It is inappropriate to diagnose ADD or ADHD or ODD in a four-year-old. Try a new doctor, one who is specialized in child behavioral problems.
The other part of this is - does she sleep very well when you are with her? If she sleeps well and does not have nightmares, then there is a good chance this has nothing to do with her ADHD, but a lot to do with a kind of typical 4 year old/single parent thing. She needs your comforting. It is a tough thing to change. If she does sleep well when you are with her, you might try posting on the child behavior forum for ideas. Good Luck1
The earliest these diagnoses are made is age six.
It has to do with being in an early developmental stage.
Different mothers. Different perceptions. Different solutions.
Sounds to me like she has been miss diagnosed as ADHD and more likely has Bipolar and is in a manic state. The symptoms for a child in manic state are:
Feel irritable and throw violent temper tantrums.
Seem extremely happy and have high energy levels.
Touch their genitals, use sexual language, and approach others in a sexual way.
Not sleep much and go about the house late at night looking for things to do.
Talk very fast.
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
Just a thought - my son 9 yrs was diagnosed with ADHD recently, he had 2 different versions of stimulant medications (one at a time of course) and he started these frightful nighmares, tossed and turned all night. He never had nighmares before medication and since we took him off the meds, no more nightmares.
ADHD medications mess with your head. Not enough is known about their actions and you were right to take your son off them. Nowadays any child with a behavior problem seems to be diagnosed as having ADD or ADHD. Pretty facile.
Your child is in great distress. You have to alleviate it. If sleeping with you comforts her. let her sleep with you. Maybe after some time without stress she will be able to sleep on her own. I still question her being medication at her age. Actually I question it at any age.