New Here -- Looking for some sanity

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by Whatsername, Apr 4, 2009.

  1. Whatsername

    Whatsername New Member

    Hi everyone,
    Here's a short version of my story...
    difficult child is a darling boy who is right now in a psychiatric hospital. It's the hardest thing I've ever had to do. They admitted him because they want to observe him for a few days to try to get a correct diagnosis. He has seen several therapists, a psychiatrist, and a few psychologists. All they ever wanted to say is ADHD, some Asperger's traits. The problem is that this poor soul is so obviously so much more than ADHD. ADHD medications do NOT work for him. He has tried them all in all sorts of doses. Nothing but bad side effects, and no positive results. The last one, Focalin, made him suicidal. My boy had plans of killing himself. He's been medication free for a year. Unfortunately, he is still thinking about suicide. I truly think he is bipolar.
    I know this is rambling, but I don't have all the pieces put together yet, and I'm terrified! I will update a signature as we go along with the diagnosis process. It's nice to find a place where someone might understand what I'm going through!

    Me: age 30 p/t office worker Lexapro for depression/anxiety
    husband: my rock
    difficult child: age 9, possible ADHD, possible Aspie, possible bipolar, no medications
    easy child: age 7, very bright little girl, my best friend
    The Zoo: Bichon Julie, the cats: Jenna, Chase, & Miley
  2. house of cards

    house of cards New Member

    Hello, and welcome. it is so hard to nail down the correct diagnosis, isn't it? Lots of folks here will offer you advice,guidence, support and sometimes just a place to vent. Week ends tend to be a bit slow, be sure to check back later.
  3. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    Hi. I am glad you found us, but so very sorry you needed to. This is a place where others really WILL understand and we really HAVE been through it ourselves.

    If you think he is bipolar, you should read The Bipolar Child by Dmitri and Janice Papalous. When you discuss medications with the doctors, be aware that many medications can make someone with bipolar cycle. Antidepressants are very very likely to make children have mood swings, esp children with bipolar.

    There is a medication protocol for treating people with bipolar disorder. It requires 1 or even 2 first line mood stabilizers be on board BEFORE medications for depression, ADHD, or even Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) are trialed. Often an atypical antipsychotic is needed as well before you can start the medications for adhd, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) or depression.

    I had a child who was planning suicide at a very young age. I know how heartbreaking it is. You are doing teh right thing by having the professionals observe ihm inpatient for a few days.

    Sending hugs and support.
  4. Andy

    Andy Active Member

    Welcome from someone else who has been there. My difficult child was hospitalized the Fall of 2007. He has been diagnosed with severe anxiety. Before the hospitalization, he had self harm thoughts that were turning suicidal. He would say, "Mom, my body is telling me to kill myself." His body told him to jump from the 3rd floor balcony at the Mall of America but he fought that one so hard and got me to get him off that floor and to the ground level. He didn't want to come home because he knew where the scissors and hammer were. I think for the most part he was more self harm but the suicidal tendency was growing.

    My difficult child in all his 11 years of life had only been away from mom and dad overnight once maybe twice tops. It was extremely hard to accept psychiatric hospital's rules of no contact outside of visitation hours. My difficult child begged for help and agreed to the hospitalization as long as it would help get rid of his self harm thoughts. They were getting too strong for him.

    I do know the fears you are going through. One bright spot for me was when my difficult child said to me about one week into the hospitalization, "Mom, do you know what I hate most about being here? That you can not watch me grow up." He was finding so many answers and so much help that he literally felt himself maturing. I assured him that I could still watch him grow.

    Oh, and our bichon (pictured in Avatar with $5.00 in her mouth) is named Bella - she just turned one year old on January 31st.
  5. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Susiestar about nailed it. With suicidal thinking, you have to wonder about bipolar, which has a very high suicide rate. Unfortunately, lots of kids with bipolar are misdiagnosed as ADHD. However, bipolar also can be misdiagnosed when the problem is really Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD)/Aspergers.

    When your little precious kiddo is released, I would be looking to take him for a neuropsychologist evaluation. I have psychiatric problems myself, and I think the evaluation process of a NeuroPsychs supercedes the type of testing you get even in a hospital (I've been hospitalized for bipolar/mood problems three times). The problem with psychiatric hospitals is that often they can't tell bipolar from Aspergers because they really aren't trained to look for neurological disorders. It's very confusing to nail down a diagnosis, but very important because the treatment for each disorder is very different.

    If your child is bipolar (or you think so--I trust Mom Gut a lot), then I'd be looking for somebody who would treat him with mood stabilizers and lay off the antidepressant and ADHD medications as they can make things worse. Then I'd call a neuropsychologist (they are at children and university hospitals) and wait for the six to ten hour evaluation. in my opinion they really do the best sort of testing with the most accurate results.

    Sorry for all your pain and hope things get better for you soon!
  6. helpangel

    helpangel Active Member

    I know how difficult it can be to have a child in the psychiatric hospital, try to use this time to rest and regroup as many inpatient stays are cut short due to insurance demands. In a perfect world doctors not insurance companies would decide when someone is well enough for discharge.

    Might as well improve safety around the house - lock up the sharps and all the medications (even OTC ones) for starters (I use lockboxes with combination locks) the one in the kitchen I covered with pretty contact paper so it doesn't look so out of place on my counter - people who know my family don't ask when a stranger looks at it and inquires I reply "my mother insists her recipes are top secret, and this is the only way she will let me have them" LOL

    The one thing that has proven itself in the days before diagnoses is notes or charting. I didn't have time for true charting but I did grab a blank calendar and scribble notes on it.

    Anger was in red ink
    Sad was blue
    Sexual was purple
    Food related was green
    Stealing was orange

    Angel was admitted to the psychiatric hospital the first time when she was 6yo and 3yrs worth of calendars went with her. They documented how long the behaviors had gone on and gave specific details about some of the behaviors I was seeing. The psychiatrist also noticed a trend 3 weeks with a few notes then color explosion (over & over - 3 years worth of it) It's rare to get a bipolar diagnosis on a 6yo but my calendars got it for Angel.

    I've noticed often parents have to wait to get into a psychiatrist with their child that when they finally get there they try to give the doctor 5 years worth of info in that appointment; this is why so often psychiatrist's will claim the parents are the ones who have mental problems and send them to parenting classes. I've found it more helpful to quietly say to the doctor "I think my child needs more help then I can give them" and simply hand the calendar to the doctor.
  7. Wiped Out

    Wiped Out Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Just wanted to add my welcome, I'm glad you found us but sorry you needed to. You will find much support here. Our son, too, has spent time in a psychiatric hospital. It is hard to leave a child in the hospital but sometimes it is needed. My son actually feels a certain comfort level in the hospital because of the structure which can't be duplicated at home.

    He is Bipolar and we have realized he cannot tolerate any stimulants for his ADHD. They bring about too much raging.

    Again, welcome and be sure to take care of you while he is in the hospital. Hugs.
  8. Whatsername

    Whatsername New Member

    thanks to everyone for your responses! They really are comforting! We had visits with Mr. difficult child both days this weekend. There is a family meeting tomorrow, so hopefully we can start to shed some light on how long he needs to be there, and some of the plans for outpatient...
    It's so hard to hear him ask to come home!
    Unfortunately, between the time we visited today, and the time he got to phone us, his level went to red for acting out and swearing. That means he's stuck on the unit again - no gym or cafeteria privileges. Poor kid. He was on self-harm the first day and a half. He's only been on a green level one day!
    Overall, the visiting went well. He was a bit "dazed" while we were playing a game with him, but no real outbursts or anything.
    Thanks again for all the medication info. As of yet, we haven't put him on anything. But we will certainly consider everything that was posted when the time comes!
    More updates as they become available.
    Thanks everyone!
  9. Stella

    Stella New Member

    Hi just want to welcome you. I hope you get a correct diagnosis very soon and just have to say that I really like Helpangel's idea of colour coding calendar. It's so true that many of us try to give 5 years worth of behaviours to a psychiatrist in the first appointment and well, it just comes across as manic and jumbled - being able to hand notes or a calendar like this is an excellent idea!

  10. timer lady

    timer lady Queen of Hearts

    Hi & welcome.

    Hospitalization for our little wonders can be a very emotional difficult time. As helpangel recommended now is the time to rest & regroup. And it is the time to make your home safe. Now while things are calm at home.

    Remember to remain calm yourself during the mtgs at the hospital. The more emotional & reactive you are during the family therapy mtgs, the more you, the parent, are blamed for a difficult children problems.

    Good luck with family therapy; keeping positive thoughts for you & your difficult child for a final diagnosis & possible medications that will help him.
  11. Whatsername

    Whatsername New Member

    So, we had a family meeting at the psychiatric hospital today. Hopefully he will be discharged Wednesday! Preliminary diagnosis(s) have been given. The docs are meeting tomorrow to hopefully nail things down more concretely...
    So far we've got:
    Depressive Disorder Not otherwise specified
    ADHD- Combined Type
    Provisional Major Depression with psychotic features
    Provisional Mood Disorder with psychotic features.
    It was also noted that he may have some type of tolerance to medication, at least the ones we've tried in the past, so I don't know where that's going to go.
    I agree about our demeanor at visits. We have been keeping them very pleasant. Lots of laughing and playing. We are actually a very loving family, and hopefully that is the way we come across at visits and meetings.
    Anxiously awaiting his homecoming! I do have a few safety issues to get done before hand. ONe of the major ones is tearing down the bunkbed so he doesn't feel like he needs to hang himself from it again. How terrifying!
    Thanks again to everyone for their support and tips. I will be updating again soon!
  12. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    I'm so glad you got some answers! A big warning about certain medications, as I've probably been on all of them, and I have a huge problem with depression.

    I've tried stimulants. They made me so depressed that I couldn't snap out of it even after they were discontinued (by me. As an adult, I knew they were doing me harm, not good). in my opinion and experience likely the child is not so much resistant to medications as given the wrong medications--he probably does not need a stimulant or anything stimulating (that includes many antidepressants too, so be careful). If your child has psychosis of any sort, stimulants are definitely able to make him worse that way. Sometimes the wrong antidepressant can also cause hallucinations and violence. Any way you slice it, stimulants are speed and they worked like speed on me. I got very high, then crashed every single day. I've also hallucinated badly on a few anti-depressants and it's scary. But the right one saved my life. in my opinion I'd concentrate more on the depression now and skip the ADHD. They thought I had ADHD too and I don't. The spaciness/hyperness is part of my mood disorder, but I was misdiagnosed for about ten years!

    I would still see the neuropsychologist, but you know best. Just wanted to pass along my own experiences and opinion. But it's JMO ;) I hope things improve.
  13. helpangel

    helpangel Active Member

    We had to get rid of bunk bed too but it was because my girls kept trying to swing from the light fixture on the ceiling. I'm glad you are finally getting some answers! Hopefully they will address the mood component and the psychotic features, often when those 2 pieces get resolved the adHd & depression become much milder. So glad you're going to get him home soon.