Rather than be upset at her behavior (although you have the right to) speak to her psychiatrist about it. She could inherit bipolar but as to whether she has, that's a psychiatrist's decision but do speak to them about it. Talk therapy and cognitive behavioral therapy can be helpful in addition to medication for dealing with these issues. NAMI friend and family support groups are helpful as well.
I don't know, it is hard to say with kids.
In my case I was very unlucky that no one seemed to notice what was happening to me. It completely ruined my whole life. I was also told a lot that I was 'smart' and 'manipulative,' but the thing was that although I was smart (and thought I was stupid,) I was not manipulative. All I wanted was help. I would try to ask for help and people would tell me I was being spoiled and making things up. It did not matter to them that I was suicidal, having massive delusions, and just wishing that someone in the whole world would see that I needed help.
So, I would say that if you honestly believe she is pretending to get attention, then do get a second opinion. Since you live far from her it is hard to tell you to really observe her. I hope you find the answers that will help her the best.
Lithium is prescribed and works well for those with Bipolar. If she notices an improvement in her mood since she started the Lithium then she is likely bipolar. She is also at the age where her hormones are starting to tumble about and kids get emotional and sometimes difficult. But since her father has bipolar, she could have inherited these genes too, not from him, but through his gene pool in his family. Don't blame him.
A pdoc does not diagnose a child with bipolar without some pretty concrete symptoms that go with it, as well as blood work to look at, now that she is taking this med. He will know the therapeutic range for her and determine if this route is what is best for her. If you would feel better, consult another pdoc. However, give this doctor a chance to stabilize her.
Bipolar disorder is a chemical imbalance in the brain. It is not a personality or character flaw, and it is not treated lightly. If she responds well to her medication, and he may have to try different medications before he finds the right one for her, then I would suggest that talking with him would educate you better, as well as buying a book about bipolar disorder and learning about it. It removes the fear you likely feel. While there is no cure for bipolar, it is treatable. It is a medical condition. She is not crazy. Stay in touch with this forum and learn as much as you can.
I was fifteen when I experienced my first depression, that lasted for many years. I blamed it on the death of a boyfriend. Then other things. Then at 21 I experienced my first three manic phases, each lasting a couple weeks, and I loved it!!! Only to rexperience depression and eventually many other symptoms of bipolar. I never got the diagnosis until I was in my 50's. I suffered a lot before I got the help I actually needed. Now my life is relatively sane. There is hope. Don't dispair. Kathy
I would speak to her phyc doc about her diagnososis and the resons behind why she is diagnosed. If you still really feel she needs a second opinion then go to another phychitrist. They can help you make sure. But if she is in fact bipolar its not the end of the world. There is still alot you can do to treat the illness. I was diagnosed bipolar at age 11 yes it was very hard for me. But I think what hurt me the most as a preteen to becomming a young adult was my mothers denial about my illness.
I was 13 when I suffreed my first manic episode due to the fact that my mom had assumed I no longer needed the medication I was on, and decided to disallow me from taking it. Up until that point I had only suffered minoir moodswings and my condition had stabilised. But durring that time I became delusional and paranoid I told her the government was watching us through the phone and TV.I became hospitalised. In the hospital I was still very high up I was so paranoid I refused to eat their food or drink their water. I missed a total of six weeks of school. After my episode finished I had sever depression for a period of six months. Thats when my mom did the best thing she could possibly do for me, she went to NAMI and took a course on mental illness. She said its been the most educational thing shes been through so far and really helped her understand mental illness and specificly bipolar. Once me and mom were able to work togeather it became much easier to deal with my illness. Now I know that if there is a problem I can come to her if there is ever a problem. So my advice to you is to get educated on the condition try and read up as much as you can this forum is a good place to start, you can also try reading a book. NAMI offers support groups and classes to educate families on mental illness (like the one my mom took) so I would also suggest calling them.
this is all I can really think of for now
hope this helps,