thanks for the thoughts for difficult child - the update

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by Steely, Nov 20, 2008.

  1. Steely

    Steely Active Member

    Thanks guys............

    Well the Dr told me yesterday that I was in the top 3% of parents who seem to think medications are a cure all and that I needed to stop putting so much focus on the medications, and more on what he can do to change his behavior.
    That is all I can say.
    What the blank.
    He then tells me in the same breath that difficult child almost went back to the hospital yesterday because he was so out of control and suicidal.
    OK then.
    I certainly won't worry about medications then. Not.

    difficult child meanwhile tells me that he had tried to sneak out of the window the night before and was going to hang himself with his belt, but a friend stopped him.
    I just have this fear that my kid is not even going to live at this point.

    When I talk to difficult child it is clear that his moods are still cycling all over the place, the Dr says the same thing, and knows that is a problem. He is now titrating back up on Lamictal, which will take forever in a million years to get where it needs to be. difficult child is on so many PRNs I can barely understand him when he talks to me - I seriously want him off of those as they are evidently not helping. He sounds like a manic zombie. But there is only so much I can do in any of this - he is 18 - I am 2K miles away - and I am just a parent that has a very small voice in all of this.

    When I posted for prayers, yesterday they staff had just told him he cannot go back to school until his behavior changed, or talk to the only friend he has made because they are a negative influence on each other. I really thought he would fly through the roof, but he didn't, or hasn't that I know of.

    I just fear that somehow he will be successful in killing himself. He seems so determined lately.
    And then I get this bologna about me putting too much emphasis on the medications.

    We will see. I just wanted to fill you in on the details. If he does have to go back to psychiatric hospital, he can still stay part of this program - which is good.

    Too much for me to process at this point.
  2. Star*

    Star* call 911


    I am so sorry your difficult child is in this state. It breaks my heart literally. When Dude was in his first real Residential Treatment Center (RTC) away from home he also tried to hang himself at age 10 with his shoe laces. They found him hanging in his make-shift box of a closet. They got to him in time and put him on something call LOS (Line of Sight) he'll be under surveillance for 48 or more hours.

    The second time was when the police came to arrest him. He swallowed a bottle of tylenol and got taken to ER by ambulance and had his stomach pumped. The doctor told us that he NEVER took the pills and this was a manipulation on his part. Um - okay - so he goes to the psychiatric ward for observation NOT the prison right? had to fight for that. (Morons) and I told them that suicide WAS prevalent in his biodads family - my x tried 10 times or more in our marriage, and his uncle shot himself in the head in the kitchen - left a note that said - DO NOT COME IN, I'm sorry - Call 911.

    The third time he fashioned his sheet in Department of Juvenile Justice into a makeshift rope. He figured out how to stack things in his room to tie it to a little piece of metal in his ceiling and jumped off his bed. There was no one around to save him - but his knots were not good and his weight pulled the sheet tight. When I called the prison - and TOLD his caseworker that he had tried to, but failed in killing himself - she told me that I was being "Skucked into his web of victimization." I nearly reached through the phone and choked HER. She put him on 72 hour surveillance and he had to sleep in a plastic boat in the hall of Department of Juvenile Justice for nearly a week - then moved him.

    My point in telling you all this is to let you know that you are not alone in your feelings OR your fears. Dude was on Zoloft when he tried his first attempt and we have NEVER allowed him back on. I tried it later for depression and had visions of HOW I was going to go about hanging myself. When DF sold our boat and the anchor and rope went with it? I was furious - and had NO idea outwardly why I got like that - but the rope was in my "thougths" what I would use and the anchor would get it up around the limb. After 2 months of being off Zoloft I was better - and got on Paxil CR. It was really a world of difference to me- now I take nothing and do breathing exercises and after 10 years of therapy plus EMDR therapy I really feel a lot better. Dude is despondent at times but NOT suicidal and he's on NO medications at this time (that I know of) I suspect he feels he is BiPolar (BP) (runs on biodads side) and fights depression every day.

    I think - If you FEEL that strongly about your son being on medication put it in writing, leaving out the emotion I feel, I need etc...and ask them to take him TO BASE - ZERO medications while he's there and see if that doesn't make a difference. It did with Dude - and I'm thankful for it. I know that his coping skills have improved greatly over the last year and that was due to me letting go - a lot - a lot more than I wanted. BUT I still reserve the right to keep a watchful eye on my son - I am afterall HIS ONLY Mom.

    hope somewhere in this mess you'll find some comfort - if for no other reason than knowing you are NOT alone. And that despite several attempts? Dude is still with us.

  3. Steely

    Steely Active Member

    Yea.....Star, you nailed it. I mean what can a parent do, other than what we are already doing. Thank God Dude is still alive, and I do in my heart believe Matt will also make it. He is strong, and wants to do the right thing.

    T-doctor told me yesterday what your staff told you - oh, this is Matt just manipulating, rather than actually being chemically this depressed. I wanted to ask them if THEY had ever been chemically depressed........cause I am pretty sure they would think differently had they experienced even one suicidal thought, let alone day in and day out. I struggle with them every single day, and have for 41 years.

    I do not think Matt should be off medications, because that is what happened at the wilderness camp, which is why he ended up in the Residential Treatment Center (RTC). He is just too bi-polar to be off mood stabilizing medications. However, I am in the process of working with the nurse, dr, and group home director to get him to use exercise and homeopathic methods or relaxation, in order to get him off of all these PRNs.
  4. Jena

    Jena New Member


    I am truly so upset for what you and Matt are both going through. The comment about the medications to me is yes very off the wall.

    medications aren't a cure all, but wow it's a compounded effort of many things. I agree with you in regards to the medications.

    I wish I could say something to make you feel better. I can imagine it is a lot to process. I'm here to offer hugs and support and an ear.

  5. Star*

    Star* call 911


    THAT (having had suicidal idealizations for 41 years) are the HELPFUL types of things these people need to know at Matt's place.

    Here's the odd thing - about SSRI's and Mothers and sons as it was told to me by my psychiatrist. A LOT of medications that will help a Mother will help a son. In kind - a lot that make the Mother "off" will do the same to her children. So when Zoloft was a bad drug for Dude? I could have taken it as a hint. Genetically we're 1/2 of them - so it stands to reason that if YOU had trouble with certain medications - Matt will also. And YOUR history and your families history is INVALUABLE to Matt and his doctors at this time.

    I really urge you to write a letter to them stating facts, you're depressed, write them about your family history in brief and tell them about your sister.

    Could be healing for you and Matt.

  6. meowbunny

    meowbunny New Member

    I totally agree with Star on this one. Write a non-emotional, factual letter giving your history and reactions. When we were trying medications for my daughter I eventually had to have social services contact her bio-mother to find out if she had had any reactions to medications. Turns out she did and the reaction was the EXACT same my daughter was having. Had they been unable to contact her, my daughter would have gone through years of hell while we tried one medication after another in an attempt to help her. It made it harder for my child to be without medication but there was no alternative -- either no medications and lots and lots and lots of therapy or medications and lots and lots of psychiatric hospital visits for suicidal ideation, manic behavior with hallucinations and the like. Knowledge really is power. The more the docs know, the better chance there is get the right cocktail for Matt.

    Many hugs. I wish there was more we could do. You and Matt both deserve some relief and something good to happen.
  7. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    Odd, Steely, difficult child's psychiatrist gets that way sometimes and I don't get it. I mean, I understand that medications can't cover it all ALL of the time and I, too, want difficult child to learn how to manage whatever symptoms he can and learn to prevent triggers, etc. But, what I don't get is that when medications aren't covering it all, psychiatrist starts acting like difficult child should be punished sometimes when he's exhibiting symptoms. I guess I think there's a big difference between helping someone learn how to cope with BiPolar (BP) and punishing them because they don't already know how to cope with it.

    Sorry M is going through this...
  8. KTMom91

    KTMom91 Well-Known Member

    Continuing my prayers for Matt and my hugs for you.
  9. totoro

    totoro Mom? What's a GFG?

    I agree fully with the others.
    medications that have worked for me have worked for K and vice versa.

    Some people have to have medications, some can get by with out. I have tried and tried and tried to stop taking mine.
    I have to have them.
    Some people who have to deal with depression or other issues can get by using alternative therapies.
    Most people who have BiPolar (BP) have to have medications. Very few can lead a *normal* life without them. Or even make it through the day.
    Maybe if society and our world was different we could? Or if suicide wasn't a factor for so many of us.

    But I think there needs to be a happy balance, not too many medications and, if you need medications, not the push to get off of them and just go natural.
    Doctors nowadays need to recognize that Mental Illness in each of us is a *Spectrum* and we feel and react differently, each and every one of us. It truly manifests uniquely in each person. We may have symptoms that are similar, but there can be so many other differences, and these Doctors need to start seeing this. Darnit!!!
  10. Andy

    Andy Active Member

    I would ask the psychiatrist what is wrong with stabilizing Matt with medications then teaching coping skills, then slowly take off medications if that is the goal?

    When my difficult child was in the bottom of his anxiety episode last year, the docs knew there was no way he would be able to bring himself out without the help of medications. We stabilized him and gave him tools. I tried taking him off Clonazepam in Dec but noticed right away that he was not ready so put him back on. As he learned to use his tools and got control of his life, we started taking off the medications but very slowly.

    Matt must be feeling so out of control and if the medication will give him that control back long enough for him to see what abilities he has then so be it.

    We were explained that the medications are not a cure all but a way to take the edge off. difficult child still needs to use his coping skills to get through life and as these skills get stronger, there is a possibility that the medications can be decreased or discontinued.

    I tell difficult child that the more he can use his skills, the healthier it is for his body, however, if it is too hard, then the medications will help. We just have to find the best combination of skills and medications.

    I would wonder how those PRN's are being used? There is such a high chance of staff abusing those. When difficult child was in the psychiatric hospital, weekend staff wanted to use the PRN to shut him down. I was so proud that he ignored them and refused the PRN. He sensed they were giving it to him for the wrong reason. I told the staff that if they would have first talked to him and found out what was wrong then he would have felt like they were trying to help. Once his words were heard and understood, he would have been open to taking a PRN. They teach them to use coping skills but if it is not a good time for staff to help with those coping skills, they tend to shove a PRN off. I really think a regular prescribed daily medication is better than PRN's.

    Do you know the policy for these PRN's? Some are only suppose to be given so many times a day at given intervals. I would ask for his chart to be reviewed to see if they are being abused? Try writing a letter to the Utilization Review Cooridinator of the facility.

    Can you become his guardian so that your voice is louder?
  11. Steely

    Steely Active Member

    Thanks for all the input guys..........

    Adrianne, it had not really occurred to me that the staff may be pushing the PRNs.......maybe I do need to request copies of the medical history. I do have extended guardianship, so I should be able to say, do, or request whatever I want.

    As far as medications - I believe we are in the same category as Dude - Matt has tried every medication in the book. And unfortunately with his bi-polar, the medications that work for my depression, do not work for him without making him manic, and the anti-psychotics give him we are limited to a very medication choices.

    The plan as I know it, is to re-start the Lamictal & Paxil he was on, but that the hospital 3 months ago so kindly "accidentally discontinued". On that medication regimen he was more stable than he had ever been in terms of his mood cycling...........although he did try to commit suicide at the end of a 6 month period of stability so God only knows what the right combo is.

    Oddly he called me tonight hyper, hyper, happy. You would think that would make me feel better, but it just made me feel the same queasy, uneasy feeling. What now. What next.

    Thanks for all the thoughts and suggestions.