Bipolar Disorder in Family History
Our 23 month old fd was abandoned 4 days after birth so we have almost no family history on either bparent.

The bmother did let the CPS worker know she had been treated for bipolar disorder prior to her pregancy. We have no other medical history on any other family member but we do know there was a 10 year drug history with her fmother.

How concerned should we be that the bipolar disorder may be passed on to our fd?

She so far has exhibited night terrors or awakening periods in the middle of the night. Sometimes we'll think she's fallen back to sleep and then her eyes will slam open and scare the heck out of us. She doesn't look like she's looking at us, but through us. She can be the happiest girl most of the time but out of nowhere will hit me so hard in the face for no reason. She has head butted me several times, once so severely I thought my nose had broken. She will act agressively towards another person (adult or child) in one instance and then ever so sweetly kiss them and bat her eyes at them the next instance.

Is this normal toddler behavior? Or should we be concerned?

We are preparing to complete our adoption subsidy papers. We don't know if we should bring these issues up or not. We don't know if she'll need any care relating to this as she grows older.

What would any of you do?
Definately bring up ALL those issues including that the family has a history of bi-polar. Both our sons' families have the same history. I have not seen any of the things you describe. They both seem pretty on track and I was not worried about the family history.

I did have a foster mother tell me she learned in one of the state offered classes that if a child is likely to inherit this disorder, should they be put on any kind of ADD or ADHD drug treatment it will bring the symptoms to the surface sooner than it otherwise might. Now I don't know if that is true, but it is just something I have always kept in the back of my mind should I ever need to address such matters with the doctor.

I moved this thread out of the International Adoption area to Foster Care so it would get more responses. Smile

I thought I had posted this in the special needs area.

Bi-Polar does have a genetic component - children of people with bi-polar have a higher risk of developing this than children whose family does not have a genetic disposition. The disorder though typically manifests itself at puberty. There are *some* cases of early-onset bipolar, though they are relatively rare.

Here's some information on the disorder:

[url=]NIMH: Largest Study to Date on Pediatric Bipolar Disorder Describes Disease Characteristics And Short-Term Outcomes[/url]

[url=]Bipolar - Do You Know It?- Introduction[/url]


I just saw your post and realize it is fairly old. There is a very helpful website on pediatric bi-polar disorder. It is [url=]Child and Adolescent Bipolar Foundation:[/url] I think... maybe a dot com. BP presents itself differently in children than it does in adults. At 23 months she is still to young for any kind of a diagnosis, but since you have a confirmed history you will want to be aware of what to watch for. As far as your subsidy goes, without a diagnosis there isn't much to base it on YET, but be sure that in the contract they commit to mental health care through the age of 18. In our state subsidies are reevaluated every five years, plus if situatio ns change (ie you get a dx of BP) at anytime you can ask for a review. Good liuck.
While bipolar does have a genetic factor I wonder if you may be reading too far into her behavior. The night thing, that's pretty normal for kids to go in and out of sleep patterns. Night terrors are common in kids, not just bipolar kids. The waking up thing, that's normal too. The hitting, normal. Headbutting, normal.

All that to say, I would still bring it up at your meeting. It's important to make sure the "powers that be' know that you are having some of these issues. Be sure that when it's brought up it's written down that bmom has bipolar. Just because she has it doesn't mean your child will, just be sure to have it there in case it does show up some where in your childs life.
First, her sleep issues may have more to do with being exposed to drugs. I would definitely include in your paper work. My son's mother side have a few mental health issues and I will include it.
I was going to say the same thing. Could be the drug exposure that is the root of the sleep problems as well as behaviors.

Has she always been with you since 4 days old? I ask because my 1st thought was RAD behavior, or some kind of attachment issues. The major problem is that there are many things that have the same, or simular symptoms, so it's really hard to figure out what's going on. Especially with one so young.
Our daughter's mom was bipolar. I wish I had done my research B4 we adopted. We turned down kids who were diagnosed bipolar and guess what my daughter was diagnosed with 2 years ago. We are in HELL! I would NEVER risk it again!
How old was your daughter before she was diagnosed? I am wondering how old kids are before the signs come out?
im a person with bipolar and evrything that youo have mentioned with the night thing is normal but it can be more moody because of the bipolar thast how i was the same way when i was younger my moods were really bad bipolar is not something that you want to just shrubb off cuz as she or he gettes older its getts more serious ....its definet ly something to look at and keep an eye on and tell a doctor and bring it up at meeting let evryone know your concerns birth mom had and i have it so dose my biological brother im treated and there not its definetly something u want to have under controll trust me
My foster son's biomom is diagnosed with bipolar disorder. My stepdad said I should consider this if the option of adoption comes up. I definitely want to adopt if I'm able to. Should this affect my decision? He is still very young and shows no bipolar symptoms.
We've discussed this with our caseworker and she brought to our attention a study that found 75% of children with a genetic link raised in a bi-polar home become bi-polar. While only 35% of children whith a genetic link raised in a non-bipolar home become bi-polar
casuzascookie - I wonder if you could direct me to this study? We are potentially going to be considered for a 16 month old whose both birth parents and at least one grandparent has bipolar. He is currently being cared for by this grandparent (with bipolar). Neither I nor my dh have a family history of it. So I wonder what the future might hold for us if this situation does pan out...
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