ODD and almost an adult

Discussion in 'Substance Abuse' started by Worried Dad, Jul 27, 2011.

  1. Worried Dad

    Worried Dad New Member

    We've struggled with our son, now 17, with ODD. He goes to school, gets decent grades, works a job (reluctantly), but we've struggled with pot from time to time. Last weekend, a friend's parents called us to pick him up after their car smelled like weed. We'll test him, but it'll come back positive. Lots of lies and deception. We can't let him drive our car - we live in state with a zero tolerance rule, and even if you're not high but have pot in your system, it's like a DUI. He just makes bad decisions and refuses to take responsibility for them (our problem, never his). With other kids, they make mistakes, you punish, you talk, maybe they make the same mistake again, but eventually they learn. Not this one. We're at our wits end. Not sure what to do next. We think that the pot is a symptom, not the problem. It's the ODD. Do we lock him down and hope he grows out of it, or do we do something else? We've taken him to a counselor a couple of times, but he refuses to talk.
  2. AnnieO

    AnnieO Shooting from the Hip

    Hi WD! Welcome...

    Has he been diagnosed with anything else? Any behavior problems, learning disabilities, extreme behavior...?

    ODD tends to be kind of a "catchall" diagnosis. in my opinion, most teens are oppositional and defiant at some point. ODD is when it's worse than occasional typical teen behavior.

    Refusing to talk, too, is reasonably common. I have a teen who tells wild tales to whoever will listen... And we never quite know when it's true, or not, because most of it cannot be independently verified. But when it comes to the important stuff, she clams up... Until she begins to trust the person. I say begins - because it never gets much further than that.

    Her most recent counselor had us sign a release that pretty much stated anything O told her would be confidential, even from us, unless it was a safety issue. Well, we hit the safety threshold - and we don't know ALL she told the counselor, but I could guess. Still, she told this counselor more - I think because of that little piece of paper.

    ...One more question... How long has he been smoking pot? And... O only admitted to pot. (She never tested positive for anything but pot, but we do know she went nuts with cold medications, too.)

    Once again, welcome - there will be others with more experience along.
  3. Worried Dad

    Worried Dad New Member

    He has not be officially diagnosed, but we've done our homework and talked to his doctor. The problem with sick people is that they won't ever acknowledge that there's anything wrong. We've read about ODD, and on a scale of 1-10 he's about a 4-5. Its more than just normal teenage cockiness and limit testing. He just never believes that anything is his fault and that if we don't let him do whatever he wants, its out fault.
    We caught him smoking for the first time about a year and a half ago. We're super diligent about checking him when he gets home, so we're fairly sure it's an on and off thing.
  4. AnnieO

    AnnieO Shooting from the Hip

    Don't be so sure.

    I've smelled burning leaves... Then she acts out. Umm. Or she just acts out. Since she has been out of the house, I've found all kinds of nifty stuff. Not in her bedroom, either - she's not stupid.
  5. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Well...I had a therapist recently tell me in a casual conversation that it was really hard to diagnose most rebellious teens because the true diagnosis simply wasnt in the DSM. He was telling me that he had been in a meeting with a bunch of other psychiatrists and tdocs and they had been hashing out how difficult it was to treat and diagnose troubled teens. When I asked what they came up with...the older and wiser psychiatrist said...the true diagnosis for most of the teens is adolescent psychosis and it evolves and the grow out of it by the time they become about 25. Oddly enough that is when the frontal lobe finishes growing!

    Do I think you are doing the right thing in taking the car away? Absolutely! I would continue to keep him on the short leash but if he is going to school, getting decent grades and is basically acting okay with you other than the rebellion and lies, well...just know he is lying and dont believe a word he says unless you can verify it independently and let that be his natural consequence. Maybe he will get tired of mom driving him on dates because he wants to smoke pot.
  6. keista

    keista New Member

    Where's that like button when you want it.

    Janet, so happy to hear that there are psychiatrists discussing this non-mainstream stuff. I hope they decide to publish their thoughts and maybe get some more attention for it. That's how it's all supposed to work. Someone goes public with their thoughts and then the psychiatric community at large discusses and proves or disproves it, and then maybe it makes it into the DSM.

    I also hope there are others discussing the younger kids who may or may not be bipolar. It takes time but SOMEONE has got to be tracking what early symptoms lead to latter symptoms and such. I'm also NOT convinced that early BiPolar (BP) necessarily means a lifetime of it. If it generally "turns on" in young adult hood, then it's possible for it to "turn off" in young adulthood as well, like when the frontal lobe finishes growing.
  7. exhausted

    exhausted Active Member

    Hello and welcome. I want you to know with work, "sick" people can learn to own their mental illness. Our daughter has- just 2 month ago and with lots of treatment. There are many mom's on this site that have as well. But it does take work and usually the support of loved one and also sometimes hitting rock bottom. I recommend that you uphold you values and rules and expect your boy to comply. I would turn him in if I found pot or paraphenalia. It's better now than when he tries other drugs or gets in an accident etc. "No enabling" is a good policy. You are right, consequences don't always matter to our kids. The impulsiveness and the thrill of being "bad" is worth the rush. Sometimes problem solving doesn't even work with them. I agree about the teenage pschosis-that fronal lobe is a disaster in most teens and really bad for some of our teens. I' would keep dragging him to therapy and you and your wife can use the time to strategize with the therapist if he won't talk. Our girl finially came around when I did not talk to the therapist. Mind you she fed her a boat load of bull, but at least she got talking. Eventually she learned that it was helpful. She also learned that she could use it to manipulate as well. How about horses? There seems to be a lot of kids who benefit from creatures. Hang in there this is really hard, but it sounds like you are willing to go the distance.
  8. mrsammler

    mrsammler Guest

    Warning: it's *never* just pot. Pot is the easiest and cheapest and least legally hazardous drug to get & take & get caught with, but just about any teen who's smoking pot with any regularity is taking other drugs too.