Hello! I need some help.

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by emmebee, Nov 3, 2008.

  1. emmebee

    emmebee New Member

    Hello eveyone. I hope I do this right?

    I have a question about our difficult child son who is eight. We finally seem to have his mood stabilized on the Lamictal and better impulse control with the Concerta so I feel like he is functioning "somewhat normal", but he hates affection. As parents we can not touch him in a loving way, no hugs, absolutely no kisses, not even kind words, he gets really agitated and angry if we do. He has been this way since he was an infant and I didn't know any better because he is our first. I thought that when we had him more stabalized this would improve. So, I guess my question is, is this normal for a child with BiPolar (BP) disorder?, is there a name for this? Does anyone have any experience "breaking through" with some kind of therapy?

    I just feel like for the last 3 years we have been so concerned with getting a diagnosis and stabalizing his mood and depression that this aspect of his disorder has been on the back burner, but I feel like there is no emotional connection or real transfer of love that can take place and I don't want just chalk it up to "his personality". My husband doesn't seem so worried about it.

    Anyway, thanks for listening. I think this is a place I really need to be.
  2. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    Hi and welcome!! I am no expert, but it doesn't sound like BiPolar (BP) to me. Who diagnosed him? Has he had neuropsychological testing done? Is a child psychiatrist involved?

    That must be tough to have to live with- for you and for him. My guess would have been the attachment disorder or some form of autism. My son has mood cycling (BiPolar (BP) not otherwise specified) but he is usually affectionate - when he isn't cycling- and has been since birth.

    Have you seen a lot of improvement in other areas with his current medications and treatment? Maybe it is a combination of things, I can't say.

    Anyway, there are many parents here to offer support. Hang in there and know that you aren't alone. Our difficult child's (gifts from God) can be a real challenge but as you know, they are all unique and special in their own way.
  3. Wiped Out

    Wiped Out Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Welcome-glad you found us. I'm glad his moods are stabilized. I'm not sure if the lack of affection is part of the Bipolar.

    My difficult child is Bipolar and like this some of the time (more that way with me than with husband). My son was adopted and we think he may be somewhere on the Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD) spectrum which for our son might explain some of this.

    Have his doctors said what they think might be the cause?

    Again, welcome-you are not alone!
  4. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    You could also look into the autistic spectrum disorders and see if it fits your son. It's not uncommon to have an AS disorder diagnosed as something else before getting a the correct diagnosis.

  5. flutterbee

    flutterbee Guest

    I would look into more. If the mood stabilizers are helping his mood, the BiPolar (BP) is probably a good diagnosis, in my opinion. However, he could have more going on such as Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) (Autism Spectrum Disorder), sensory issues, all kinds of things.

    It has to be incredibly painful to have a child you can't show affection to.

    Welcome to the board.
  6. crazymama30

    crazymama30 Active Member

    I would want to know how you are showing affection? Are you hugging, kissing, or is it verbal? Affection can be shown many ways. I would also talk to his psychiatrist about it. My husband is BiPolar (BP) II, and does not and never has like public shows of affection. I am not sure why, but I do know he does not like to draw attention to himself.
  7. nvts

    nvts Active Member

    Hi~! Welcome to the site! I have to echo what the other's have said. Autistic spectrum kids have quite a few reasons why they don't get into the whole, huggy & lovey thing.

    I'd also recommend a neuropsychologist. They sound scary, but actually, it's pretty much a bunch of tests done over a perioud of time that helps determine a "tighter fit" on our kids diagnosis!

    Again, welcome to the crowd - there's a lot of experience on here - I've learned tons!

  8. Sheila

    Sheila Moderator

    Hi emmebee

    I bet your heart dropped when you read about the difficulty in getting a diagnosis -- especially in that you've been working on it for 3 years.

    What the pros don't usually tell parents is that it's common for kids with-neurological disorders to have coexisting conditions. As Fran says, it's kind of like peeling the layers off an onion.

    My son doesn't have bipolar disorder, but he displays some of the symptoms you've expressed concern with.

    This is flagging me as potential sensory issues. While sensory issues typically are associated with Pervasive Development Disorders, Sensory Integration Disorder can stand alone (highly unusual) or coexist with a multitude of other disorders.

    I highly recommend The Out of Sync Child by Kranowtiz also.

    My son was very similar to yours in the areas you mention + other areas. What it boiled down to though was that he couldn't stand to be touched. It's not personal -- though it's hard to remember that when a child appears to reject your love. Luckily, there is real treatment for Sensory Integration Disorder (SID) via pediatric occupational therapists.

    I am not in favor of seeing only a mental health professional. It's my opinion that their evaluations are too narrowly focused. I feel the same about seeking out just a Diagnostician for Learning Disability (LD) evaluations, etc.

    It's my opinion that a parent will get the best results from a competent team of professionals from various professions, hence, I favor a multidisciplinary evaluation approach. You'll find more info about MDE's on the FAQ Forum.

    Welcome to the site.:D

    I forgot to add that with appropriate therapy, my son's sensory issues are much, much better.
    Last edited: Nov 3, 2008
  9. emmebee

    emmebee New Member

    Thank you to everyone for your replies. As for testing, he has had psychiatric testing, the testing at school and he is under the care of a child psychiatric. The medications are definitely helping so we feel confident about the BiPolar (BP) diagnosis. We did think Aspergers, but the testing ruled that out. I wouldn't be suprised about him being on the spectrum, though. And from your insight I can see that the lack of affection is probably not due to the BiPolar (BP). Oh, and as for affection I mean a gentle touch, a hug, a squeeze, etc. The only touch we can give him is at night when we put him to bed he likes to have his arm scratched, his ear rubbed, back scratched, etc. So, that is something. He does know that I kiss him after he is asleep and tonight he said, "Mom, promise me you won't kiss me when I am asleep tonight". I shouldn't have told him. I will look into some of your suggestions, especially the Sensory Integration Disorder (SID). I actually just heard about it from a friend that has a son with ADHD and has been tested for many things, so it's interesting that it was brought up again. As for what the Dr. says, he has been more concerned with getting his mood stable and we haven't really talked specifically about it. For me, it's definitely on the for front now. Thanks again!!