So close to giving up

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by AlwaysSomething, Jul 11, 2011.

  1. AlwaysSomething

    AlwaysSomething New Member

    My oldest son has been challenging since birth.

    He didn't nurse for 4+ months, he screamed constantly, I could never put him down. It wasn't until he got thrown out of his first preschool that I realized he wasn't just "quirky", there had to be other issues at hand. It then took several months for anyone (including my husband) to take me seriously.

    We've been in therapy for about 2 years now. The main issues are his temper, tantrums, and the viciousness that he presents. It's only present at home. He is not spanked, never been abused, and has never been neglected, though he behaves like a child who has been. In public, he's charming, sweet, inquisitive, and helpful. At home, if things go outside his routine (as has been the case from day one), he flips out and is off for days on end. There's holes in his door, he screams death threats (violent, detailed ones and he doesn't watch TV). There's just this RAGE.

    He's not on the autism spectrum, he's not ADD/ADHD, but has been identified as having some sensory issues. He's never enough of any one thing to be that, if that makes sense.

    Recently, my grandfather died, and my father just had surgery the day after burying his dad. I live in a different country from my parents, and this has been really hard on me. I came back from the memorial/dad's hospital day before yesterday and picked up my oldest from my in-laws yesterday.

    This morning, same old drama, but when I tried to tell my oldest he had done something wrong, he screamed he hated me. Nothing out of the ordinary. But I teared up. And he then proceeded to laugh at me, and tell me he was glad I was upset. He just mocked me, and my pain.

    I keep hearing from the therapist and my husband that he's picking up on my mood. Screw that. He was like this the second day out of the womb. I've done everything I can to try and help this child, and I am at my wit's end. My mom, who has been doing behavior modification in kids this age for over 15 years can't really help, since she's across the border. I'm tired of this. There are times where I honestly feel like he'd be better off being raised by someone else. He hugs me, and I just feel like recoiling lately. Once, he tried to hug me after a tantrum, and he slapped me in the face instead, laughing about how stupid I was.

    I don't know what to do and I'm so isolated with this all. No one in my real life would get this, and I feel I would be judged for saying that sometimes, I wish I'd never had children at all. I can't tell him anything without an argument. Everything is an uphill battle, and I'm just so damn tired of it all.

    Any words of wisdom?
  2. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    What country do you live in?

    Has your child ever seen a neuropsychologist? They are a bit more thorough...and better at diagnosing than other professionals in my opinion.
  3. KTMom91

    KTMom91 Well-Known Member

    How old are your kids?
  4. Jody

    Jody Active Member

    I am sorry that you are hurting. It is very understandable, considering the things that your son is putting you thru, I have been there and still am there really. I don't want hugs and kisses anymore. It's hard to say things to him nicely when she is calling me names and behaving so badly. She hit me the other day and then she told her therapist that I bawled like a little baby. Not much remorse there. I just wanted to let you know that I know how you feel and my daughter began acting like this at 1 year of age. Just can't please her and she is never happy. I know that must be a miserable way to feel, but I still get angry about it. How old is your son?
  5. keista

    keista New Member


    Welcome. You've found a great place for support here. No one here will judge your deepest darkest thoughts. No one here will think it's 'your fault' We've all been there done that in one way shape or form
    Your kid's ages in your signature would be helpful - most practical advice is generally age specific.
  6. AlwaysSomething

    AlwaysSomething New Member

    I'm in Canada currently.

    He's never seen a neuropsychologist, but he is seeing a psychiatrist who feels he may be depressed. I really think there's more to the story.
  7. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    Yes, it makes sense - and YET... there is SOMETHING.
    YOU know that.

    Its going to take a specialist who isn't starting from some pre-conceived idea of a diagnosis, and then trying to prove/disprove.
    Your son needs a detailed analysis, looking for everything from "horses to zebras" (from the "ordinary" to the "exotic").

    Where you start depends on... who you've already seen, and what resources are available.
    (In Canada, its hard to get a neuropsychologist for general diagnistic casis... but there are other resources.)

    Meanwhile... start a Parent Report (see Site Resources). It will help you collect and document some of the case history, which you're going to need when dealing with specialists.
  8. AlwaysSomething

    AlwaysSomething New Member

    It sounds as if you know exactly what I mean!

    He's six, and has always been touchy. His violence can be off the charts sometimes! I just can't get past the glee he seems to get from inflicting pain on people when he's angry. Other times, he is the sweetest child ever. I wish he'd pick one to be so I could quit wondering which child to expect when he wakes up in the morning.
  9. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    Ah, yes... the old Canada challenges... some of the common US sources for diagnosis just aren't as available around here, it seems - at least for anything west of Quebec!

    You're not likely to get neuropsychologist here.
    Are you in a major centre? (as in, big enough to have more than one hospital?) Or more "remote"?

    If you're in or near a major centre, ask your family doctor about specialty clinics. For example, a Child Behavioral Clinic, or Child Development Centre, for two common names. These will have multi-disciplinary teams who work together to find ways to help these kids. But it will take time to get in... depending on where you live and which type of clinic, 6 months to over a year is not uncommon.

    Child and Youth services, or Child Mental Health (different names for the same thing) usually work on a "triage" basis - how fast you get in depends on how bad the situation is, and sometimes they can respond very quickly. Again, you'd get access to a range of professionals. I'm guessing that a psychiatrist isn't going to be the right source of help in this case... at least, not until someone else peels back some of the layers. Social workers and psychologists would likely be a starting spot. Probably need family doctor to refer, again.

    Speaking of which... does the family doctor support your search for help? If not... you might need to find another family doctor, if that's an option.
    Meanwhile... does your Mom ever come to visit? If she saw the situation for a week or so, she might have some ideas - either of things to try, OR possible diagnoses to pursue.

    For the record - yes, kids do pick up on our reactions and moods and such. And difficult child kids seem to be even more sensitive. This absolutely does not mean that you were the cause of the problem. It can be a bit of a chicken-and-egg situation... kid has problems, which we get frazzled dealing with, and then kid gets frazzled because we are frazzled... Is there any way you could get out of the situation for a few days? Or is there a camp he could attend to give you a break? Sometimes, these "break" needs can be supported by Child Mental Health professionals - there may even be "therapeutic"-type camps where he could safely be observed.

    Has he ever had Occupational Therapist (OT) therapy for his sensory issues? Just wondering... because it isn't enough to know that the issue is there. If he has sensory issues, he will need help in dealing with it.

    Just some ideas...
  10. TeDo

    TeDo Guest

    Welcome to the family AlwaysSomething but so sorry you have to be here. At his age, it's really hard to know for sure what is going on without the "right" professionals to tell you. I've learned from some of our Canadian friends here that the mental health system there is quite different from ours so I'm not sure what to tell you. If he is seeing a psychiatrist and it isn't helping, maybe you should try to find a different one. Not all psychiatrists are the same. Have you tried calmly asking him why he has done something? That was hard for me to do at first but have learned alot by getting "into difficult child's brain" as much as I can. That is when I realized there was something wrong with his thought processes. It might also help to get a thorough evaluation of exactly what his sensory issues are. Is there someplace you can take him for a full sensory evaluation?

    Sorry I can't be of much help. My son's issues are somtimes the same but also sometimes different than your difficult child's. You have come to the right place. You will get great advice from these warrior moms who have seen/heard/dealt with most everything you can imagine. {{{{(((HUGS)))}}}} to you.
    Lasted edited by : Jul 11, 2011
  11. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    I haven't been down quite the road you're on - maybe someone else around here will chime in later with direct experience.
    But we HAVE been down the road of "he doesn't quite qualify for a diagnosis of... " A, B, C, ... X, Y. etc.! In other words - lots of things not quite right, but no diagnosis and therefore no help. (we're getting there now... but its been a long road)

    Have you noticed any patterns to his behavior? Is he better, or worse on the weekends? Do family or other gatherings set him off - either during (doesn't sound like it), or afterwards...? Does he have trouble sleeping - restless (think crashing into walls, landing floor and still asleep...) OR have trouble getting to sleep or staying asleep? Sleep issues can multiply all sorts of other problems.

    Its possible for difficult child kids to "hold it together" in public and explode (or fall apart in other ways) at home. been there done that. Seems like they get overloaded... but wait until it is "safe" to explode.

    Have you ever seen the book ("the book" around here... ) called The Explosive Child? (author: Green, I think). It details a raft of hidden problems that can show up as behavior issues. It also offers an alternative approach in dealing with challenging kids. It is not a "cure-all"... it doesn't work for every kid, and for others only addresses some of the issues. But it seems to be a fairly "safe" approach - nothing really drastic, just a different way of thinking about the kids and a different approach to problems. It helps... or it doesn't. We found the "hidden problems" information to be really helpful in our situation.

    Are you Eastern, Western, Central or Northern Canada? (We don't like to get TOO specific on-line, but those categories should be safe)... and Rural or Urban?
  12. AlwaysSomething

    AlwaysSomething New Member

    He's usually bad in leading up to and following any major events. He was in half day Kinder and would usually start falling apart at about 4:00. I had to quit my part-time job recently because he was adjusting so poorly (this was 4 months after starting!).

    An example of never knowing what reactions will be: One night after his bath, we were getting ready for bed. He (seriously out of the blue) starts sobbing, saying he wished he were dead and buried, where no one would ever be able to find him. As a depressive, this scared the daylights out of me (he was only 5!). I asked what was going on, and he finally managed to ask me what cancer was, and if he were going to die of it. The catalyst? They were having a Terry Fox run at school.

    He'd had sleep issues, but he has a set schedule that we don't deviate from. He used to have night terrors frequently, but appears to have outgrown them. He gets about 10 hours a night.

    I've got the Explosive Child, and read a great many others. We've got suggestions both from our psychiatrist and my mom, but nothing seems to work for long. Consistency is my middle name, and yet there's still issues.

    I'm right near Vancouver, so we've got a lot of resources nearby. However, my issue is that ABC diagnosis deal. Can't get him in to this if he doesn't have that, etc. The psychiatrist doesn't want to "label" him, other than depression and some sensory stuff we've gotten effective plans in place for. But in reading the Chandler papers (I'd also read the book for this), the ODD&depression child description fits him perfectly.
  13. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    Ditch the ODD label - he's too young for that. Its mostly used when they can't come up with any other explanation... might make sense in a 15yr old, but at 6???

    Depression... sure. Given that there is a proven neuro-chemical-hormonal link to depression, he may be wired that way... any medications? If not, I'd be pushing psychiatrist on that front. The picture you painted about the Terry Fox run leading to a "am I going to die of cancer" scare... is actually logical - he's bright, a deep thinker, probably cares way more than anyone realizes... but he can't handle his own level of insight - he doesn't have the maturity to process emotionally what his logical intellegent brain can think about.

    Have you pushed for an Anxiety diagnosis? We didn't know about the side of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) that is related to perfectionism... and can be a factor in child depression as well. Also, difficulty transitioning TO an activity may be related to anxiety. (difficulty AFTER an activity is more often overload, in our experience)

    Has he ever been evaluated by an Occupational Therapist (OT)? I'm guessing yes, given that you know about the sensory issues... but if not, who did THAT diagnosis?

    He's a bit young yet for a Speech Language Pathologist (SLP) evaluation - but that might show up issues with auditory discrimination (difficulty picking out "important" sounds in a noisy environment), which can also lead to sensory overload. Does he prefer quiet settings? or noisy? OR, does he like noisy but ends up going off the deep end?

    Other things that may be a factor include executive function issues - often part of ADD/ADHD but not always. This covers things like shifting from one activity to another, initiating activities, self-control (inhibit function), etc. Often, the focus is on the behavior and not on the reason...

    I'd say you're definitely on the right track with the "order" approach.
    I'm wondering if 10 hours is enough sleep? Seriously. Ours at 6 was sleeping 12-13 hours, and the family doctor said that was still "well within normal".
    But sleep is more than "hours", and quality of sleep is critical. Some people don't get enough deep-cycle sleep, and so never really get "rested".
  14. Wiped Out

    Wiped Out Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Just adding in my welcome. I'm sorry things are so rough. You will find much support here and understanding.
  15. keista

    keista New Member

    This so much sounded like my DD1. She's now 10 and anxiety and Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) are becoming more obvious. Partly because I'm learning more about it, and partly because her symptoms are much less random. Once she stopped talking for 3 days (it was nice!) because she had a touch of laryngitis, and started whining and screaming about stuff, and I mentioned that she could possibly damage her vocal chords and loose her singing voice if she kept carrying on - she became AFRAID to even talk.