Walking the tightrope with difficult child

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by maril, Nov 10, 2008.

  1. maril

    maril New Member

    Right off the bat -- sorry for the long post, and thanks for listening!!! At times, it is difficult for me to put thoughts into words/to properly explain my thoughts. Please bear with me.

    I am glad I found these message boards. By reading and contemplating posts from others and what they have learned and been through, it has helped me recognize that my family can get through this, too, and also has affected my attitude and approach somewhat.

    husband and I have backed off a bit, detached a bit; however, we still plan to provide necessities and emotional support for difficult child. After all, he still does have the rest of high school to finish, is a minor (I use that term loosely, as I have discovered on our "journey" that, in some respects, he is considered legally responsible; at least as far as his medical records, treatment, and confidentiality go), and he is in some ways very immature. He continues to need to have limits set, structure, and guidelines. Also, he greatly struggles with attention deficit disorder, which on a positive note, he has been taking charge of more, little by little. He now wants to take his medication. Previously, he was very reluctant to do so. He claims he recognizes the ADHD medication does make a difference for him. He takes Vyvanse (ADHD) and, not so long ago, started sertraline (generic Zoloft/anxiety).

    Anyway, he will see his psychiatrist tomorrow for a medication check and I have more than once encouraged him to go over his concerns with her (he expresses multiple concerns, including depression, anxiety, anger; pretty scary sometimes, especially when he verbalizes he wants to hurt himself or others) to which he tells me, "She doesn't listen to me. I can't understand her." (His psychiatrist has an accent.) Hopefully, he will speak up.

    He is also (separately) going through D&A outpatient partial program, and even though he gripes, I really do think it is making a difference for him. He has a wonderful counselor, who works primarily with adolescents. :peaceful:
  2. Jena

    Jena New Member

    Good morning,

    Yes this place can be quite helpful, even if just to read what other's do, what approach's are taken,etc.

    Long posts are my specialty don't ever worry about that. I'm glad to hear that difficult child seems to be doing a bit better and is also verbalizing and also willingly taking medications now.

    Good luck at dr. tomorrow I hope he does share his other feelings with the dr. in regards to the depression and anxiety. Those can be huge things to handle. If not i'm sure you can share that with the dr.

    Keep us posted :)

    Have a great day!!!!
  3. maril

    maril New Member

    Thank you, jennifer. Your kinds words are very helpful!
  4. Andy

    Andy Active Member

    Maybe difficult child is like many of us who visits a doctor with a determination of sharing our concerns and for whatever reason, we forget some of the things. If we feel that the doctor is really not listening to us or not understanding what we are saying, we also get discouraged and give up after the first concern is shot down (in our eyes) Can you ask him if he would allow you to help him prepare?

    "difficult child, are there things you want the doctor to know that you would like help with? Can I help you write down everything? Or, maybe if you make a written list to take? Many people like to take lists to their doctors so they don't forget the important issues to discuss."

    I understand where he is coming from with accents. Are you in the room with him? If not, can he ask that a nurse be in the room to help him go through his list and interprut what the doctor says?

    Good luck!
  5. Fran

    Fran Former Site Owner

    Sounds like things are going well at your home.
    We try to explain to our difficult child that he must learn to advocate for himself with his health care providers. If difficult child has difficulty understanding the Dr. he should ask her/him to slow down and repeat EACH and EVERY time he is unclear of what she is saying. It's important for him to get the benefit of his visit and it's his job to make sure he gets his money's worth. Of course, this is a learning process for all teens and young adults. How to express frustration and embarassment without all the emotional drama.

    Hopefully the medications will help and the counselor will be a great safety net for difficult child.
  6. maril

    maril New Member

    Thanks to Adrianne and Fran. Very good points.

    I think it is so important to try to not feel intimidated or discouraged by doctors and I will explain. I am referring to those who discourage questions from patients or patient input; or simply, when a patient just is generally afraid to speak up to a person with that level of education and expertise. I have more than once encouraged my husband, daughter, and son to be aware and, if necessary, to ask questions of doctors and staff. I work in the medical field and recognize that, yes, there are a lot of very, very good doctors -- however, in the whole scheme of things, everything being so fast-paced and with possibilities for errors in records documentation, etc., the public has to be ever-so-careful, to be conscious of their responsibility in the plan of care, and to advocate for those who cannot represent themselves. I didn't intend to get up on a soap box. This is just something that is very evident and important to me of late!

    I'll approach difficult child tonight, since I have some time in the car with him on the way to and from rehab. At times, I can barely squeeze a few words in with him -- lol. I will see what he wants to do as far as making a list, speaking up, having me speak up, etc., regarding his appointment with the psychiatrist tomorrow.

    As an aside, I have hearing loss, so that complicates things a bit, sometimes having trouble even with my hearing aid in (which is another story...). On the other hand, I have gotten better at understanding those with accents, since I deal with that and get practice on the job.