HELP FOR PARENTS WITH STRONG-WILLED, OUT-OF-CONTROL CHILDREN AND ADOLESCENTS

Education and Counseling for Individuals Affected by Oppositional Defiant Disorder and ADHD

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Bipolar?!

I am seriously considering buying your book and online course. However, I am a single parent of extremely limited means and want to ask you a question first.

My 14 year old son Toby just fell asleep after being awake for more than 24 hours. Is this a possible symptom of bipolar disorder? I doubt it is the first time he has done this, but it is the first time I have verified it beyond doubt, or perhaps that I have believed him.

When he was a baby and toddler I don't recall him ever sleeping more than two hours at a time. I used to lock all the doors,turn off all the lights, take a sleeping pill myself, and bury myself under a pillow so I could sleep. He seems to be having a resurgence of this in adolescence. And, he has become quite hostile when I attempt to discipline him re schoolwork.

Yes, he definitely has phases of extreme irritability, hates rules & teachers, is highly intelligent, has had depressive phases, has been suicidal.

I am currently homeschooling with a charter school. I have definitely tried everything in the school department and am increasingly tempted to give up and send him back to his Dad and the juvenile justice system where his half-brothers were when I met them.

His father and paternal grandma are alcoholic, his mother, aunt, maternal grandma have all been diagnosed with Anxiety Disorder, his maternal grandpa was alcoholic and had an IQ of 176. I believe there is a relative somewhere on Mom's side who committed suicide. No one in my family of origin has ever been diagnosed with bipolar disorder altho a couple of my father's best friends were.

My son and I have both experienced counseling and schooling that were completely useless.

I personally have experienced counseling, schooling, and psychotropic medication that were quite useful, but my son refuses to discuss this.

I would appreciate your comments.

Thank you

A.W.

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Re: Is this a possible symptom of bipolar disorder?

Possibly. Sleep can be disturbed by mood disorders, PTSD, substance abuse, ADHD, and anxiety. Many children have sleep problems. Examples include:

· Bedwetting
· Difficulty falling asleep
· Feeling sleepy during the day
· Frequent awakening during the night
· Having nightmares
· Talking during sleep
· Teeth grinding and clenching
· Waking early
· Waking up crying

Many childhood sleep problems are related to poor sleep habits or to anxiety about going to bed and falling asleep. Persistent sleep problems may also be symptoms of emotional difficulties.

Nightmares are relatively common during childhood. The child often remembers nightmares, which usually involve major threats to the child's well-being. For some children nightmares are serious, frequent, and interfere with restful sleep.

A range of treatments is available for sleep disorders. Fortunately, as they mature, children usually get over common sleep problems as well as the more serious sleep disorders (parasomnias). However, parents with ongoing concerns should contact their pediatrician or directly seek consultation with a child and adolescent psychiatrist.

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