Have have posted about a couple of these issues before but now I need big input...please. When difficult child was three he showed signs of "Big Time" stubbornness, frustration and anger issues. If he was sent to his room for time out, he would push over his book case, tear the sheets off his bed and throw his toys around the room. We had to hold the door closed so he wouldn't come out into the rest of the house and destroy it. He usually fell a sleep in front of his door. He often would hit his head on the floor when frustrated to try to get our sympathy. We started behavioral therapy at age three and it helped for awhile.....He wanted to always be the one in control. My husband and I went to sessions too to learn how to deal with his behaviors. About age seven or so, some of the behaviors were back and worse. difficult child just seemed crabby & irritable alllll the time, very negative and unhappy. It was suggested to us at that point to see a Pediatric Psychiatrist. He started difficult child on an antidepressant. We finally found an antidepressant that he could tolerate without side effects. The medication really took the negative edge off for about two years. Gradually his behaviors worsened and were becoming HUGE, verbally abusive & violent towards my 13 year-old-son, my husband & myself. It was really ugly!! Very negative self-talk, " I hate myself" " I want to kill myself"" This family ", even cussed at us. There were times when he would turn over furniture, throw things at us, hit, kick and bite us. He has gone after us with steak knives, to where we have had to hold him down, lay on top of him and pry then out of his hands. We have locked him in his room with one of us sitting in front of his door (inside with him to make sure he doesn't hurt himself) while he destroys his room and says to me..."If you didn't weigh 800 pounds I could get out the door!" I sat and read a magazine and ignored what ever he said or did. I was very hard to just sit there, but that's what we had to do. There were times when we were very near calling the police. Mood swings were huge! One minute he was angry at something that triggered an episode or rage and awhile later he was fine to be around, happy & silly... "cycling" right? He is very dramatic. Little things can become huge & serious. He could trip over something very small but the way he reacts you would think someone cut off his head. He is can be sensitive to loud noises that startle him. He is also very smart, above average in academics, can be very silly, funny, helpful and loving. About a year ago we took him off his antidepressants and started him on a mood stabilizer. Going off the antidepressant, Effexor, was horrible!!! The worst withdrawal EVER. My poor baby was delusional, in pain, violent and out of control. It was so hard to see him go through it. It lasted a week. We had to send our oldest son to my sisters house. ******* I know that if your child is bipolar, antidepressants should never be prescribed by themselves. It should be with a mood stabilizer. Antidepressants can make children with Bipolar worse!!!!! ****** His trigger are: When he hasn't eaten in awhile, when he is tired, or if there is a lot of commotion going on. He hasnt been able to be on a team sport because he gets too frustrated with the competition and teammates, he gets to angry when playing shooting games on Xbox and Game Cube (we dont let him anymore). We also get into trouble if he becomes board, he needs to be busy & stay busy all day. Routine is really good for him. difficult child did well on the medication Risperdal, only after trying Depakote which wasn't a good medication for him. His behavior on the Risperdal was very manageable. We saw a big difference and he was able to control himself and his anger outbursts. Unfortunately after a year, his triglycerides and cholesterol became too high we had to go off. As of a month ago, difficult child is not on any medications...Yikes !!!!. We and the doctor wanted to give his body a break from medication. He was experiencing a strange leg sensation towards the end of the Risperdal and I thought it was the medication & the doctor thought it was a behavior issue. Much to our surprise.....difficult child is doing quite well "Off" all medication !!!! He still has some behavior issues, quick to fire when frustrated, but no violence and a couple other little things but we are choosing to manage him without medications for now and go back to behavioral therapy. But..... if the" Wheels fall off the cart", we will not hesitate to try another mood stabilizer. He still has some of the leg sensations but they are not as bad. Maybe restless leg syndrome...... So of course now I'm thinking.....is he truly Bipolar? Maybe just borderline? Was it the antidepressants that caused him to become so out of control? Antidepressants and some mood stabilizers can cause children to have the opposite effect of what they are suppose to help...maybe he just has a mood disorder ?......So my husband are in a state of mind that we don't know what to think. We are just going day-by-day at this point and well see what happens. I do need to say that all of these negative behaviors are only at home, for us, around close family members and only a few instances for us around family friends. Not at school...his teachers are shocked when we tell them he has been on medication. I hear that interesting enough that is common in bipolar kids. They hold it together at school but then let go at home...lucky us! Forgive me...this is soooo long......sorry !