Hi everyone thank you for taking the time to read my post
From a very early age, I have had concerns about my now 4 and a half year old son, and his latest episode of rage has pushed me to seek help. A joke by a dear friend today that my son is "totally Bi-Polar", saw me seeking some serious information on the issue, in turn leading me here. I seek the opinions of parents with Bi-Polar children as to whether my concerns are very real, and if I should seek the advice of a professional. I will certainly do so in any event, should I believe my son is a danger to himself, or others.
Let me start by saying that my son has always been disciplined for unacceptable behaviour in what I believe to be a fair and consistent manner. Despite this, his behaviour has always been horrendous to the point that the other children in the street are not allowed to play with him. Yes, I am guilty of picking my battles however, he has never gotten away with the big issues or been spoilt.
He is so easily frustrated by the smallest misunderstandings, or by being too excited to get his words out fast enough. He obsesses over things like a new toy, and if he can't have it right now he becomes incredibly frustrated. He will try any which way to obtain it, and will not give in until he does. This can last for several weeks until someone finally buys it for him. He will even lie to family members saying things such as "Mum wanted to buy it for me, but she had no money and it made her sad that she couldn't". For a week after we got new neighbours, my son unprovokedly yelled "somebody help me, she is hurting me, somebody help" and once told the lady over the back fence "I am so hungry mum wouldn't give me any breakfast or lunch and I'm starving". As embarassing as these things are, they are the least of my worries, but you can understand how socially isolated I am becoming as his fabrications become increasingly creative.
If my son suspects he's caught out in a lie, he will try to manipulate the situation. If called on it, he will explode with the most vicious, hurtful things he can muster. If he isn't satisfied with the reaction he receives, he will seek out any valued posessions, and destroy them, or attempt to. I am constantly astounded by his intelligence. If only he would use his powers for good!! It is so hard to believe such a young child could be so coldly calculating and deliver these remarks and actions with such intent. He will say "go on, cry mummy, cry". Any kind of sadness or hurt he sees only seems to provoke him more. When asked at times why he's done something, like pull out plants or scratch the new tv or tip out a new bottle of shampoo he will say "because I wanted to make you cry".
In saying that, within 30 seconds he will at times feel overwhelming despair. He will sit down and cry and say things like "I'm stupid, I can't do anything right". My son is far from stupid and has been leaps and bounds ahead developmentally from the age of 6 months. I constantly reassure him, even when he's not feeling down. I provide huge amounts of praise and rewards for good behaviour, which he thrives on.
I am deeply troubled by his anger. He has been violent since he could lift a bottle. He will have fits of rage which can last for hours, almost an entire day at times. During these rages he will physically shake with anger, scream, and turn bright red. He has started punching doors or walls and I've had to restrain from hitting himself in the head or face more than once :'( He once tried to smash his bedroom window which scared the life out of me. What if I hadn't heard the first strike at the glass? What if he had succeeded?
My son dearly loves his pets but we've learnt that he can't be left unsupervised for a second. Take him to feed the ducks and he will try to hit them in the head rather than feed them, fairly normal for a little boy I suppose! Throwing stones at butterflies also pretty normal but trying to seriously injure or kill puppies, cats, birds or lambs is not. He can be so gentle and kind one minute, and so cold the next. We are from a rural area, he's always been exposed to animals and not only does know better, he would never dream of hurting an animal 80% of the time.
Last year my son was hospitalised to have his tonsils removed. When the nurses needed him to take some paracetamol his reply was "if you make me I will kill myself". He literally cannot stand being told what to do. He constantly calls people, including me, "stupid" and "idiot" and genuinely means it. He truly thinks that at 4 years old he knows better than me or any adult. This may sound somewhat strange but at times he will speak to me in great disdain. He continues to spit on me even though he is disciplined every time.
I'm sorry this is such a novel but to be honest I don't have much of a support network. Most of my family and friends stopped visiting and the rest think my son behaves this way because he is spoilt or let run amok. I assure you this is not the case.
Today my son, in a fit of rage, told me that when I go to sleep tonight, he is going to take one of my knives and stab himself in the heart because he wants to die :'( I can't for the life of me work out why such a thing would cross his mind. I love him more than anything in the world and I have learnt to deal with his behaviours- what I can't bare is him being so troubled and unhappy. Surely a small child could not harm himself in this way? I'd much rather not take that risk and I've locked anything sharp in my car but obviously I'm hugely troubled by this announcement.
What I hope to gain from this post is some advice on whether you relate to any of this. Am I imagining ANY malicious intent behind his behaviour? To date this is the only answer I've gotten when appealing to family for advice. The incidents I've mentioned are far from isolated and there are many other concerns I have.
Thank you again for reading and I very much look forward to your input.