Go Back   NeuroTalk Support Groups > Mental Health Conditions > Bipolar Disorder > Parents with Bipolar Children

Very Concerned Mum

Reply
Thread Tools Display Modes
Unread 12-01-2008, 07:04 AM   #1
Miss Positive
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Australia
Posts: 6
Default Very Concerned Mum

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.
Miss Positive is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 12-01-2008, 07:20 AM   #2
Koala77
Super Moderator
 
Koala77's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Australia
Posts: 11,972
Default

I'm so sorry that I don't have any answers for you, but your post has really touched my heart.

I can't even begin to understand what you've been through with your son, but I wanted to reach out and tell you that you're no longer alone.

Welcome to NeuroTalk Miss Positive. If your screen name is indicative of your will-power, then you will get through this stressful time with your son.

I do hope that some-one with some answers will come along soon and help you out.
__________________
Eastern Australian Daylight Savings Time
and
my temperature


.

Koala77 is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 12-01-2008, 07:49 AM   #3
Kitty
Super Moderator
 
Kitty's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 19,531
Default

Hello and welcome to NeuroTalk. I'm impressed by your user name as you really have been through so much with your son and at such a young age, too. He sounds much older than his years. I empathize so much with your situation....I cannot imagine how much it must trouble you to watch your child struggle so. I'm sure someone will come along with some good advice for you. I just wanted to welcome you to the group and let you know that you and your son are in my prayers.


__________________
Multiple Sclerosis (MS)
Dx October 2005


.




Kitty is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 12-01-2008, 08:23 AM   #4
Miss Positive
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Australia
Posts: 6
Default

Thank you both for your kind replies

They say a problem shared is a problem halved, and though I'm not convinced, I am certain surrounding yourself with strong, positive and kind people can only improve any situation.

As I mentioned, my support network is really very poor these days so your kind words mean more than you know!

I feel somewhat guilty bringing up these issues when we have so much to be grateful for. Despite our obvious problems, I think I'm the luckiest person around having such a clever little man in my life He really is the most wonderful little boy, so bright and kind, things aren't always bad.

Although I know nothing about BP, knowing what it's like to be in need of a bit of support, I hope I can perhaps give back to this group in a small way.
Miss Positive is offline   Reply With Quote
"Thanks for this!" says:
Koala77 (12-01-2008)
Unread 12-01-2008, 11:03 AM   #5
Jaspar
Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Posts: 290
My Mood:
Default

There is information at the Child and Adolescent Bipolar Foundation (http://www.cabf.org) and the Bipolar Child ( http://www.bipolarchild.com/ )

Funny how a chance remark by a friend (or even a stranger) can be so revealing.

Jaspar
Jaspar is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 12-01-2008, 11:19 AM   #6
Bdix
Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: almost New York
Posts: 210
Default

From the time my oldest son was born until he was 6 1/2 years old life was a nightmare. Even saying that today makes me feel guilty, but it was.

My child NEVER stopped crying. He NEVER slept for more then about an hour at a time. I was convinced he had broken a bone during birth because it wasnt a "hold me; feed me" type cry - it was a high pitched SCREAM that would last until he exsausted himself and he fell asleep for a short time. The doctors said colic.

At 6 1/2 months he started crawling - and life took another turn. Now, he could crawl around and get to the things that caught his attention - so the screaming constantly went to screaming from pure exsaustion because he COULD NOT stop moving - ever. Sleeping was still next to never. He hated being confined to the car seat - so I couldnt even drive around to get him to sleep.

When he started walking, things seemed to improve a tiny little bit. He still could not sit still to save his life, but the hours and hours of crying slowed down a bit. He replaced it with anger. For no apparent reason, he would get angry and throw himself down on the hardest floor, sidewalk, or area he could see and bang his head repetedly. We were unable to leave him alone because he would draw blood from doing this if someone wasnt RIGHT there to stop him.

I went back to the doctor and just cried, begging him to figure out what was wrong. The first doctor was convinced we were idiot parents who were not living up to their job. I swear on the lives of everyone I have ever cared about that this was not the case. The next doctor observed and stated that he was showing early signs of ADHD. Because he was injuring himself, the doctor wanted to research some safe medication and start him on it. (he was 2) This is when I hit the books and started researching on the web.

I studied every single thing I could FIND on ADHD. Two things stood out very clearly to me. 1. ADHD kids do not go 8 days without sleeping and 2. do not fly into a fullblown rage that can last just as long.

He was extremely intelligent - was reading books unassisted at age 3, figured out football (to the utter pride of his father) at 4. He would bounce around the room and watch a game and be able to call the plays, etc. etc. But he could not hold a pencil, coloring would throw him into a rage, and a game of Pick Up Sticks I purchased ended up broken in half within ten minutes. (Still to this day, writing is a trigger for him.)

More doctors, no help. When he started Kindergarten he got a godsend of a teacher that concentrated on his strengths and didn't draw much attention to the weaker areas. He rarely "sat" to do his work, but it worked out well. At home things were still chaotic. At one point he was so exsausted and out of control he picked up a 30inch tv and dropped it . It was more then double his body weight. I hit a brick wall at that point and had no clue what to do knowing full well that it was critical that something be done...

Things got worse at school. Things got worse at home. My marriage was starting to go downhill, as dad and I had not had a full nights sleep in 6 years. We couldnt hire a babysitter because no one else knew how to handle him. Friends drifted away, kids from school quit coming over, and we were still no closer to finding any answers.

Long story short, one day when I was in the process of personal breakdown, I saw a commericial on TV for a behavioral center 3 hours away from us that specialised in diagnosing children with "behavioral issues". (and I still thank whatever higher power interviened that day.) I laugh about it now, but I watched the commercial, wrote down the address, threw both kids in the car and started driving without even calling the number. The commercial had described my son to the letter. When I got there I walked up to the receptionist desk in tears, told her I'd seen their commercial, and desprately needed help. They were booked solid, but the doctor agreed to see us on his lunch hour since I felt the situation was critital enough to drive 3 hours without an appointment (and the fact I was bawling and begging for help didn't hurt either I'm sure) We ended up staying the night there in a hotel (my husband was a bit in shock when I called to tell him where we were lol) but the next day I was handed the early onset bipolar dx. It fit.

We started him that night on a very low dose of Zyprexa. And that night he got the first full, good night's sleep he had ever in his life had. We were in shock. I remember that I did not get a wink of sleep that night because he had NEVER slept before, and I was scared to death the medication was hurting him...

I still remember what he said the next morning when he got up. "Mommy, I dont feel stupid anymore. My hands do what my head tells them to do." It was a miracle; and one that I will never forget. He looked so peaceful and beautiful that morning.

Its been a long, rough haul, but my child (now 12) is now successful, happy, able to make and maintain friends, and best of all, PROUD of himself. For us, the medication saved not only my son, but myself, my marriage, and my family. Of course, we still have our ups and downs, our good days and bad days, hurdles and challenges, but we are all much better at handling things as they come up.

My son is still very easily overwhelmed and is extremely impulsive, but he's a different child! The severe outbursts of anger and minipulation are gone, the feelings of "i wish I were dead" are a thing of the past, and he is now just a normal pre-teen boy successfully living with a disability.

As for a support network, if you need help locating resources, support groups, and services in your area let me know! I turned the experiences with my son into a degree and career and run a non profit center for children with mental health disorders.

Welcome to the board.
Bdix is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 12-01-2008, 10:03 PM   #7
Miss Positive
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Australia
Posts: 6
Default

Bdix I very much relate to some things you have mentioned!!

Sleep has always been a HUGE issue. He did not sleep for more than 20mins at a time for the first year. Doctors told me it was Colic, then reflux. Nothing helped. I resigned myself to the fact that no new mums get enough sleep. He did not sleep for more than 2 hours until 6 months ago. A year ago a Specialist decided it was his tonsils causing him to wake, and promptly removed them. There was no improvement. It seems to be something he's finally grown out of BUT I still literally have to drag him out of bed each day like a grumpy old bear- no matter how much sleep he gets.

I also relate to the anger!! Not only did he start hurting himself when he was finally mobile, but hurting others. I didn't think too much of it, thought he was too small to understand but the older he gets and the more he understands, the more hurtful he becomes. He split my partner's head open with a glass at 2, split my lip weekly with anything within reach, would headbut when he couldn't do nothing else, bite, kick, headbut walls. He actually made my partner black out once by trying to choke him He genuinely thinks one night he will wake up with my son standing over him about to kill him and believe it or not, he threatens it regularly.

EVERYTHING is a battle, every day. Getting up, getting dressed, every meal, bathing, getting dry, bedtime stories, going to sleep, grocery shopping (forget any other kind of shopping). I've slowly gotten used to this and learnt what not to say or do to make matters worse, but if we're in a hurry to go somewhere we either can't make it or it's WW3.

He can be such a sweet, happy little boy when he wants to be but I am starting to suspect that he really does hate me Nothing delights him more than being as hurtful as he can. When he is screaming that he hates me I always respond with "well I love you" and he only gets angrier and he will say "no you have to hate me" but no matter what he says or does, I could never!!

Does anyone know where I can go or who to talk to in NSW Australia? I read an article last night (I can't post links yet but please let me know if you'd like to take a look) and the likelihood of getting professional help does not sound promising for us. Quote: "Every kid's mood goes up and down during the course of the day", "The response from most of the rest of the world is that the Americans have gone hysterical." This is in part the same attitude I've been met with when we've mentioned any of this to anyone reliable like grandparents etc. It's very disheartening when we know something is very wrong.

Thank you for the links Jaspar, much appreciated and I'll take a look at these now.
Miss Positive is offline   Reply With Quote
"Thanks for this!" says:
Bdix (12-01-2008)
Unread 12-01-2008, 10:37 PM   #8
Bdix
Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: almost New York
Posts: 210
Default

I've never had to look in a different country, but I'l make some calls and see what I can come up with! Could you post a city, or specific area to look? (Im guessing that I will be asked this.)

In the meantime, please look up the book "The Bipolar Child" and get yourself a copy. This is the parents bible to bipolar children. (and dont get worried when it sounds like they have hidden cameras in your home lol; the book is THAT good.)

I will attempt to find someone with information on Australia's mental health community in the morning.
Bdix is offline   Reply With Quote
"Thanks for this!" says:
Mari (12-02-2008)
Unread 12-02-2008, 01:17 AM   #9
Darlene
Legendary
Community Welcome Team
 
Darlene's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Once a Texan, always a Texan.
Posts: 10,997
My Mood:
Default


Hello and welcome to NeuroTalk. Great to see you have come to be with us. Just let us know if we can be of any help. We are all here to assist each other as possible.

Again welcome, looking forward to seeing you around.

Darlene
__________________

.
"Life without God is like an unsharpened pencil -- it has no point.
Darlene is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 12-02-2008, 01:25 AM   #10
Mari
Legendary
 
Mari's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: USA
Posts: 13,465
My Mood:
Default Hello. I hope things start turning around for you.

Dear Miss Positive,

I hope it is ok if I jump into the conversation here.

I am up late and doing some google research for NSW.

Bipolar exists all over the world. The World Health Organization does periodic studies on the numbers of people dealing with this in various countries / continents.

Here is a bipolar web site for New South Wales, Australia:
~ http://www.bipolar.com.au/support/

~ Also google "SANE Australia."

~ Also google "The Black Dog Institute."

~ Here is a psychiatrist I found at Prince of Wales Hospital who specializes in Mood Disorders:
Quote:
Austin, Marie-Paule, Dr
Staff Specialist - Medicine - School of Psychiatry, Prince of Wales Hospital
9382 2796 m.austin@unsw.edu.au
Post natal depression; mood disorders; neurocognitive defects in mood disorders.

Maybe this person or anyone in this office would be sympathetic to your son's issues.


This site has lots of Australian links.
I hope that you can find a few that are very helpful:

~ http://www.allenandunwin.com/livingw...resources.html
Living With Bipolar: USEFUL ORGANISATIONS, WEBSITES AND BOOKS


Here is one from the above site that looks particularly useful:
~ Kids Helpline www.kidshelpline.com.au
Quote:
Ph: 1800 55 1800
Australia's only free, confidential and anonymous, telephone and online counselling service specifically for young people aged between 5 and 25.

In the US -- as you can see from Bobi's amazing story -- psychiatrists are slow to diagnose childhood bipolar.
I don't know what it is like in NSW, but certainly you can find 1) people who share your situation and are willing to offer support, and 2) psychiatrists who can treat childhood bipolar.

I wish you luck in your journey for treatment.

Please know that treatment works. The hard part of bipolar -- as you might already know -- is getting the diagnosis. Once you get the diagnosis, you are most of the way to your son's path to wellness.

Please remember to seek support for yourself.
I have no children and have no idea how it would feel to go through what you describe.
But I do want to wish you well as move you along your own path to healing as you find effective treatment for your son.

Mari
__________________

"Sweet like candy to my soul
Sweet you rock, And sweet you roll
Lost for you I'm so lost for you"

Dave Mathews Band

____________
“Hold on. If love is the answer, you're home.”
Daft Punk
Mari is offline   Reply With Quote
"Thanks for this!" says:
Bdix (12-02-2008)
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
concerned madatpd New Member Introductions 6 09-11-2008 07:14 AM
Im Concerned CarriWI Community & Forum Feedback 5 09-14-2007 01:34 AM
Im Concerned CarriWI General Health Conditions & Rare Disorders 0 09-13-2007 03:55 PM
I am concerned... appy537 New Member Introductions 2 08-25-2007 09:20 PM
bit concerned lucinda Children's Health 11 10-11-2006 11:51 AM


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 10:58 PM.
Brought to you by the fine folks who publish mental health and psychology information at Psych Central • Mental Health Forums

The material on this site is for informational purposes only, and is not a substitute for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment
provided by a qualified health care provider. Always consult your doctor before trying anything you read here.


Powered by vBulletin • Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.


All posts copyright their original authors • Community Guidelines • Terms of Use • Privacy Policy
NeuroTalk Archives