Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by gcvmom, Feb 17, 2009.

  1. gcvmom

    gcvmom Here we go again!

    Just curious about what I'm seeing in difficult child 2 today.

    For anyone who read my latter post in the thread about ripping the classmate's jacket...

    difficult child 2 had a lot of energy after school today. He was really happy and upbeat. While waiting to pick up difficult child 1 in front of school, he asked to get out of the car to walk around. So I let him wander around on the grassy area next to the sidewalk where I was parked. He walked all around the area briskly, walked quickly along the low retaining wall trying to balance himself, then back again, for about 15 minutes. (For a while it was almost like he was pacing). Found a stick and proceeded to pick all the bark off it. Then he informed me that a classmate lived down the street. It's an Aspie he gets along with pretty well and so I asked him if he'd like to invite him over one day, to which he replies that he was actually thinking about the OTHER boy, the one whose jacket he ripped on Friday. This is a complete 180 degree flip in the way he has felt about this kid for years. He says it's because of my pointing out similarities this weekend between him and this boy.

    But now I'm wondering if this enthusiasm coupled with his energy all afternoon (lots of up and down during homework time, silliness, squealing, making noise for its own sake, crawling under the table, some goal driven activity) is hypomania?

    He got no stimulant today. He did have 5mg of Focalin yesterday twice (over 8 hours) because he had a project to work on and I wanted to see if it would help. It did help him focus better. But now I wonder if today's somewhat exaggerated behaviors are the after-effects of having had some stimulant yesterday?

    Last night at the sleep study center, he was very subdued and quiet. Tired. Watched TV and it was very hard to get him to respond to questions. He had to be asked two and three times to get an answer (I usually had to repeat the tech's questions to him twice). This morning he was really tired and fell asleep with his head on the table when we got home before school started.

    He said he took his afternoon Seroquel XR, but it was about 90 minutes late.

    I'm just trying to sort out what I'm seeing in him. I was just so shocked about his interest in having the "jacket boy" over. husband says he thinks it's a good sign, but it's so out of the blue that I'm having trouble accepting it as real. Like I said before, I'm not sure I trust what difficult child 2 is saying about this.
  2. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    You had me a bit confused with hypOmania - if it's over the top, it would be hypERmania.

    WHich stimulant is it again? Not that it matters a great deal, you can get rebound with any of them. And what you seem to be wondering about, would be rebound. That's when it seems that all the bahviour that the stimulant controls, seems to have been saved up to hit you with when the stimulant wears off. So that evening it's bad. The next day - not usually, stimulants are supposed to wear off fairly quickly. However, if you didn't dose him the next day you could have a slight increase in any reboud. Usually the next day's dose cuts it off.

    The other possibility - what you saw is what he is like without stimulants.

    I think it's fairly typical, for our difficult children to make friends with the kids who have pushed their buttons, especially if it's another difficult child like them. What can happen - kids get on one another's nerves because they misunderstand one another and mistake annoying behaviour for deliberate teasing. Once they realise where the other guy is coming form, they often do a turnaround in attitude to that person. I've seen it with a classmate of difficult child 3's, a boy who was very aggressive, very touchy and reactive. But once he realised that difficult child 3 wasn't "having a go" at him, he turned around and is now very friendly, very supportive of difficult child 3, like a big brother.

    Similar things happened with difficult child 1 - his best friends in school were horrors. The teachers were afraid of them. One in particular, a large lad with an expressionless face, had teachers terrified. I had to ban a couple of difficult child 1's frienids from the house because I didn't trust tem around difficult child 3. No problem with the large boy, though. Everyone else may have been scared of him, but I never was because Icould see that he wasn't a threat. He ended up being Best Man at difficult child 1's wedding, they are all still good friends.

    The other possibility - sometimes a bully can pretend to be a friend, for some personal advantage. But it doesn't sound like this here.

    What you are describing sounds to me to simply be a day without medications. Stimulants also keep a kid more awake. When difficult child 3 misses his medications for a day, he is all over the place, talks non-stop, eats everything he can get his hands on and falls asleep early.

    Hope this helps.

  3. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Gosh, I'm no good at the medication thing, but it sounds like a good guess.
    I'm just sending support and good thoughts.
  4. gcvmom

    gcvmom Here we go again!

    Thanks Marg. I can understand the lightbulb going on in his head telling him that maybe this kid isn't so bad afterall -- he was just so impulsive and animated that day I was wondering if his change of heart was also an impulsive thing. I said hypOmania because he isn't fully manic, but just below that. Sort of like a bad ADHD day. And the jury is still out on whether or not these behaviors we still see in him are ADHD or mild bipolar.

    Lately when he takes stimulants, he talks too much in class, blurts out answers and is still impulsive, which is why the psychiatrist thinks it's NOT ADHD causing his behavior problems. He had Focalin the day before (short acting), two doses of 5mg over 8 hours.

    He didn't get any stimulant today either, so I'll have to see how he is when I pick him up in an hour...

    Sometimes I think I am too close to the situation to see things clearly.
  5. gcvmom

    gcvmom Here we go again!

    You snuck in on me, Terry. Thanks for the encouragement!
  6. gcvmom

    gcvmom Here we go again!

    Well, he's not hyper this afternoon like yesterday. And he's not overly talkative either. He's resisting homework, which isn't all that unusual. He IS very hungry and says he thinks he's growing. "I feel taller, Mom." Oh really? :laugh:

    He is exhibiting some sensory-seeking behaviors -- finally went to get a small rocking chair to do his work in after being reminded not to rock in the regular dining room chairs. He says it just feels better to rock.

    I just wondered, for people who are BiPolar (BP) and who are activated into mania or hypomania by taking a stimulant, how long does that last?
  7. Janna

    Janna New Member

    For D - it lasts days afterward. I know it's supposed to be fast in/fast out. Is Focalin like Ritalin/Concerta? Haven't tried that one yet. But, just recently, D was on Concerta - and, we feel it triggered mania, and honestly - 3 weeks later, he's still insanely manic. Non stop talking, non stop fidgeting, non stop movement, non stop him. LOL!

    Could some of it be a puberty thing (just thought of that when you said he thinks he's growing LOL). If it's puberty, all the medications can go to crud.
  8. Jena

    Jena New Member

    Hi :)

    It is common for my daughter as well to be drawn to children with whom she has had a negative experience with. The way I view it when it comes to my difficult child is that her neediness level and need to be accepted overrides her common sense and ability to have pride in herself and also self confidence. If that makes any sense to you.

    As far as how long does it last with the stimulant and behaviors I got difficult child past it in an 8 hour time frame once with a bad medication experience where she truly flew into mania after taking it. It was a rough 8 hours though.

    What you described is the behavior I see from my difficult child most days, overly talkative, jittery, jumping, constantly twirling. It is hard though I know what you mean when you said your too close to it to see it and be objective regarding what you are seeing. I go through that alot as well now.

  9. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    Hey! I would have added a response sooner but I'm second-guessing myself lately on hypomania and mania. Anyway, it's my understanding that if hyperness or agitation is a result of a medication and the person does not have a mood disorder involving mood cycling, that the symptoms go away when the medication is out of the system. However, if the person is BiPolar (BP) or otherwise experiences mood cycling (that's the controversial part), then the medication can kick the hypomania or mania into gear and it might not go away for a long period- without a MS that's effective for that person.

    That being said, the team of profs where my son is right now are seeing things that I thought was hypomania (and still think it could be) as anxiety, being overwhelmed, depression, etc. So, who knows.
  10. gcvmom

    gcvmom Here we go again!

    Yes, Janna -- Focalin is the short-acting methylphenidate (same as Concerta but only lasts 4 hours). He had it the day before and yesterday was seemed a lot more animated and hyperactive than usual. And he was in a particularly good/enthusiastic mood. Today he's not quite so amp'd, did get his work done fairly easily without a lot of my redirecting. He's still a little squirrely and impulsive, though.

    Jena, there are other boys who continually reject him and he keeps on going back for more. Maybe it's the same neediness that drives him. This particular "jacket" boy, though, annoys him (shoe's on the other foot) with his own brand of difficult child-ness and has for years. That's why I was kinda shocked at his change of heart and thought maybe this was some impulsive decision he'd jumped to.

    Klmno, I guess I'm with you on the second-guessing club, too :D
  11. Jena

    Jena New Member

    I could be the leader of the second guess club!! it's all good, we do the best we can. difficult child also has one friend a girl with whom annoys her daily. makes no sense, i see your point!!
  12. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    THis really sounds like rebound to me. In my experience, taking the short-acting tablets - we would see rebound beginning in the evening of each day. Next morning there would still be signs of hyperactivity and imulsivity being worse plus often more emotional. THis would ease over the day (if unmedicated) but would be complicated by lack of medications leading to continuing levels of impulsivity. But it would ease to a stable (if still unacceptable) level.
    With the long-acting - rebound would still begin at the same time in the evening, perhaps not so suddenly. But it would be a biggerproblem next day, if he stayed unmedicated next day. By the day after, he would have settled to a stable pattern (as above). Much the same, but the long-acting spreads out the problem over a longer period, but with less intense sudden over-activity.

    The appetite - that fits. The stimulants do reduce the appetite, so when they come off them they really get the munchies.

    With his new friend, I wouldn't allow unstructured, unspervised activity. I would hover for a while and direct activities. If they're both into computer games, maybe find one they can play together (instead of competing with one another) or something not too stressful. Big Brain Academy is a good one. Or various Wii Sports or Wii Fit games, because they take turns doing the same sort of thing and can keep trying, supporting one another's efforts.

    If both your difficult child and this other boy have a history of inappropriate reactions with other kids, then over time they could become best buddies, understanding one another better than anyone else. But you need to be on the spot to immediately nip any problems in the bud. If either of them gets too hyper, or begins to annoy the other, you need to immediately stop what is happening and talk it out with them. "Why are you doing that? What do you want him to do? Is there maybe a better way to get what you want from him? Let's try it."
    The more each boy sees you using techniques like this to resolve any problems, the more they will learn to apply those techniques themselves, and the more they will learn to give each other some breathing room and understanding. It's a good lesson for both and possibly fostering a good friendship between these boys could be a valuable investment in their future.

    We have found some good friendships where previously there was conflict. One neighbourhood boy who used to be really horrible to difficult child 3 was himself a victim and was only taking it out on difficult child 3 because he could get away with it. Once we had our showdown, this boy expected me to always be critical, always looking out to catch him in the act of being mean, and that I would in turn be mean to him. So I made an effort to catch thisboy out doing something good - and I found it, in sport. THis boy is a good football player and a good team player. A good sport. SO I went up to him after a game and told him this, and thanked him for being generous with difficult child 3. They had been playing on opposing teams - the boy looked scared after he tackled difficult child 3 as part of the game, but he actually did it exactly right, within the rules. difficult child 3 wasn't at all upset, because the boy had been playing fair. After that when the other boy was playing (not against difficult child 3's team!) I would cheer for the other boy too. He learneds that I didn't hold grudges, that I also would be fair with him if he was fair with difficult child 3, and tat when I said we would put it all behind us and have a fresh start, I really meant it.

    That boy isn't really friends with difficult child 3 because tey just don't talk together about anything, but he DOES look out for him and has rescued him from acouple of confrontions in recent years. Again, I've thanked him for this.

    Often a boy who is really prickly and difficult, is doing it in the expectation that others will be prickly with him. "Do unto others before they do unto you." If you can break that cycle, it can really make a difference.

  13. gcvmom

    gcvmom Here we go again!

    That's great advice, Marg. I especially apreciate the tips on the play date. We'll see how receptive the dad is. I still need to call him back!