Wow- Im not alone

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by Jojara, Dec 9, 2008.

  1. Jojara

    Jojara New Member

    Hi- I just found this forum tonight. I was seriously thinking that I was the only one in the world with these issues, and it must be because I am an awful mother.

    My son is 10. Wow...where to even begin. He has been on ADHD medications since he was 5 and getting kicked out of Kindergarten. We have done Metadate, Concerta, Ritalin, Adderal. The works. He now takes Vyvanse and just recently his Pshchiatrist put him on Abilify. He is also diagnosed with ODD. I really think he is BiPolar (BP), but the Psychiatrist said no. Who knows.

    He is so mean and disrespectful. If you put any limits on him he will freak out. You never know whether its just going to be a verbal barrage of mean statements or develop into a full blown rage. Wow...the rages are intense and violent and out of control. His entire room at his dads house has to be re-sheetrocked, he has broken just about everything he has, he broke my rib once....etc. Then once he as chilled out he cries and says sorry and he loves me etc etc.

    He lies about homework, he just recently started stealing money. Today he told me he earned $6 for shoveling walks after school. Amazingly, there is $6 missing from our cash jar at home. And he freaked because we said no to taking his $6 to Walmart.

    I just started anxiety medications, Im not dealing well.

    Im at my wits end. I dont know what to do. I dont know how to set and keep limits with these horrible reactions. I dont want to be a pushover mom, but sometimes I just dont have the mental energy to deal with the fight....and a possible rage. The psychiatrist just gets sarcastic with me and says maybe if I cant handle it I should look at boarding schools. :mad:

    Does anybody have any suggestions?
  2. Andy

    Andy Active Member


    1st suggestion - get a new psychiatrist. This one is not doing everything he should.

    2nd suggestion - others will be here soon to explain this one - get a neuropsychologist evaluation.

    3rd suggestion - read The Explosive Child

    4th suggestion - read The Manipulative Child - this may not fit a lot but I do think you will find some interesting info in it. I don't know that I am reading in this that he is manipulative so this can be low priority for now.

    5th suggestion - research the possible side effects of each medication he is on. Some medications can actually cause the behaviors they are given to control. My son was on Clonazepam last year. It contributed to his nasty behavior.

    6th suggestion - come back here for lots more help and suggestions from those more experienced than I am.

    Your son showing remorse is very promising. It shows hope that he does want to be a good person. He hates this as much as you do. I think at 10 years old, he is old enough for you to have a discussion with regarding his ability to overcome this. Let him know that you want to work with him to overcome this. Ask him how he feels before a rage comes about. Can he recognize one coming on? Is he willing to work on letting you know when he feels this anger rising?

    Is he seeing someone to talk to about this?

    A neuro psychiatric evaluation will help start the right process and get his medications where they should be. I would hesitate following the advise of a psychiatrist who makes you feel inadequate to that point. If the advise doesn't feel right, find the strength to question it.
  3. dawnmyst

    dawnmyst New Member

    oh sweetie..

    My son went through a raging period when he was about 8, throwing things and barricading my room when I was inside it. I took him to a therapist who really didn't think anything was wrong with him. It was a tough time for me.

    Now he has gotten in trouble with the law 3 times and he is 15 years old. Many of the ladies here will probably suggest taking him to a Neuropsychologist for a full evaluation. I should have done that years ago and may end up doing that myself very soon. It is hard to keep limits with a child who is raging because it is so exhausting and the turmoil and upheaval they cause drains every ounce of feel-good hormones from you.

    I was on anti-depressants during that time period and saw a therapist for myself
    ( matter of fact I am beginning therapy again tomorrow) Could you go to a therapist and get some support for yourself there.

    I am a newbie also and I am amazed at the support and compassion of all of the beautiful women on this site. I have been a part of other online support groups but I have never experienced the truly candidness and non judging advice I have received here.

  4. CindyTN

    CindyTN New Member

    I suggest you get another opinion. Seriously. ADHD children do not resort to rages and violence when limits are set before them. That is not a symptom, period. It IS more indicative of bipolar disorder, but I can't diagnose your child or even suggest what this is. I can just share a little bit of my experience with you. My son also got kicked out of kindergarten, multiple daycares, schools, etc. He was diagnosed as ADHD at a very young age and began stimulant medication, which does help. But I knew something still wasnt right. My son is also diagnosed with high functioning autism, and I am not suggesting that yours is.... I'm just telling my son's history (you haven't expressed ANY signs of autism; I want to make that clear). However, through the past several years, psychiatrists have tossed around the bipolar diagnosis. After years of observation, his psychiatrist diagnosed him. I was on the fence about it. I had 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, and 6th opinions. Out of all those, only 1 said that it wasn't bipolar. My son is currenty in a residential treatment facility that specializes in autism and other psychiatric disorders. The physician treating him has done a tremendous amount of research in pediatric bipolar, and feels that my son was being mis-managed/mis-diagnosed with ADHD. I didn't take this well, at first. How could he tell me my son wasn't ADHD when his hyperactivity and impulsivity were off the charts? It is HIS opinion that MANY MANY children are being misdiagnosed with ADHD when they are truly bipolar. Bipolar in the manic phase resembles ADHD symptoms. Stimulant medication in a bipolar child will only make aggression and defiance worse, while it does help other symptoms. So right now, I'm sitting by waiting to see the results of this doctor doing a complete medication change. It will be a month before we know if it will truly work with my son, but it's certainly worked in many others he's treated. He took my son completely off of stimulant medications, leaving him solely on a combination of mood stablizers. The trick is finding the correct combination to manage the various chemical/biological comonents of the brain. That takes time.

    My son would rage anytime limits were set, or when he couldn't get something he really wanted in a store. The physically aggression became unmanageable. I am a single mom, and he would attack me so severely that I required medical attention several times. He would be the most loving child one minute and then turn at the drop of a hat. He started stealing from me. Before he was admitted to this facility, he stole some checks and tried to write them out for school lunches. He stole a camera from a store. He would steal items from me at home, such as my old cell phones and other items. He hoards things and collects objects, stashing them in his room, under his bed or in his bathtub.

    Please read "The Bipolar Child," the most recent, revised version that was recently published. This is important because the original version was heavily modified based on new information, research, parent involvement/input, etc. "The Bipolar Child" is known as the Bible to bipolar questions and answers. Ask yourself if the things in that book fit with what you are experiencing. Then go seek another opinion, or two, or three. Best of luck!
  5. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    1/ Get a neuropsychologist evaluation
    2/Get a neuropsychologist evaluation
    3/Get a neuropsychologist
    This will be the best thing you have ever done for yourself and your son. ODD doesn't stand alone. He could be bipolar and your doctor missed it or he could have something else, but the best you can do is to have this type of intensive evaluation and testing. A few questions so we can help you better.
    1/Any psychiatric disorders or substance abuse on either side of the family tree (big clue here)
    2/How was his early development? Speech, eye contact, trouble with noise or textures? How does he interact with same age peers? Does he know how to socialize or is he sort of "clueless?" Can he transition well from one activity to another? How does he do in school?
    The more you tell us the better suggestions we can give you. But GET A neuropsychologist You can find NeuroPsychs at University and/or Children's hospitals and they are wonderful...not like anything he's probably had before. Stimulants make some disorders even worse. You need to know what you're dealing with.
  6. LittleDudesMom

    LittleDudesMom Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Hi and welcome Jojara,

    I totally agree with the list Adrianne gave you. It's really important to continue to question your child's diagnosis when the medications and therapies their doctor recommends are not working. There should always be some response - whether positive or negative.

    We understand your frustration and pain - we are all there or have been there!! There is often light at the end of the tunnel, but that tunnel can be really, really long. I don't thing, no matter how well our difficult children may be doing at any given point, that we truly ever sit back and relax.

    Look forward to having you on the board.

  7. LittleDudesMom

    LittleDudesMom Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Reply for CindyTN -

    I don't want to hyjack this first thread by new member Jojara, but I wanted to welcome you as well Cindy.

    Please come out in a new post and introduce yourself. That's kinda how we do it around here. If you want, you can cut and paste this post so you don't have to retype all the history with your son. Glad he is getting help!

    When you get a chance, please also do a profile signature like you see on the bottom of our posts. Just click on "user cp" on the upper left of the page and follow the prompts!

  8. Big Bad Kitty

    Big Bad Kitty lolcat

    Welcome to the board!

    Adrianne did indeed give you a pretty complete to-do list. And of course, keep coming here for support. It's a great group of parents here.
  9. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Hi Jojara, welcome.

    I have to say, just from what little I read, that reading through the list of medications he's tried (and failed), I can't help but wonder if he's not on the autism spectrum instead of bipolar.
    I would get a neuropsychologist evaluation.
    And find another psychiatrist.
    I am so sorry about your broken rib and all the holes in the walls.
    My son is just coming out of the raging stage. We are learning his triggers, as is he. It is most important that the child learn his own triggers, because he has to live with-himself.
    It's a long journey.
    I'm glad you found us.
  10. JJJ

    JJJ Active Member

    Welcome Jojara,

    My son became quite mean on stimulants. It is a side effect. I would echo the suggestions of everyone else in that you find a new psychiatrist and get a more complete evaluation. My son (Tigger in my sig) was diagnosis as bipolar at 5 but it has also been strongly suggested that he is on the autism spectrum. We are doing that testing in January.

    I'm glad you found us. I have been here for over 7 years now (yikes!) and the child that brought me here (Eeyore in my sig) is almost a easy child now. It is the best community on the web.
  11. 'Chelle

    'Chelle Active Member

    Hi! :bigsmile: My first thought too, reading your post, was that you need to find a new psychiatrist. One that you're comfortable with and who won't disregard your feelings of frustration at dealing with a difficult child and seeing no improvement after 5 years. I don't think there's a parent here who hasn't felt that, who wouldn't raising kids like ours.

    Adrianne's list is pretty much the advice I would give too, so that's a great place to start. I think getting a re-evaluation is crucial. If you've been working with this for 5 years and nothing you've done has worked, time to recheck things and make sure you're going in the right direction to begin with. If you're not comfortable with the diagnosis, your mommy instinct could be telling you something, and many times mommy instinct is right. We had wonderful psychiatrists & therapist. When I mentioned getting a re-evaluation for difficult child after 3 years of nothing working, she was all for it, and told me that many docs feel that when working with kids you should almost automatically re-evaluate them every 3 years anyway because they change so much as they mature, they're all a work in progress. We got to see his new psychiatrist and she was amazing with him, "got him" right away and was a great help to him, and me. Hope you can find a new psychiatrist that is "right" for you.

    Oh, and the walls in my difficult child's room are pretty much trashed too, but I refuse to fix them yet. Even though my difficult child is sooooo much better, he'll still get mad and hit the wall when a video game isn't going well. And in our old house with old wallboard, it doesn't take much to make a hole. Maybe in a few more years, we'll fix the whole thing LOL.

    Welcome to the board, hope you find the advice you need, and we're here with the shoulder to vent on whenever things get rough. :flowers:
  12. bran155

    bran155 Guest

    Hello and welcome. You will love it here!!! I do!!! I agree, find a new doctor. Every parent here knows all too well how utterly tiring and frustrating raising a difficult child is. In some cases a therapeutic boarding school is in order. However, it's usually a last resort. My daughter has been in 3 rtcs, only after years of this struggle. She was 14 when she went into her first one. As a last resort. We tried everything else first.

    Adrianne's advice is dead on. He needs a full evaluation. That's usually where to get started. It's better to know what you are truly dealing with, at the very least to rule out some of the possibilities. The medication maze is also very frustrating. Because there isn't a simple blood test to pin point the problem the medications are trial and error. I couldn't even begin to tell you how many different medications my daughter has been on over the years.

    You came to the right place for support. The parents on this board are amazing and have helped me a great deal. It really does make a difference when you are able to connect with people who really mean it when they say "I understand". We all really do understand one another's struggles. There is a real sense of family here. I absolutely love this website. It gets me through!!!

    Hang in there and God bless. :)
  13. Critter Lover

    Critter Lover New Member

    Welcome Jojara!

    My son did not show the Bi Polar side until he was late in his teens but he was mis-diagnosed with ADHD too. The neuropsychologist can tell you if your son is autistic too. I am so glad I had one done but of course his pyschiatrist was against me having it done. He said "He is already on medications ....what good would it do?" I told him "Because I want to know everything I am dealing with and get as much help as I can get." My son has obsessions and one of them is money...including stealing so he can get what he wants. We had to resort to locking all our doors in our house and getting a safe. Never keep money laying around or your purse laying around.....this also goes with your husband's wallet. I wish you luck in finding out the right diagnosis for your child.

    We could no longer handle my son because he got too violent and he is now with a supported staff in an apartment with two other disable people since last week. Getting your son the right diagnosis and the right medications will help the situation.

    Keep us informed of what happens but definitely a neuropsychologist is in order.

    Critter Lover (Sheryl)
  14. Jojara

    Jojara New Member

    Sorry for the upcoming novel.

    Holy cow. This is amazing, thank you all so much for the wonderful feedback. I have actually never heard of a neuropsychologist exam. I think he may have had one done years ago, but the only thing that was recommended to his father and I was to take him to a psychologist. I am definitely going to look for a new psychiatrist. The last time we had an appointment I asked for some specific techniques to help me bring his rages down before I couldnt physically restrain him anymore. She could not come up with anything.

    To answer your questions:

    He tells me that he can tell physically when a rage is going to happen, but it happens so fast that he doesnt even think of all the interventions we have come up with. He said his stomach gets tight and then it feels like its hard to breath....and BAM....rage is on. See....this sounds like an anxiety attack to me. Im not sure.

    Yes. He goes to a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW) for counseling. When we are at the appointments, he is so rational. He says yes I will try, yes I will take time out etc etc. He knows he is doing these things and he shouldnt....but it doesnt make a difference when its actually happening.

    My side of the family has quite a lot of substance abuse. Not his father or I directly, but genetically its probably there. He hasnt been exposed to this kind of lifestyle. My bio-father died of a drug overdose.

    He actually developed early. He was so happy, crawled at 6 mos, walked before he hit a year. He never had trouble with much of anything, except going to sleep. He never really learned how to lay down and go to sleep. Huge fights at bedtime from the time he was soooo small. He loves to be with groups of friends, and its almost like he is a different kid around them. His teachers say that the kids love to be friends with him, but he is distracting sometimes (his ADHD I think?). He likes to be the center of attention. He does NOT transition well at all!!!! To anything! In fact, if something comes up that he is not expecting, changing the routine (even if its something fun or exciting)...that will throw him into a tailspin. Also, his grades in school are awful. He has a hard time finishing assignments, so he will shove him in his desk and argue with his teacher that he really did turn them in. He lies terribly about schoolwork. He has a heck of a time writing, and that alone will make him just shut down sometimes. I had him tested to see if he was dyslexic or something....but I was told its common with ADHD.
  15. busywend

    busywend Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Welcome! Glad you found us!

    Yes, the transition times and change in plans throws most of our kids for a loop. It takes time, but you can train yourself to either not change plans or to find a good way to help him with the changes. It is work.

    Have you ever considered food allergies or even medical reasons for the behavior such as seziures?
  16. Ropefree

    Ropefree Banned

    Oh, yes it FEELS lonily...but no no you are not alone...we are not alone...

    Your spirited child is a book that has ideas about setting up to learn to transitions.
    I think that having possitive language and giving choices appropriately help both engage the child in the acitivity of transition and let them "feel the water" of the transition time long enough ahead of time to be co-operrative with it.
    Gathering the language and engaging your child are the keys, I think. We hear what we say the loudest. So it is important I think to help our children to be saying the things we want them to hear.
    Lieing about homework is a self esteem issue, in my lay opinion. Children have a phsycological need for productivity. When a child has the appropriate help to complete their assigned work they begin to feel that worth and accomplishment. I definately feel that tutors and teachers and older student tutors are best to aid a learner with homework. Homework the battle is just
    a pit. Get out of it.
  17. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Ack. Well, even if you did a neuropsychologist I would do it again. We had better luck with a neuropsychologist than with Psychiatrists. NeuroPsychs tend to know about both psychiatric and neurological disorders (such as Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD), learning disorders, ADHD etc) while Psychiatrists know about brain disorders such as bipolar, schizophrenia, depression. They don't test either the way NeuroPsychs do.
    Substance abuse is common with mood disorders, but rather than telling you what he has or how to handle him, I do think he needs an updated evaluation. It is impossible to know how to handle him if you aren't sure what you are dealing with.
    I have bipolar and well remember rages. They did come on too fast to stop them, even if I'd told myself in advance that I'd never rage again. If he has bipolar, he would need medication. You'd be referred to a psychiatrist (again). in my opinion it sounds like more than ADHD to me. Stims can make mood disorders or Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) worse. I can't handle stimulants. They wreak havoc with my moods. But that's just me. You really do need to check with an expert as we are just very tired Take care, whatever you decide :)
  18. KTMom91

    KTMom91 Well-Known Member

    You are definitely not alone!

    Welcome to the board!
  19. Andy

    Andy Active Member

    The professional couldn't come up with techniques? Unbelievable.

    O.K. This may take awhile for him to get to the point where he will be able to control the rages. However because he can recognize the start of one, there is hope.

    Continue looking for a new professional and a reason for these rages. In the meantime, have you noticed ANY pattern at all? ANY triggers? Are they more common at a certain time of day?

    A disclaimer: I am not a professional. I am just letting you know what I would try with my child if this was happening to us. If this does not feel right to try, no hard feelings. I just want to offer one option.

    Talk to your son. Let him know that as of this moment, you want to help him stop these rages. Tell him that you are trying to set up special tests to figure out what is making him experience these. Assure him that you will be there to help. Ask that as soon as his stomach starts to tighten that he come to you.

    When he does come to you, it is very important that you drop everything and give him your full attention.

    The medical changes going on inside him may prevent him from following through with any control. However, if he can get into the habit of letting you know when one is starting, you can help get him to a safe place.

    As he is raging, try not to show any frustration or fear. Talk clearly and calmly. Many times not even talking may help since your voice is adding to his processing his surrounding; more to process and not able to, thus more rage? What type of things does he do during a rage? If he punches, try to direct him to punching a pillow or punching bag. If he tears things apart, have a pile of magazines or newspapers ready for him to shred. Whatever you think he does during a rage, that is his way of getting that frustration out - find a safe way to meet that need without harming people or things.

    I would first focus on just getting him to come to you when the stomach starts. However, he may need medications before anything will help.

    Once you find out the reason behind this (a diagnosis) then medications will be able to help take the edge off this.

    I think the meanness is because he does not feel well. When he starts that attitude, ask him if his stomach has started to tighten. It may start sooner than he thinks?