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Old 03-14-2006, 12:25 PM   #1
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novmom HB User
Mom to 5 yr old w/ bipolar/mood disorder

Hi all....

My name is Jes. I'm mom to two kids....my son is 5 and my daughter is 2.

Anyways, after months of going through testing, etc. My son was diagnoised as "possibly experiencing a bipolar disorder." The psychologist said we should just watch him.

The pediatrican agreed with the diagnosis and referred us to a psychiatrist.

They have started him on Depakote and has been on the medicine for a little over a month now. I have seen remarkable difference in him. We still have our moments, but they are not nearly as bad as they were before.

Now, here is where I'm confused. Both the ped and the psychiatrist said they are not going to go as far as to say it is "bipolar disorder" at this time. They are just going to call it mood disorder for now and will just see how it goes. My question is, what is the difference between the two??

Thanks...
__________________
~Jes
Mom to -
6 yr old son, diagnosed w/ Mood Disorder NOS
3 yr old daughter

 
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Old 03-14-2006, 01:55 PM   #2
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BeckyPie7 HB User
Re: Mom to 5 yr old w/ bipolar/mood disorder

Hey,
Wow, I think that's great that they can catch it that earlier. Believe me...I wish I'd known but it took 23 years for me to be diagnosed.
Anyway, in answer to your question. Please keep in mind this is only my opinion and I'm no doctor. I believe that bipolar is a mood disorder but the term, "mood disorder" can encompase more than just bipolar for example depression is a mood disorder also. Anyway, the reason they are just calling it a mood disorder is because he's so young. Perhaps they don't want to slap a label on him and hope that their suspicions are either confermed or denied upon more time and growing older. Being bipolar is a huge label...i've found, and it is something you think about each and every single day of your life. They may be hoping it's a phase or will get better as he grows older and they don't want to just say that's what it is. At that age children still have a lot of developing to do and things will change though no one can say how as of right now. However, I think it's great that you're astute and picked up on his problems so early, you're doing the right thing by having this monitored and I hope that things continue to improve.

 
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Old 03-14-2006, 04:36 PM   #3
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Re: Mom to 5 yr old w/ bipolar/mood disorder

Hi....I am going through the same exact thing with my 14 year old daughter....they cannot definitively diagnose her and are treating her as if she has a mood disorder and the traits that they see. I have been told that with kids, even in adolescence, they cannot clearly diagnose any particular disporder until around the age of 18. As a mom that is quite difficult to understand because we have that need to know what is going on so we can know that we are doing the right thing.

I was told that bipolar is considered to be a mood disorder or an affective disorder. Like Becky already said, there are many disorders that fit under these categories and depending upon what traits are demonstrated at a particular time they are treated as so.

With my daughter, I have been told that they are treating it as if it were a "mild bipolar II" without diagnosing it as so but having similar traits of depression and manic tendencies that is how they determined which meds would be best to start her on. I have been told that she will be monitored and most likely off the meds in about 6-8 months but that still has yet to be determined. From some of what I have read here, for the most part when you are clearly diagnosed with a true Bipolar you MUST be on meds. But then some are either misdiagnosed or only possess the traits of the disorder and treated accordingly as is the case with my daughter. So I guess that with both of us time will tell....you having more time than me!!

Since I am only new to this myself I can only share with you what I am going through. I do know as a mom all we want is to know that are kids are happy & healthy and so long as that is our driving force then everything should be okay.

I wish you luck with you son.

(((HUGS))) ~ Goody

 
Old 03-16-2006, 08:35 PM   #4
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Tylers_Mommy HB User
Re: Mom to 5 yr old w/ bipolar/mood disorder

Hello! I couldn't help but read this thread! This is exactally what they did to Jace intill my insurance wouldn't pay for Jace's meds unless the dx fit the meds. Then the doc was forced to dx him with BP or Jace could no longer have his meds.

I asked the same question to my doctor when he was dx mood disoder and my doc said the same as Becky had said eairler. Mood disorder is just a disturbance in ones emotions. When you look at the dx its pretty much the same as BP in my opinion, just in more broader terms.

Hope it all works out for yous!

Hugz, April Lynne

 
Old 03-17-2006, 09:55 AM   #5
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rids HB User
Re: Mom to 5 yr old w/ bipolar/mood disorder

Depakote is a seizure med. It depletes carnitine, which should be prescribed along with the Depakote.

 
Old 03-19-2006, 02:20 PM   #6
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novmom HB User
Re: Mom to 5 yr old w/ bipolar/mood disorder

Thank you all for your responses.

Everything you all have mentioned makes sense regarding the mood disorder/bipolar disorder distinction. I meant to ask the doctor about that while we were talking, but I had SO many questions!! I do remember the psychiatrist explaining he did not want to go as far as labeling him with the term bipolar at his age. He said as of right now he is going to go with the diagnosis of mood disorder NOS.

It's been a whirlwind few months.....and I'm taking so much information IN that my brain is starting to turn to mush I think. :lol I sometimes feel like I have to learn as much as possible about the disorder so that I can protect my little guy.

We had our first "incident" in public that someone rudely commented on his behavior recently. Granted if he had not been on the meds he would have been 100 times worse. What he was doing was extremely mild in retrospect. Broke my heart....and its just the beginning.

Thanks again everyone.
__________________
~Jes
Mom to -
6 yr old son, diagnosed w/ Mood Disorder NOS
3 yr old daughter

 
Old 03-28-2006, 01:01 PM   #7
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karibradford HB User
Re: Mom to 5 yr old w/ bipolar/mood disorder

Hi Novmom.
You mentioned months of "testing". Do you mind me asking what kind of tests were they? I am fighting to have my daughter diagnosed properly and no one really seems to decide anything. I want to be armed with info when I see the doctor next time and I want to come across that I am well-informed. Thanks!

 
Old 03-29-2006, 06:26 AM   #8
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Re: Mom to 5 yr old w/ bipolar/mood disorder

We are close to being in the same boat and I have found that is very hard to find. My son is now 6 1/2 and my daughter is 3. I noticed problems with my son from soon after birth. When he was 4, he was diagnosed as anxiety disorder/borderline OCD. He took Paxil for 1 1/2 years and when that quit working, we have now been through approx. 4 medications trying to find the correct one. He has now been diagnosed Bipolar and anxiety and takes Lexapro and Seroquel. Trevor's doctor's had no problem with diagnosing him and when they finally settled on Bipolar I was actually relieved as that is what I was thinking all along and now I can provide the school with information. Can I ask how much of the Depokote he is taking? Trevor has only been on Seroquel for 2 weeks but I have seen nothing. Thank you and I'm glad I've found you!

 
Old 03-29-2006, 07:06 AM   #9
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rids HB User
Re: Mom to 5 yr old w/ bipolar/mood disorder

anxiety disorder/borderline OCD are are traits of a person with HFA or Aspergers- is he rigid in his thinking? How about language- advanced or behind? Social skills?

 
Old 04-01-2006, 07:16 PM   #10
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novmom HB User
Re: Mom to 5 yr old w/ bipolar/mood disorder

Quote:
Originally Posted by karibradford
Hi Novmom.
You mentioned months of "testing". Do you mind me asking what kind of tests were they? I am fighting to have my daughter diagnosed properly and no one really seems to decide anything. I want to be armed with info when I see the doctor next time and I want to come across that I am well-informed. Thanks!

I'm sorry I'm just now seeing your msg, I have been super busy the last couple weeks and haven't had much computer time.

All the testing we had done started, I'd say last June. I was originally thinking that my DS (darling son) was experiencing a sensory integration problem. He was also drooling a lot. My DD (darling daughter )....at the time was receiving speech therapy and I had voiced my concerns to her therapist. She told me that I should try to contact the school to see if they could do an evaluation. So that's what I did. They orginally did a speech evaluation on him. Why...I don't really know...because he speaks EXTREMELY well. I have always been told he is an exceptional speaker. He actually scored a year in advanced in the speaking area. But what he *understood* was very behind. She suggested an auditory processing disorder. And he started speech classes.

Then in September, the school (with prompting) wanted to further evaluate him for my sensory concerns. They were horrible. They seriously made me feel like I was making everything up. Why? Because during the three days that they testing him (I wasn't there for the testing, they made me drop him off) he did not have ONE episode and had no issues whatsoever. I was in tears because they looked at me like I had three heads when I was explaining everything we were going through. We had quite a few questionaire type things to fill out. I remember one of them being called the Vineland.

By this time at home and at the sitters it was getting worse, I had had it.....I made an appointment with the pediatrician to discuss everything.

I poured my guts out to the pediatrician....he said he thought my DS may be ADHD, but he also thought something else may be going on and he was going to refer us to a psycholoist for a full evaluation. We also were sent to have an Auditory Processing test done.

The end of October is when we met with the psychologist. This is the first time bipolar was ever mentioned. I told him everything we were going through....the possibility that it was in the family.....and he said he suspected he may be experiencing a bipolar disorder, but said he also is kind of young for that strong of a diagnosis....so it was something we'd have to "wait and see". There was testing he had to have done. But the doc said DS had to be at least 5 years old to do the testing. So we had to wait until Nov when DS turned 5 to have that done. This was a 3 or 4 hour thing that they did. Another thing I was not there for. This I believe was mostly to test for the ADHD. Which the pychologist said he believed he had from the testing.

The pediatrician and the psychiatrist both said that they believe that the ADHD symptoms that he's displaying are him cycling.

I pulled the reports that I have....this is the list of the actual names of the tests that they had done:
These were preformed by the school -
Preschool Language Scale-4 (PLS-4)
Structured Photographic Articulation Test
Differential Ability Scale (DAS) - Preschool Form
Vineland Adaptive Behavior Scales-II
Behavior Assessment System for Children - Second Addition (BASC-2)

These were preformed by the Psychologist -
Wechsler Primary and Preschool Scales of Intelligence
Motor-free Visual Perception Test
Developmental Test of Visual-Motor Integration
Reitan-Indiana Aphasia Screening Test
Connors Continuous Performance Test
Gordon Diagnostic System

Whew....
__________________
~Jes
Mom to -
6 yr old son, diagnosed w/ Mood Disorder NOS
3 yr old daughter

 
Old 04-01-2006, 07:19 PM   #11
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novmom HB User
Re: Mom to 5 yr old w/ bipolar/mood disorder

Quote:
Originally Posted by Trevorsbattle
We are close to being in the same boat and I have found that is very hard to find. My son is now 6 1/2 and my daughter is 3. I noticed problems with my son from soon after birth. When he was 4, he was diagnosed as anxiety disorder/borderline OCD. He took Paxil for 1 1/2 years and when that quit working, we have now been through approx. 4 medications trying to find the correct one. He has now been diagnosed Bipolar and anxiety and takes Lexapro and Seroquel. Trevor's doctor's had no problem with diagnosing him and when they finally settled on Bipolar I was actually relieved as that is what I was thinking all along and now I can provide the school with information. Can I ask how much of the Depokote he is taking? Trevor has only been on Seroquel for 2 weeks but I have seen nothing. Thank you and I'm glad I've found you!

I'm not exactly sure on how the correct way of saying his dosage. But they are 125 mg pills....1 in the morning and 2 at night.

I see your from Michigan. Are you pretty far north?? I'm on the Indiana/Michigan border. If you ever need someone to talk to...feel free to send a PM.
__________________
~Jes
Mom to -
6 yr old son, diagnosed w/ Mood Disorder NOS
3 yr old daughter

 
Old 04-03-2006, 07:24 AM   #12
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karibradford HB User
Re: Mom to 5 yr old w/ bipolar/mood disorder

Novmom
Thanks you so much for the info. My daughter has has some of those tests done in the past 9 years, but not all of them. I go to see her pediatrician on the 12th and I am not leaving until I have her meds changed. Things have escalated from bad to worse here and her dad is having a really hard time dealing with it. I had to cancel a scheduled "girls night out" (a few other moms I chum with go out for dinner and a movie once a month just to de-stress a bit) on Saturday night just to stay home to referee between the two of them. My daughter gets snotty and mouths off and my husband pulls rank and she ends up grounded for about two months. A lot of the time he will instigate things, like for instance, this morning my DD was just coming down the stairs and he said "where's the teen age drama queen? It's not like her not to be causing crap already" and she heard him and that set her off. Of course , when she said something about it, her dad took privileges away and off he went to work. I was left to deal with her in a bad mood with nothing to do but fight with her siblings. It's hard to bak up my DH when I feel he's in the wrong with the groundings when he is the root of it all. It's a never ending battle here and I do not know what to do with it. Yes my daughter has to be diagnosed correctly for her sake but I definitely think my husband needs parenting classses, counselling or something! AS for my DD, thanks to your info, I am going to ask out pediatrician about some of those tests. Thanks again
Karen

 
Old 06-25-2006, 09:54 PM   #13
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Re: Mom to 5 yr old w/ bipolar/mood disorder

Hi Novmom,
I am new to this message board stuff so I hope I am doing this right. I am just curious as to what your son was doing at home. I have a 5 almost 6 year old that has baffled me for years. We have settled on sensory processing disorder but I think there is more to it. He has a tendency to only show his bad side around us or my parents. He is a perfect angel at school and church so I am a lot confused. I think everyone thinks we are making all of it up or that we are crazy. I finally videotaped one of the rages and I will be showing it to his therapist and OT. Can you possibly enlighten me on some of what your son was doing. Thank you so much. tammycoop

 
Old 06-27-2006, 06:23 AM   #14
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novmom HB User
Re: Mom to 5 yr old w/ bipolar/mood disorder

Hi Tammycoop!

I'll try to summerize his behavior real quick...getting ready to leave shortly, but do not want you post to go unanswered. I may forget!!

Basically he's never really been a "bad" child. Just difficult. One thing that he does not do is violent rages. He doesn't hit things, throw toys, be verbally abusive, etc. I've often second guessed the diagnosis because we've never had these things, but I've been reminded that he doesn't have to have every symptom to be bipolar. They have told me that "it may be coming".

Before, he barely slept. He usually would wake for the day around 2:30/3:00 in the morning. And he would be going like the energizer bunny until bedtime. No nap....trying to get him to take one was like pulling teeth so we gave up. We were to the point where we moved his bed in our room just to be able to keep tabs on him.

He would cry at the drop of a hat. Hysterical fits about anything and everything. One thing that would make him happy one time....would make him breakdown another. He wouldn't be able to tell us what is wrong. He would just cry and cry and cry.

He was SUPER hyper. I would be pulling my hair out trying to get him to settle down, but nothing I did worked. He would litterally be bouncing off the walls. I used to say that he was like one of those bumble balls I think they are?? You turn it on and it bounces randomly across the floor. My daughter's therepist said it was a perfect analogy.

He would be misbehaving and I would tell him to stop and he would continue to do it. We tried everything possible disapline wise...from the corner to time out to even spankings. He would continue to do the exact same thing. You'd say, "What did I just say!?" and his response would be..."I dont remember" *boing boing boing*

The weird thing about the hyperness is that he could be sitting there good as pie one minute and then BOOM bouncing off the walls.

When we would go to any store...he would RUN the entire way. We never could keep him by us. He would just take off and be isles ahead of us. The boy NEVER walked....ever.

There's more, but I'm drawing a blank. Those were just the biggest things I remember. He's currently on two meds and he is doing GREAT. I'm so happy right now with the results.

Good luck!! If I think of anything else, I will try to post!
__________________
~Jes
Mom to -
6 yr old son, diagnosed w/ Mood Disorder NOS
3 yr old daughter

 
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