How do you know???

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-27-2003
How do you know???
5
Tue, 04-08-2003 - 10:55am
If your child is really ADHD or bipolar? Is a ADHD kid aggressive? I've been reading alot on bipolar and that is everything my child is. But he will probably get an ADHD diagnosis. What really makes the difference? I know my child won't be diagnosed with bipolar--because he's only 3yo--but I also don't want him misdiagnosed and should have been getting a different treatment all along.

Holly

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-27-2003
Tue, 04-08-2003 - 12:14pm
My son is eight, and they still don't really know. He is aggressive at times, and has been since he was three. Part of ADHD is lack of control over impulses - which pretty much describes my son.

At the age of three, treatment will probably be the same regardless of the diagnosis because children are not usually medicated at such a young age. My son went to a therapist for over a year before meds were prescribed, and he still sees the same therapist. He says the only thing consistent with ADHD is inconsistency - while we just want the same kid every day, it is unusual to ever have that. I'm sure we've all wondered what happened to the "real" kid, but we have to learn how to deal with our children's inconsistent behaviors. One thing for sure - life is never boring!

Avatar for kathy_in_ga
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Tue, 04-08-2003 - 1:23pm
My son was very aggressive at age 3, actually the pediatrician said my son had a bad temper when he was only 2 months old. It wasn't until he was 4 & I chaged Pediatricians did we get any type of help. He was first DXed as adhd & given Ritalin. That proved to be the wrong med for him. He was out of control. We tried several different things (behavior mods, different doses) for 6 months. Finally our pediatrician found us a place to go to to get some help. Our family history was taken, and several psychological tests were taken. We were sent to a child psychiatrist, who we didn't like. So we searched for another certified child psych doc. Found one two hours away, but it has been well worth it.

Things to look at at family history. Mine & my husbands both had manic depressant in the family. We also has some family members who are probably unDXed. We listed people who were alcoholics, drug abusers, in & out of jail, risky behavior. We also started keeping sa journal of our sons behavior, sleep patterns & such. I just kept something on my computer that I would make an entry every day. This helped determine a cycle.

As you probably have read, BP looks differently in children. Aggression can be a symptom of depression or maina. I always had to look at other behaviors to be able to tell the difference. Like if there were a lot of cyrinf it owuld probbly be depressed state, if he had a hard time sleeping & was ultra hyper it was mania.

My son now taked a mood stabilizer and an antipsychotic along with his ADHD meds. I have to really look at his behavior to be able to tell if the hyperness is from adhd or Mania.

Here is link to help tell the difference in ADHD & Mania in BP.


http://www.psycheducation.org/PCP/handouts/ADHD.htm

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-27-2003
Tue, 04-08-2003 - 4:07pm
Thanks for your reply!! I've seen that website before--but with my son being only 3y---it's hard to tell if he has those bipolar symptoms. We are being aware of his "cycles"--in which I'm not sure if he is "cycling". For example---last week---he was either hitting, kicking, biting his sister's---all day or sitting in time-out. That lasted Monday thru Friday. Sat thru today--he has been OK. None of the aggression--except one biting episode, which didn't compare to last week. He is very hyper before bed also. He's still bouncing off the walls at times--but not the aggression we "normally" see. It should be coming back soon!!

I just hope to find a Dr who is open to the idea of early-onset bipolar!!

Holly

Avatar for kathy_in_ga
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Tue, 04-08-2003 - 5:37pm
Just start charting or journaling now. You will have several things to show the doc. It took a while for my son to be DXed, but he was taking the meds for BP even before a DX.

My son used to cycle during the day (the afternoon being the worse), but also weekly. The later part of the week being the worse for him. He also goes manic just before a full moon, we noticed it one night when hubby & I went outside to get away from the screaming. Joiners psych says that she is told by several of her patients that they feel very different during a full moon phase. Everytime we have a really bad day I look up & see the moon just about to be full. Strange.

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-25-2003
Wed, 04-09-2003 - 8:11am
I'm going through the same thing. My son is dx with adhd and I am BP. For me it's just gut instinct, and it has been since the day he was born. I knew at a month that he was different.

I thought it was normal at first to have a baby that cried almost continuously until I was told it was not. He refused to sleep or be settled. We changed formulas a dozen times etc...thinking it was gas or what no.

At 5 months he was in daycare and I used to be near tears after getting him ready and taking him in, he would go rigid and scream when I tried to dress him until we figured out that there was only one type of fabric that he would put up with, and I had to go buy a dozen sleepers made out of thick t-shirt material and cut off the tags and the feet, he couldn't stand the ridges in the feet at the toes. At daycare they had to take him in the nap room to feed him so he would not be distracted and actually eat.

By the time he grew his first two teeth I was covered in bite marks. By the age of 2, he had me crying almost daily. I couldn't figure out what I was doing wrong, I actually tried to get someone to see him then. He pinched, scratched and bit whenever he got mad, his tantrums were out of control.

When he was almost 3, the breaking point for me was he took a box of 24 lightbulbs and lobbed them about his room laughing as they exploded. I caught him on the last one. I lock up all the poisonous cleaners...but lightbulbs???? I demanded he see another doctor and the pediatrician dx with the most severe adhd he had seen in a child that age. Many months of testing later that is still his dx and he starts school in September.

I can still see the days where the ritalin seems to make him high and the days when it drives him to the bottom of the pit and he's riddled with anxiety and becomes very withdrawn. Then there are the days it seems to work the way it's supposed to.

No one will take me seriously regardless of how much journalling, mood tracking or begging I do. I have a huge team of psychologists and psychiatrists that work with him and they are the best in the country, but for some reason, they think I'm crazy. I still feel bad when he looks at me with that look and says, Mummy I wish my gun was real because I would blow your face off and watch you bleed. You'd go to sleep forever, you know, really die.......

Elspeth