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Bi Polar Disorder

I'm wondering if my son is Bi Polar, I'm about to go do some research on it now but I'm wondering if any of you have children with this disorder.  I'm not sure what is wrong with him.  I'll be making an appt for him also to see his dr again.  He was diagnosed with ADHD when he was 4 and has been taking Adderall for it.  I'm questioning now whether I'm treating the right thing here.
He is very angry and shows alot of aggression, one minute he hits calls me names screams at me swears at me etc..and the next he's sweet as can be.  He is a very smart boy, it seems like when I tell him no he completely turns on me, tells me he hates me etc.  I've tried all the disiplinary stuff, time outs taking toys away sitting in his room can't go outside, nothing works.  I've tried many of the tecnices (I know I spelt that wrong lol) that I've seen on super nanny and I just can't get anything to work.  I've tried sitting him down and explaining to him that when he's mad he needs to talk to me about it instead of the way he's doing things now, he says he understands and doesn't know why he gets so mad.  He was physically abused by his father and hasn't had anything to do with him since he was 3.  His father was charged with a lesser crime of domestic abuse on a child, yes I did turn him in when I suspected the abuse.  I'm going to make an appointment for counceling again, for him and me.
You guys have any tips advice or suggestions??  
7 Responses
212795 tn?1194956174
He might be a little oppositional defiant.  I don't think, however, he sounds Bipolar.  My advice is to stay away from diagnosis because of the abuse he suffered.  He may be reacting to his difficult past.  I know he was young when it happened, but it sounds like the emotions were very strong and he did not learn how to deal with his anger.  I think it's great you are taking him to counseling.  Are you doing family counseling with him - where both of you are in the session?  I know for a fact that sand play therapy is extremely helpful to children as young as your son.

In addition, could you go back to the doctor who prescribed the Adderol and let him know about your son's tantrums?  Maybe the medication needs to be adjusted (increased or decreased).  Good luck.    
Avatar universal
Its quite possible that you son is dealing with a biologically based condition(s) i.e. ADHD and a mood disorder (bi-polar disorder or depression) as well as issues maltreatment(abuse and or neglect) and possible attachement problems.  The biological conditions are being exacerbated, made worse by the child abuse and child neglect.  In addition, children who do not bond appropriately to a parent or caregiver in their infancy and toddlerhood frequently display severe behavior problems.  The same holds true of children who have been abused physically, sexually and emotionally.  Children who are victims of neglect i.e. don't receive adequtate nutrition, adequate hygeine, housing etc. in their very early years can display problems with behavior, understandably so.

I recommend looking for a child and family therapist with a specialty dealing with victims of child abuse and attachement/bonding issues.  Regardless of your son's diagnosis and past you will need to set up a behavioral plan to manage his behaviors.  Such a therapist can help you with this.

Best wishes...
Avatar universal
Thank you for your advise.  I did some research on bi polar disorder, he has many of the signs of the disorder, but will hold off the eval until we start going to counceling.  I plan to have him see a therapist without me first.  I don't know if the issues are with me or like you guys said with his past.  I know I myself need counceling alone just to deal with stuff I'm going thru.  I'll keep ya updated.  Thanks again :)
Avatar universal
You did not discuss your relationship with your son's father but I seems reasonable to think that you may have also been abused in some way by this man also.  If so, you need to take care of yourself and you are wise to seek help for yourself.  He may have many signs of various disorders because of his age it can be quite difficult to pinpoint what is going on exactley.  It will be more clear within the next few years, as he develops.  Its likely that medication, therapy and a behavioral plan for you to follow as well as his preschool/school to follow will help him to function better.  

Your ability to obtain an evaluation and follow thru with getting him to therapy appointments, following up on the recommendations of the evaluating clinician and/or child therapists as well as following a behavior plan at home for him will be critical to his success.  Be sure to listen to what the professional working with your son are telling you, ask questions if you don't understand anything.  Follow thru with what they recommend.  I wish you the best...
Avatar universal
I was not abused by his dad.  When I found out I was pregnant I also found out he was cheating on me.  When told him I was pregnant he left and moved in with her, said the kid wasn't his and I was cheating on him which I never did, obviously.  
I was abused by my younger son's dad tho, couple times physically, most of the time emotional and mental abuse.   This is where all my stress comes in lol.  Not to mention the issues with my oldest.  So yes, I recognize I need to go to counceling because I am now having a difficult time dealing with the current issues.  I have General Anxiety Disorder and have suffered from depression in the past, but so far that has not shown its presence yet.  Hopefully it won't.   Thank you for your advice, its much appreciated.
Avatar universal
Be very careful.  Bipolar disorder is a diagnosis handed out like candy these days, especially in the US.  It really cannot be properly diagnosed until much later.  Its estimated that only 1- 5% of current diagnosed cases are actually true bipolar disorder.  Usually a bipolar cycles for a length of time rather than quick changes in mood (depressed/manic for days, weeks, months) and often requires psyciatric hospitalization.  I know because I was diagnosed at 18...come to find out after much research and questioning that I'm just prone to cyclic depression, usually brought on by stressful times (snapping from depressed to content within minutes).  Bipolar Disorder can be a hard diagnosis to live with, so you're doing the right thing by holding off the evaluation (in my opinion)
Avatar universal
nicmic makes a great point.  In a recent post by Dr. Kennedy he notes that there is controversy in if bi-polar disorder can have an onset in childhood.  Sometimes, children especially boys will display behaviors that appear to be indicative of attention disorders when in fact they are depressed.  Boys tend to act out depression where girls tend to retreat inward and become withdrawn.  There are exceptions to this of course.  

Mommyof2boys35, I am glad that you are getting help for yourself.  I wish you patience, love and strength...
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