is this a common problem?


New Member
so i have been reading on here and i see that sneaking food is a issue... we are constintly battling this.. is this a bipolar trait? add? i hate the food issue. i have locked up food and stopped buying alot of stuff because james would just gorge on it.. last week i found full can of peanut butter in his bedroom with big finger holes in it... grosssssss.... /forums/images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/sick.gif


New Member
<span style='font-family: Georgia'> <span style='font-size: 14pt'> <span style="color: #333399"> have you ever read THE BIPOLAR CHILD by dimitri papolos? it's an excellent book. he does address food hording in bipolar kids. i get the impression that it's fairly common for them to have carb/sweets cravings & hording behaviors.

as for the homework issue i think i'd stop nagging him about it & allow for natural consequences. when is he set to graduate?

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Wiped Out

Well-Known Member
Staff member
I'm not sure whether it is fairly common but food is a big issue with my difficult child. It sometimes is better than others. I remember a time when he snuck a peanutbutter jar into bed. The next morning he was covered in it-head to toe.


Well-Known Member
Certain medications--risperdal, zyprexa, depakote, lithium, and I believe even seroquel--cause hunger that you wouldn't believe. On BiPolar (BP) medications, my son went from 75 pounds to 150 lbs. in three years. He has been off medications now for three years and is still overweight, however he still only weighs 150 lbs. and has cut out the overeating. I take Paxil so I know the unrelenting hunger these medications can cause and kids are often just too young to fight the constant urge to eat. Heck, I blew up like a balloon myself until I cut out all sugar and junk food and lost the weight, but it's hard for even an adult to fight those horrible cravings. Before medications, I was always very thin, even with bipolar. I agree about the homework. He is probably unable to handle the homework bit right now.


New Member
Our difficult child hasn't horded food or snuck anything to his bedroom yet (that I know of), but he is constantly hungry. He eats everything on his plate and then wants dessert. Then he wants to finish whatever little sis doesn't eat from her dinner (yuck). Then wants a bedtime snack, etc. We have all quit our evening snack in solidarity, because difficult child weighs about 115 and is unhappy about it. We have added in more exercise, but it doesn't seem to help him. We, too, believe it is probably his medication.

The Bipolar Child is an excellent book.

timer lady

Queen of Hearts
Unfortunately, we live with this. Over kt's weekend pass, she ate every fruit snack in the house & proceeded on to a box of wheat thins. I asked her about it - "my midnight snack, mom".

I have found that you cannot win any battle that goes into or comes out of a difficult children mouth. However you lead the war; I generally have a bowl of popcorn out on the counter along with grapes & veggies when kt is home.

husband & I have cleared out all the "junk" food. There isn't much here anyway but with kt coming home this weekend for good we wanted all "garbage" out of the house.

I have a snack drawer that kt is free to chose snacks from at snack time. During other times she can munch on the popcorn & whatever I've put out for her on the island.

I also keep lots of sugar free gum in the house - kt has learned to chew gum versus eating nonstop.

I allow candy, fruit pops, etc, in limited amounts. I bake my own cookies & keep them in the freezer - take out a half dozen at a time.

This may sound annoying but it's become a way of life here. Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD) children typically have huge food issues, add in BiPolar (BP) & all bets are off.


My middle son is diagnosis'ed BiPolar (BP), and all through the years growing up, would horde and gorge. If I bought a box of cereal he liked, it would be gone in at least 2 sittings, possibly just one. He was so afraid everyone else would "get the last" soda/cookie/koolaid drink/whatever, that he would stash several away here and there. He even hid stuff in the grandfather clock and the cover above the cat box.
He's learning to control himself to some degree, but will still eat an entire box of snack cakes if they're around, just one after another.


New Member
wow so another issue made clear... drives me crazy!! i have eating disorder so to see him gorge and horde makes me insane!!! thank you guys for your storys.. and ideals. right now everything is locked up and i am trying to incourage better eating choices for us all.. i am gluton intolerent and have incouraged james to lay off bread and flour all together.. sugar would be next... all his tips sometimes 20+ $ goes to pop and hot chitoos.. will go to library to do some reading.. GOD BLESS...

Hound dog

Nana's are Beautiful

My son T is not bipolar. But food has always been a major issue with him. As a small child he always loved to eat. (no weight problem though) But as he grew older it seemed like the hunger switch never shut off.

Teen years with T and food were awful. I stopped buying snack foods. Didn't help. He'd eat anything not nailed down. He still does, from dawn to night. So I make sure I have healthier foods in the house. Once he was old enough to work if he ate us out of something by gorging he had to replace it with his own money. This helped to bring his attention to his eating habits. He does make attempts to keep it down to a more managable level. But still has days when he eats everything in sight. :faint:
Our difficult child K, also has eating problems. He was put on Risperdal at age 9 and doubled his weight (49 lbs. to 105 lbs.). After removing the Risperdal he has leveled off and maintains at about 100 lbs. However, recently he has begun to go through everything in the house.

When he cycles...watchout. There is nothing off-limits.

Went through two entire boxes of cookies in two sittings, even though they were hidden!!


Going Green
This is a HUGE issue in our house too and I never knew it was a possible BiPolar (BP) issue, I just figured it was some sort of holdover from difficult child's bio family days. (BM wasn't really big on consistently feeding her kids)

Our issues are usually sweets or junk food as well as cereal. EVERYTHING under those categories gets literally locked up and I'm almost to the point of needing a mini fridge in my bedroom. difficult child has the bad habit of eating most or all of something in one sitting or eating what he can and then PITCHING the rest. :mad: The last time he got into a pack of cookie dough I had, he went as far as eating what he wanted, let the dog knaw on the rest of the pack, threw it away and then tried to tell me that the dog opened the fridge and got it out. (because if I don't bake the dough THE MINUTE I get home from the store, apparently it's fair game) Cool whip? Better use as much as possible when it's first opened or you won't see it again. I long for the days when the only reason I have to put food up is to keep the (evidently very talented) dog away from it. (who, by the way, got a whole chicken down off the counter the other day. husband set it out to thaw, we left for a few minutes and he forgot about it. We came home and the dog had it unwrapped and was knawing on it. :slap: )