Why my psychiatrist is medicating difficult child the way she is...


Mom? What's a difficult child?
I just thought I would post this info for people who have questions or who have children who are not yer medicated. Because there are different options and our children do present differently with symptoms etc. As well as how they respond to each medication... we can only educate ourselves and hope our psychiatrist's are looking out for our child's best inerest and not just another number....

In the Third Edition Of the Bipolar Child, the Papolos' state on page 108 " Clinical experiene with childhood bipolar disorder patients suggests that the atypical antipsychotic agents may accomplish things and target symptoms that mood stabilizers don't. The atypicals may benefit children who have prolonged rage attacks, psychotic symptoms, mixed-irritable moods, and possibly very rapidly cycling mood, all of which are commonly associated with early-onset bipolar disorder and may require different forms of treatment than are usual in adults.".

They go on to page 113- " The popularity of the newer atypical antipsychotics for childhood bipolar disorder is growing rapidly, and some clinicians are beginning to prescribe one of these medications as an initial treatment choice without a concurrant mood stabilizer....Some thoughful and experienced clinicians are using this approach and find that it can be quite helpful for some young patients in certain situations. Dr. Maurizio Tohen and his team at Eli Lilly laboratories have been studying Zyprexa and have reported on its mood stabilizing effect. When we spoke to him, he said that Zyprexa not only worked on the manic and psychotic symptoms, but was also effective on the deprssive symptoms of mixed states or the depresseive aspects of acute mania. That statement may be a bit bewildering, but the manic states are not just a constant high with grandiose and activated thought, speech, and behavior. Often in adults, and very commonly in children, mania is interlaced with a rapidly shifting mood (mood lability), irritibility, sadness, sleeplessness, anxiety, and agitation.... So there is rhyme and reason here, based on the nature of the juvenile bipolar illness for some doctors to use these medications as a first line of treatment. They are easy to administer, and blood drawing to determine serum levels of the drugs is not necessary."

I am not trying to start an argument here I just hadn't fully explained why we are doing what we were doing and why and people were throwing out stats and reports at me so I thought I would explain my psychiatrists thinking, this is also what Dr. Feadda believes and tries with some of his patients. I know this doesn't work for all of our kids, but this is our first go at it and I am sure not our last...


Well-Known Member

Your child is very young. You will be best served to listen to a doctor you trust and go with your gut if you feel he/she is doing what is in your childs best interest. You know your child best. We are not doctors on this site. We dont know your baby. We certainly cannot tell you what to give your child...nor should we.

If your doctor told you to dance naked in the moonlight and you found it helpful...I would applaud your efforts. I always said I would drink horse pee and dip my kid in manure if it helped. Fortunately they never recommended that. LOL.

You are doing a great job...never forget it.


New Member
I think every single psychiatrist has a reason to do what they do, and obviously, no two are alike.

Interesting, Dylan is clearly Bipolar. His current diagnosis is Bipolar, not otherwise specified, Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD)-not otherwise specified, and ADHD. This, from a board certified MD psychiatrist. When we went across the hallway (same office, same practice) to see the PSYCHOLOGIST to discuss Wrap Around (wound up not going through with it anyway), he diagnosis'ed Dylan ADHD/ODD :rofl: HUH? :hammer:

I'm not going to comment on the psychologist thing, but I think you get what I'm saying.

There are still psychiatrist's who do not believe Bipolar exists in kids. There are some who really do think the antipsychotics are the best way. In all honesty, my psychiatrist tried it, too. We tried Risperdal first, in November of 2005 - it just made my son insane.

I said in your other thread that I hoped you didn't find what I was saying offensive. I only mentioned the mood stabilizers to you because when I first came here, I didn't know what mood stabilizers were or what they did (and isn't that sad, when a PSYCHIATRIST gave my kid Depakote, and didn't tell me what it was LOL, pathetic).

Obviously, no argument coming from me. You do what you feel is right and that's all you can do. You're right, every kid is different.



New Member
If it works is what matters. My difficult child tried Risperdal, and it worked for a few months and fizzled out real fast. He gained an immense amount of weight. I realize that many psychiatrists are trying the antipsychotics on their own, but if they stop working....I would say get a mood stabilizer on board.


Mom? What's a difficult child?
Thanks you guy's that is what I am doing, Janet, Janna and Oceans-
I don't think the Risperdal will work forever and the weight gain sucks!!! I am also afraid of her becoming sick and tired of the medications after awhile... So I am trying to go slow for that reason also. Especially when we do get to the Mood Stabilizers...
I really do look up to those of you that have been there done that...with yourselves or with your children.

Janna I would still be a lot more clueless without this site!!! I knew nothing about any of the medications!!!

by the way- We did try the naked running through the snow, under a full moon a couple weeks ago !!! It didn't really help but it sure was funny!!!

timer lady

Queen of Hearts

You owe us absolutely no explanations on your child's treatment plan.

I say go for what works - I pay little attention to the diagnosis anymore except as it applies to therapeutic supports.

I've gone as far as saying to one psychiatrist "call it pregnant, just treat it!". :smile: Let me tell you, that didn't go over very well & I'll just say that that psychiatrist "fired" us as patients.

The running naked in the snow is one I hadn't tried - don't think husband would join me. :surprise:


Active Member
I think that the medication that works depends so much on the chemistry of the one who is taking it. My son has cyclothymia, and mood stabilizers are supposed to help. Neither Depakote or Lithium did anything good. We will try Lamictal this week, and taper up. I am leery. On the other 2 he was only able to reach a theraputic dose on one,and that was pure he**. He was better non medicated.