Message of Hope

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by tandcg, Jun 10, 2010.

  1. tandcg

    tandcg New Member

    I have received so much support over the last couple years through this site! There have been so many days that I could not stop crying and was at my wits end. Now I am hoping that my situation can provide hope to someone else who is struggling.

    My son is about to celebrate his 15th birthday. Starting around the time that he was 12, we began getting reports of him being very disruptive in school. Ultimately this lead to numerous school consequences and friendships with several kids who were very bad influences (I call them the "detention crowd".)

    As time went on, my son began engaging in increasingly risky behaviors in and out of school and became violently angry and completely out of control and defiant at home.

    Ultimately we found a good psychiatrist for him and he was diagnosed as having both Bipolar and ADHD. Then the crazy cycle of finding the right medications began - the initial focus being to get his moods under control. We later did a lot of experimenting to determine if he was able to tolerate anything for ADHD without sending his moods out of control again. During this period, one of the stimulants we'd try would make him completely irritable and then when we would stop the medications he would become completely apathetic about every aspect of his life.

    We finally managed to find a good therapist that he could relate to and he was seeing him on a regular basis during this period also.

    Earlier this year, we became aware that he was using drugs (mostly alcohol, pot and Oxycontin) to escape the stress in his life. (We were aware that he had tried pot at least once before.) We immediately wisked him into a daytime substance abuse program, which ended up leading to enrollment in an in-patient hospital substance abuse program. During his stay in the hospital, the doctors messed again with his mood stabilizers which led to an altercation with another child and a short stay on the mental health floor before he returned to the drug program. We learned that we were only aware of the "tip of the iceburg" when it came to his drug use and risky behaviors.

    However, he's home now and is so proud of the fact that he has been clean for three months! He is attending AA meetings regularly. He's holding down a job. We got a 504 plan in place at school. After missing 7 weeks of school, he managed to complete enough school work to pass all his classes, so we managed to avoid the stress of summer school. Although he still has to struggle sometimes to control anger, the oppositional defiant behavior is GONE!!!! As for me... I will not be letting my guard down for a second, but for now I am loving having my son back!!!!

    The magic formula (so far) has been a combination of some good doctors and therapists, the right medications (currently he's taking Trileptal, Abilify, and Wellbutrin), drug treatment, support programs, elimination of the bad influences in his life, and a desire on his part to change.

    I hope this let's somebody know that there is light at the end of this horrible dark tunnel!!! :D
  2. AnnieO

    AnnieO Shooting from the Hip

    I'm happy he is doing so much better!!!!

    You hit the nail on the head though - the biggie is the "desire on his part to change".

    All the rest? Is trial and error. But - it's ALL errors without the trials - because if he did not want to change - none of the other stuff would help.

    But his desire to change - that's the best news I have heard all day!!!!! :D
  3. Jody

    Jody Active Member

    Wonderful news, very glad to hear someone found something that worked!!! Thank you for sharing. My daughter takes wellbuterin, adderall xr and abilify. We still have odd, but i think an increase of the abilify has helped. Fingers crossed that this is what she needed. Enjoy your son now, and am glad to hear a success story. Thank you.
  4. Wiped Out

    Wiped Out Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Thank you for sharing this-glad he is doing so well.
  5. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    I am very happy he is doing so well. It is always nice to hear success stories. They give us hope.
  6. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Wow! Thank you!
    Amazing that he missed 7 wks and made it all up. Bravo.
    Abilify keeps popping up on this board. I am going to mention it to the psychiatrist next time we see him.
  7. shellyd67

    shellyd67 Active Member

    Thank you for your post. I hope to look forward to a glimmer of hope for my difficult child. Happy things are going well for you and your family.