Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by mum of 4 sons, Apr 18, 2008.
Well, I've also got a 13yob with-ADHD diagnosis'd about the same age. Mine doesn't have depression, but does have anxiety, and we do have mood disorder in the family. His dad also has compulsive issues related to sex, which I see being directly linked to mood issues and anxiety.
My difficult child went through a short period of a few weeks where he was trying on my underwear, and at one point, his dad caught him wearing my bra and panties under his own clothes. After discussing it with a psychiatrist and a therapist, we all agreed to watch him closely but not confront, thinking it might be a combination of sensory issues, curiosity, and anxiety combined with his impulse control issues. As far as I can tell, it hasn't happened again since his dad's discovery (by the way he didn't make a big deal about it, just told him to take it off and go back to bed).
Is a mental health professional treating your difficult child?
Is he taking any medications?
Did I understand right that he's accusing his dad of abusing him? What kind of abuse? Is any of it true?
Sorry you're having to deal with such unusual and confusing behaviors.
Thanks for the reply gvcmom. Its just nicre to know I am not entierly alone. difficult child is on Concerta 54mg for ADHDhave tried attenta, ritalin and Riralin LA. Lovan for depression 20mg and 10mg Neulactil at night to help him sleep. Dont know if these are the same kid of medications used in the States as in Australia.
The abuse is absolutley not true. I have three other children who adore there father abd so does difficult child. He is also ODD which I forgot to mention and His psycologist and psychatrist both dont believe him anyway.
Hi! And welcome! I'm not a mental health prof. and obviously can't diagnose, but it sounds to me like his diagnosis could be wrong. Have you tried getting a second opinion from a psychiatrist or having an MDE done? You say he has mood swings- does that mean this behavior is only there at certain times, then he goes through period where he's pretty typical or depressed? Did the erratic behavior start after being on stimulants or anti-depressants?
My suggesstion is to write all these things down, including any pattern you can see, if any, and get a second opinion from a child & adolescent psychiatrist.
Keep us posted! There are many here with lots of experience and you'll get lots of ideas and support from others, so hang in there!
by the way, did I understand correctly that he started high school at 12? That is pretty amazing!
PS Yes, I have seen similar tendencies (not the exact same actions) in my son. Until you are sure that his is just defiance or manipulation tactics, I think I would keep an eye out for any attempts to harm himself or others and don't assume that these are just idle threats (like jumping off the roof). Just to be on the safe side-
I'm so glad you posted. You are definitely not alone. I know the part about the undergarments is extremely hard and makes you afraid to share I bet. But we are all here for the same reason. We are trying our best to raise these challenging gifts from God. None of us asked for this, we're just trying to rise to the challenges. Sounds like you are on the right track. I would consider the possibility of other diagnosis. My son used to dress in girls clothes as dress up. Up until about a year ago. He told me it was because of the soft fabric. He is sensory challenged so it makes sense. But also, he truly does identify with his feminine side. Always picks female avatars, etc. Though he realizes that boys aren't supposed to do these things so at this point he covers it up. That breaks my heart that he can't be true to who he is yet he has to navigate a cruel and unaccepting word so he has to figure it out on his own.
Again I'm glad you found us. ML
Hi there. Not much to add other than if he were in the US, he'd probably had a different diagnosis. and be on different medications. To me it sounds way beyond ADHD/ODD, but I know all countries tend to diagnosis. differently. As for the sexual stuff, I really wish I could help, but that's one thing we never had. Welcome to the board.
Tomorrow he is going to an adolesent mental health hospital for a stay as his psychiatrist is definatley worried about the behavior. The bizzare behaviour has seemed to have worsened since anti depressents but was also there before. the possibilities for diagnosis seem to be Bi Polar or CD or some personality disorder? Hopefully after a stay in hospital we might have a clearer picture.
Yes he has periods of normal behaviour, but cant seem to last more then a couple of days until something cracks, wheather its his temper or other behavior.
12 months ago this boy was living a fairly normal life with ADHD. he was happy, keen sportsman, friends,going to school without problems.toward the end of last year was hospialized for depression and suicide watch.just in a normal kids ward in a general hospital.havnet heard as much about the suicide lately but im sure its still lurking around in his thoughts .
As for the starting high school at 12 - he will 13 this week and is in Year 7 but year 7 -12 is called high school.
Hey! Hang in there. I hope the hospitalization helps. If he was put on an anti-depressant when he was diagnosis'd with depression, that could have brought out mania. Even if he wasn't given an anti-depressant, I don't think it is rare for depression to hit in early adolescent years, then show itself as bipolar if the makeup to be bipolar is already there. One of these two scenarios is apparently what happened with my son- even though no one in my family has been diagnosis'd with bipolar- there is some depression and anxiety though. I guess there are several other things that could be going on with your son so I don't want to lead you to think "bipolar must be it". But, if they suggest trying a mood-stabilizer instead of stims, I would give it a try for a while.
This is a good forum to post questions, vent, make cyber-friends, etc., so I hope you "come back" and let us know how things are going.
by the way- bipolar isn't the same as a personality disorder - it is a chemical imbalance, I believe, and although he can learn to control and maintain some behaviors, he can't help that he has it, if that is what it is, and it would certainly not be because of anything you did or didn't do.
Hi, Mum of 4 sons. I'm another non-Yank, from Sydney Australia. Welcome to a good place for getting advice and help. I've found the people here to be wonderful at giving me the confidence and courage to insist on the changes we've needed to make, both in education and health management.
I didn't post before because it was sounding totally out of my league, but as I read more posts I'm beginning to see something familiar.
What I'm seeing - a flatmate I once shared with. He was a lovely bloke, very masculine in so many ways, but every so often he needed to 'take a break' from being male, and cross-dress. This was back in the mid-70s, when he could have been arrested if he stepped outside the door wearing a dress. So we stayed inside and I helped him.
What he was terrified of, was being judged for it. He had hidden this for a very long time - years, in fact - and relaxed with me. We WERE just friends, I was already going out with husband at that stage.
Then he got a girlfriend who he didn't tell about this. I noticed that a lot of his time, his energy, seemed to be spent in 'proving' his masculinity, to extremes. In the block of flats we were living in, the neighbours downstairs and next door complained about the sound of his bedsprings being pounded so frequently through the night, with his 'activities' with his girlfriend. I was in the next room but didn't complain because I had begun to use earplugs (I had been hearing a lot more than bedsprings!).
His hobbies were extreme sports - he was into hang-gliding in its earliest, most dangerous days. Anything dangerous or risky, he was there doing it.
In his case, there was nothing homosexual about him despite the cross-dressing. But he seemed to really need it, as a release. On his dress-up nights his personality seemed so different, almost submissive (as compared to his usual 'out there', in-your-face masculinity).
Then his girlfriend found out. She didn't have an ounce of empathy in her body, so she insisted it all had to stop - the cross-dressing especially. She was happy with the non-stop sex of course, but when he crashed his hang-glider and broke a collar bone, THAT had to stop as well.
At about this point I left, because she was blaming me for everything about him she didn't like. In her mind, I was the reason he was cross-dressing, because I had somehow corrupted him by letting him borrow my clothes.
I last saw him about four years later. They were married (as were husband & I) and they had a young son, a cute kid. He tried to get me alone to talk but his wife was watching him like a hawk and I wasn't too keen on any more trouble from her. He was clearly very unhappy and feeling trapped.
One thing he did which I think was very clever - for years he had managed to indulge his enjoyment of women's clothing, by using his Scottish heritage and wearing a kilt whenever possible. husband also has Scot in him so we all would go to a local Ceiligh (or clan gathering) and we enjoyed some wonderful Scottish dancing. With almost all the men there wearing kilts, my flatmate didn't seem out of the ordinary at all.
A non-Scot can still do this, by joining a pipe band and learning to play either bagpipes or drums. You don't have to be a Scot to join anything like this.
I would be considering a number of possibilities here.
First, he could have gender identity issues, which could also be upsetting him and making him wonder if he's "sick". Imagine what any male friends his age would say to him, if they knew. While he's feeling so confused he probably hates himself, in the extreme, and expects that anybody who knows his 'secret' MUST also hate him.
Second, he may be like my flatmate and be perfectly 'straight', but just happen to like the feel of women's clothing. In my opinion this is OK, although I recognise that society doesn't always agree. But he needs to know that stealing clothes is NEVER socially acceptable and wouldn't be with me, either. There are legitimate ways in which this could be indulged, hopefully releasing enough of the safety valve so he can cope a bit better.
Third, this could also be sensory, and it could be the feel of the fabrics that is attracting him. Again, there are socially acceptable ways of indulging this, too, and he needs to seek those out and not try to be sneaky about it. If he's stealing your undergarments as well, then I don't think this is sexual; I do think sensory may be the most likely factor.
Whatever happens, he needs help. He needs to know he CAN share this information and talk about himself without it utterly disgusting people. He needs to know there is an escape here, other than suicide. One important thing - if he is feeling this disgusted with himself, it shows he is a very moral person at heart who can't cope with this side of himself at all at the moment.
I'm thinking of a umber of possibilities here. ADHD could still be a factor for him, but he could also have Sensory Integration Disorder (SID) (Sensory Integration Disorder) as well, which you can get with a number of conditions including Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD) (Pervasive Developmental Disorder). Asperger's Syndrome fits under this umbrella and I can really vouch personally for the sensory issues, almost to the point of seeming to be fetishes. OK, beyond fetish point, in my daughter's case. She's lucky she's a girl, or she would be like your son I suspect. Or my former flatmate. She is so very much into how fabrics feel next to her bare skin. She's an incredibly sensual creature, we knew we'd never keep her 'intact' to the altar ("round heels", her father says). We knew the first boyfriend she slept with would be almost in shock at her sensuality - and he was. The poor boy still hasn't gotten over her. Our friends at church cannot understand how we can apparently 'condone' our daughter living with her current boyfriend - but they didn't raise her or they wouldn't argue with us about her! We just have to accept that she is making her own choices now.
What we have done, or allowed our kids to do, to accommodate their Sensory Integration Disorder (SID) - I made things for them, practical things suitable for them, out of the substances they craved. For example difficult child 1 craved lemon scents so I made (actually taught him to make) a satiny pillow stuffed with lemon verbena leaves, which he put inside his pillow case. difficult child 1 also likes silky fabrics so I was able to buy him a pair of pure silk boxer shorts. He likes the synthetic satiny ones too.
difficult child 3 is into the feel of towelling. So I made him a pillow out of towelling. We would carry a towel, or cloth nappy, in the car whenever we were going out. I made him some shorts (for the US people, this means outer wear in Australia) out of an old towel, he can go swimming and then change out of a wet swimsuit into these shorts and he has towelling next to his skin. difficult child 3 hates creamy textures in his food, so I don't try to feed them to him.
easy child 2/difficult child 2 loves satiny fabrics and also fur. Anything soft and fluffy, really. She made a cow-print fur fabric cover for her high school folder, then made sure she carried her folder everywhere instead of putting it in her school bag. She's made pillows out of velvet and satin. She makes her own clothes. She also wears Victorian corsets tightly laced, because she says "It's like wearing a hug." She is also fussy about her food, she doesn't like 'bits' in her food, so no biscuits or cakes with nuts at all; no fruit cake or fruit bread with peel. Most food for her has to be very plain.
I do think your son needs to be re-assessed, if only to help him understand where he is and what is happening in his brain. If he's gay, he needs to feel it's OK to admit it. If he's SCARED he's gay because he likes satiny fabrics, he needs to know that's OK too. Beau Brummell was a male fashion icon in his day who was well able to indulge his passion for wearing fine fabrics. But whatever the cause of this - not only is it important to know, I think it's important to accept it so he can stop stealing clothes from other people. I think that is a No 1 priority. Until you can sort out why, I think he needs his own legit 'supply'. But if the thrill of stealing them has become tangled in this, then DEFINITELY he needs counselling support so he can learn how to untangle it again.
It is so difficult when sexuality gets confused in the mix of all this. With puberty coming in, it's a difficult time anyway for him.
Good luck. Keep us posted on how you get on.
My flatmate & I were about the same age - 21 or 22. I'd known him for three years at that point, he'd been wearing skirts for all that time at least. He told me he'd begun wearing female clothing a couple of years before that.
The problem with the ADHD medications - sounds like rebound. This can be handled by changing the dosage (difficult child 3 gets rebound on lower doses of Concerta); changing the type of stimulant (difficult child 1 gets rebound on ritalin but not dex, a friend of his gets rebound on dex but not ritalin); or changing to slow release forms (which taper off more gradually at the end of the day).
The fantasy role play - as long as it remains fantasy it's OK, and even a fantasy game can be very intense and real-seeming, but as long as he can say, "yes I know it's not real, except maybe when I'm actually playing," then he's OK with it. It's when he really begins to believe, at all other times, that the Dark Knights are real and he has to watch himself every second, that you have to worry.
If he's so immersed in fantasy role play, it's not surprising that he dreams about it too. We had to ban difficult child 3 from some computer games for a while, because he got nightmares. As he got older and was more able to cope, we let him play them.
The social immaturity thing - common with difficult children. Quite common with ADHD and many other disorders. Just keep your expectations at HIS level rather than the calendar's.
Your son's game behaviour sounds a lot like difficult child 1 and his best friend.
Can you talk to your son about the underwear thing? Maybe suggest that you'd like to help him find other ways to indulge his desire for these things? Ask him for suggestions, ask him what he wants (no promises, just wanting to know, sort of thing). Op shops can be good places to shop for things - if anyone's curious about what you're buying, just tell them it's for a school project, or for a collage or something. Swatches. A school play.
This could then change his relationship to these items and the direction it then takes can give you more clues as to what is driving it. If it is purely sensory, his tension should ease a bit at this point which may also reduce his 'need' for these.
I hope this helps.
Please do some research on antidepressants and bipolar disorder. Not saying that is what your child may have, but I do know in my own son's case (he suffers from ADHD, anxiety, depression) he became very disinhibited on Prozac. started stealing, being more agressive, hyper silly etc. When we discontinued the Prozac the behaviors stopped. My son has really been helped by a combination of Lamictal (for depression) and Risperdal, in addition to his Adderall.
I would seriously suggest you talk to the docs about stopping the ADs if you think they might be a contributing factor.
glad you found us.
Couple of things.....
Long term chronic use of stimulants (amphetamines/amphetimine-like drugs) can in and of itself cause depression.
Nightly rebound is really daily withdrawal from the stimulant. When people use the drugs recreationally they generally use alcohol or pot to take the edge off. When the drugs are presribed, antipsychotics are often prescribed to take the edge off or allow the person to sleep.
Anti-depressants which are usually prescribed to treat depression can cause mania, move swings, anxiety, anger, aggression, hostility, suicidal/homicidal thoughts and disinhibition. That disinhibition is often most obvious in sexual contexts. These side effects can occur regardless of any disorder that may be present. There is a form of bipolar called "anti-depressant induced mania/bipolar" and is caused by the antidepressant. Treatment is discontinuation of the antidepressant and time for the brain to heal. These side effects can occur at anytime but commonly show up either within the first two weeks or slowly starting after taking the drug about three months.
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