Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by Andy, Apr 5, 2009.

  1. Andy

    Andy Active Member

    Maybe you guys can help me find the right words to use when I call psychiatrist tomorrow and visit therapist on Wednesday. I think I am just too close to the situation and am too confused to figure it out. Plus I have those little emotional strings tugging at my heart and closing down my brain.

    difficult child has a vision stuck in his mind. He says when he looks at things he sometimes sees it in the item but for the most part it is just in his mind and he can't get rid of it.

    I don't know that this is called "hallucination" but that is the closest word I can come up with.

    What would you call it?

    The vision is not inappropriate or scary but could be considered comforting except for the fact that difficult child is using it as a sign that he is dying.

    difficult child is having such a hard time putting eveything into words. I can see why.

    I am not sure if I should be in the therapist the entire session or not. I think I will write something and therapist can decide if he calls me back earlier than normal.
  2. smallworld

    smallworld Moderator

    Andy, when you talk to psychiatrist/therapist this week, you shouldn't try to classify or diagnose what's going on with difficult child. You and difficult child should just try to explain to the best of your abilities exactly what he's seeing and feeling. It's the observations -- not the lay diagnosis -- that matters in this case.

    FWIW, it sounds more like "stuck" thinking, which is more OCDish (a form of anxiety) than a hallucination. But that's just my layman's opinion.
    Last edited: Apr 5, 2009
  3. Steely

    Steely Active Member

    I was gonna say the same thing as smallworld. Sounds more Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)-ish than hallucinatory. Maybe just let difficult child explain it to t-doctor in his own words would be best, and if it keeps bothering him then he can talk to p-doctor as well.
  4. ML

    ML Guest

    Those emotional strings are very powerful. I agree with the SW and Steely to try and be as objective in the description as possible. I know it's hard because I deal with strings on a daily basis. Looking forward to an update. Hugs, ML
  5. Josie

    Josie Active Member

    It sounds like an OCDish to me, also. My daughter has a similar image that she can't shake off. I agree to describe it to the therapist as objectively as possible.

    The prozac might help this. The typical treatment for Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) is SSRI's.
  6. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    It really depends on if he's actually SEEING it or just can't get the picture out of his head. If he can't get the picture out of his head, that sounds Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD). If he actually sees it, that's a hallucination. I wouldn't throw this at a therapist. I'd give it to the psychiatrist. He is medically trained. A therapist isn't. My own experiences with many tdocs is that they really aren't very knowledgeable about the medical side of psychiatric problems. They are best at just doing their therapy. in my opinion the psychiatrist is the "go to" person for this.
  7. Andy

    Andy Active Member

    Thank you!

    I was going to include the therapist because he can relay concerns to the psychiatrist. They work together in the same office area (offices are on opposite ends of the hall). I believe psychiatrist has access to therapist reports to keep up on how therapy is going and what concerns we are dealing with.

    I agree, I do not want to diagnos this. I did just want help with the lay person's terminology.

    "Stuck" is much better way of explaining than hallucination. But, I will also include his comment of sometimes seeing this image in whatever he is looking at. That would lean more toward hallucination.

    I am sure many of you have also experienced your child saying, "I don't know how to explain this." and still you are expected to explain what you can not to the professional. Frustrating.
  8. gcvmom

    gcvmom Here we go again!

    I'll be interested to hear what you find out. When I was at the depths of my depression a few years ago, there was a time when I saw skull shapes in the most unsuspecting places: clouds, the pattern of the stucco on my house, rocks in the dirt, shadows on the walls... it was very unsettling. I never really spoke about it directly because I was afraid people would think I was crazy (ha!)... but my medications did get adjusted based on other things I reported, and the images stopped appearing.

    I'm glad that it's not upsetting him, but it will be good to understand what's going on.
  9. timer lady

    timer lady Queen of Hearts

    Both kt & wm would have episodes of this nature. While I at first thought hallucinations, the more I observed, the more I noticed it only happened at times of high stress or emotions. Generally during or after a rage or a meltdown.

    Our difficult children are always different & I'm not an MD. I'd be more concerned, however, about your difficult children level of anxiety or stress, until you hear otherwise.

    Hope this helps & you find an intervention for difficult child to help him thru this.
  10. SearchingForRainbows

    SearchingForRainbows Active Member


    I agree with the others - This sounds more like an Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) sort of thing. I also think Linda has a point - Your difficult child's stress and anxiety levels might be sky high...

    My difficult children's psychiatrist and therapist are in the same building too and also work closely together. For the most part, this arrangement has worked out well for my kids.

    I hope whatever is causing this, gets resolved soon!!! Thinking of you and your difficult child... WFEN
  11. DaisyFace

    DaisyFace Love me...Love me not

    Hi Andy--

    Seems that you've gotten some good advice here already. Just wanted to come out and offer a "non-mental illness" option for seeing things that aren't there....

    Sometimes, the medications used to treat anxieties can actually CAUSE people to see things tht aren't there. That might be something to rule out....

    Also, it sometimes happens that our eyes develop "floaters"...little bits of thickened material develops within the eye itself....but we can "see" it as shapes or shadows when we look at something else. This is not painful....folks are usually not even aware of it....but it can temporarily mess up your vision. From what I understand, it usually clears up on its own...but ask a doctor, just to be sure.

    So by all means, just go in and help to describe the symptoms in your own words....I don't think you need to have a pre-determined diagnosis of "hallucinations" at the ready.

    Good Luck!

  12. nvts

    nvts Active Member

    Hey Andy! difficult child 1 told me about this once and it turned out that it was part medications, part OCDish, and believe it or not, part "visualization". One therapist had taught him to try and picture something in his head that would calm him when he felt and explosion coming on and the picture got "stuck in his head".

    Good luck at the tdocs!

  13. Andy

    Andy Active Member

    Thank you everyone! :D

    What is crazy is that he just started his medications again on Saturday! No time for this to be a medication issue (I wouldn't think so). I do believe with those who say it sounds more about his anxiety. His anxiety is sky high! It took way to long to get help from his early March panic attack. I was regretting letting pediatrician doctor handle it this time but I am glad I am going the psychiatrist route and can get him tested again for Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD).

    I don't see any improvements from the propanolol. This a.m. as we were leaving (1/2 hr after medications), difficult child did say he felt a little better. Then when we stopped for water and juice for the day, he threw up a whole lot. Yellow (vitamin B-2) and Blue (Flouxetine) - the tiny propanolol is a very soft blue. He even had it come out his nose. He then accused me of caring more about my work than him because I wouldn't take him home.

    When I picked him up he said it was another day of feeling like he!!. His bowling did not go well and now he came to me to say he was having suicide thoughts.

    I did call the psychiatrist office and talked to his nurse. I filled him in on everything this morning.

    Daisy, thank you for the expanation on the possible visual issue. That does make sense.

    Nvts, It also makes sense that the thought that is now stuck would be one he used to push bad thoughts away.

    My anxiety is growing over this also. I just don't know what to do with him. It tears me apart that he doesn't think I care but I know that once I express sympathy, it will really deepen his belief that he is dying of whatever!
  14. smallworld

    smallworld Moderator

    FWIW, my son has been on Propranolol (started at 10 mg BID and now on the long-acting once-a- day 60 mg) for migraines for nearly six years, and it has NEVER touched his anxiety. As you know from past experience, it will take Prozac between three to six weeks at a therapeutic dose to work its magic. Give it a chance. It worked before. It should work again.

    Hang in there.
  15. Andy

    Andy Active Member

    Thank you Smallworld! I keep telling difficult child that he has and will get through this but as time goes on, he keeps watering and fertilizing that seed of doubt he has planted in me. It is getting so that I also need those reminders.

    I have started a list of concerns that I will ask therapist to pass on to psychiatrist.

    Last night he had a 50 question test. He kept covering his eyes and squinting. When I asked him why, he replied that he kept closing his eyes to see if he would see angels which would be his sign that he is dying. I am going to ask the teacher if he does this a lot during school.

    I have come to the conclusion that because he is doing well acadamically, it is hard for the school to really acknowledge the depth of his problems. They know he is struggling but because it is not "seen" it is hard to really feel how deep his anxiety goes. He does well, but it is torture for him to get there.

    I am so grateful for the insights of everyone here. You really do open my eyes to look at a different angle and a bigger picture and examine something closer.