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Bipolar Disorder Message Board


Bipolar Disorder Board Index


[QUOTE=problemchild57]My youngest daughter was diagnosed as bipolar when she was eight years old. Her pediatrician had been treating her for depression (mostly presenting itself with extreme irritability, plus the usual crying and withdrawal from social interaction) when I noticed some bizarre thoughts and activities after a few weeks. She became so psychotic that I had to physically restrain her and bring to emergency room, and she was transported to the nearest psych hospital from there. She exhibited some hypersexual behavior and delusions, and tried to kill herself by swallowing an assortment of pills. Later I found out from her older sister that she had also tried to dig up her dog that had been buried for months in order to resurrect him with some spell. Where she got these crazy ideas I'll never know, but she had always been a very "difficult" child from the womb. The psychiatrist diagnosed her as bipolar and explained that the antidepressant had pushed her into a manic episode, and told me that childhood bipolar is tricky because children do this rapid cycling and the most obvious symptom is irritability. Kids don't always vocalize their emotions, so parents mostly see outbursts and don't know where they are coming from. Mood disorders and other assorted problems are prevalent in my family, although I didn't get my diagnosis of bipolar until a few years later, so I was surprised. I had taken many psych and mental health classes but never learned about childhood bipolar -- I thought it was only an adult problem. Now I know better. My daughter has also been diagnosed with ADD which is not a surprise, the whole family has an obvious problem with that. And I do know that certain chemicals in foods (like red dye) or specific food intolerances that people may have (like milk or corn) can exacerbate the symptoms of ADD. Definitely seen that in my family -- my sister says she can't think or talk straight after ingesting fruit punch with dye. My older daughter is extremely hyperactive, and would actually bounce off the walls when she had sugar or chocolate. She loved to play school when she was little, but would become dyslexic after eating cookies. Kids are tricky to diagnose, but just trust yourself and your observation skills. Medication did make a huge difference in my older daughter's life, and controlling her impulsivity was necessary to keep her safe, she was that dangerous. It also helped her with her social interactions, and enabled her to enjoy life instead of being constantly frustrated. Now she is 19 and has been off of meds for most of her teen years, and has continued to screw up her life and make herself miserable. Most of the kids and grownups that I see self-medicate with street drugs do so because they were not on proper treatment to help them with disorders, so keep that in mind too. Medication can be great, if the levels are monitored. Horror stories are from overmedication usually, and some docs tend to recommend higher levels than necessary. Younger daughter can be manageable and almost likable if she takes her meds, but she mostly refuses to and makes life miserable for herself and everyone around her. Each person is different, and you have to learn as much as you can, and experiment a lot to find the best ways to help with problems. Just try to keep an open mind, and best of luck to you! :)[/QUOTE]

Just for general FYI, antidepressants can push even non-bi polar people to mania. I've heard of a few; one in particular on the healthboards decided to get off her AD and never had a problem with mania again....go figure? Sounds more like the drug was the cause, not a previously unknown, unmasked bi-polar. It all does kind of make sense because serotonin is a precursor of adrenaline, is the primary neuro associated with hallucination (LSD is one example of serotonin drug) and REM sleep disorder.

I know meds are not the exact same thing as LSD but the neurotransmitter effected is the same...my question is how do they know who is more sensitive to the effects; who maybe did have enough serotonin originally but eventually the med overstimulated it; how much serotonin is normal anyway and how do they know if one is lacking it or not?(no tests)

Since I know of people who's mania was a direct result of an AD, and it is a listed side effect, why does the psychiatric community automatically assume bi-polar, when there are other possibilities like drug sensitivity, incorrect dosage, changes in metabolism (which effects amount in brain), wrong guess at low serotonin diagnosis, and plain old drug culmative effect (common in on-going use).

To me, medication might bring on such problems, especially since neurotransmitters are too complex. For example, they know increasing one will dampen others and change the whole system, too much of one brings on other symptoms, etc. They also have found in rat studies that overstimulation with drugs of serotonin over time will cause damage or burn out of the receptors. I find that a bit unsettling.

I know some problems are beyond alternative methods if someone is severely mentally ill but the fact remains most people are put on meds who might do better with alternatives and therapy. In children, sometimes they try to squash future problems when the child seems troubled with meds instead of discovering the source of their emotions/behaviors. I guess since kids don't really know how to convey their feelings as well as adults that's a tough one, though.

IMHO, meds might actually cause bi-polar in people who simply cannot tolerate increased levels of serotonin, and as that one woman did, weaning off her AD solved her mania problem. I'm just surprised doctors deny the possibility of the drug being the problem, at least most anyway. Dr. Peter Breggin wrote a book called "Your Drug may be your Problem" but he's one in a million I guess.





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