Seeking Parent's Going Through Raising a Child Bi-polar and ADHD

Updated on February 27, 2008
L.M. asks from Yakima, WA
9 answers

would love to talk with parent's raising a Bi-polar and ADHD child.

2 moms found this helpful

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answers from Seattle on

One of my best friends is bi-polar. I've known her for over 10 years now, and painfully watched her sometimes struggle through stressful times in life. Her ups and downs come and go and almost destroyed her young family with her husband and son. She has recently in the last few months found relief in something called 5HTP. It is a plant derived medicine, and she claims NO market drug has EVER made her feel as stable as it does. She has acclaimed over and over that if someone would have told her about this 5HTP when she was growing up, NO DOUBT her life would have been very different for the better. I too, can see the changes it has made for her.

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answers from Portland on

Have you considered diet? My husband and I jumped into the deep end of the fetal alchohol learning pool when we adopted two boys in 2001. Both were over active and I am sure would have been diagnosed ADHD, OCD and other things if we had asked for a diagnosis. Through research, trial and error and intuition we learned how alchohol effects children in ways that drugs do not. You mentioned that you are raising your grandchildren due to a drug problem in their mother. My experience says that alchohol problems often go along with drugs. This can show up later in attitude and learning problems.

We attempted to put both boys on a gluten, cassine and sugar free diet. One was so out of control, as an 7th grader, at the time that we were home schooling him. The other was doing okayish in school as a 6th grader so we left him there to give the brothers some time apart. Since we could completely control the home schoolers diet he stuck to it. the one that went to school kept sneaking things from friends and never really stuck to it.

The boy that stuck to the diet completley changed his attitude and his learning abilities. The one that didn't, well, didn't. He kept making bad decisions and now at age 16 has a very large file the the juvenile department and no longer lives at home. I have much faith in this diet for many different reasons and condtions. Let me know if you need or want more info on this.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Seattle on

Hi L., I am very passionate about this subject because my 13 year old son has bi-polar and ADD as well. Most of what you talked about regarding Mac I can totally relate to. My son was diagnosed when he was 9, before that we knew something wasn't right but weren't sure what. He is a sweet, sensitive boy with a horrible horrible temper. He also gets depressed quite a bit. He is very impulsive as well. He is seeing a wonderful Counselor who can also prescribe meds. His meds have worked wonders, but as you know don't solve it all. He struggles in school and because of that will sometimes lie about having homework. His sister is 14 and I find I treat her differently. I wouldn't let her get away with half of what he does. I find I have to really pick my battles wisely. I use humor a lot with him which seems to work, but we argue a lot too. More so now that he is a teen than earlier. I also find that sleep is a huge factor with him. He has an all night Volleyball fundraiser this weekend. He is so excited about it, but I'm so nervous because I know our family as well as him will pay the price the next day.

I'm glad Mac has sports, Zach, my son, is very gifted in that department as well. It is a huge release for him.

Mac is very lucky to have you. It is such hard work and many people wouldn't take the time to follow through on all that has to be done to raise a child with Bipolar. We are blessed to live in a time where so much more is known about this mood disorder. By the way have you heard of the magazine "BP" I highly recommend subscribing to it. It would be good for Mac to read as well, so he knows he is not alone with it. My son, Zach wouldn't really be interested right now, but I'm thinking when he is older it will be helpful for him too. It sure is for me though.

I have to run now, but wanted to thank you for opening up about your situation and making it o.k. for others like myself to come forward as well. I think there are more out there than we realize that are going through similar situations. Thank You L.!! I look forward to hearing from you again.
D. (married with two children)



answers from Portland on

In research for my own kids, I've come across alot of info on bipolar, ADHD kids (as well as a host of other things)that stems from adverse reactions to vaccinations when a small child. I would seek help from a naturopathic physician to see if there are toxic levels of mercury, aluminum or other allergies that could be causing these symptoms. Medications mask the symptoms, but never solve the problem. Alot of children are lacking essential vitamins, minerals and amino acids and with correct diagnosis, can start living a normal life again, medication free. Hopefully this helps.



answers from Eugene on

I am a parent of a youth who has OCD and ADHD he is 13. I also have an 18 year old son as well who has anxiety and ADHD. I stopped at two :).They are a complete source of joy for me and have also been the most challenging at times. I work for Oregon Family Support Network in Oregon that is the family chapter(each state has a chapter just like us- google mental health- support) we are families from all around the state who support other familes with children /teens with mental emotional and behavioral - other related issues..we support one another and have support groups for both youth and family members and the groups for adults have childcare which give a couple hours of respite while you gain more information and support. We also have family fun activites from snow shoeing to skating for free or very low cost. We are funded by a variety of federal, state and local mental health agencies..our number is 1-800-323-8521 you are welcome to call and hear a supportive voice on the other end anytime..most of us have been there and now are mentors for others just begining their journeys with challening yet rewarding children/youth..



answers from Richland on

WOW it seems to me you are doing very well with Mac. You and your husband have much to be proud of, you have done a very good job in raising your children. I'm afraid I can not give you advice, since i am on the other end.

I have a 16 year old girl with bi-polar and ADD. She is not doing as well as Mac, nor does she want to think about or understand her disorder. I have to ask her everyday if she has taken her medication or she wont take it. She refuses to see an psychiatrist or a behavioral counsler. she was seeing one at one time (psychiatrist) and she seemed to improve a little but do to my husbands employment we moved to the tri-cities and now refuses to find another. I have had meetings at her school to help her but she says all i do is make things worse. She enjoys reading and singing. however she will not join a choir i have asked many times to consider it. We have not found that one thing that will driver her to care about anything else. She too strugles in school. I used to think it was because it was hard for her, now I beleive she can do it, if she chose to care. I feel horible sometimes becase there are times where i feel if she dont care why should I. but of course i do care that she finds herself so i try again. I feel she gets away with so much as it is just to keep her from her rage.
We have two younger children to think about, Ryan is 7 and he is ASD(Austic spectrum disorder) and Amanda is 6. I dont like to leave them alone with her, she is mean and i fear if she would get mad enough she might hurt them. She does not understand ASD nor is it important to her to do so, we have many books about it, that my husband and I have read to understand for ourselfs. I must be honest I dont understand her. Her dx is fairly recent we got it less then a year i think but she was dx ADD in first grade and DX with depression about five years ago. the only medication she is on now is zoloft.

40 years old feels like 50. been married for 13yrs to a wonderful man. We have three children, been back to work part-time for 8 month do to finaces. I have deprssion as well as my two older sisters. I also know that one of my sisters was dx with bi-polar.



answers from Portland on

L., check out as a resource.

Best wishes!



answers from Bellingham on

My son, age 13, has been struggling with many different diagnoses. One of them being bipolar disorder. I have been dealing iwth the mental health system for about 11 years. NAMI is a great resource to connect with other people in your situation. I would love to talk to you, our experiences will be different because of age differences but in reality we all go through the exhaustion when it comes to these unique and complex kiddos! Email me anytime.



answers from Spokane on

Dear Linda,
I too have a child who is bi-polar. She is 18 and a senior in high-school. It has been a long road. She is also ADD and dyslexic. She also has an anxiety disorder. But we made it and she is coming out of her shell. I know how you feel sometimes we feel we have to walk on egg shells. We now seem to be able to talk it out after she has a cool down. She has also learned a lot about being bi-polar and takes her meds. It has been a long road one thing thaat helped us was going to a family counsler because it is a family problem. We now have ways to help all of us lead a happier life. You may e-mail me anytime.

A Little about me
I am a stay at home mom at least until she graduates in June. I have a degree in education with a major in Math and a minor in reading. I have 5 children and 6 step- children. She is our youngest child. Good luck

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