ADD / ADHD Community
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Avatar universal

adhd or something else?

When my daughter was 1 i noticed an over load of energy,when she was 4 she started experiencing more jelousy and so on. I've had her on a couple medacines and they always seemed to make her worse so i took her off for a year or 2..As some time went by my daughter had been sexually abused and bounced from home to home and schools..I see her shutting down alot,she's in therapy has been for a year but i dont see no improvement. Other than she does tell you now when she's mad but i never seen a kid get so angry before,times its hard to manage..some days it can be the littlest things that set her off liike telling her to take a bath turns not into a tantrum i dont wanna say but like a manic attack,he kicks,screams,drewls,says hatefull things,covers her ears,hits things and sometimes her self..After wards she dont remember hardly anything or why she got so mad.I know she's been through alot,but she's always been this way just gotten worse over the year's.She's on knew medicatioin has been for a month and the only thing i think it's helped with was she stopped hitting people.I'm taking her back to be checked,it's been awhile and no one can give me any answers to what's wrong with her.I've done research but i'm no doctor and theirs soo much out here. She is just as bad at school,one day they held her in the doors from the time school started till lunch time bc her screaming and she swore up and down i was comming back to get her,finally at lunch she was able to calm down and have lunch and attend class.Not only her behavior,but sitting still and focusing on one thing for more than ten mins seems to be very challenging,I've had her tested for special ed and she don't need it she's okay in that area,but she's really behind in her reading,she can't seem to get the concept and get very frustrated.They was gonna hold her back just because her reading level is so below for her age but they refused to because her high and age. She gets extra help for reading,she gets therapy and family therapy,see's a doctor and is on meds and nothing seems to be helping her.I'm confused and frustrated!! I wanna beable to love my daughter and do things with her and i can't cause it feels like i'm always grounding her or yelling at her..I'm at the end of my rope and we are wanting answers to whats wrong..could she be bipolar,behavioral problems? Or a couple different things together? I'm not looking for a diagnosis from anyone here but i find everyone's comment's bellow very supportive,even a suggestion i can try or ask the doctor would be helpful.they even thought she might have anxiety..Her brother is add and has anxiety,they diagnosed me with depression and adhd. Her dad i know has adhd but i'm not sure of his whole history,but i do expect her to go through some what of what she is dealing with because what she's had to endere..

Thank you!!
14 Responses
Avatar universal
i forgot to mention the forgetfullness,could be day's or even seconds she forgot what she said or were she placed something which is normal for me too,i know their's probly alot more that i have forgot to mention,but i think i got the basics,she is 8 now and watching her like a hawk is hard,not to mention public or even friends has became a no no because no one can deal with her behavior,they act like i should beat my kid and i refuse,i know theirs an answer somewere and i'm determined to find it!! It's hard to even her having a friend because she's mean at times,i want her to have a good life from here on out i want her to remember a good child hood and be happy in school along with sports,please any advice!!
189897 tn?1441130118
   I shawty, welcome.  I hope we will be able to help you.  It may be a long post, so I will get back to you with that.  I just wanted you to know we are aware of your problems.  And, boy, that does not sound easy!
   Did have one or two other questions.
What meds is/are she on now?  And what has the doctor told you the meds are for?   When is her birthday and is she in second or third grade?  Finally, what grade was she tested in for special ed?
   Thanks in advance.
189897 tn?1441130118
   Oh, one other quick question - how old is her brother?
189897 tn?1441130118
   I hate to keep asking questions, but a lot can be done if the problems can be identified.  If possible I would like to rule out bipolar conditons (which you are worried about).  And its important to do so as it is treated differently then ADHD.   What you will see below is a pretty good list of the differences between bipolar and ADHD.  There is no way that this can replace a detailed study done by a psyc, but it should be helpful.  Take a look at it and tell me what you think.
    ADHD and bipolar are very simalar and often misdianosed here is a list of differences:
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. The moods of children who have ADHD or bipolar disorder may change quickly, but children with ADHD do not generally show dysphoria (depression) as a predominant symptom. Irritability is particularly prominent in children who are bipolar, especially in the morning on arousal. Children with ADHD tend to arouse quickly and attain alertness within minutes, but children with mood disorders may show overly slow arousal (including several hours of irritability or dysphoria, fuzzy thinking or “cobwebs,” and somatic complaints such as stomachaches and headaches) upon awakening in the morning.
6. Disturbances during sleep in children with bipolar disorder include severe nightmares or night terrors often with themes of explicit gore and bodily mutilation.
7. 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).
8. 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.”
9. 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.
10. Bipolar children tend to have a strong early sexual interest and behavior.
11. 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.
12. Lithium treatment generally improves bipolar disorder but has little or no effect on ADHD
Avatar universal
2nd grade she was tested,her doc put her on vyvanse 20 mg for now..her b/day is april 5th...thanks for all the info!!   very apprectiated..i can take some of that with me for questions....
Avatar universal
her brothers 12 now n they just put him on his medacine
Avatar universal
1,2,3,deff 4,5 takes forever towake up and most of the time the tantrums start then,really bad..6,she does have nightmares,but not all the time..8 she is mean,as i described  but at times she's a follower..so i see alot in their that does describe her more for bipolar..I'm scared of putting her on meds because i dont want anything to happen to her..thanks again for the advice n info,i'm deff gonna use these for questioins when we go today to see the doc..
Avatar universal
i did have a question so what would the short attention span fall under?
189897 tn?1441130118
    Well, with the ADHD in her family, the odds are pretty good that she also has that which would explain the short attention span.
    I do hope that you realized that all 11 of the behaviors listed are ADHD behaviors, the author then points out how typically bipolar behavior will differ from the mentioned ADHD.  Having said that there are also things like oppositional defiant disorder  (ODD) and conduct disorder (CD) that will have many of the same characteristics. And something like Sensory Integration Disorder (SIDS) would explain a lot of her actions too (especially things like taking a shower).  Heck, even having sleep apnea (not getting enough sleep at night) will lead to several of the things you said.   Probably the biggest difference in kids with Bipolar is the alternating episodes of depression and mania.   The problem for your little girl is that she has been through some really rough times and those events will leave scars that will take some time to heal.   So I think it may take a while and some trial and error for your doctor to figure this out.
   It sounds like the vyvanse may be having some effect.  Doctors always start out with the smallest dose and then gradually increase it so I would not be surprised if he did not increase the dose.
   Get back to us on how the visit today went.  I do have some material that will help and I especially want to address what the school is doing (or not doing in this case).  Best wishes.
Avatar universal
Thanks so much for the info,The visit went okay today,he kept her of the vyvanse but upped the dose to 30mg,and he's trying her on cymbalta for bipolar he said it will also help her beable to sleep at night..I'm deff gonna keep in contact and let you guys know how things progress with her i got a 2 week trial.
189897 tn?1441130118
   I expected him to raise the dose.  Cymbalta can take up to 3 weeks before it starts to make a difference.  Keep notes on how she is doing so you can be specific with the doctor.
    Let me suggest a book that I think will help her (and your son).  Its called,  "The ADD/ ADHD Answer book," by Susan Ashley.   And it has many parts in it that you will find helpful.  
   I still have a problem with her not qualifying for special ed - especially when she has reading problems.  However, she certainly can get a 504 plan written to help her (and perhaps one for your son as well).  The book goes into a lot of detail on this - along with other ways to help them at school.
    The book also has a great sections on Parenting, Social Skills, and Self Esteem.  I think you will find it helpful.
    The other thing to remember is that the problems your daughter has won't clear up over night.  There are no quick fixes.  Yes, hopefully, the meds will allow her to think twice before doing something, increase focus, etc.  And, it may be that if she starts getting a good nights sleep, you may notice some immediate changes. But it sounds like she has been through a lot emotionally and that will take time to heal.  
    The Parenting section will help you know how to work with her and that alone will be very helpful for you.
     You are doing the right thing.  I hope this has helped you.  Keep us posted!
Avatar universal
Well even tho they have problems my son's gpa is 3.0 which is pretty good,he don't qualify for special ed.I'm not sure of my daughter's scores but i'm still iffy with them on her,she's starting school somewere knew starting next year..I'm gonna have them check her,That cymbalta yeh the first night she went to bed 2 hour's after she took it,here it's 1:50am and we just got her to lay down..It's been helping extremely with her attitude tho,i think it could be upped but other than that when she starts to get mad she stops she don't get violent or take it out in anyway..I'm so proud of her but just a few more issues we have to work on with the sleeping for sure..Thank's for the info deff will check it out,i've taken parenting classes and along with those they tought me about the behavior and what to do and not to do with kid's who's been sexually abused and who's also adhd..The classe's which was 10 weeks long i passed!! It was deff helpfull!! I didn't agree with everything but most of it,were doing a chart system with her,then i'm gonna up it to points.She love's her freedom but also trying to teach her discipline and the parts in life we cannot avoid.It got's it's up and down's.I got all the tools for any kind of help i need,i'm working with cps and family therapy and ive already passed my individual therapy,I'm planning on learning more and more as i can and maybe take a few more classes that i think might help..Just educating myself on this.I've knew alot but deff learned more than half what i knew this past year..Your info has deff been very helpful..It's not a quik fix and i know it takes time i was raped and i know everything that comes with it,plus i'm depressed which was genetically got from my mom..They too have diagnosed me with adhd which it's helpful to me n the kids..It's a slow process n i don't mind long as my kid's get what they need and learn what they need to in life,I unfortunately wasn't given that option when i was a kid,learning was very difficult for me,i find it still very hard..These medacine's are helping and i'm finding thing's to be much easier,and less worriesum..Will post back in a couple weeks on how her medacine goes if they up her and her progress on it overall..thank you
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