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Bipolar Disorder (Children and Adolescents)

Bipolar and PDD-NOS



I adopted a 2 year old boy 11 years ago. He turned 13 this month. He has always wanted to argue with his father, myself, or his (adopted sister). He does not seem happy. We have taken him to a school pschologist to have him tested for learning problems. His report says that he could be Bipolar. His on a depokote, abilify, and vyvanse. He also takes clonidine to help him sleep. We were seeing a counselor, but he felt that there might be something organic going on. So we took him to a neurologist, and she diagnosed him with Aspergers. He does lack all the social cues and has lack of eye contact with the outside world, but not with family. He is argumentative and defiant with his family. My question is could he have multiple problems?


Hello, Thank you for your e-mail and excellent question. The only way to find out if someone has bipolar or any 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 psychiatric problems. Because symptoms can mimic several other disorders and many disorders occur together (comorbidity), it's essential that a comprehensive and detailed psychological assessment of ALL the psychiatric diagnoses be conducted to identify which diagnoses and symptoms are present and which can be ruled-out. I hope this answer is helpful for you and your son. 

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Response by:

Nicholas   Lofthouse, PhD Nicholas Lofthouse, PhD
Clinical Assistant Professor of Psychiatry
College of Medicine
The Ohio State University