It would be nice if doctors had the answer for every ailment that their patients come in with, but unfortunately they don’t. This is where the term “practicing medicine” comes into play. Often people forget this and when their doctor can’t figure out what is wrong with them or prescribed treatments aren’t working, patients give up and just let their illness run its course.
Parents of children with bipolar disorder run into this often. Their child is constantly acting out in a wild manner; they don’t sit still, they don’t listen. Bipolar disorder sometimes gets misdiagnosed as attention deficit disorder by medical doctors, and all too often parents believe the doctor and take their child home and give them whatever medication the doctor prescribed; however, this medication won’t work. What is needed is a proper diagnosis followed by proper bipolar management.
Parents should never consider the opinion of one doctor to be correct, especially if their child’s condition worsens and they claim to be hearing voices or they make threats of suicide. These are not signs of ADHD, but bipolar disorder, and if left untreated could prove deadly for either the parent or the child.
Proper bipolar management is best handled by a psychiatrist, a specialist who has extensive training about mental behaviors and drugs that can help control those behaviors which could be dangerous to a patient, as bipolar disorder can be. This is not to say that you should not seek out the opinion of your child’s pediatrician when he/she exhibits these behaviors, but you should never rule out seeking a second or even a third opinion also.
Bipolar management is not a task to be taken lightly. It often requires the supervision of multiple doctors, and often requires many different trial and error runs in order to establish the correct medicine and the proper dosage for bipolar management. Even if you have the slightest concern that your child may have bipolar disorder, have him/her seen by a professional. The idea of a young child committing suicide is sickening enough without having to actually experience it.