Red Flags~

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by wakeupcall, Mar 4, 2008.

  1. wakeupcall

    wakeupcall Well-Known Member

    difficult child and I just returned from his therapist (around here the therapist is a psychologist and medication doctor is the psychiatrist) and after telling him about difficult child having sleep problems the last two or three nights and he listening to difficult child talk non-stop while we were there, he says it's MAJOR red flags for Bipolar. This has just started happening...the pressured speech and the lack of sleep. I wondered if it was a reaction to the addition of Geodon to his mix, but the doctor says it's unlikely. I didn't know if I wanted to cry with relief or cry from fear. This journey is never-ending.
  2. smallworld

    smallworld Moderator

    The therapist is wrong. According to the book The Bipolar Child and our own child psychiatrists, Geodon can activate kids and cause mania. From The Bipolar Child (page 110):
    "The medication can induce an odd kind of overarousal (this may be seen at lower doses and not higher doses; however, a number of parents have written to us about anxiety and maniclike reations to the drug)."

    Having said that, I think you should take your difficult child for a second opinion with a child psychiatrist and further explore the question of whether your difficult child has a bipolar-like mood disorder.
  3. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    Hello, Ladies! Pamela, there is some controversy among some professionals about the bipolar diagnosis. The reactions you saw probably were the medications- but if it turns out that they weren't, then still, don't panic just yet over what you think could turn out to be "the rest of his life". I have been told that my difficult child is definetly cycling- actually, I think I've told the profs that a few times myself :). But, I have also been told that it doesn't necessarily mean that he is bipolar or will have major cycles that can't be controlled himself for the rest of his life. I haven't heard a lot about this theory- it is new to me and I'm not sure how accuratae that is, but it gives me a lot of hope and helps me to take it one day at a time.
  4. smallworld

    smallworld Moderator

    Klmno, you are exactly right about the controversy surrounding the BiPolar (BP) diagnosis. That is why I used the term "bipolar-like mood disorder" in my response to Pam. I have two kids with the diagnosis Mood Disorder-not otherwise specified. Both have been observed with distinct periods of mania and depression. The psychiatrists who treat them will not diagnosis BiPolar (BP) because they say BiPolar (BP) is a lifelong illness and they do not know what my kids will look like as adults. However, the psychiatrists are treating my kids with medication protocols used in the treatment of BiPolar (BP).
  5. wakeupcall

    wakeupcall Well-Known Member

    That's exactly what I've been telling everyone since the beginning of time. I just do NOT think difficult child has the extremes that are necessary to be able to call it Bipolar. He definitely has big mood swings (OK, so "mood disorder").....and I've said it before, I don't care what they call it, just help me help him.
  6. smallworld

    smallworld Moderator

    If he has a mood disorder, then you still treat it as if it's BiPolar (BP) -- with mood stabilizers (one and sometimes two) plus an atypical antipsychotic. Geodon sounds as if it's revving him up rather than settling him down so you may have to switch to a different AP. Focalin XR could also be stirring him up.

    We struggled with my son's mood instability for two years until we dropped stimulants and antidepressants altogether and stuck only to mood stabilizers and atypical antipsychotics. He's doing the best he's done in years.
  7. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Go with your gut.
    I didn't think my son was bipolar or mood-disordered either.
    He was diagnosed with bipolar and was on medications for three years. He isn't bipolar. He's on the high end of the autism spectrum. The two can mimic one another. My son didn't rage and I didn't see the moodswings. HOWEVER, on certain medications he seemed to activate--any medication CAN cause activation.
  8. wakeupcall

    wakeupcall Well-Known Member

    difficult child has terrible attention probelms along with his hyperness. I can't imagine him without stims. He's been on one or another since he was four years old. We did a medication wash a couple of years ago and his hyperness had him jumping on the beds and practically climbing the walls. We weaned him off with a doctor's direction, one medication at a know, the right way. This is all so confusing.

    I appreciate everyone's input. Thanks.