Mood Disorders Expert Forum
17 year old son with special needs on cycle of aggression
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Welcome to the Mood Disorders Forum. Questions in this forum are being answered by Peter Forster, MD and topics covered are anxiety, bipolar, depression, panic disorder, post traumatic stress disorder and stress.

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17 year old son with special needs on cycle of aggression

I have a 17 year old special needs son who has been experiencing 17-18 days of normal behavior, then as if a switch has been flipped, he has 9-10 days of extremely aggressive behavior, including attacking me and others, sad crying spells and fits. He is healthy and has always been a sweet child, but this cycle is so bad that I may have to put him in a group home simply because I am going to get hurt. I have taken him to the doctor, he has had a MRI, xrays of bowels, upper and lower gi xrays etc. and they all come back normal. I am wondering if he could be bi polar? or if you have any other suggestions as to why he is cycling like this.

Thanks so much
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I think that Jaquta's comment about finding a psychiatrist is a very good one. I think that you probably need a pretty smart psychiatrist who can take the time to figure out what is going on. Bipolar is certainly a strong possibility, less likely would be something like a seizure disorder (which might require a stay in a special unit to look for subtle signs of automatic behavior). The key will be finding someone who will take the time to do a thorough assessment and get to know your son. Also, you may want to consider doing some kind of charting of his moods. You can find a few tools online if you google "mood charting" and then adapt them to your needs.

Peter
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Bipolar is something that I thought of too when reading your post.  It could be worth having a psychiatrist assess your son.
Sometimes people can become aggressive when they feel they aren't being heard.  The cycling doesn't really seem to support that though.
Try an age appropriate specialist (psychiatrist).  Psychotherapy may also be helpful.  Seeing someone with an interest or experience in special needs could be an advantage.
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