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Old 09-19-18, 10:13 AM
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Signs of a bi-polar child?

Does anyone have experience with a child who has ADHD and MAY also be bi-polar or something else? What are some of the warning signs?

If so, does anyone have experience with how this is treated in a child, both with medication and with therapy? How is it handled at school? What kind of things do you do at home and in the family to help the child cope (calm environment, ways of talking to them, dealing with everyday things, etc.)?

Thanks.
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Old 09-19-18, 12:13 PM
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Re: Signs of a bi-polar child?

Daniel, it's my opinion that it's too early to tell. Most kids swing from up to down and even sideways. There are some cases where bi-polar can be diagnosed in children but the majority of people are diagnosed after puberty.

I was beginning to question it about my daughter too but her shrink says it's ADHD fixation combined with ODD at home. The melt downs are unreal, but thankfully they are only a couple times a month.
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Old 09-19-18, 03:21 PM
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Re: Signs of a bi-polar child?

I don’t have a child, but I had at one point been quite interested in the research surrounding the diagnosis of bipolar disorder in childhood. The central research question when I was paying attention was whether a child who had severe problems with emotional regulation would go on to develop more classic bipolar disorder in adolescence or adulthood.

The answer to this question now seems to be not necessarily. According to the link below, treatments that help
With bipolar disorder may not be the same as for dysregulated mood and irritability. It sounds like cognitive behavioral therapy may have positive effects. I’m not sure about other treatments. In school, having acccess to a crisis interventionist or social worker in times of meltdown, or in the case of an older kid who can recognize when they’re about to lose it, the ability to access such services before full meltdown, is invaluable.

https://www.nimh.nih.gov/labs-at-nim...dn/index.shtml

I don’t think clinicians are as quick to diagnose childhood bipolar as they were in the late 90’s/early 2000’s. In fact, the newest version of the DSM has severe mood dysregulation as a separate diagnosis now.
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Old 09-19-18, 03:37 PM
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Re: Signs of a bi-polar child?

For bipolar, the mood swings would have to last for days/weeks at a time. It's not just a matter of the kid throwing temper tantrums all the time.
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Old 09-19-18, 06:19 PM
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Re: Signs of a bi-polar child?

I think, in childhood it can be difficult to distinguish between ADHD and bp, and I've read some papers that discuss misdiagnosis in children because of this.

I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder type ii as well but I don't think I have it. I'm definitely somehwere on the mood disorders spectrum but I think my mood swings are due to a severe inability to regulate my emotion (both positive and negative). The psychiatrist who diagnosed me with ADHD put it this way: in ADHD your mood might be exaggerated but it is still congruent with the situation, ie you feel sad when something sad happens and happy when something good happens whereas in bp the mood episode is usually independent of any situation (even though a situation might trigger it).

If your daughter has ADHD it's likely that any mood swings are due to emotion dysregulation or impulse control issues with ADHD but I guess it's too early to tell.
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Old 09-20-18, 05:23 AM
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Re: Signs of a bi-polar child?

I think when it comes to small children its very hard. I know for me, my bipolar didnt rear its ugly head until age 16 and the same goes for my oldest. It started for her with the impulsivity and lack of consideration for consequences. Then came the self medicating. Being that I am sober now, I thought I would see all the signs but I didnt. You can read my other thread in parenting but she ran away and got into all sorts of drug an alcohol and ended up in rehab and then now a sober house. I never thought this would happen but she was not med-compliant.
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Old 09-20-18, 02:55 PM
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Re: Signs of a bi-polar child?

We have an ADHD child who was also diagnosed with Tourette's Syndrome, which we later discovered that it was merely childhood tics that he grew out of, thankfully. Our son also struggled with a listening disorder which affected his comprehension. We chose to naturally accommodate him by cleaning up his diet, ridding it of processed foods, sugars and gluten. We also started him on Vitamin E supplements as well as probiotics and natural calm and focus supplements. Each day we started his day with something called, The Listening Kit, it is still sold today. It's virtually a workout for your brain that is classical music interjected with bird sounds that vary in intensity and each day has a different 20 minute therapy session. We did this before school, it seemed to help center him and calm him down. School was not very kind to a busy boy who was highly distracted. I made sure to have really good communication with the teachers to find ways to reinforce concepts at home and ensured I had my son's attention visually before giving important commands, this seemed to help him understand when he needed to pay attention and follow directions.
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