Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Childhood Bipolar, Anxiety, Depression and ADHD

A little background: #1 has had behavioral and mental health issues for a number of years, they really started to become prominent right around his 5th birthday, by the time he was 5 1/2 I had had him evaluated for ADHD because he was acting hyperactive and talking about hearing voices. The evaluation went well and he was diagnosed with an Anxiety disorder and they said they saw no signs of ADHD. Well that was alright I suppose, but how do you deal with Anxiety in a 5 year old, especially when you're dealing with your own anxiety and depression issues and your whole family is going through major changes and you feel like you're completely up in the air, unsure where you will land?

3 years later, he is 8 years old, we have struggled the last few years with lots more turmoil, though a lot more stability and structure as well. We have had case management who have helped us get multiple therapists for him (individual as well as family therapy), a behavioral health professional, etc. It got to the point where he had a total melt down and was hospitalized because his actions were putting himself and other family members in danger.

It was probably the hardest thing I have ever had to go through as a mother.

He was there for nearly 2 weeks, and they put him on Prozac for the Anxiety and Depression he had been diagnosed with previously that their psychiatrist confirmed from what he could see.

There is a strong family history of Bipolar and I had been concerned about that for a few months previous because of some of his actions, I mentioned this to his last therapist and she basically told me that bipolar is a made up condition used as a diagnosis when there's no clear explanation for someone's behavior. FRUSTRATING!

I brought this up to the staff when he was hospitalized and they kept note of it, and I also spoke to their psychiatrist about it, though he only met with my son once or twice.

Since being released the Prozac stopped working, and the psychiatrist my son is seeing now said that that, along with the way I have described his behaviors over the past few weeks (similar melt downs to before he was on meds at all), makes her believe he may have a mood disorder. She said he is too young to be diagnosed Bipolar, but they can put him on Medication to help stabilize his moods and gave me some samples of Abilify (the same medication my step sibling was on for bipolar at age 13).

She also brought up the possibility of ADHD, even though I have had him diagnosed in the past, she said it wouldn't hurt to consider a re-evaluation, or to try him on ADHD meds down the road to see what happens, as it typically goes along with mood disorders.

I didn't think it was even possible that he might have ADHD until yesterday I completely by accident came across this entry on Mommy Needs Therapy... Or A Glass Of Wine - a blog I follow on Blogger - and she talked about a new behavior program... well I will quote her:

"We are implementing a new behavior program with Noah and I'm going to be blogging about it on a new site I'm setting up. Stay tuned for more information! This a big deal for our family and I'm very excited to be working with Debra Sale Wendler the Respect Effect Mom. I met her on Twitter as @adhdparenting. So far I'm very impressed with the program even though it is a lot of work and at times it scares the hell out of me because it's making ME change a lot about myself and how I parent. So seriously, stay tuned!"

I clicked the link to Respect Effect Mom and the FIRST entry on her blog talked about "unofficial red flag ADHD alerts you rarely hear mentioned" and as I started reading through this list I was like OMG THAT'S MY KID!

So I signed up on her site and Here's hoping for success!

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