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Old 07-18-07, 11:21 PM
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Bipolar in Australia

Hi!! I was just wondering if any of you are from Australia. I am mighty annoyed at the moment with mental health for children in Australia( NSW ). I have a 9 year old son who was diagonised with ADHD a few months ago. I have been speaking to his pyschologist and pyschiatrist who will not even look into possible bipolar. The situation has got me so worked up. His dad is ADHD and Bipolar. The so called specialists say that son could not be bipolar because he is too young. The other problem is we cannot get another opinion because the pyschiatrist is the only one for children in this area. We have him on Ritalin at the moment which I feel is not working but I suppose maybe his dosage just isn't worked out yet. Sorry to rant and rave but would be very interested to hear from you. The other thing is the pyschiatrist has said that there are no diagonised bipolar children in Australia. Now I think it might be time for me to get off my horse and calm down. I just wish they would listen to my concerns.

Thanks in advance

Kerry
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Old 07-18-07, 11:54 PM
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I saw a documentary on bipolar disorder. Think the link is on this forum somewhere. Anyhow, it stated that in England that bipolar disorder wasn't a diagnosis option for people until they are 19. It was further stated that this stemmed from their viewpoint that a child's brain is still developing and the doctors do not want to expose their vunerable brain to bipolar medication until they are of age. It could be similar in Australia.
In the states, some Doctors have the opposite opinion and treat for bipolar as early as 8 yrs old.
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Old 07-19-07, 08:03 PM
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Welcome Me,
I am unsure if any of our fellow Bipolar folks are in Australia?
I certainly know we have plenty of ADD's in Austrilia.

Here is the Roll Call area, you might be able to hook up wiht someone in your general area for help.

http://www.addforums.com/forums/show...Call+Australia

And here is the video I think you are talking about Blink.
http://www.addforums.com/forums/showthread.php?t=41221

The issue is world wide. However not as bad in the States.
They still have not gotten a clear cut vision/tools to diagnoses early onset Bipolar in children. For many reasons.

Dr. Geller is one of the few doctors who has put together a model, called the Geller Model to bring together many things into the diagnoseing of Children.
Its a shame that we have made leaps and bounds with ADD and children, but still in the dark ages in Adult ADD, but then we are much better with Adult Bipolar and in the dark ages for our kids.

I have read a great book that has really helped me get in touch with my younger years, as I am an early onset child, and so is my son. I wasn't dx until age 36 with Bipolar, but my son was this year. He is 15. Now looking back, I know I had it younger, although not as severe as my son's. He was dx with ADHD at age 5 ....he is ADD, but the Bipolar is the driving issue wiht him and myself.

Judith S. Lederman and Candida Fink, MD recently published a book entitled “The Ups and Downs of Raising a Bipolar Child: A Survival Guide for Parents

I am sorry I don't know much about your mental health support systems there. I can tell you becoming educated and becoming an Advocate for your child is one of the single most important things you can do to get through it.
I know personally. I almost lost my son to the disease this year. He just got out of an intensive treatment center where he was a level 10 out of 10 for suicidal ideations. I hope someone pop's in to help...but while you are waiting see if you can get the book it's helpful.

You can read the post I put here about some of the struggles I faced with my son. Warning, it's long..LOL
http://www.addforums.com/forums/showthread.php?t=41129
http://www.addforums.com/forums/showthread.php?t=40503

Here are some other sites that I have researched on.
www.bpkids.org
www.helpguide.org
www.nami.org
www.nimh.nih.gov


This site, has a free email newsletter that is wonderful.
bipolar.about.com

Please let us know how you and your son are doing.


Hope
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Old 07-19-07, 10:01 PM
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That is the correct video link JustHope. I found it to be an informative, compassionate, and balanced documentary on bipolar. Helped me to understand my bipolar dad so much more. Also made me see how much we have incommon, adhd wise. Also, I'm a big sucker for Stephen Fry.
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Old 07-20-07, 03:17 AM
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Thank you for the links. At the moment I just not sure what to think. I am getting very frustrated with the medical people. I will keep you up to date with what is happening.
Thanks again
Kerry
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Old 07-20-07, 09:24 AM
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You are welcome. We get frustrated here as well Kerry. Be an advocate for your child. It takes just one very educated, driven, and frustrated mom to make a difference with a Bipolar child and the medical community, school system, and juvenile system. I know personally. Don't give up. But remember to take time for yourself to rest and decompress, your son will need you.

Education and understanding this disease is really the single more important thing you can do for a loved one. Even if we can't get all the help we need from the outside world, love and home are very important and a mom who "get's" it can make a huge impact.
Sending you all the hope and strength I can muster...hang in there mom, it's a long battle ahead but worth it. Believe me I know, personally and as a mom.

Hope
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