Is it possible to die from too much stress???

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by NURSEJENNY, Sep 16, 2011.


    NURSEJENNY New Member

    My name is Jenny and I'm the single mother of a 15 yo son with ADHD and ODD who was diagnosed at 5. My daughter is 2 yo and has shown no symptoms of anything so far. Neither father is involved in their child's life. My mother is wishy-washy in her support and also has had Parkinson's for 18 years. My father passed when I was 17 (huge void=teen pregnancy) and I have twin brothers who aren't family-oriented at all. Essentially I have no support system other than my close friends. I work 2 nights a week Fri/Sun or Sat/Sun in order to receive full-time pay (known as weekend package). J (my son) was discharged from his psychiatrist's care in June for doing so well off medication but this summer has been a disaster. Since he chased off my babysitter he's been watching his sister since she was 8 months old. Last month he stole my spare car and left her home alone at 12:00am to joyride with his friends. Subsequently he was pulled over by the police and I filed Operating Without Owner's Consent charges since this was the 3rd time he'd stolen my car. He went to Detention overnight and is now on informal probation which is amounting to a big joke. He's struggling in school both with behavior and grades. He's defiant the minute I turn my back and has such a flippant attitude about the trouble he's getting into. I have no one to watch them at night so he continues to watch her but I snuck home tonight to check on them to find him smoking in the house and reports from the neighbor that kids were outside my house. I can't afford to work during the day d/t daycare costs and the fact I put him in a better school district on the other side of town leaving me with the transportation responsibility. I feel so stuck. I feel so alone. My mom would watch my 2 yo if my son didn't come as he manipulates her constantly while he's there. Do I send her over there to keep her safe and leave him home alone to get into trouble? I have NO idea what to do. Guess I just needed to vent....
  2. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    Hi, and welcome.
    Sorry you need to find us - but glad you did.

    Thanks for the details in your post - you've already answered some of the questions we usually end up asking...! But, there's always more...

    Who did the evaluations on your son, for ADHD and for ODD? Did he get both diagnosis at the same time?
    Is he on any medications?
    Sounds like there was a therapist or psychiatrist in the picture, but not recently?
    How has he done in school? If he struggles, what does he struggle with? Is there anything that comes easy?
    Does he have any interests? hobbies?
    Is he involved in sports? music?

    Around here, we tend to take the ODD diagnosis as a "place-holder"... in younger kids, many things are hard to put a finger on, and the ODD label is "official recognition" that something is going on. But the ODD label doesn't help much in figuring out what to do about it.

    Its possible that there isn't anything more for a diagnosis than ADHD - especially because executive functions issues can be part of that (impulsive, disorganized, etc.). But, there could also be more going on in terms of dxes.

    He's also at an age where the lack of male leadership may be having an impact. He's well into puberty now. Is there anyone in his life for a male role-model?

    Just some random thoughts and questions...
    Others will be along later.
  3. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    By the way... like your thread title!
    Boy, do we ever know what THAT feels like.

    You DO need to look after yourself. Its a problem for parents everywhere, but much more important and much more difficult with a challenging child. What do you do to unwind? Often, we can't get big chunks of time, but even small bits of "me time" really help with the stress... a hot bubble bath, half an hour with a good book, music, handicrafts, whatever it is that helps you relax. This is NOT luxury. This is "saving your sanity" time. You need it, the kids need it, your job needs it.
  4. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Welcome! You have come to the right place. (And yes, you can die from stress. It's called a heart attack.)
    We will probably ask you a kazillion questions in the beginning until we figure out what's going on (sorry).
    Was he always like this, or is this a sudden issue with-teen hormones? It sounds like you've got a bit of history there ... these things tend to be under your nose the entire time and then you look back and put the pieces together.
    More later, gotta go.
  5. ksm

    ksm Well-Known Member

    [Qoute] My mom would watch my 2 yo if my son didn't come as he manipulates her constantly while he's there. Do I send her over there to keep her safe and leave him home alone to get into trouble? I have NO idea what to do. Guess I just needed to vent....[/QUOTE]

    I would definitely have the 2yo out of the house while you are working. While he may not intentionally harm the child, he is not responsible. Just the fact that he left her alone is enough to cause big problems. And if you leave your little one with him again, and he does that again, and the authorities find out - they could remove that child and charge you with neglect. I am not trying to add more stress to your life - just trying to keep things from getting worse.

    It sounds like he will do what he wants while you are away. Please protect your 2yo! KSM
  6. TeDo

    TeDo Guest

    Ditto ksm's recommendation about the 2 yo. You can be charged with neglect because you knowingly left her with someone who has proven to be irresponsible and neglectful. Protect yourself and your daughter.

    I would either take my son back to that psychiatrist ASAP or I would find a different one in a hurry. You said he was discharged from care because he was doing so well without medications. Has he EVER been on medications?

    If you wouldn't mind, I, too would like answers to the questions the others have asked. We really do need a very clear picture of the entire situation in order to offer help that might actually be helpful. What kinds of behavior is he displaying in school? Is he on an IEP or 504 plan? What has happened as a result of his behavior in school?

    You HAVE come to a great place here. These parents have been my sanity for over a year now. I have never felt so supported and understood before. {{{{(((HUGS)))}}}}
  7. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    While he may not intentionally harm the child, he is not responsible.

    Ditto this.
    Plus, if something did happen, irresponsible as he is, he would feel horrid for the rest of his life and that's too much to saddle him with. He's got enough going on just to take care of himself.

    Since insane mentioned that ODD is just a placeholder, maybe you can get some clues as to the underlying issue. Has he always been very hyper? Is he ultra-sensitive to any noises, lights, or types of touch? Or water? Does he fly off the handle for no good reason? Or do certain things send him into orbit, say, if you take away his computer, or repeat yourself too many times? IOW, ifyou tell him to do the dishes 5X, instead of snapping back at you, does he shove you against the wall?
    Does he have a girlfriend? Is he hypersexual?
    Does he thrive on adrenaline?
    Does he do well in school?

    In regard to a babysitter, you've got to get someone in there for your mental health as well as your daughter's well-being. She needs stimulation and education, not just a floating bubble to keep her in place until you get home. She is a real person.
    I would not leave it to your mother unless it is an emergency. She's got enough going on with-her Parkinson's and with-being a widow.
    Call a church, school, someplace (or do a Google search of your area) to find volunteers or low-cost sitters. It is worth an hr of your time to set it in place.

    I hear you about the probation and police issue. There are no teeth in manylaws, and the courts are overcrowded.
    How does he steal the car, by the way? Where do you keep the keys? I'd be sleeping with-the keys. Or can he hotwire the car?
    Sorry ... so many questions.
  8. keista

    keista New Member

    Ditto everyone else.


    He's going to get into trouble no matter what. No need to put your daughter in harms way. Keep her safe.
    Sounds like it's time to be back under psychiatric care. What medication was he on?

    I also don't believe in ODD as a valid stand alone diagnosis. If medication or therapies had sufficiently helped the ADHD, then the ODD should have subsided. in my opinion there is something else 'driving' that.

    So, you don't have a 'traditional' support system of family. Consider yourself lucky! Too often family is less support for us with difficult kids. Friends often work better. AND now you have US :) You've found a great place! Stick around.
  9. Wiped Out

    Wiped Out Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Welcome NurseJenny! I agree with the other posters about not leaving the 2 year old with him anymore. I'm so glad you found us (sorry you needed to), you will find much support here. (((hugs)))
  10. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It


    As a nurse, surely you are aware that stress can do far more than just cause a heart attack!! It can cause incredible problems with every part of your body, from a heart attack to various kinds of headaches to wear and tear on certain muscles to making you far more susceptible to many types of infection to stuff I can't even think of!

    in my opinion the first priority needs to be finding care for your daughter. A fifteen year old difficult child is not an option that is safe. What would keep him from either leaving her home asleep (or in frontof the tv) or worse taking her with him while he went for a joyride? What would stop him from blowing pot smokei n her face to "mellow her" and make her sleep? Or because he thought it would be funny? Not sure he is using pot, but if he is smoking it is a reasonable suspicion, esp given his other behaviors.

    Try local message boards, websites and be sure to cal the local dept of human services/child protection/social work office - they are called different things in different states. They may help with the cost of child care and even if you earn too much for that they can certainly give you a list of providers who they have approved. Not sure I would take their approval as gospel that these are good people, but it is a list of people to interview that you didn't ahve before.

    Choosing your mom to babysit your 2yo is a very personal decision. It depends on your relationship, how much you want her input/interference into the day to day life of your daughter and YOUR daily life (as others have mentioned, family is NOT always a great source of support - sometimes it is a source of far more problems), and certainly her health has to weigh in on her ability to care for your daughter. Is she not just capable of caring for her for a weekend, but capable of doing it on a regular basis?

    You say the fathers are not active in their lives. Do they pay child support? Is it the court ordered amount? If not, why not? They certainly should contribute to their children's upbringing, at least financially at the very very least. If they don't pay support even though it is ordered, give great thought to hiring a service to collect it for you. Yes, the service will charge a % of the amt collected, usually of the back support collected, but that still gives you the rest of the $$, $$ you didn't have before AND it gets them into the system where support can be taken out along iwth taxes - whether or not the father agrees to it or wants it taken out. So yes, you would lose a portion of the back support owed, but you would have a chance to get the back support owed, and support going to the future - which would help provide quality child care.

    The 15yo needs to be re-evaluated. A neuropsychologist evaluation would be really helpful, but if not available, at least have a new psychiatrist evaluation done. I would also have him see a neurologist to rule out any seizure disorder - seizures can cause all kinds of behavior and some kids are diagnosis'd with adhd when it is really seizures causing the problems. As adhd treatment didn't make the odd go away, well, something else is going on. Years ago, no one got adhd medications with-o an EEG to rule out seizures. now? they treat you like a nutjob if you ask for that. I know, because I demanded it - and got it for my oldest two when adhd was suspected. I was very glad I did, because my daughter has absence seizures and NOT adhd. Giving her adhd medications would have caused more seizures most likely, so it was an excellent thing that I stuck to my guns.

    Welcome to our online family - keep coming back - many of us get a lot more help and support here than anywhere else!