difficult child 13-yr old son diagnosis with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) ODD ADHD Bipolar & I am at my wit's end

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by goin_crazy, May 2, 2011.

  1. goin_crazy

    goin_crazy New Member

    Hi, I am new here and haven't posted before. I have been lurking and seeing many of you in similar situations. I just need a friend or two. I made it through the work day without crying so that is a record for the last month, I think.

    My 13yr old son has been giving us trouble since he was 8-ish but over the last year it has become unbearable and his problems at school elevated from minor to major. He has run away from school three times, got caught smoking at school once and got on campus suspension for three days, ran away from home once and was gone over night (found later after a total stranger brought him home), and lots of other smaller things. Oh, and he did tell a bunch of lies to the school counselor who turned us over to CPS without even checking on the home situation for emotional abuse and that we were fighting with each other (neither of which happened; the case was closed after 5 months because the caseworker saw quickly it was the child with the issues and not us and also had statements from the doctors - it only took that long because it was low priority to them and humiliating to us).

    We have tried our best to teach him right from wrong but sometimes it seems like a switch is flipped and he's someone else. He knows what happened so I know it's not a dissociative disorder. His full psychiatric evaluation began last summer and was only recently completed because he was so depressed, according to the psychologist, that he really needed inpatient care and the testing wasn't going well.

    In general, he doesn't seem to think school matters at all. He does his work when it suits him or doesn't interfere with anything else he wants to do, like his video games or some kind of computer programming with games he does. When he puts forth any effort, he makes straight A's. Otherwise, usually 0's unless the teacher forces him to complete it late and he gets a 70 that would have been 100. So he is passing everything. He does very well on the state testing that is required even though he doesn't care about it. Other than his video games, and occasionally having a friend over, he doesn't seem to care about anything.

    He is taking Concerta 54mg, Lexipro 5mg, Abilify 7.5mg. I don't know if what is helping but his mood swings aren't quite as violent as they were. He breaks things, hurts his older sister, and sometimes hurts me but only if we get in his way.

    Basically, as long as everyone walks on eggshells around him and never questions him, he is great. Otherwise, he is horrible and says everything he is thinking about all of us and does not care how hurtful he is. We have read parenting books, listened to the psychologist and psychiatrist and tried to do everything right but he still blows up if we cross him about anything, including homework, bathing, not hoarding food and trash in his room, going places with us, telling his friend it's time to leave when he has been there all weekend or all evening, and his number one thing is getting up and dressed in the mornings.

    I just really need a friend. My husband doesn't want to hear it any more and I don't want to tell my coworkers everything because mostly they think he's spoiled and suggest miliary school. I'm exhausted. He is way too smart to do this to his life and I cannot get it across to him. Some of his testing came out at 12th grade 9th month and a few at 5th grade (the ones he blew off because he was mad about being there).

    I am not so sure if he is really bipolar. He only does it if there's a trigger and I keep hearing on Doctor Radio that Bipolar kids don't have a trigger and it just happens for no reason. His social skills are horrible. He can be very loving and sweet and thoughtful to us when everything is going his way. He does not fit in at school. He does not have many friends. He seems to have no filters on what is ok to say or not say.

    I still kind of think he's autistic. He is so much like me and my mother and I answered the Aspergers questions for me and it fit. My answers for my son did too but some were slightly different. All I take is prozac and it is for Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD).

    Anyway, I just wanted to get this off my chest and kind of get the ball rolling here so maybe I could post and not just lurk.

    Thanks to all of you who share here. It means a lot to more people than you know.
  2. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Hi there. Does your son have an IEP at school?

    Have you ever thought about neuropsychologist testing to see if he's on the spectrum? It's probably more accurate then just reading symptoms or answering questions.
  3. exhausted

    exhausted Active Member

    Welcome first of all.
    Your son has many of the same issues as my daughter had at that age. She however, is not on the spectrum. We have had the BiPolar (BP) diagnosis before, but it didn't fit in any way and the medications made her loopy and aggresive, a normally nonphysical kid. Some antidepressants can do this as well. We also had the ADHD diagnosis-which my older son has, the medications caused blurred vision in her. We tried a different medication-nonstimulant- and it did not correct the impulse problem or the lack of attention. My daughter too can be very nice and pleasing when she wants something or things are going her way.(walking on eggshells- is something that parents with borderline personailty kids talk about) I don't see this trait in the Asperger kids I teach. I'm no expert here but, I'm at a science charter school so we have a large population of these kids. I've never seen this trait except outright manipulation that was very unsophisticated, and lacked a deviant edge. My kid's manipulation is edgy and very sophisticated.

    You know him best and if you think he does show these traits, I would ask the psychiatrist to assess this as treatment for Asp. is very different.

    My daughter doesn't fit in very well and has few friends as well. This is because she is gifted and also a large kid(differenty) Her PTSD issues (the only diagnosis that fits 100%) keep her out of the loop as well (she is untrusting and moody). Being socially out of the loop causes so many issues. Kids are mean to each other and can be unaccepting and lacking in compassion at this age.

    The running away and being with a total stranger is very concerning. My difficult child is a runner. She has been raped as a result (thus PTSD). What happened to your boy when he was out? Is he using other substances? I would have sworn my difficult child was clean at 13, we found out she was smoking pot at least weekly! Do Asperger kids do these kinds of things as well? None of the ones I have taught over the last 15 years (when it has come to the forefront) have done these things? But... it should be looked into.

    I understand exhaustion. My child did 18 months in an Residential Treatment Center (RTC) after 2 years of counseling. When she came out worse than ever, we were forced to seek the help of the state.(We were broke after Residential Treatment Center (RTC)) That meant we had to call the police until a charge stuck and we could get before a judge. We tried to get help before this but no dice-they said we had to be in the juvenile justice system or she had to be so insane she could be admitted to the state hospital. Now I have to micromanage every step as they don't take care of kids very well in this state. I don't know what is worse, managing her at home and worrying every time she runs, or worrying 24/7 that the state is taking care of her.

    I don't talk to my coworkers much about my kids. Everyone is a judge. Noone, except parents who have been through this hell get it. It's the opposite of "casting pearls before swine". Unless they have raised a mentally ill kid with such oppositional traits.....(They should really be quiet)

    One of the things I've learned at NAMI is that diagnosing kids and adolescents is difficult. Often these diagnosis change over time, knowledge, research and current trends, and the humans who diagnose. I refuse to look at my child as the diagnosis- but rather look at her needs and address those. Can't say that always works either. Sigh!

    This is a nice place. Keep us posted and I hope you get support you feel good about. Hugs
  4. TeDo

    TeDo Guest

    Welcome to the family. I am so glad you decided to join us. My difficult child was only recently diagnosis with Asperger's (until then it was ODD). Things really got worse, and became more apparent, when he hit 12 (start of puberty). Things at school especially simply blew up. His behavior went downhill fast. Until then, he didn't really seem to fit Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) either. It wasn't until I went back to his early development that I realized the signs were there but not to where I was ever concerned. He met all the milestones, just a month or 3 "behind schedule". If you think that might be a possibility, definitely bring it up to the psychiatric. He could very well be on the spectrum. Add in the changing hormones and you can have a mess (like we did).
  5. goin_crazy

    goin_crazy New Member

    First, thank you all for the support! I really need it! I spent half the day on the the phone with the school principal and my son's psychologist because he was so bullied by other kids AND a coach this morning that he called his grandmother and told her he had a doctor's appointment after first period so she would come get him. His self-esteem is in the gutter anyway and I cannot figure out why a teacher would behave this way, especially in front of other students. I thought I had gotten him an appointment with his counselor but it seemed they had a mixup so he sat in the doctor's office for 45 min before they called me and said she wasn't there and he could come back tomorrow. The principal says he will talk to my son about what happened and then try to discuss it with the coach, who is also one of his teachers, but I know my son will bottle it up and not tell anything. He doesn't want to get anything stirred up so he just leaves.

    As far as substance abuse goes, he tried alcohol once, and I caught him. He started dipping snuff at school and we are having trouble getting it from him because he says it helps him cope. I still have not got a clue how he gets it. He was in a house where someone's older sibling had pot once and he called me to come get him and he waited outside. He tried smoking a few times. Other than that, he always comes home when he leaves school and we have all prescriptions (and guns and big knives) locked in a safe. He cannot get to anything at home and we don't allow him to go to other kids' houses because we don't trust anyone else.

    I also think he is scared to try anything else with the medications he is taking because the doctor warned him about it. When he ran away from home he went to a stranger's house who was an elderly lady that had her grandchildren in her care because her son and daughter have similar issues eventhough they are grown but they have had their kids taken away. He was actually safe there. She was really upset with herself for not calling the police but she believed him when he said we kicked him out. I wasn't angry with her, I was just glad to have him safe.

    Anyway, now we have more issues because we don't know what to do about school. I didn't know Neuropsychologists existed until I came here. I am going to look into that soon. I just want to make it through the last three and a half weeks of school without any more incidences. Right now, we can't make it two days. At the least the principal did tell me he thought my son was a great kid, especially after he turned himself in for skipping, and he put him in to be an office aide, which is supposed to be an honor. I am not sure my son will go for it though. He just wants kids to like him. The crowd that ganged up on him this morning told him everyone hates him, no one likes him, and why doesn't he just go away. Others, including the coach, stood by and let it happen. I don't blame him for leaving. No wonder he's still depressed.

    Thank you all again. I will stay on here and keep you all posted. I wish none of us or our kids were hurting like this. :(
  6. Wiped Out

    Wiped Out Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Welcome to our family. You have truly found a soft place to land with much support. Hugs.
  7. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    So sorry you had to find us.
    ExhaustedinUtah makes an interesting distinction: that Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) kids' manipulation is not edgy or clever. It's in your face and obvious, most of the time.
    From your description, (and from your Mommy gut) it does sound like Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD), especially the social skills portion, and the trigger portion. You would know the difference by now. I would find a neuropsychologist and do a different kind of testing. Make sure that the person has actually worked with-kids who have had either/both bipolar or Asperger's and knows the difference in real life, not just textbook diagnosis.
    Also, from my own prejudice and point of view, he sounds a lot like my son. He can get A's when he wants. Which isn't very often. Mostly, he couldn't care less and the teachers and we, his parents, are tearing out our hair.
  8. Karou

    Karou New Member

    I can see I am a little late with this thread, But I true understand. My child is only 12 and just starting middle school. He is four weeks into school and had been suspended two times. I was told he has Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), ADHD, and a mood disorder, which I gather as bipolar. Just last year I quit my job to be home to help make sure he can strive. I am lucky that I can stay home to do this, but it is hard waiting for that phone call I seem to get once or twice week. Yes it is hard to get other to understand what you truly go through on a daily bases. I am hoping to get some help from others that can truly understand. I am ready to take my boy out of school and home school. I know in a lot of ways it is not a good idea because he needs the social skills to be a productive adult. There are some many times I feel a lone and helpless. I do not want to feel helpless and want to help my child so he can do much better in school. I hope there is some one there to talk to and see so of the this that have and have not helped. I do not want to lost my child to all the things he can or will do when he is out of control. Thanks for listening and I hope to find some support for me and my child.
  9. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    Hi, Karou -

    First - welcome. Sorry you had to find us... but you've come to the right place.

    You will get more responses to your question, if you start a "new" thread rather than tagging onto an older one... most of us look at the start date of the thread...

    When you start that new thread, can you give us more information?
    What is the family situation... who all is in the household, relationships, any exes/bioparents/etc in the picture? adopted?
    Has he ever been evaluated for these issues? if so, by what kind of professional (neuropsychologist, psychologist, etc.), and what kind of dxes?
    Any medications?

    And anything else you can think of to share...
  10. Zardo

    Zardo Member

    Hello- I was in a similar situation about 1.5 years ago. I have a couple of thoughts -
    1 - I would not rule out substance abuse. I know you said he called you to pick him up once and seems like it's not going on. You would be surprised how manipulative they can be if they are smoking pot or whatever. Maybe that one time he didn't want to or maybe it was his way of throwing you off or maybe it's just the way its seems - but this story is too familiar and not just for me. I know a lot of people with similar stories and pot is a contributing factor in all the stories. One of the shocking things for us was realizing that our son was abusing substances, pot, dip, alchohol (vodka in a soda bottle in his room for disguise -I would have never known if I didn't smell it) - alone at night. I know several parents who were shocked to find the same thing. He was more comfortabel using alone.
    2 - I feel like I am always saying this, BUT , if you can afford Wilderness Therapy - it would will help calm him down, get to the bottom of his issues and work with professionals to make a plan for the next step. My son was involved in similar behaviors prior to going. He has only been home for one month, but there is no anger, he works with us at home in a loving way, he is working hard at school, attending AA meetings and talks openly about "I don't know what was wrong with me last year - this year is going to be better". I fully expect bumps in the road, but with his new-found communication skills and respect for others, we will be able to work with him and confront any problem that comes up. The anger, screaming, throwing things, disresect and lack of apathy made it so that we could not work with him before.
    3 - If you cannot afford or don't want to do Wilderness - work hard to find adolescent group therapy programs near your town. The group therapy is one of the magic bullets of Wilderness. They meet in a feedback circle every day with their peers who tell them how their behavior is derailing them or how they felt when they behaved in unacceptable ways. I remember something that he was in a stand-off with us about during Wilderness, refused to talk to us and had a fit. His counselor said, "let's wait and see what happens after he presents this in group - his peers will tell him that your parents are being totally reasonable and you are being ridiculous" - sure enough - the following week - he came to the table in acceptance and ready to work things through. Hearing it from peers opens their eyes in a way that parents and therapists cannot. Infoline may help you find such programs locally.
    4 - Read - "The Unchanged Mind" and "To Change a Mind" by John McKinnon (you should read both but if you can only read one - read To Change a Mind)- you will find your son on those pages and an explaination for all the "diagnosis" - you will read similar stories and get practical advise for what to do about it. These books changed my perspective and gave me and my husband the tools to deal with him and his episodes in unemotional ways.

  11. pasajes4

    pasajes4 Well-Known Member

    I have heard wonderful things about wildreness camps. It is a shame that they are so expensive. My son's latest tool in his arsenal of not wanting to accept or hear what others have to say is to hog the session, talk non-stop even if does not make sense, and in the event he is challenged about his behavior in group, he blows up and destroys property and uses his size to make others back down. If he could only harness his tenacity to do well he could rule the world.