At wits end ...

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by CsonStar, Mar 30, 2007.

  1. CsonStar

    CsonStar New Member

    We have a 10 year old who we have been told has ADHD, ADD, ODD, and Bi-polar. I realize there is a lot of helpful information here, but I think truly what I want to do is throw my story out there, more so to rant and just get it off my chest. We are yet to try any dietary changes, we do keep him away from anything with red dye, we was told by a doctor that it sets him off. I have been listening to a talk radio program with Michael Savage, and he talks about how simple food changes could take this child from his back talking, smart mouthed, completely unrulely self, to a well manored kid, so I signed up here to try to find ways to help do this. Not sure if Dr. Savage is seen as friend or foe here, not sure if he is a friend or foe of mine as well, I agree with some things, others I feel he is just over paid and runs off at the mouth. Anyways, our son has terrible trouble at school, he is constantly having the schools resource officer called out to remove him from class, due to his smart mouth, his disrubtive behavior and his falling on the floor, crying, and hitting people. He is currently on 36mg of Concerta everyday and 3/4 tablet of Trazodone 50mg at night to sleep. Neither of which seem to be doing much good. He works himself up to the point of nose bleeds, and with his behavior I think I am working on a heart attack myself. I apologize ahead of time if I have done anything against the rules or protacall here, I am just at my wits end. The last two weeks have been the worst, usually he won't listen, but he atleast shows that he IS paying attention to what is said, once I get stern, he will usually very reluctantly and usually in tears FINALLY comply with what is asked of him, rather it is go to bed, or do his homework. Which he usually just skims over and writes down a number, even if the question asks for a word. Yet the last two weeks have been an all out war, the simplest of task, result in a full fledge crying episode, which will usually turn into a spanking, due to him destorying something, which will turn into a shouting match, which turns into a bloody nose, which turns into me feeling like the worst parent in the WORLD, which turns into him finally getting his way because I have come to my wits end on the problem and just conceed into what ever he wanted to keep the peace. I am here searching for help in dealing with the effects of his outburst.
  2. busywend

    busywend Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Welcome! Your story is familiar here.

    I wonder why your Bipolar child is on Concerta? Does your psychiatrist know that stimulants can throw a Bipolar person into Mania? It is traditional practice to get the mood swings under control before pursuing the attention deficits.

    That would have me wondering about the ability of my psychiatrist if someone told me that. That is really not my intention - but only to inform you of what I know about medications and bipolar. Mostly I know that from reading here - I am no doctor! LOL!

    One thing that I really came to understand after finding this site is that traditional parenting rarely seems to work with these kids. You have to step out of your parenting comfort zone and try something you never thought you would try.

    It is certainly draining to parent our difficult children (gifts from God) and it is very important to get some 'me' time for us parents. Be good to yourself!
  3. Alisonlg

    Alisonlg New Member

    Welcome to the board! I'm sure we've all been down that road...the frustration and feeling of being at the end of our comes with the unique job of parenting a difficult child.

    If the medications don't seem to be working, when is the last time you medication with your son's Psychiatrist and reviewed the medications and discussed trying something different? As busywend mentioned, stimulants often aren't a good match for a Bi-Polar child because they can induce mania. I assume an actual Psychiatrist (one with an MD) diagnosed and is treating your son?

    As for parenting our uniquely challenging children, a great book to pick up is "The Explosive Child." You'll hear it mentioned quite often around here and it will give you some great insight into understanding and dealing with our children.

  4. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Welcome to another Tarheeler!

    Dont know where you are in this state but maybe I can help give you some pointers on accessing some help because I have been through various systems here for quite a long time.

    How does your son do in school? Does he have an IEP in school? Do you think he needs one?

    Do you have any other kids and how does he get along with them? How about friends and how does he do with them? Does he do outside sports or other recreational activities?

    What is your insurance situation?


    Now that I have asked my questions, I will attempt to give you some words of comfort. My son was really hard and out of control when he was 10. It took a long time to get things straightened out but things did get better. Right now, if your son has the diagnoses that you have listed, I would say they dont have medicated correctly. I am bipolar and my son is bipolar and without a mood stabilizer things just dont work too well.

    If you can tell me what town you are near I can point you in the direction of where to go to get him tested. If you happen to be near Fayetteville I have the name of an excellent psychiatrist. Top Notch!
  5. totoro

    totoro Mom? What's a GFG?

    I agree whith what the others have said as well... What type of testing has your son had??? and by whom...

    My difficult child has combined type ADHD,ODD and BiPolar (BP) as well... But with the severity of BiPolar (BP) in young kids I would also treat that first. In most Bipolar books and most psychiatrists agree that it really is hard to know for sure if the ADHD, ODD is indeed comorbid or if it is a symptom of the BiPolar (BP), so it is best to treat the BiPolar (BP) first.

    We are still trying to get her stable on an Anti-Psychotic and then a mood stabilizer...
    I also agree with the parenting rules are thrown out the window especially until you can get him stable...

    Good luck and welcome!!!
  6. smallworld

    smallworld Moderator

    Welcome! I'm glad you found us.

    What kind of doctor diagnosed your difficult child? What kind of doctor is treating him? Has he ever had a neuropsychological or multidisciplinary evaluation at a children's or university hospital (highly, highly recommended by many on this board)?

    As the others have mentioned, the bipolar disorder needs to be treated first and foremost, generally with a mood stabilizer and/or an atypical antipsychotic. Both stimulants (Concerta) and antidepressants (Trazadone) can rev a bipolar child up rather than calm him down, especially without the protection of a mood stabilizer. And some kids with BiPolar (BP) can't handle stimulants or antidepressants at all, even with a mood stabilizer.

    I think you have to remember that your child has a disorder that is making him very unstable. He is not a bad child; he is an ill child that needs proper medical treatment (medication and therapeutic interventions). I'm certain that spanking will not change his behavior for the better and will almost certainly make his anxiety worse.

    Again, welcome and good luck.
  7. Sheila

    Sheila Moderator

    The Bipolar Child is a great resource, as is The Explosive Child.

    Getting it out on this board is theraputic. I've "vented" more than once. This board is the only thing that saved my sanity at times.

    Welcome aboard!
  8. CsonStar

    CsonStar New Member

    Yes Janet, he is in IEP, and that has become part of the problem honestly. See, he has become EXTREMELY attached to his IEP teacher, however, she is pregnant and going on maternity leave very soon. When she can not see him, he FLIPS out, and that is when most of his outburst at school are involving the school resource officer.

    And yes, we do have other childern, but they do not live with us at the moment.

    For referance purposes, I am actually not really even a "step-father". I am merely dating their mother, and just trying to do what I can to make the environment that has been unstable for years, normal again. I have only been around them, since November. But with their mother, since last January

    As far as insurance, thankfully he has medicaid.

    And yes you guys are right, but his doctor just recently started seeing him here, due to trying to go through the medicaid ordeal of obtaining it here (they came from out of state), and so forth and so on, and so far he has been on all kinds of stuff here, from Daytrana, to Cancerta, (which is all the same medication, it is just disturbed differently), each of which, when it was FIRST introduced to him, was a merical drug, the day afterwards, he started fading down hill, and from there, it was a slow back slide into the lil ... angel ... that I have come to know and love in these past few months.

    And just for my OWN clearity, those that may have skimmed my pervious post ... I DO NOT bust his nose, lol. After writing that post, I was like "oh lord, what if people don't understand that his nose just bleeds when he is worked up, the way I worded that someone may think I am beating him up"
  9. CsonStar

    CsonStar New Member

    Yeah busywend, it is definitly a tiring situation. Thankfully, I am a video game junkie, so, when my girlfriend gets in from work, she will tend to our little difficult child, and let me excape into our bed room and play my little heart out to take out my frustrations from the day. Matter of fact, I have actually gotten her into playing some now as well, because she seen how stress-free I seemed after playing. So now we have our own stress of fighting over whos turn it is to play, LOL.
  10. CsonStar

    CsonStar New Member

    smallworld, honestly, I am not 100% sure. He is seeing doctors here in North Carolina now, who are reviewing his charts from Tx where he came from, and it seems everytime we go in, something has TOTALLY changed, and our doctor here is pretty much rolling around on the floor at some of the things this doctor from Tx has wrote. Like, his nose bleeds are due to peanut butter. *shrugs* I am no doctor, but even to me that sounded a little ... odd ... but apprently his doctor here REALLY enjoy'd that laugh. Right now he is seeing a very great pediatrician doctor, who is in VERY high demand in this area right now, due to his paitence and what seems to be a complete vastness of understanding of childern, expecially the child disorders. He said "it is like working on a car, I don't want to change EVERYTHING, and then try to figure out what went wrong, lets take it little by little for now" ... so each time we go in, he tweaks this or that.
  11. Wiped Out

    Wiped Out Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Just popping in to add my welcome. My difficult child has ADHD and bipolar and he can't tolerate any stimulants. As others have said stimulants can cause mania. Is the school doing anything to transition him to who his new Special Education teacher will be? It would be great if he could meet the new teacher before this one goes out on leave.
  12. CsonStar

    CsonStar New Member

    Yeah, but right now, she is a full time teacher at another location, so she has only been able to come by a few times, and when his regular IEP teacher is there, she is busy readying everything for her replacement, so there are times when she just can't see him, or she is handling some other crisis that has happened, and that triggers it, he goes all to pieces right there.
  13. tiredmommy

    tiredmommy Site Moderator

    Welcome. More questions, lol! Any history of developmental delays, addiction issues or mental illness in his family tree? Also, does he have a behavior intervention plan in place at school? What you wrote about skimming the homework makes me wonder if he has some sort of learning disability. Is this possible? How does he do socially? Can he make and keep friends?
  14. CsonStar

    CsonStar New Member

    tired mommy:

    no i do not have any addition problems. there is some mental illness in my family i am not sure of his dads side other then him being stupid in that sence. yes hey are to be working on that for next year not this year to my knowledge. he has been diagnosed with a learning disability from dallas public schools in tx. he is ok socially when it is conveniant for him. no he can not keep friends due to his rudeness and vulgarity. he is one of those loud touchy feely button finding boys.

    (post wrote by mother, I got her in here to try to help answer questions that you guys had, that I just didn't know the answers to. I am a 23 year old male, who up until now, has never had any kids, or dealt with these kinds of problems, so this is a whole new ball game to me)
  15. CsonStar

    CsonStar New Member

    Well, thought we had had our selves a minor victory, least for a few days. The last two days, our difficult child has been on punishment steming from his behavior at school. This morning me and his mother had informed him that if he would allow us to sleep (he has a REAL bad problem with waking us up at 5 to 6am in the mornings with "I'm hungery") and you can't just feed him what he asks for, cause if you do, 10 minutes later, he is at it again, and then again, and then again, and by the time you realize what is going on, he has tried to talk you into making him sweets and everything else. Anyways, he has done VERY decently the last two days. However, he actually DID behave greatly this morning, and our "surprize" for him, was that we was going to take him to a local church for an easter egg hunt they was putting on. The problem being, is he behaved SO well, we didn't wake up in time to take him. SO we both felt bad, and we decided to let him go out and play a little bit (the neighbors constantly yell at us "I never see that boy out playing" "Well, teach him to behave, he can be out here every day, teach him to not act like a total smart allic, when he FINALLY shows back up at the house, usually an hour to two after he was supposed to be home, and he can play his little heart out" ... I hate not being able to have a normal life with him, I want to take him to the park, race his lil R/C cars with him, play video games with him, fly kites, you know normal father son stuff. But EVERYTIME and I do mean EVERYTIME we do, something either happens RIGHT afterwards that is just totally mind blowing, or the next day he is SO out of it, that he just goes on a rampage. We used to have a play date setup at least once a weekend, so there was no home work to suffer, with a friend of mines son, who is also ADD. And our son literally runs him to shambles, the poor kid is cuddled up on the couch with his blanket snoozing and our difficult child is in his room playing with toys. Then when we decide it is time to come home, he leaves just fine, when we get home and try to put him to bed, he FLIPS, "I WASN'T DONE PLAYING!" or the next day he throws a fit at school. So it seems like an endless battle. ANYWAY, way off topic there. Todays problem, is we let him go outside ... as he was walking out the door, his mother noticed he was holding himself funny, so she said "stop that, what is wrong with you?!" He says "I like to hold myself" She says "well stop that, that is disgusting, you can't be going around doing that" ... come to find out he is "smuggling" one of his toys that he had hidden away a "medal" that he had earned to try to give to another little boy. So right there is two of our problems all in one, the constant lying and trying to deseve us, and him trying to "buy" friends. I have told him time and time again if you have to "buy" a friend, they are not really a friend, and you are too good of a kid to have to "buy" friends. So, we have had a small victory, compaired to some of you guys stories, this may seem like a MAJOR victory that there has been no crying or fighting in this episode, which I can almost agree with, cause that is his normal reactions. But today he actually understood he did something wrong, and accepted the fact that we was denying him his free time, 10 seconds after giving it to him, because he lied to us. He cried for maybe 30 seconds in his room, came back out and was fine. Now he has volunteerly walked right back in his room and laid back down on the bed. We shall see how the rest of the day goes.
  16. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    If you're just a boyfriend, my sincere advice is to think about if you want this for the rest of your life, if that's what you're thinking about. The child has bipolar, which is more serious when it starts in children, and is likely to get worse. He's not on any bipolar medications, so the cycling isn't stopping. Also, from the other point of view, if you DON'T plan to become a father to this child, he'll take it hard when you leave if he likes you. You seem like a nice man who wants to make things normal for your girlfriend, but I'm not convinced that it's possible. I'm really puzzled as to why a bipolar child is on such stimulating medications...maybe the child should see somebody at a university MDE. I can't imagine a BiPolar (BP) kid getting better on those medications....

    Good luck
  17. CsonStar

    CsonStar New Member

    Well, not to come off as a :censored2:, but my personal life is not on trial here. However, I do understand your concerns, based on the fact that a lesser man in my situation may have ducked and ran, as in the past they have.

    At this moment, yes, he is on the same medications that he has been on for years, mainly because he was just recently determained to possibly be bi-polar, he has testing scheduled soon to do a futher inquiry into that to make sure that is what it is, and that the psychiatrist didn't just make a misdiagnosis. That is why he is on the medications that he is on, and not on any bi-polar medications at the moment. As of right now, it is just suspected, he is trying to alter minor things here and there, and see the change, rather than do a total over haul, and THEN try to figure out what went wrong. You do not start out replacing your kitchen sink by pulling out the bathtub.

    And as for being a father to this child, I have every intention of spending every day from here on out in this childs life, reguardless of how my relastionship with his mother may turn out. If we break up tomorrow, I intend on staying in his life to make sure that he finds the kind of help that he needs. He is a REALLY good kid, just extremely misguided and has his problems with his disorders.
  18. flutterbee

    flutterbee Guest

    First of all, good for you for stepping up to the plate.

    Second, I would highly recommend The Explosive Child, The Bipolar Child and Raising a Moody Child. You'll find that parenting these children is different than parenting other children and typical techniques don't work and can often backfire.

    It's a process. A marathon and not a sprint. Take time for yourself when you can. Enjoy the good moments.
  19. CsonStar

    CsonStar New Member

    Thank you, I really appreciate that, I will check that book out. You aren't the first to tell me about it, so it seems it will be a good read, or least informative. I have noticed this is unlike dealing with any child I have ever come across, so, we take baby steps and celebrate small victories. After reading some stories on this board, I am almost ready to just accept his behavior and thank god he isn't worse. I came here totally at wits end, and after reading other accounts, thankful that this is ALL I have to put up with and it hasn't progressed farther, nor does he show any signs of getting "worse". But, before it DOES, we are going to try to curve it now. He is still young enough hopefully it will work.
  20. oceans

    oceans New Member

    I don't know where you are in NC, but from experience I know that there are quite a few Dr's here that will refuse to treat a child as bipolar unless they have witnessed all the "classic" symptoms themselves. Because of this, my difficult child has gone for years being on the wrong medications. All the ones that the psychiatrists insisted were to work, never did. It was only recently that I talked someone into trying to add a mood stabilizer, and it was after many other failed medication trials. When the mood stabilizer was finally added, he got better. This is just to let you know what you might be up against here. Of course, you might not live in this area at all. Good luck to you.