Seeking Moms Whos Children Have Mental Disorders

Updated on February 24, 2007
D.T. asks from Dundalk, MD
14 answers

I am searching for moms that have children that have mental disorders~~>>> bipolar--add--adhd--odd ect......I have a 12 yr old dsughter with severe mood disorder and just moved home from a group home in nov.. things r worse then before.. i am open for suggestions.. i dont believe in spankings.. just need new methods....

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answers from Scranton on

Hi there
I am a 39 yr old mom of 3. My 16 and 9 yr old boys both have mental disorders including, bipolar, depression, adhd, odd, adjustment disorder, yada yada. Do you have TSS, Mobile therapy, and a behavior specialist coming to the house to help you? They have proven to be invaluable with one of my sons. Hope things work well

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answers from Washington DC on

I don't have a child with those issues but when I was 15 I went through my first really serious depression, and over the next five years or so, I made my parents lives hell. I can say that she doesn't mean to hurt you. For me, it was so confusing, I didn't understand why I felt so awful all of the time, until I'd hit a manic phase and then I was on top of the world, until I crashed back down. Her perceptions of situations are altered by her sickness. The chemicals in her brain are causing her to feel irrationally upset, angry, and I gaurantee there are times she knows that, but you often feel powerless to change it.
Finding a therapist that she's comfortable with is key. I've only ever been to one that I could really talk to, and believe me, I tried a lot of therapists! As far as medication goes, I firmly believe it works, but should be taken very seriously, watched carefully, and should be the last resort. Some medications actually make it worse,which happened with two types for me before I found the right one for my body chemistry, it's different for each individual. With the combo of therapy and medication, I learned to effectivly manage my illness, and now, I know it well enough to control it. I actually majored in Psychology in College in order to understand it.
As far as the ADD and ADHD, I'm pretty sceptical about that. My mother is a special education teacher. She also does screening for the entire county. She's seen it all. She told me that they slap the ADD, ADHD label on WAY too many kids. She says, can your child sit down and watch a movie, play a video game (basically, can they consentrate on the things they enjoy?) If they can, it's not ADHD/ADD. A lot of the symptoms of bipolar disorder and ADD/ADHD are the same, so they just slap a general list of labels on the kid and pump them full of drugs that they're not even sure they need.
Does she have an outlet? Does she write, paint, sing, play sports? If not, help her find one. It won't fix her, but it'll help.
As a parent, from the point of view of hindsight, just be understanding. Be her shoulder to cry on, make sure she knows you're always there. Try not to take it personally, like I said before, she'doesn't want to her you, it's not her, it's her illness, and lastly, do not bend your rules to compensate, she'll just feel more lost. Regardless of what she says, she needs structure, and accountability. Otherwise, she'll never learn to control it.
It may go away someday, or it may be a lifelong illness, but, for me, it's no different than haviong diabetes. I need to take my meds, and when I feel an iossue coming on, I know I need to see my therapist and try very hard to focus on the positive things in my life. Actually, I think it's made me quite a bit stronger than many others, and also, more in tune with others feelings.
I really hope this helps you. My worst nightmare is that it's genetically passed down to my daughter, who now, is only 1 1/2 years old.
If you're in the Northern VA area, I can give you the number of my counselor, who is really fanastic! Let me know!
Best of luck and God bless!!

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Dover on

Hi D.,

I totally understand what you are going through. My daughter has ADHD so bad that we want to pull out are hair first thing in the morning before her meds get in her system. We also have to deal with issues in the store with her outburst and boy do the people look at you. I also have a son who is 8 who has been in and out of Rockford Center for a mood disorder. It is hard to find someone who understand what you are going through. So I would love to get to know you and support you while you are going through your hard times.


1 mom found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

Talk to your dr; if she is not on medicaion, she may need some. If she is, her meds may need adjusting.

My oldest son is bipolar. He used to hear voices that told him all sorts of awful things. Thankfully we had a diagnosis and medication before the voices told him to hurt anyone. He also has mood swings and all the delightful things that go with being bipolar.

There are support groups out there-go to one with or without your daughter. Go to to find one in your area. Also, another helpful site is This is a site dedicated to children and adolescents with bipolar. You can find support groups there too.

Good luck. Let us know how you are.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Erie on

D., I see you've gotten many different and differing pieces of advice. I too have a 14 year old son with ADHD, Tourette's, ODD and probably a few other disorders. I can tell you WHEN these disordered came out and WHAT caused them to come out, rather than him simply live a healthy life. That would do you no good, tho it might help other parents to NOT have this happen to them.

I do know that different things work for different children. What worked like a CHARM for so-and-so's daughter, may not even come close to helping yours. But what worked for the next little boy could work for your daughter.

Food changes (gluten free foods work WELL), medications, routine, eye contact; all can and do help in many cases. Medication helps with my son, tho with his tourette's on top of the ADHD, he is unable to take many of the convinient doses that do not require narcotics... the newer drugs that are so touted of late. Why? Because the very drugs that help with ADHD make the ticks of tourette's much worse.

I hope, that with all the responses you've gotten, you find something, if not several things, to help you and your daughter.



answers from Harrisburg on

I am sorry that you are going through all of this.....our family history has a lot of disorders as well and here I have 5 daughters that all seem to have problems. I will admit that I have not had to send them away (yet) but do wonder some about my oldest at times. Having all of the symptoms together that your daughter has is definitely not a good combination. How hard it must be for you! I don't know if people have tried telling you that she just needs structure and know that she is loved and she will be able to handle it and be ok....well that is a fantasy world. It's like saying to a cancer patient....just pretend it's not there and it will go away! Not that structur and love don't help...but there is more to that. Every family needs those two things and those with mental disorders, well, they need it more. But she needs to learn what she has (she is old enough), what it does to her body, what releases she will need to use that will work for her, and learn how to admit she has it, learn ways to cope with it, and to work with her condition to make it work for her. This will take you and your daughter a LOT of work to learn as much as you can with each one, then how some of them interact on symptoms, then finding ways to cope with them as best as possible so she can release the anger of going through them in a way that works best for her (and you). I don't know just how bad her bipolar is....if she hears the voices and such....if not...then that is a major benefit. Right now, if things are could be a couple of is her meds may need to be increased due to weight or height or whatever, it could be that here body became immune to the meds and she needs a change...could be the change of going from where she felt safe (with professionals who understood in her point of view) to home where she may feel you don't understand and she will die because she is not going to be taken care of with how she needs it. No one has ever died from having any of those that is something she may feel and will probably feel, yet it won't happen. That is one thing that will help her is to know she will NOT die from having it...however if her actions are allowing her to hurt herself...then she needs to work on them asap. Does she have a punching of the big ones that are in karate places that are on the floor and kids kick and such....they are good for kicking, punching and such...a good work out...and nothing gets destroyed in your 15 year old put some holes in our house....uggggh. Having her do things like volunteer work but not on a schedule....signing her up for a work out plan near you....asking her what she feels will get out her energy and or anger....she will be your best source of all. I have plenty of suggestions but i don't know her and how she would react. If you want to email email is [email protected] Good luck!



answers from Pittsburgh on


I understand what your going through. I have 2 teenage sons that both have disorders. My oldest has ADHD, PTSD, depression & generalized anxiety. My youngest has ADD, OCD, anxiety disorder, adjustment disorder, selective mutism, hell he has so many that at times, like now, I can't even remember all of them. At last count he had 12 different dx's. Neither of them take any medications for their disorders. Only someone who has a child with special can possibly understand a bit of what another parent is going through. I would like to help in anyway that I can. Feel free to contact me anytime directly if you like at: [email protected]




answers from Washington DC on

I have a 15(soon to be 16)year old daughter, who's been diagnose as MMR. I've only considered having her placed, only one time. I'm glad that I didn't!
But I get her outside help through our health insurance, & in-school counseling as well.
I am not the one to say, Oh she needs to be medicated.....but that may be something that you could look into, I did and it works for my child.

She is so much more peaceful now, & she gets her sleep too!

Ask her physician



answers from Philadelphia on

hi D.
my daughter is only 8 but she has been dianosed with adhd and she was very impulsive could not sit down there was alot of problems with her eeven in school but i finally found the right meds for her shes on the patch its called daytrana it works for her now shes calm



answers from Allentown on

I do believe diet has alot to do with a childs behavor. My son is 9yrs old and has a very good case of ADHD. The dr's has had my son on meds since he was 6yrs old. Just recently I took him off of all his meds and put him on an all natural supplement called Focus Attention. The health food stores may be able to help you with you daughter and her mood swings. Meds is not always the best thing and could cause more damage than good. Do some reseach on a diet called the Feingold Diet. It explains how the red and yellow dyes can affect your child and that you should to try to get ride of the high furtose corn syrip in your childs diet. Alot of parents do not relize a difference it will make. Beleive me I did see a difference. I will not tell you that it will cure your daughter but it will help and if the dr's feel she still needs some meds then you can make that decission at that time. But I would tell you to try some of this and see how it works. The worst that could happen is that you will not see much of a differece, but to me it is worth the try. It will not do any harm since it is all natural. Watch the use of ketchup, that also has that nasty corn syrup in it. I swiched my son to all natural ketchup and he can not taste any difference. Little by little I am switching his foods to all natural and so far I have not found much that he does not like.

Good Luck, D.



answers from Pittsburgh on

You will be in my family's thoughts and Pryrs.
With my son I have set practical punishments for each thing :
don't do dishes - can only have one of each thing , must wash his own stuff to eat
slamming doors - take off the door to his room for three days etc.
talking back - I usually take away computer; tv;games etc. a day for each offence
You must make sure to sit down and go through each rule and consequence and write them down so there is no "you didn't tell me that or I didn't understand" undermining your authority and the process. Try to stay with practical solutions for each problem and stay calm and matter of fact - do not let her bait you into a discussion about your decisions... Listen to her complaints then say this is how it is and we will talk in a week at a certain time to voice how we each feel the 'new system' is going
Be creative. Teenagers always feel they are not listened too it is there main complaint - set time limits on repsonses like 10 minutes etc. so there is no long drawn out discussion. Teenagers also like to get a rise out of you so the can get you to yell etc. then they feel they have won by making you loose control.



answers from State College on

Hi D.,
I myself have bipolar disorder and I wasn't diagnosed until 2004. I suffered my whole adolescence and my parents were constantly moving me from one place to another. I found that once I was in a home where there were schedules and set guidlines I had a lot less mood swings. I think she has gotten worse since coming home because she had just become adjusted to the regimin of an institution. Especially since you said she's been away for two years. I would just go about your usual routine and when she has her highs ignore her lashing out. When she has her lows be compassionate. It might be good for you to attend some family counseling to see if she is harboring any anger at you for her being away. My biggest suggestion is to keep yourself and your family calm and on a consistent schedule and I think she'll adjust. Please keep us posted how things work out.

Best of luck,



answers from Harrisburg on

I do not have children with these disorders, but I am extremly familiar with many disorders. I have a 20 yr old sister whom was adopted at the age of two into our family. She was extremly distructive to our home, and to everyone around her in addition to herself. In and out of Placements, homes, and hospitals. She is diagnosed with ADD, ADHD, OCD, Tourettes, and that is prob not all of them. She is 20 yrs old, and acts 13yrs old. It is really bad. I do not know if I can give you advice, but I sure can give you support. I can tell you that when my sister would come home from placements after being away for sometime a year, she would be great for a few days, and then it was always worse than before.



answers from Scranton on

Hi D.! I'm so sorry to hear you are having problems. I am not sure I can give you any advice on methods that will help. I myself have a child who is suffering with bipolar disorder. Presently right now he is in the hospital for the same. But some of the things that I have done so far that I know has worked has been consistency. I need to be consistent when it comes to things with John for example discipline methods and rewards, expectations of him. Also when choosing consequences I have to be sure they are shorter term meaning if he loses tv, computer and video game privledges and say in an hour he has calmed down and doing better then he can choose to put one of those back. I try not to back myself in a corner so I am careful as to what consequences I choose because when I give him a warning I need to be ready to back that up with what I say because if I don't then I might as well just give up because I can guarantee next time it will be worse. That is what I mean when I say consitency. I am presently using a method called the consequence jar that seems to be working for us right now. If you want to know more about that method let me know just message me. Another thing that I know doesn't work is losing control myself and that is not always the easiest thing to do. But I have learned from expierience that once I do that then he is to follow. I know my son does not like feeling that way and if he sees me lose it too he doesn't know what to do because with all the craziness that can go on in our lives he still depends on his parents to feel safe and he can't do that in those times. The problem with this for us as parents though is how overwhelming and frustrating this all can be for us. I know for me not many people understand what I am going through. I have heard so many times too many times from not just friends but family too "Why don't you just put him away. or he obviously doesn't care why do you send him away or my favorite is He just needs displine nothing wrong with him a good beating would change." WHAT?!!! Would they send there child away if he had diabetes? And hitting does not work. It is all SOOOO frustrating. I believe the problem here is that people assume that the child is a product of his enviorment. But as I am sure you know that allthough there are some times this is true. It more often it is not. My son comes from an educated, 2 parent middle class family. We have six children and the only one with any problems like this is John. The other children are not just even doing well they are doing great all well mannered A+ students, 2 in college another one to start next year in a pre-med program. I myself am a pediatric nurse. But my 14 yr old is cut from a diffrent mold. To put it simply. He has an illness. Even with all the help he gets right now( Specialized schooling, therapists both in and out of the home. case manangemet he still struggles and unfortunatly that means the entire family struggles too.( ie the family therapy) As said earlier right now he is hospitialized for his bipolar disorder even though for all intents and purposes he seemed, we all seemed, up until last week making progress. Once more frustation to no end. I think really the best advice I can give you is to just seek out other parents like us who can understand who can understand what you are going through and lend an ear or a shoulder when needed. This is something you have already started to do by reaching out here in this forum. And take advantage of all the help that is available to you. I am imagining that since your daughter came home from a group home she has at the minimal case management involved. I apologize that this was sooo long I just really felt for you and wanted to try to help. I hope I did. At least a little. Good luck to both you and your daughter. I will keep you in my thoughts and prayers, Maybe you can do the same for me. lol. If you ever want to talk sometime just email me or im me [email protected] luck!!!!

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