difficult child's that over-exaggerate physical/medical complaints

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by erbaledge, Jan 17, 2011.

  1. erbaledge

    erbaledge New Member

    Does anyone else have a difficult child that over-exaggerates medical complaints? Goes to the nurses office beyond frequently? That almost daily has at least one physical complaint? That will even resort to slightly injuring themselves so that they can go see the nurse (since that's been thwarted with emails to teachers)? That will poke/push a bruise then say it hurts, or pick at a scab until it bleeds a little and freak out saying they are bleeding a ton?
    What do you or have you done to help the situation? Are difficult child's like this always going to be complainers/hypochondriacs?

    It is to the point of beyond frustration with gfg15 for both myself and her remedial worker and the school nurse staff. (fwiw, she's been back home from Residential Treatment Center (RTC) since Nov 22, while at Residential Treatment Center (RTC) they had the same issues with no resolve)
  2. smallworld

    smallworld Moderator

    Yes, my daughter A had this issue. It was part of her anxiety/mood disorder. Once she was medicated properly, the somatic complaints disappeared. They've been gone for 5 years.
  3. HaoZi

    HaoZi Guest

    Mine does it. Sometimes it's anxiety, sometimes it's medication side effects, sometimes she just wants to be elsewhere, or is feeling restless. Papercut? She flips out totally. Goes through I don't know how many band-aids a day when she gets one.
  4. timer lady

    timer lady Queen of Hearts

    Both of the tweedles under report real illness on a regular basis. on the other hand, the tweedles frequently make quite the scene over a "perceived" pain, be it head, tummy, a bump or bruise.

    All in all the somatic symptoms subsided when the correct medications for the anxiety were prescribed or when times of stress lessened. I'm still having issues with kt when it comes to telling me when she's really ill (i.e. running a temp, a sprained ankle, toothache, etc).
  5. erbaledge

    erbaledge New Member

    I should add that these complaints are supposed to be more frequent when difficult child cycles - per staff at Residential Treatment Center (RTC). But since she's been home (Nov 22) it seems like it's all the time/daily. I believe her next appointment with her Psychiatrist isn't for another 2 1/2 months - would you/should I give a call in to the psychiatric and see if he can either call in an upp'ed dosage or re-see her? We were just there two weeks ago - and I did mention this issue - however at that point she wasn't making injuries/poking them to make them 'hurt' more.

    And, sad to say, I am glad that my kiddo isn't alone in these complaints. Not really glad, maybe relieved?

    You know this past weekend, I had to hold my giggles in (hope that don't make me seem mean), because she injured her own forehead at school purposely to be seen at the nurse on Wednesday (gotta love school video cameras), but this weekend she comes to me, poking it several times, and says 'it hurts!' - well yeah, stop poking it! She even told me if she pulls the scab off, that it hurts and there's white stuff - I tried to explain that is just the meat under her skin - but she wasn't having any of it - I know nothing.
  6. smallworld

    smallworld Moderator

    Some medications make this type of behavior worse so I can't say for sure that I would recommend calling the psychiatrist and asking for an increased dose. What medications is she taking?

    I would recommend not waiting for 2.5 months and letting the behavior continue. She doesn't sound stable and probably does need a medication adjustment. But the exact medication would depend on what she's currently taking.
  7. Jena

    Jena New Member

    from my experience with my difficult child she is a mix of both anxiety and behavioral. she bottom line feeds off attention any type. it could be a mix of both. do they check difficult child medically at nurses office pulse heart rate that thing to rule out anxiety related causes? if it isnt' that id' send her back to where she came from.

    a dr. once said to me difficult child's and yea he didnt' use that word lol will work hard at controling their environement all the time and getting attention partially because they always feel so out of control. i for one ignore the complaints difficult child's still doing it in the hospital and tubes and all i gotta gauge ok attention or real.

    good luck isnt' easy with our kids!!
  8. erbaledge

    erbaledge New Member

    Clonidine - 0.05 mg @ 4PM & 0.1 mg @ 8 PM
    Lexapro - 40mg @ 8 AM
    Abilify - 20 MG @ 8 AM & 20 mg @ 4 PM
    Clomipramine - 100 mg @ 8 PM
  9. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    My kids didnt do this much. Cory did do this a few times to attempt to get out of school but I nipped it in the bud by making him think he really was sick and apparently dying.

    I gave him the most obnoxious OTC medications available to make him have diarrhea and the runs. I used ipecac and some of that lemon lime magnesium drink plus something we have down here called black draught I think its called. Anyway, he was throwing up and having the runs quite badly. I also held a thermometer under a light bulb for a few seconds to get it warmed up and then took his temp and clucked a bit showing him his temp was so high...lol.

    I made a big fuss about how the school kept calling me saying how all these kids at school were so sick and some were even dying from this mysterious illness. The CDC was being called in. I really over played. I made him stay on the couch where I could watch him. Covered him in blankets...fed him ice chips, worried over him, kept giving him the lemon lime "soda". I asked him if he wanted family called in before he really fell ill and died. LOL.

    Before long he confessed he had made up that at first he was faking feeling so ill..."but mom, now I really do feel sick! Do you think I really did catch it?"

    I told him...GOTCHA!
  10. HaoZi

    HaoZi Guest

    I will say it's not limited to difficult child kids. I see plenty of "normal" kids do it, too. Esp in MS and HS when they have a test they don't want to take.
  11. smallworld

    smallworld Moderator

    Your daughter is already on a hefty dose of Clomipramine, which by the way, is an excellent medication for Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) and somatic complaints. She's on double the FDA recommended dose of Lexapro, which could be making her worse, not better. And she's on 10 mg higher than the FDA recommended dose of Abilify, which again could be making her worse, not better. Sometimes less is more.

    If your daughter has never been stable, there's a chance you're looking at an underlying bipolar disorder and she needs to be weaned from the antidepressants and have a mood stabilizer (Depakote, Lithium, Lamictal, Trileptal, Tegretol) introduced. Just a thought.

    You may want to take a look at the Child and Adolescent Bipolar Foundation website at http://www.thebalancedmind.org/
  12. erbaledge

    erbaledge New Member

    I do have a message in to the psychiatric to call me back, I hope today. I know I've taken your info before to him, and basically shot down as per the Lexapro. The Abilify was upped to current dosage in hopes of thwarting out the auditory hallucinations she was reporting - I don't think he will adjust that. I can ask the psychiatric about adding a mood stabilizer or adjusting other medications - something to help with these complaints.

    The thing with the clomipramine - any time in the past that we've attempted to adjust it to a lower dose - her rages have came out in full force - and worse than a 'regular' rage. (fwiw, a rage is much more different than a fit or tantrum in this house - it's where she becomes very physically agressive injuring herself & others and items). I had asked them when she was in Residential Treatment Center (RTC) to maybe adjust those there, since its' a safe environment - they chose not too. I do not feel it would be safe (for her, my other kiddos, or myself, or the community) to try to adjust those while she's in the home.

    DJ - hmmmm.... I really like how you handled that with your son. I will probably run this by her remedial worker and ask what he thinks about trying something like this next time - as I would need to get supplies. This could work with her. If I do, I may be sending you a Private Message for more info. But do you think there could be any bad effects from doing this - like blood in the vomit/whatnot?

    And yeah - we are back to a stomach ache. She mentioned it last night right before bed (my kids had a 3 day weekend, with yesterday off). I said then here's some pepto bismo, rubbed her back for a minute, then said off to bed with you - no bedtime snack as your sick - that did NOT fly - she HAD to have snack - hmmmmm....
    Today at lunchtime at school she's texting me saying she threw up during first period and requesting to come home - The nurse staff is trying to confirm this with that teacher. I'm having her stick it out at school, since it's so late.
    When she gets home, if she's still 'sick' she can go to bed, and if it's 'bad' then her remedial worker won't be coming today so he doesn't 'catch it'. We'll see how that plays - if she refuses to go to room/eat soup for dinner/skip afternoon snack due to her 'ill tummy' then he can/will come over.
  13. AnnieO

    AnnieO Shooting from the Hip

    We've found that not allowing benefits for staying home keeps this from happening. Sick? Well then the TV will hurt your eyes, so no screens at all. Not going out with friends. Sleep, that's the only thing you can do.

    Boredom kicks in FAST.

    on the other hand, aside from minor stuff - Onyxx doesn't WANT to be stuck at home, and Jett isn't quite up to faking illness... Yet.

    My mom used to make me go unless 1) I vomited in front of her or 2) I was running a temp. She was the lab director at a hospital, so... I didn't try too often!
  14. HaoZi

    HaoZi Guest

    Mine is also on Abilify and it doesn't contain her distorted thoughts or anxiety as well as the previous Zyprexa did. Kiddo will sometimes manifest her anxiety as stomachaches and headaches that often don't keep her from eating. Is yours a worrier?
  15. smallworld

    smallworld Moderator

    What is the order the medications were added? And between which medications did the hallucinations appear?
  16. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    MY mother spilled a teaspoon of juice on the counter to let us see how big a puddle it made (use orange juice because any red juice will give them ideas for a blood substitute which you don't need) and told us if it wasn't at least that much, or if a bone wasn't broken so that it was poking out of the skin somewhere it shouldn't (in the middle of an arm, leg, etc...) then we were to wipe the blood off with a tissue, make double dang SURE it did NOT get on the carpet/floor/walls/bedding/anything that wasn't OURS and to go on about our business.

    When Jess when through the need abandaid if there is a teensy speck of blood/papercut/etc... and it was several times a day I finally started charging her a quarter for every bandaid that she used for a self-inflicted wound or minor thing that did not need one in MY judgement.

    I also made her pay me $1 for ever bandaid that I found used and not in the garbage can AND I made her stop whatever she was doing to come and pick it up. Even if it wasn't hers (or so she claimed!).

    It sounds like a medication tweak might be a good thing, though I fully understand your reasons for caution.

    If you want to use Janet's methods for fake illness, vinegar will also create vomiting.
  17. HaoZi

    HaoZi Guest

    But vinegar can also do chemical burn damage to the throat, so it has to be diluted.
  18. smallworld

    smallworld Moderator

    The somatic symptoms of my kids are caused by anxiety. If I made them sick with OTC medications or substances like vinegar to "cure" them and then told them what I did, they would never trust me again. Anxious kids need the trust of a steady adult in their life. I think you need to tread cautiously with a plan like this. JMHO.

    You also need to rule out that any of your daughter's medications are CAUSING side effects like stomachaches. It can happen.
  19. GoingNorth

    GoingNorth Crazy Cat Lady

    Add in that intentionally giving substances to your child to make them "really" sick, could land you in hot water with child protective services.
  20. erbaledge

    erbaledge New Member

    Clomipramine - been on for years
    Abilify - added during last hospitalization, while at Residential Treatment Center (RTC)
    Clonidine - added during last hospitalization, while at Residential Treatment Center (RTC)

    Hallucinations were being reported at various times while in Residential Treatment Center (RTC) - however prior to that not at all. Could be copy cat behavior/complaints from other participants at Residential Treatment Center (RTC) - no real way of knowing.