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Avatar universal

Child with ADHD, possible conduct disorder and possible BI Polar, insight needed please!

Hi Forum Dr.s and Parents,

My 9 year old son has displayed numerous behavior issues over the past 4 years. He has ADHD and has suspected Conduct Disorder.Our son has no repsect for authority and exhibits very concerning beahvior on a regular basis. My husband and I are out of answers. Years of therapy for our son has not provided a firm diagnosis and treatment plan. Our son takes only Focalin for ADHD, he does not take any other medications. Our Son is currently in a hospital for In patient treatment for tendencies to be violent at times and often uncooperative, threatneing, disrepectful and generally unwilling to obey any type of rules.  The hospital facility treats children ages 3 year to 12 years for various issues. Our son is being evaluated for a number of potential psychological disorders as part of his in patient care. Bi Polar is one of the evaluations that is being done. I would like to hear from any Doctors or parent whom have treated children, or have children that were diagnosed Bi Polar at a young age. Please describe your childs symptoms and the age of onset for the symptoms. Our child has many other inappropriate behaviors, the list is rather extensive. I would very much appreciate any insight Doctors or parents could provide regarding similar experiences with their children.

Thank you
Worried Mom
11 Responses
654560 tn?1331858181
Do you have faith in the center that he is in. That is half the battle.Has your son ever had a MRI to see if there is anything abnormal As you probally know the brain is in sections and each one controlls certain behaviors.I would request this test. My grandson had a cyst in his tmporal lobe and it was pushing into the Hippo Champas this caused emotional outburst. He had brain surgery @ Duke back in Dec. He is doing very well. Some of the negetive behavior breaks through every now and then But hey he is 11 Good luck and pm me if you would like...Bless you and your son. Try to stay openminded and question everything
746399 tn?1233073672
Dear kyle,

Hi I have bi-polar type 2 (no extreme mania) and have two sons, ages 14 and 8 who both have bi-polar type 1 the older son was diagnosed at age 10 after two stays in the hospital for suicidal behavior, the first hospitalization was after we called 911 because we were afraid for him and ourselves. Before there diagnoses were just ADHD and depression. I agree with the previous poster that you should have a full work up done of your son, including hormones; my older son has Precious Puberty (early puberty), which made his emotional state very volatile. It helped him to know what was going on in side of him, and to know that puberty dose not lass forever and things would get better. Thankfully it was not caused by a tumor.  There are a number of hormonal things that could cause behavioral issues, including; thyroid, pituitary, adrenal. Both my children are on med’s and both are doing well right now. But it is never a dull moment and we never know when things might get crazy. I would be willing to talk to you, if you would like, my email is ***@****, as you stated there symptoms are long and many and started very early, my older son was different from the moment he was born. My younger son started to display symptom’s at age 3.

Much love, hang in there.

746399 tn?1233073672
sorry did not know you could not post email address, just pm me

607502 tn?1288251140

There are no doctors on the forum so you won't get any insight there sorry.

The first question is what is his psychiatric evaluation saying?  If he is an inpatient then he should have had a full assessment by a psychiatrist by now.

They will come up with a long list of possible diagnoses by the way before they come to a conclusion and once they do get a second opinion - most of these will condemm a child to a lifetime of psychiatric drugs so you want to be sure they are the right drugs.
746399 tn?1233073672

"most of these will condemm a child to a lifetime of psychiatric drugs so you want to be sure they are the right drugs."

Psychiatric drugs can be a life saver!

Yes caution is needed, and benefits and side effects weighed.  

Second opinions are always a good idea.

If you don’t get the right drug the first time, and you probably won't, change the drugs.

Always get the physicians cell phone number or direct line so you can call them in emergences than don’t abuse the privilege of having there number. Call the office for general questions, call the physicians for emergences, and don’t for get to ask what consensus an emergency.

A High mania or a suicidal child is always an emergency! Most high’s end in extreme lows!

A Psychiatric illness is just that an ILNESS, it is not a defect in your child’s personality or character. It is no different than having debates, and needed medication for life and/or lifestyle changes.

It is not your fault; you did not cause your child to get ill.

take care of your self,

Love lori
607502 tn?1288251140
I take psychiatric drugs every day of my life.  I am well aware of their usage and properties - i would be dead now if it was not for them.

However there is a massive over prescription problem with children worldwide and in the US in particular - Ritalin is handed out like candy, there is massive over diagnosis of ADHD and a forming one with paediatric bipolar which is the boom diagnosis in the US and only the US; a country where 4 year olds are being 'diagnosed' with Bipolar (by rewriting the symptoms list to suit the diagnosis) not to mention doctors prescribing anti depressants to 3 and 4 year olds on the most spurious of grounds.

In other words not everything is a psychiatric illness and when you have a profit driven medical system such as the USA its even more important to get the right decision and the right diagnosis for the right drugs - yes this poor child may have a mental illness and he may also have a behavrioural problem which can be corrected by therapy, a thyroid issue, a pituitary issue or a tumor - in other words do not rush into Pysch meds which can and do have major long term side effects before exhaustive diagnosis is confirmed.

This child could be BP - it can onset early when puberty is early and thats perfectly possible but make sure - yes you can change drugs but some of the drugs we take can have major side effects and do damage.
675923 tn?1296241611
Working with special needs children for years my first question is this: have you had him tested by the school psyc? This could be a second opinion. Have you been or are you at a Children's Hospital?

My thoughts are with you and your family. I hope you get some answers soon just to eliviate the nerves.

746399 tn?1233073672
That was my point. I am sorry if I was misunderstood, I tend to take things personal and can overstate or understate what I feel is obvious.  I did not like the word condemn and it set me off, sorry. My intent was to be helpfull.

Love Lori
607502 tn?1288251140
My intent was not to insult but to point out that being on psychiatric drugs should never be taken lightly and before taking them you need to be very sure of their need - this is vital with children when you consider that the majority of these drugs and especially mood stabilisers and anti depressants are not tested nor approved for children not to mention the anti psychotics.

I really consider condem to be a pretty appropriate term if you were to be stuck on these drugs and you did not need them - as any of us who take them can tell you the side effects can be terrifying and even life threatening and I honestly am scared of the thought of someone's child being prescribed drugs of this class without neccesity.
Avatar universal
Have you tried working with a specialist in behaviour modification, I would do this first.  I am guessing you have.

I found that learning new ways to respond to my son helped to turn him round.  Now I wasnt 'bad' not at all, but small little changes can make a huge difference.

Sometimes they get 'addicted' to the bad behaviour and they will push and push for a reaction.  That is just one example, there are many insights into why children behave the way they do.
Do you notice when he is REALLY in trouble a little smile comes across his face, like a smirk, sometimes they are delighted when they have wound an adult up!

There is a lot to think about.  Personaly I would try everything with my son to avoid medication 'till 18 (7months to go and guess what he is totally fine now!)  and then he can make his own decision.

I am not saying I would never give it, just that I would try everything else first.  A good book is 'transforming the difficult child the nurtured heart approach, by Howard Glaser'  That certainly explained a lot to me.

Hope this helps
Avatar universal
I really feel for you.  My son who is 13 was diagnosed with ADHD at age 5.  He's been prescribed just about every stimulant there is without much luck.  At age 11, he was admitted to a hospital.  (Was expelled from school and threatened suicide)  I didn't know what else to do at that point.  There, he was taken off of the stimulant and put on Abilify and Mood Disorder NOS was added to his diagnosis.  Now, 2 years later, the behavior, impulsiveness, defiance hasn't gotten much better.  We've now been a new drug for about 2 weeks and I've noticed a small change for the better.  (And yes, we've spent endless amounts of money on therapy).  My advice to you is this... Listen to your doctors, be open to medication (it can be nerve racking finding the right one, but patience is the key), be consistent with discipline and join a support group to help you get through it.  I have 2 other children that do not have and behavioral or mental issues.  It can be stressful on the whole family going through this.  There's no miracle drug for bi-polar as every person is different.  My hope for you is that your child finds the right one that works soon.
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