Seeking Help: ADHD/Bi-Polar

Updated on December 18, 2008
D.D. asks from Seminary, MS
6 answers

My sister is having a time with her oldest son who is 11. For several years she and my brother-in-law have been battleing a behavorial problem with him, that doctor have said it was due to his ADHD. After years of many different, and mind you; strong medications and still no hope with his behavorial problem, the doctors have concluded that he is bi-polar. This is really a difficult time for my sister, because it is a never ending battle with him. Are there any other mothers that are experiencing such that might could offer some advice?

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So What Happened?

I would like to thank everyone that responded. Barbara, Yes he has been through a considerable amount of theorpy and counseling. He use to go 3 times a week,. he is now down to just once a week (I think) And thank you for the recommendation on the book. Yes he has had MRI, and a CT Scan. Medication is NOT the only thing that she and her husband is relying on. This has been a costly battle and a very somewhat emotional battle as well. My sister tries to monitor his diet, but with having 2 other children in the house hold, she feels its unfair to deprive them of special treats, so yes she will keep them in the house. I'm sure she is doing everything possible, as a matter of fact I often wonder how she does it all. She is a wonderful mother and goes extremely out of her way to make sure he is taken care of. She has defended her son in every way, to people who haven't experienced it or gone through it. People talk down about her and her son, saying all he need is a good "butt whipping", she just smiles and says, "I certainly pray you never have to go through such" My sister is a fighter!! She is strong!! and Not once has she ever given up. I commend all mother's that are doing what she is.

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answers from Oklahoma City on

i am now in my late 40's. however as a child my parents also had thier hands full. i also had adhd and not knowing it for years until i became an adult in my 30's i was also bi-polar and had a bad chemical inbalance. that is partly what causes bi-polar. personal i would take him to a very special doctor that treats young patients such as your son. and request a mri and cat scan to be done on his head and brain. cause he may have some issues that no one knows about. when he was real young, did he get sick alot or have a lot of fevers or confulsions due to fevers. not that this maybe his case but was mine. and it caused me to have some brain damage. yet to chat with me no one would know it. cause i have learned how to deal with it properly through the years and proper meds. however, this boy sounds like he needs some very special care and a doctor that is a specialist in that catagory. bless you and your family and may God direct you and your son in the right direction. happy holidays to you and family......



answers from Fayetteville on

I am not experiencing this but have heard that neurofeedback is incredibly effective for at least ADHD. I think I've heard that it is also good for people who are bi-polar, too. It's usually covered by insurance and has few, mild or no side effects.




answers from Pine Bluff on

I grew up with a bi-polar sister who was not diagnosed until she was 18, so I can truly identify with the struggles of your sister's family. Here are a couple of suggestions I would make:

Remove him from conflict if at all possible. Bi-polar individuals have a great deal of trouble handling and learning from conflict. Whereas with other children it is important to teach them how to deal with the conflict while they are in it, with a bi-polar child it is important to remove him from the situation and calm him down before trying to teach. They are much more rational OUTSIDE of any conflict situation than inside.

Teach the other children to step away from conflict. That's so hard to do, especially when the bi-polar child will tend to seek it out while on a mood swing. The other kids needs to learn to step away and, if necessary, come to a parent for help. If they learn how to respond to their brother in this way, other children will follow, reducing the number of conflict situations.

Pray lots! I don't know what your sister's religious persuasion might be, but I do know that we would not have survived life with my sister without a lot of prayer. Even though we did not receive a diagnosis in time to give us any help with her as a child, we did receive our comfort and strength from the Lord. I don't mean to offend or be pushy - just to say that, as a Christian, I cannot imagine dealing with something like this without the help of the Lord. I am definitely going to be praying for them through this.

Finally, be on the alert for the need to change medications. Each medication will only work for a certain amount of time before the imbalance returns. Watch for signals that a new medication is needed. The sooner the signals are noticed, the easier it is to go through the transition of medications while trying to get the new meds balanced out. It's a process, and it's not an easy one.



answers from Oklahoma City on

Its a day-to-day battle. My youngest is currently on Ritalin, but it doesn't seem to be very effective, so we're still working on diagnosis and therapy. I tried everything before resorting to meds. One thing that did help was cutting MSG and corn syrup out of her diet (and I never allow my kids caffeine of any sort). She's a lot healthier now, and her allergies are almost non-existant - they were very severe. She sleeps better and has a little more control over her actions than she use to. Here are some links to help explain:



answers from Little Rock on

I am going to second Heather on this & add to it. It has been found that you can help reduce the swings of emotions by monitoring the diet. Make sure to supplement minerals and of course vitamins... really think about those minerals though. Also avoid caffiene and sugar. I know everyone is tired of hearing "go organic" but there is a reason for it. Meats, veggies, eggs, dairy that are not organic are grown with hormones (meat) or pesticides that act like hormones (namely xenoestrogens). It is important to be aware of the type of household cleaners used in the home as those also contain chemicals that act as xenoestrogens. I know it isn't financially feasible for most people to throw away everything they have and buy all new. I suggest phasing out what you are currently using... when you need to replenish, buy a safer product instead next time. You can find more info on safe products at or there is a great book called The Safe Shopper's Bible by Dr Samuel Epstein that breaks down what products contain what and the reasons for avoiding them. Don't think you have to go out and spend a ton to change over either, a lot of stuff in the stores is safe, you just have to know what you are looking for.



answers from Oklahoma City on

Has he gotten any counseling? I wouldn't rely on only medication. The parents need to be sure he is not eating junk food and lots of sugar, which can make this condition worse. The parents need help too in managing his behaviors. Children suffering from this can have really difficult behaviors and a their thought disorders are sometimes more difficult than the moodiness. There is a good book called "The Bipolar Child" by Papalos that you might want to recommend. The good news is that if he is on the right medication and it works for him, his behavior might get a lot better.

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