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Old 08-29-2008, 03:18 AM   #1
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raising children with bi polar and being bi polar as well

Does anyone feel the way i do, that raising a disabled child is one day at a time. It's not easy. My son is 4 1/2 and in a special school. He has been progressing very well, i'm worried about when his cousin moves out of state, bi polar people don't like change and i'm afraid he wont go to school much. I want to know if anyone has experience with their child a relative move and how they dealt with it. Also i'm moving downstairs in my sister's apt and he can still go up and down stairs, i know its going to be rough the first few weeks.

Also my son's father doesn't accept the fact his son has bi polar and him walking in and out of his life has created a huge change issues, i took him out of the situation and he hasn't seen his father for a month, is there any single moms with disabled children?

Also i'd like to say that i've been very happy since i joined thank you everyone who replied to my posts so far. you've made me very welcome here and gave me alot of things to think about.

 
Old 08-29-2008, 04:09 PM   #2
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Re: raising children with bi polar and being bi polar as well

Pattee,

I have to ask this question, because as a BiPolar person of 20 years...who diagnosed your son as BP at the age of 41/2? This is a disorder that is normally diagnosed until someone is in there late teen to early twenties...

I've never heard of it being dx'd in a child this young. Have you gotten a second opinion?

 
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Old 08-29-2008, 04:19 PM   #3
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Re: raising children with bi polar and being bi polar as well

b/c of the genetics in my family, and i have bi polar, they noticed bi polar syptoms that were very defined of a bi polar diagnosis child on set bi polar is what they diagonsed him with along with my ehlers danlos syndrome due to dislocation, learning disability and chronic faitgue. he attends a special school where he is in a 12:3 classroom and recieves ot/pt/speech. he is on ssi as well as i am.

 
Old 08-31-2008, 03:32 AM   #4
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Re: raising children with bi polar and being bi polar as well

I agree with kmit. I have never either heard of somebody being diagnosed with bipolar so young. I was surprised to read your post. Good luck to you!

 
Old 09-01-2008, 06:20 AM   #5
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Re: raising children with bi polar and being bi polar as well

Hello Patteecake,

I truly understand where you are coming from. I am not bipolar, but my 9 year old daughter has been diagnosed with bipolar disorder. There is a family history of it on her fathers side. It was very apparent very early on in her life that there was something wrong, and it has taken me this long to find a diagnosis and to get help. I believe part of the problem is that children are not being diagnosed early enough, waiting until they are in the throws of puberty is never a good thing! I have been told that most bipolar children are mistakenly diagnosed with ADD/ADHD or labelled as a "behaviour problem." I am raising her as a single parent (she has two siblings from my fist marriage, who are not bipolar) and it is a huge challenge. My daughter does not manage change well, and suffers from extreme anxiety with her bipolar. This week has been rough with the anticipation of the return to school.
I find that I have to fight for my daughter to ensure that she is getting the help and assistance that she needs. This year it is to make sure that she is on an accommodated plan at school, which is essential to a child with bipolar. We are still in the process of regulating her medication, so the school needs to be proactive. Most of my family does not understand or believe that she has an illness, which is the most challenging issue of all, and I find that there is a lot of stigmatism attached to people who suffer from this disorder. It truly breaks my heart to see the attitudes of some people who do not understand that bipolar is an illness not unlike diabetes or cancer, yet I hear all the time that people should just "get over it." For me, it has become essential to find a support system of family and friends who do understand and are willing to learn about the disorder. Currently, there are no bipolar support groups in my area in regards to children, so I am in the process of starting one.
I am always available to talk if you need. I also find parenting a bipolar child a challenge, and it is always good to have people in your corner who understand. I hope that some of what I have said has helped.

 
Old 09-01-2008, 10:02 AM   #6
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Re: raising children with bi polar and being bi polar as well

based on my childhood with my mother having a problem with my aniexty, my manic attacks, panic, and i was very challenging child. We noticed My son had bi polar at 12mths. He had note terrors, aniexty to new changes, especially with his father coming in and out of his life. also last week he was seperated for 7 hrs from me when he went to the mall with his uncle. it was interesting, he was great, got his hair cut, behaved himself and he ended up that night having a nite terror. He has aniexty attacks when he is in situations that are public crowds, i don't go out much with him for more than an hr.

def we can keep in touch on here. ttys!

 
Old 11-16-2008, 10:48 AM   #7
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Re: raising children with bi polar and being bi polar as well

Quote:
Originally Posted by TearsANDRage View Post
Hello Patteecake,

I truly understand where you are coming from. I am not bipolar, but my 9 year old daughter has been diagnosed with bipolar disorder. There is a family history of it on her fathers side. It was very apparent very early on in her life that there was something wrong, and it has taken me this long to find a diagnosis and to get help. I believe part of the problem is that children are not being diagnosed early enough, waiting until they are in the throws of puberty is never a good thing! I have been told that most bipolar children are mistakenly diagnosed with ADD/ADHD or labelled as a "behaviour problem." I am raising her as a single parent (she has two siblings from my fist marriage, who are not bipolar) and it is a huge challenge. My daughter does not manage change well, and suffers from extreme anxiety with her bipolar. This week has been rough with the anticipation of the return to school.
I find that I have to fight for my daughter to ensure that she is getting the help and assistance that she needs. This year it is to make sure that she is on an accommodated plan at school, which is essential to a child with bipolar. We are still in the process of regulating her medication, so the school needs to be proactive. Most of my family does not understand or believe that she has an illness, which is the most challenging issue of all, and I find that there is a lot of stigmatism attached to people who suffer from this disorder. It truly breaks my heart to see the attitudes of some people who do not understand that bipolar is an illness not unlike diabetes or cancer, yet I hear all the time that people should just "get over it." For me, it has become essential to find a support system of family and friends who do understand and are willing to learn about the disorder. Currently, there are no bipolar support groups in my area in regards to children, so I am in the process of starting one.
I am always available to talk if you need. I also find parenting a bipolar child a challenge, and it is always good to have people in your corner who understand. I hope that some of what I have said has helped.
I'm a world apart from you, Texas, but after reading your post feel like you live next door. My son has 3 children. The mother, diagnosed with bipolar has been in and out of their lives since the beginning. She went to play pool when the oldest was 3 days old if that helps you form an opinion. I knew when the middle child was 2 years old, there was something different about her. She would startle me in the middle of the night just standing there unable to sleep. I really had no idea it was a genetic disorder. She is now 11, and pretty much terrorizing both siblings and her father. It's hard to discipline down here in the lower 48. Take too hard of a stand like my parents did, and you might wind up in jail. I was paddled as a child. Today you can go to jail or lose your children for spanking and yet, her behavior is becoming more abusive everyday. We have even considered some kind of "boot camp". I can't imagine medication controlling the problem entirely. I tested my mom as a teenager. I can't imagine how she will be as a teenager.
Have you heard whether any of the "tough love" boot camps work? I hate the thought of her going to a psychiatrist, she will feel different all her life. Is medication the answer?

 
Old 11-16-2008, 10:58 PM   #8
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Re: raising children with bi polar and being bi polar as well

I have a 2 year old girl(3 in jan)and from the day she came home i knew she was more outgoing as my other kids.She never wanted to sleep even as a newborn and as she got older things got worser.I have been telling her doctor for a while that I felt she had ADHD Or Bi polar and she kept telling me my daughter was just more outgoing than most or that it was the terrible twos but I finally got her to listen to me when I told her my Husband has Bipolar so we are waiting to have her tested in a few weeks.
I have also been told shes too young to have bipolar by family but I need and want to know whats going on with her because I dont think its normal for 2 year old to have a meltdown over (lasting 45mins to 2 hours)someone moving something or because someone isnt where she things they should be,because Im on the phone and she wants me off and when she gets like this she thinks everything is hers.Maybe some of you that are dealing with this can let me know if im doing the right things or is she just being a 2 year old.I forgot when she has her meltdowns she will hit,push,pulls and scream at anyone that trys to talk to her.



 
Old 11-17-2008, 10:17 AM   #9
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Smile Re: raising children with bi polar and being bi polar as well

Quote:
Originally Posted by jmlm4245 View Post
I'm a world apart from you, Texas, but after reading your post feel like you live next door. My son has 3 children. The mother, diagnosed with bipolar has been in and out of their lives since the beginning. She went to play pool when the oldest was 3 days old if that helps you form an opinion. I knew when the middle child was 2 years old, there was something different about her. She would startle me in the middle of the night just standing there unable to sleep. I really had no idea it was a genetic disorder. She is now 11, and pretty much terrorizing both siblings and her father. It's hard to discipline down here in the lower 48. Take too hard of a stand like my parents did, and you might wind up in jail. I was paddled as a child. Today you can go to jail or lose your children for spanking and yet, her behavior is becoming more abusive everyday. We have even considered some kind of "boot camp". I can't imagine medication controlling the problem entirely. I tested my mom as a teenager. I can't imagine how she will be as a teenager.
Have you heard whether any of the "tough love" boot camps work? I hate the thought of her going to a psychiatrist, she will feel different all her life. Is medication the answer?

Hi!
Glad to hear from you! I do not believe that bootcamp will work, as bipolar is an illness, not a behaviour issue. Medication has been a life-saver for my daughter!! I can not stress that enough! So many times these kids are labelled as a behaviour issue because there is so little know about it and how it presents in children. Medication, therapy and a lit of love and understanding goes a LONG way with these kids, if we as parents and loved one find it so difficult to deal with, imagine what these children must be feeling...I can only imagine how lonely they must feel! I honestly feel your anxiety and frustration..I have been there SO many times! I look at it this way, if my daughter had diabetes or another illness, I would treat it with medication. Bipolar is no different, it is an illness, a chemical imbalance in the brain, and medication is required to counter that imbalance. My household has a "no hands" policy..meaning there is no hitting each other (although the kids sometimes forget this!) But as a parent, I refuse to hit my children because I view it as ME losing control, something that I am trying to teach my children not to do *lol* I also dont understand how I could tell my children that hitting is wrong, and then go and hit them as a punishment...to me, it just shows that if you are bigger, it is ok to hit...at any rate it is personal parenting preference.
If your grand-daughter is not diagnosed and on medication, Please seek her help. If she is indeed bipolar she truly needs to be on medication and will probabally need support in school as well. This is a tough issue, as bipolar is not well known through the school system. I can tell you from experience...medication does work, it MUST be taken even if they are feeling good, and they need to couple that with therapy...especially someone your grand-daughters age....I remember female adolesence...*shudders* I wish you the best in dealing with this, and am here if you would like some support.

 
Old 11-17-2008, 10:23 AM   #10
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Smile Re: raising children with bi polar and being bi polar as well

Quote:
Originally Posted by karenrs2002 View Post
I have a 2 year old girl(3 in jan)and from the day she came home i knew she was more outgoing as my other kids.She never wanted to sleep even as a newborn and as she got older things got worser.I have been telling her doctor for a while that I felt she had ADHD Or Bi polar and she kept telling me my daughter was just more outgoing than most or that it was the terrible twos but I finally got her to listen to me when I told her my Husband has Bipolar so we are waiting to have her tested in a few weeks.
I have also been told shes too young to have bipolar by family but I need and want to know whats going on with her because I dont think its normal for 2 year old to have a meltdown over (lasting 45mins to 2 hours)someone moving something or because someone isnt where she things they should be,because Im on the phone and she wants me off and when she gets like this she thinks everything is hers.Maybe some of you that are dealing with this can let me know if im doing the right things or is she just being a 2 year old.I forgot when she has her meltdowns she will hit,push,pulls and scream at anyone that trys to talk to her.



Stick with it! My daughter was the same and everyone told me it was colic as a baby, terrible two's as a toddler and so on....My daughter gave up napping before she was 6 months old, and never really settled into a good sleeping pattern. Her meltdowns would last for hours, she would hit herself, pull her own hair, bang her head, bite herself etc. As a single mother of three...I just knew something was "off" things just did not add up. I will tell you that if your child is bipolar, you will have to become an advocate for her..not a lot is known about it and treatments are still fairly new. Hang in there and continue to get her help....on a side note, for me...family is also an issue, because some of them just refuse to believe that my daughter is sick, they see her as a behaviour issue, and unfortunately nothing will convince them otherwise. I hope that you have support somewhere, parents of bipolar children need all the support they can get!

 
Old 11-30-2008, 08:33 AM   #11
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Re: raising children with bi polar and being bi polar as well

I also knew from my sons early age that something just wasnt right. All the same things that most everyone has spoke of in this post were experienced with my son. He is a very smart,witty 14 yo teenager. His moods can change at a drop of a hat.. You never know... Also, children DXed with BP at an early age, It is just most of us dont find out about it til they are usually much older. They are usually DXed with something else..

 
Old 12-06-2008, 06:06 PM   #12
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Post Re: raising children with bi polar and being bi polar as well

Oh I understand you situation so well....I am a 30yr old single mother of four kids ages 12-11-7-7, I suffer from Bipolar disorder and have since I was a preteen. My 11 yr old and one of my twins were diagnosed with bipolar disorder and all of my kids were diagnosed with ADHD. While I believe the other 2 have ADHD I think my bipolar kids were misdiagnosed as Bipolar and ADHD have a lot of similar symptoms in early childhood.
I saw some posts about age requirements for diagnosis and all I can tell you is this: you know your child, and if something is not right and you knwo it keep on ti utnil you feel you have the answer. As for your child being too young, this is not true. It is "more difficult" to diagnose at that age but not impossible or even unlikely. If there is a family history it makes it easier for the doctor to compare the child' symptoms to that of bipolar disorder instead of looking for an illness that there is no history of.
My daughter has a mild form but my son is 7 and is extremely manic and moody, he is highly destructive, he needs supervision 24/7 to avoid him hurting himself or someone else, he is violent when he doesn't get his way but within 2 minutes acts as if the world is great....his mood swings have gotten very bad over the last year or so. He is the sweetes kid int he world but when his disease rears its ugly head, I feel like he is a totally different child.
I hope you have a great support system and a good doc as this is important. I am struggling with many other issues than just the bipolar disorder but it is definitely at the top of my stresses. Being a parent with bipolar is a blessing and a curse....you can relate and therefore it is easier to understand the behavior. However, due to the fact that people with bipolar disorder have problems coping with extreme stress it is harder to tolerate the behavior we know so well....
I am glad to have joined and hope to find other parents to talk to because let me tell you, it is so nice to talk to someone who knows what you are going through and does not think you are overstating the problem. Good Luck and God Bless
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They say that which does not kill us only serves to make us stronger.....well I have news for you, if that was true I would be like Hercules by now from the stresses of my life.....

 
Old 12-07-2008, 06:49 AM   #13
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Re: raising children with bi polar and being bi polar as well

Bless your heart,

The problem I have with my son , also a single parent, he's not willing to get my granddaughter any help. He's not bipolar. Although he suffers from depression, he doesn't have the highs and lows like his ex-wife had who was diagnosed with bipolar.
Having been a recreational drug user in his early years and still using alcohol I suppose he's afraid drugs aren't the answer and might hurt more than help. I hope he'll see the light before it's too late. She'll be thirteen in April and already, like her mom, shows signs of neediness. I don't want to be a great grandmother anytime soon.

Does anyone know if promiscuity is also a part of the illness?

Thanks,
Linda

 
Old 12-07-2008, 08:39 AM   #14
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Re: raising children with bi polar and being bi polar as well

Adolescents with bipolar often exhibit reckless behaviour and yes, it is part of the illness. Permiscuity is also a part of that as well unfortunately. Open communication, medication, therapy are key to this illness.

 
Old 12-11-2008, 09:11 PM   #15
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Re: raising children with bi polar and being bi polar as well

Okay, first of all the reason that BiPolar in children is often misdiagnosed as ADD/ADHD is because it is very very difficult to diagnose in children under 18.
I cannot even imagine a 12mo old child being diagnosed as BP, how would they even communicate with that child to get a correct diagnosis?

JMLM as far as your grandaughter goes, it sounds like she does not have a very easy life, and she is not being supported very much by her family. If she truly has BiPolar and cycles between depression and manic episodes then her life is most likely very confusing, troubled, scary and painful for her. I have had BiPolar for 22 yrs and as a 39 yr old adult those things still apply to my life, imagine how a child would feel. Why does your son worry about a label put on his child as opposed to his child getting the help that she needs? Therapy for a BP patient can make a world of difference, going to someone that is totally unbiased and being able to tell him/her anything, or just vent/cry/complain, whatever...helps more than you could ever know. Your grandaughter needs to be taught how to deal with this disease as she will have to deal with it for the rest of her life, and if she deals with it properly, she can have a productive, cotrolled, happy life. Meds for moderated to severe BP are generally warranted, although this once again takes alot of trying and patience. Getting the right "cocktail" of meds that covers your depression or manic episodes, or both if you cycle between the two can take some time, or trial and error.

Good luck with your grandaughter and please don't punish her for having a disease that she cannot help being afflicted for, she didn't ask for it, and I'm sure she doesn't want it.

Kat

 
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