My 13 year old is possibly being diagnosed as BP

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New Member

Date Joined Jul 2007
Total Posts : 5
   Posted 7/13/2007 11:19 AM (GMT -7)   
My daughter who is about 30 pounds overweight already just saw a new therapist.  Who suspects that she is bi-polar.  We have an appt w/a phychiatrist next week.  She does go from one mood to another rather quickly.  She has also stated that when she starts to get angry, she can't control what she says.  My biggest concern is that she is so depressed over her current weight, if they put her on medication, which I heard will make her gain more weight, won't this aggrevate the depression?  How should I deal with the different moods?  She has been staying up until 4 in the morning, then sleeping until 2pm..Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

loving frustrated wife
Veteran Member

Date Joined Jun 2007
Total Posts : 865
   Posted 7/13/2007 10:47 PM (GMT -7)   
My 13 year old son was diagnosed at 8. My best advice is to make sure you have the BEST psychiatrist around for kids and adults. Ask around A LOT. Make sure you have the best of the best. If you do, they will be able to handle all the needs of your child. It is very important to also stay with the therapy too. They will work together as a team for your child so make sure you sign the paper giving permission that they can talk to each other. Be prepared that once medication starts, you need to give yourself time to find the right drugs and doses. Ask a lot of questions. Make sure the psychiatrist you choose is accessable to you inbetween appointments too. Ours always started with the LOWEST doses with whatever he put our son on, and one step at a time raised it until we found the right level for his system (bottom up, not top down style). We went one drug at a time, and then added from there one drug at a time until the right combination was found. It took approx. 9 months to really get there until we hit a solid foundation (our son takes a coctail of 4 drugs). Since then, we all work as a team, the Dr's, therapist, parents and my son. But the KEY is the therapist and psychiatrist. With what we have experienced and what I have seen with friends...they can make or break the results. So as I said...ask around, and once the same name keeps coming up as the best, go interview him right away. They should work with a lot of kids, teenagers, and adults as well, and be accustom to complex cases. Ours is also a professor at a top university in the psych departent, and was always being handed the very complex cases. That's what you want to look for. Someone with that level of experience. Good luck, it will help your daughter more than you know when it all comes together. And help you too to be able to know what to do to help her. I know it is very hard as a parent when faced with this. But keep moving forward and you will see there is help for the situation out there. Your family will also be helped by it too. Reach out whenever you have questions or need support too. LFW

Ellie 1
Veteran Member

Date Joined Apr 2005
Total Posts : 1291
   Posted 7/14/2007 5:57 AM (GMT -7)   
It's good that your daughter is being diagnosed early. I also was having problems at her age but remained undiagnosed until I was in my late 20's.
There are meds out there that don't cause weight gain. Make sure your pdoc knows this is a concern. I made it clear to mine that I would prefer to take nothing that would make me gain, (Although I would trade slim for sanity if it came right down to it), and he's been very good about trying to keep me off the meds that cause the most.
Good judgement comes from experience and alot of that comes from bad judgement.
You just have to accept that some days you're the pigeon, and some days you're the statue. 

Veteran Member

Date Joined May 2007
Total Posts : 3715
   Posted 7/14/2007 7:32 AM (GMT -7)   
You don't say how old your daughter is, but...

Ellie's right. Not all the drugs for bipolar encourage weight gain, and if she gets her moods stable again, she might be able to focus on more important things than body image like making friends, getting out and being happy.

I would communicate your concerns to her doctor, but not in front of her. She's clearly already feeling overwhelmed and self-conscious about her body, and making an issue about it to the psych doctor may be embarrassing to her and just reinforce her feeling that something is wrong with her body.

If you'll tolerate a little personal history: I was an overweight kid and now I'm an overweight adult. When I was checked into a hospital for suicide watch at 29 my mom dismissed it as "She's just depressed about her weight." She'd been saying that for 15 years. And it was completely untrue. Weight's important, yeah, but also a symptom of larger problems.

It's far more important that you try to be understanding and supportive of her, no matter what her mood is. I do understand how hard that is. I really do. But just try to be loving and patient if you can, try and let her know you'll love her know matter what. That's the most important thing you can do along with making it clear you're her advocate in all this -- you're on her side.

Good luck,

New Member

Date Joined Jul 2007
Total Posts : 5
   Posted 7/14/2007 9:12 AM (GMT -7)   

Thanks to all who responded.  She will be in weekly therapy and is seeing a highly recommended phychiarist next week.  Keeping my fingers crossed that she isn't bi-polar, but will deal if it is.  I just want my happy daughter back.  She was there at one time and I'll do everything I can to see that she gets there again.  I just recently got married again, I have a feeling this is what triggered it this time.  He is willing to do what he can too.  She justs sees that it's not just me and her against the world as it had been for 10 years.  Hopefully she will realize that he cares a lot about her too.

Thanks again.


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