Seeking Information on Family Hx of Bipolar Disorder And

Updated on March 11, 2008
S.O. asks from New Rochelle, NY
10 answers

My immediate family has a hx of bipolar disorder; I have an 8 year old daughter. As her adolescent-puberty development draws nearer I find myself preoccupied with her mental health status. I've been recommended local mental health agencies for counseling- What should I expect from this? Coping skills? What else.

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answers from New York on

Remember as parents we are worried about everything for our children. The bible says that there is death and life in the power of the tongue... speak life to that situation ... Enjoy the wonderful gift you have in her ... and all will be well :)
PS... you dont say in your request that anything is wrong at this time .. you only say that your family member has a problem..

1 mom found this helpful


answers from New York on

Pre adolescence and pre-adolescence are always a difficult time for most children.
A history of bi-polar is not always a guarenteed diagnosis.
I would recommend that you reach out to your chapter of NAMI. This is a family based self help for those how suffer from Mental Illness. They will help you get the information that you need. NAMI has a website and you can find groups all over the country. If you google NAMI, you will be able to choose your location.
Best of luck, if there is a current problem the sooner you seek treatment the better.



answers from New York on

hi, you didn't quite say whether or not she's showing any signs, or anything that you think may point towards also having bipolar. i myself am bipolar, and looking back at my childhood and certain behaviors, i would think that someone would have noticed IF it were something that people knew about...unfortunately 20 yrs ago it was just a basic manic-depressive and no bipolar. also being diagnosed with this for about 10 yrs and my mother just starting to realize it NOW didn't make treatment any easier. if there's anything specific you'd like to ask, or anything you'd like to talk about with someone who's been there...feel free to email me.



answers from New York on

First and most important you should expect HELP, UNDERSTANDING, SUPPORT, ADVICE, and A HAPPIER AND HEALTHIER DAUGHTER!!!! Think positive. But rember if you do not feel these things there are other Dr. and counselers. It is extreamly important that you both like and feel comfortable with whoever you deal with. Get your daughter in to see someone while she is young. I say this so she doesn't have to suffer through anything that could be prevented.

If you would like to send me a message I am sure I could give you more advice from things I have learned. Anyway there are people who will understand and help you and your family through any issues that may arise.



answers from Utica on

My 12 YO son is BiPolar also,
Is your daughter showing signs, or are you just taking preventitive measures? I personally am dealing with the adolescence/ pubescence period now. It is a very trying time for us. I have an 11 YO, and 6 YO sons also. As far as mental health agencies go, you can go for the counseling and psychiatric services, but some like my son play their game, end up being released, and acting out again. I hope yours is a case of either no hassle, or little hassle. Feel free to chat with me... here or via email.



answers from New York on

I think you should check out your local chapter of the Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance ( These aren't therapists, just regular people who have been there and done that.

You don't say what your daughter's mental health status is, but regardless she may sense your preoccupation, and that can be a problem in and of itself. Assuming she does not have symptoms and has not been diagnosed, then it may help to remind yourself that there is a large chance that she will NOT develop the disease.

It's a tough road, but you DON'T have to go through this alone. Good luck. :-)



answers from Rochester on

Hi S.,

I understand your concern. I am the mother of an adult daughter with Obsessive-compulsive disorder. We knew very little of the disorder when she was growing up. It is very astute of you to be watchful now. From my understanding of any mental illness, catching it before it becomes all-consuming is best. I would recomend joining a support group or contacting NAMI(national alliance for the mentally ill).We joined the OCF(obsessive-compolsive foundation) We get monthly newsletters and have also attended several national conferences.I would also like to suggest a great pediatric behavioral therapist in Rochester. She is reknowned in her work with ocd. I'm not sure if she works with bipolar or not. I'm sure she could suggest someone. I would NOT see any one in the local mental health clinics. Our experiences have not been positive. Her name is Aureen Pinto Wagner. Her office is in Greece. I met her in San Diego a few years ago at a conference. Hope this helps. Good Luck. L. F



answers from Albany on

It might be helpful for you to talk to your daughter about the family history in a session with a counselor who can explain the illness and possible signs/symptoms. Eight may be a little young to do this, though you and the counselor would make it age appropriate. Your immediate family member may be a good resource, assuming that they are doing well on their medication, to discuss your concerns with before bringing in the counselor for your daughter. You could also meet with a mental health professional to discuss ways to decrease the likelihood of depression (diet, exercise, stress management, support networks, etc.) and to review the signs of mania so that you can form a plan for prevention, as much as that is possible, and also a plan for how to respond if your daughter appears to be depressed or manic.



answers from New York on

Don't have a direct answer to your question, but I definitely share your concern. My mother is SEVERELY bi-polar, and both my sister and I are mildly OCD... so you do have that 'chance' in there, genetically. With my mother, she needs medication AND behavioral modification therapy... meaning, she needs to practice different WAYS to respond to stimuli... the correct, socially acceptable way, as opposed to the harsh, rude way she often does when she's 'on the upswing', making people want to just stay away from her. Mom has only recently begun this therapy, but I've looked into it A LOT and it took many years to convince her that in fact she's not perfect and the whole world's wrong, she indeed has a severe problem and needs help! So far she's just helped the 'tip of the iceberg', but it's been almost 70 years in the making, Rome wasn't built in a day as they say. I think counseling is ALWAYS a good thing, for ANYONE, and that would be the place where a disorder such as that is seen/noticed and can be dealt with before she's... well, 60something years old with a family that can't stand her!? Again my mom's at the stage where she needs medication AND the behavioral therapy... but your daughter may not need medication, the therapy could be enough (I hope).

Good luck! :)



answers from New York on

I have a 14 year old daughter diagnosed with bipolar mania. When you say what should you expect do you mean symptoms or has she been diagnosed already? My daughter had a difficult time accepting her diagnosis primarily because she doesn't want to take her meds. She also goes to an afterschool program if your daughter has been diagnosed I strongly suggest you find out if there is a mental health parity law in your state. In NJ there is and in a nutshell this means if you have private health insurance certain mental health Dx's (bipolar mania being one of them) must treat as a medical condition so there is no cap on services like a lot of mental health policies are written. There is so much to this issue so if you need clarity please let me know

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