Manic daughter/Criminal authorities
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Manic daughter/criminal authorities

Q: my daughter was diagnosed with depression and was taking efforix 30grms and within a week went into mania and burned the house down. The frensicpysciatrice said that she wouldnt have burned the house down if she didnt take the antidepressent. But now the authorities have her. she is almost 16-years old and they say she dosent have bipolar and they are little by little stopping the lithium. she was taking 6pills a day. now, three weeks later she is only taking 4pills. My question is how do you help anybody that has been taken away in the system and what they need is mental help. also, I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia 10-years-ago. My eldest daughter 19-years-old was just diagnosed with bi-polar II (2months ago) helplessly in pain mom. Diana

Dear Diana --

I'm sorry to hear about this situation.  I can only imagine the pain you describe.  Unfortunately, I run into this "bipolar - no, not bipolar" discussion almost every day.  It is one of the main reasons why I wrote my site in the first place:  I got tired of people not seeming to "get it" when I was trying to explain that there are mood experts all over the country recognizing variations of bipolar disorder that don't look like what the DSM describes yet respond well to mood stabilizers.  So for the frustration I have experienced, which has been bad enough, I can only guess what it must be like if it's your daughter in this circumstance.

In the long run I believe that good information will change people's minds.  But in the short run, egos and fear of shame, need to save face, need to be an authority -- all those seem to determine people's point of view more than information.  So I have two recommendations: first, prepare yourself with really good information.  See the site for parents of bipolar kids.  Read the consensus view there on diagnosis in kids: that's the kind of article you can print (see the icon in upper left corner) and take in for people to read.  Round up a bunch of articles (my site may have a few you'd want to include) that show how symptoms your daughter has had merit the diagnosis of bipolar disorder, and highlight the juiciest sentences for their attention.

Second, try to figure out what keeps your daughter's doctor/provider from seeing "bipolar": see if they're willing to take the time to explain their view, and at least sound very interested and see if you can even thank them for the effort that it takes to work with her and talk with you.  Anything that you can honestly stroke, do it.  Then present them with your articles.  Remind them, very gently (e.g "I think you probably already know that...") of your family history.

Finally, you can try to find out who her providers' superiors are, their bosses.  Then putting on your most respectful and meek approach, kindly and gently suggest that your daughter's providers are working so hard that they don't seem to have time to listen to you, and that you have something important to say that could make everybody's efforts to do the right thing go even righter.  You get the point, eh?  This is that "ego" part, and I'm giving you some ideas on how to deal with it -- like it or not, that's the way it is, much of the time, in my business.

Good luck.

Dr. Phelps

Published September, 2000

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