Children or adults with BiPolar2

@blueskies (1186)
United States
January 12, 2007 10:04pm CST
My son was just diagnosed with this today. All along, we've known that he had mild autism, with a good dose of anxiety disorder and OCD, as well as a possible mood disorder of some sort. Well, today, he was evaluated again and the dr feels that he suffers from bipolar 2. This type of bipolar is characterized by depression cycling with hypomania, which is an extremely positive,focused "up" period, without the negative aspects of full-blown mania. I don't know anyone with this type of bipolar. I was wondering if anyone here has any experience with this.
4 people like this
23 responses
@SageMother (2277)
• United States
13 Jan 07
If your child has been diagnosed with yet another issue, which sounds like its actually the normal ups and downs that people cycle through, then you need to look at his FIRST diagnosis. The autism will create drama with normal mood fluctuations. Think about it. If you are trying to function with mulitple hurdles at every step, your moods are going to be pretty dramatic, but not unexpected, and not something that warrants another diagnosis. If your son doesn't have an upward swini his moods that goes into mania, then there is no "bi" polar...he is depressed. When his mood lightens then it seems as if it's "swinging"...but it is actually his relief at not feeling depressed. He will have more energy, might be hard to control...sort of like normal but relatively undisciplined kids. I would question that diagnosis and probably not encourage any more testing until the first basic issue of autism is dealt with. One of the hallmarks of autism is obsession and compulsion. It needn't be listed as a separate disorder, its covered by the first diagonosis. His anxiety may not be a disorder if it is associated with his autism. Any change that occurs around the autistic, creates anxiety in them and they will act out to avoid that anxiety. It is part of the condition, not a separate diagnosis. I work with special needs kids on a regular basis and have seen IEP's where people layer the problems because teachers were looking for a reason to NOT provide for the students needs, and doctors felt they should place their opinion on the file to show that they are justified in charging the insurance company for the consultation. If you focus on that original diagnosis, then the other issues can be taken care of under its umbrella.
@blueskies (1186)
• United States
13 Jan 07
The bipolar diagnosis came from several different things. One of them is my son's reaction to SSRI's--they make him manic. We've had trouble with the autism diagnosis all along because, while he shows some signs of autism (need for routine, sensory issues, inflexibility), he has great eye-contact, a wonderful sense of humor, and a few other skills that generally aren't found in kids with PDD-NOS (his other diagnosis). This dr feels that the obsessions and part of the hypomanic state, and that the anxiety is caused by his need to control his environment. We also have a family history of bipolar (me, my mother, an aunt and an uncle)
• United States
13 Jan 07
My non-professional opinion is that those characteristics sound more like obsessive compulsive disorder than autism. My son also has an alphabet soup of diagnosises; OCD, Bipolar Type 1, Oppositional Defiant Disorder, and on and on. It's not easy to hear and it's even harder to live with, but the best thing is to arm yourself with information and seek out support in your community. I'm heading to bet, but in the morning I'll send you a private message with some message board links.
• Canada
13 Jan 07
Hi blueskies! I was diagnosed with BPII (Bipolar Type 2) in March of 01'. Although there is BP in our family, no one had been diagnosed with type II, and we didn't know it existed. Before I received the diagnosis, I had much longer and 'deeper' bouts of depression than I did hypomania. That is the key to BPII, depression. Type 1's can go into either depression or full blown mania equally as easy. I'm gonna tell you a few things about it first, and how I've dealt with it. BPII focuses on depression like I said. The bouts will last much longer than a hypomania, and will be very 'black' compared to someone with chronic depression. There were times that I slept 23 hours per day for a couple of weeks at a time because I had no energy, and my body hurt so bad. I very literally couldn't move. The hour that I was awake, I stayed in bed and watched t.v. or got online for a little bit. I'm not sure the severity of autism that your son has, but I do know several people with it ranging from severe, to Aspergers, so some can read and some can't. If your son can read, and write, during a depression or hypomania, your son will NOT be able to concentrate. When I try to explain it to people they look at me like I'm nuts, but during those times, I cannot read or write. It's not that I don't know how to, but I just literally can't. I can't focus at all on anything and if I try to read, I get through one page which I have to reread 20 times. When I go back to the book when I'm feeling better, I forget what I've read anyway. Along with the lack of focus, you'll notice that he has trouble thinking and forming full thoughts. He may start a conversation with you and in the middle of it forget what you guys were talking about or what he was going to say. For hypomania..it's not as fun as the doctors and scientists make it sound. When I'm hypomanic I'm highly irritable, aggressive, and everything agitates me. Again, I can't focus on anything because my mind is racing and I think of a million things to do. I've always been a very creative person and what I love about the hypomania is that I get flooded with creative ideas. The problem with this is that I can't focus on one project to take on, and when the hypomania ends I go straight into a deep depression so anything that was a truly good idea doesn't get done. Unlike a full manic episode, I do sleep, but very few hours in a night. The ONLY reason I love the hypomania is because I have energy and when you have no energy more often than not, it's a welcome change. As for your son having several disorders, this is quite normal. I was diagnosed with BPII and another disorder, and that's called dual diagnosis. I'm not sure what it is for 3. It actually occurs about 95% of the time in anyone with BP and other mental illnesses. I know this post has been long, so I won't take up any more time or space. If you'd like, please send me a private message, or I can give you my e-mail address. I can definately give you some suggestions on doctors, medications, etc. Good luck with everything, and if I don't hear from you remember that your health is as important as his so be good to yourself too!
@bhchy1 (6052)
• United States
13 Jan 07
There is an excellent book called the BiPolar Child by Papolos. If they have it at your local library it is very resourceful book about Childhood Onset Bipolar. They also have a website CABF, www.bpkids.org Being a parent of both a child with Autism and one with SAD..a form of BP, it has been one of the best sites I have ever found. Any questions you have can be answered here. My one child was diagnosed just as your son was, anxiety, OCD, mood disorder, ADHD, PDD-NOS etc, but as she grew older whe did get a definitive diagnosis of Autism. The older she got the more obvious it became. No mood disorder, no OCD, but anxiety, Sensory Disfunction and other developmental delays. In children it is vary hard to get a clear picture. Keep learning as much as you can...you are his expert.
2 people like this
@bhchy1 (6052)
• United States
14 Jan 07
I wanted to add to my previous note that my child was also given a SSRI, which not only gave her manic symptoms but also dyskenisa (uncontrollable movements). I don't persoannly think that these are good choices for children in general.
1 person likes this
• Canada
23 Jan 07
My son is on an SSRI and it is a wonderful thing for him. We tried weaning him off of it, and he literally went crazy for a few weeks, until we got his levels back up. SSRI's arent right for everyone - children or adults - but I don't think you can make a sweeping statement based on some negative experiences.
@reinydawn (11649)
• United States
14 Jan 07
I have not had any directly interaction with someone with bipolar/manic deprssive behavior. I also feel that I am going ot be blasted with negative responses because of my response. Let me first say, I am a wellness company advocate and what I have been told (and have not found proof to dispute) is something along the following: Chemicals which have been used in our everyday actions for MANY years has finally caught up with us. Almost everything we use thoughout the day - from shampoo, soap and toothpaste in the morning to the fabric softener in our sheets when we lay down on to sleep - has some CHEMICAL additive that is harmful to us. We have ingested these chemicals into our system - orally or through our skin - and have passed these genetic disorders onto our descendants. Have you notice how common ADD and ADHA are? Almost 7 in 10 families has this "problem" comparedto maybe 2 in 10 about 15 years ago. Why are things like this on the rise? I do not mean to belittle this affliction, and I apologize if I seem that way. What I don't understand is why do we constanly try to battle the "symptoms" and not try to stop the problem? I do wish you and your family the best. I know this cannot be an easy thing to deal with.
1 person likes this
@blueskies (1186)
• United States
14 Jan 07
I'm not going to blast you because I am also concerned about the sudden increase in autism and other diagnosis. However, I feel that a large part of this increase is because of the increase in awareness and education on this and similar disorders. I just need to make a point---while research for prevention is wonderful and essential, it doesn't help the children that are already suffering from these conditions. We need to focus just as much on treatment as we do prevention at this point.
@reinydawn (11649)
• United States
14 Jan 07
Oh yes, I know that we need to focus on treatment. I didn't mean it the way it looked, sorry about that. When I just not reread it, I realize I should have said that we also should be trying to stop the problem. I think both treatment and prevention study are important.
1 person likes this
@blueskies (1186)
• United States
14 Jan 07
I kind of figured that's what you meant :) No worries.
@ESKARENA1 (18299)
13 Jan 07
both my wife and eldest daughter have been diagnosed as having pi polar disorder, the once called manic depression. I often feel we spend too much time focusing on the negative elements of this disorder and ignore the positive boost that someone suffering from this disorder has. Some of the greatest, most innivotive individuals we have ever produced have suffered with it, i say go seek out the great blessing the conditions bring rather focus on the down periods good luck and blessed be
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@blueskies (1186)
• United States
13 Jan 07
Thank you, everyone, for the wonderful responses. I stayed up late last night reading everything I could find about this disorder. The experience was eye-opening, to say the least. 2 yrs ago, when my son was first given an "official" diagnosis, the psychiatrist suspected bipolar2, but couldn't be sure. Since then, my son has really been on a rollercoaster ride, with violent outbursts, what seemed like psychotic episodes, extreme rigidity, obsessive behavoirs, and always always anxiety. The reason that this psychiatrist was able to make a more definite diagnosis of bipolar is because of a few things: 1. Extreme reactions to antidepressants 2. More clear-cut episodes of depression 3. He is in a safe, appropriate school environment, so he has stopped acting out. Now that he's usually "normal", it's much easier for us to see that he has definite cycles of up and down periods. Please continue to post to this conversation. I really look forward to learning more about this disorder from people who have experience with it.
1 person likes this
@GardenGerty (104004)
• United States
13 Jan 07
Thanks for adding that bit about the school. That is almost always my first question, because our kiddos spend so much of their life there, and schools can be a great help, or make life hell for the parents. I know all of these disorders can make the family feel as if it is on a roller coaster. I do not have much to add, because you have gotten excellent responses from many people. I will say that I have met up with a number of people dealing with autism on this site, perhaps this will benefit all of you. I was really touched by the post from the member who has bipolar II herself.
@bhchy1 (6052)
• United States
14 Jan 07
I'd like to add a note here about kids in school and keeping approriate behavior wise. Oft times they are holding in or supressing their need to explode and while it appears that they can "behave" in school, they often come home and have a complete meltdown. Which confuses some parents even more as to why does the kid behave at school and not at home. Home is a safety zone, where they feel loved and nothing can (chould) happen. It's not in defiance to the parents or purposeful. They did their best all day and now they just can't hold it in any longer. We had both a punching bag (one of those blow up toy ones) and a corner with bean bags where my kids could go and throw themselves down and release all the pent up anxiety of the day. It was very important that we kept theat seperate from being sent to thier room, which was usually where they went when punished. It's a way of letting them know that you understand this was beyond their control. As they grew older and we finally found the right meds etc did it begin to diminish. We also learned how much they could handle in other situations and avioded the really bad trigger ones.
• Israel
13 Jan 07
My Brother In Law is bipolar but I was totally unaware that there was more than one kind. I know my Brother In law has cycles of being up but when he has the down cycles, he is really down. He has tried to kill himself many times. It is hard to know what to do to help him. He seems to have to come out of it himself. All we can do is listen to him when he is in one of the "down" times. Good luck with your son. It is so difficult with children. My Nephew is also bipolar
@tammyr (5955)
• Etowah, Tennessee
13 Jan 07
I have reported you again for copy/paste of reply #2
2 people like this
@blueskies (1186)
• United States
14 Jan 07
Thank you for reporting that spammer.
1 person likes this
@weemam (13377)
23 Jan 07
I have a friend with 2 autistic children blueskies . she has a website especially for parents and children with this condition . It covers all spectrums . I have only been on this site for a week writing though been a memeber for months so im not sure about posting a link . If I write to you as my friend ( you were kind enough to ask ) can I put the link on for you? . here is no obligation and no fee. but you will be very pleased with what you read I promise you . It has been a life saver for many of us . My son has Cerebral Palsy and I am a member of the site too. xx
@blueskies (1186)
• United States
23 Jan 07
Absolutely, thank you for offering. I'm always open to new information :)
1 person likes this
• Canada
23 Jan 07
I agree with what someone else posted, that OCD and anxiety diagnoses seem unneccessary since the symptoms of both disorders are encompassed in the Autism diagnosis. I don't think that the symptoms of Bipolar2, as you explain it, are encompassed by the Autism diagnosis. Certainly a period of hypomania is not characteristic of Autism. Sounds like mayeb this diagnosis is right - though I know it's hard to get the multiple diagnoses. My son, who is Autistic, has written output disorder and anxiety - but the doctor said he isn't going to add those into the diagnosis because they are already encapsuled in the Autism diagnosis. I wonder if you could ask your doc about not needing the OCD diagnosis? Might make you feel a bit better to have one less.
1 person likes this
@blueskies (1186)
• United States
23 Jan 07
I just had a conversation with the school psychologist this morning about this. I pointed out to her that I wasn't sure about the bipolar2 diagnosis because the periods of "depression" that the dr used as examples were actually caused by my son running out of video games (he is totally obsessed with them and must have a racing game to play in his free time). The "depression" lasted for a week, until we found a new videogame for him. This came up because he has now defeated that videogame that cured his last bout of "depression" and is once again in a funk. I asked the psychologist how satisfying an obsession could cure a depressive episode. She saw my point and is going to discuss it further with the psychiatrist that gave my son this most recent diagnosis. It's just so complex. Ugh!
@stailgate (2363)
• United States
23 Jan 07
I have never heard of bipoar2. What is the difference between this and regular bipolar? If you don't mind me asking.
1 person likes this
@blueskies (1186)
• United States
23 Jan 07
With typical Bipolar, you have severe depression, followed by manic periods where the person can't sleep and may indulge in all sorts of obsessive, unhealthy behaviors, such as compulsive shopping, etc. With Bipolar2, you have periods of depression, but instead of manic periods, there are periods of what is referred to as hypomania. During hypomania, the person is highly focused and productive and just feels "on". They can usually still sleep and focus quite well. This type of bipolar is not as frequently diagnosed, as it can often go unnoticed.
• Australia
14 Jan 07
My friend was diagnosed with bi-polar about 10 yrs ago before that she was told she suffered with depression. I remember my friend was very upset with this outcome, she seemed to like to be told she suffered with depression. I was wondering how severe your son is, I know my friend is not able to hold a job. There are some great sites you can read up about bi-polar Im not actually sure if I am allowed to leave links to site. This is my first day with Mylot
1 person likes this
@blueskies (1186)
• United States
14 Jan 07
Because of my son's combination of issues, he is not able to be left alone and cannot function by himself. He is very volatile and anxious and requires a 1:1 aide in school. The psychiatrist made the comment that my son seems to have an "unusual and unfortunate" mix of disorders because the combination makes him so difficult to treat....we have to separate out each component and try to treat them one at a time.
@villageanne (8554)
• United States
13 Jan 07
My Brother In Law is bipolar but I was totally unaware that there was more than one kind. I know my Brother In law has cycles of being up but when he has the down cycles, he is really down. He has tried to kill himself many times. It is hard to know what to do to help him. He seems to have to come out of it himself. All we can do is listen to him when he is in one of the "down" times. Good luck with your son. It is so difficult with children. My Nephew is also bipolar
1 person likes this
@tammyr (5955)
• Etowah, Tennessee
13 Jan 07
your reply was copyed and pasted to #13
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• Nigeria
14 Jan 07
Thanks for the enlightenment.
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@sharon613 (2323)
• United States
14 Jan 07
my 17 year old - this is a picture taken of my 17 year old daughter Esty.
I never heard to this type of Bipolar either. My 17 year old daughter was diagnosed with Bipolar a few years back. She is currently on medication and is trying to live a normal life. We go to counseling once a week.
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• India
14 Jan 07
take care of your child dear..its very sad to hear such things......
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@lvhughes (545)
• United States
13 Jan 07
my husband is bipolar but they didnt tell us about any 1 or 2 i think i need to do more research. my husband has manic depression and anger control problems. i sorry i cant help any but thanks for helping me find out there is more thsn one kind. good luck with your baby(son)
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@kathy77 (7488)
• Australia
13 Jan 07
Yes I know a lot of bipolar, as I was a sufferer for many years, but mine was only low and now I do not have it any more at least for 5 years going on 6 but I do have other friends that suffer from bipolar, as long as your son is treated corrctly and takes his tablets when he is having these positive feelings as they are called up and you can get into a lot of a mess with them but only take the tablets when he is having these other wise you will find that he will be stuck on these medications for life if you would like to contact me privately please feel free to go to my profile so that I maybe able to help you more in regards to bipolar.
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@durham (22)
• United States
13 Jan 07
I have Bipolar ll. It's not always easy to live this life. It's a constand battle with thoughts of sucide and self harming. With the up periods that are called manics can be even more dangerous. I also have a child that has Autism, Anixty, and at this point Mood disorder. It's a tough ride with her as well.
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@anabaik (206)
• Malaysia
13 Jan 07
i am sosorry. i do not know what to say. i have no experience with this. i hope everything will be fine.
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• United States
13 Jan 07
BiPolarness runs in my family I have never heard of BiPolar2. I'm going to be bring this to my family attention so they can have themselves or children checked for this. I'm glad you gave me some information on the symptoms so I can share it with others. Thanks for sharing the valuable information. :)
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@plantit1 (298)
• United States
13 Jan 07
My thoughts and prayers are with you and your son. My grown daughter has bipolar 1. It's a rough ride, I know. One day at a time. Blessings to you!
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