A Daily Struggle
My name is Brenda and I have a child with a mood disorder named Julian. Julian is 8 years old right now and has displayed this disorder since he was about 3 and a half to 4 years old. It has been a daily struggle with Julian. His behavior was so out of control that he was removed from his daycare. Just to mention that Julian is also a Type 1 diabetic since the age of about 20 months. Since the time that I realized there was something not right I bagan to research and try to seek help for my son. At that time he had only Medicaid as his primary insurance so the mental health treatment was very limited. I had him evaluated several times by so called licensed evaluators and they found him to be just a bit hyper and perhaps challeging than other children but not ADHD or anything else. So my quest for answers continued. It seemed that these evaluators looked at me as if I was the one with issues because in front of them his behavior was superb. I asked several times for him to be evaluated in his usual environment without his knowledge and was rejected each time. This I found to be wrong because if the child knows he is being watched he will perform as he needs to. Finally I was able to get private insurance through work and get a referal for a psychiatrist. In his 1st grade year Julian was 6yrs old about to be 7 in July and about to be suspended from school because of the extreme behavior he constantly displayed. Behavior which included throwing things in class, throwing things to the teacher in a fit of anger, picking up his chair and slaming it, being extremly mean and hurtful to other children and bouts of extreme tantrums. His psychiatrist put him on Adderall in March of 2007. I was also taking him to a therapist that specializes in treatment of children with ADHD. He believed Julian also had a mood disorder or Bipolar due to the extreme ways in which he would go from very happy to very sad to very very mad almost in an instant. The Adderall took about a month to take full affect and once it did it was not perfect but his behavior in school changed for the better. He was able to concentrate and show how smart he really is because he was now able to focus on the instruction being given. He bacame an instant helper and was very well liked. There were times of emotional meltdowns, where he would spend a lot of time crying and feeling bad. It was the ups and downs of the medication. He had also been given a mood stabalizer called Risperdal to take at bed time. The combinattion of both seemed to help him a lot. I felt like he could now begin to enjoy himself as a kid without all of these terrible feelings and anger that did not let him be a regular kid. The struggle continues because as of early May 2008 my son began to display tics in both eyes and the neck. His psychiatrist told me to remove the Adderall and I was so scared I removed all meds. My son had a terrible regression. All of his bad behaviors and extreme anger came back with even more force. He was suspended from school for 3 days due to this. The end of the year was a bad one because now Julian was a bad kid in the eyes of teachers and administration. It did not matter that I had informed everyone of his conditions and the lack of meds would aggrivate these conditions, they still suspended him and still pinned him as the bad apple. Although he had been great all year. I was reffered to take him to a neurologist for the tics. She gave me a non stimulant mediction for him and told me only to give him this. It was a nightmare. We were going on vacation in June and my son was terribly mentally unstable and there was nothing for me to do. We went on our family vacation which was spent mostly correcting him and arguing because of the several acts of anger and misbehavior. I put him back on the risperdal in late June and the mix of the clondine and risperdal seemed to be working well. He was mostly happy again and his sad times were gone quick. He had his personality back, which was gone with the Adderall, and was easier to work with. All summer we were able to have a pretty good time. A couple of months ago he had labs done. It turns out he now has high cholestoral. An unknown side effect of the risperdal. His psychiatrist has now put him on Geodon. It is truly not as affective at controling his extreme mood swings. The last month we have been dealing with a child that is ultra sensitve, very easily angered and displays a quick temper. Again we are seeing the child that is throwing objects in his room and distroying his bedroom because he is angry. A child that is not sleeping very much because he is not tired. A child that like a swicth can be happy one minute and so angry the next. Again we are trying to find a way to help our child have a somewhat normal, happy, childhood. I have to believe that one day soon we will find what Julian needs. It really needs to be very soon because this illness is threatening to distroy my family and our sanity.
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