ADD Child with Major Anger Issues

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by Shadow416, Apr 21, 2007.

  1. Shadow416

    Shadow416 New Member

    Hi, I am new here, but I am hopeful that maybe someone here will have some information that can help me...or at least some support!
    Obviously I can find a ton of info online...I have read tons and tons of it and pretty much know where we are at... I just don't know where to go from here, and it is scary.
    My difficult child is 7, going to be 8 in just a few weeks, and can be the sweetest most loving child ever. But ever since he was just a newborn, he suffered from "rages". Just the slightest trigger would set off a virtually uncontrollable tantrum that could last up to, and sometimes more than, an hour.
    His 2nd grade teacher at a Charter School recently "diagnosed" him with Asbergers and was "extremely worried" that he was going to seriously hurt someone. We took him out of that school after I found that this same teacher was lying to me about some of the things that were happening, and that her punishment when he lashed out was to set him in a chair in the middle of the class (they had an "open" curriculum with no assigned seating and children milling the classroom constantly) in my opinion, he was one child that she could not change, and that really bugged her. She was starting to treat him differently than the other kids and things were very hard.
    Although I was angry at her, I didn't ignore her concerns, and since we live in a smaller town with limited choices of specialists, we traveled 200 miles in one direction to a Neuropsychologist who found nothing wrong with him ( :surprise:) and then 50 miles in the other direction to a very good child psychologist who put him through 8 hours of testing and interviews. His Primary Doctor ordered tons of blood, hearing and vision tests to rule out anything pysiological. FINALLY, they took all of the results and decided that he has a fairly mild case of ADD (no hyperactivity) Let me take a minute to salute those of you who deal with more severe ADD/ADHD! I cannot imagine...
    The anger is part of it, but definitly aggrevated by his home issues (his dad suffers from a lack of anger control as well, and we have moved a total of 9 times since difficult child was born.)He also has some anxiety and possibly a little depression. He does have some social problems; I think the kids find him a little overwhelming, maybe? He really loves his friends and is very generous...but he does get frustrated.

    He is now in a regular classroom, and though he still has some issues, his new teacher seems to be helping quite a bit. At home is still difficult at times. The thing that scares me the most though, is something that he told me the other night when I was laying down with him at bed time the night of the VA Tech shootings. Apparently the teachers had gone into their classrooms and told the children a little about what had happened. He asked his dad and got the rest of the details and he had been lingering on it for some time. He said that he was really scared that he would do that someday (the shooting) I was shocked, but talked calmly about it with him. He was worried about what the boys parents thought, and if they were angry at their son. I told him that they were probably hurt, dissapointed and really, really heartbroken, but that they probably were not angry. I just didn't know what else to say. I asked him why he would think that he could ever do that, and although he said that it was horrible and that he never wanted to do anything like that, he was worried about his anger problem.
    Right now he is on Depakote to treat his anger and hopefully level off the escalation. I think it is taking the edge off, but it is still there. The helpfulness is subtle...more so than I had hoped. His Doctor is hesitant to prescribe any ADD drugs since the long term effects are showing some problems in children, and the newer ones haven't had time on the market to prove thier safety.
    Does anyone have any ideas or have a similiar situation?
    Thanks for listening!
  2. smallworld

    smallworld Moderator


    Welcome! I'm glad you found us.

    If your child was prescribed Depakote, I'm guessing the doctors are thinking mood disorder rather than ADD. Depakote is a mood stabilizer that is used to treat Bipolar Disorder. It's important to understand that anxiety and depression (unipolar or bipolar) can present with symptoms like inattention. And ADHD medications like stimulants can make kids with mood disorders worse so your doctor is right to be hesitant about prescribing them.

    I think it's very important that you tell the doctor about the conversation you had with your son. He sounds very anxious and depressed. Is he seeing a board-certified child psychiatrist for medication management? Is he in therapy to learn to cope with his feelings? in my humble opinion, both are very important components of your difficult child's treatment.

    You should also be aware that while Depakote can control raging, it can also cause depression as a side effect. It happened to my difficult child 1. He has done better on the mood stabilizer Lamictal (with a low dose of an antidepressant); we are in the process of weaning him off of Depakote because his depression has been difficult to treat. Of course, every kid reacts differently to every medication, but I wanted you to be aware of this possibility.

    Again, welcome. Weekends tend to be slow around here, but others will be along soon to offer their advice and support.
  3. Sara PA

    Sara PA New Member

    Did the doctor order any neurological testing like an EEG or an MRI?
  4. oceans

    oceans New Member


    I find it interesting that they diagnosed him with a mild case of ADD, but his major problem seems to be rages with some depression and anxiety, and he is being treated with a bipolar medication (which seems to help him). Has anyone mentioned bipolar disorder to you? A book that has helped many people here with rages is the explosive child by Ross Greene. I am also enjoying his other book on collaborative problem solving. The bipolar child is also a very good book.

    They have this website. You might want to do some reading and see it anything fits. There is also a link on there to a questionnaire from the juvenile bipolar research foundation.

    Sometimes young children are difficult to diagnose and it seems that a first diagnoses is quite often ADD. Stimulants can make kids much worse if they are bipolar.
  5. smallworld

    smallworld Moderator

    Also wanted to ask: How much Depakote he is taking? How long has he been on it? Has the doctor ordered a blood test to measure the Depakote level in his blood?
  6. timer lady

    timer lady Queen of Hearts

    Hi Marsha - just popping in to offer you my welcome.

    I'm sorry to hear that your difficult child is so very hard to manage - I hope we can help you find answers.

    Again - welcome. :flower:
  7. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I find the same things interesting that oceans did. ADD just doesnt seem to fit this child!

    I would definitely be talking to his psychiatrist about his conversation. It does sound like he is a bit on the depressed side.
  8. Wiped Out

    Wiped Out Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Just wanted to add my welcome. I'm glad you found us as you will find much support here. It sounds like you handled his questions and feelings about the shooting well. It's good to hear he is doing better in the public school.
  9. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    I've lived with ADD for 42 years. I don't think the description
    matches the diagnosis. DDD
  10. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Hi and welcome. I am also wondering if the doctor is thinking bipolar, but won't say it. Depakote wouldn't help ADD. It's a mood stabilizer. Raging isn't really consistent with ADHD. Depressed kids can rage, but a mood stabilizer indicates moodswings, especially when it works. Glad you found us.