Sorry, I'm venting here, but now I want to say: can everyone raise their hands if they have ever felt like kicking their child's doctors! Hmm, does there seem to be a lot of hands in the air along with mine? I called my daughter's pediatrician two days ago to talk about the possibility that she might be bipolar (she's 13). Now I had asked about her diagnosis when we first started to see him 6 years ago and every so often since then and he always told me her diagnosis is ADHD with agressive and impulsive tendancies. When I mentioned the bipolar he told me that she is too young to be diagnosed as bipolar although he has her on the risperdal for oppositional defiance disorder and concerta for the ADHD (but of course now that I mentioned it, he feels she may have the onset of bipolar!) Not once did he ever mention bipolar to me..I had to figure things out on my own. I see him again in the middle of April and told him that we would be talking about it and that I wanted my daughter's meds changed. His reply was risperdal is the drug of choice. I told him tough, that it did not appear to be working anymore and that he had better have some info for me when I get in there and that I wanted a referral for a child psychologist. (I had asked for one two years ago, but got the song and dance about waiting lists being so long and never actually got the referral ). I think that we may have to have children's aid society involved in the near future (which might get us to a psychologist faster) as some things are coming to light that my daughter may have been molested while staying over at a friend's house last October. I have been trying to get her into counselling for other stuff but she refuses to go and the counsellor says I can't force her to go. Since I started reasearching bipolar I have been watching more carefully and have noticed that she has started slipping into minor depressions but they do not last for very long. Maybe half a day at the most. Today she was in such a manic state that I tried everything I knew and ended up tossing her backpack out on the porch and I told her to go to school. We have been through this before and her next step would be to physically assault her little brother so I got her out of the house before that could happen. I also called the school and told them what was going on so they would know that, no I did not kick her out of the house. (That would be what she would tell them) I had also overheard my daughter and a friend of hers talking about how the group of friends they hang out with have been bringing stuff like weightloss pills and cold remedies to school and taking them to get a buzz. I have talked to my daughter and told her that I really hoped she was not doing it too as with the meds she is on, no one is sure what the inter-reactions could be and that it could have a serious outcome. She denies taking anything they offer her, but I don't believe her. I have been catching her in a lot of lies lately. I am also keeping a close eye out for any cuts on her arms. I am trying to stay on top of things with her but don't know wverything to watch for. Anyone with similar past experiences want to share thier stories? I'd love the support!
This must be so diffacult for you. I was doing the same thing when I was your daughters age although my mother did not have the insight to know that I was suffering from a mood disorder. It was only until I was 25 that I was able to get my diagnosis on my own.
Your daughter is experiencing not only normal teenage hormones but she is trying to deal with the experience of being molested as well. This alone can cause severe school and mood changes because teenagers don't posess the skills needed to handle such a situation. There is a lot going on inside her head. I strongly suggest that you remain calm and don't force her to do anything. Try to open a conversation with her. It's going to be diffacult and it will more than likely take severaly tries to get her to talk to you. Please, please try not to yell at her. I know that this is frustrating to you and that it may be diffacult to understand your daughter but if she feels as though you are trying to control her or that you're angry with her she will pull away evan more.
I started having really bad experiences as a 6th grader and my problems only got worse from there. I was having to deal with an unstable home life, being molested by a family member, learning diasbility, and being bipolar. All of these things took their toll on me, at age 16 I stole a car and ran away. I started using drugs at seven teen and. Thankfully I realized that I needed to get help. To make a long story short, I needed someone to take the time to try to understand what was going on inside of my head. I know that I couldn't make sense of it all.
Really listen to what your daughter is saying, verbally and non-verbally. Try to be honest with her and tell her how you are feeling. If she knows that you are a person and have feelings (worries, pressures, etc.) she will be more likely to let down her gaurd. Let her know that her behavior is really fightening you and that you want to help her but you need to know what she is really feeling. Like I said earlier this isn't going to happen over night. She needs to feel like she can trust you. Comunicate with her on a mature level. Have you considered family therapy. I know that she said that she doesn't want to go but maybe you could strike a deal with her where the two of you go in together and she just sits there and listens while you speak with the therapist/counselor. Let her listen to the conversation that takes place with the therapist. Eventually she may choose to open up.
As far as the doctor situation goes...If they don't want to listen to you and heed your concerns then you should fire them. This is your little girl and if they don't want to take your concerns seriously then take your insurence else where. There isn't the time to screw around with something as serious as bipolar. It has been proven that the disease gets worse if left untreated. This is a pivotal time in your daughters life. Please be patient with her and be on those doctors day and night until someone listens to you. Try going to the NIMH (national institute of mental health) web page. Maybe they can point you in the right direction as to where to find a doctor that specializes in childhood mental health in your area. Best of luck to you and your daughter. I hope that this was helpful for you. Should you have any questions I would be glad to share any knowledge that I have with you. Just drop me a line.
Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! It was very helpful having someone voice things from my daughter's point of view. I try to be non-reactive when I deal with her and not yell but at times it is hard especially when she is violent with her sister and brother. I do try to share my feelings with her but she ususally turns it around to mock me. I have to keep remembering that she is using that as a protection and I have to look beyond it. I learned long ago that when her behaviour gets really off the wall that I have to do detective work to find out what is really bothering her. Many times things seemed to come out when I stay in her anger and end up just holding her when she is in one of her tantrums. So far that has not worked since October. It is hard here in Ontario, Canada to get various doctor's opinions (with the shortage of doctors and everything is covered by the Ontario Health Insurance Plan) Once you get a doctor, it is hard to change to another one. We have been through the Childrens Mental Health Unit here in our community (known as Open Doors) about three times and they are totally useless. They ended up telling me that I am doing everything I possibly can for my child and what do I want from them. They basically told me that she would not be eligible for their caseload again. With some afterthought, I think I mainly called the pediatrician the other day to give him heads up as to what I want and I actually expected resistance from him. At least now he knows what I expect from him when I get in there and he had better have answers for me. Her dad is in denial that she may be bipolar, and believes that she can control her behaviour and no matter what I tell him, he still disciplines her as her always does, which I feel is not fairly. I have tried to get him to try to discipline her in half day increments of lost privileges but nope...he won't. He will ground her from the phone/computer for 5 days no matter what she has done...whether its a minor or a major offense such as just saying "whatever" in a snotty voice to beating the crap out of her brother. She told me that if she is going to get the same punishment all the time then she might as well make sure it is all worth it. Which is her way of justifying the big stuff. I have suggested the counselling with the two of us but it ususally triggers an upset so I back off. Thanks for suggesting repeated tries...that might work. I know that I will not give up on her. I want her to have as much as a normal life as possible.Tonight she came home from school as nice as can be, a complete opposite from when she left this morning. I talked to the vice principal and apparently she was a model student today at school! I spent the whole day in turmoil! Good deal, huh? Thank you once again Sarah...I really appreciate it.
Not a problem! I want help. You sound like a wonderful mother and there will come a time when you daughter will appriciate all that you have done for her. Your husband on the other hand is NOT helpful. I hate to judge him because I don't know the full situation. I can tell you from my experience that my father was a strong displinarian, to the point of child abuse. It's taking me a lot of hard work to get over that. I think that maybe the two of you need to sit and try to talk to each other about mental illness. Unfortuatly there are many people who stigmatise it. When you suffer from mental illness you can not just snap out of it. You can not just pull yourself up by the boot straps. It doesn't work that way. He needs to not react when she acts like a little b***h. It's very, very diffacult. If he reacts then your daughter feels as though her actions are justified and it will become a a power struggle between the two of them. What he should do when she acts that way is ask her why she said that or what caused her to say that. He should be prepared for a snody remark and an inappropiate tone. That's how teens are. If he can learn to stay calm and be the adult eventually things will change. It sounds like you are doing an awsome job with her. Keep it up. She will thank you later in life. I have one more suggestion that may sound a little drastic but have you ever considered taking her to a hospital for in patient treatment? It's highly stigmatised but when you are in a hospital the doctors can watch 24/7 and get her on the right meds. I had a problem with violence myself; sometimes I didn't evan know what I was doing. I hate to admit that a few times I can very close to strangling my little brother to death. It is shocking to me now that I could have ever done such a thing but I wasn't in my right mind. I'm not sure how the mental hospitals work up in Canada but it might be something to consider. There she can meet with others who share her same problems. Sometimes just knowing that someone else feels the same way can make a huge difference. Your daughter needs to learn ways to control her anger and express it in the appropriate way. THe next time that she gets upset and says "I hate you, I wish you were dead", respond by calmly saying "I understand that you are very angry with me right now, what is it that you are angry about." Be prepared for the attitude that will follow but listen to what she is saying and don't make lite of it. Validate her feelings, let her express them and then give her a big hug (if she will allow it) and tell her that you love her no matter what. That is very important for her to hear. She needs to hear that you love her no matter what she does.
You are a fantastic mother and I admire your determination to help your daughter get through this. If you would like to e-mail with questions or would like to hear more feel free to e-mail me at [email]REMOVED[/email].,
Good luck and take care,
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