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First: Yes, child psychs WILL give 10 year olds ADs. and mood stabilizers. And what ever else they deem appropriate. IF APPROPRIATE being the key thing...with a family history of bipolar though (ooh I grew a brain cell back) theyd want to be realllly careful what they gave her.

As for diet--no diet fixes depression, though BAD diet can make brain cooties WORSE. if she has food allergies, well, then they are not helping things. Example: the extreme PST diet (see appropriate subject) helps my bipolar, including depressed end, AND seizures, AND to a lesser degree autism...but usually for depressiony stuff they talk about carbyness. Im pretty low carb because of a wheat allergy and a corn allergy and fruits and veggies all being salicylatey-if you read the stuff in the PST post that WILL make sense. The Feingold diet helps a number of kids with a variety of brain cooties, and really cant HURT anyone; no one NEEDS artificial colors and flavors or BHA BHT or TBHQ. But I wouldnt expect it to be a cure all, nor would I put faith in it above an evaluation by a good child psychiatrist, especially if your neice is severely depressed. The myth that children can't have mood problems has been debunked by this time.

Also, if they try Feingold, for example, which is a milder form of my extreme PST thing, and it helps, but her dad wont stick to it, she'll be a bigger mess than she was when she started. Partial detox is a BITCH.

Carbiness and Omega 3s have also been suggested for depression, but Im really URGING the idea of professional medical intervention, as a kid who went far too long without such things. Kindling happens...and kindling SUCKS...



Can you come up with a physical activty that you can get her to do? Even If she won't put on a bathing suit maybe get her in shorts and a t shirt and get her to play in water? Beach or Pool?

What did she like to do when she was 5? Try doing it with her.

The activity will help more than diet but she won't do it alone. Good luck


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Oh boy.

I think your niece is definitely in multiple "see a doctor" lands.  If she's already in therapy, shouldn't

the therapist be helping her find an alternate coping mechanism? And her pediatrician is clued in

to both the weight and emotional problems, right?  If that's not really working, I think

Kassiane is 100% on the mark urging a competent psychiatrist being added to the team.

The usual helpful suggestion is exercise, but think about it: exercise usually makes you more alert and

aware of what's going on around you. Being more alert to how her life is going is NOT something she's

going to be keen on right now. 

If a pdoc can get her numb/stable enough for the therapy to take hold, THEN maybe exercise and

an appropriate diet could be brought in to get the weight down and support everything else.

And it's going to have to be something that can tide her over a weekend of emotional neglect

and medical non-compliance thanks to her dad.

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I wonder if the next time you see your neice, if you could have her just to come see you for a little bit- give her a vacation from her home stressors. I mean, if you would want to do that and she would want to also.  Even, if she is up to it, and you are too, once a week phone time.

It might help her to have that time 'away'. She may end up seeing a nutritionist, a therapist, her family doctor who can all encourage her to get healthy in various ways. If you two do have a decent relationship,  already, I'm sure it would be a relief for her to talk about these things with a family member who is taking an active role. [but who isn't around all the time?]

And yes, like Kass said- kids are put on anti-depressants. I was put on one when i was nine.  I actually stopped taking it after a while. So, it also doesn't necessarily mean that she will be stuck in the crazymeds mode forever. [heh... don't use me as an example]. And omegas- they are good good good. They have been sooo helpful for me a huge difference.  Just don't use the cod.

Other than that?  Do try to keep good communication. i am sure there is so much going on in her poor head right now. In terms of the dieting part- if you can get her to talk about it at all... if she's a smart/responsible kid, she can probably handle meal preperation, maybe with a little adult guidance. I'm wondering if there is anyway you could get her interested, a little while from now, in making healhy recipes. I went through a long phase of cooking when i was a kid... If she did, at anytime enoy the outdoors, i wonder if a very short, very easy-going camping weekend might be good.

I will try to think of better things.


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  • 4 weeks later...

Is there any diet that my sister can institute in the household to help out my niece's brain?

Wow. A lot of great suggestions here. Kassi mentioned wheat - one of my docs mentioned that I have a wheat sensitivity and that wheat is often linked to depression. I have a 20-yr history of major depression and I found that eliminating wheat did help a bit, but was definately not a cure-all. Eliminating wheat from one's is a tough thing to do, but might help some. Switching her carbs to brown rice rather than bread and other wheat products would be good, but she's a teen, so that might be extra tough. Just one more thing to throw in the mix...

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My friend's 10 year old daughter (she'l be 11 next week) has been successfully using at least 600 mg of Trileptal for a little under a year. I think the drug has FDA approval for seizures in children, so there's at least some kind evidence its safe.  As far as hard efficacy data in bipolar children, I honestly don't know.  I believe she also might be on an add on anti-depressant, but I'm not sure which one...I think it's 1/3 the size of an M&M and blue...maybe Kassiane knows by pill...I've only been on 2 ADs

A child psychiatrist would certainly be quite helpful here.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Maybe this will sound crazy, but have you all tried to interest your niece in some sort of martial arts instruction?  If you could get her to at least try it, it might help her get used to being tall, give her some poise, help her with her weight, and provide a nice channel for her anger.  You could point out that the uniforms are baggy unlike dance leotards, which might raise her comfort level some. 

Also, a martial arts program will probably draw people from a large area, so it wouldn't be filled with people from her school that she would be embarrassed in front of.  I have been a big girl all my life and it's not any fun to be teased - it wasn't when I was little, and it still isn't now.  I'm not tall, but I'm guessing being 10 years old and 5'-7" can't be too much fun, either.  (At least until she learns how to throw a good roundhouse kick! ;) )  I hope she gets some help.  Good luck! 

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