my 13yo difficult child is being treated for bipolar...

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by ksm, Sep 12, 2011.

  1. ksm

    ksm Well-Known Member

    We saw the ARNP on Friday afternoon - and because of problems with two different medications we had tried this year, they are now starting her on a mood stabilizer. Unfortunately, it was late and I couldn't get the new rx filled - so will fill it today. I have always been scared that her behavior leaned toward the bipolar side. Her mother is bipolar (we adopted our granddaughter)

    This weekend was rough. We (the females in the family) went to our churches women and girls weekend retreat on Saturday and Sunday. Usually her behavior is good in front of other people. But yesterday she got obnoxious to me when our pastor (female) was there and we were getting ready to take the canoes out for a bit. Then on the way home, her little sister tried to talk to her nicely about how she felt about how difficult child had treated her - cutting in line, throwing her panties around the bath house, screaming at her while she was playing a game to distract her so the other team could win, etc. Remember this is "church" camp... and all the activities were about friendship and cooperation, etc. Well, difficult child lost it - and except for a terse "I'm sorry and I am not going to say I'm sorry again so forget about it and stop talking". I reminded difficult child that when she is upset, she expects us all to listen until she is done unloading on us. difficult child got more upset and I told her we would have talk about in when we got home, she kept wanting to give us attitude all the way home. I told her this wasn't the time or place. She said it's a long ride, so this is as good as any. Finally, I said, fine, we would talk. I then apologized to the friend in the car with us that I was sorry for difficult child's anger and behavior and that in the future, it might be best not to do things with us as it isn't much fun when we all get upset. difficult child's jaw dropped and she cried most the way home. Later last night, she admitted that she just "wanted to win".

    Most arguments are like that. But, mostly they are at home and not in front of other people. I hope the new rx works - I don't remember the name and the script is downstairs. I REALLY hope we are on the right track. I am so tired of this life. KSM
  2. TeDo

    TeDo Guest

    What is an ARNP? Do you see a child psychiatrist or just this ARNP? Did you ever ask difficult child WHY she threw sister's underwear around the bathhouse? Did you ask her WHY she did the other things she did?
  3. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Find out the medications she is on and post them. Certain medications can make kids even worse, although it's not supposed to be that way.
  4. keista

    keista New Member

    Well, I'm so glad they are finally treating her for her moods. I hope you get some relief with the medications, but yes, monitor behavior for any changes. Hopefully good changes, but they can also get worse, or even different. If that happens you may have to fight for a medication change.

    But we're getting a bit a head of ourselves here. One thing at a time. I hope they work! :)
  5. ksm

    ksm Well-Known Member

    An ARNP is a nurse practictioner that works under the psychologist. In the rual community where we live, it is our only option. If you ask difficult child why she does something it is usually, "I don't know". But it is one of two things... she wants to "win" - she can't stand it if her younger sister can do anything as well as she can... and when it is towards me - it is because she wants to "win" the argument so that if any one is around she can show them she is in charge. She can be fine when there is nothing going on - like if her sister is away at camp. If she doesn't have to interact with us much - then there is no conflict.

    husband took the rx to the drug store yesterday - but didn't get if picked up - so I guess we will start tonight. We were told to take it about 2 hours before bedtime, as it might make her drowsy. But, that might be a good thing. She has a hard time getting ready to sleep. Last night, she was up for 90 minutes after she went to bed.

    Last night she was upset because she grasps that the medication she will be taking is to treat bipolar, which is what her biomom has, and she has a lot of anger towards biomom. We tried to explain that many of the things her mom does, is because she won't seek treatment for her symptoms. She has been given medication, but after a month or so - stops. We have not heard from biomom much in the last 6 months as she left the state we are in and is staying in Washington state. We have had two emails in about 4 months.

    Last night, she told me that a girl at school threatened to punch her in the face. I guess this girl is behind her in choir, was trash talking about her to another girl, so difficult child turned her around and said "if you have something to say, say it to my face" that is when the girl threatened to hit her, so difficult child responds that "she was all talk and no show". I tried to explain to difficult child that you don't practically dare someone to hit you. Basically, difficult child was asking me for permission to hit her if it came to that. I told her I can't tell her it is OK to hit someone - that she is going to have to decide how to handle it and be responsible for the consequences of her actions. But that it is best NOT to let it get to that point.

    But, I can honestly say, that when she is in one of her silly, giggly party moods, I have wanted to smack her myself! She is just so irritating! And the most irritating thing is - she doesn't have a clue that she is so irritating! She just doesn't notice when we are getting upset and she should stop what she is doing. Her little sister has the radar that lets her know that things are headed south and she had better stop, or quiet down. But difficult child doesn't. Even when you tell her, to "turn things down a notch", she just doesn't get it. She is like a volcanoe that can't be stopped.

    I will try to post the name of the rx later today when I go pick it up. I hope it helps. But, I know it is only one tool and that we need to keep working on our relationship. But when you correct her - all hell breaks loose. Like the other day, she used "freaking" as a term towards me when I asked her to do something. We have told her we don't the word in our home, because it is just a stand in word for an inappropriate word. Her reply "Well, apparently we do use it, because I just did! Now leave me alone." And last night, when husband interrupted her from her rant, she started screaming "Shut up, you don't interrupt me, you are going to listen to me and hear what I have to say" But we do let her talk - alot - but it is never enough. She thinks if she talks "enough" that we will agree with her, and there are some times, it just doesn't matter how many times she "tells us" the answer is still no. She can't take no. "No" is what starts the battle. "No" is drawing the line in the sand. Once the line is drawn, she not only crosses the line - but will dance all over it. KSM
  6. ksm

    ksm Well-Known Member

    Picked up the Rx this morning, it is Seroquel. We take one a night for two weeks, then take two a night for two weeks, then we see the ARNP again. KSM
  7. gcvmom

    gcvmom Here we go again!

    Impulsive behavior is one of the hallmarks of bipolar disorder -- so acting without thinking or even without knowing or understanding WHY they are doing something is not unusual. Along with a belief that they are above the rules that everyone else has to follow (falls under grandiosity). And the inability to see how their behaviors affect those around them is also typical. I, too, have wanted to THROTTLE my difficult child(s) (husband included) when they are unmedicated and acting squirrely because they are CLUELESS about just how annoying they can be!

    Seroquel is in a class of medications called atypical-antipsychotics. While they were originally prescribed for schizophrenia, they have been found to be very helpful for bipolar disorder also. My difficult child 2 takes the extended release version of this medication along with another mood stabilizer, and the combination has been VERY effective for him.

    Be sure to familiarize yourself with the side effects. It can cause weight gain, sedation, and hypersensitivity to heat, making the patient more prone to heat-related illness under the right circumstances. It can also cause metabolic problems for some people. Don't let the list of side effects scare you, though, just be aware and give it time to see if it's going to work for your difficult child.

    For what it's worth, we saw more pronounced sedation at lower dosages when my difficult child first started trialing this medication. It did get better over time and as his dosage was adjusted upwards (which was needed to control his symptoms).

    Fingers crossed this medication works for your difficult child. Don't be surprised, though, if she ends up needing more than one medication in the mix before you finally get to a stable place for her.
  8. ksm

    ksm Well-Known Member

    Thanks, gvcmom. She took her first pill last night. It is the extended release that she is on - and starting at 50. Will take one at night for two weeks, then we go to two a a night. She is under 5 feet tall and weighs about 95 pounds. I will be looking for side effects, but I haven't really told difficult child what they might be - only the positive things we hope will happen. She tends to be a little hypochondriac about medication. She hates that she needs to take medication. I am hoping this will calm her down.

    Last night at the NAMI class I started taking - I met a mom of a 16 year old bipolar girl, who has been hospitalized for 60 days so far. I just hope we get things under control so that things don't escalate like it has for her dtr. She is doing more of the running around, running away, that we have not had to deal with yet.

  9. orcaauntie

    orcaauntie New Member

    KSM- I am definitely interested in hearing how this medication helps your daughter. Did they diagnose her as bipolar, or are they just treating her with medication for bipolar? Please keep us updated.

    My Niece has demonstrated many of the traits you describe your daughter as having and my Mom has expressed her worry to Niece's docs- they said they can't diagnose bipolar until the age of 19?! And my Niece's Mom is bipolar, along with my biodad, my uncle, and my aunt. Given the genetics/heredity involved, you'd think they could at least consider it, or use a medication that treats it if they can't formally diagnose it- I truly think my Niece's life depends on it. If my 10 year old nephew and 8 yr old niece are on Risperidone, which I believe is used for bipolar- I don't see why we can't at least try it and see if it helps.

    My mom is currently trying to get Niece in to see her doctor for a medication change. Every other attempt she's made has not worked out because Niece took off with the toxic friend we need to get her away from. She's currently on Vyvanse and Intuniv for focus.. but we think she needs something for bipolar like symptoms+anger. Problem is, she doesn't like any medicine that makes her tired. She will probably try and hide it.. for whatever reason she likes to stay up all night and if a medication makes her tired, she hates it and will say it doesn't work. Ugh.

    Good luck to you, and I'll follow this post for updates from you!
    Last edited: Sep 14, 2011
  10. gcvmom

    gcvmom Here we go again!

    Orcaauntie, the staying-up-all-night is also part of the bipolar package (think manic or hypomanic). Seroquel can help with that, but often times it's not enough by itself. Unfortunately, trial and error is the only way to get through it and know for sure what's going to work.

    KSM, you are on the right track for your difficult child and doing everything you can. The younger these kids are when they get into treatment the better because they don't get a chance to start some of those bad behaviors and you can work on helping them to accept their diagnosis and normalize the medication routine. I wouldn't discuss the side effects of the medications with her either. Just focus on all the positives that will come from taking care of herself.
  11. orcaauntie

    orcaauntie New Member

    Yes- We learned that with my sister. She would stay up (and sneak out) all night. Even when she was older and was formally diagnosed. I can't say niece CAN stay up all night, she just prefers to if she can and likes her Vyvanse pills because it gives her energy. She definitely needs a new evaluation.. by a neuropsychologist. Or, if her current docs can give her a new medication to try, that'll be sufficient on the interim because I am sure it will take ages to get an appointment.