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Old 06-07-2010, 04:42 PM   #1
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difference between ADHD and Bipolar disorder. Help my son is

10 yrs old and has been diagnosed with ADHD ever since he was in preschool. We tried for a year without any medication. There was no way we could do without the medicine. We adjusted his diet, such as no fastfood,very little sweets, no processed food etc, but he was struggling too bad in school. Well for years the medication helped him alot, but as of late I'm beginning to wonder if he suffers from bipolar disorder.

For the past 6 months, he has dramatic mood swings. He's always been very emotional, but he just simply will not follow directions. Whether it's brushing his teeth,getting dressed, or coming to the dinner table, it takes all of me to get him to do anything. His day could be fine and if he doesn't get his way just one time, he will pout for hours. I have never seen a child this stubborn in my life. We have tried taking his toys out of his room,spanking,and he gets very destructive when he is disciplined. During spring break, we were going to the beach and he was on the computer before it was time to leave. Well i told him to sign off and that we were ready to go. (all of our family was ready) He was so angry and he pouted the entire time at the beach. Even when we came home he poured water on my hardwood floors because he couldn't get on the computer when we got home. He is becoming very destructive when he's upset. He cannot shrug things off at all. Now, he is very sweet when things are ok. I have cats and he is very loving to them. I'm just confused. It seems more than ADHD to me now. Just looking for some insight please

 
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Old 06-07-2010, 10:34 PM   #2
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Re: difference between ADHD and Bipolar disorder. Help my son is

Behavioral problems aren't necessarily a sign of bipolar.

The longer you're on a med the more likely it is to become less effective, it's called tolerance. He may need to change his medication, or change the dosage. Couselling can serve two purposes, both to help him learn new emotional control skills and monitor for signs of mood disorder.

 
Old 06-11-2010, 08:18 PM   #3
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Re: difference between ADHD and Bipolar disorder. Help my son is

I dont think he's bipolar. Sounds more like he's spoiled. And I dont mean that as a negetive mark against you.....I have 3 very spoiled son's who have recently found their little worlds turned upside down as a result! It's working too! You absolutely HAVE to be consistant! There is no room for being too tired to discipline, or letting it slide this once. The first two weeks are HORRIBLE! But after that, they start to get the drift that your serious. I have a 2, a 5, and a 9 year old, all boys. These kids will get rowdy, the 5 year old will get distructive, tell me no, hit at me......It was absolutely intolerable. My husband passed, so I have been raising.....I mean spoiling them....all on my own! I too, thought I had done EVERYTHING. I had done time outs, taking away privilages, early bedtimes, spankings, talks, reasoning, bribery, and pretty much anything else you can think of. The only thing I NEVER did, was be consistant. ITS HARD WORK! Really hard! You may literally get nothing done but chase after them and let them know who is boss the first couple days. But in the past few months, they are polite, they tell me they love me, I enjoy my time with them, in fact, I spend a lot more time with them. The video games and computer got taken away for good, and the tv is on a lot less. We do a lot more active things which helps, and we are all in general, a much happier crew. There are still days of arguing, whinning, etc......today in fact was one. So they got an early bedtime because they must be sleepy or they wouldn't be that crabby, and I needed a break! Tomorrow, they will be much nicer I'm sure. And that's the beauty of it. We all know what to expect from each other now. They know what their consequences are, as well as why they got them, and I know I can count on them learning their lesson now, and life is much better. Like I said, lots of work to start with, but well worth it in the long run, and once the dust settled, you will realize it is much easier to stay on top of it! Good luck!
Melissa

 
Old 06-13-2010, 07:39 AM   #4
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Re: difference between ADHD and Bipolar disorder. Help my son is

Do some research on "mood disorder NOS" or "oppositional defiant disorder."

I have similar issues with my daughter. You have my empathy/sympathy.

Last edited by Brocallie; 06-13-2010 at 04:12 PM.

 
Old 06-13-2010, 06:47 PM   #5
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Re: difference between ADHD and Bipolar disorder. Help my son is

It it highly unlikely your son is bipolar. It is only in the last 2 decades that children under 16 were ever diagnosed as bipolar. Drugs should be used as an absolute last resort especially in a growing child.

Having said that, here are my 2 suggestions: (1) Find a sport or activity he likes. He needs to be able to constructively burn off his energy. Plus, exercise has repeatedly shown to be an effective treatment for depression. (2) Establish open communication with him. He needs to know that you take him and his moods seriously, and that he can tell you anything. Try not to respond in an emotional way (if he sees panic in your eyes he'll stop sharing). He'll indicate to you if he needs professional help.

Good luck with everything.

 
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