New - Introduction

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by fairylvr77, Mar 11, 2011.

  1. fairylvr77

    fairylvr77 New Member

    Hello. My name is Sandra. I've been hunting around and looking at everyone's posts for a couple of days now, and thought I would introduce myself.

    My 3rd difficult child is the current issue. For six months we have been dealing with a sudden onset of anxiety and behavioral issues where there once were only "regular" 10 year old trials and tribulations. We have seen 2 psychiatrists (the second one for a second opinion this week), a therapist, a gastroentorologist and a pediatrician.

    So, let me give you a rundown of what happened. In October, *A* started to indicate that her stuffed animals were talking to her. They would warn her about ghosts, they would protect her. She started being very scared to be on her own. She was jumpy and clingy. Was complaining about stomach pain a lot. So...we started getting worried. We brought her into our local children's mental health center. We got an evaluation, started therapy. They diagnosed her with Anxiety, not otherwise specified. We started Klonopin because the nightmares were getting to be every night. Zoloft to control the anxiety. We moved very quickly up to 1 mg of Klonopin and 75 mg of Zoloft. The behaviors have worsened, changed, and have taken on every kind of symptom since that time. We have kept on the weekly counseling sessions to give her tools to alleviate the anxiety.

    In Jan/Feb the behaviors started to morph again, and she seems less anxious (because of medications???) and more agitated. She picks fights with her sisters, refuses to to homework or chores. Everything now seems to be behavioral where it was more emotional. The last visit we had with her regular psychiatrist he said that she was clearly manipulating us and that if that was the case, he couldn't help us.

    Well, this is the point where I break. I called and got her in to a different psychiatrist. He agrees with the Anxiety, not otherwise specified diagnosis, but he also thinks she may have ODD. He said that he has *no idea* why the previous psychiatric gave her Klonopin & Zoloft as a 10 year old. He switched her to 10 mg of Prozac and instructed us to wean her off previous drugs.

    Lately I feel like I am in the movie "Groundhog's Day" with Bill Murry. Every day is the same, the same fight, the same bocks, the same issues.

    So this is where I am at today. It was nice to find somewhere with like minded people.

  2. AnnieO

    AnnieO Shooting from the Hip


    First things first - HUGS. It's not easy. I know.

    The words "sudden onset" were where I got stuck and they gave me chills. Do you know of any traumatic event that happened to A, around September/October? A move, death of a family member, loss of a close friend, anything?

    Onyxx's change seemed to be more emotional at first, too - and now - years later - it's almost entirely behavioral. She had some issues before, but then - WHAM - sudden onset.

    Aside from a psychiatrist, has she had a neuropsychologist evaluation? And... Is this your bio child, your partner's... ? If there was a change there, or adoption, or bio-other (father, whatever) issues - that could have something to do with it.

    Now, I'm not a doctor, and I really do NOT know a lot... And there will be others with more information, more ideas. In the meantime - more hugs!
  3. fairylvr77

    fairylvr77 New Member

    Thanks. Yes, the sudden onset has been a large concern that we have explored quite a bit. BioDad is in Prison. Has been for 2 years. Hasn't been much a part of her life. As far as we are aware, we cannot figure out ANYTHING physical that has happened. If it is something that is blocked, it is blocked big time and likely would have had to have happened a long time ago. Other than that, family life has been the same for about 4-5 years. I have been with my partner for 4 years. The girls love her. I have been openly gay since *A* was 2. So, no big shockers there.

    We haven't gone for neuropsychologist...but she did have an MRI at the onset of all of this, recommended by her pediatrician. It was so sudden onset we thought brain tumor.

    *A* had always been my hippie child. Easy going, happy go lucky, etc. A little typical blonde. A's & B's in school. Very carefree. Now, all of that has changed. Her grades are in the toilet, the teacher says that usually she just sits through class, not participating. She has always been more of a homebody when it comes to friends and would play with the girls at school, but for her - they didn't carry over to home. Now she is just "weird" and the other kids won't play with her at school.

    I know that she realizes that there is a big difference in her life. She has yelled that she just wants her life back (and things of that nature). It is heartbreaking.

    Thanks for the support. It really does mean the world to me.
  4. KTMom91

    KTMom91 Well-Known Member

    Welcome, Sandra!
  5. AnnieO

    AnnieO Shooting from the Hip

    Sandra... Has she been in touch with bio dad???
  6. ready2run

    ready2run New Member horrible for you. i wish i had some advice for you. my kids have had their problems right from the get-go so i have never had to deal with anything like this. the first thought i had was schizophrenia, simpy because of the talking animals warning her of things. i have a family member who is schizophrenic and she says that the needlepoint pictures in her room tell her things like that and also had a sudden onset but not until her late teens...... i'm sure the doctors have considered that one though. i hope you can find some answers here. i am a new member but i know already that there is alot of moral support available on the board. i can definitely relate to the 'groundhog day' feeling.
  7. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    I thought schizophrenia or bipolar too. That is indicates a thought disorder. Anxiety doesn't make you think your stuffed animals are talking to you (I was the Queen of Anxiety). It doesn't cross over into that area. I think you should take her to a Psychiatrist and be sure to talk about how she seems to think that her toys are speaking to her. Schizophrenia is usually sudden onset. With her biological father in jail...that may be going on in her genetic family tree. I realize it's a scary thought, but there is good treatment these days for psychosis. I strongly advise seeing a child psychiatrist ASAP. (((Hugs))) and I'm so sorry.
  8. HaoZi

    HaoZi Guest

    Have to agree the talking animals waves a huge red flag that something very wrong is going on. Had she personified her animals prior to this? Is the ghost thing new, too? I would also worry about a traumatic event. Sitters, school, anywhere that she has been out of your site, and don't rule out another kid being the cause, it doesn't have to be an adult. I'd almost wonder if it's possible she ingested something toxic - any old buildings being stripped and repainted (like old lead paint particles she inhaled or some such) nearby home, school, or anywhere else she spends a lot of time? Any rye fungus breakouts in the area (not sure if that's the right time of year, but trying to think outside the box here)?
  9. busywend

    busywend Well-Known Member Staff Member


    Have the kids had to endure any teasing for having a lesbian mother? It is possible someone said something graphic to her and she just can not get it out of her head. I really think there was an event, it may not have been one that may seem like a traumatic event or even that she thinks was big.

    The animals talking to her may be a coping mechanism instead of hallucinations. Tough to figure out though.
  10. Wiped Out

    Wiped Out Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Just wanted to add in my welcome! Glad you found.
  11. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    True, but talking animals at age 10 can still merely be a manifestation of a vivid imagination. I know I had imaginary friends when I was little; we used to ride our bikes together. I remember it clearly. Yes, I would be concerned about schizophrenia, but I would be wary of jumping too fast on that possible bandwagon. Once you go down that path it's hard to back away and accept you possibly got it wrong.

    I am concerned also that something has happened to her. It could be teasing (and some kids can be truly horrible in the effect they can have on others). Or it could be something that was said that is prying on her mind. If it's a bout you or your partner, your daughter could be burying it because she doesn't want to hurt you with it. The example I can give you is the change in easy child we noticed when she was 5 - she started to behave oddly at times, seemed to regress socially but only in some ways, was difficult at times and very argumentative. I would turn up to collect her form school to find her showing her bare bottom to the boys, and she said they told me to, then would get sullen. It turned out she had been sexually abused at school by a 7 year old. That sounds bizarre, but the worst damage was what the kid said to her - "I am going to have sex with you. Sex hurts. You can't tell anyone or I'll send my dad round to your house and he will kill your mother by running over her with his lawnmower."
    She grew up terrified of sex, determined she was never going to have sex and certainly never have children (because to have a baby, you have to have sex first and sex hurts). We went through purgatory with her, but by the time she was 10 she had forgotten the abuse. She only kew it had happened because she had finally told me, two years after it happened. But she would not tell me any details. Only what I have put here now. it is all we will ever know, now. We got her into therapy but it was too little, too late. She is doing well now but I can still see the damage - she is the only one of my kids to have a serious weight problem, and it began soon after the abuse. She is a physically active person, always has been, so should not be so badly overweight, but has been using food in an acquisitive way since childhood. I know some abuse victims do this, almost subconsciously keeping themselves unattractive in order to not be targetted by abusers.

    Abuse is more likely where the custodial parents are not the genetic parents. It is more likely, the more distantly related a person is from the victim. And it is not always an adult, or even a sexually mature individual. Penetration may or may not happen and can be a substituted object. The damage is the fear and control, not so much the act itself. The context.

    Abuse also need not be sexual. Pure fear can be engendered so easily, especially in an imaginative child. other kids can do a lot of harm without meaning to. Of course, if they aim to do harm, they can be very successful.

    Regarding the ODD you've had suggested - whether or not it is an issue for real, if you are experiencing the sort of problems that lead someone to suggest ODD, then read "The Explosive Child" by Ross Greene. Get it out of your library today. Just reading it will help you.

    Another suggestion - get your partner to lurk here or post here. You both need to understand the issues and what is going on, in each other's head. This helps. It really does. You wouldn't be the only same-sex couple here, either. We can help her too, in terms of her role as step-parent. We have steps here as well. It brings a different set of problems.

    I'm glad you found us. Hope we can help.

  12. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    I have no advise......but I sure am ready to offer support. Welcome. DDD
  13. HaoZi

    HaoZi Guest

    It might also be how she works things out for herself, another way of talking to yourself. She might not be able to express it that way, that she's using the animals as a way to present herself with varying opinions/views on something that she's trying to figure out. I'm in my mid-30s and still talk to myself, and my "inner voices" that answer to work it through and present different angles on things all have their own voices. Though I'll say the one I "hear" most often is that of George Carlin. It's my way of taking a step back to look at something or a situation from various viewpoints to get a better grasp on the bigger picture. Can't say I always get it right, but it's often amusing.