question about bipolar teens

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by ksm, Sep 15, 2011.

  1. ksm

    ksm Well-Known Member

    I am curious, I have started reading The Bipolar Child by Demitri Papolos, MD and was reading about all the different symptoms. While there are quite a few that fit my child, some don't. Like the auditory or visual hallucinations. Is there such a thing as bipolar lite? Or will things just keep getting worse? Or will things just kind of stay where we are now? I know we haven't been on the medication long enough to have a clue if it will work. We have only had 3 nights that she has taken a pill. After 14 days the dose doubles for two more weeks. Then we see the ARNP again.

    Some things I learned... night terrors. Yep, those have been going on off and on since we got custody of her 7 years ago. The carb/sweet thing and food aversions. She only wants sweets and "beige" foods. Pasta, potatoes, rice, bread and meat. She will eat an iceberg salad with ranch dressing, but it can't have any other veggie on it. Croutons and cheese and bacon bits... but no tomato, carrot, celery or anything else. Won't touch a vegetable. Not even corn. We have tried to continue doing the "one bite" rule. But at age 13 it is ridiculous for her to act like you have set a plate of poison in front of her when you merely have 5 kernels of corn or two green beans. If you let her, she will eat and eat and eat. Since she only likes certain things, she thinks she should have her fill of chicken breasts instead of having one. I have seen her fill up a plate with mashed potatoes. Fortunately, she is very slim (95 to 98 pounds) and about 4'10". THe other day, she ate as much of a casserole that she liked than my husband, myself and other daughter put together.

    She has been SO irritable. Won't take no for an answer. And it used to be she just got defiant in front of us... but now that is changing and she is doing it in front of other people. She is rude to her little sister and doesn't seem to have any empathy for her at all. She goes to the school nurses often - at least once a week for "headaches" or other ailments.

    I guess I feel lucky that I haven't seen all the possible symptoms of bipolar... yet... just curious if some people can have a mild case? Or does it tend to escalate as they age? Will medication really help this roller coaster that we are on? KSM
  2. AnnieO

    AnnieO Shooting from the Hip

    You could be describing my daughter.

    No two people are alike, so I doubt every bipolar teen has the exact same symptoms.

    Medication does help... if they take it... sigh.

    Try cauliflower with cheese? Just a thought.

  3. flutterby

    flutterby Fly away!

    As diagnosed in adults, there is Bipolar and Bipolar II. I guess you would call Bipolar II, "bipolar lite". In Bipolar II, there is hypomania as opposed to (full-blown) mania. It's when you get to full-blown mania that you see psychosis, such as auditory and visual hallucinations.

    That said, my daughter has been diagnosis'd with Mood Disorder not otherwise specified and she has auditory hallucinations, but not full-blown mania. Bipolar is a spectrum disorder.

    What medication(s) were prescribed?
  4. crazymama30

    crazymama30 Active Member

    there is also bipolar III, also known as cyclothymia. this could be bipolar lite too.
  5. orcaauntie

    orcaauntie New Member

    Hi KSM- My niece was just diagnosed with "TDD" this afternoon. Temper Dysregulation Disorder with Dysphoria. She has been not taking "no" for an answer, thinking she could do what she wanted, when she wanted. She has been screaming at my parents, calling them horrid names, throwing things, etc. all just because they said "NO you cannot go to your friend's right now." or, "Why did you not come home by curfew?". She hates her little sister because she thinks she never gets into trouble. She used to be affectionate and lovey all the time, now it is infrequent. There are so many more things that have been going on but it would take me forever to tell you right now. She is on Vyvanse and Intuniv, which the docs said is the only current treatment as doctors are currently researching other medications that may reduce outbursts. They have increased her dosages of these medicines though.

    Anyways- her Mom has bipolar, our uncle has bipolar, my aunt has bipolar and my biodad (niece's biograndfather) all have bipolar. So I was assuming she had bipolar, but the docs would not diagnose this until she was 18 or 19- a long 5-6 yrs from now. She is demonstrating many of the traits of bipolar. However, with the new TDD diagnosis- it fits. I am reading a small article now on TDD as I just heard of this new diagnosis from my Mom an hour ago. In the article it states that many times, kids are diagnosis'd with bipolar but may actually have TDD.. they are very similar, yet different disorders. A study on TDD showed that kids who were previously diagnosed and treated with traditional bipolar medications like seroquel, depakote, etc., did not have improved behavior. They actually had TDD which is not treated with these medications.

    Long story short, I'd consider this and ask your DR about it.
  6. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Thats the new diagnosis that was just Personally I still think its early onset bipolar. I am almost 50 years old and I am convinced I have had bipolar since I was probably a baby. I know from as far back as I can remember. I have more signs of it than my son does and I knew I had it from reading that book.
  7. ksm

    ksm Well-Known Member

  8. orcaauntie

    orcaauntie New Member

    Hehe, yes it is :)
    From what I've read their studies showed no reason to believe that children diagnosis'd with the new disorder would develop bipolar in their adult years. However- who really knows, right?! Now that Niece has this "label" and it's been explained to her, it can at least help her understand that her behavior isn't normal, and this is "why". Hopefully they will teach her some coping skills also through her therapy.

    KSM- Sorry to hear you had a bad night :( It stinks to have to count your blessings when you have a good day/night. It's like just getting through the bad days, knowing that a good day is somewhere on the horizon!