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Dr. Bonnie
Dr. Bonnie, Psychologist and RN
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 2189
Experience:  35 years experience counseling children and families
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I know there is something wrong with my 12 year old son. I

Resolved Question:

I know there is something wrong with my 12 year old son. I think he may have ODD or bipolar disorder. He back talks, lies, blames others-nothing is ever his fault, thinks he can do things way more advanced for his age, is very impulsive, wont prethink consequences of actions, wont listen to adult advise...what does this sound like?


I separated from their dad in June 2010...moved with the kids to an apt. and back to my house. I divorced his dad 9/11, and he moved 12/11 an hour and a half away. Spent both holidays with him, and goes every other weekend.

Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Dr. Bonnie replied 5 years ago.
Hello and thank you for consulting JA,
Just some questions and then I will formulate an answer for you...

How long has he been oppositional and aggressive?
Does this behavior occur at school too? with other family members?

Does he have sleep problems or is he preoccupied with sexual thought content (that you know of)? ---these imply childhood Bipolar
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
The aggressive behavior started in middle school. He got in 2 fights and got suspended both times. The tantrums started this summer. He threw a big one I'm front of both of my parents. He has really done a lot of growing too. He's gained 50 pounds- since 5th grade. He weights 133. 5' 2 , size 11 shoe. He thinks he is grown . I hadn't noticed anything sexual until tonight he "layed a joke" and put water balloons down his pants and tried to make his sister touch it. That really concerned me. I had s big discussion with kids on that.
Expert:  Dr. Bonnie replied 5 years ago.
It is late here. I am in Central Time. Will answer tomorrow. Thank you for te additional information.
Expert:  Dr. Bonnie replied 5 years ago.
Hello and thank you for consulting JA,
This sounds like "Adjustment Disorder with Disturbance in Emotions and Conduct". It does not sound like ODD because of it's recent onset. The possibility of Childhood Bipolar does exist but given his age, the family stress and recent onset, the adjustment diagnosis fits best.

The behavior is an expression of his uncomfortable emotions which he has not learned to express well verbally (anger, anxiety, depressed mood). In addition, there is the usual adolescent rebellious behaviors which are normal as he develops his identity and independence.

You did not ask about the treatment but I will offer that this behavior often requires some sessions of counseling with a male therapist familiar with adolescents. He will be taught some coping skill and appropriate ways to express his uncomfortable emotions. The therapist can also be a consultant to you regarding the best ways to handle this behavior considering the circumstances (two homes, etc.)

I hope this helps...
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