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Question
Posted by: Anon | 2011/09/05

Living with a Bipolar child

Hi
M son is 6 years old and currently under the care of a psychiatrist who suspects even at 6 that he might be bipolar - there have been a number if issues and therapists involved to get to this potential diagnosis - the problem is that I am now at my wits end. The doctors are wary of medicating him at this stage, and would rather wait a few months, which is totally understandable, but I am not sure how I am supposed to cope in the meantime. Each day waking up brings on a whole new dimension, I dont know from one day to the next what he will be like. I am a single parent and have no assistance, which is tough enough on a normal child, but to deal with the tantrums and the screaming and shouting, crying and pure destruction that goes on is becoming too much for more to deal with - and then still having to worry about providing sufficiently for him on top of it. The issue is that no one actually seems to realise what a battle it is - just getting out of bed daily - and then still having to function somewhat normally.
Am I unreasonable expecting a medical doctor to medicate him, is this something that I should just deal with and am I wrong to have such feelings of despair. I am getting to the point of just walking away from it all (him included). I dont know where to turn to anymore, I have been to the so called specialists, had all the tests done, had 2nd and 3rd opinions (which all suspect the same thing I might add), yet no one seems to be able to say ok, this is what you do, and lets try some medical intervention all because of his age.

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageCyberShrink

A diagnosis of Bipolar Disorder in a child of 6 would be highly controversial and far from broadly accepted by most specialists. Presumably an experienced child psychiatrist has been assessing him and has discussed this as a possible diagnosis ? As presumably his problems include behavioural ones, I hope a child psychologist is also involved in planning ways to best deal with that. THis must include skillful guidance for you, in helping your own stress and in how you can best and most usefully respond to his troublesome behaviours.
I just do not believe that behavioural problems should EVER be managed entirely by medication, and if, understandably, medication is not thought to be wise at this stage, behaviour modification by psychological means is what would not be needed.
Bad behaviour by a child ( or indeed an adult for that matter ) can always be improved, if nopt entirely brought under control, through psychological methods, and its not fair for various docs to simply tut-tut and debate the diagnosis without giving clear and practical guidance on how to deal with the immediate problems.

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2
Our users say:
Posted by: cybershrink | 2011/09/06

A diagnosis of Bipolar Disorder in a child of 6 would be highly controversial and far from broadly accepted by most specialists. Presumably an experienced child psychiatrist has been assessing him and has discussed this as a possible diagnosis ? As presumably his problems include behavioural ones, I hope a child psychologist is also involved in planning ways to best deal with that. THis must include skillful guidance for you, in helping your own stress and in how you can best and most usefully respond to his troublesome behaviours.
I just do not believe that behavioural problems should EVER be managed entirely by medication, and if, understandably, medication is not thought to be wise at this stage, behaviour modification by psychological means is what would not be needed.
Bad behaviour by a child ( or indeed an adult for that matter ) can always be improved, if nopt entirely brought under control, through psychological methods, and its not fair for various docs to simply tut-tut and debate the diagnosis without giving clear and practical guidance on how to deal with the immediate problems.

Reply to cybershrink
Posted by: Survivor of all that life has thrown at me! | 2011/09/05

l look forward 2 CS reply, l had no idea a 6 year old could be bi polar.

I wish you well and know you will get through this, we think we cant cope but somehow we always do!.

Reply to Survivor of all that life has thrown at me!

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