Raising a 16 Year Old Boy with Bi-polar and ADHD

Updated on February 26, 2008
L.M. asks from Yakima, WA
6 answers

Are there any of you that have this same issue? Would be great to talk to someone else going through this.

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answers from Portland on

I have a relative with bi-polar. It can be quite a challenge. We also have a good friend whose son is bi-polar; he is now an adult, but she has found great support through NAMI - www.nami.org. I am sure there are local and national mother's groups. I believe my friend started one for mother's of African American boys through nami. Anyway, thought it was worth sharing if you don't already know about the organization.



answers from Seattle on

I know what you are going through. My duaghter started having difficulties with mood swings and erratic behavior when she was about 6 or 7. We saw several doctors and I was told nothing was wrong with her. By the time she was 13 we progressed to ADD/ADHD, bipolar disorder, OCD, and ODD.
It was suggested I put her on meds but I did not feel comfortable with this.
Things got really bad until she started becoming physically ill.
I had just finished reading a book loaned to me called 'Stop ADD Naturally' The book briefly mentioned food allergies and a nutritionist friend of mine advised that I get her tested for allergies.
We got her tested and she had very low reactions to about 20 different foods, among them were wheat, rye and barley. The allergist told me htat her behavior problems and learnign difficulties had nothing to do with her allergies, she did not test highly reactive to anything and not to worry about it, just give her those foods in moderation. Fortunately, I did not listen. My friend recommended a gluten free diet. Since then she has been tesed for Celiac and I have discovered both her and her sister have celiac and cannot tolerate gluten (her sister is 12 now and has so far had no reaction to the gluten)
Anyway, after 2 years of research, trial and error and 2 years of a gluten free diet. My daughter has absolutely no ODD or OCD tendencies, the bipolar is completely gone, there are barely trace symptoms off ADD and the hyperactivity is gone. She is extremely healthy and now almost never gets physically sick.
Doctors that deal with psycological issues rarely look at diet and almost never look at gut issues. THe meds deal with the symptoms and surface problems while the root problem is not touches,often the meds only exacerbate the root problem but because the surface is smoothed over, it is often difficult to see anything getting worse. Disease starts in the gut and if your body , because of imbalanced gut flora, food allergies and intolerance, or whatever other reasonis not able to absorb the nutrients it needs- then the brain does not get fed either.
Feel free to email me if you would like to talk more about this. In my research and seeking support I have found many that have gone through similarissues and I have seen cases that are nothing short of miraculous- no meds and a strict change in diet and these children have become different people. I am not just talking about the common, "oh take them off of sugar" response- but really finding out what the root intolerances are and working to get the gut healed and able to absorb what the body needs and fight off effectively what it does not.
I recently took my daughter back to the doctor and was told that for what she had been trough her health, physically and mentally was amazing.
Please feel free to email me at [email protected]____.com



answers from Corvallis on

have U been in contact with Oregon Family Support Network? www.ofsn.org 1800-###-###-####



answers from Eugene on

This is more for borderline personality disorder, but there is a lot of cross over between BPD and bi-polar disorder: http://www.amazon.com/Stop-Walking-Eggshells-Borderline-P...

You may also want to look into Dialectable Behavior Therapy. While the descriptions of DBT describe very extreme behavior, it has also helped a lot of people who have the extreme mood swings that come along with bipolar disorder. It basically teaches one skills that help them interfere (or cope) with their behavior.

Good luck!!



answers from Portland on

Hi L.,

My first thought is Celiac disease. My son came down with it when he was 13, although there was one symptom he was born with, no one related it to GLUTEN ALLERGY. When he went Gluten free, that sore went away, & didn't come back unless he binged. Gluten is in wheat, rye, barley. It's in almost all packaged foods.

There is a website, Celiac.com. I just checked it this morning. here is the link for the symptoms page. It can cause both ADHD & phycological problems including depression & mood swings. It's worth looking in to. http://www.celiac.com/categories/Celiac-Disease-Research%...

I had my son tested by his pediatrician, who knew it immediately, because Ashton was throwing up & had diarrhea. These are the obvious symptoms. I on the other hand had 3/4 of the symptoms list, but no throwing up since college. I suffered for 25 years undiagnosed. What happens (short version)is that the gut doesn't work right, then malnutrition sets in, then things don't work right. Brains included. Many suspected my son of ADD, but it was more of a learning disorder. After he became gluten free, learning became easier for him.Rather than filling the page here with type, if you are at all intrigued by this, we can talk further, I do have a couple other ideas. You are fortunate that he is motivated by the love of sports, he has something to look forward to.

May God bless you, A.



answers from Seattle on

I strongly advise the new DVD "You Can Heal Your Life" by Louise Hay. It's quite "new age-y", but if you can see past that and really listen to the message and apply the methods...the results are incredible! I have done wonders with my own life from this belief system. The hard part is going to be getting a teenager to watch this "warm fuzzy" film. Maybe let him watch it alone so he doesn't feel dorky ;) It's imperative that your son understands that he is the only one with control over his life and he can CHOOSE to change his life. God gave us free will as a learning mechanism. Best wishes. Here's a link to the DVD.


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