Intermittent explosive disorder

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by TAM, Dec 21, 2007.

  1. TAM

    TAM New Member

    I am new. 1st post.

    My difficult child son is 14. My difficult child daughter is 11. I am gay. Kids know.

    I had a 6 yr relationship with a woman who I lived with. She helped me raise the kids. We broke up a year and a half ago but still lived together until Aug of this year. We had to sell the house.

    I am divorced with ex in military. Sees kids 1 time per yr. Most recently he saw the kids 1 time in 2 yrs.

    Never calls.

    Son has been in counseling since age 5. Most of those years it was through the school counselor. For the last 2.5 years it has been with 1 counselor outside of school. Puberty and outbursts prompted me to seek more counseling.

    I have moved to a new house and new school system with higher standards. My children have had to leave their friends. Son has had outbursts because of moving and a visit of their father. Father told son that he could choose who to live with at age 12. Son believes I intentionally kept this information from him.

    Son has punched walls and I called the police when he had a meltdown. Becomes defensive about school. Does not like it. Many assignments are late. I try to be helpful but it is seen as nagging.

    Son is in wrestling and loves it. Has a meltdown because of an assignment that he believes he will fail. He kicks the wall and puts a whole in it without realizing it. I work it out with the teacher and all is cool.

    It is hard to ground him for every outburst. I do feel that he is out of control and that he does not mean to do it. Counselor does not seem to offer him many ways to deal with these issues. We are supposed to take a "break" but it always just gets shoved under the rug and never dealt with. I feel breaks should not be allowed but should be work thru.

    I feel that inside he has a low self-esteem and I don't want to push him over the edge.

    Just frustrated. I love my son.
  2. mrscatinthehat

    mrscatinthehat Seussical

    Welcome -

    The exs and the loss for difficult child could be part of this. Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD) can be adding to some of the anger. So sorry you are going through this. Has he been evaluated by someone more than a counselor. With the anger issues I would highly recommend getting a full evaluation done. Teens can be hard just as teens. You are smart to call the police when things escalate.

    Take care of you and your other child during this also.

  3. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    Your recent ex - is she still in contact with the kids? She has been a significant parent figure too, her loss could be part of the problem as well.

    Welcome, help is here.

  4. smallworld

    smallworld Moderator

    Welcome! I'm glad you found us.

    Sorry for the questions, but your answers will help us point you in the right direction. What kind of doctor diagnosed your son with Intermittent Explosive Disorder (IED)? Has he ever been evaluated by a child/adolescent psychiatrist or a neuropsycyologist? Is he taking any medications? If so, are they making things better, worse or about the same?

    My understanidng of Intermittent Explosive Disorder (IED) is that the outbursts are severe, but there are periods of wellness in between each outburst. Is that what is occurring with your son, or are the outbursts frequent (as in every day)?

    Very often outbursts are fueled by an underlying disorder, such as anxiety, depression or bipolar disorder. Have any of these conditions been mentioned to you with regard to your son?

    Again, welcome. You will find a lot of support here.
  5. slsh

    slsh member since 1999

    Hi TAM and welcome! So glad you found us.

    Teens are just such a challenge, on a good day. Balancing supervision of them, which is in my experience anyway always seen as nagging, with letting go a bit so they start being more responsible and accountable (talking about school here) is like walking a tightwire. I'm currently backing off with- my 13 y/o, who "has it under control" - not. But I'm just dumb Mom, so we're going to let him see how under control things really are - short-term, about a half a quarter doing it his way. Hopefully he'll be a bit more receptive when he sees the results. I'll let you know if it works, LOL. :wink:

    Does the wrestling team have academic standards? Did your son try to work it out with teacher at all? I'd try to put this more on his shoulders, try to guide him to learning to solve his own problems? I know, it's really really hard because they can get just so defensive.

    As far as the violence - it has to stop. Being out of control will never be a viable excuse for him as an adult - at 14, it shouldn't be either. I would guess that it's pretty scary for you and your daughter, and probably him too. Concrete consequeces, logical if possible. He will pay for repair of holes in walls or repair them himself (if you're a handy kind of person). I would give some kind of consequence also in terms of no video games for a day or no computer or... something that is a valuable activity for him. He needs to learn to control his anger.

    Would it be possible for you to find a new counselor for him? in my humble opinion, the whole point of therapy is to learn new strategies for dealing with the challenges of life and behaviors that detract from quality of life. I with you, a break is a good thing but there needs to be a discussion of and hopefully resolution of the issue soon thereafter. Calm measured problem solving and figuring out how to handle it better next time. Counselor should, in my humble opinion, be working on this pretty aggressively.

    Has he had a psychiatric evaluation? He's had a lot of changes in his life fairly recently and they can be hard on anyone. I'm wondering if depression might be playing a part here. Any family history of depression or mood disorders? That can predispose kids.

    Again, welcome and so glad you found us!