I got Matt the DSM for Cmas

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by Steely, Dec 8, 2011.

  1. Steely

    Steely Active Member

    I do not know what has happened to my difficult child, but he is morphing into somebody else. He has refused to "read" since he was 12.

    This year the only thing he wanted for Cmas was the DSM-IV, or a comparable psychiatric textbook. He wants to research as much as he can about mental illness.

    I am not sure what is happening here. Matt wants to read and actually learn something while reading?? I must have entered the Twilight Zone.
  2. ML

    ML Guest

    That is so cool.
  3. witzend

    witzend Well-Known Member

    I'd send him to community college to study it with some guidance instead.
  4. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    I ditto witz on this one. While it's very good he wants to learn, knowledge without guidance in this area may not be a good thing........especially given his issues and his current state of mind.

    Some folks can sit and read the info and are constantly doing an "omg that's me!" because well, we all know how many behaviors and symptoms overlap ect, and while some people can maybe handle that and keep reading or ask the appropriate questions to get it clarified..........others literally can take the same info and go off the deep end because they're convinced that whatever horrible disorder they're reading about is them.......

    It doesn't happen with just mental illness material either. I've watched many a nursing student over the years steadily convince themselves they have this or that wrong with them when they're perfectly healthy. The power of suggestion in some people is a very dangerous thing.

    A better choice might be a book on how someone else struggled with and learned to cope with a certain diagnosis or some such, than the actual DSM itself.

    When Nichole wanted to learn, I researched sites online that not only had the info but also people writing about different therapy and how it helped them cope and to get stable. I didn't want her just getting a bunch of facts, which if we're honest can sound pretty awful and scary to someone less experienced, and have her panic. She was already worried that there was no hope. So I found sites that would encourage hope.
  5. Steely

    Steely Active Member

    It's not like that wits and hound. I didn't post this to get advice on a better choice for a present. I know this kid....Believe me....this is a good thing.
    Remember he is going to a counselor to get over his social anxiety....he can't begin to go to school yet....he has already enrolled 3 times and had to bail.
    The happy point I was trying to make here is that he finally wants to learn the history of what all the therapists have thrown at him since he was 4. Oh well....never mind.
  6. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    Well, yes. I agree it's great that he's ready to learn. He's really done great on trying to help himself. I didn't mean to down play that at all because I think that is awesome.

    And I will say Nichole's being Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) and anxiety is different from Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) and PTSD too.............but you have to be careful when using these types of books because younger people tend to take them literally. Nichole read the info on Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) and then said well what's the point of living mom? Until I directed her to site of people who have done well in therapy. Until I reminded her that auntie Dammit Janet shares the same diagnosis and she thinks this auntie is pretty awesome. I mean she got totally upset over the dyslexia until she discovered the section where members posted ideas they'd come up with to help cope with the disorder which were pretty darn cool.

    The DSM is some pretty heavy duty reading. I'd just be careful to try to balance it with some positives and things he can relate to.
  7. flutterby

    flutterby Fly away!

    I got a miniature one when I was severely depressed 9 years ago. It doesn't have all of the information as the full book, but it covers all of the disorders and diagnostic criteria. It just doesn't go into as much detail. I found it to be a source of comfort - knowledge is comforting.

    I think it's great that Matt is wanting to learn about this stuff.
  8. AnnieO

    AnnieO Shooting from the Hip

    I agree that someone might go overboard with all that information, but... I think it's a great present!
  9. buddy

    buddy New Member

    I think it is normal to want to start looking more at this stuff yourself, I remember looking thru those sections at BArnes and Nobel when I was young, trying to learn more about eating disorders, depression anxiety etc. I remember reading one thing and I thought to myself, THAT IS NOT WHO I WANT TO BE... it probably wasn't since I could just change it thinking that, lol, but it motivated me to really change.

    I get wanting to be careful and not to think you have very diagnosis under the sun... I wish doctors would be more careful that way, lol. But, we all know our kids and if he tends toward that then there is always the option to add the other reading supports too.

    It seems kind of introspective and important to me that he is saying he wants to know more and fix this....maybe that is my glass is half full personality...(usually)?
  10. Steely

    Steely Active Member

    I think the thing is that I see this as a prelude to getting better. Since at this time he cannot tolerate the intensity of the social aspect of a classroom, he has to start somewhere.

    I know the DSM has tons of info, but I am fascinated personally by it - and he specifically wanted a psychiatric textbook. Maybe it seems strange, but he grew up with a grandpa who was a scientist, who had thousands of textbooks. I also have about 9 bazillion books, as did his Aunt. Also his only friend in Idaho is brilliant, and they read pysch journals to each other over the phone all the time.

    Perhaps he will be overwhelmed or paranoid --- but possibly he will become empowered. Knowledge is power.
  11. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Wow, that's really neat. Proof positive that when a kid finds something interesting, he WILL read. :)
    by the way, have you seen that video from the talent show in England where the autistic guy sings? He hadn't left the house in ages and now he does public appearances. If you haven't, I will post it here.
    It is amazing what some of our kids can do.
    Last edited: Dec 9, 2011
  12. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    P.S. Your avatar is really cool.
  13. buddy

    buddy New Member

    I wanna see the video..... please?????
  14. Steely

    Steely Active Member

    Yes, me too....
  15. buddy

    buddy New Member

    I tried to google it but no luck... in fact really bad luck except I did find this cool video of an autistic 7 yr old and it was amazing....

    **I will move this link too, is it ok to put it with the man who is autistic, both ont he same lines???
    Last edited: Dec 9, 2011
  16. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Okay, I'll post it on a new thread so I don't hijack Steely's original post.
  17. Steely

    Steely Active Member

    Terry - thank you for your encouragement....:)
    That is the thing that many people don't recognize with matt, he is borderline AS....he does not present to others socially as AS....but when tested he is, and in his personal life he is.
    What a windy road we have taken because others perceive him to be a bully and aggressive, rather than being able to see to see that he is not processing things correctly.
  18. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    Steely -
    You are the one who knows Matt better than anybody else.
    Given your recent posts, this is likely to be perceived by Matt as you being supportive.
    So... you have to go with your Mommy Gut.

    My difficult child - would devour it, and then drive the therapist insane with questions and theories...
  19. Mattsmom277

    Mattsmom277 Active Member

    I think that it sounds encouraging that your Matt is seeking real information and delving into treatment as a full participant. The boom sounds up his ally. My Matt loves huge science based books and self teaching.
    There are done good points about helping him realize that the science behind illness is not a predictor of what one can make of their lives. I trust your mama gut that your Matt can figure that out. I probably would add a print out of some cool online sites he might use in tandem with the book. And I'd probably suggest at some point that he use his therapist to bounce questions off of if need be but something tells me that since he is into researching right now he likely will do that anyhow.
    I'm just so hopeful for your Matt and for you, that he is a active participant now in wanting to feel better and grab control of his own well being. I mean, how huge is that?!? It's every struggling parents wish for their struggling difficult child. It bodes well for Matt.
  20. HaoZi

    HaoZi Guest

    Interest in reading is great. At least it's the DSM and not a survivalist's manual, right? There is hope in the DSM, cases handled in a way that helps, etc.