Help! Does my child have bipolar???

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CoCogirl
New Member


Date Joined Oct 2007
Total Posts : 13
   Posted 10/14/2007 9:01 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi Everyone! I have been on the "depression" forum for myself. My ex is bipolar. My daughter and son have ADHD and take meds for it. It is my 11 yr old daughter I am worried about.....since a baby she has exhibited fits where I could not calm her no matter what i said or did. It would just have to pass after about 45 min. She would scream from her crib then bed..."You are not listening to me"!!!! Even after I reassured her I was she would still continue screaming at the top of her lungs! I would have to put a pillow over my head to avoid losing it! Now that she is older it is worse. Any little thing sets her off. She succeeded in chasing my fiance away at age 5. She screamed at him to go away or she would "set him on fire"! He was a teacher for years and never saw anything like it. She would then calm down and act like everything was fine and apologize. She says she "can't control it". I am now married and my husband is a saint. She gets in a "mood" and screams at him and won't stop until it passes. She does it to me also and always comes and says how sorry she is after. I am very worried about this and have recently started thinking about bipolar. Does anyone know how early you see symptoms?? I have had her to therapist who just say she is "acting out" and not to give in. But as a mother I feel it is more. Unfortunately, there is a shortage of childrens psych docs in this area. Also, she doesn't make friends easy and when she does alienates them with her meaness. It is breaking my heart. She is bright, artistic and loves animals. I recently bought a horse for her thinking it would be therapeutic but we fight all the time when we are at the farm.Although she would never hurt an animal she has started slapping her horse but I put a stop to that. BTW, I never hit her although I sure feel like it! She screams she "hates" me and again I am "not listening to her" but I am!! HELP!!!!!!!! I am finding it hard to be around her.   

mogli
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Date Joined Mar 2006
Total Posts : 1191
   Posted 10/14/2007 11:27 AM (GMT -7)   

Hi CoCogirl,

Welcome to the bp forum.  In reading your post, I have to say the only way you are ever going to know what's going on, is to get a professional diagnosis.  I know that's frustrating for you, but it's the only way to know.  We can't self-diagnose.  Also, children and teenagers are so different from us adults.  Their emotions are all over the place growing up.  So it really is hard to say what your daughter is experiencing.  Is there any way someone (a doctor...) could refer you to a pdoc outside of your area?  Meaning you might have to drive a bit, but if there were help somewhere, it might be worth it.

I'm so sorry for all you are going through, and have been through.  I know I was extremely emotional as a child/teen, but who know's what your daughter is experiencing.

We're here for support.  I hope things get better for you and your daughter.  Please keep in touch, let us know how things are going. 


Mogs
 
Bipolar II, Anxiety/Panic Disorder
.5mg Clonazepam, 50mg Trazodone
--Currently not on meds for bp--


olivia of course
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Date Joined Jul 2006
Total Posts : 1523
   Posted 10/14/2007 12:11 PM (GMT -7)   
CoCogirl,

Welcome to the Bipolar forum, I'm glad you found us. I agree with Mogli on this, we can't selfdiagnose your daughter. You are going to need a psychiatrist or another trained professional to diagnose and determine what is going on with your daughter. She is very young, so the symptoms tend to be different from adults.

I am sorry you're going through a rough time, hopefully you will get a chance to talk to someone soon. Please let us know how things are going. We are here for your support. Best wishes!
Olivia
Co-Moderator, Bipolar
 
Dx:  Bipolar I, Anxiety-Panic Disorder
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SnowyLynne
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Date Joined Apr 2004
Total Posts : 1539
   Posted 10/14/2007 12:15 PM (GMT -7)   
She's not acting out she needs professional help..........
SnowyLynne


wen4003
Veteran Member


Date Joined Aug 2007
Total Posts : 1193
   Posted 10/14/2007 12:19 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi CoCoGirl,
 
I have been on HW for a couple months but mostly on the Anxiety board, as the anxiety/panic and agoraphobia are the biggest issues for me right now.  But I have just recently been diagnosed as Bipolar, as is my sister.
 
Here's a little of my son's history for you and then I have a couple questions for you.  My son is now 15 and doing very well.  However, he has never, ever been an easy child to deal with.  He has ADHD, Major Depression w/Psychotic Features (he hears voices) and is on meds for all of those things now.  
 
When he was younger he would throw major fits when he couldn't do or get what he wanted.  He would then go tearing through his room and destroy whatever he got his hands on.  I remember that during one of those fits he even destroyed a Mother's Day gift that he had made and was going to give me.  Yes, over the years, right from when he was little, we had the "I hate you" fits, screaming, hitting, etc. The one thing that I never got from him though was an apology after any of his fits.  Once we got him on the Ritalin when he was in 2nd grade, he settled down quite a bit. 
 
But about 5 years ago we started having MAJOR problems again, only this time he was suicidal.  He has always been able to be pretty open with me and talks to me a lot about what's going on.  Only I didn't see this coming at all, neither did the Social Worker or Therapist who were working closely with us at the time.  He was also starting to cut himself and was becoming violent with his sister - he was 10 at that time. 
 
Over the next 6 months, I had to admit him to psych wards 4 times and the last time also landed him in court because I pressed charges against him when he set a fire in my house.  Thankfully, no major damage.  When we got to court he was taken out of my home and put in placement for almost 2 years, as well as being on probation. 
 
But as horrible as all of this was, it ended up being a blessing in disguise.  There were many, many tests done on him - IQ/intelligence tests, psych tests, etc.  Many of these were done by the school, others done by the State and the facility he was placed in.  He's extremely intelligent, but doesn't apply himself.  One of the pysch tests that was done, is for Bipolar - he has some of the traits for it, but not all - so he was not diagnosed with it.  But, and as his mother I really hate saying this - it really wouldn't surprise me if he does end up with that diagnosis someday.
 
During the placement, he learned a lot about himself, learned some coping skills, he's on the right combo of meds now, has been home permanently for 14 months, is off probation and his court case has been closed, and he is doing great now.
 
Ok, now that my "little bit of history" has turned out to be rather long (I apologize for that), here are my questions for you.  Does your daughter act out in any way while at school?  If she does, what has been done?  Has she ever been tested for anything for anything at all?  I know you said she has been seen by one therapist and there aren't too many other child therapists in your area.  Have you asked your general doctor or the school guidance counselor for any referrals for psychiatrists that you could take her to?  Have you ever kept track of her "fits" or moods to see if there is a pattern of any kind?  If you haven't, maybe you should; this would also be good information to give to your doctor, therapist and psychiatrist (if you go that route) you can even find free charts online that you can print and use them for tracking this information.  I've actually started doing this for myself to see if I can pick up on any particular pattern or trigger.
 
Whether or not she has the Bipolar Disorder and I'm certainly not an expert on any of this, I feel you need to see another therapist and/or psychiatrist.  I agree with you that something appears wrong, but now you need to be a strong advocate for her and find someone that can help you figure this out.  Please know that I am in no way telling you what to do, these are only suggestions and it's all up to you as to what you do.
 
Please keep posting and let us know how things are going.  Take Care.
 
Wen
Agoraphobia, Barrett's Esophagus, Bipolar Disorder, Depression, Fibromyalgia, Panic/Anxiety Disorders, Restless Leg Syndrome, Severe Acid Reflux, Sleep Apnea, and Social Anxiety
 
Meds: Ambien CR, Ativan, Flexeril, Lamictal, Lexapro, Neurontin, Nexium, Requip, Ritalin ER
 

A slip of the foot you may soon recover,

but a slip of the tongue you may never get over.

Benjamin Franklin

 


CoCogirl
New Member


Date Joined Oct 2007
Total Posts : 13
   Posted 10/14/2007 3:06 PM (GMT -7)   

Hi Wen & everyone! Thanks for sharing some info with me.

To answer your ?? Wen... I was told by the school counsler in kindergarten that she possibly had "selective mutism" which I was told is like extreme shyness. But after meeting with a therapist I was told she had "social anxiety". The symptoms were that she would not talk to or look her teacher in the eye. She kept to herself and didn't play with other children. When called on she just stared and didn't answer the question. They told me to try zoloft. I was reluctant at such a young age. Personally, I think she didn't like her teacher that much! I didn't like her either (but never shared this with her) the zoloft made her the opposite. She was caught jumping over the bathroom stall at school and was banned from that bathroom, she was telling other kids their breath smelled! While sounding funny I knew this could be a problem and took her off it. She then seemed to grow out of the shyness but still preferred playing alone as she still does in 5th grade. Lately she has mentioned she should just kill herself b/c she is so awful and mean to me. I don't know if she is just trying to get a reaction from me or what. Of coarse I am taking it serious. We have an apt. with the therapist that originally put her on zoloft but it is actually now my sons therapist (another story!) We go as a family b/c of issues with their dad who didn't take his meds for bipolar for awhile and became agoraphobic. They didn't see him for 2yrs but now he is back after deciding to take his meds! It has wrecked havoc on all our lives. He is not a nice person and uses my daughter as his confidante. He shares way to much info with her and I am in the process of taking him to court to have visitation changed although I found out it is not easy. He was in and out of psych wards 7 weeks this summer and shared info about his most recent suicide attempt with the kids. My daughter is afraid to upset him for fear he will get depressed and kill himself! She never expresses these outburst with him. Soooo...I think her dad is a big part of the problem. Her brother at 16 decided he doesn't want him in his life but my daughter is afraid to do this. She has been on ADHD med. since school started last month due to her inability to listen and focus but she recently said it makes her depressed!! OMG!! no wonder I am depressed myself!! So sorry to make this so long I just had to get it out. When we go for apt. tue. I am going to insist on getting her an apt for just her. The problem is there is such a long wait list at this facility. So sad that there is no help available. I may take her out of this area. I fear when she does start puberty.

I am so happy to read that your son is doing better. Wow! what a long road you and he had to take. You are right about being their advocates. If it wasn't for your persaverance what might have happened to him??

Raising kids is the most rewarding but toughest job in the world!

Keep in touch!

 


serafena
Veteran Member


Date Joined May 2007
Total Posts : 3715
   Posted 10/14/2007 7:26 PM (GMT -7)   
CoCoGirl:

Let me welcome you to the board to and say hello. I hope things get better with your daughter soon. You must be exhausted. I hope in the midst of all this you're trying to take care of yourself. It sounds like you're really in a tough spot: knowing you need to get her more professional help and not really having enough resources in your area to do that.

Like everyone else, I wouldn't venture a guess about a diagnosis in a child. But it seems she has an inordinate amount of trouble expressing herself and the range of her emotions: it all comes out as anger. She really needs professional help learning to cope with emotion.

Your description of your children's relationship with their father is just heartbreaking. The pressure of having to process the attempted suicide of a parent must be overwhelming for any young girl, but for one who has such trouble expressing emotion effectively anyway, it must be awful. What a lot of guilt that little one must be carrying around to feel her daddy's very life depends on whether or not she behaves. How could anyone bear that, let alone a confused 11 year old girl? So I would definitely recommend some individual therapy just for her. She needs to learn some coping skills soon, and she needs some support that's just for her, whether she's BP or not.
Serafena
Co-Moderator, Bipolar Forum

Ask me about my Bipolar Disorder!


loving frustrated wife
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jun 2007
Total Posts : 865
   Posted 10/14/2007 10:04 PM (GMT -7)   
CoCoGirl, I have a 14 yr old with BP & ADHD. You need to work with a top notch pdoc for proper dx for your daughter. We discovered that my son was BP at 8 1/2 when the pdoc said we should try the medication for it to see if it were part of the ADHD picture. He was never explosive with his moods as you described your daughter, but he would shift moods quickly none the less. If taking the mood meds calmed that down, he was a BP. If he was not a BP, it would have had NO effect good or bad. He wanted this checked first because it would make a difference in how he would treat the ADHD. THANK GOD he checked. Within days we saw a HUGE difference in him and knew for sure he was BP. While it then took 9 months to get him stable on meds...working one at a time, it was clear it was the right dx. Keep in mind that how it manifests in everyone is different. My son had more the implode and rapid recycling issues, verses the explode issues you described for your daughter. But I hope it helps to hear from another mom who's been through it. It is critical that your daughter get properly dx'ed, because if she IS on Ritalin, and she IS BP, that could also be part of her problem. BP'ers can not take Ritalin...they need things like Strattera instead. Good luck to you. BTW, my son takes Trileptal and it was evident immediately on these meds…he started him on a VERY low dose and inched him up until he stabilized…but as the drug was new to his system at the beginning…even the LOW dose had a profound effect. LFW

CoCogirl
New Member


Date Joined Oct 2007
Total Posts : 13
   Posted 10/15/2007 7:16 AM (GMT -7)   
Good morning to everyone...I want to thank everyone who has posted. It helps so much just to write about it. We had a bad night last night. My ex was supposed to bring her home at 6pm. Called and said "no, drive 75 min. yourself to pick her up, but gave no directions to house he is living in. My wonderful husband drove to the area he said he would meet "me". When he found out I wasn't there he said he wouldn't meet him! It is all about harrassing me. I had to go to local police and they called him and were so annoyed with him that they were going to have him transported and arrest him BUT in my divorce papers it does state "mother" picks up child!! Although the cop and I agreed it was simply the terminology used we lost. So I had to drive 75 min. to where my husband already was waiting to get my daughter. The local police called and had a state trooper waiting with me. My daughter got in the car at 9:30, 3 and half hrs past pick up time. She had not showered all weekend and it was to late by the time we got home. She screamed at me the whole time about how wonderful her dad is and how bad I am (and her stepdad, who is anything but), she hates me, wants to live with him ect....keep in mind we have been so close until he came back into her life. She smacked me this morn., said I am old and awful and her dad is the best. She also said I have been calling and harrassing him??? He calls me up to 10x daily. I don't answer.....it is all very upsetting. I feel like my heart is crushed. I don't know who my daughter is anymore......  
loving...thank you for giving me hope that if it is BP there is help. She is taking a new ADHD med right now. Do you know if BP is sometimes confused with ADHD?? Similar symptoms?? 

loving frustrated wife
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jun 2007
Total Posts : 865
   Posted 10/15/2007 8:03 AM (GMT -7)   
CoCo, in children BP can appear to be like ADHD, in how the manic and manias manifest. Or, like my son, a child can actually have both. That is why it is CRITICAL that you seek a top professional in the field to help you sort through this. As to the ex...a sad situation for sure. My sister in law had a similar situation. in the end...she was awarded full custody after he encouraged his 13 year old to run away accross state lines. They are not allowed contact anymore, and the daughter sees her father as the sick individual he is. In your case, perhaps he is also ill like your daughter and it has gone undiagnosed??? But, who knows. Good luck with it and STAY CALM. Do what is best for your child and work not to get caught up in his games. I know her words hurt you a lot, but YOU know the truth...and right now she is not well it sounds like. STAY the course as the responsible and loving parent. In time, she will mature and with proper treatment be able to see things clearly for herself and she will have appreciated her mothers strength during a rough go. My thoughts are with you. LFW

serafena
Veteran Member


Date Joined May 2007
Total Posts : 3715
   Posted 10/15/2007 8:26 AM (GMT -7)   
CoCo -- You must know your ex is feeding into your daughter's confusion right now. He is clearly feeding these thoughts into her head, and again, she can only respond with fury. She clearly believes the nonsense he is telling her. He's not well, and she's too young to know what's "logical" and what's not. I echo LFW and really stress some intense professional help for her. She is being used as your ex's pawn in his ongoing battle against you, and as one of the many many many children who was similarly used -- I can assure you that nobody wins in that situation. If necessary, definitely look to a wider area for more help. I hope you are also getting some therapy of your own for your depression. You can't talk about your own fears with a therapist in any depth in front of your children.
Serafena
Co-Moderator, Bipolar Forum

Ask me about my Bipolar Disorder!

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