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Old 09-21-2012, 10:55 AM   #1
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parents of bipolar/mood disorder children

I wanted to start a thread for support/chat for the parents of bipolar and mood disorder children, I'm sure I am not the only one. My youngest was recently diagnosed with mood disorder nos and ADHD but his developmental behavioral pedi said his diagnosis will change to bipolar as he ages they just don't like to give children his age that sort of diagnosis. I am also bipolar so while I have a good bit of experience with it I am feeling pretty guilty as well. Dh keeps telling me this isn't my fault but I still feel like it is. Tharen seems to be doing better with his newest med at a higher dose but I would love to talk to others who have BTDT. What kind of therapies have you tried? What works? What doesn't? What do you do in your day to day life that helps?

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Old 09-21-2012, 11:43 AM   #2
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No ideas but just wanted to say Hi!


Thea was diagnosed with ppdnos and mood disorder nos. she also has SM. we are not on meds (she is almost 3) but we may try some down the line.
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Old 09-23-2012, 06:58 PM   #3
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Re: parents of bipolar/mood disorder children

Sounds a lot like my girl. She is 24 but I have walked where you walk. I still do, everyday.
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Old 09-24-2012, 06:35 AM   #4
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Re: parents of bipolar/mood disorder children

More time to explain this morning.

Heather was born at almost 28 weeks, 24 years ago. So quite a preemie. Lost of birth related health issues. She is adopted, we met her the day before she was released from the hospital at 11.5 weeks of age. Expecting lasting effects from her early birth. However we were blessed with so much more. I'll call it blessings because it is what makes her how she is. Good, bad and ugly, we love her. Because she was preemie she was tracked by a university group until she was four. Regular full evaluations. At fourteen months, 11 adjusted, they said the predicted she would have much more complicated than expected. That was an understatement at best.
She had respiratory issues, ear infections etc to an extreme. Three sets of ear tubes, tonsils and adenoids removed. Continued infections. Finally ped did some testing and determined that she did notbhave immunity to anything. Not childhood immunizations even. Things she had been repeatedly exposed to. We saw a specialist who decided to give her IVIG for six months. It was amazing. That was age five and she has been rarely sick since then. After completing that she was given all shots again. Today I certainly would not allow that as out younger children are either lightly immunized or not at all. She was not tested after that to check, just assumed since she was no longer sick all the time that it must have worked. Fast forward to her senior year in school. She worked in a job training program at the hospital and had to prove immunity to rubella. Yeah, she still has none! They did give it to her, yet again, but I feel sure that it had on effect.
She was never an easy baby. She did not require sleep and was not easily comforted. She would sleep a little in the swing but there were no battery of plug in swings. You had to wind them and they made a terrible noise when you did. And that woke her. If you went before it stopped and would ever so slowly withthe swinging action you could wind it without waking her. It took about five minutes to wind like that and it would swing for 18 minutes. So I set an timer and we kinda slept a few hours a night after I figured that out.
She was on an apnea monitor for over a year. It's a great device for mom's security. However on a tiny babythere are not slot of complications. Older babies move a lot and cause lots of false alamrs by unplugging the leads. Oops.
She did not ever have solid food issues and loved everything. Bottles were a whole different beast. She had a very weak suck and it took forever for her to finish a feeding. She was a very slow grower. At nine months she was finally 10 pounds.
She was a joy and such a challenge. We saw a behaviorist at the Behavior Institute of Atlanta. I was a preschool teacher so had a full array of tactics that is used with children and had great success with almost any child. This one however was beyond all reason. She was a mess. We left there after several appointments with our therapist throwing in the towel, no ore ideas. Soon we saw a neurologist and then the development pediatrician. We were blessed many times for living near a big city with so many specialist. She was exes ADHD before age four and we tried medication at 4. That was some kind of experience. Medications never seemed to have the expected results. She tried so many different medicines. Prozac at about five. It seemed to help at first, maybe. OCD was added. And by seven she had a Tourette syndrome ex also. And then soon cane the bipolar. I think it was there all along.

I'll share more if the chat gets rolling.
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Old 09-24-2012, 05:09 PM   #5
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Re: parents of bipolar/mood disorder children

I haven't sought a Dx for my son yet. He is obsessed with keeping his hands clean, throwing major fits iver the smallist thing, thinks people are calling him names, and want to kill him. The other day I walked in his room to check to see if he was napping and he was strangling his sister!! I don't even know where to start! I brought his behavior up to the dr when he was washing his hands raw but the Dr just passed it off!
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Old 09-24-2012, 09:47 PM   #6
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Re: parents of bipolar/mood disorder children

Well I thought things were going better with the new higher dose of trileptal, looks like we were just in an upcycle. Things took a turn for the worst on Friday and Tharen has been pretty rough since. If anything he is getting worse. I don't know if that is true or if I am just feeling disappointment. He is definitely experiencing some very extreme reactionary behavior and mood swings. His threats and verbal outbursts are getting worse but that may just be a developmental thing. He was not as argumentative today as yesterday so that has me hopeful that we are on the downswing. Friday is his appt to discuss whether this medication works.

I wish I knew the best way to handle his out of control behaviors all of the time. So much of the time he just leaves me feeling completely exhausted and overwhelmed. I've been doing Love and Logic but instead of getting better he just gets worse.

Kayla, it is so hard when doctors ignore you. Keep bringing it up or go over his head. You need to get help for your son. Is he in school that you could bring it up with a teacher for an eval there?
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Old 09-24-2012, 10:20 PM   #7
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Re: parents of bipolar/mood disorder children

My son was diagnosed with mood disorder-nos, adhd, odd, spd, tourette's, separation anxiety, speech articulation delay....that might be it. He just turned 5 this month. He is currently trying out Intuniv, 2mg, which isn't doing anything at all. We have a follow-up appt. with his ped. tomorrow morning. We are trying to find a therapist for us to go to with him so we can get some real help. I just finished a series of classes at Seattle Children's Hospital called Managing Disruptive Behavior, which just helped a little bit.

Original Poster, you asked what helps...the only thing that helps my son is a super structured environment (which I am trying to better on that, but I kinda suck at it), and our puppy, North. If ds is in the middle of a rage or meltdown, we can send North to him and he'll instantly get better. Nothing else has that effect on him. Our ped. is going to write a prescription for him to be a service dog, so then we can get him the service vest and take him more places with us.

We did occupational therapy for a long time, and I think that helped some. His OT is one of the few people who really gets ds's struggles. We ran out of insurance for that, so we'll start up at the new year.

I'm eager to hear what other people say. At Children's Hospital they say we are in crisis mode right now, which is true. I wish we had someone who could really help us.
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Old 09-25-2012, 04:09 PM   #8
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Re: parents of bipolar/mood disorder children

No Chambers isn't in school yet. His birthday is 17 days after the cut off, and he didn't qualify for the preK program through the school district. I also have to have a referral from his PCM to see anyone else.:-(
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Old 09-28-2012, 11:52 AM   #9
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Re: parents of bipolar/mood disorder children

Kayla, that is so hard. Maybe the next time you catch him hurting his sister or with his hands raw you could take him to the ER or an urgent care and they could help? I don't know how it works where you are. The one thing I am so grateful for is that our pedi is very helpful and specializes in child development so when things come up with the boys he is always very supportive in whatever I feel we need to try. Our insurance does not require referrals but many specialists do. My biggest problem has been knowing exactly what to do with the kids after I have referrals. There is so much out there and we can't do everything.

shimsheree It is interesting that you mention your puppy and getting him trained as a service dog. It was something I always considered for my oldest who is ASD but hadn't really thought about for Tharen. We have a wonderful American Bulldog named Duke, he and Tharen have been inseparable for 5 years now and I always say that raising Tharen would have been impossible without Duke. When I am alone with the boys (which is most of the time) he is like having an extra person to help. I didn't plan to train him to help me but he naturally learned to control Tharen and keep him safe. I had originally considered the option of trying to somehow get him to do these things for Kearnan (my oldest) because he already has his Canine Good Citizen and would be fairly easy to get approved as a service dog, but he just isn't bonded with Kearnan. The things he will do for Tharen are remarkable and it does make my life much easier.

Has your pedi recommended a family therapist or a behavioral therapist? Tharen's doctor recommended a therapist who specialized in children with bipolar but we haven't been to see him yet. I have problems with new people so it is hard for me plus having time for appts is difficult but I know we need to do it. Kearnan used to have a wonderful behavioral therapist that came to our house but that was through ECI.

Today Tharen has a medication follow up with his specialist. His meds are not working, he has been cycling and it is so obvious now that I know what I am watching. He has gone from seeming easier to very aggressive and angry to super hyper none stop talking in the course of less than a week. Today he seems ok but I haven't really asked him to do anything today (no school because we are going to the doctor). Last night he was so wild he couldn't even calm down for derby practice, he crashed in to his coach, wouldn't listen, nearly tripped a bunch of the guys (he skates with the men's derby team) and wound up having a break down when we got home. His coach for Thursday night practices has changed and he doesn't really respect her which has been a problem but he is usually much better about it. I don't know what to do with him right now.
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Old 10-04-2012, 08:36 PM   #10
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Re: parents of bipolar/mood disorder children

I realized I hadn't updated since Tharen's appt so here is the update. We discussed his reactions to Trileptal with his doctor and it was obvious at the appt what was going on. He was bouncing all over the office chattering and hanging on dh and I (he gets super clingy when he is manic, he is also diagnosed with separation anxiety). He must have begged for almost every toy off of the shelf and then asked the doctor to transform the transformers back and forth about a dozen times (his doctor is a little spectrum himself and collects really cool toys from the 80's). He agreed that the trileptal wasn't working and we needed to try something else so he prescribed lamictal. We are supposed to be weaning him off of the Trileptal and onto the Lamictal.

By midweek we had seen changes in his behavior from the lower dose of Trileptal (it took to Monday to get Lamictal in at the pharmacy). He went from hyper manic to contrary. Everything I asked him to do was met with a no. We are still off TKD because the school is moving so things have been a bit off and the boys have been able to stay home and play in the evenings but that hasn't been enough for him. He through a fit when we wanted to go help at the studio for a few hours Monday night. Tuesday he actually didn't want to go skating which never happens. He loves skating so much I bought him street skates so he could skate when we can't get to the rink. He was so off he tripped one of the guys. He spent a lot of the night just sitting waiting for us to go home.

Then Wednesday night he seemed to turn around. He spent the afternoon building "critter houses" in the back yard. He went to the park to play and then helped dh haul brick around the side of the house. He baulked a bit here and there but was generally pretty compliant through out the day. Today he has just been amazing. It is like fairies took my child and left me a new one. We have hit 1/2tsp of trileptal and 25mg of lamictal and I am wondering if this is some sort of coincidence or if this is it for him. He has been excellent all day. He actually asked to do school work and help with chores. He was super at derby practice (different coach but lots of chaos) and I am super impressed. I'm going to contact his doctor and see if we should hold at this dose for a while to see what happens.
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Crocheted longies/shorties, toys and more see samples Arawyn's Garden Crochet
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