Huskermom3 posted this - new member

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by busywend, Jul 23, 2007.

  1. busywend

    busywend Well-Known Member Staff Member


    hello, first time doing this. I have an almost 13 year old daughter who is being treated for bipolar, asperger's and has pretty severe learning delays. We are still fighting to have a diagnoses for how severe her delay or mental disability is. She has been having raging issues over the course of the past several months and finally attacked her 3 year old brother, which got her put on seroquel. She had an allergic reaction to depakote and can't take carbatrol so she just started lithium tonight....I am very concerned and am wanting to get input from other parents of children on this medication. It feels like I am in an uphill battle with the medical community to figure out what is going on! Also, does anyone else have a child/teen that says that they hear 'voices' in their heads? She says that she does before she starts getting into one of her rages. The new doctor that we started seeing (now visits) just tells me to ignore her, but she seems very upset by it and is scared. Oh wow, there is so much to our story, and I feel sooo overwhelmed, but I hope I can find out that we aren't the only ones ut there going through this.
    -Tammy (scared mother of 3)

  2. smallworld

    smallworld Moderator

    Tammy, welcome!

    I personally would not ignore voices that a child is hearing. They could be hallucinations/delusions and may need an atypical antipsychotic to treat them. Or she could be having some kind of seizure activity (which by the way Lithium doesn't treat and could actually make worse). Has she ever had an evaluation by a neurologist that includes an MRI and an EEG? What kind of doctor is treating her now? Is she still on Seroquel (or any other medications) in addition to the Lithium?

    Again, welcome. You will find a lot of support here.
  3. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    She could be hallucinating. I am puzzled that the doctor is dismissing it. There are good medications for that, and also medications, such as any ADHD medication or anti-depressant, that can cause hallucinations (I've experienced medication induced hallucinations first hand). Seroquel should not cause "voices." I would believe her and take her to a psychiatrist who believes her. Voices can become "commanding" and are hard to resist to the person hearing them--you don't want her to act on what the voices say--I'd get another opinion FAST. A good neurological appointment. can't hurt, but, in my opinion, it's more likely something other than seizures, however can't hurt to rule out EVERYTHING because you can't know for sure. JMO Good luck.
  4. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    Welcome to the board Tammy!

    I ditto smallworld. I know I wouldn't ignore voices. I'd say if they're scaring her, then she's hearing them. I don't understand the whole "ignore" attitude. It would be a good idea to have her checked out by a neurologist if you haven't done so already.

    Also, if you don't feel your daughter isn't getting the right treatment, or podc is taking the right attitude, it might be a good idea to get a second opinion. Many of us have had to go thru several docs to find one that "fit".

    Does your daughter have an IEP in place with the school? If not, you'll want to get one into place asap.

    Tie a knot and hold on, you've landed in a wonderful place! :biggrin:

  5. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    I would talk to her about the voices, try and get some understanding on it since the doctor doesn't seem interested. if it's upsetting her, then it needs to be sorted with her.

    It COULD be auditory hallucinations, or it could be simply her trying to get a handle on her own thought processes. There were things I tried to talk about with my family, when I was a kid, but I stopped when people started saying I was weird, or said they didn't understand. People being dismissive was not good; but people who were at first dismissive and then treated my insistence on answers as something possibly of concern if I was going to keep talking about it - I was smart enough to shut up.
    Now I understand what I was trying to describe - it was simply a more vivid way of visualising number sequences. I've heard about it since, it's rare but not pathogenic. It usually is linked to mathematical ability, and now I understand where it came from I can trace its origins in the steps I took as I learned about numbers, back when I was very young. A bit of support and understanding would have been nice, instead of being treated as a freak by my siblings. But they don't have this, so they don't understand.

    It could be something innocent that someone has scared her with, by telling her it's not normal.
    We have an Aussie author/Aspie, Wendy Lawson, who spent a few years in a locked psychiatric ward being treated for schizophrenia, because when a psychiatrist asked her, "Do you hear voices?" Wendy replied, "Of course I do!"

    And she's right. We don't SEE voices, do we? We hear them. But when you're asking an Aspie, or anyone with Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD), you need to be careful about what you ask and careful how you interpret the answer.

    Basically, is the voice she hears saying anything that goes against her own grain? Is it her, or does it feel like someone else's voice, imposed? Can she describe the voice? Because generally when you're talking about your own inner voice, you can't describe it.
    Has she heard the voice anywhere else, such as outside her head? Because I know difficult child 3 'hears' voices in his head - they're the soundtrack of movies he's watched, playing out like a tape recording in his head. Sometimes the tape recording will zip forward to a point that gives him a clue of something to say, as in a crisis. And with an adrenalin push, such as just when she's about to blow her stack, it could be more apparent. It seems to work that way with difficult child 3 - when stressed he often can quote (appropriately) from a film or computer game. But if someone told him this was bad, it would really make him anxious every time his brain did this.

    A really vivid imagination, such as I had when a child, can be a handicap if it's misunderstood. I had night terrors and my parents believed that if they pandered to the problem it would get worse. And now I'm older and have taken up writing, I know where those night terrors came from - it's having a mind that can make sudden leaps and conjectures, almost subconsciously, and twist them into something different. It helps as a writer, but it's a darned nuisance when you need to be pragmatic. I can look at a face on the bus and visualise a murderer in my next story. Now I'm a rational adult in the light of day, I know this is my own imagination. As a young child, in the half-sleep of the small hours, I knew no such thing and fantasy & reality would blur as shadows rearranged themselves into strange creatures ready to attack.
    There was nothing wrong with me mentally that a night-light wouldn't have helped, or a journal wouldn't have cured. An overtired, frightened brain makes even more nightmares as it tries to catalogue the day's entries. And, of course, the more this happens the worse the problem can get.

    I hope it's nothing more than this, but you need to find out more from her. She's frightened, so hopefully she'll talk to you about it. Find out why it scares her - does she feel the voices are removing her control? In which case, I would really worry for her. But if she is recognising that something doesn't feel right, she's a smart kid and a sensible one, to talk to you about it.

    Someone with more experience in this will undoubtedly put their oar in - all opinions here come from a wide range of experiences. I hope somewhere you can find a clue to help your daughter.

  6. huskermom3

    huskermom3 New Member

    First of all, thanks to all for your imput! It is so wonderful to hear that I should not be ignoring my daughter's pleas for help! The psychiatrist that she just started seeing is suppossed to be the head of the department and all he seems to be interested in is telling me how to stop her bad behavior. Although this is important, I keep thinking that someone should be listening to her about what is going on inside of her as to why she is doing the things that she does. She has had a lot of pain in the last year and needs to have someone help her sort it out. She is 13years old with the mentality of a 7 year old. I feel like I am drowning trying to sort out the differences in the behaviors of bipolar/aspergers/learning disabilities/and whatever else!!!! She does have an IEP and will be starting a new school in the fall. She attended a school for special needs children for the past 3 years but they really didn't do anything to help challenge her and she has not progressed at all academically the entire time that she was there. It is nice to hear that there are others that are experiencing voices as well. My child tells me that she hears me calling her all the time, even when I am not even around her. She also says that the 'voices' tell her to be mean to her brother(3)/sister(5). This is very concerning to me. The outburts toward the siblings got her put on seroquel. She has been on it for almost a month and says that the medication helps the voices be quieter, but they are still there. There are times during the middle of the afternoon that she actually asks for her midday dose to stop the voices. She has had an EEG several years ago and they didnt see anything alarming (I guess) now I am trying to fight for her to be able to have the testings to see exactly what we are dealing with.

    I have read and reread all of your responses....thanks again!!! I am still pretty overwhelmed here, but I am so grateful that I stumbled onto this site!!!!!!!
  7. busywend

    busywend Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I would for sure find someone to listen to her about the voices. See if the doctor you just started seeing can find a psychiatrist that specializes in kids that hear voices.
  8. jbrain

    jbrain Member

    my difficult child 2 was 13 when she first mentioned hearing voices to me and I about freaked out. For her, it turned out that she dissociates. She knows the voices are coming from within her but her voices too were telling her to do "bad" things and also would fight with each other. When she began getting help they were frantic--they were afraid of disappearing. When she would have some success with something they would try to sabotage it by telling her how stupid she was or that it wasn't important. I think things have improved a lot for her over the last few years but it took quite some time for her to be able to open up to her therapist and for them to be able to figure out what was going on. She had learned to dissociate as a way of coping with her abusive older sister. Now she longer has to protect herself (the sister no longer lives with us and we don't have a lot of contact with her) so she is trying to learn other ways of coping with distress and anxiety.

    Anyway, there seem to be many reasons why your child could be hearing voices and I am surprised the psychiatrist thinks you should just ignore it--how invalidating for your poor kid!

  9. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    husker, people who have gone to my bipolar support group, where I used to be active, told me EXACTLY what your daughter told you. The voices bother them when people aren't even there to speak and that the medications soften the voices. Most say they can't get rid of them for good. Remember, this is a small amount of bipolar folks and schizoaffectives that I once knew, and that I'm sure some people get rid of the voices completely. I just wanted to validate that your daughter is acting much like somebody who does have hallucinations.
    I would say Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) is probably different (these kids are incredibly LITERAL). Here's the difference, in my opinion. My Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) child also answered, "Yes" when asked if he hears voices and later told me "I hear voices all the time. You just asked me a question and I heard your voice." The difference is, he never said he hears voices that scare him (never initiated that conversation) and never claimed to hear voices when nobody was in the room. "Command hallucinations" tell the person what to do and, I'm told (don't know first hand) are very powerful, so they need attention. in my opinion I'd back off the behavioral mod until she is more stable. Right now she is probably confused and possibly unable to do her best to please you. I have no clue why psychiatrist is ignoring this complaint. I'd definitely go to another psychiatrist (make sure he/she has that MD too). (((Hugs)))
  10. wakeupcall

    wakeupcall Well-Known Member

    Huskermom3, could that mean University of NE? My daughter graduated from there...just curious.

    My son was on Depakote and had very violent reactions to it! He became a wild man to say the least. He's now been on Lithium for about three months and there is a WORLD of difference. So far, he's not had a diagnosis of Bipolar, but does have a diagnosis of mood disorder. Lithium has helped him immensely and we've tried probably a dozen other medications. Give the Lithium a chance...and PLEASE talk to her about the voices. Maybe you can help sort it out so that the doctor understands it better.

    Welcome to our forum!!