9 Yr Olds Mental Health

Updated on October 23, 2006
L.T. asks from Mesa, AZ
9 answers

My 9 year old daughter has crazy mood swings. She will have a hysterical crying fit over the smallest things and the rest of the time all she does is wine and complain. When she is in a good mood she can be giggling and havin the time of her life and the slightest little thing will send her into a rage where she kicks a hole in the door or she will just scream and cry for an hour. I have tried punishing the behavior and just loving her no matter what and nothing is working. My biggest concern is that her Father was bi-polar and committed suicide when she was 3. I also have 2 other children I feel like I neglect. Any advice I can get would be great I don't know what to do anymore.

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answers from Phoenix on

Given the genetic predisposition for mental health issues, I would have you daughter evaluated by a child psychiatrist. If you need a referral, I would ask your pediatrician. If you would like to call me, I have a few names of some as well


L. Kandell, MS, RD, IBCLC
Registered Dietitian/Pediatric Specialist
International Board Certified Lactation Consultant
Scottsdale, AZ 85258

About me: Mother of 2 kids - one of which has mental health issues as well.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Colorado Springs on

I have a four year old who is bipolar. I would discribe her just like you do your daughter. Take her into see a psycologist or a developmental pediatrician. There are meds that can help her moods (Not to get into he whole med debate but bi-polar is a nuralogical disorder and does need meds to help correct it). The only word of advice I can give you right now is pick your battles. I have been a geographical single parent for the last year and know how tough it is dealing with it by yourself. If you want to talk feel free to message me - but make an appointment for her to see someone ASAP. At least that will get the ball rolling and if you get a dx then she can get extra help at school.



answers from Denver on

L., I am a therapist in an elementary school and as one writer said previously, bi-polar is becoming more prevalent, or at least more diagnosed, in school age children. I would recommend the book The Bi-polar Child by Pappolos. It is by far the best book on the subject that I have read and I have recommended to the families I work with and have heard great reports from them about the book.
Secondly, I would recommend that you get in touch with a mental health therapist about being evaluated. Peditricians are great but a diagnosis such as bi-polar should be handled by a specialist or someone trained specifically to handle such things. If it isn't bi-polar and something else they can handle that as well.
Lastly, I am a firm believer of talk therapy along with medicine therapy. I would recommend a good family therapist to help all of you with the loss of your daughter's father and to help all of you support and deal with your daughter's behavior. It is a family issue and everyone needs to be included in the treatment.
Good luck to you and I hope you find the answers you are looking for--I have seen familes come through this with flying colors and I am hoping the same is true for you. A.



answers from Phoenix on

Consider having her evaluated by a psychologist and/or psychiatrist. She may be suffering from a rapid cycling form of bipolar disorder. This is more prevelant now than ever in school age kids and her father's history indicates that she is more at risk than others.
Hang in there!



answers from Phoenix on

My husband is Bi-polar and its a very trying mental illness, I have a 14 month old and I am also concerned that she will develop it too. All I can say is you should try to get her in to see someone, it dosent hurt, she might just need some professional help and it might help you not be so frustrated. I know people say don't take kids to see professionals at a young age, but there is nothing wrong with it, your doing something good for her and your family, its a very hard illness to handle as Im sure you know. Im sorry for your loss, I hope that you find a solution that works for your family.



answers from Fort Collins on

I know that bi-polar is a neurological problem, but I've read quite a few studies that show that nutrition and diet play a huge roll with this. I would agree that you should seek a medical professionals help, but inquire about diet. I have a friend that was taking her daughter to Denver about some behavioral problems and they changed her diet and it made a world of difference.



answers from Phoenix on

WOW, you sound like you have your hands full.
unfortunately it sounds like your daughter is bi-polar.
I have bi-polar and wish that my parents would have sought help for me when i was young but i guess they just thought i was spoiled cause i was the baby of the family. I have been on and off for years and the only way to control it is for me to stay on meds for the rest of my life. please seek a therapist or family dr to diagnose her because bi-polar is a disease and she cant control her emotions no matter how hard she tries.
good luck to you!



answers from Denver on

I agree that the best thing to do is see a professional. I have anxiety disorder and depression. At one point they thought it was actually bi polar disorder because I react very similarly, although not to such extremes. I am on some good medication as well that controls. They found I am so sensitive to medication that it takes the lowest dosage to work. Perhaps your daughter will find the same true for her. And it took quite a while to find medication that worked without side effects and then to get the dosage right, so if you decide to go with medication, don't get discouraged if it takes until the sixth or seventh medication to help. You'll usually know within two weeks if it is going to work or not, so it doesn't take that long in reality to find something that helps. It just takes patience and a lot of attention to the mood changes to see if there are bad side effects or good changes.

And since you said the father was bipolar, I am guessing you are pretty skilled in dealing with that in a behavioral way. Anyone who can make it through what you did and come out sane and able to love a daughter showing these symptoms and realize she needs help, well that is an awesome mother.

This is a phase you are going through, and you will get through it. Things will get better. Things will change.

And then you will be able to have more time spread evenly among your three kids. Remember, it is about quality, not quantity, so even if you only get to spend 30 minutes with each one versus an hour that you would like, if it is quality time, they will get so much out of it. The invisible "they" always say that the sign of a good mom is worry if you are good or not, if you are giving your children enough attention. If that is true, that is just more proof that you are a good mom. :) I don't know you that well, but I'm always here if you need someone to say "you can do it, keep on going, you are doing a good job."



answers from Santa Fe on

First of all, thankyou for the courage to reach out and talk about this. It's heartbreaking that her dad died as a result of this. It is not something, in my opinion, that can be treated with a lot of parental attention in the normal way that children need attention if it is in fact bipolar disorder your daughter is facing.

I would first check with her teacher and see how she is functioning in school. If she is functioning normally in school, perhaps it's not bipolar disorder. Perhaps she is simply acting out at home feelings around the loss of dad. If the teacher is showing concerns about behavior you should see a pediatrician for medication and explain to him or her what happened to her dad and see what can be done medically. Obviously medication is important to save anyone from the effects of bipolar disorder but if it's not going on at school, perhaps she doesn't need medication and may need counseling. I think counseling is a must whether or not she needs medication.

I hope that helps. We are all here for you to walk you through this. Lots of love from one mom to another.

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