want to be fat on top of it - he was 10." The doctor chuckled and took him off and put him on something else (can't think of what) but it too was a BiPolar (BP) medicine. Finally after 18 months there - they told me they just couldn't control him, he was angry and out of control with no rhyme or reason. But sometimes he could really hold it together.

    Lastly and latest - our psychiatrist told us he could be an emerging psychopath, BUT there are SO many factors to consider and so many crossover diagnosis's. ANd he's holding out with the belief that Dude CAN control all his behaviors - he chooses not to. THAT is more exasperating than if he did have a diagnosis, because at least then I would say "HE does this because he's mentally ill." Our psychiatrist thinks he's emotionally ill and behaviorally ill only. He has the coping skills to do well for himself and still chooses not to.

    Do you have access to a local college medical lab? Can you find out from the professor there WHO in your area is the GO TO person for BiPolar (BP) disorders? Can you maybe video tape her when she's in an out of sync mode and keep a diary? If nothing else it would be helpful for the next doctor she sees.

    But as far as your original question - can children honeymoon? Sure. I was beyond depressed a couple of weeks ago and really could not have faked it had I wanted to - even my boss said I was "mopey" - I lost my spark and just couldn't get my fuse lit. But could I fake a smile or a tone of voice to answer the phone? Sure.

    I used to know a man with BiPolar (BP) who was more manic than anything. In HIS state of depression he could not function - he couldn't fake it, he could not make you think he was okay - he was out of it and sad. HE had other health problems, diabetes, gout etc - that may have helped him feel poorly - but he was in his 60's we're talking about a child...I think kids could fake it or maybe learn to not hyperfocus on being depressed - ESPECIALLY in a new environment. Leave her there for a month or two and let true colors emerge - her behaviors are NOT just ADHD and willful child.

    Hope you find out what is going on and soon.

    Many hugs
    (wishing I was ON a honeymoon) lol
  6. mrscatinthehat

    mrscatinthehat Seussical

    I most definately think they can and do honeymoon. Any Dr that says they won't I would question. My difficult child 2 can hold it together when dealing with new people all the time. But in his case it is a manipulation tactic. But he absolutely honeymoons.

    If you are moving and are planning a medication wash in Feb I would probably just wait and not add a new medication as you might have a time getting old medications out of the system and the less to do so the better in my humble opinion.

  7. Janna

    Janna New Member

    Hi T,

    I started to reply three times, logged out, thought more, and now, I'm going to try this a fourth time LOL!

    I like what Star said - really.

    Here's what I think. Personally, I don't feel hospital stays are worth anything. Although my son hasn't ever been in a hospital setting, I know of others with kids that have, and really, they haven't gotten much out of it.

    What's a two week hospital stay going to give you? medication changes? Someone watching her for two weeks? What if she IS good for two weeks, then what? Then they think you're exaggerating? Overreacting? In need of behavior mod?

    Is there THERAPY there? What interventions are in place in the hospital? What, exactly, are they doing?

    I don't know if Bipolar children can honeymoon Bipolar behaviors. I will tell you this - Dylan has honeymooned many times (although they are now saying he's not Bipolar, too). What he honeymooned were his "ODD" type behaviors. The discipline type stuff. He could be "good" for a while, then crash. Can a child honeymoon mania? Depression? I dunno - I don't see how that's possible when a little kid of your daughters age wouldn't really know HOW to mask that, would she? But, I'm sure she could go in there being good for 2 weeks, especially if she knows ahead she's only going in for 2 weeks. But then that raises an argument to me. All the parents that say the children can't help it, it's not their fault, they can't control it. BUT, if she can go in there 2 weeks and control it, then she CAN! So, hmm....

    Dylan's been at the Residential Treatment Facility (RTF) 3 months. The first 2 the staff at the residence were wondering why he was there. Now, fully unmedicated, they are starting to see why he's there. I don't have to explain. But, it took 3 months. Is he honeymooning? Yeah. But again, he's not Bipolar anymore either (suposedly), AND it shows me that yes, he really CAN control it. For TWO MONTHS, even. Ha.

  8. CrazyinVA

    CrazyinVA Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I've been told, by inpatient doctors and therapists, that there is indeed a honeymoon period in a hospital. I don't think, however, it's likely to last for two weeks. It's more like 2 or 3 days, just enough time for an insurance company to declare them "stable" and discharge them. My youngest used to be able to hold it together, somewhat, at school as well.. the book "The Bipolar Child" discusses this ... it gave me great comfort, as I kept hearing from others that *I* must be the problem, since she only acted out at home.

    Speaking of insurance, I don't see how your psychiatrist can commit to a 2 week hospitalization. Only once has insurance covered my child for more than a week (usually it was 3 days) .. and that was in an extreme circumstance, at a teaching hospital.
  9. busywend

    busywend Well-Known Member

    With a 6 year old you can hide a camcorder. Just video her and show the psychiatrist that. I would not hospitalize at that age. To scary for her.
    If he does not believe you that there is more going on, move on. It is not worth it if you have to teach the doctor.
  10. Wiped Out

    Wiped Out Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I can understand your frustration. I believe in the honeymooning to an extent. difficult child's psychiatrists have never doubted his bipolar diagnosis (although he also has much more going on) and he has somewhat honeymooned in the hospital.
  11. tammyjh

    tammyjh New Member

    My daughter is a honeymooner. She's had 4 separate stays and honeymooned each time. Her last stay was just over a week and they wanted to discharge her the day she arrived because she was so pleasant and easy to get along with. For her, its usually 3 to 4 weeks before she starts showing her true colors. Even then, she still seemed to do a little better in the hospital. I think it was because it was such a controlled environment...very strict rules and routine. I also agree with the poster who mentioned that it seems they don't get a lot out of hospital stays. My daughter didn't because she can't take what she learns and apply it. 6 is young. My daughter's first stay was last year when she was 13. I was quite nervous but she was thrilled and since she really doesn't have a real attatchment to me, anyone who will take care of her needs will do. She's not diagnosis'd with bipolar...just mood disorder not otherwise specified. She does cycle but like her other diagnosis's, if they give her the bipolar label, it won't be because she comes by it in the usual way but through brain injury. Wishing you lots of luck with your little one.
  12. flutterbee

    flutterbee Guest

    T -

    She's just a baby. I wouldn't hospitalize her either. Hide a camcorder like busywend suggested. I could see her not feeling comfortable and not mentioning her hallucinations.

    Yes, I think they can honeymoon. I think if anyone, but especially a child, is not comfortable or doesn't feel safe (as most little ones don't feel safe when away from their parents), they will hide what is going on.
  13. totoro

    totoro Mom? What's a GFG?

    Thanks everyone!!!
    Once again I love your insight!!! He has seen the videos... He has read the reports from the Top psychiatrist in Chicago which says she is "In the Bipolar Spectrum" the psychiatrist working on the DSM-IV...

    I have no thoughts about Hospitalizing her with him... I would not do that. I would only consider that again if we were In Tucson at this teaching Hospital and we LOVED the new psychiatrist and they were really helping us, and she took a horrible nose dive...
    Part of the reason for the move is to avoid these things.
    This guy runs a behavior modification place... I really appreciate him trying to help us but now I am seeing that he is geared more to help kids who have been traumatized and who have behavior disorders... or ADHD. It is not a mood disorder clinic, the place we are looking into going is a Psychiatric Clinic, for Peds. With clinics...

    And husband will suffer from SAD no more!!!! and K as well...

    I don't no what to do about the medications.... sigh, I am going to call out family pediatrician. She received a Presidential award for helping kids with drug issues, born into it or exposure... She is amazing what she does for this community and how much she knows about all of the medications.
    Thanks everyones!!!

    I have asked K how she is able to do well in different environments, she says she is afraid of people finding out she has BiPolar (BP)... SHe doesn't want people to see her out of control... She feels safe with us... she tries to keep it together with us. Sometimes she can't, (therapist, Horse Therapy a few times)

    The honeymooning is interesting....
  14. Steely

    Steely Active Member


    My son rarely honeymooned, and he is a rapid cycler. He was able to usually "hold it together" for up to 4 hours at a time at school, but then melted in the PM. In phosph he could hold it together for maybe a day. However, I think the thing that is the directive force of "holding it together" is fear. If a child is fearful of repercussions for their actions, than they may be able to hold it together longer, but that does not mean the illness is not playing out inside their heads. It just means they are too fearful to share it. My son, has no fear - which has been, and always will be the main problem with his struggle with his mental illness. He acts on every idea, thought, or feeling he has. It sounds like K, really wants to do the right thing, and please people, and is scared that others might not like her - which would cause her "to honeymoon" longer.

    I think it also depends on how severe it is. If the child or person is psychotic and completely unaware of their surroundings, than of course, they are not going to honeymoon - because the concept of honeymooning is based upon the person wanting to please, or hide things.

    I think most psychiatrists are just so not tuned into reality it is sad. It literally took me 7 years to find our psychiatrist........and she still has some "facts" that are far from what I hold the truth to be about mental illness.

    As far as Topomax - I don't know. It is a mood stabilizer as is Lamictal. And 2 mood stablizers are often need in BiPolar (BP) patients, so it is worth a try. In our personal experience, my difficult child tried it and appeared so completely mentally impaired we had to stop it. He could not even do simple addition. Again, every patient is different, and I think the concept of doing an additional MS is plausible, and worth exploring, especially given her negative responses to APs.

    Hang in there........and keep fighting the fight! You are an amazing Mom!
  15. totoro

    totoro Mom? What's a GFG?

    I don't know if K would or would not Honeymoon if she was Hospitalized? I was just blown away by psychiatrist's arrogance at over his comment... He acted like "Honeymooning" was a myth.
    She has never really been away from us with strangers overnight... I don't think she is holding it together very well right now at school as it is... I just feel at this point If you are convinced it is just "ADHD" that is what you would see... regardless.

    Just like the Autism guru we saw .... he never saw K, yet he diagnosis'ed her as Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD)-not otherwise specified...He was a Psychologist... That was all he treated was Autistic kids, because that was how he got funding...
    I need an open mind who sees all disorders... and understands them...

    My baby is staying with me... we have been videoing some new current stuff also...lots of fun!!!