Posted by Janice on February 28, 2000, at 0:23:06
In reply to advise on a Bipolar child, posted by Jennifer Gravelle on February 27, 2000, at 21:43:57
> My son is 6 and has been diagnosed with ADHD and ODD.
> His father, aunt, and 2 of his cousins are bipolar, and
> I was wanting to know if he has a chance of becoming
> bipolar himself. He is already showing some signs, but
> his doctor keeps telling me that it is only the ADHD and
> the ODD, but everthing they have givin me has not worked
> Please help me, or give me something I can take to his
> doctor to get them to listen to me.
I'm an adult with both ADHD and bipolar. I am pretty certain the bipolar came as a result of not having treated the ADHD and from having a genetic predisposition (grandmother and great aunt) towards bipolar disorder. It's not that uncommon for someone to have both.
I agree with you, your son sounds like someone that could be vunerable to developing bipolar.
Lithium which is used for bipolar also seems to help ADHD. I have heard of other people with ADHD using lithium successfully. Lithium helps prevent the 3 minute mood swings from ADHD.
Although the 2 disorders can look the same on the outside at times. The best way (I think) to differentiate between them is by your sons sense of self-esteem. If it is inflated, and he feels really fantastic, on top of the world, like he is a little high on drugs, then this would be bipolar. But then, mania can also present itself as irritation and anger.
Oprah did a show recently on children with bipolar disorder. Experts are recognizing the existance of bipolar in children more and more. Before, they only believed adults had it. Children with bipolar have different symptoms than adults. If I remember correctly their moods are all over the place - wheras in adults, their moods generally have a rhythmic cycle.
I hope I have given you some useful information, and not confused you. Good luck, Janice
Personally, I'd try a little lithium.