Hello I'm new here

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by frostie, Jul 25, 2011.

  1. frostie

    frostie New Member


    I find myself desperately looking for a place to be understood.
    Tuesday will mark 4 weeks that I have had to put my 12 year old daughter into a group home voluntarily to help her. She has been struggling with something since she was nine and has been doing art therapy and such. This past year she showed more signs of hurting herself physically and having suicidal thoughts, so we got assigned a social worker to see us as a family every 2 weeks. In May, she had a suicide attempt. I forced the hospital to give me more help and the only suggestion that they had was this special group home. I am so scared of not having her home, she's my baby and then I have so much hope that they can help her with more intense therapy and supervision. I feel guily for feeling relief of not having to hear her fight and burst out for hours while she tries to run into the street in front of a moving car, or jump out of my car as I'm taking her to the hospital, or just pleading with her to put the scissors away. I'm torn. I'm scared. They have mentioned oppositional defiant disorder but I do not think anyone has really diagnosed her like that yet. The group home social worker who will be working with us as a family was on vacation until now and just got back. I'm going to get more answers this week. I almost feel like I am functioning out of body.
  2. HaoZi

    HaoZi Guest

    Heya hon, welcome aboard. Glad you found us, sorry you had to. Can you tell us more about her past? ODD is generally not a stand-alone diagnosis, just a series of symptoms of underlying issues. Has she had any testing for other issues or traumatizing events?
  3. TeDo

    TeDo Guest

    From what you've shared, I would ask them what part of seriously trying to kill herself is oppositional. That just makes no sense to me. That is usually a child's way of dealing with something they can't handle. To me, it means she is hurting in a big way and has no idea how to make it get better.

    Like HaoZi said, to many of us ODD isn't really a diagnosis but is merely a label that means "I don't know what else it is but it's something". My son carried that diagnosis for 6 years only to be diagnosis'd recently with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) that it was all along. It meant handling things in a totally different way. An incorrect diagnosis can do a lot of harm. I hope someone is able to get to the bottom of it soon, for her sake.

    Don't feel guilty for feeling some relief. Dealing with difficult child's is very emotionally and sometimes physically exhausting. Relax while you can and consider it regrouping time. Be gentle with yourself. You're human and you didn't exactly plan for life to be like this. Do what you have to for you!

    Welcome to the family. You have found a WONDERFUL place for support and help. There isn't much of anything that parents here haven't dealt with so there is tons of "expertise" here. {{{{(((HUGS)))}}}} to you both.
  4. keista

    keista New Member

    Super huge yet gentle (((((((HUGS)))))))

    I snickered when I read ODD at the end of your post. Suicidal tendencies is NOT a symptom of ODD

    Are there any other dxes? When did the behaviors start? Has she been on any medications?

    Do not feel guilty for feeling relief. I know it's natural to, but it's not productive. You are her MOM, and are getting her the best help you possibly can at this time.

    I know it won't be much consolation, but unfortunately I see myself exactly in your shoes in the not so distant future. DD1 has been struggling since birth, and struggling with suicidal thoughts since she was 8. She's now 10 and was in the crisis stabilization unit for the first time last week. It was the first time we had been apart for more than 24 hours.

    Welcome to the board. We feel your pain and won't judge even your guiltiest mom thoughts.
  5. frostie

    frostie New Member

    Bruna's stroy all started when she was nine,. She started having trouble with math. The teacher kept complaining that Bruna was not listening well. She would ask how to do a problem the second the teacher explained it. So eventually we had a learning test done. It came out all good. We couldn't explain why Bruna would have these moments of "blanks" and then panic that she didn't understand. At this point she started seeing an art therapist to see if there was something underlying there. Nothing really came out of it. They said she was fine.

    later she started not eating when she would be angry. We didn't notice until the lunch lady sent a note home from school saying that Bruna ate nothing during lunch daily. She would simply refuse. Bruna was taking her lunch and throwing it out as soon as she got home in her room where no one would see it. We started consulting again this time with a psychologist. She never really participated in any "talk" therapy. She would always say she didn't know or didn't care. Eventually we switched to family therapy with the same psychologist. This mounted to more frustration because we were putting words in her mouth, she never shared anything on how she felt or why she was getting angry or why she wasn't eating. This went on for a long time until that clinic closed and somehow our file ended up no where.

    During this time we would end up at the Children's hospital because she would go on a screaming rampage, eventally wanting to run away, then threatening to kill herself and hurting herself. This past Christmas she had a big outburst and she dialed 911 and hung up. She was upset for quite awhile on how some friends were treating her or lack of. She wanted so badly to be friends these these kids and them not really caring for her didn't turn her away but made her fight harder to belong there. When 911 called back and i explained why she had dialed they came by. Because she had scratch marks all over her arms they decided to take her to the hospital. That was the first time they put her in an isolation room with security myself there. She screamed and banged for over 2 hours. Once she calmed down they sent us home with an appointment to see a psychiatrist. When we met with the psy he mentioned to us ODD. he told us to read the book by Green and to use the teen-crisiss service with her. he also suggested she start anger management classes.

    At this point, my son was being seen by a psychologist for Functional Abdominal Pain Syndrome, he was getting worse and his sister seemed to be the trigger for his condition, so they suggested that both kids be re-evaluated by the same psychiatric team. This was more to help my son who had uncontrolable stomache pain and was out of school for a year because of it. Instead they noticed that Bruna was very sad. School wasn't a happy place, home wasn't a happy place and she was very emotional about it. The following week they gave her a new psychologist and gave us a social worker to work with the family. At her first appointment she told the psychologist that she was going to talk with the guidance cousellor at school so she didn't see the need to see the psychologist. A 12 year old decided her treatment plan because they told us since she was going to talk to the guidance counselor the social worker would be enough to handle us all. Again no real diagnosis was made and Bruna was runnign the show. So we started seeing the SW who started being more tough on her to talk and she would have outbursts in the office. I think this was the first time they were seeing first hand how quickly Bruna would go from not being interested in the topic to screaming and controlling it. We continued going as a family but it was alot more of the same, she wouldn't talk and we would talk for her. Until this May when she decided for a reason we still do not know to this day to take some pills, she went to school and when she got violently sick to her stomache she confessed to taking the drugs and ended up in the hospital. The psychiatrist there suggested very intense family therapy but suggested we continue being followed by the Children's hospital because they have more resources. So back to the SW we went. The following week she hurt herself and i went back to the SW and said more needed to be done. She then resuggested this 9 month treatment plan that would be more intense and safer for her. I've been putting peices together but after reading some posts on this site I feel more armed to ask specifically what are we dealing with?
  6. frostie

    frostie New Member

    Thank you everyone for the welcome and the hugs.
  7. TeDo

    TeDo Guest

    It still sounds to me like she is frustrated and depressed. She might not have understood how the math teacher explained it (many kids have this problem) so asked again and was met with frustration. She apparently feels like she's not being heard and doesn't understand it herself so can't exactly explain it to someone else. My difficult child is much the same way. He needs things to be explained in just the right way "for him" before he understands what is being asked. He also struggles with putting his thoughts into words. It's even harder for him when he doesn't know why he's doing what he's doing. He lacks the "correct" words or doesn't really know. How can a child explain something to someone else when they don't know themselves.

    I am very sorry she is going through this. It took me until about 6 months ago to realize these were the issues my difficult child was having and helping him instead of "punishing" him for doing the wrong thing. I still don't see any ODD in what you've said. I see a lot of lacking skills and no one able to help her yet. More {{{{(((HUGS)))}}}} to you both.
  8. frostie

    frostie New Member

    Hi Keista

    I looked up your link and the following fits her to a T:

    It's not always but when she has her outbursts which is alot more frequently in the past year these all apply to her?
  9. keista

    keista New Member

    I'm so sorry you and your baby have to deal with this. I'm also very sorry for that quack that suggested nothing more than ODD when she was admitted for hurting herself. (I had a similar quack tell me the same thing when I was quite certain that DD1's escalating behavior was due to a bad reaction to her medications - which it was)

    I haven't personally read the book by Green, but do know that it is VERY highly regarded and does have some useful information in it. Unfortunately my gut is telling me that for your situation it was very little help.

    Did you ever see a neurologist about the 'blanks'? Does she still have them? You might want to investigate those. I can only imagine that her own fear and confusion could lead to the behavior you describe.

    DD1 doesn't talk either. At least not about any negative emotions. I've had 2 psychiatrists HIGHLY concerned that she's on the autism spectrum because she has always been so non-communicative in their offices. (her brother is on the spectrum so that sends the red flag) She's not, she just won't open up. She spent her first six sessions with her first therapist in silence or growling because she REFUSED to participate.

    Have you researched any mood disorders to see if they fit? Depression, anxiety, bipolar?

    Unfortunately you might not be able to 'specifically' get an answer to what you're dealing with. Kids present so differently than adults on many levels, and also since they are developing, they, and their symptoms, are also developing. Hopefully you will get at least some answers and beneficial treatments. I'd say that addressing the suicidal tendencies and self harm are priority #1.
  10. TeDo

    TeDo Guest

    frostie, I'm just going to explain what happened with my difficult child and let you draw your own conclusions about your daughter. My son fit all those criteria to a T. He still does to a certain extent but now that I know WHY he's like this, it's much easier to deal with the causes instead of the behaviors. My son is on the Autism Spectrum (NOW they tell me, ugh) and none of his behaviors were intentionally ODD. That's just the way us adults interpreted them without knowing the WHY's behind it all.

    - He lacks the skills to handle situations in an "appropriate" manner ie. he struggles to put his thoughts and feelings into words.

    - His point of view and way of thinking is different than the adults more logical thinking and they weren't understanding his.

    - He needs to know WHY the rules are as they are to better understand how he's supposed to follow them. He is also a black-and-white literal thinker so he needs to know EXACTLY what the rule entails.

    - It appeared "intenional" to the adults until the diagnosis revealed he really didn't UNDERSTAND enough to comply until things started being explained differently to him.

    - He lacks the "appropriate" social skills to realize he is annoying or upsetting anyone.
    - He really doesn't understand some of the cause-effect relationship in many things involving other people.

    - He has many sensory issues with touch, sound, and smell.

    - He displays anger when he is frustrated which was very frequently until we got the correct diagnosis.

    - He didn't know how to handle the feeling appropriately. It is something we are teaching him.

    - He was hurting from lacking skills that people misinterpreted and handled incorrectly. Instead of teaching him what we now know he needs to be actively taught, we were all punishing him for doing it "wrong". He became depressed which at his age came out as anger and vengeful before he became the kind of depressed I can identify.

    This is all just from my personal experience. I feel extremely guilty for accepting the ODD diagnosis and for putting him through those 6 years of "torture" dealing with him inappropriately. I just don't want you to get locked into one way of thinking. The ODD could be something else entirely and you just don't know it yet. I would push for an accurate diagnosis through more extensive testing by a neuropsychologist.
  11. keista

    keista New Member

    I don't see suicide and self harm on there. The ODD does NOT explain those two symptoms. In other words there is something else going on as well.

    The problem I have with ODD is that in an angry outburst ANYONE can be labeled as having ODD. Also each and every one of those symptoms can be a symptom of depression, anxiety, bipolar and even ADHD. That article does discuss that fact.

    I noticed in your sig you have Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) Is that bipolar disorder? I'm checking because I know Canada does have some slightly different acronyms than we do in the US - we usually just use BiPolar (BP). Unfortunately our apples don't fall very far from the trees.
  12. HaoZi

    HaoZi Guest

    You mention her having "blanks" during math. Regular school testing can't catch everything that could be happening. Has she been tested for epilepsy? Not all forms of epilepsy present with obvious seizures. Auditory processing disorder? Umm... shoot, I know there's a few more I've seen around here that match up and I hope those moms see this and chime in. A number of her behaviors can be rooted in the frustration she's feeling but can't express verbally.
  13. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    I think you owe it to yourself and your daughter to get her a neuropsychologist evaluation. So-called "normal" kids don't erupt like that...something is going on, probably something that can get better with the right kind of help. I don't think putting it off any longer is a good plan. ODD is a pretty unhelpful diagnosis and won't get her or you any help or relief. It also rarely stands alone. If I had to take a guess (and I'm not a doctor), I would say that it sort of sounds like an emerging mood disorder of some sort.

    Let us know what you decide to do. We care :)
  14. frostie

    frostie New Member

    Good morning

    Thank you for all the insight. This morning I went directly to the group home and asked that her file be completely explained to me. After leafing through it the only real diagnosis stated is underlying depression with suicidal tendancies. ODD was just mentioned as traits. the Child care worker told me that ODD really does not apply to her, he's been doing this for over 20 years and he does not see the traits. Their mandate with her file is to watch her handle stress and social aspects within the house. They will in the fall see how she learns and what any difficulties are. They will not work on gettign another diagnosis, they will just take care of her and give her tools to manage with.

    I felt some relief and then I'm freaking out that for depression I chose to put her in a rehabilitation center(easier to say than placement).
    I'm scared I made a mistake but at the same time she was hurting so mucvh and we didn't know how to help her.

    Keista, I've been diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder (Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD)).

    I am thankful for all your input, it gave me some energy to be more pushy for answers.
    I've been overwhelmed just wanting her to be safe.
  15. TeDo

    TeDo Guest

    It sounds like the staff is doing exactly what should be done for your daughter. She is safe and in a good place to help her. I am glad they are watching her so they can see HOW she reacts to things. That should be very helpful at home too. I would still arrange for assessments to narrow down accurate diagnoses. I whole-heartedly agree with the depression diagnosis but there could me more causing it. It was in my case anyhow.

    I am very happy for you and for difficult child. Take a deep breath, soak in a bubble bath, and then relax. Don't ever feel guilty. You didn't know and did the best you could, as any of us can. No one is perfect and we act based on the information we have. You did just fine.
  16. keista

    keista New Member

    :congratualtions: Yay! this home sounds like they have it all together and it is a GREAT placement for your daughter.

    Go back to relief! Go back to relief! Where else would you get her help? It sounded as if it was VERY difficult to keep her safe in your home. Depression is a VERY serious illness. I really wish they would come up with a different name for it. There is a HUGE difference between "I'm depressed" <~~~ a temporary state and "I have depression" <~~~~~~ a very real mental illness.
  17. frostie

    frostie New Member

    Thank you

    Just a question because i can not at all figure it out...what does difficult child stand for?
  18. TeDo

    TeDo Guest

    difficult child stands for "gift from God". Maybe someone else can explain why. I have my own ideas but am at a loss as to how to explain it to someone else.
  19. keista

    keista New Member

    I don't' know the board's original thinking behind it. I'm guessing it was frustrated, tongue-in-cheek, sarcastic humor. This is how I feel most of the time.

    However, the way I think about it is this: All children are gifts from God, but these are special gifts. Not the obvious joys and expectations most parents think of. Our difficult children give us the gift of insight. Of seeing the world differently and experiencing it differently. Unfortunately, these differences are not always pleasant, but because of that we are FORCED to see all the small joys that often get overlooked by others in day to day living. Also, if it wasn't for difficult children, we wouldn't have this wonderful community.

    Despite feeling the way I do, and thinking the way I do, I haven't been able to 'label' DD1 as my difficult child in my signature. She really is a GREAT kid. She has an illness that causes problems. And while she is difficult at times, she is not more often difficult than 'regular' kids, but her difficulties are certainly more INTENSE. I still see a great divide between HER and her illness. In my mind they are separate entities.