Although Fountainhead Clinic has closed, Brooke McNeal, N.D. is still in private practice helping children who suffer from emotional and behavioral disorders through homeopathic care. Please visit her new website for more information BrookeMcNealND.com.
There is no condition that we at Fountainhead Clinic feel more passionate about than children suffering from pediatric bipolar disorder. We have researched and refined our methods of managing children with bipolar disorder. The result is an effective treatment approach with no side effects and a happier, healthier child.
Naturopathic Medicine, Not Medications?
Our doctors have no opposition to conventional medicine and support the safe, rational use of medications. However, with the limited safety and efficacy research in children, they have several cautions in youth. Most parents are not aware of how few studies there are supporting the effectiveness of medications in pediatric bipolar disorder. Even more concerning is the limited long-term safety data on growing children. The majority of medication naïve children can be managed quickly and successfully with naturopathic medicine alone with no side effects. Frequently children who come to Fountainhead Clinic will be on 2-4 medications, many treating side effects of the primary medications. Our approach is to improve your child’s health until medications are no longer needed for mood stabilization.
My Child Might Not Have Bipolar Disorder?
Our doctors are experts in diagnosis of children with mood challenges. In fact, many children coming to Fountainhead Clinic with previous diagnosis of pediatric bipolar disorder actually do not have true bipolar disorder. Research in this area is beginning to differentiate children with classic bipolar disorder from others who have a proposed category of Severe Mood Dysregulation. This is an important distinction because children with Severe Mood Dysregulaton do not appear to grow up to have adult bipolar disorder. Furthermore, the limited research on this classification makes medication choice even more complicated. Both pediatric bipolar disorder and Severe Mood Dysregulation respond well to Naturopathic treatment.
Why have I not heard of homeopathy as an effective treatment for my bipolar child?
There are numerous reasons homeopathy is not well known for the treatment of children with bipolar disorder. The most important reason is there are so few skilled doctors using homeopathy to repeatedly get results that Dr. Janikula and Dr. Brooke achieve. Other practitioners don’t get consistent results and hence homeopathy has not developed a reputation for being successful. There are very few doctors in the United States practicing at a level that can consistently manage difficult cases. Secondly, there is limited research supporting homeopathy for bipolar disorder. Fountainhead Clinic is undertaking a research study to discern the effectiveness of homeopathy used in bipolar youth. This trial will be the first of its kind to actually study how patients do while treated with a system of medicine and what the actual outcome is with real-world markers. Most studies are conducted on a short basis of 6-16 weeks, and only look at a few variables rather than actual outcome. When this study is completed it will put homeopathy on the map.
Billy (name changed) is a 9-year-old boy coming to our clinic for extreme mood swings. Billy was having problems since the age of 3, but his parents did not seek out treatment until recently due to fear of medications. A typical day is very difficult for Billy, his parents, and teachers at school. He would wake up in a foul, angry mood and would not go to school. When his mother attempted to dress him he would yell “don’t touch me” and would repeat how much he hated his mother. During his first hour of school he would not participate and scowled at teachers and other students. He would return from school and a daily 3-hour tantrum cycle would begin. He would be easily triggered and would start by saying nasty things to his mother such as “I have hated you from day one.” He would use language that you would never expect from such a young boy. It would escalate and he would become very destructive and over the past 6 months he has broken nearly all his mother’s favorite possessions. If anyone got in his way he would hit, kick, spit, or pull hair. If he escalated to extreme anger, he would repeatedly bang his head on the floor causing bruising and sometimes bleeding. When the anger subsided he would cry and repeat that “no one likes me” or that “everyone hates me.” This cycle would last about 15 minutes and then would start all over again. During the worst weeks he would have marked delusions of greatness and planned on doing some of the most impossible things. Billy would then have weeklong periods where he would become very sensitive and withdrawn. He would misinterpret the slightest facial expression or word to mean that no one likes him and would cry often. During these times he would write letters to his mother that he wished he were dead and in heaven because no one cares about him. Billy had numerous other troubling symptoms such as headaches, stomachaches, difficulty focusing, hyperactivity, anxiety, and a very obsessive nature with television, video games, and food. Billy’s case is a classic case of pediatric bipolar disorder with clear depressive periods and manic episodes. His mood swings left his parents, teachers, and those around him exasperated.
The good news is cases like Billy’s respond rapidly to homeopathic treatment. Billy was given the homeopathic medicine Tuberculinum and within a week his situation was much improved. His tantrums were no longer every day, and when they did occur, they lasted only 15 minutes. He was more pleasant in the morning, and most days would voluntarily dress himself and go to school. He had not broken anything during this first week and had not banged his head on the floor. By one month his mother said “Oh my goodness! He is a new child, he is so much better.” His tantrums were gone. He was getting up easily and in a good mood. He no longer said he hated anyone or that everyone hated him. His focus, headaches, stomachaches and social interactions were all very much improved. Billy’s anger never returned. He needed continued treatment for about a year to remain stable but his mother repeats every time we speak, “I have a new child!”