My daughter is 8 years old. She is highly intelligent and can be the sweetest little girl. She does very well in school academically but he behavior continues to be a problem. She has a hard time dealing with her frustration and anger. One moment she can be fine and the next minute she could be destroying a room. I could tell at the age of 1 that something was different about her. She has always had anger issues and is always getting kicked out of school. No one really seems to have any answers for me. She has been on medications since she was 3 years old. We have tried every ADHD/ADD med that is out there nothing seems to work. She is currently on Depakote, Seroquel, Clonodine, Focalin, and Zoloft. We have been to a neurologist and everything came back great. She was hospitalized in a psychiatric hospital for children and we did not get any answers there either. They think she may be bipolar but they say she is too young to diagnose. I know something is going on with my daughter and it is so hard as a parent because I can not get the answers we need. Is there genetic testing out that can give us answers? We go to the doctor and it seems like they just see me as this young mom who doesn’t know what I am talking about.
She has a very short fuse and she will become very moody without warning. When she is angry she is destructive. She will not touch me or her father but she will go after anyone else. We discipline with time outs, losing privileges, and chores. She will breaks things when she is mad. She will go up to another child in the family and just hit them for no reason. She will scratch herself but not to where she is bleeding. It is almost like she clenches her fist when she is frustrated. When she goes into her rages it is almost impossible for her to come out of them. She started urinating on the floor a few months ago. I am not sure why she is doing it. The only reason I can come up with is because it is something she can control. But I could be wrong. I try to be consistent with disciplining her as I can but it is hard with other children in the house. Her younger brother is starting to act out. We are not sure if he has the same problems, but I am sure it is learned behavior. She does a lot better when she is one on one. I honestly do not think she has ADHD but they keep telling me I am wrong. She has been diagnosed with ODD as well. She is very loving and wants all your time and attention. She sees a play therapist once a week and we are currently on a waiting list to see a psychiatrist.
It is so stressful as a parent to deal with this because most people do not understand. They just look down on you like you are a bad parent. All I want is help in getting answers for my daughter. She can make friends very easily but has a hard time keeping them due to her behavior. Most children are scared of her because they do not understand her. When she came home from the hospital it was like she was a totally different child we had some problems with her but for the most part she was getting better. It has now been 5 months since and we are starting to go back to the old ways. I am not sure if she is getting used to the meds she is on or what. But every morning it is a battle with her until 30 min after she has her medicine. She is also very emotional and has high anxiety. She often worries about what other people think of her and will never let it go. She holds on to grudges. I do not like her being on all this medication but what other options are out there. She only goes to school a half a day because she can not handle a full day and now it is getting to where it is hard for her to go a half day. If anyone has any answers or suggestions please let me know. I am desperate!
Honestly, she is on a hand full of medications for being a child..........just like thousands of other children.
"My child is running around all the time, they have energy all the time, they get mad if they don't get their way, they are acting like a kid or something", says the parent. "Oh, they must have some kind of mental problem, we would like to hook.........sorry, start them on these 8 hardcore medications that will make things worse until they are an adult and can take more hardcore drugs, and the whole time we make money".
I am sorry if it sounds like I am being harsh or mean, I am really not. I took two of those medications and they basically take away your natural humanity. You turn into a zombie. Kids don't get spankings anymore because even though it worked for years and years, it's cruel and unusual punishment, so now they instead get handfulls of medications. People don't want to spank their children, I understand they are their children, but please, don't let some jerk give them these hard DRUGS.
She has a ton of drugs in her. Chances are, if she was to just get the chance to be a kid and have a therapist only to talk to, one that is good, she would stop with the anger. I can tell you right now, if I HAD to take those two medications (let alone the rest) I would basically hate my parents for it, period.
I'm sorry if I sound mean, I am just being honest. If you weren't a good parent, you wouldn't post here and you wouldn't care and love her like you do. I am in no way questioning or challenging your parenting abilities, just letting you know that the hard drugs are doing more harm than good.
I don't think trdofbeingtrd has any clue what a bipolar child is like or what it can cause a child to do. I am sure his intentions are honest. Probably my only complaint is that his only suggestion to help her (besides stopping the drugs) is to talk to a therapist. Got a feeling that's been tried.
I don't have a lot of suggestions to help either because I am not exactly sure what's going on. I do doubt the being too young to diagnose as bipolar. I definitely think that seeing the best pediatric psychiatrist you can find is extremely important.
Over on the child behavior forum, I posted a very long list of the differences between bipolar and ADHD. Its the 4th and last post by me (so far). This is the link
finding out what she has is huge, because it makes a difference in how she is treated/worked with. For example a child with bipolar typically does not do to well on stimulant meds given to kids with ADHD. And in this sense, part of what trdofbeingtrd said is correct. She is on quite a cocktail mixture. I do wonder what kind of doctor prescribed them?
Finally, there are definitely ways to work with ADHD kids or bipolar kids, but once again you need to know what is going on. The main thing to remember is that they really can't control what they are doing. The play therapist is a good idea and may have ideas to help you at home. Hope this helps. Best wishes.
So you personally know that this child is bi-polar and that it's not just another child in the thousands that are given hard core drugs just for the money?
Better yet, how in the world did all these children manage to grow up and have life's before this hardcore medication/s was pushed out like candy at a movie theater? Kind of odd that these medications came out and THEN every kid has bi-polar or hyperactivity disorder, but I am sure that is pure coincidence.
I have plenty of personal experience of BEING that child.
No I don't know if she has bipolar, which is why I sent her a link about the differences between bipolar and ADHD. And I certainly agree with you about her having a ton of drugs in her child. What I am not happy about is the fact that at least 3 of those drugs require a gradual tapering off of the medication. If you are going to suggest to someone to get off drugs, you at least owe them enough to research the meds and suggest some care in getting off the meds. If she had read your letter, panicked, and taken her child completely off the meds (which granted, she probably would not do), it would possibly have had very serious consequences for the child.
And no, I don't take offense. I was probably a bit harsh. I think other people's life experiences are important on this site. Its just that everybody is different and sweeping recommendations are not always helpful. Your personal experiences are helpful. Good research is helpful. And finally, I really don't believe (we may agree to disagree here) that thousands of kids are given drugs just for money. I think that it relates more to ignorance of the parents and doctors. I do apologize for saying you don't know what bipolar is - I obviously have no clue what you think and I was out of line for saying so.
I have a terrible problem with not specifying that if it was my opinion that people should think twice about medications to imply that they need to talk to the doctor because there are reasons to taper off, extremely important reasons. For that I apologize to you and the poster.
Also, in emotion, I slightly exaggerate how many people including children are given medications. I do know such facts about when medications have come out, and when mental disorders made an entrance and almost became a fad in the 2000's. I can think personally excluding myself of children who are diagnosed bi-polar, ADHD, ADD, manic depressive, and OCD and because of medications ended up bad in life because they struggled against the dependency many of these medications cause.
I need to be more in control of my emotions, and I need to detail my answers better.
To the poster, I am in no way claiming or suggesting you are a bad parent, you are doing anything and everything you can to help your child. I am just saying that medications CAN be removed safely and therapy usually helps the vast amount of children who really don't have mental issues that require medications. When a child is to hyper (because they are children), when time outs and taking away their internet/tv/video games don't work, instead of going to therapists first, they go to doctors that prescribe medications. A long time ago, children were spanked, and they acted right. Now (and I am not judging you) it's all about non spanking punishment. I am NOT in any way saying this cannot work and that you HAVE to use physical dicipline, I am just saying that even though it worked for thousands of years and is even in the bible, if the time outs..........ect........don't work (my personal opinions aside) going straight to a doctor because a second therapist or even third therapist is not an option, children get doped up and end up worse because they are being treated for problems they don't have.
My only advice actually, is when she has her therapy, see if that therapist is helping, if not, please seek a different one. I apologize for my opinion being incorporated into my answer as it is, I am just emotional because of the huge problem I see which of course is just my opinion. I hope the best for your family.
When I first started posting here 4 years ago, I think my posts were a lot like your initial ones. I learned to carefully read all of the posters comments. Think about them, and then to post my response. If you want to be helpful, it takes time, research, and thought. Your last post demonstrates that. Its very difficult on this site to find people who are willing to share their experiences for more then one or two posts. I hope that you will continue to share your thoughts with us.
First of all yes I know my daughter is on a handful of medications. No she is not a zombie but the complete opposite. She was given those drugs while she was at the pyschiatric facility. When she is off the meds she out of control. There is no getting through to her. The medication help a little but there are still problems. If I had my wish I would take her off meds. I hate that she is on the meds because of the possible long term side effects. I have been going through these problems since my daughter was 1. I have always known something was different about her. She is not just a normal child that is hyper, gets angry when she doesnt get her way. Believe me there is a big difference.
She is currently seeing a play therapist which is not helping. She is on waiting lists to see another pyschiatrist and has been for sometime. It is hard finding help in Oklahoma that does not involve a waiting list. I have all these doctors that say oh she maybe autistic then the other doctors say no shes not. Then they say shes bipolar the other doctors say no. It goes on and on. We are waiting to get accepted into the child study center and hopefully we can get some real answers.
I sit on the computer day and night researching and looking for possible answers. I know she has a sensory disorder. All the signs are there. You can look at my child and she looks like a normal kid because she does not have a physical handicap, its mental. She goes into these rages and you can look into her eyes and she is not there. Most people will not watch her because they do not understand or know how to handle her. And the last thing I need is for someone telling me she is just being a CHILD. But of course no offense taken.
I am here looking for help not to be ridiculed. Thank you to the ones who are very supportive.
I don't know anything about this, just that reading your post reminded me of a book I read. The house rules by Jodi Picoult about a kid with Asperger Syndrome or disorder, an autism spectrum disorder. Reading the way she describes the child and his behavior might give you clues. Best wishes!
Dealing with an almost identical issue with my 8-year-old daughter, except for getting kicked out of school. She is not currently on any medication, but is out of control with rages and meltdowns. She can't keep friends. But she can also be very sweet. Has been diagnosed with adhd and seems to match up for symptoms of bipolar, though I stopped seeing the doctor about her--out insurance doesn't cover it.
I have 3 other children who have normal ups and downs, so I know how she acts is NOT normal. Though it does impact my other children.
Anyhow, just trying to figure out what to do. She doesn't want to act this way, but can't seem to stop. I know you wrote this awhile ago, but wanted you to know you're not alone. I'd love to hear if you found anything that works.
Was she kicked out of school for a melt down? Was this a private school or a public school?
It really is important to figure out if she is bipolar or ADHD because they are treated differently. Hopefully, this will help. This is a list of the differences between ADHD and Bipolar because they are very similar:
1. Destructiveness may be seen in both disorders but differs in origin. Children who are ADHD often break things carelessly while playing (“non-angry destructiveness”), whereas the major destructiveness of children who are bipolar is not a result of carelessness but tends to occur in anger. Children who are bipolar may exhibit severe temper tantrums during which they release manic quantities of physical and emotional energy, sometimes with violence and physical property destruction. They may even exhibit openly sadistic impulses.
2. The duration and intensity of physical outbursts and temper tantrums differs in the two disorders. Children who are ADHD usually calm down in twenty to thirty minutes, whereas children who are bipolar may continue to feel and act angry for up to four hours.
3. The degree of “regression” during angry episodes is typically more severe for children who are bipolar. It is rare to see an angry child who is ADHD display disorganized thinking, language, and body position, all of which may be seen in angry bipolar children during a tantrum. Children who are bipolar may also lose memory of the tantrum.
4. The “trigger” for temper tantrums is also different. Children who have ADHD are typically triggered by sensory and emotional over stimulation, whereas children who have bipolar disorder typically react to limit-setting, such as a parental “no.”
5. Disturbances during sleep in children with bipolar disorder include severe nightmares or night terrors often with themes of explicit gore and bodily mutilation.
6. Children who are bipolar often show giftedness in certain cognitive functions, especially verbal and artistic skills (perhaps with verbal precocity and punning by age two to three years).
7. The misbehavior in children with ADHD is often accidental and usually caused by oblivious inattention, whereas children with bipolar disorders intentionally provoke or misbehave. Some bipolar children are described as “the bully on the playground.”
8. The child with ADHD may engage in behavior that can lead to harmful consequences without being aware of the danger, whereas the child with bipolar disorder is risk seeking.
9. Bipolar children tend to have a strong early sexual interest and behavior.
10. Children with ADHD usually do not exhibit psychotic symptoms or reveal a loss of contact with reality, whereas children with bipolar disorder may exhibit gross distortions in the perception of reality or in the interpretation of emotional events.
There are a lot of things in each that appear somewhat similar. So hopefully that post will help you. And age does make a difference. Little kids have less control. So that actions done by a 4 or 5 year old are looked at differently then something done by a 13 year old.
I don't know what is going on with your child,but you might want to check out the book, "Raising Lions", by Joe Newman. If you go to his web site and subscribe to his newsletter you can get $3.00 off the book. The site is http://raisinglions.com/. It deals with working with children with more severe behavioral problems.
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