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help... my daughter is 10 and is bipolar and adhd

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Old 10-03-2006, 10:14 AM   #1
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: berwick, me
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nickee96 HB User
Exclamation help... my daughter is 10 and is bipolar and adhd

can anyone help me to understand what she is going through. at such a young age she doesn't know how to explain her feelings to me. She has such anger and mood swings i'm walking on eggshells everyday, trying not to set her off. am i the only person out here that is going through this? she will start screaming at the top of her lungs if she doesnt get her way with really small things, for hours and hours. i trie to hide from her when she is like this hoping it will stop. i know i sound like i don't know.... i try to talk to her when she is in that state of mind and it only gets worse. I just need some help. feel like i'm not being a good mother like its all my fault. she is currently taking lithium and concerta and for a few weeks it seemed good. but now it has gone back to the screaming, throwing things, slamming on the walls, scratching me, hitting, and thats why i hide in my room until she is quiet. then she will come to me smiling and laughing like nothing has happened . if anyone knows what I'm talking about or has any thing to say or help me and my daughter get through this please reply thankyou

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Old 10-03-2006, 12:20 PM   #2
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coffeegirl2 HB User
Re: help... my daughter is 10 and is bipolar and adhd

Nickee Here is my situation. I have a son who has the following diagnosis'. SD/ADHD/RAD/FAE. He does the following when he gets mad, naughty, doesn't get his way, or mostly, gets sent to time out... kick, spit, hit, throw things, punch things into the walls, throw things into the walls, throw things at my head, etc. Definitely do not stand for it. I walk into his room, take charge and tell him to stop. Yes; I do get a) hit in the head with objects (in the face sometimes), but I refuse anymore to let this little body control me. I then put him into the corner for a time out unless he is utterly wild, then I have to hold him for a minute and then do the time out right beside me. When I remember too, I call it a 'time in-because it is more positive than a 'time out'. And, always right beside me so he can't move very far away.

For a year, I too, let him control me. It was not a good thing because he thought he was the adult of the household when my DH was away. Manipulation is not a good thing for a child over an adult. And some kids will try anything.

I have Bipolar Disorder, so this is a struggle for me as a parent. He and I are like clash of the titans on some days.

Do not let your daughter know you have fear. Show her you respect yourself because if you don't show her that, then she will not respect you as an adult. So, do not be afraid. Tell her she will lose out on things- take away her favorite things to do. That is what I have learned to do with my son, and it works. He now loses his favorite toys and games and doing stuff with the family when he does these 'naughty behaviors'. That to him, is the ultimate punishment. And it really works.

Go out for ice cream without your daughter, to the mall, to the movie 'she wanted to see- and leave her home'- , Got the idea? You can do this. Do not fear her. She is your daughter.

Another thing. Does she have a pdoc or tdoc? If not, get her help soon. She needs some therapy or assistance, and so do you. Therapy for both of you would be very beneficial in all aspects. We have been through tons of therapy- attachment therapy (sons are adopted), family therapy, group therapy, marriage therapy, individual therapy, and child therapy. Plus our son has his own pdoc and so do I. Our son has changed a lot since we put him into therapy. He just goes through these spurts. Some are due to stimulation problems. That could also be part of your daughters problem as well.

Right now we are trying to get our son into OT therapy. She might benefit from OT therapy for ADHD. THat is something to check out with the insurance and pdoc. Look it up on the Internet for Bipolar/ADHD+Occupational Therapy.

Sorry for the long response. Hang in there.

a loving heart is the truest wisdom

Last edited by coffeegirl2; 10-03-2006 at 12:21 PM.

Old 10-03-2006, 12:25 PM   #3
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Re: help... my daughter is 10 and is bipolar and adhd

Do you know what sets your daughter off? Do you see an increase in tantrums if you tell her to do something when she's in the middle of an activity? I find it interesting that your daughter screams and fights one minute, then calms down before smiling and laughing the next. I'm the same way. I'm not bipolar (my tantrums are related to my Asperger's), but if you have any specific questions, I'd be more than happy to try and help. My mood swings and outbursts have been significantly lessened since I started on the mood stabilizer Lamictal last November, but it's still a daily struggle. I never know what will set me off- I just had a mini crying breakdown fifteen minutes ago...
"Not everything that steps out of line, and thus 'abnormal,' must necessarily be 'inferior.'"
-Hans Asperger

Old 10-03-2006, 01:01 PM   #4
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jgr01 HB User
Re: help... my daughter is 10 and is bipolar and adhd


you mention an interesting point....when I read the initial thread by Nickee, I actually had 'Asbergers' going around in my head. Would it be possible that this is the cause and not BP? Either way it sounds truly terrible and confusing and painful.


Old 10-03-2006, 04:24 PM   #5
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LAP18 HB User
Re: help... my daughter is 10 and is bipolar and adhd

Nikee, be careful. I find that docs are quick to diagnose troubled children with "Bipolar disorder." It seems questionable that at such an early age she has already been daignosed. I do think that somehting is not quite right. But I think you need to spend the next few years trying to figure it out. That means going to differnt therapist and pychitrist until you get it right. My daughter (17) has been recently diagnosed. It took years before it was concluded she was biplolar. She could have Asbergers, or HDAD. Bipolar disorder is a seroius disorder.

her teenage years are going to be the worse for both you and her. A misdiagnosis could be a lot of wasted time and tears. I am no expert, but geez, BIPOLAR already? I don't know. It just sounds like a trivialized diagnosis by a busy PDOC who thinks it's easier to medicate with a mood stabilizer than to actually look into your daughters problem.

I am sorry you are going thru this. It is so hurtful

Old 10-03-2006, 05:03 PM   #6
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goody2shuz HB Usergoody2shuz HB User
Re: help... my daughter is 10 and is bipolar and adhd

Hi, Nikee Welcome to the boards. Sounds as if you can use some BIG (((HUGS)))

I agree that it will take some time to properly diagnose your daughter.....time will tell and it is important that you try to educate yourself as much about Bipolar and then determine for yourself if your daughter fits into the diagnosis. There are so many disorders that can be mistaken for BP and the more you educate yourself and find a good child psychiatrist whom you can trust the sooner you will get your daughter's behavior under control.

One thing I would like to point out is that often when a child is treated for ADHD with stimulants it will actually worsten the Bipolar. From what I have read it is important to treat the Bipolar first and stabilize it and often by doing so it will take care of the ADD symptoms as well. If not, once she is stabilized they can add the meds that will help more with the ADD.

I agree that you MUST get to the point of being able to address your daughter's rages in an assertive manner in which you are able to keep her safe and at the same time allow her to see that it is not acceptable. Realistically, when a child is raging there is no reasoning with need to in a soft but confident voice talk her through. Usually it comes from wanting something and not being able to accept a no. By telling her that she needs to calm down and repetitively keep on saying so in a monotone voice without losing your cool eventually you will talk her down. Arguing and getting upset will only make it worse. When she calms down that would be the time to talk it out stating how frustrated she must have been and how it wasn't a good moment for either of you. And then explain how you would like to make sure that doesn't happen again and what she thinks might help. Even if it is a hand signal she comes up with that indicates that she needs to be alone before it escalates may help out. If you are in danger you need to tell her that you will be in the other room when she is able to talk in a calmer way. Sometimes there is nothing you can do but allow her to ride it out and letting her know that you are still near when she is done.

I know this isn't easy.....I have been there but fortunately the raging didn't get that bad....mine was more verbal cursing and screaming like a viper striking and since being medicated has improved tremendously.

My daughter is 15 and just recently has been diagnosed Bipolar/ADD. I am still struggling with the diagnosis wondering if it has been done too hastily, but through research and seeing improvements with the meds I am beginning to believe the diagnosis to be true. Time will tell and I am keeping my eyes open....for now I am just happy to see the improvements and knowing that whether my daughter is BP or not, she is still the daughter who I love with all my heart and who is special, brilliant, talented and can be anything she wants to be just by going after it.

There is so much support not be afraid to ask any questions for there are many who would love to only have to ask. And Nickee, you ARE NOT alone!!

(((HUGS))) ~ Goody

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