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Anyone have a child with pediatric bipolar disorder?

Our 10 yr old was diagnosed 2 years ago after having a full blown manic episode (unable to sleep, violent, aggressive, turned into a different child).  He is on lithium and doing much better overall, but still has his moments.  He also has high functioning autism, and as such is very immature.  The whole family is constantly on edge because we never know when he is going to have a freak out episode and will start to throw and break things.  My husband and I never go out anymore even though we have 2 teenage kids who could babysit because things can be fine and go south just that quickly.  I also have an 8 year old who adores his brother but he gets so frustrated with him.  

His pediatric psychiatrist tells us that he will outgrow the pediatric bipolar component as that is more of a result of his brain maturing at a slower rate than average but it will get there.  It is just so hard to imagine that when we are living with him in the here and now.  Overall he is a very sweet, loving and caring child who unfortunately cannot currently handle frustration and being told no or change for that matter workout having this really difficult side come out.  It's not behavior management BTW, he was hospitalized for a week while being diagnosed and the doctors agreed that it is like a switch goes on and he truly cannot stop himself.  

What has been your experience?  What has helped?  Please tell me his doctor is right and this will get better (fully understanding the autism component will always be there).

thanks
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1551327 tn?1514045867
COMMUNITY LEADER
I don't really have anything to relate to on that but I wanted to give you a reply anyway. There are a lot of questions that I would ask that doctor if I could talk to him/her.  Bipolar is a lifelong illness and just because he has symptoms of it right now, I would seriously question him being being put on Lithium.  This is just my experience of being put on lithium.  I had a good dr take me off it.  He told me that the therapeutic effect of the medicine isn't always worth the side effects, and they are often worse for children.  Anyway I am not a dr but knowledge is power and being his parent, it is up to you to gather it and be his advocate.

Good Luck and you can also post this under the Ask A Doctor forum for perhaps more information.
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Avatar universal
Thanks.  His doctor said pediatric bipolar disorder is different than adult onset bipolar disorder, in fact she hates calling it that but currently there isn't a better "label" for it out there.  She answered a lot of our questions, but I just wanted to see if anyone has actually lived through this experience and could offer their perspective.  Lithium was a last choice after trying many, many other things for several years.  He has not had a full blown manic episode since...it was horrible, at the age of 8 it required 3 adult men to hold him down and he finally had to be fully restrained with straps to secure his safety and the safety of those around him.  I will try the doctors board, thanks so much. :)
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1551327 tn?1514045867
COMMUNITY LEADER
Your welcome,
I am glad to see that precautions were taken.  Since I found out I am bipolar type 1 I have been looking out for a lot of people struggling with this.  I also worry about the many people who are diagnosed with bipolar and they are not, I have seen it a lot.  However there are more that will never be diagnosed cause it is a hard thing to catch unless someone goes manic, that's how they diagnosed me.  I looked up some things on the internet about his diagnosis and saw controversy about it that is why I was concerned.  And I had a hard time while I was on Lithium and of course you know that it is dangerous with children, but I'm sure he won't likely have to be on it forever.  
They put me on Lamictal which has the side effect of Stephens Johnson Syndrome that can kill you but it was the only medicine that worked.  I will be praying for you and your family.
Helpful - 0
1563217 tn?1300198557
Have you considered dietary modifications, or seeking the help of a nutritionist?  For some, including myself, it has helped tremendously to stop eating fast food, candy, cookies, soda, coffee, etc. in favor of fruits, vegetables, and other non-processed foods. I find I am less reactive to stressful situations and don't have the blood sugar inconsistencies that often precede a mood shift. Also try to encourage healthy sleep patterns and consistent a daily routine (as much as that's possible). There are a lot of actions that can be taken in addition to medication. Good luck to you and your family.
Helpful - 0
4462134 tn?1355854315
Hi, my son was diagnosed with Bipolar in the third grade after 1st being diagnosed with sever depression after trying to commit suicide, was put on anti-depressent only and turned exctremly manic and had to be admitted again. Good News! He turns 19 this friday and although he has not completly grown out of it - it is extremely better. He has his own place, 3 part time jobs, and I could not be more proud of him. It has been a long road and I never thought this day would come, but it did. It was not all good, he did not finish school, but after a while we learned which battles were worth fighting. He now knows he should have finished school and has been talking to a army recruter about joining the service (however with his past - I don't think it is wise) but somehow wants to get his GED. I hope I was able to give you some hope for the future! Good Luck!
Helpful - 0
654560 tn?1331854581
i wish i could give you guys a hig mommy~nana hug~.... the love of my life, my first born grandson has struggled so much. He first showed signs of oppositional defiance... from there he was diagonosed with tics with Touretts and was put on meds.... after that while under the care of a neurologist we had cat scans and mri done and by age 13 he had his first brain surgery... turned out he had a  cyst in his temporal lobe.....which was the culprit to many of his symptoms... he is emothonally delayed and has difficulty with social ineractions... he is 15 now. The cyst has returned and he has opted not to have the surgery because he wasnt to wrestle.... so his meds have been tweeked some... he is such an awesome young man with a heart of gold right up til the time he gets overwhelmed and becomes physical... we have decided to put off the driving thing for a while as me and my husband are buying his car... mentally he is not ready.... keeping him focused in school is our biggest hurdle right now because he always wants to run when thing get tough...i refuse to loose him, so we just keep him encouraged and remind him that eveything he dreams off depends on graduation from school.. he has shown some great signs of maturity in the last month alone... we have put in place clear instructions for him to follow when he gets upset which envolves always calling us... so for now we are on the upswing....he has a EIP in place with his classes in school where they teach and instruct him on an individual level the last class every day..he is in High school now and things are different so our goal for his grades are AA B CC... anything less than that is not acceptable,so he has to stay on tract with his teachers.............it takes a villiage to raise a special needs child.
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