Bipolar different in children?

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Date Joined Mar 2005
Total Posts : 1185
   Posted 10/19/2007 10:40 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi, I'm looking for any information on symptoms of bipolar disorder in younger children. My son is 8 years old, third grade, no friends.. everyone is afraid of him, failing school because he "can't" complete work (he's very very smart, no learning issues, has no tolerance for any type of frustration at all, lashes out physically if his feelings get hurt, has "rages" where I have to literally sit on him, still wets the bed, does not seem able to give a coherent answer as to "why" he does these things.
The school keeps throwing ADHD at me, but I HAVE an ADHD child and they are nothing alike. The only thing that strikes me that could be ADHD is the classwork. But one thing out of many does not make a diagnosis right. I'm working on finding a good mental health facility to test/treat, but my insurance is wonky and I'm running into a lot of them that don't see kids this young.
I guess what I'm looking for is how bipolar would present in a child this young. I know it would present differently than it would in an adult, and if I can just get a foot in the door on the problem, I can start research myself until I can get him in, and maybe intervene a little to get him more in control.
Thanks in advance.
I'm not procrastinating----I'm still doing yesterday!!!! 
I have no medical training, any medical opinions expressed in my posts are just that....opinions.

Co-Moderator for : Chronic Pain, Fibro

loving frustrated wife
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Date Joined Jun 2007
Total Posts : 865
   Posted 10/19/2007 4:13 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi SarahP...My son was 8 when he was fully evaluated (although he doesn’t have the aggression issues), and the dx was initially clinical depression and severe ADHD (impulsivity and attention span being the main issues). By the grace of God, a phenomenal pdoc was recommended and he was very versed in “complex” cases like my son. First he got a handle on the depression. Then before just “assuming” the symptoms were ADHD, he first checked to rule out BP, because if he was BP – the symptoms could be manifesting like ADHD, or he could have also had that and the treatment would have to be different for the ADHD if he was BP too. Well…bottom line, he turned out to be both! THANK GOD HE CHECKED…kids with BP & ADHD can not take the normal meds for the ADHD (Ritalin and stuff) or you end up with a real problem. So…your son may be both, then again, he may not. My advice is to ask around at the universities and hospitals, call child therapists in your area…etc. for who is the BEST person around handling “complex” cases with young kids. Then, check out to see if there are any law suits against them with the AMA (or the equivalent depending on your country/state). Eventually, the same name will keep being recommended, he’ll check out great and then go see HIM/HER. I know how heart breaking this all is. My son is now 14, and I’d like to say it gets easier (and a lot of it can), but “easy” is never a word I would use. My son sees both a pdoc & therapist, and we work as a team all together for his benefit. He is developing into an amazing human being that I am proud of everyday. But there are STILL very heartbreaking times too. Socially it has always been hit and miss, and that is VERY hard. Just hang in there…when you find the right help, things can improve. Good luck to you. LFW (BTW...I have Fibro too!)

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Date Joined May 2007
Total Posts : 3715
   Posted 10/20/2007 2:23 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi Sarah P,

Welcome to our board. Coffee's over there on the left. Couch on the right. TV's on the blitz. Bathroom in the back -- jiggle the handle. tongue

You found the woman to talk to already. LFW's seen it all.

I too had heard that bipolar can be misdiagnosed as ADHD in children, but I have no personal experience with the diagnoses. I presume you've already done a fair amount of research on your own, but just in case you hadn't seen this, or in case anyone else is interested, here's a link to the Child and Adolescent Bipolar Foundation's site.
Co-Moderator, Bipolar Forum

Ask me about my Bipolar Disorder!

Post Edited (serafena) : 10/20/2007 4:21:33 PM (GMT-6)

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