Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by flutterby, Feb 28, 2010.

  1. flutterby

    flutterby Fly away!

    It appears that difficult child does not remember her panic episodes (after reading the diagnostic criteria, I can't determine if she meets the criteria for panic disorder - but it is way, way more than an anxiety attack). She at least does not seem to remember the severity, duration, or frequency.

    I'm wondering if she is dissociating. The episodes are epic. There is zero rational thought. She is out of touch with reality at times. And there is limited, if any, memory.

    How is this diagnosed if it is not witnessed by a professional? I've been telling them for years that she doesn't remember the episodes. And how is it treated? Do we focus on treating the anxiety, or do they use AP's for this, as well?

    And to hijack my own thread - every time I think about the ADD thing and therapist issues I get so angry I can't see straight. I feel like I'm being undermined. I feel she is throwing difficult child in the complete wrong direction. I feel like she is giving difficult child - who is mentally ill and very unstable - too much information about things she doesn't need information about because they don't pertain to her. I feel like the entire therapeutic process is being undermined and that we've just been set back further than what we ever started at 8 years ago.

    It was already difficult to talk about these things to anyone - mental health professionals, school, etc - in front of, or with, difficult child. Now, it's impossible because she is *convinced* that it is x, y, z and will hear nothing else - because therapist is "really proud of her" for looking into this (ADD) and addressing it with her.

    I'm not taking difficult child to the IEP meeting on Monday. The school district is going to want her there. She is not stable enough, or willing to listen to anything outside of what she wants to hear, to be there.
  2. My daughter suffers from full blown panic attacks. She is 21 and at college and will call me so that I can listen to her breathing while she attempts to fall asleep. She is completely irrational regarding her imminent death. To make matters worse, she is working on her PharmD degree to become a pharmacist and has learned way too much about her body and potential problems. Depending on what bodily system they are studying, she will be dying from that. She has been prescribed a benzo as a PRN but she refuses to take them because they depress breathing which is her main cause of panic. She is getting to the point where she loses 1-2 nights of sleep per week trying to avoid the panic attacks.

    Your daughter is 15. I'm not sure that withholding information is going to be effective since there is a world of info on the internet which most likely would not be accurate or applicable. I think that getting information from the therapist is a safe place. I guess what I'm trying to say is that having too much information probably has little to do with the panic attacks, since they are not based on real threats but perceived threats. Panic attacks are the bodies response to stressors, a natural fight or flight reflex.
  3. flutterby

    flutterby Fly away!

    The problem is the information she's getting from therapist isn't relevant to her. There is no reason I can think of for therapist to be reading to her the criteria for avoidant pd, dependent pd, paranoid pd, obsessive compulsive pd, schizoaffective pd. therapist diagnosis'd her last week with ADD, which has been ruled out for years, including in the neuropsychologist evaluation. It's the anxiety causing any ADD type symptoms. When she is calm, the attentional issues are not present. But, she does this without consulting with me first. So, now difficult child says she has Mixed PD and ADD - and those are her issues. therapist has never mentioned Mixed PD to me, only borderline. But, difficult child's perception of reality is skewed and she hears what she wants. She takes one sentence, one word, out of a conversation and extrapolates it. Completely out of context.

    And now we can't unring that bell. The damage has been done. This is a child who will refuse to listen to anything else once she's decided on something. She will want to be treated for ADD and will refuse anxiety medications. And I'm not putting her on a stimulant. It's not warranted and dangerous in her current state. In the meantime, she's becoming more and more unstable.

    difficult child is, among other things, a hypochondriac who is looking for a diagnosis that she wants - more or less. difficult child was on this ADD kick for a couple of weeks. And she got what she wanted. The therapist goes along with ADD, while her list of phobias grow by the day, her anxiety heightens to unparalleled heights and her panic attacks are severe, long, and frequent. And she doesn't seem to remember them.

    ETA: I am aware that the information has little or nothing to do with her panic attacks. She's had them for years.
  4. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    Anxiety runsd in my family and I used to have it pretty bad, although my mother has a worse problem with it. Mine is reeled in enough the past 20 years that I call it being in "maintenance mode". LOL! But when it was bad, it was worse if people made issue of it - evven if that person was a family member. So I'm wondering if there's any chance that she's not admitting some of the anxiety symptoms or if she's trying to downplay the severity, and it isn't so much a dissociative problem. I guess that might depend on specifics, like whether or not she's extrememly sensitive or embaressed by it. I don't know her so I'm just throwing this out as something to consider.
  5. timer lady

    timer lady Queen of Hearts

    Heather, as you know kt suffers from moderate to severe dissociation. Of late, she is experiencing depersonalization experiences rather than outright dissociation. The one criteria psychiatrists look at is if there was any childhood trauma - mainly abuse. A child steps outside of their body to protect themselves.

    I've never had a need to check out the DSM criteria as it was a no brainer here for kt. Saying that therapy with a therapist with experience in dealing with early childhood trauma or memories is your on best bet for treatment if you really feel this is the case. I know wm, who is dissociative in his own right but to a much lesser degree ~ more depersonalization is having more success in treatment.

    Sweetie, the tweedles knew that medications were a high priority here. If medications weren't taken they ended up at psychiatrist or ER; I wonder if your difficult child isn't a bit Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) (an anxiety disorder) - is obsessed with all things that could hurt her. Including medications. It takes patience, therapy & a good medication (in my nieces case she had prozac) to help her even out. Lots of repetitive assurances that no one in her family would put her at risk.

    Just some thoughts for you my dear.
  6. Shari

    Shari IsItFridayYet?

    FWIW, Wee often doesn't recall what happens during his ... whatever they are.

    Last night, I went to a comedy show with easy child 1 and Wee was absolutely over the top crying annd carrying on, refusing to let go of me, afraid I was goiing to die. He has no memory of it today.
  7. flutterby

    flutterby Fly away!

    She is a bit Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD).

    Her phobias include: elevators, claustrophobia, heights, dark, any kind of bug, talking on the phone, taking medications, and there are more and they seem to grow by the day.

    I have had many depersonalization episodes in the past and I have no personal history of child abuse, but witnessed my brother being abused by my father all the time. My daughter witnessed her father abusing me, but I left him when she was 18 months old. I don't know how much of a factor that would play.

    I'm just trying to understand why she doesn't remember. In the past, when I had sketchy memories of episodes it was because I was dissociating.
  8. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Isnt there a difference between Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) and Obsessive Compulsive Personality Disorder (OCPD).

    Maybe she is blacking out or having these panic attacks ...wait...Im thinking I just read something somewhere. I think there is a disorder of Anxiety Mood Disorder. It is not Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD). It is more severe than that. Sheesh...I will try to remember where I saw that. Maybe it was something in the new DSM.
  9. flutterby

    flutterby Fly away!

    Yes, there is a difference between Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) and Obsessive Compulsive Personality Disorder (OCPD).
  10. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Hi, Heather. I will try to help.

    As you know, I just figured out *I* had/have borderline all my life (thankfully under mucho control now), but your daughter sounds so much like me. I was afraid of everything, phobic about the dumbest things, and such a bad hypochondriac that the paramedics knew me. We exchanged pleasantries once I was calmer. I didn't have periods of not remembering completely, but I would get so worked up that things would be fuzzy and I had that yukky depersonalization too. I remembered what happened during it, but it was NOT fun...it was so frightening.

    Heather, the only thing that really helped me that much were medication...and they were magic for me. The anxiety and obsessing over my millions of phobias just seemed to go away, making me wonder if the phobias aren't a bit of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)??? I had to try a lot of medications to find a good combo the worked for me, but Paroexotene has been gold for me and Clonazapan has stopped my panic attacks cold. I would go through years of having no panic attacks and then when stress kicked up, so did they and they'd get intense. Also cognitive therapy really REALLY helped me on every level. At fifteen, I was a complete wreck. It was one of my worst years and lasted into my early 30's. I hope that isn't the case for your daughter.

    I don't know if this helped any. I do know that there is a new type of therapy for borderline personality disorder which, unless I have the wrong child, I believe she was diagnosed with. It is called dialectal behavioral therapy and I think it's manna from heaven. You can find out about it by looking it up on the internet. There are some really good workbooks for it too if nobody in your area does it. Just a suggestion in case you are thinking of switching her type of therapy.

    I know she's driving you nuts, but I also know she is scared all the time and suffering too.

    Whatever you decide to do, I hope it helps her...and that way it will also take the stress off of you.
    Lots and lots of luck...and hang in there. The todoc...I'd think of dumping him.
  11. crazymama30

    crazymama30 Active Member

    DBT is what they use for borderlines but are now using it with other diagnosis's too. difficult child's therapist has started a modified dbt program with him. I think it's kinda like EMDR, as it was originally developed for one thing but then it is found to be useful for many more.
  12. flutterby

    flutterby Fly away!

    Ok. So difficult child does seem to remember at least something about the panic attacks because she has told therapist that she is having panic attacks all the time.

    therapist said trying to diagnosis difficult child is like trying to nail jello to a wall. She said difficult child is "seriously mentally ill" and she "can't imagine what it's like to be in her head".

  13. crazymama30

    crazymama30 Active Member

    I got a visual, and it was very frustating. I think dealing with our difficult child's can be kinda this way too.

    Sometimes it is hard to hear that. Hugs.