Does my daughter have a Mood Disorder?


New Member

This is my first post. My 10 year old daughter was diagnosed with Aspergers a few years ago. She is now also diagnosed with ADHD but possibly a mood disorder. Her reactions to medications point to possible mood disorder, not necessarily Bipolar, but maybe. She has ALWAYS been inflexible and defiant. She is extremely bright but over the last couple of years has more school work refusal issues. Also, over the past year or so she gets mad at us when we ask her to do anything that will cause the slightest discomfort.....take a shower, pick up a mess, stop watching TV, stop playing a video game etc. She will tell us to shut up or she tells us she hates us. When things are going well (she is having fun) then she seems fine. She seems sort of Aspie-like, but does not have too much awkwardness. She presents sort of in between Aspie and neurotypical. But when there is a problem (stress) and she is inflexible and defiant, she looks more Aspie.

The issue now is that she is so moody, it looks like more than Asperger's is going on here. She can't seem to deal with the slightest demand, she is mean to us, she says hurtful things all the time, she doesn't seem very sorry about any of it either, which is very concerning. Things will be good and she will be happy but the minute something doesn't go her way a switch flips and she is hateful.

She doesn't have moods that last very long. She goes back and forth several times a day. She is impulsive so she may hit or kick but I would't say she is "violent", she hasn't actually hurt anyone. So there is some physical aggression and a lot of verbal aggression. Like I said sometimes she is fine and fully functional.

Does this sound familiar to anyone? We do see lots of docs who are all trying to figure her out. She has a very stable home and no one in the household/immediate family has any mental illnesses, though Bipolar does run in the family, as does depression.

Thanks for listening, please feel free to ask questions!

Sounds a lot like my 10 yr old daughter. We are so confused because she can be so normal at times and then a nightmare! She cycles very rapidly too.
She hasn't been diagnosed with anything as I am just in the early stages of gathering info about what could be wrong. I know its not anything Autism related. But I don't know what it is. And because she cycles so much we keep thinking well... maybe she's just difficult. But then it'll get bad again.


Staff member
Welcome @mevmom

I wanted to say hello and offer you my support.

Sounds like you are being proactive and gathering information. I'm no expert, but if I were in your situation I would get her evaluated. There are a lot of parents here that know a lot more of the specifics about that stuff than I do. Hopefully they will share their knowledge with you.


Well-Known Member
Sounds a lot like my 10 yr old daughter.
And because she cycles so much we keep thinking well... maybe she's just difficult. But then it'll get bad again.
I agree with RB. What I did is take my son to a regional children's hospital. They will have a department called something like "Child Development." There will be neuropsychologists, child psychiatrists, social workers. Your child will receive an extensive evaluation. It may take several visits. Likely so. They will take Medicaid or insurance. An alternative would be a major university teaching hospital. They will have faculty members who have their practices there.

When you know more about what is going on, you can request an IEP at school to get help. But first, I think you need more information. There are many parents here who have gone through and are still going through similar trials. I hope you keep posting. It helps. Welcome.


New Member
Thank you. Right now she is homeschooled. Next year she will go to part time private school. That's why we've never had an school evaluations done.
I'm meeting a friend tomorrow to pick her brain- she works with difficult kids and Special Education at a school nearby.
I don't know if my husband will agree to have her evaluated. Because it's such a roller coaster it's like it'll get so bad and I'll think we need help! But just when I'm on the brink of getting it, things will calm down a bit. Lots of mind games all the time- I always wonder if she's just challenging or if it's more than that. And even if it is more than that, do I want to go down the route of medications and all that?
I know my husband is afraid that labelling her will make it worse. She already thinks she's "the bad one" and he thinks a diagnosis might cement her notion that something is wrong with her.
Also my husband is self employed and we don't have insurance. We are part of a bill sharing co-op but it doesn't do mental health stuff. I need to figure out what options we have for paying for all this.


Well-Known Member
do I want to go down the route of medications and all that?
I understand this. I was afraid of the labeling too. But I was interested in the assistance that Special Education services gave my son, including free non-public school. I think that support is not the same thing as diagnosing. At a university medical school (at least where we went) there was a sliding scale. So if income is low, cost is low. I think home schooling can be tough on both the parent and the child. Social relationships and getting out are important. And respite for parents is important too. What about exercise, sports, hobbies and interests? What does she love to do? What kinds of activities might be available?


Well-Known Member
You dont have the training to diagnose and treat her yourself. You just dont. None of us do. Even doctors dont usually like to care for their own children. We are too emotionally involved when it comes to our own children.

A label gets you help. Period. You never even need to tell a label name to your daughter. But it helps the mental health professionals with knowing how to treat her.

Especially because she is not in a traditional school and because your husband is afraid....she cant be helped unless the family fear/mindset is loosened. It, whatever it is, is not going to just disappear. in my opinion best to deal with it in the best way possible. That is how my son ended up doing so incredibly well.

Copa spelled out the best options for diagnosing. She is very right on the money fir good, cist saving options.

If you wont use any traditional methods, your daughter probably wont get any help. Are you against all medication or traditional therapy as well? If so, you are pretty much on your own...........all of us on this forum reached out for professional help.

Good luck!!
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New Member
No I'm not against help at all! I met with a friend who specializes in this area today.
Unfortunately none of that matters because when I talked to my husband, I confirmed that we are not on the same page at all. He seems to see this situation very differently. He sees her as high spirited and emotional. Challenging but not problematic. He sees this as a problem with how I relate to her, that I just can't handle her emotions. I don't deny that I struggle with that. I know we have issues with our dynamic. I just think it's more than that.
Anyway it doesn't matter because we are gridlocked so no progress can be made. He thinks I just can't see the good in her. I'm sad and frustrated. There's really nothing I can do right now except work with my counselor on way to cope better.
Thanks for listening.


Well-Known Member
He sees this as a problem with how I relate to her, that I just can't handle her emotions.
He thinks I just can't see the good in her. I'm sad and frustrated.
This sounds like me with my son!
There's really nothing I can do right now except work with my counselor on way to cope better.
I think there are reasons that our children trigger us. I am trying to see my son as my "teacher" about myself. My responses, my pain, my fear and anxiety about him, are all looked at another way, about me. I do not think it is a questioning of coping. Coping to me feels like enduring. If I endure my son I am not being the mother I want to be, or the person I need to be. I want to thrive, not endure. I want to be close to him, not cope.

I believe if we look at ourselves and our lives we will learn some of what we need to learn about ourselves. Our children are our guides. What did you hope for with your baby girl? What need did you yearn to have filled as a parent? As a person? My son was my everything. He answered every yearning, fulfilled every dream. Until he grew up and had other ideas. I was left holding the bag. Having to carry and make sense of my own stuff. Now I trying to learn to have a more appropriate relationship with him. This is on me; not on him.

I hope you keep posting. I have learned from you. Take care.