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Childhood Bipolar Disorder
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besmith75 posted:
Hello everyone! I'm new to this community and I'm hoping that I'm in the right place. I apologize as this may be a long post. My 9 year old son was just diagnosed with early onset pediatric bipolar disorder. I had 3 different professionals (school counselor, pediatrician, and therapist) all tell me that they believe that he is bipolar. His therapist (WONDERFUL if I may add) suggested that we try meds. We went to the med specialist and she prescribed Concerta (I work in the medical field and do tons of research). I was hesitant as I know it's a drug mostly used to treat ADHD. I know deep in my heart that he does not have ADHD. I tried it anyway...figuring that she knew what she was doing. Well...she didn't. Within just a couple of days he quit eating...quit sleeping...and started having minor hallucinations. I immediately took him off of the Concerta and made an appointment with another doc. I ended up getting him in to see the medical director (who has a fantastic reputation in the pediatric behavior field). After meeting with him (my son was there as well) for about an hour and a half...he advised me that my son has bipolar disorder (which does run in the family) and has prescribed Prozac. I'm hesitant because of the black box warnings...but I have epilepsy and one of the medications I take three times a day also has a black box warning. I've been on the med for 12 years without a problem. I gave him his first dose of Prozac this morning...but I'm still questioning myself. I know we need to do something for the poor kid. He is miserable and needs help. I guess what I'm wondering is if anyone has experience with children taking Prozac. ANY information would be helpful.

Thank you so much...and I apologize for the long post.

B
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Noodle58 responded:
My niece has been taking Prozac for several years. She is now 15. It has helped her issues tremendously. She is a happy teenager.
 
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momuv4girls responded:
Hi B,

I too have a daughter who was diagnosed at age 7 with "mood disorder", or EOBP.

My very best advice (after being on this journey for 6-years now) - is to find the very best Child Psychiatrist money can buy.

My daughter does have a fantastic, smart psychiatrist, and we've still had one heck of a journey, but, she has saved us from hospitalizations and kept our home life relatively stable.

Now, depending on where you live, a good child psychiatrist may be hard to find........but keep searching!!

For my sanity, I joined http://www.thebalancedmind.org/
They have been my lifeline, the parents and moderators are fantastic!! I highly suggest you looking into this wonderful organization.

As for the prozac, it is not the first line of treatment for a child with mood issues.
The typical protocol is as follows:
Stabilize mood with a mood stabilizer medication,
then add on an atypical antipsychotic med to control breakthrough symptoms (if needed).
Once the mood is stable, then possibly (very cautiously) add in an antidepressant if needed.

An antidepressant alone (with no mood stabilization), can often times send a child into a worse state.

So, pay attention to his mood, and intensity level (like does he get angry at the drop of a hat etc..).

I hope you find some good support!!
Take care,
-Kathleen


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