Totally different kid

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by Sherril2000, Feb 15, 2015.

  1. Sherril2000

    Sherril2000 Active Member

    Well, my son has been in jail now since Wednesday. It breaks my heart to see him there. He's so different when he's in custody, & maintains that he's never doing anything to cause him to get locked up again. I'm hoping this is true. I know from experience that he makes promises while in custody that he doesn't always keep when he's home. I can't blame his behavior on anyone but him. He seems to want to look so cool to his friends that he does really stupid things. I have an appointment to have him evaluated by a psychiatrist (again) when he is released. He apparently was evaluated when he was in juvenile detention & diagnosed with conduct disorder, but I've never been given access to that report. I really want to help him. Other than getting him evaluated & on the proper medications & not enabling him, does anyone have any suggestions? I'm really trying to do everything right this time.
  2. in a daze

    in a daze Well-Known Member

    Sherri, how old is your son?

    It's helpful if you can give us a little synopsis of his history from childhood on.

    A signature at the bottom of your page is also helpful to remind us who you are and what your son's issues are...see mine and other members posts for examples.
  3. Sherril2000

    Sherril2000 Active Member

    He is 18 now. I left his dad after years of abuse when he was 13. At first, everything was ok but when he turned 15, he started smoking weed & not wanting to go to school. His dad got a better attorney than mine, & was awarded custody when he was 16. He refused to live with- his dad & went on the run. I believe his girlfriends family harbored him. They are drug addicts, & have been in jail many times. He started breaking into cars & houses with- his girlfriends brothers & got felony charges as a juvenile. He served 13 months & was released in December. He violated his probation because he posted a picture of him holding a bottle of E & J. He absconded after his violation, then got picked up by the police Wednesday morning $ was charged with- carrying a concealed weapon & possession of marijuana. I don't know how to post a signature, but I will if you can tell me how to do it.
  4. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    If he will go with-you to the psychiatrist that would be wonderful. But You're going to need a much longer evaluation than what the typical dr gives you. Go online and look up some basic tests and note the names and the versions and request that the psychiatric allow enough time for that. It will help. There are basic personality and psychiatric tests that are not perfect but you have limited time, since your son is 18 and will want to take off the min he gets out of jail.
    It's possible that a calming medication will help but then you have no guarantee that he will take it.
    He needs to be on a different planet from those "friends."
    No drugs. No guns. No excuses.
    If you can't get him to the dr. you may have to give up, I'm afraid to say. Change the locks.
    Fingers crossed.
  5. Sherril2000

    Sherril2000 Active Member

    Thank you for your reply. I will investigate these psychological evaluations further before taking him. That's a really good idea. I'm hoping he really wants the help & will accept it. He was placed on Prozac & Trazadone by the counselor in detention, & still takes it on his own because he says it makes him feel better.
  6. in a daze

    in a daze Well-Known Member

    I'm thinking what he should have is a neuropsychological evaluation, which is done by a neuropsychological. I'm sure the psychiatric doctor can recommend one.

    That's really a good sign that he's willing to take medications. So many of our difficult kids refuse any kind of medication or counseling.

    You are going to need lots of support in dealing with your son. It's very helpful to go to a support group (I like Families Anonymous), a therapist of your own (for support and practical advice on how to deal with your son) and of course this message board. Books are helpful, too. You will need to set boundaries and stick to them. You will need to learn to resist manipulation and detect telltale signs of deceit. It's so hard to do....that's why you need all that support.
  7. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Depends. Why is he in jail. Are drugs a problem? What are his issues? IF he is a drug addict, he has to want help, but there's actually help out there for those who want to take it.

    A diagnosis of Conduct Disorder may be right or wrong (I've seen enough horrible, bad, wrong diagnoses to trust any diagnosis without question). Do YOU think he has it? That would mean he has no regard for the rights of others and no remorse. He would show a lack of empathy and conscience. Do not confuse remorse with being sorry he got caught. Apples and oranges. Does he feel bad for what he did; for who he hurt? Does he really mean it or is he just scared now? These are questions to ponder. You know your son. Deep inside, you know the answers. You do not have to share them with us.

    I love neuropsychologists for diagnoses. I believe they do the best and most through evaluations. But the person being evaluated has to be 100% honest and it does take time and cost money and, in the end, may not help.

    If your son does have traits of Conduct Disorder, evaluations and medications likely won't work. I hope he doesn't have it and actually does see the light.

    Most of good to yourself too.
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2015
  8. recoveringenabler

    recoveringenabler Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Hi Sherri. I'm glad you're here with us. You may also want to post your story in Substance abuse, those folks have a lot of experience with drugs and alcohol and their kids. You and your son have been through a lot. I agree with the others about testing and getting support for YOU. You'll need it, this is a tough road with our kids.

    How you do a signature is you go up to the top right hand corner of this page and click on your screen name. A box will drop, click on signature. Write it like we have done on ours and remember to save it. It will appear at the bottom of your post so we can recall how old your son is, what the basic facts are, so we don't have to go looking for your former posts trying to remember the story. Thanks.

    Keep posting it helps a lot. Remember to consider going to Families anonymous, or Al Anon, and/or private therapy. You may also want to go online and look up NAMI, the National Alliance on Mental Illness, they have chapters in many cities and are a really good resource for us parents, they have a wonderful course for parents which if you can go, will be very helpful to you. As I mentioned, also post your story over in Substance Abuse, you'll get more support in both places.

    Hang in there Sherri, it'll take time and effort, but as you work through the system, get the information you need and get support, you'll begin to feel a little better. It's a process to go through it.
  9. in a daze

    in a daze Well-Known Member

    I meant Neuro psychologist. Thanks M W M. Stupid predictive text error.
  10. Sherril2000

    Sherril2000 Active Member

    Thank you all so much. I learn so much here. I'm an ICU nurse, but not much experience with- psychology. I've never heard of a neuro psychologist, but I will find one. One great thing is my insurance provides great coverage for mental health & substance abuse. Our family counselor says my son doesn't have conduct disorder. He says he has substance abuse problems & a lot of anger. For the most part, he's a loving kid with- a good heart. Loves kids & animals& is kind to them. He's very immature though, & doesn't like to follow rules. So I would say he fits more with- the diagnosis of Oppositional Defiance disorder.
    I had also never heard of Families Anon. I had heard of Alanon, & found a local meeting to go to. I know I'm going to need lots of support when he comes home. I refuse to backslide into the role of the Enabler again.
  11. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    Sherri... if he's "very immature", and has a lot of anger... have you ever looked at Asperger's syndrome? If not, do NOT go looking at the official dxes. They confused me. Try reading some real-life stories, like "Look Me In The Eye" by John Elder Robinson.

    Kids who are on the fringes of Aspie/Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) traits don't necessarily get a diagnosis, but if the traits are there, then the Aspie way of handling things is something to learn about. There are things that work better than others with Aspies.

    By the way - anger in young men is frequently a sign of depression. And depression often goes along with all sorts of other issues and challenges, especially if these have not been addressed and accommodations and interventions put in place.

    I'd be wary of even ODD as a diagnosis. It's a good placeholder, acknowledges that something is wrong, but doesn't give any guidance or interventions. Just a sign there may be something else going on.
  12. Sherril2000

    Sherril2000 Active Member

    I did forget to include in my earlier posts that my son was diagnosed with- ADD when he was 8. He has always struggled in school. When he was younger, it was never behavior problems. He just had difficulty focusing. He started taking Concerta, & that really helped him focus. As he got older, though, he stopped wanting to take his medication because it decreased his appetite & gave him headaches. Oh, & then 20 of his pills went missing after one of his so-called friends stole them to sell. My son will do really stupid, risky things too. The most recent example of this was when he & one of his friends got a gun & shot it up in the air in our neighborhood. I called the police on him that day, but they just talked to him & threatened to kick him up if he ever did it again, when I look back on it, he's always liked to take chances & do risky things. The Concerta really did help with- that.
  13. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    Other conditions often get diagnosed as ADD/ADHD. It's easy to pick at the impulsivity and the lack of focus. And yes, sometimes ADD medications do help. But the real problem is often masked that way, and problems build under the surface.

    Risk taking, for example, may really just be an attempt to fit in with somebody, anybody, because differently-wired kids have a very hard time being accepted.
  14. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    If your son is hanging around with a kid who would steal Concerta to sell, that's a red flag for him doing the same drugs. My daughter told me she and her friends used to steal whatever ADHD medications they could and crush them in pillcrushers and snort them, either alone or with cocaine. These drugs are highly coveted on the street. Adderrall went for $10 a pill when my daughter did drugs eleven years ago. I imagine with inflation it is even more lucrative to sell it now. And most people who use do sell because they need money to buy drugs. It's a vicious cycle and you don't have morals when you are drug addicted, as my daughter was. Since she quit, she has told me all about street life on drugs. Scary.

    If I had a child who had used drugs, I would not want him on stimulants, ADHD or not. There is too a high a risk they would be wrongly used, sold, snorted etc. If this were me, I'd forget the ADD and focus on the drug addiction, if, in fact, you have any say-so at all regarding your young man. I had no idea, until my daughter told me, that ADHD drugs were used this way, but they are and apparently it is common. She even told me kids "fake" ADHD to get the drugs.

    Sherri, here is a reality check, hon. I don't mean to be harsh...we all have to face it one day. Nobody MADE your son do these things. Your son gravitated to these types of kids and chose to be like them and most likely does the things that they do. Nobody can make somebody else do anything. The choice to live this lifestyle was his own, no excuses. Let him take the blame and let him figure it out.

    Hugs for your hurting heart.

    None of my kids have ever been around a gun. If my kid had been friends with a kid who shot a gun into the air (which could have killed somebody when it came down), and he was a minor, life as he/she knew it would be done until that kid was definitely out of my child's life. What the hey is he carrying a gun for anyway???? Scary stuff.
  15. Sherril2000

    Sherril2000 Active Member

    I totally agree, he has to take responsibility. It breaks my heart to see him in jail, but he is definitely finding out what happens when you break the law. He was threatened at gunpoint 4 weeks after he got out of detention by a thug who was angry because his girlfriend talked to my son. So, unbeknownst to me, he got one. Trust me, I pay a fortune to live in a good neighborhood. There are really rough areas surrounding us though. I'm not making excuses for him, however, it was his choice to associate with- these kids. I asked him today "where are all these friends who promise to hold you down when you're locked up?" I just pray he will remember how bad this experience has been when he is released. As for the stimulants, yes, it's sad that someone would be so low as to steal. My son no longer associates with- that particular friend. Some of the ones he does associate with- now are just as bad though. Thank you for your reply. I know I have to let him experience this & take responsibility but it's hard. There is no other way for him to learn though.
  16. 2much2recover

    2much2recover Well-Known Member

    I am glad you are at least finding the strength to call the police on him. Risky behavior can be a hallmark of Personality Disorder + add years of abuse and his father's donated DNA and who knows what the outcome would be? Of course that can not be diagnosed until after he is clean and sober - nothing really can be diagnosed while he is using drugs. He has to be clean for a while until they can tell his problems from his addictions.