Sally is a 10 year old girl who had been hospitalized when she was 6. She was diagnosed as having bipolar disorder, oppositional defiant disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder and “explosive disorder.” She had temper outbursts that led to violence toward others and she reported ongoing suicidal thoughts. She was taken out of school by her mother early and was not coping well.
After being re-evaluated by an HLN psychiatrist, Sally’s diagnoses were refined and she was no longer considered to have bipolar disorder.
When she was referred to us, she had many stressors in her life, such as new foster children coming to live in her home, the onset of puberty and a significant decrease in therapy and other services. For example, she was only able to see her therapist once a month and her school counselor could not see her as often as she had in the past. She was on a several medications that can cause significant side effects.
Through seeing an HLN child psychiatrist, she was re-evaluated and her diagnoses were refined to include autism spectrum disorder, communication disorder and anxiety (obsessive-compulsive symptoms, social phobia and separation anxiety). She was no longer considered to have bipolar disorder. As a result of this thorough evaluation and understanding of her situation, she was slowly titrated off of her anti-psychotic and mood stabilizer. Her medication for anxiety was increased to a therapeutic dose, resulting in a positive effect. She was also referred for more specialized testing of her possible autism.
Sally has been on this new treatment plan for 6 months now and is feeling much better, with no further hospitalization. She is doing well at school and at home. She is making friends now and her parent report life is much happier for Sally.