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bipolar in toddlers?
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bipolar in toddlers?

What are the signs of bipolar in a toddler. My 4 yr. old is very moody and seems unhappy.
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It is very difficult to diagnose bipolar in people this young. Some parents report the following in diagnosed children:

    * an expansive or irritable mood
    * extreme sadness or lack of interest in play
    * rapidly changing moods lasting a few hours to a few days
    * explosive, lengthy, and often destructive rages
    * separation anxiety
    * defiance of authority
    * hyperactivity, agitation, and distractibility
    * sleeping little or, alternatively, sleeping too much
    * bed wetting and night terrors
    * strong and frequent cravings, often for carbohydrates and sweets
    * excessive involvement in multiple projects and activities
    * impaired judgment, impulsivity, racing thoughts, and pressure to keep talking
    * dare-devil behaviors (such as jumping out of moving cars or off roofs)
    * inappropriate or precocious sexual behavior
    * delusions and hallucinations
    * grandiose belief in own abilities that defy the laws of logic (ability to fly, for example)

It is important to keep in mind that having one or more of these symptoms in NO way signifies a disorder, less so a specific disorder. The following behaviors should be of concern, however:

    * destructive rages that continue past the age of four
    * talk of wanting to die or kill themselves
    * trying to jump out of a moving car

If you are truly concerned, speak to a board-certified child psychiatrist. A regular pediatrician is not qualified for behaviors such as the three above.
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Avatar_f_tn
When you say moody and unhappy, what specifically do you mean?
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Avatar_n_tn
Thanks and that sounds like him. I know that these things could be normal and that he could be going thru a stage, but it's been way to long to be a stage for him at this point. I am still waiting till about five yaers old to see how things go with him. As of right now things are going real bad at home at school every where. Thanks again.
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Avatar_n_tn
When I say moody I mean he will go from on mood to the next in a split secound and other times he'll it will take him a while. The unhappy thing well he just seems gloomy like blah at times.
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Avatar_f_tn
Watch for cycles.  One cycle full of energy, then can cycle to low energy.  Bad sleeping habits are a big sign that young.  Also if they are picky about certain things like won't wear a shirt if it has buttons, or tags things like that.  I remember when my son (who is BP) was young we would have to build him up just to have his picture taken.  He HATED having his picture taken (professionally).
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Avatar_f_tn
when I say young, I mean 3 or 4...he is almost 8 now...
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Avatar_n_tn
An example of my 2 sons, both are bipolar, when they were that age:

lifting the end of the couch and placing a match box car under the leg, dropping the couch on it to see it smash

not sleeping more than 2-4 hours a night, sometimes not sleeping an entire night

climbing out of the upstairs window onto the roof

get a toy for Christmas and have it broken by that evening

unable to sit at the table to eat, constantly getting up and running around

throwing things at people if they told them to do something

urinate anywhere at anytime, toy sinks, bedroom, closet

hurt animals purposely, swing cats around by their tails, jump on pets, sit on them (plopping)

put holes in walls when mad

jumping off furniture

cry uncontrolably for no reason, out of the blue

hit his head on the walls or tables, hard surfaces when they are mad or if they are told no

These are just a few things that we went through when they were about that age.  It increased as they got older and the episodes became more extreme.  If you are seeing any of these types of symptoms, I would suggest taking him to a psychiatrist now and don't wait.  

Roey
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Avatar_n_tn
Just wanted to say that the last post sounded more like ODD (positional defiant disorder)
Rather than BP. But anyways I have a son who was diagnosed with BP at 5 ½. He is now 7 years old. I do have a lot of behavior problems out of him, but at times he behavior is good. My son seems sad most of the time and very little makes him really happy. With my son the biggest thing that got him diagnosed with this disorder was because he
Would:
Have meltdowns, which lasted up to hours and hours (over really nothing or very simple things)  

He would say he would hurt / kill his teachers, friends and sister.

He would cry for no reason

His moods changed from happy to sad to silly to angry in seconds

Since the age of two never has sleep through night/ went to bed without medication.

Hit, kick, bite, yell, scream, when he losses control over himself.

But truly the list could go on I knew something was wrong with him I guess around 18months he didn’t respond well to discipline. He had many delays in his milestones, (developmental delays, speech, fine motors, ect) also I wanted to let you be aware of sensory integration disorder also know as sensory processing disorder. My son has benefited greatly when he started O.T. He was diagnosed early and is still getting the treatment that is needed to help this disorder.   You should read my post (Does this sound like what other BP parents are going through?) check it out and see if it sounds like your child. I will say that there are times when I must take him a day at a time and when it gets really bad we take it a moment at a time.  I have really learned to really enjoy the good time that I get to spend with him, I cherish those moments because I have learned with dealing with a child suffering from Bp that its like being on a real life roller coaster that will soon crash but you have to learn how to fix what’s wrong. I will stress to you if your child isn’t on a schedule get him/her on one. Put down rules and be consistent that’s really important with helping these kids. This will help greatly.  Is your child violent or verbally violent? Does your child sleep?   Does your child do well at daycare out in public, with grandparents, ect.?


Hope this helps ………………Rozanna
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Avatar_f_tn
aren't most 4 year olds moody and unhappy? :) Everyone who posted after this question, seems to have had experiences with kids with serious problems, but I hope you don't end up medicating them..isn't it too young to start giving them pills?
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Hi I have a 6 year old little girl and we cannot seem to get a diagnosis or help. We are desperate!!!!! Your comments interested me. This all started at 5 years old. She cannot tolerate clothes at all and will no longer let me dry or brush her hair. Getting dressed for school sends her into awful tantrums where she screams and rips at her clothes. It is AWFUL!!!!! We have been to 2 Occupational Therapist and they say she does NOT have Sensory Processing Disorder because it starts at birth (and her clothes issues started at 5). Within the past 4 months she has become very angry with mood swings. She says she wishes she was not alive. She is very mean to her little sister and we have had to put them in separate bedrooms. She has become very defiant and disrespectful - and yes we discipline. She makes good grades, but is having social problems at school because she gets her feelings hurt so easily. At times she is happy but that can change in an instant. She sleeps fine. She has always been such a happy, fun-loving child - it is so sad to see this happening to our sweet little girl. We have been to several psychologist, pediatricians and are now seeing a Psychiatrist... still no answers????? They all say she is not A-typical of any one thing so it is hard to say. NEED HELP.
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I'm sorrry to here that another child is suffering the way my son and our family has with this disorder.( or what we think is BP disorder) my son is in the hospital right now so i only came home to get some clean cloths i will Post a new post about him when i get in some time tomorrow afternoon.. thanks rozanna
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Avatar_n_tn
You are correct that my post snded like ODD, that is included.  These are just a few of the things that they did.  One would say stuff like killing someone like your son did.  The mood swings could be within a matter of minutes from manic to depressed.  Sometimes they were at the same time and go into rage and crying.  It is so hard.  It alsoisn't easy to diagnose kids with the right diagnosis.  We have heard more initials for diagnosis than I ever knew existed.  
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Avatar_f_tn
Hi Rozanna,
thanks for your postings.  I have some concerns with our 4 year old daughter.  She has sensory processing, mild ASD, anxiety, etc.....She has OT for sensory processing, and ed OT, and early intervention preschool and we give her omegas and other vitamins....and etc.
I am afraid she is BP.
she is angry a lot of the time...over little things....she gets SO UPSET.  If something is not in the right place or if she does not like the color of something...e.tc....She has tantrums that do not last long, but are frequent.  She does not seem to rapidly change moods....well she does seem happy for a while after a tantrum....some days we have 15   ten min tantrums...other days here and there we have a good day with only a few.  She seems sooo angry and frustrated a lot of the time...but not sad really.
She has never been able to fall asleep without melatonin...for about ?2 years.  She stays asleep though and sleeps about 9 hours or mroe usually.  It is the falling asleep that is a problem.
She never does anything that we ask her to. She usually does whatever we say NOT to do.  time outs are the only punishment we use, and nothing really works with her.  She is VERY DEFIANT.
She gets mad at things like commercials when they interrupt the show she is watching  and says "I WILL HURT THE COMMERCIALS"  or "I WILL HURT MY SHOES" (that she does not like)
She has neve rsaid she would hurt a person...yet.
She hits at times, but it is half hearted.  It is like she knows she is not supposed to, and stops herself and usually does not make contact.  She is VERY STRONG so she could probably just about knock us out if she wanted to.
She has never hurt any animals really except pulling the dog/cats tail and laughing...but seems to have mellowed out with that and loves her dogs/cat.
I am afraid she is bi-polar on top of ASD, SPD, anxiety, etc....
She is only 4, and i am already wondering if meds might be the answer soon.

Thanks for listening.

-angi
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Avatar_f_tn
Im so confused and worried.  my 3 y/o daughter has always been hyper but now she has become so mean!  physically, emotionally-my mother runs an in-home daycare, but she's losing business because other kids refuse to come because my daughter is here.  her tantrums are overwhelming, I have to hold her sometimes because she hit her head, body on walls, kick/punch everything. im so tired, can't imagine going through 16 more years of this, please someone tell me it gets better
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585414_tn?1288944902
I am not sure if this is bipolar or just maladptive behavior that a child can go through at that age. Bipolar is extremely uncommon at that age. I wouldn't jump to conclusions. Best to work with a child psychologist and also find out if there is something wrong in her life that might be causing these episodes.
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And don't forget that many of these behaviors are common in children with ADHD and developmental disorders, including autism and Aspergers. Sometimes children can have both.
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My daughter is almost 4 and for about a year now has become out of control!!!! She has been thrown out of daycare because she hits, kicks, pinches and/or bites the other children AND TEACHERS. She throws fits left and right from the time she wakes up to the time she FINALLY falls asleep. She wont sleep in her room at all. If we try to put her in her own room she will DESTROY it by pulling everything off the walls, shelves, etc. She can go from giving you hugs and kisses and loving all over you to yelling and calling you names and hitting you in a matter of minutes. We are so exhausted and really just dont know what to do any more. No one will give a diagnosis of ANY sort because of her age. WHAT DO WE DO????
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585414_tn?1288944902
   Yes well a child psychologist should be of help and for some children cognitive behavioral therapy can be as well. If you are noting specific concerns that might help them find a diagnosis you could discuss this with them. There is also a child behavioral forum where you might have some more helpful responses. Family therapy can be helpful as well for learning how to cope with what is happening.
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HELP!!!my son is 3 1/2 and does not sleep good at all. but only for me. we r talkin he can take a 20 min nap n go for hrs n hrs n hrs. i m bipolar n i look at him n i see so much of my self in him. we fight all the time over nything n everythin. when he is with me he sleeps maybe 4 hrs at the most but if he is with my sister he sleeps for her. dr wont think of meds till he is five but im a single mom of 2 boys 3 1/2 n 5 mths old i need sleep. he can give attention to anything but it seems like at night he cant go to sleep no matter what but if the son comes up he can.i dont think he is add or adhd one minute he yells at me screams n pulls his hair out the next im sorry mommy i did not mean to make u mad. im sick of doin this every day not knowin if we r goin to have a good or not. he HATES HATES HATES HATES buttons n anything with button he says they burn him. n he wont wear pants or shirts that have zippers he will wear a jacket but u cant zip it up. im losin my mind cause i feel like a piece of **** mom as i cant deal with him.i also think he battles insommina i have had it for years n when i was pregnant it was really really bad days n days on no sleep then crash then sleep good for a couple of days then back to no sleep.my sister thinks it is my fault that he is the way he is cause how i was in my pregnacy. please help i need ideas he has energy out the wozzoo all the time thank u
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Oh I would not be keen to be to be brushed off with a diagnosis of bp for my children.i have one daughter who has cp and very complex needs.and a 4 year old daughter who shows a lot of the symptoms yr children are showing but the thing is,there's that many conditions that over lap each other to be so quickly diagnosing littlens with that disorder.to me bipolar is triggered by sumthing that happens in yr life,u develop coping stratagies within yrself then it turns into a disorder like OCD ect.i dont believe it's passed on through genes.ive got bipolar and no one in my family has it.i think it's scary children so young are actually getting labeled with it.sorry that's just my opinion x
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I myself am bipolar, so Im starting to have concerns over my son. We have been to doctor after doctor, and still no answers. My husband and I are at our wits end. My son,Justin is two and a half, will be 3 in Septemeber. we also have a 13 month old girl. Justin was diagnosed with night terrors at the age of 18 months, and since then has gotten worse. He will not sleep in his room, no matter what we do, or say, and when we does go to bed,its in our bed, and someone has to lay with him until he falls asleep, or wakes up. Which happens often, he wakes up at least 5 times a night, crying, kicking, screaming, its horrible. When he wakes up in the morning, it starts right away, as soon as we get into the kitchen,his fits start. He doesnt want to do what hes told, wont respond to discipline, he laughs at it when we try to punish him. He is always hurting his sister, pulling her down, pulling her hair, pushing, biting, hitting, sitting on her. He cannot sit still for more then 15 minutes, is very picky about what he eats, when its dinner time, will not stay in his chair to eat, without being reminded, and often times, sat back down. He also has this weird thing about stickers, or tape, if its on something, he cant stand it, he HAS to peel it off. He freaks out if they put a sticker on him in walmart for crying out loud. He throws violent temper tantrums, throwing himself on the floor, kicking, hitting, biting, and most recently throwing things, and breaking things. We've tried everything, and dont know where else to turn to, for help. What can we do? Does this sound like early onset to Bipolar disorder? I know children with parents who are diagnosed are more likely to have it themselves, so this worries me a bit. Im just to the point, I want answers, so I can find a solution. My son can be a very very sweet boy, dont get me wrong, but as a mother, I can clearly see something isnt right here. Thanks, and input is appreciated!
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585414_tn?1288944902
  Bipolar is very rare at that age. This more sounds like an issue to discuss with a child psychologist and they could see if a furher referral is needed.
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Hey I'm 18 and have a 2 year old son his father had a bad case of Bp and I am a Sensory processing disorder. which i think is what your kiddo may have from the description of hyper sensitivity to clothes. SPD isn't a big deal honestly. i wasn't diagnosed at age 18 but i learned the hard way around mine. the brain just works in a different way. i learned i couldn't fix it but i would make my world work for me with it. try to get tag free clothes and organic softer materials. you can always get help with SPD too it is super under studied but if you need help shoot me an email ***@****
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You posted in 2007 and it sounded like my daughter. If you get this message 7 years later I would love to find out what the final diagnosos were. Please reply.

Judy
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