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Bipolar Disorder (Children and Adolescents)

Finding the Source Seizures or Fits or Rage

12/14/2005

Question:

My eleven year old nephew has been diagnosed with ADHD since the age of three. He has also been diagnosed with bipolar disorder since the age of eight. For a year he has had seizures or fits of rage, (it depends which expert you talk to) during these seizures it takes three grown men to hold him down. His pupils are enlarged; he wants to kill and destroy. It lasts from one to two hours and leaves my nephew extremely tired. He states that he has a demon in his head. The only warnings signs are his enlarged pupils. The many, many doctors and neurologists have thrown their hands up. Meanwhile, social services want to place this child in a locked facility. What is causing these seizures or fits of rage?

Answer:

Hello and thank you for your excellent question regarding your "11 YEAR OLD NEPHEW" and "WHAT IS CAUSING THESE SEIZURES OR FITS OF RAGE?" Not knowing the specifics of your nephew's case, the key part of your question seems to be whether your nephew's behavior is due to a seizure disorder or bipolar disorder (or both). The only way to find that out is via a comprehensive and detailed assessment of these disorders (and other psychiatric conditions, as many children/teens have co-occurring conditions like ADHD anxiety, etc.) by a mental health professional trained to assess these and other psychiatric conditions of childhood/adolescence.

In addition, the following diagnostic tests may be performed for seizure disorder: CT scan of the head or MRI of the head, EEG, Lumbar puncture, Blood tests. The comprehensive assessment is important as each disorder has somewhat different causes and treatments. The following two NetWellness links on bipolar disorder and seizure disorder will give you more information on their different symptoms, causes and treatments: www.netwellness.org/healthtopics/bipolar/introduction.cfm 

www.netwellness.org/ency/article/003200.htm

I hope this helps! Best wishes.

For more information:

Go to the Bipolar Disorder (Children and Adolescents) health topic, where you can:

Response by:

Nicholas   Lofthouse, PhD Nicholas Lofthouse, PhD
Clinical Assistant Professor of Psychiatry
College of Medicine
The Ohio State University