New and struggling myself.

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by amk507, Jan 26, 2010.

  1. amk507

    amk507 New Member

    I am new here. We are undergoing testing right now for ADHD for my 5-year-old. So far she has 'conduct disturbance' and I guess I'm a little in the dark on what that diagnosis is/means. She goes in tomorrow for an EEG and more testing. What's probably more interesting is that I have mixed-type bipolar type I and borderline personality disorder. It leads for a very interesting household. Mostly I feel a lot of guilt because my social anxiety doesn't allow me to go out and do things with my daughters that I'd like to do-- movies, amusement parks, shopping. I feel trapped. My own problems are not helping their problems either. One thing I did note is my daughter playing in a sandbox and when the conversation was over, the psychologist told me she perceives her life as chaotic. I wanted to cry. Her dad and I are divorced and he's made my life hell since then. He comes in and out of her life. The psychologist even recommended we move away from him, for everyone's mental health. So I have a lot on the table right now and my own mental illness isn't doing very good.

    I hope to learn from all of you and help gain some insight into what I should be doing and how to be a better mommy.
  2. timer lady

    timer lady Queen of Hearts

    Hi & welcome to our little corner of cyber space.

    Have you contacted your county mental health department? I live in MN & have been able to utilize that department along with a CADI waiver of services to help with my challenging children ~ in home family therapy sounds like it may be a good thing for you & yours.

    As to ex-husband, is there a need for a restraining order? Are you getting treatment for your own issues?

    Please keep us posted on all the testing.
  3. smallworld

    smallworld Moderator

    Welcome! I'm glad you found us, but sorry you needed to.

    From being around this board for a while, my own reading of "conduct disturbance" is that it's a catch-all diagnosis that's not all that helpful and means your difficult child is acting out and the docs aren't yet sure what to attribute it to. Unfortunately, the younger the difficult child, the harder the diagnosis to pinpoint. Symptoms of many childhood disorders overlap so it's hard to distinguish what is what. Furthermore, kids are moving targets in that they grow and change and their symptoms change over time. We recommend that children undergo an intensive evaluation with a neuropsychologist to get as close to an accurate diagnosis as possible. Neuropsychologists can be found at university teaching or children's hospitals.

    While you're waiting for an evaluation, you might want to get your hands on a copy of The Explosive Child by Ross Greene. It has helped many of us here parent our extra-challenging children.

    You might also want to contact your local affiliate office of the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) for support groups and a free course called NAMI Basics for caregivers of children with challenges. Go to and click on "state/local" to find the office nearest you.

    Again, welcome.
  4. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    I second that book. Welcome to the site. Do try and get your hands on that book as soon as you can - go to your library if you need to.

    In the meantime, on Early Childhood forum there is some discussion on how to adapt this book to younger children, it could give you some ideas on how it works.

    Your girls need stability in their lives. Kids are adaptable and with support it is amazing what they can take in their stride. But there are probably things you can do to help give them as much stability as possible.

    All you can do is the best you can. Don't beat yourself up for stuff you can't help.

    One point - did you use the girls' real names? They are lovely names but I hope they are pseudonyms. Especially with unusual names such as these,e it is too easy for someone to Google their names and track you to this site. On this site you need to feel free to be honest and sometimes vent, and if there's a chance that what you write about them could be used against you, or could aggravate a person you're trying to get some help with. Your ex, for example - if one day you wrote something about a problem with him and he read it, he could try to use it against you. That's why we tend to use various codes, acronyms etc, to give us the freedom to be open and honest.

    Anyway, welcome and I hope you find us the sanctuary and support that so many of us have.

  5. GoingNorth

    GoingNorth Crazy Cat Lady

    Marg is right about the names. I was actually tracked to this board by someone from a usenet newsgroup that had changed from being support for people who had chosen not to have children, to a group that did nothing but bash parents and children--especially difficult child families.

    My first name is so unusual that at last checking there were only about fifteen of us in the USA (that's an improvement--with my maiden name; I was the only one) It was very easy to a few people from that group to track me on the Internet.
  6. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Hi there and welcome to the board...sorry you had to come though.

    I agree that names like "conduct disorder" and "ODD" are pretty useless as they pretty much mean one thing: "He is defiant." It doesn't tell why. CD is also pretty severe a diagnosis, and supposed to be saved for those who are eighteen and either getting worse or not improved and indicates no conscience.

    I would wait for the evaluation (hopefully it is at a good university hospital or by a neuropsychologist). You'll get a better understand then, however it usually takes years to get the right diagnosis. Somebody (this is an adult) who have bipolar disorder can wait ten years to get the right diagnosis/treatment. Somebody with a personality disorder such as borderline can be misdiagnosed even longer. I fail to see how a psychologist (not the best diagnosticians anyway) can tell what's in your daughter's head by how she plays. He is simply guessing. We went to a neuropsychologist from Mayo Clinic who said, "Mayo makes mistakes ALL THE TIME. Everyone is just taking their best guess, since psychiatry has no blood tests." He was honest. And very good.

    I would do what works as far as treatment and have her evaluated over again at least every two years as.

    Good luck! We all need it! :tongue:
  7. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    Welcome aboard. I have nothing to add as the other family members are on the same page. Just wanted you to know that you have found a great place where honest opinions are offered in an attempt to help. Hugs. DDD