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Sunday, May 1, 2016
Bipolar Disorder (Children and Adolescents)
Finding A Fitting Mental Disorder
Our son is 8 years old and was adopted from Ukraine at the age of 2.9 years. He is very oppositional and has serious problems in school related to agression towards peers, refusal to do work and attention. I`ve researched the symptoms of bipolar disorder and he doesn`t have the severe highs or lows nor has any sleep problems. However, he does have quite a few nightmares or bad dreams as he says and he has gotten into trouble quite a bit at school for hitting other kids. He always wants to be first and refuses to do things he has a hard time doing. He has become known as a bully. We think he has attachment disorder but also think something else is going on. Are there other mood disorders that could cause these symptoms.
Thank you for your question. Your son's behavior could indicate several possible disorders, including attachment disorder. However, the only way to find out if someone has a psychiatric disorder is to get a comprehensive and detailed psychological assessment from a trained mental health professional. I would suggest calling your local university, community mental health center or National Association of Mentally Ill chapter to ask for names, locations and phone numbers of mental health professionals who have expertise assessing and treating children. I hope this answer is helpful.
Nicholas Lofthouse, PhD
Clinical Assistant Professor of Psychiatry
College of Medicine
The Ohio State University