Peanut or any resident bipolar expert


New Member
I didnt know:::::::::::I was in the presence of you experts:::::::;I am so glad I saw the post. Any info will be deeply appreciated:::::::completly read and mulled over.
My son at 7 was put on prozac for depression. Within 3 days he was homicidal, suicidal, crazy!! After 2 weeks they stopped the prozac and started him on Effexor. For the past year he has been having rages but between the rages was controllable with 1 2 3 magic.He continued suicidal off and on. And all the other behaviors on this board.
I got the effexor stopped 6 weeks ago. Since that time he is more defiant, pissed off at the world 24/7, very uncontrollable without restraining him. But the rages are much LESS intense and more controllable by him. He is no longer sadistically violent is just pissed off all the time. He still hurts animals and hits me but doesnt try to kill me anymore. I used to be able to control and stop the behaviors and now all i can do is get him to agree to stop them. He sleeps very, very little. He eats very very little. Craves sweets. He goes from wanting to kill himself to starting fights in seconds flat. He has poor concentration at school. He is very impulsive. There is a family history of BiPolar (BP), depression, alcohol abuse, suicide. Prozac/Chandler say that this medication can induce mania in children, irreversable. questions
*Is this bipolar?
*How do I structure a summer best for him?
*What can I do to help him?
God Bless you for any/ANY/any input.
Thank you!!!!!

Hi Andrea,I'm no expert but I would suggest some extensive testing to see exactly WHICH neurotransmitter he is having challenges with. My difficult child had to try two different antidepressants to get the right one. Do some research on the different neurotransmitters to learn which behaviors are induced when one N.T. is stronger/weaker than the others.

My difficult child is on Paxil which is SSRI tri-cyclic anti-dep, so what it does is it's a re-uptake inhibitor so that the serotonin that fires off stays in the synaptic cleft longer and just kinda rides the waves in there. It has helped immensely with mood swings and anxiety and even the rages. However, any medication can be overridden if they allow themselves to get beyond a healthy point with the anger.

I understand about the overriding because I know for myself if I drink when I'm angry I don't get drunk. My brain chemicals override the booze so it's really a waste of booze for me to drink when I'm angry. If I get angry while I've been drinking I sober up IMMEDIATELY!!!

Do some research on line about the different neurotransmitters and which behaviors they trigger. It is fascinating stuff.

Good luck and GOd Bless


Mean Mother - Ila 45 and holding
husband - 51, crazy Italian married to me for 28 yrs.
Dom - son 25 yo Hyper/easy child pride & joy
Melissa - difficult child 18,ADHD, ODD, CD, SAD,on 40mgs Paxil, baby 2 1/2 yo Grandma's Sugar Plum!
Val - easy child - sometimes cleverly disguised as difficult child
GOD is so good to me, He's so good to me.


New Member

From what you are describing, it does sound like it may be bipolar although I'm not a profressional...just someone who has it and has a child that suffers from it. Only you can know for certain if you believe your son has it and if you feel he does, try to get a diagnosis or at the very least get him put on medications that will help stabilize his moods instead of make them worse. With that being said, the first thing you need to do is read up on this disorder.

Summers and/or weekends while school is in, try to keep them on a schedule as much as possible, especially a sleep schedule. I no longer work, so things are pretty much "free time" on the weekends and will be the same during summer break. BUT breakfast is at 8, lunch is at 12, supper is at 5. They get up at 7:45 and go to bed no later then 10 pm (weekends and summer). There are very few exceptions to this rule as my difficult child does not do well with changes of any kind. He craves sugar, but isn't a big eater because of the stimulants so if he doesn't eat he gets no snack.

If rages are a big problem for your difficult child, you might consider stripping his room...not as a punishment, but more so that he has a safe place to rage. Understand that this is part of the illness and not a direct indication on your parenting skills or lack thereof. I NEVER punish my difficult child for his rages. I usually see when his frustration level is building and will get him to his room and now that he is older, he will go to his room on his own as he realizes this is his "safe haven". It is our hope that with our next home to actually build a "quiet room" for him but you make do with what you have at the time.

If it is bipolar that he has, not only do you need to educate yourself about it but consider the fact that in time you might want to educate your difficult child about it. Not in all the technical terms, but to let him know that he is not a bad kid. This is something that is pretty controversial and you need to do what is right for you. I chose to do this and because of the mild MR that my difficult child has, I compared BiPolar (BP) to an ocean. It was actually a nice talk we had about it and he asked some questions and when he goes through a rough time, he comes to me to talk about things. I'd like to think it was because I was honest with him about what is wrong with him instead of letting him go through life like he had up until that point thinking he was just a "bad boy" as he worded it.

When he is suicidal, take it seriously. The suicide rate among BiPolar (BP)'s is very high. You can only do so much to keep him safe and no matter how closely you watch him, you can't be his shadow 24/7.

Regular sleep schedules are important. Getting off a regular sleep schedule can really throw us off and actully put us into a manic cycle if it goes on long enough. The bad thing is that alot of BiPolar (BP)'s have alot of trouble sleeping, but most psychiatrists are hesitant to rx sleeping pills for more then a 2-wk time period because of their ability to become addictive so it's a vicious cycle.

Well, I could go on and on as you probably can tell by now but this should at least get you started. I will check back to see if you have any other questions about anything I've said. Hope this helps some.

11 yo difficult child son Enuresis, Encopresis, Language Learning Disability (LD), Math Learning Disability (LD), Articulation Disorder, Hypothyroidism, mild MR, CP, ADHD, CD, PTSD, Bipolar not otherwise specified with psychotic features, Fine and Gross motor delays-in residential.
9 yo easy child son Learning Disability (LD), ADD.


New Member
Peanut, The diagnosis that I have is Mood disorder not otherwise specified because there is no ,technical, such thing as BiPolar (BP) in children! They just cannot meet the adult criteria.
Something is wrong with this kid. Before a year ago he was a good kid now he is just plain crazy! I dont know if I am crazy or he is crazy. Is the mania irreversable? You are an expert-trust me!
God Bless you for the links and the help!
His psychiatrist is consulting with an expert due to the relative newness of BiPolar (BP) in kids and wants to be certain about what medications to use.


New Member
GRRRRRR.....BiPolar (BP) in kids isn't something new, these psychiatrists infuriate me!! What the first line of defense is...can everyone say it with me.....MOOD STABILIZER!!!!


1. Depakote
Many children are prescribed Depakote (divalproex sodium) but all too often we receive medication charts from parents or emails reporting that the Depakote dosage was 250-500 mg a day and "it didn’t work." Most children will require far higher doses to achieve therapeutic blood levels, and while all children will reach different blood levels at different dosages, it’s important to get the right levels and wait a few weeks before making any judgment about the effectiveness of the drug.

2. Tegretol
Tegretol (carbamazepine) has acute antimanic effects and also acts to prevent future episodes of illness in bipolar disorder. Some studies have reported that Tegretol has antiagressive properties, something that might make it particularly useful for children with frequent rage attacks.

3. Lithium
Lithium is considered the gold standard for the treatment of bipolar disorder in adults, and an estimated 70-80 percent of patients have a positive therapeutic response to it. But there has long been an idea that rapid-cyclers may not do as well on lithium as they do on the anticonvulsant drugs--Tegretol or Depakote and so on.

But is this true for adults and/or children who have such ultra-rapid cycles? Not necessarily. Some children have an excellent response to the drug or to its use in combination with another mood stabilizer.

Very important, there is newly emerging evidence from the research literature that lithium has a strong and possibly unique effect against suicidal behavior in people with bipolar disorder. And this is not true of the other mood stabilizers as far as we know. According to Ross J. Baldessarini, M.D. of Harvard Medical School "If the antisuicidal side effects are not shared with other mood-altering agents, this may be due to the cerebral serotonin-enhancing properties of lithium, properties that are not known to be associated with anticonvulsants.

4. Neurontin
Neurontin (gabapentin) is an anti-seizure medication that seems to have few side effects except for its potential to cause sedation. It does not cause weight gain. Neurontin can also be used safely with other medications needed by a child or adolescent with bipolar disorder. There are no blood levels to be determined. However, it has a short half-life and must be administered three times a day.

Although only limited studies have been mounted, the initial results are not impressive. Several highly respected clinicians we know find it does not work well as a mood stabilizer when given as a monotherapy (when it is the only mood stabilizer). One study reported by Atul C. Pande, M.D. at the Third international Conference on Bipolar Disorder in Pittsburgh last June examined the use of Neurontin as an add-on to lithium or Depakote versus a placebo add-on and found that the patients taking the placebo actually had a better response.
However, it seems to be useful as an anti-anxiety agent and is definitely useful as a sedating agent for individuals who experience evening or late-night activation.

5. Topamax
Topamax (topiramate) is an anticonvulsive drug chemically unrelated to any other anticonvulsant or mood stabilizing medication. It has been reported to control rapid-cycling and mixed bipolar states in patients who have not responded well to Tegretol or Depakote, but its long-term prevention of cycling has not been established.

What makes this drug of particular interest is that it causes no weight gain. In fact, it may reduce the intense food cravings that may occur with other commonly used psychiatric drugs such as Depakote, Risperdal, and Zyprexa. It can also be used as a sedating agent.

6. Lactimal
Lamictal (lamotrigine) is an anti-seizure medication that may have a significant place in the treatment of bipolar disorder. What sets it apart from most the other mood stabilizers is that it seems to have a significant effect on the depressive symptoms of bipolar disorder. The other mood stabilizers work to act to prevent future episodes of depression and mania, but do not work as well on acute depression. This medication might allow doctors to treat the depressive symptoms of bipolar disorder without antidepressants which tend to cause increased cycling or to flip patients into mixed or manic states. However, Lamictal seems to have weaker antimanic effects, and at higher doses--above 175 mg--it can be activating.

There are no blood levels to be taken, and the side effect profile is mild: But as with all things in life, there is no free lunch. As with the sulfa drugs and penicillin--and even some other antiseizure medications-- Lamictal can produce an allergic response that manifests as a rash and, on rare occasions, the rash can be a serious one that signals a life-threatening condition known as Stevens-Johson Syndrome.

In most cases, the rash is mild, similar to a sunburn and usually clears up after the drug is stopped (many people can resume the drug later and no rash will occur). But let’s take a look at some of the newest research concerning Lamictal and serious rash.

A rash is most likely to develop when the dosing schedule starts too high or is increased too rapidly (start low and go slow is the pertinent phrase here). We spoke with Dr. Andrew Stoll of Harvard Medical School who has quite a bit of experience with the drug and he said that he often takes three months to reach the target dose.

Other cases of rash occurred when Lamictal was given with Depakote--the Depakote doubled the Lamictal levels. Typically the rash occurs in the first eight weeks of treatment.

A study reported in October 1999 in The Annals of Pharmacotherapy reported on 1,050 patients given Lamictal. The article was a retrospective case record survey at five epilepsy centers in the UK. When reserachers examined the cases of patients who started Lamictal at higher doses, the incidence of serious rash was 1.1 percent and of non-serious rash, 7 percent. In 1994, however, the manufacturer of Lamictal issued a recommendation for a lowered starting dose. When the researchers looked at patients’ case records which revealed this lower starting dose, there was a significant reduction in the incidence of serious rash: (0 out of 245 patients).

Recently, an unpublished study conducted by dermatologists found that the immunosuppressive drug, Cyclosporine, effectively curtailed 12 out of 12 cases of Stevens-Johnson Syndrome, and we are investigating this further and will provide more information in another newsletter.

Lamictal remains "Black label" for now (it cannot be given to adolescents younger than 16 and is approved only for children with the severe seizure disorder Lennox-Gaston). Reports of its use for bipolar depression are compelling, however, and future studies should decide how helpful a medicine it will be for bipolar disorder.

Mania is reversible on the right combination of medications, although for some reason kids seem more affected from the mania part of the illness then from the depression part or at least that is how it is with my difficult child. He seems to either have the mania or the mixed states, but I have never seen him be depressed.


New Member
OMG! Peanut! Yes it is definatly bipolar!! The bipolar vs ADHD site is totally awesome and yes that is Dyl!!!!
So you do the sleep structure but what the &^$$ do you do with them all day long????
Is a 10pm to 10am schedule for sleep ok if he needs that much? He really varies but often he does need 12 hours and goes without because of school and inability to go to sleep at night.
God Bless YOY


My gir was exactly like that on the anti depressants. It was horrible!! I thought for sure that was gonna cure what ever ailed her but boy was i wrong!!!

I did have better luck with medications like Lithium, Depakote, and Risperdal.
But I do natural things on her now. Some times she still needs the risperdal (like now that we are moving out of state..) but for the most part she does pretty ok with out them.

IF he craves sweets then see if you can get his blood sugar checked? He may have a problem with that. I have an OLD OLD book called Low blood sugar and you.. It talks about how normal people can go totally nuts when they are hypoglacimic (cant spell that word) they can be suicidal, have rages and be totally unaware of what they are doing..
So, try a low carb diet on him. Get a book called "Feed your kid Well" by Dr. Fred Pescatore. He works with mainly over weight kids, but in his practice he has found that kids with ADD and ODD and Asthma all do much better when on this type of a diet. So, it's worth checking into!!

Good luck

7 yr old girl Bipolar/ADD/ODD
Currently on a new natural treatment (wish me luck)
off ALL medications!!
Distributor of Blue green algae!
Michigan and Georgia State Leader of NOVA (National Organization for Violent Adolescents)
Fav. Funny quote- "Yesterday I was a dog. Today I'm a dog. Tomorrow I'll
probably still be a dog. <Sigh!> There's so little hope for advancement."
- Snoopy

"With out God, my life would fall apart"


New Member
I am so sorry I am just inundating you with all of this
Just ignore me when you want to.
*Being bipolar and having a bipolar child you are invaluable to me. Have you read the Bipolar Child? Do you think it is a good factual account of your experiences?
*I never punish dyl for rages, I never punish him for anything lately just redirect him and love him. I understand at this point all of this is out of his control especially with no medications. I do let him know that things the does are inappropriate and remind him what is appropriate. I hold him during rages.
I ward off as many as I can by restraining him before it is totally out of control. Where do I put his belongings if I take them all out of his room. I am terified he will break his window if I put him in his room and often he just climbs out his window, State of Ne it is illegal to lock a kid in a room or I would make him a safe room. Kinda got my hands tied right now.
*Dyl almost never eats. He snacks off and on throughout the day. I make sure there is fruit, meats he likes, vegies and what not for him to eat. If it comes to a battle he just WONT eat peroid.
*I have always told him he is NOT bad. I do need to educate him about this illness tho.
*I have never taken suicidal threats as not serious. he has tried to kill himself too often, needing intervention and restraining and lots of talking and understanding. Being bipolar can you enlighten me as to why the suicide rates are so high? What are the triggers the feelings?
*he told the psychiatrist that he sees blood on the walls and dead people hanging from the ceiling every morning and has for a long time. Any insight?
Thank you Thank you Thank you!!!


New Member
His blood sugars are absolutly fine any time of day, fasting and not. His bilirubin, SGOT and platelets were whacky on effexor but are normal now. I went a full year without a diagnosis until I found the Chandler papers and printed and took them to the psychiatrist so not knowing medications and tx's does not surprise me at all.
I am so concerned about the drugs side effects. Should I be or am I making myself crazy over nothibng. Is the disease worse than the side effects of the drugs Penut?


My daughter too is bipolar. She has been on Neurontin for over a year now as a mood stabilizer and Prozac for depression. This combination works wonders for her. The Neurontin really did turn our lives around. She is truly a delight when medicated properly and before that she would have out of control violent rages.

Prozac if used in doses too high for the patient does cause a drug induced psychosis. I have seen this first hand. Not with my daughter, but another relative. When this relative stopped cold turkey her life turned around completely. Now she only takes small doses 10-20 mg. verses 80 mg. and it does very well for her. Perhaps this is what happened to your difficult child as well. Maybe, maybe not, but it's good information to have.

Best wishes to you,

Me: 37 y/o remarried 6 yrs. ago; now on 20 mg Prozac - it's a must for my life
husband: 37 y/o Has his hands full with us; taking St. Johns Wort
difficult child: 15 y/o girl; Bipolar with psychotic features, Borderline Personality Traits, ADHD.
medications: 2700 mg. Neurontin; 30 mg. Prozac; 40 mg. Ritalin, 10 mg. Zyprexa

Amen Peanut!
Thanks for such a thorough discussion of BiPolar (BP). I also read the Bipolar child, and while I'm not sure my daughter is bipolar, she's got many strong symptoms - including the rages, the cravings for sweets, night terrors, etc.
We did Tegretol for awhile and saw amazing results. You mentioned that you have to have high doses with Depakote - FYI, you also need that with Tegretol. Currently, our daughter is on Dilantin (she also has Epilepsy) and, though not discussed, we're seeing some mild improvement. We also added Fish Oil (Omega-3 Fatty Acids) per Dr. Papolos' book. Along with the Risperdal, she's done much better, but we're still not there yet. I think it's so important to get the mood stabilized. And, YES! you cannot have a bipolar on an anti-depressant until they're stabilized with a mood-stabilizer. Finding a good doctor who's as well-versed as you Peanut, is sooooooooo hard to find! We're still looking, just working with her neurologist for now.

Tracy F.
difficult child daughter, age 9 ODD and seizures. Currently on 350mg Dilantin/day and 50mg Zoloft/day.
3 easy child's: 9 yo Jake(twin to difficult child), 7 yo Claire, and 3 yo Baxter
husband now has seizures too, guess what - Temporal lobe seizures!! Now on Dilantin. He had anxiety disorder with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) - off anxiety medications and better for 3 years.

** "When Alexander the Great wept beside the riverbank because there were no more worlds left to conquer, the full extent of his despair rested upon the ignorance of his mapmakers"


New Member
Sorry for not getting back to you sooner, had to run to the pharmacy to get my NEW medications....gotta love them medication trials, seems like they just keep going on FOREVER, LOL!

I'll try to answer your questions in the order you asked.

Yes, I have read the bipolar child. in my opinion, it is a must have if you have a child with this disorder, kind of like a manual. I met Dr. Papalos and his wife when I went to NAMI's 20th annual convention in Chicago, believe it or not he was the one who originally told me I was BiPolar (BP)! He is very up on childhood bipolar and truly going to change the ignorance surrounding this disorder.

I put my difficult child's toys in his brothers room with the understanding that it was still his toys. If that isn't an option, how about getting those rubbermaid tubs and putting them in there. You can stack them in closets, etc. I have a window alarm on my difficult child's bedroom window that if he opens the window a shrill (yes, ear piercing shrill) alarm goes off. The only way to shut it off is to put the key in the alarm. Let me tell you how hard it is to get clay out of this bugger...difficult child thought if he jammed the key hole it wouldn't work any longer!
As for if he breaks the window during a rage, been there done that. My difficult child put his fist through his bedroom window during a rage when he was younger at which point a piece of plywood went over the window. You might want to check on the guidelines on locking them in their room. I found out if I cut the door to 3/4 length (from the top), I could lock him in there during a rage. His case manager from MH inspected the room for safety and we never had a problem with it. Like I said previously though, now that he is older we don't even have to lock the door as he will go in there on his own.

Don't make meals a battle. You know what he likes to eat, if he only wants to snack throughout the day I'd say go for it as long as it is nutritious. My difficult child actually becomes anorexic on the stimulants, so I would make him special "milkshakes". Blend some milk, ice cream (I would use Breyers as it was the richest), egg, fresh fruit, and some of the protein bulk up stuff from GNC. I would also buy for him some of the Pedia-sure stuff from the pharmacy for him to drink during the day. If he likes peanut butter and jelly and he wants it for breakfast, let him have it. Don't worry about the "traditional" meals as it were.

I don't know how old your son is, but like I said I used the ocean as a way of explaining what bipolar is like to my difficult child. I told him that most people's emotions (happy, sad, mad, angry, etc) were like the calm waves out in the horizon. But that a bipolar person's emotions were like the waves that came crashing into the shore with great fury. It kinda worked out good cause the previous summer we had just gone to the shore and he remembered how the waves kept knocking us down but as we got further out, it was more calm.

We all have different triggers. My difficult child has tried to commit suicide over a dozen times, both here at home and while in the hospital/Residential Treatment Center (RTC). Everything for us is to the extreme. The depressive states are bad and we see no way out. When thinking rationally, we know that suicide isn't the answer but when in that black hole you aren't thinking rationally. My difficult child has, to my knowledge, never been in a depressive state. We both suffer from what is called mixed states and in all honesty, I think they are the worst as do most bipolars. It is when you are kind of "stuck" in both a manic phase and a depressive state. That is when he has tried to end it.

If he has told his psychiatrist that, I don't understand WHY his psychiatrist has not put him on an antipsychotic like Zyprexa, Risperdal or Seroquel. What he is having is psychosis or visual hallucinations. My difficult child has auditory hallucinations when he is in a bad mixed and I have visual/auditory when I'm in a mixed. An antipsychotic helps diminish these symptoms for the both of us.

I feel for your lil guy. He is going through an awful lot and so much could be made better with the use of PROPER medications. I'm in no way saying that medications are a cure all, but with bipolars they are a fact of our life.

When I was diagnosed a year ago, I had alot of mixed emotions about it. I did like alot of bipolars do and went off my medications in December because I thought I could handle it. I mean, I first showed symptoms at the age of 13 so I went alot of years on my own and did just fine with-o the medications. The reality is, although there are some bipolars who can do it with-o medications, most of us can't. These psychiatrists who play around with us thinking they are Gods just really ticks me off to no end. I hope for your sake that they get your son on medications soon so he can have a chance at some kind of stability even if they don't give him the "label" of bipolar disorder.

11 yo difficult child son Enuresis, Encopresis, Language Learning Disability (LD), Math Learning Disability (LD), Articulation Disorder, Hypothyroidism, mild MR, CP, ADHD, CD, PTSD, Bipolar not otherwise specified with psychotic features, Fine and Gross motor delays-in residential.
9 yo easy child son Learning Disability (LD), ADD.

Kyle's Mom

New Member
If he is craving sugar he needs to be checked for hypoglycemia (inexpensive blood test but he will have to fast for 12 hours before) and also for an overgrowth of Candidia yeast (urine test done by an osteopath or chiropractor). You also may want to do allergy tests to see if he is allergic to Candidia and if so it could be causing his behavior. If a child craves something he is probabaly allergic.
Don't let him have sugar, juices, and yeast breads for two weeks and give him an acidophilus tablet with each meal for two weeks to see if his behavior improves.

If this does not help, I agree with some of the other posts - get another diagnosis. Sounds like bipolar or depression. It takes a while to get the medications correct. If he is getting stimulants it will make the bipolar worse.

Kyle age 5
5 MG Ritalin AM
He goes to private Christian school that only takes ADHD kids -making A's and is a math whiz!
A joy to live with 99% of the time and the most loving, polite child I have ever been around - but that other 1%....
Responded well to elimination diet and addition of essential fatty acids; recommend "The ADD Nutrition Solution" by Marcia Zimmerman to every parent of an ADHD/ODD child


New Member

One way or another I will get the book The Bipolar Child. WOW! The guy that diagnosed you! How cool
I hope he does change something in this sea of craziness we call psychiatrists & BiPolar (BP)!
Who should I call to ask about cutting his door down and getting a lock? Any idea's? If it would be legal I mean. I could put his dresser in front of his window and that should take care of the breaking glass syndrome. He has already broken it several times. The toys I can find somewhere for. Thats no problem. What else would need to be done safety wise? Any clue? So being placed in a locked room with no stimulus is a good thing? I mean personally for you and your difficult child? Helps you to deescalate? Gives a sense of security?
I try to make, next to safety, NOTHING a battle! Being a nurse I am fairly good at nutrition. He does seem very anorexic often but...Do vitamins do anything for you? Mentally I mean? pro or con. Some people have said vitamins make them hyper, just wandering with bipolar.
He has been to the ocean, I will try that explaination and see if he can get it. He is 8 years old.
Dylan appears to be, I think, ultra rapid cycling. He is up, down and all over the place sometimes in a matter of minutes. Poor child doesnt know if he is coming or going and I dont either most of the time! Like I said earlier he can go from suicidal to killing someone in a 3 minutes.
Am I doing the right thing by overlooking everything except for the safety issues? I feel like such a failure as a parent NOT disciplining but I just dont see how at this point. Yes when he is depressed he is lost in a pit of despair-he sees no good in himself, in his life, in anything. He ofter refuses to do anything that could be fun, fishing, zoo, playing anything!! Should I make him go or let him stay and play if he likes? I dont care I just want to do what is best for him.

You didnt mention the sleep thing. Is it ok to let him sleep 10p-10a if he needs it? But try to keep it on a schedule?
I am sorry if I am overwhelming you I am so relieved to talk with a been there done that person that I am sitting here in tears

God Bless You Peanut



New Member

You could probably call CPS and ask them if you are comfortable in doing this. I was just lucky in that I worked in the system and could "run it by" one of the SW's at a meeting I was at. Safety wise: in my difficult child's room he has all his clothes hung on plastic hangers, no pictures are hung on his walls (he has posters hung up) as pictures have glass that can be broke and nails that can be used to hurt himself with, no blinds are hanging at his window but rather a curtain that is hung up with velcro (I can tell you how I did this if you are interested), I told you about the door already, he has a bed that has drawers under it (I sanded the corners of the drawers so they are rounded and the bed was ordered special so it has rounded edges), there is a smoke detector, motion sensor and window alarm. ANYTHING that can be used as a weapon or to hurt himself with is out of there. Basically all he has is his bed, desk (empty) and clothes. When he was done doing homework all writing utensils etc were brought out of his room. Room was searched weekly (daily if in crisis) as he would "sneak" things in.

Safety is number one priority, but keep in mind that once on medications and some sort of stability is reached you are gonna have a brat on your hands if you don't set some basic guidelines (please don't take that the wrong way!!). You don't want to make everything a battle, but you do need to set basic limits and not let him walk all over you. What I found worked good with my difficult child as he HATES being TOLD what to do is to give him a choice. You can do A or you can do B, it's your choice (of course, my mother had a cow the first time she heard me doing this with difficult child as I am the parent and I should be TELLING him what to do!)

I personally have not used any vitamins or tried any with my difficult child, so I can't give you any feedback on this. I do know that you need to be careful as some of them do interact negatively with some of the prescribed medications.

You need to change your thinking as you are not a failure. You are not responsible for him having this, and by educating yourself you are doing more then what some parents do so give yourself a pat on the back and stop being so hard on yourself.

If he is in a depressive state, I would say if he doesn't want to go and is content to stay home and play, let him stay home and play. I would encourage him to get out, but don't push him to if he isn't up to it.

As for the sleep, if he is in a depressive state, he will want to sleep more and that is pretty much the norm. Just try to keep him on a regular schedule or as close to a regular schedule as you can.

Don't worry about overwhelming me. Actually, I kinda like this as the more people learn about it hopefully the less stigma there will be for all of us.


New Member
The only reason I feel like a failure is because he is not on medications therefore I am overlooking all behavior infractions because I think they are out of his control. Everything except safety. That goes against all advice I have ever heard. Even the psychiatrist and therapist are telling me to get control but how do I do that when these behaviors are out of HIS control? AUGGGHHH
I understand that once there is some stabilization and medications I will begin to enforce rules again and regain control. 1 2 3 magic worked beautifully before the no medication peroid and I hope it will again. Also the choices did a great job as well. I know what you mean about that BRAT kid! hehehe. We are there now. That was part of my confusion because often he seems so coherant and then he just tailspins and the behaviors almost seem controlled by him but ya know I dont think they are.
I am so relieved to actually hear from someone living this and being able to tell me your feelings and your thoughts and the impact of all these things that I am doing. It is such a relief, did I say that??

So I cut 1/4 of the top of the door off right? And being placed in a locked room with no stimulus is a good thing? I mean personally for you and your difficult child? Helps you to deescalate? Gives a sense of security?
Its a relief to know I dont have to force outings because he NEVER wants to go, NEVER. I am so relieved I can let him call these shots. I have been pushing going places and he gets so angry.
So he usually wins anyway. I did make him go fishing 1 day last week and after his 11th fish he got angry, broke his pole, threw the whole thing in the water then started throwing huge rocks at easy child. sheesh. He had fun for about an hour and then::wham::
When dylan is dylan he is the sweetest, most hard working, wants to do nothing but please kid. I see fewer and fewer of these glimpses of him as time is going forward. It scares me. I miss him but I do know he is in there. It is often hard to remember how he can be.
I have read that the longer it takes to get the bipolar under control the harder it is to control. Do you think that is true? What should I be demanding from the psychiatrist to help dylan? The school is dragging its feet on the MDT evaluation but it will be done within the next week. One of the sites you gave me had a wonderful IEP on it! THANK YOU
The school psychiatric is going to help me find some respite care. I am activly looking for a therapeutic camp for this summer.
ANY THOUGHTS, ANY ideas, ANY suggestions are deply appreciated.
God Bless You Peanut



New Member
For me and for my difficult child, having someplace quiet to go and "chill" is a good thing. I know for me, when the emotions get really intense, I feel like a time bomb ready to explode. If I can't get away from the situation that is causing me to feel that way I am either going to strike out with words or end up putting my fist thru a wall in an effort to "release" the emotions that I'm feeling at the time. Does that make sense to you?

As for what he would need from the psychiatrist, I would suggest trying to at the very miniumum trying him on a mood stabilizer and possibly an antipsychotic. If this was my child, this is what I would ask for.

Even if you don't do the "safe room" type thing, I will try to get my difficult child to take a walk with me. That sometimes helps him calm down and I often times will take a walk to get away from stressful situations as well.

I don't know how your mental health system is set up where you live, but if he has a psychiatrist and a therapist, does he also have a case manager? If so, the case manager could probably help you in finding respite for him (this falls into their job description).


New Member
Yes having a quiet, safe place makes very much sense to me
Many times children do not know what is best for them and we their parents are their guides. What feels like abuse to me will feel like safety to him
Ans as you said eventually he will go there without being told to.
No, I AM dyls case manager
He has been in biweekly therapy since May 99 And is curently seeing the psychiatrist weekly. I have been the one to do ALL the fighting at the school for the MDT evaluation. I dont work so as to provide constant, safe, appropriate care for Dyl. No body understands him, even his dad wants to beat him.
I have applied for disability for him and the federal evaluation is set up for 6-8-00. That in itself would open alot of doors if it is approved.
I feel such a sense of relief Peanut. I am guessing that I am doing ok with parenting this special needs child. You havnt screamed STOP yet

God Bless YOU


I know that you can obtain respite care for your child through Lutheran Family Services. They deal with any respite care needed for our kids with emotional/behavioral issuses. They can either come to your home (ifyou are comfortable with that), or they can take them to a safe place to get away and give you a much needed break.

As far as the psychiatrists around here being ignorant of child onset BiPolar (BP). Boy is that an understatement. I have found that by being meticulous (sp?) in charting C's moods on a daily basis, Morn/Afternnoon/Evening, her sleep patterns, eating patterns, what was going on around her prior to charting, the time/temp, whatever. It really gave them a better picture to go by. I also involved the older children who have witnessed/lived through these phases. I have also let her therapist see her in both states. I made emergency appointment.s during both the manic and the depressed states. My daughter also cycles rapidly. So it is imperative to make sure they understand he NEEDS a mood stabilzer. Without it, they cannot function. In no way are you a bad parent or a failure! You have a very full plate in front of you right now, and I commend you for all you have done and are doing for your children. It is obvious you place their needs before yours. Give yourself a pat on the back. You are doing awesome. Give me a ring if you get too overwhelmed. I too am trying to get this city educated on BiPolar (BP) kids.


mom (37)to five on Prozac-separated from husband
17year old son-gifted
11 year old daughter-"normal pre-adolesence"
5 year old daughter (adopted)Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD), anxiety, Bi-polar ,ODD, Fetal Alcohol Effects (FAE), on Paxil/Trazadone/Depakote
4 year old son(adopted)-seizures, Fetal Alcohol Affect, tremors, developmental delay, ruling out ADHD
3 year old daughter(adopted)-severe neuro and medical issues, uncontrolled seizures, CP,blind
7 month old beagle, Max
1 parakeet, K.C.
1 spotted gecko, Liz

The Lord is my sorce of savation and hope.


New Member
I will call Lutheran Family Services. Thank you

OK question. With the rapid cycling how on earth do you chart moods 3 x a day? Or do you just chart generally speaking? His moods change so quickly but like every am he is slow to start, that doesnt mean he wont go try to hang himself in 10 seconds but? Is that a clear question? Charting is a great idea! I just dont understand how to do it.

As far as emergency appointment. when manic or depressed there is just NO WAY. It takes every bit of strenghth I have to sit on him or hold him and keep him safe during these phases. There is no way I could transport him in that condition. When he goes into the hospital it takes 4 security guards to get him in the door. But that certainly is a great idea.
I cannot videotape, I live on $484.00/mo. I am barely exsisting as it is. Thank you for your understanding and your kind words
You will never know how much they mean to me. God Bles You.