Only at certain times?

by Gio

Can bipolar or other mood disorders show up around certain people? Ever since my son was born, we knew he was troubled - even as an infant. It was dismissed by doctors and family members, but as his mother, and the one who was with him almost 100% of the time, I saw something they didn't see. And during pregnancy even I felt as if something was 'off' in the energy of my unborn child.

But now that he's 3 going on 4, he's often a monster at home or even out - but only when with either me or his father. It's rare that it occurs with other family members or at preschool, and if it does with them, it's a much milder situation. They often consider him "an angel", and my mother, although she's seen his fits, blames us for not disciplining him "properly".

The fact is, that no retraining (on my lap), no reasoning, no time out (a laughable option for us), no toy taking, no spanking - nothing - ever has worked to maintain discipline with my son. He screams, bucks, rears, kicks, bites, smacks,l punches and runs all over the house so you have a chase on your hands if you try to catch him to sit him down. In picking him up or holding him during a fit or at the start of one, I've nearly had my cheek bone crushed several times, my nose actually broken twice, my jaw dis-aligned a few times, and my eyebrow bone hit so hard the skin spit open, I've even had teeth loosened. And it's all from the way he throws his fits, right down to the time he was only a few months old and still nursing. Now, I try to stay away, or at least keep my head clear.

But it seems that the family member's who know this occurs point the fingers at us as irresponsible parents, the doctor just ignores our pleas for help and the school only laughs because they've never witnessed it.

We don't cater to his every whim, but as a mother with a chronic illness that presents itself with fatigue and pain,

I don't have the energy or capability to fight with him all the time either - and I'm as strong willed as my son.

He's recently begun concocting fabrications which are getting worse by the day. I'm not sure where he'd learn to lie, except perhaps school, but he's told me that my daughter has done things that I know for a 100% fact she hasn't, and he's told my mother things I know for 100% fact were not true, and said other things I find highly suspect. And he's starting to make threats of harm or otherwise. We used to just tell him "we don't talk like that" or "you need to be respectful" but now it seems to be getting more serious in nature, and talking to him about "how" to or not to behave isn't working.

The fact is, that he absolutely CAN be an angel, even at home. But most of the time it seems, when he's with us, he's most certainly not. I imagine even Lucifer himself can be charming at times but that doesn't make him any less of a devil. That's exactly what I see when my son is in the middle of one of his fits and I really don't know what to do.

Dear Gio

My experience is that bipolar and mood disorders can begin in its initial stages to show up only around certain people.

Many children I work with who are young, fit this profile. They begin showing symptoms in one setting, often at home, and later as the illness progress, it spills over into other settings such as school, or other people. I don't know of any research that specifically speaks to that, but from experience in my practice with children with bipolar disorder that is not uncommon.

I am so sorry for what you are going through. I cant tell you whats happening specifically with your child, but I do think you need help. Get him to see someone who specializes in childhood issues and knows and understands mood disorders. It wouldn't hurt to try and see if their are any bipolar support groups in your area.

Good Luck

Kristen McClure

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