Children w/ Bipolar - page 2

My neighbor's son has been dx with bipolar at the age of 7. She has been told that he is a rapid cycler and now he has a comorbid dx of oppositional defiant disorder which I question because he... Read More

  1. by   chicory
    There is a difference between cooped-up highly intelligent kids, working off energy and the kid who starts having delusions w/occasional hallucinations. There are actual mental illnesses people!! You can't go around saying that if only parents would do a better job everything will be okay. I'm sure that there are instances of misdiagnosis and overmedication...but please have an open mind and realize what you put parents through when you are so ready to say that it's all the parent's fault when something goes wrong.
  2. by   Rhon1991
    Chicory, I couldnt have said it better.
    Clive, I understand that about intelligent people. Did you not read my original post? This kid was suicidal. I dont think it was because he was frustrated and bored. I was merely echoing the mother when I said 'she thought he would grow up to be an engineer' and her sadness of now having to get a tutor for him when just last year she was hoping he would go to a magnet school. I know of an excellent cardiologist who is bipolar and I told her about him. I tell her anything positive I hear because she admits to feeling hopeless sometimes.

    So although I initially was offended by your post, I now see you were probably only playing devils advocate and having hope for the little guy. Like I do. I only WISH it was what you described.
  3. by   CliveUK
    chicory - I'm not doubting that this kid is distressed. Nor am I doubting that the parents are trying to do their best. What disturbs me is the thought that children could be diagnosed with what are basically adult disorders, by what are adult criteria for diagnosis. I think, when it comes to kids, there are so many variables - developmental, environmental &c &c - that it ill behoves us (by which I mean mental health professionals) to pathologise their behaviour and medicate it away without thoroughly exploring other possible explanations for their distress.

    Rhon - that's exactly it: "having hope for the little guy". Being labelled with a diagnosis of B.A.D. at this age seems so damaging.
    Last edit by CliveUK on Nov 23, '02
  4. by   NurseyNursey
    Very interesting, both threads actually. My 4 yo was "diagnosed" as bipolar yesterday. Her dad is bipolar and so are several members of his family.
  5. by   2amigos
    You have my support 100%! This mother definately needs support from the system. She has the RIGHT to know what is going on with her child!
    As a mother of three special needs kids, we have had to fight for the information at times. Now when I take the kids to a psych. for their meds, I get a copy of his report before I leave. They are MY kids! We recently moved to New Mexico, and since two of my kids are non-verbal, there is NOT ONE psych. in the state that will treat them...thank goodness their primary care doctor has agreed to continue their meds.
    Mental illness is such a vague scary thing to have to deal with. Our 15 yo has Down's Syndrome, Autism and Dementia.....she has an IQ of less than 20 at her last testing. I love this little girl, but had to grieve the loss of the little girl we adopted at 3 years of age. That little girl who laughed, talked a little is gone, never to return.
    Your friend is fortunate to have you advocating for her. I would imagine with her education there is an additional stigma with having a mentally ill child.
    I would definately see who can be an additional advocate for the child. I'm not sure, but could a Guardian Ad Litem be procured for the child? There needs to be more communication with the parents. Sometimes as a parent, we have to MAKE the professionals listen and respect OUR authority on OUR child. We are the one that have to clean up their mistakes and we are responsible for the welfare of our children, as best we can.
    I mainly wanted to thank you for your friendship and support for this woman and her family.
    God bless you!
    Cheryl Moore
  6. by   researchrabbit
    Originally posted by Rhon1991
    What I didnt find helpful was the thought that these kids have these problems due to bad parenting.
    Bad parenting is probably not what most posters meant...but sometimes fFAMILY DYNAMICS are a problem. Sometimes parent and child are not a good fit, or siblings don't fit well together. Some kids don't do well with personality conflicts. It is no reflection on the parents...but it can then help to learn different methods of coping with the child who is having the problems.

    An simple example of this would be a sensitive, timid child who has parents who are high energy people who love to argue, want lots of differnet stimuli (travel, TV, visitors).

    Some kids will do well in any environment. Some kids will only do well in one particular environment. Some kids will do better in a high energy environment, some in a restrained environment, some need more attention, some need less; some need more rules, some need more; what works for one kid in a family may not work for another.

    If the problem can be solved without medication, the child and parents are better off in the long run.

    Plus I have been told that sometimes depression or anixety in children manifests as mania-like symptoms. Children handle emotional problems much differently than adults...which is why they are more difficult to diagnose. However, in order for insurance to pay, sometimes you MUST have a diagnosis. Any psych diagnosis given a child should be revisited at some later date so the kid isn't stuck with it for life.