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Parents of ADHD Teens and Young Adults

Any of you have ADHD and bipolar children?

My 12 yr old son is still having major problems. Our household is in turmoil. I re-read the Explosive child book. None of that stuff works here.

My question is this, do any of you have a child with ADHD and bipolar? I know the guidelines are fuzzy where it concerns kids so I wanted to ask what you saw that maybe tipped you off.

I know there is something else going on here because nothing we do helps. My son is so far out of control of himself that behavior modifications don’t get through. He has attempted suicide. We have changed meds. We are starting with a new therapist as the last one gave up. His school has just finished a social/emotional evaluation. They are going to be doing the academic portion this week. They have suggested moving him up to an IEP in place of his 504 as his grades are dropping and before it was just behavioral stuff.

I know, KNOW that there is something else going on with my son. I just wish someone would listen to me before it gets worse.

I don’t have time right this moment to list out the behaviors but it’s enough to say that his younger brother is afraid of and for him, my fiance can’t even look at him. I’m the primary caregiver and most of the time I can’t stand to be around him. I sent him to his fathers for 5 days over school vacation. The break was nice but he came back with an even worse attitude. :/



I would seek a new neuropsych-evaluation. If you feel there is more going on, seek a formal diagnosis by evaluating for other possibilities. Not every physician is right for every patient. Trust your gut and keep looking for answers if you feel strongly there is something more. And get your child and yourself to therapy as soon as possible to learn some strategies to cope with what you are dealing with.

Hang in there!

ADDconnect Moderator & Mom to Tween Boy with ADHD and LDs

Posted by adhdmomma on Mar 04, 2014 at 7:17pm

My son was diagnosed with bipolar disorder long before he was diagnosed with adhd. It is true that many symptoms overlap, but we are certain that he does have both, and the medication treatments for both have made a big difference. He is 16 now, but when he was 12 he had a bipolar episode that landed him in the psychiatric department of the hospital for 7 days. They were able to safely make major changes to his medications while he was there. When he came home, he attended 10 days of outpatient treatment through the hospital before finally returning to school.

Unfortunately in New Jersey the outpatient facilities won’t even talk to you if your child in under age 13, so we ultimately had no choice but to admit him to the hospital.

Every state has some kind of children’s mental health emergency program. In New Jersey it’s called Perfomcare. You may want to research it for your state, I don’t know if NJ’s office can help you locate a program. They offer emergency at home evaluations as well as outsource in home services through other local agencies. My son received weekly in home services through this program for a year and a half. We had a therapist once a week and a behavior assistant once a week. All of this was free, as the disabilities made us eligible for limited Medicaid services.

I can’t tell you the difference these services made for my son and our family. Although he was uncooperative at first, he ended up learning so many ways to change how he thought about things and to manage his behavior. Between finally finding the right combination of medications, and these services, he has matured into an amazing young man. I won’t say he doesn’t display symptoms, but now we are better able to handle them.

I hope this gives you some hope.


Posted by stayingabovewater on Mar 04, 2014 at 10:17pm

Well since this morning my sons psychiatrist? (medication management and prescriber) has quit us. He gave me a script for 2 months of meds and told me he wasn’t making another appointment with us.

I brought the results of the schools social/emotional evaluation which I received this morning. (The information in it was very disturbing and makes me worry what the future holds.) He totally refused to look at it!

To top it all off he pulled pages from my son’s files, tore them up and dropped them in the trash. No idea what was on there but it seems to me if it was in the file he shouldn’t have thrown them out?

I just want to go hide!

I have a call in to his supervisor but I’m now stuck again treading water until April.

Posted by msmouse99 on Mar 05, 2014 at 3:31am

My goodness, I feel for you. I know the frustration, and live it everyday. Only my child is older. Maybe you could reach out to some organizations for additional help in finding services that more suit you. I would think destroying any information in your son’s personal file is against the law. There is an organization called NAMI for people with social and emotional issues. Maybe a director in the organization can help you find professionals that can assist you in ways you need to be. Good luck and I hope you find some peace with all of this.

Posted by msell120 on Mar 05, 2014 at 7:34pm

I have contacted NAMI but I haven’t heard anything yet. Maybe I need to call.
I left messages for his care manager and the supervisor but again no calls back. Spending the morning making phone calls now that the boys went to school.

So frustrating!

Posted by msmouse99 on Mar 07, 2014 at 6:32pm

Who does your son trust? Is there a friendly, or at least benign, family member or friend who can help a little?

Also I wonder, does he eat a lot a any certain food. Consulting with someone who understands food effects might be helpful.

Posted by John Tucker, PhD, ACG. ADHD Coach on Mar 08, 2014 at 4:51pm

We saw a registered dietician about 8 months ago. My son has a growth disorder and trying to get weight on him is a constant uphill battle. She didn’t see anything in his diet when we did the food diary. What specifically were you thinking as far as diet goes? We cut gluten out of our diets for over a year and that didn’t really make much of a difference in his behaviors/moods. We also cut many processed foods, dyes etc. Again not much change.

He has a social skills worker that he meets with once a week. I know they are pretty close. But that’s not someone I can ask for help. I’m pretty much on my own. My fiance works too much to help. And my sons father doesn’t believe he has ADHD. He say need to spank him. Not helpful at all…sigh

Posted by msmouse99 on Mar 18, 2014 at 4:36pm

I think you are on the right track with diet. Getting rid of sugar, processed food, sugary drinks is all good to prevent chonic illness, but your son may benefit from having a consultation with someone who can explore specific diet changes fine tuned just for him.
Typically, Bipolar is managed with lithium therapy and other meds. The lithium has to be closely monitored so that the dose is not harmful. It’s a salty balance.
Your son’s specific diet requirement may not be typical. Maybe he needs more salty food, a change in the ratio of protein to carbs to fats etc.
I believe we often underestimate the power of food and its effects.
Even more important, in his struggles, he has you on his side to care for him and listen to him. This is huge.

Posted by John Tucker, PhD, ACG. ADHD Coach on Mar 18, 2014 at 5:01pm

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