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Making the Monster Go Away

My daughter Gina was five when she began changing. I noticed it about the same time her school did. Sometimes it was like she had OCD or anxiety. She wouldn’t throw anything away. When she started throwing tantrums that turned into rage if someone told her she had to throw something out, it became alarming.

At school, she was defensive and ultra-sensitive. Her teacher and the other kids got angry with her. We tried all kinds of therapy, from brain gym and occupational therapy to play therapy to a psychologist who recommended a medical evaluation. Gina’s pediatrician thought she was childhood bipolar. How’s that for scary?

Gina has a family history of bipolar disorder on her father’s side, and her child psychiatrist also thought she was bipolar. The psychiatrist recommended an expensive mood stabilizer that was untested on kids under 10. But the idea of putting my young daughter on an untested, expensive drug that would affect her brain was pretty unsettling to me; I felt like I needed more objective information before making that kind of decision.

Because I work at a brain imaging center in Denver called CereScan, I asked our pediatrician if we could get Gina