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bipolar son who is 8.
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jenrussel posted:
This whole messaging thing is new to us but I know we need to do something. My son runs my whole families life. If he's happy, we can be happy. If he's miserable, by god, we better all be as well. Ive been looking for answers to his behaviors for years. Until about a week ago, it was he has severe ADHD and panic/aniexty disorder. He has exhusted all of the stimulants on the market. Some didn't work at all, some worked then quit working out of the blue, some made him worse, some made him angry and hateful. We'll angier and more hateful than normal. Last week, the doctor said he might be bipolar. We tried Abilify and it gave him terrible headaches. For a week we tried just Seraquel, and now that he thinks his mood is "stable" he added Concerta for the ADHD. In the beginning, he kept it together at school. Now he can't. Daily I watch him struggle to be good and do as he's told. He yells and screams at everyone, demands things are his way or he'll throw fits for hours-til he passes out from exhustion only to not seem to remember. He can't sit still for 30 seconds. He's obcessive compulsive and he has terrible aniexty and unrealistic fears that can't be solved. Bedtime is a nightmare everynight. He cant sleep and will stay up for days and when he does sleep he wakes up screaming in terror only to not remember what he was dreaming about. Telling him "No" is like subjecting him to phyiscal torture. I could go on for hours. i know that we need help. He runs our lives. I have a 13 yr old and a 3 year old who mimics all his behaviors. How long will the meds take? We have in home counseling that really isnt helping greatly. Any thoughts and help would be loved?
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momuv4girls responded:
Hi - - - - sorry to say, you're not alone. You described my daughter to a tee. This is a very, very difficult illness to deal with, and you need a top notch Child Psychiatrist to help. Have you read THE BIPOLAR CHILD yet ?? It is a great read, and you will need the information. First off, ADHD meds are a HUGE NO for a bipolar child, they will make them worse (you figured that out), and a week on seroquel is NOT enough time before starting a stimulant (that makes me think the psychiatrist is not very well qualified to treat a bipolar child). A few, a very few bp children can tolerate tiny doses of a stimulant, but only after their mood has been stable for a few months - NOT WEEKS ! IMHO (I am no Dr. but a very experienced, knowledgeable Mom), you need to stop the stimulant and concentrate only on the Seroquel right now. Wait and see how your son reacts to it (maybe a great med for him - or not, unfortunately its trial and error). You need to get your son under control and in a better place (mentally), that is why I first suggest stopping the ADHD med - - - but of course run this by the Dr. and not try it on your own. There is a GREAT website I have belonged to for years, and is my lifeline. It is bpkids.org. I have found the most amazing, knowledgeable parents on that site and don't know how I would have survived without them. Please check into it !!! I hope some of this helps..........hang in there, it can and will get better, it (unfortunately) takes a lot of time and patience. ((((HUGS)))) -Kathleen
 
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jenrussel responded:
Thank you for your comments, It's so nice to know that the person on the end of the line can relate to what we are going through. We just started seeing a Child Psychiatrist and he seems to be pretty knowledge about the bipolar. He is the first person who actually was open to the idea that my son was bipolar, everyone else seemed to think that he was responsible for his behaviors an dwas acting like he was because he wanted too.He put him on the low dose of stimulant so he could function at school, with out it my son was not able to be in the classroom. He jumped from desk to desk to desk.The doctor did tell me that it might not be possible for him to take one. I also have a meeting at the school next week so we can make a 504?. how does your daughter do in school? Does your daughter have nightmares everynight? Do they ever go away? Im gonna to the bookstore to pick up the bipolar child, I love to read and im looking forward to the read>? How often do you see the doctor? Does your daughter go to public school? Ive thought that i might need to homeschool my son? any thoughts? Thanks for your support and I hope to hear from you soon thanks a bunch jen
 
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momuv4girls responded:
Hi again Jen, Sorry for my lag in response - - have a whole ton going on at home right now :( Yay, glad you are going to read THE BIPOLAR CHILD, you will find it very informative and helpful, I use it for reference often. My daughter was dx in 1st grade, and towards the end of the year I did try and homeschool her - it was a huge disaster. I couldn't handle it, and neither could she. Routine and structure is huge for our kids, and with 4-daughters, I could not keep a strict enough schedule, plus socially, my daughter needs interaction with children. She struggles with socially appropriate behavior, and need to learn from her peers. My daughter attends a private Christian school that is very loving and understanding about her illness. She doesn't hit or act out too bad in school, but she does have a lot of inattention issues (ADHD). She does not have a 504 or IEP (yet), but this maybe in her future. I would advise you to go straight for the IEP - 504's are basically useless for our children. Here is a link you may find helpful. www.starfishadvocacy.org/?q=taxonomy/term/6 Here is the link to the website I mentioned you should join also. www.bpkids.org/learn I take my daughter to her pdoc (short for Child psychiatrist) as often as she needs to (until she is stable). There was a time when we would go every week, but now we go once a month to maintain her meds and check in. In my experience, it takes a combination of medication to stabilize a bp child (or adult for that fact). My daughter takes Risperdal, Lamictal and Seroquel. She started off way back when on only Risperdal. It did work well for awhile, then break-through symptoms appeared (this is very common), so we added Lamicatal, then Seroquel. The Seroquel has been a good med for her, and helps her sleep at night. There was a time when she was up to 600mgs per day. We evenly split up her med doses too - that helps a lot. I would give her 300mgs in the morning, then 300mgs at night. One thing to keep in mind, is that this is an ever changing journey. As your son grows and develops, his needs will change a lot. This is why you need a really, really good pdoc on board to work with. Also, depending on what state you live in matters a lot. If you live in a rural area, thats not good either. You will need support, knowledge and a well-rounded community to help work with your son. Take care, and I will check emails later today!!! ((((HUGS)))) -Kathleen
 
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jenrussel replied to momuv4girls's response:
Oh yea!!! I'm so glad the switch is over and that I was able to find you again. I'm a little embarrassed to say I've been worried that our information may have been lost and I wouldn't be able to speak with you again. I've got a meeting set up at my son's school for the 8th of March. I asked for the principal, the social worker, and his teacher to attend. I've got a children's mental health advocate set up to go on our behalf as well. I'm afraid the school will not be as understanding as I'd like but I'm going to hold our ground for a IEP as you mentioned. The school indicated on the phone that he doesn't need an IEP as he excells academically. However, this is only when he's not struggaling. We just finished 3 weeks of make up work from class yesterday. I have been trying very hard to keep some sort of schedule. It's very hard with him. I also in the past two weeks have put him into skiing lessons and he has really taken to it. It seems like he sleeps better and has less nightmares when we go to the ski hill. Does your daughter have sleep issues? My son is terrified at bedtime and screams about being alone. He wakes up every night with night terrors as well. I know I just threw alot of information at you so I'll close today, Kathleen Thank You for your kindiness. I appreciate your gifts of friendship Thanks Jen
 
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momuv4girls replied to jenrussel's response:
Hi again Jen,
Good to hear from you !!

Just right off that bat, I want to say that exercise is HUGE for our kids (if you can find an activity they like and will do). That is really wonderful you found something that will wear your son out and he enjoys. Sleep is most often a big problem for our children. They have night terrors, toss and turn restless most of the night - - no wonder they get up and are crabby bears!

I think it is a wise decision to go straight to an IEP, for all the work and meetings you are going to have to go through, its best to ask for as many accommodations as you can get.
Homework is always an issue.......it should be written up in the IEP that there is very little (if any) school work brought home.

What is the latest on your son's meds? When do you take him back to the pdoc?
Many, many parents have had great success with Melatonin for sleep, have you tried that yet with your son?
Thankfully my daughter sleeps fairly well now since her meds are pretty good. She has her own room and doesn't mind closing the door at night to sleep.
Having bedtime be a battle is difficult, because at the end of the day you just want them to go to sleep because you are exhausted too !! Plus you have a 3-y.o. ! That's a lot to deal with in itself.
Have you picked up THE BIPOLAR CHILD yet ?
Take care, and write back anytime!
((HUGS))
-Kathleen
 
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jenrussel replied to momuv4girls's response:
Hi kathleen, Once again thanks for your responding.It seems lately like Im caught up in this bawl of fury, spinning and spinning, there is no stopping point. Ive had this constant headache for a few days and its so hard to not grip at the kids about it. Im taking them skiing this afternoon and while its the very last thing i want to do Im really hoping that the fresh air will unplug my brain. Ive been giving William Melatonin at bedtime for about a week now, and it's the only thing that is working. I give him his seraquel and hours later hes still awake screaming that he's scared. When I give him the melatonin he calms right down and becomes tired. We dont see the pdoc til the 15th of March. We see the PA on Wednesday the 3rd.She is the one who had William on all the different stimulants so I don't think I want to make anymore med changes with her. The doctor did mention putting William on Remeron at bedtime to help with sleep and his axiety? maybe we'll do that? Im hoping that our skiing trip today will really wear him out, a quiet night before a morning at church would really be nice!!!!!!
 
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momuv4girls replied to jenrussel's response:
Hi Jen,
Oh geez I'm so sorry..... I totally understand your exhaustion and frustration, I hope your day skiing was a tiny bit of a break and some fun.
I am thinking the Seroquel is barely helping..... but glad the melatonin is working.
I am no Dr., but have enough knowledge under my belt to be super cautious of adding an anti-depressant to the mix right now (the Rameron), because if William is bipolar, this will really send him reeling into a bad state.
If I were you, I'd wait until your appt. on the 15th of March with the pdoc before adding/changing/switching meds. Honestly, you need a very experienced, professional child psychiatrist doing the med stuff.
We have tried my daughter on 3-different anti-depressant meds for different reasons (anxiety, ocd stuff and depression) and each med sent her into a very bad place after about 10-days.
I just want you to be cautious and informed.
I understand how us mom's want a fix and our child to be at peace, but along with ADHD meds, anti-depressant meds can be equally as bad (if not worse).
The most typical meds for our children that work are meds like,
Lamictal, risperdal, seroquel, depakote, abilify, and lithium.
There are many meds in-between, but these are the most commonly used (often in unison) to stabilize our childrens mood.
Sadly it is trial and error, because each child responds differently to the same med.
This is when we need to depend on a qualified, experienced pdoc to treat.
I really hope your day went well and everyone is exhausted!!
(((Big Hugs)))
-Kathleen


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