Being the pesky mother bear I am, I emailed him asking for more clarification. I started with the following question:
“Does our son’s amazing response to Lithium, combined with his known symptoms, indicate what type of mood disorder he has? ”
Then I asked,
“Could his scary, uncontrollable, silly behavior in the store be a short episode hypomania?”
I was surprised to see that for the first time within our HMO, our psychiatrist had an opinion. He said that our son’s depression, episodes of increased energy and elated mood, episodic psychotic symptoms in a child who does not appear schizophrenic and family history suggest that much of his difficulty has been a manifestation of real bipolar 1 disorder.
An official opinion.
This is not a diagnosis, but rather as our therapist calls it, “A working diagnosis.”
I believe this is the case because as our doctor mentioned, too little in known about children and real bipolar disorder. Don’t you find it funny that he used the word “real”.
So, you may wonder... how does this make me feel now that we have an official opinion?
First, it makes me very sad. This is not what I wish for my son and I still hope that he’s one of those kids who will overcome many of these childhood symptoms and only struggle with depression as an adult.
It makes me scared because I know how serious this road can be. I’m also aware that research shows that for those who develop bipolar disorder as a child, the disorder tends to be more severe as an adult. I know what challenges may lay ahead and it scares the crap out of me.