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Bonnie, Psychologist
Category: Parenting
Satisfied Customers: 2189
Experience:  and pediatric nurse practitioner with 30 years of experience counseling parents.
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I wondered if you could help me with my 15 year old daughter.

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I wondered if you could help me with my 15 year old daughter. She is making family life near impossible. She took an overdose earlier this year and has had my husband, her stepfather arrested for hitting her. I feel that th esocial worker is only helping her. We were at a meeting and they only seemed to be interested in her. She is very aggressive with everyone in our family. Even her own father and stepmother suggested that she may be bipolar. When I suggested this at the meeting I was made to feel bad for suggesting such a thing. I asked for help but they say that we cannot get any until the new year. In the meantime , my husband has left the home to work away. He finds ths easier to cope with. I am at breaking point and I also suffer from depression myself.
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Parenting
Expert:  Walt-mod replied 5 years ago.
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Expert:  Bonnie replied 5 years ago.
Hello and I am sorry it took so long for a response.

I am also sorry to hear about the suffering that your daughter's behavior is causing. This behavior in teens is usually an expression of anger or want for attention. Therefore, the system does need to place the emphasis on her to prevent further behavior.

I am sorry that the system is making you wait for services for one month or so but do not give up. Sign up for whatever they offer and follow through. Then, also ask for family therapy to work out some of the relationship issues.

Good luck....
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
You have not told me anything I have not heard before. How do I get help to find out if she is bipolar?
Expert:  Bonnie replied 5 years ago.
I apologize, I misunderstood your question. Childhood Bipolar is difficult to diagnose because there is not clear criteria of what the symptoms are in children. I would like to refer you to this National Institute of Mental Health explanation of Bipolar Illness in Teens:

The way to get it officially diagnosed is to have her evaluated by a child psychiatrist or child psychologist.

The behavior you describe also fits the criteria for Borderline Personality Disorder.

Teenagers and Borderline Personality Disorder

Currently, teenage girls are the group with the highest risk for developing BPD, although the condition does strike a small percentage of boys as well. If parents suspect that their child may have Borderline Personality Disorder, they should watch for the following signs and symptoms of the condition:

  • Reckless behavior - such as driving too fast or having unsafe sex with multiple partners
  • Suicidal thoughts
  • Self-harming behavior
  • Intense bursts of anxiety or depression
  • An inability to control one's emotions
  • An inability to maintain personal relationships
This excerpt is copied from the following website:
This JA forum is not a good place to seek a diagnosis because the diagnostic process requires interviews and questionnaires and perhaps personality tests, all of which a child psychologist would do in a standard psychological evaluation.

So the information I have given you is for educational purposes only.

Good luck...

Customer: replied 5 years ago.
My daughter displays a lot of these symtoms as well as bed wetting . If she had BPD how would this be treated?
Expert:  Bonnie replied 5 years ago.
Borderline personality disorder is treated through individual psychotherapy and medications are also effective in relieving the symptoms. The medications may include a SSRI, commonly used to treat depression, a mood stabilizer or an anti psychotic medication commonly used to entry unstable moods and agitation.
Bonnie, Psychologist
Category: Parenting
Satisfied Customers: 2189
Experience: and pediatric nurse practitioner with 30 years of experience counseling parents.
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