(Parenting.com) -- As the sun rises over Phoenix, 4-year-old Shelby wakes. She sleepily uses the potty, dutifully washes her hands, and then accepts a white capsule from her mother, Victoria*. (*Last name has been withheld.)
The blond-haired, blue-eyed little girl swallows the medicine easily. "And then she's off—to take care of the pets, play with play dough, and just be Shelby," says Victoria.
The capsule contains 20 milligrams (mg) of Ritalin (methylphenidate), the prescription stimulant used to calm and focus children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). After dinner, Shelby takes more meds -- 2.5 mg of Abilify and .05 mg of clonidine.
The preschooler has been on daily medication since she was 2, when she slept only about four hours a night and threw frequent, violent temper tantrums that sometimes left her mother with bruises and bite marks.A psychiatrist at the local children's hospital diagnosed bipolar disorder.
For a year, Shelby was on increasingly potent doses of Risperdal (risperidone), an antipsychotic, and Depakote (divalproex), an antiseizure drug that's also used to reduce mania.
Read more @ http://www.cnn.com/2011/09/21/health...eds/?hpt=he_c1