HELP! Is this counselor RIGHT?

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by weaselqt, Sep 7, 2007.

  1. weaselqt

    weaselqt New Member

    Yesterday, I took difficult child to a counselor. We've had tough times and our school counselor recommended it and so we went. Well, she told me difficult child may not be diagnosed correctly - of course I am very open to that suggestion, but what she said next has me TOTALLY CONFUSED!! She said that BIPOLAR people know when they are in a rage and the things they do in their rage are PLANNED and they do not do things without thinking about it FIRST!

    I'm confused. I have never seen nor heard that about BiPolar (BP).

    Yes, difficult child can explode in to a rage while laughing in the same sentence, do things that are crazy, and when he is calm, he is upset for what he did and wishes he didn't do it. She said that since he does things without thinking of them first, then he can't be BiPolar (BP) since BiPolar (BP) patients plan what they do.

    Is this right?
  2. AllStressedOut

    AllStressedOut New Member

    I've never heard of that with BiPolar (BP), but I have only researched it some. Mostly when we started having problems with difficult children bio mom. Let me know if you find some research about this to back it up.
  3. goldenguru

    goldenguru Active Member

    What are the credentials of the new counselor?

    I think that BiPolar (BP) recognize that they are enraged. But, I think they lack the wherewithal to disengage. I DON'T believe that they always know when they are manic. I don't know what context all of this was said, so of course it's impossible to comment with certainty.

    I would be surprised if any therapist could undo a diagnosis after only one session however.

    With teenagers ... I tend to believe that so many of their 'bipolar' behaviors are hormonal in nature. Most teenagers are bipolar. It's a matter of degrees.
  4. Sheila

    Sheila Moderator

    I don't know the answer to the question -- I think each disorder impacts individuals differently. But with ADHD, your difficult child is likely going to have lack of impulse control.

    I posted a link in one of the threads today about behavior differences comparing bipolar to adhd. Your son has both disorders, so it's likely often difficult to determine what's causing a particular behavior at any point in time.

    You might want to get a copy of "The Bipolar Child."
  5. Sheila

    Sheila Moderator

  6. flutterbee

    flutterbee Guest

    Yep, that's what I think, too.
  7. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    I have bipolar. She is very inept. Although I remembered what I did, I certainly NEVER planned it. The rage bubbled up in a nano-second and exploded. I wouldn't pay attention to her. She isn't legally qualified to diagnose.
  8. flutterbee

    flutterbee Guest

    MWM, I can't speak for how things are in your state, Wisconsin, but in Ohio at least counselors (psychologists, licensed professional counselors) can and do legally diagnose.

    That said, I think this person is either way off base or there has been a big miscommunication.
  9. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    I thought they had to be a psychiatrist to make a legal diagnosis.
    At any rate, this counselor doesn't understand bipolar if that's what she thinks about it.
  10. crazymama30

    crazymama30 Active Member

    I agree with MWM in that bipolar people do not plan their rages.
  11. I agree with MWM, I think beepers are aware when they are enraged, but it's certainly not planned and it is difficult to recognize when one is over the top, it is only later that the realization sets in.

    And that is in adults.

    I think that with children it would be much more difficult to have that insight and realize when you are cycling or going into a manic phase.

    I would not trust a counselor who makes a dianosis on the basis of one visit. Doesn't sound very professional to me.
  12. weaselqt

    weaselqt New Member

    Thanks for all the "back-up". I knew what she said wasn't right - I just knew it, but started looking it up as soon as I got home and didn't see anything like it.

    difficult child tells me that he realizes he is mad when he feels like ripping off his skin - and he doens't know how to stop it. He also doesn't know his strength and is remorseful later (well, not all the time - haha).

    Anyway - I will take him back this week to see what she has to say. I had to fill out a questionnaire to bring back to her - I'm a bit anxious to hear her opinion.

    Anyway - thanks!
  13. Sara PA

    Sara PA New Member

    No, she's wrong.
  14. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    Sara is right. She is wrong. She may be able to make a diagnosis that the insurance company will pay attention to, and the school may pay attention to her IF you give her permission to send stuff to her.

    BUT the ONLY person legally qualified to diagnosis and provide MEDICAL TREATMENT for mentally ill patients is a PSYCHIATRIST. This is a doctor with a medical degree. NOT a therapist, counsellor, or pastor. Or man on the street with ugly plaid pants. (one of these just tried to tell me my son chews on his shirt because he is mentally retarded" - I just laughed and kept on going. My son is very intelligent. The man in the ugly plaid pants is NOT intelligent!).

    You have the right and responsibility to keep this counsellor's opinions and diagnosis from the school if you disagree. It is important to find a therapist you can work with, and even then it isn't always a good idea to sign off on letting the school andthe docs of any kind talk about your kid. Make them give you a report in writing and IF you want the school to see it then YOU give it to the school.


  15. Sara PA

    Sara PA New Member

    by the way, has anyone pointed out that people diagnosed with bipolar should be on at least one mood stabilizer and your daughter isn't?

    Mood stabilizers are lithium, Lamictal, Depakote, Tegretol/Trileptal. Antipsychotics like Risperdal are approved for the short term treatment of phases or episodes (generally mania) but they are not long term maintenance drugs which delay (or prevent) the switch to mania or depression.
  16. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member

    Susie...I beg to disagree that the only person legally qualified to diagnose and provide medical treatment for mentally ill patients is a psychiatrist but that is neither here nor there in this discussion.

    What has been said about bipolar people and rages is simply untrue. While we may recognize that we be in a rage once we get into one, I dont think any of us set out before hand and planned it like a birthday party. Rages are not fun. It is a very out of control feeling. It is something that simply comes over a person. Different things can trigger it and like another person mentioned, mania can be a trigger that can be very hard for a bipolar person to recognize in themselves.

    Add into that the awful existence of mixed cycling or rapid cycling and you have a recipe for disaster of meltdowns and rages that are very hard to control. None of this is planned on the part of the bipolar person. It is a medical condition no different than diabetes and you wouldnt blame a diabetic if they went into shock from insulin imbalances.
  17. witzend

    witzend Well-Known Member

    I agree.

    I agree with this too. I think that most people - even BiPolar (BP) people - know when they are acting out. Perhaps when we act out we all feel somewhat justified in our behavior. Some of us just less stable moods than others.
  18. weaselqt

    weaselqt New Member

    We have an appointment with psychiatrist in October - until then, we decided to try some counseling - of course I was set aback by what she said. I knew she was wrong - but I will give her another chance.

    I talked to my pediatrician about seeing another psychiatrist because it takes so long to get in to see ours and he said that he highly recommends we keep the appointment and if difficult child 2 has problems (got a bit violent Fri. night) we would probably call "brentwood" and they will see him right away but place him in the facility.

    Since I've been trying to be a super mom and handle everything on my own with difficult child 2 (I was wrong for doing this) - I am having a hard time thinking about putting him in some home, I'm researching my options and dealing in the mean time.

    I am too much of an optimist - It is hard for me to look past the good to see the bad - and I'm just starting to do that. I'm hoping we make it to the October appointment.

    I am sure you all understand - and YES - I will ask about the mood stabilizers - sounds like he does need some