What was your breaking point for the er

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by kleiv77, Jan 26, 2013.

  1. kleiv77

    kleiv77 New Member

    Hi all. My difficult child is almost 7 and being treated for bipolar. As most, his mess are wearing off. He is starting to get aggressive again and his obsession with any type of weapon is getting worse. We don't have guns or seabirds, but everything is played to be one. He has been on a down phase with saying everyone hates me as opposed to saying he hates everyone. I am trying to get a baseline from all of you out there as to what point you would actually break down and take him to the er. I have heard many parents say it turns out to be the best thing they ever did even though at the time it is heart wrenching. They say that in the end taking them gives you the opportunity to almost make people listen and it helps to better feet them. Has anyone gone this route? Thank you for any advice.
  2. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Lots of parents here have taken their kids to ER, usually when they are acting dangerous to themselves or others or are talking about killing themselves or others. Hopefully, others will come along. Unfortunately, weekends can be slow. But it picks up Mondays. Hang in there!

    by the way, what medications does he take?
  3. HaoZi

    HaoZi CD Hall of Fame

    Mine went to psychiatric hospital (not ER) when she was trying to hurt herself (really throwing herself into the walls repeatedly) and planning out ways she could hurt herself. It was a bad medication reaction but coded as suicidal emergency to get insurance to cover the admission. The rages themselves were off/on.
  4. slsh

    slsh member since 1999

    Hi Kliev and welcome.

    I took my son to the ER the first time when he was 6. He had not been "diagnosed" but we'd been dealing with tdocs for 2 years by that time. No psychiatrists. What prompted me to take him (very much against my husband's wishes) was that he'd been raging for days on end, hitting, kicking, spitting, biting. Hindsight being 20/20, the kid was ultra rapid cycling - up and down and up and down multiple times per hour. I was 7 mos pregnant, and his very intentional kick to my belly was the final straw. I just couldn't contain his violence.

    He was admitted extremely frequently over the years - when he was living at home, we'd end up back at the hospital about every 3 months. He had 1 admit for a bad reaction to a medication, I think 2 or 3 for self-injury, but the rest were all due to extreme violence towards people. All but the first admission and the bad medication reaction, he was transported via ambulance - he simply was not safe to transport myself.

    Yes, getting him admitted that first time was a good thing. I *finally* got someone to really hear what was going on in our home, plus they got to see him in action. We got a psychiatrist, got a starting diagnosis, were able to start medications (which was *not* my goal/plan at all, but there were medication combos that were helpful for varying periods of time *and* going from full-blown raging multiple times a day to every couple days, then weeks, then months.... well, that was good).

    The downside of admissions is that your kid is not going to be "cured." He will be stabilized and sent home to continue outpatient treatment. I thought they would be able to fix whatever was going on - sometimes they can tweak medications or hook you into resources that will make the behaviors more manageable, sometimes not so much.

    There's not a secret therapy or special medication that they can do in the hospital that will solve the problem. Unfortunately, the nature of bipolar is the ups and downs. Absolutely, for violence or self-harm, the hospital is the only way to go, in my humble opinion. Suicidal threats also merit hospital evaluation, even at this young age.

    Is he being treated by a psychiatrist? Have you discussed admission with- whoever diagnosed him?

    Again - welcome, and I'm glad you found us, though sorry your boy is struggling right now.

    P. S. - I have to ask - autocorrect really got you, and I cannot for the life of me figure out what "guns and seabirds" are - I get the guns, obviously, but ... I'm drawing a blank on "seabirds." ;)
  5. JJJ

    JJJ Active Member

    ER is only helpful is he is an active danger to himself or others. His psychiatrist should be able to guide you on this. Bottom line, if you are scared that someone is going to get hurt, go to ER.

    With Tigger, the obsession with guns terrified me. At my aunt's suggestion, I finally got a few toy guns -- all bright orange and clearly toys. He was happy that he had "guns" and the obsession lessened. He never tried to take them to school or be inappropriate with them. Before he got the guns, he would build guns out of legos, food, playdough, etc. and the school was getting mad about that.

    What medications has your son tried?
  6. JJJ

    JJJ Active Member

    That was the most disappointing thing about psychiatric hospital stays, they were band-aids, not cures.
  7. Wiped Out

    Wiped Out Well-Known Member Staff Member

    We never ended up taking our difficult child to ER but he has been admitted to the psychiatric hospital several times. We would call our psychiatrist and he would tell us he needed to be hospitalized. Towards the end of his recent hospitalizations (not that recent-2009) the psychiatrist would hospitalize if we told him it was too much at home (the violence). The first time he was admitted was when he was 7.

    The hospitalizations were harder on us then on difficult child when he was younger. As he got older I think it was hard on both of us. Although the hospitalizations were more band-aids they also gave us some respite. Most of his hospitalizations were 2-3 weeks long (except for one). The final hospitalization (so far) really helped because they decided to try a medication that is not often used anymore. For us it has turned out to be a lifesaver!

    I would definitely take him to ER if he is being dangerous to himself or others and you cannot get him under control.
  8. kleiv77

    kleiv77 New Member

    Thank you all for such quick replies. Hummm seabirds, come on everyone that says seabirds knows it means swords! So kidding and terribly sorry for the error!
    I don't think we are at the point of the er, I was just curious as I am sure you all know, you get into this funk of "hey it wasn't such a bad day" when others with a perfectly (dare I say) normal child would think the world was ending. I don't want to be in the trap of thinking it isn't as bad as it is, we aren't just well adapted to it.
    Right now we are on respridone but he has a psyc visit next week and I am going to bring up maybe a mood stabilizer as I feel that is what we need. The resp has calmed down the rage but it isn't helping the thinking.
    Currently difficult child has 1 on 1 therapy weekly. Next week He starts a group therapy with the same doctor adding in 5 other kids. I think this will be wonderful as social skills are one of the biggest struggles we have. Our psychiatric has given us an as needed antihistamine to try to calm rage but the few times we have used it, it does nothing. difficult child is very smart and does well in school. We do have an agreement with them to monitor his behavior during each school period so that we start a database sort of for down the road - something to use as a baseline comparison. Unfortunately I do think this is going
    To come to a head next year when the behavior does interfere with school work and grades. This will be 2nd grade.
    On a side note, the weapon obsession is never really negative, he doesn't intend to hurt anyone per say, it is always "to protect" or "to help". Scary none the less. I'm scared of what is to come. Recently I have noticed mild delusions like silly stuff, not knowing what we did yesterday and insisting what we did yesterday was a week ago. Insisting either myself or she said something when we didn't even approach that topic. I guess now I am just rambling in 72 directions ! Hum, wonder where he gets it from?
  9. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Im not going to say what our breaking point was but some of the old members will remember...lol. Lets just say it was awful. He was completely out of control. Inpatient didnt cure him but it did give him a new diagnosis and new medications. The social worker also thought I was a horrible parent because I didnt seem to want to pamper my son while he was in there and only wanted to talk to her about what resources where going to be available when they turned him loose. Oh well. I didnt much care what she thought. I knew I only had a few days to get info.
  10. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Welcome, Kleiv77. So sorry you're having such problems.

    We went to the psychiatric hospital, not the ER. Our therapist called ahead of us to make the arrangements. difficult child was raging first thing in the a.m. and tried to strangle my husband.

    Will your difficult child go to the psychiatrist with you to change medications? Does it have to be the ER? It's really a mess with all those other people in the waiting area and it's not all children, either. I'd do my best to plan an immediate psychiatrist visit. Tell the receptionist it's spiraling out of control and it's getting dangerous so she fits you in between other appts.

    Good luck.
  11. buddy

    buddy New Member

    Our psychiatrist had called ahead too in case (she knew things were rough ) but because he was aggressive we had to go thru er first. We go to er when q is aggressive and sometimes thats all I need to get him in a safe place. He's only been admitted after a medication reaction

    Are you sure of all of his issues? Have you ever tried a neuropsychologist evaluation to see if there are other complicating factors? Or have had a second psychiatric opinion about medications? Just wondering if there are other things to try....It is sooooo overwhelming when you have an aggressive child. Years down the road from you, we have found alternative therapies really helpful (with medications in our case) . We do horse back riding therapy, dog therapy, social therapy programs and adaptive recreation, and the best has been our assistance dog, JJ. He has made car rides much safer!
  12. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    I have not read all the responses, so sorry if I say what others have.

    Are you sure you are not raising my difficult child? My difficult child would turn ANYTHING into a weapon. He was five the first time I found a paring knife under his bed. He never had a bed on a frame again while he lived with us. Too much room to hide things. At age seven Wiz turned a plate of cooked spaghetti (noodles only, no sauce) into a gun. It looked like a gun sitting there and sort of blew my mind. Esp because it was the first time he ever touched cooked noodles of ANY kind with his hands with-o freaking out because they were 'slimy'.

    The ER is for when they are actively a threat to themselves or others. I would call for an ambulance to transport to a psychiatric facility and make sure they know it is a mentally ill patient rather than taking him myself. If you drive him, you need at least one other adult with you to control him so that he cannot grab the steering wheel or choke you or otherwise cause an accident.

    If you feel that he needs inpatient care, talk to his psychiatrist and to your ins co about it. We endured for years because we kept hearing that there were not places for kids or they were awful. In sixth grade we found our difficult child strangling our daughter in the middle of the night. My cat actually woke me up (which she had not done in a decade) and led me to them. She was a big mother hen to the kids and she was really upset. So was I. I called our insurance, which was medicaid, and they gave me a list of 3 places, then called and found a bed in two of them. They let me know about each program and then I chose one. It was NOT awful and he did very well there and eventually they were actually able to help him.

    I am sorry you need this info, and I hope you will do all you can to take care of yourself during this time of crisis. I didn't, just kept pushing through, and finally my body just hit a wall and refused to do much of anything good. I know 2 moms of difficult child who have had strokes from the stress of having a difficult child. It is cliche, but it is also true that if you don't take care of yourself, you cannot take care of anyone else.


    One thing that is a HUGE help as you get help for you child is a parent report. It is a document that you create that has every single detail about your child. If you click on the link in my signature, you will go to the thread that explains it and has the outline. Warrior moms who were here in the past created it, and it is one very very powerful tool to help your child and family.