3.5 year old possibly bipolar?

by Katie
(Northbrook, IL)

My son is 3.5 years old and has so much anger in him for apparently no reason. The smallest things make him angry. He also has anxiety issues, about being alone, being in the dark, bugs, tornadoes, cracks on the wall etc.

The anger is the real issue, and it seems to turn on and off like a light switch. One second he will tell me that he "is not my friend, and I don't like you" or daddy or whomever he chooses that that moment. The next second he's telling us that he loves us and our family and wants to cuddle.

He throws things when he's angry, but doesn't destroy anything (yet, I'm afraid of it though). When he gets angry he yells, clenches his fists and shakes. Pretty much nothing will calm him down, he just has to decide that he's done raging. I used to think he just had a "strong will" but its out of control.

My father has been diagnosed as bipolar, and I believe that my brother has some of the same tendencies. My son is very intelligent and can concentrate on things that seem out of his age range. He has a great imagination, but it seems to scare him because he imagines things so vividly sometimes, especially at night.

He's addicted to apple juice...I always water it down. If I don't have it or snacks on hand at all times, it will always, without exception trigger a meltdown.

He is a happy kid otherwise, and our home is stable. He loves his friends (when he's not angry), loves church and the part time daycare he attends. There is no alcoholism, etc in our family.

I'm just afraid he will grow up like my father who does not lead a very fulfilling life because he has not appropriately treated his illness. Help!


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