12 Year old Step Daughter with ODD & Histrionic PD we're begging for help!

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by Tallgirl5, Oct 27, 2017.

  1. Tallgirl5

    Tallgirl5 New Member

    Hi Everyone,
    I am new to this. First time ever on a forum but we're at our wits end. I have a 12 year old step daughter who has lived with us since April of 2016. She is a funny, creative, smart girl. I may not be her birth mother but think of her and love her as my own. I will refer to her as X for her privacy and ours. X has had behavioral issues right from the start. She had been diagnosed with ADD as a young child to try an account for her behavior. Multiple visits requesting further re-diagnosis were refused year after year by multiple resources with an explanation "she'll out grow it". It has only been in the last year after finally being referred to a child Psychiatrist (after begging her councilor) that we have a proper diagnosis. Her father and I are at our wits end with the constant lying, stealing and advanced sexual behavior(that is the most concerning). Examples: She lies about anything and everything, it's like breathing to her. She sneaks/steals food, especially sweets, everything has to be locked away or she eats it all in a day. She steals from her sisters and our rooms. We have had to put locks on all the doors. If someone dares to go in her room or take anything of hers it's the end of the world with her anger. Her father received a call when she was in grade 5 from her school letting him know she was showing kids in her class porn sites and discussing graphic sex. Let me add at that time X was under the care of her mother who had no interest in raising a child like her. Basically let her do whatever she wanted when she wanted to keep her quiet so she didn't have to deal with her. X's parents divorced when she was 7; the behaviors have been around since a very young age(way before divorce). Fast forward 2 years after having all electronic devises removed(tablet, laptop, phone) and she was caught "approaching 18+ males in a chat room talking about sex, pretending she was older than 12. Let me add she looks 18, not even close to her real age. She developed early and is a foot taller than the kids in her class. She had only received her tablet back 6 months ago with major parental controls on it. She was using an app called Musicly which seemed to be for kids but has a chat forum on it where she was approaching and befriending the 18+ year old males. We have tried grounding her, taking away privileges(tv, stereo, tablet, friends), rewarding her for good behavior to no avail. She just doesn't care. When we ask her why she does it her answer is always "I don't know". X will promise not to do it again but does with in days or even hours. She has allot of trouble keeping friends. Do any of you have any advice? We will do or try anything to help her(and us). Our house is in constant term oil and stress.
  2. TallRobert13

    TallRobert13 New Member

    Sounds like she could have Oppositional Defiance Disorder or Conduct Disorder. The first step is to get her diagnosed, in my opinion. To do this, pester your health care providers... make a list of her behavioral issues ( major points in chronological order) and be ready to present it to her intake psychiatrist (when you get one). Once you have a diagnosis, you'll be able to get more help...

    Unfortunately a lot of the reading I've done suggests that this is more or less permanent for her... it's a form of sociopathy, so the right/wrong and empathy centers of the brain are different in hers than most... it's basically a "wiring" problem that is not caused by bad parenting or anything other than biological development.

    Going through very similar issues withmy own son, who was just diagnosed with CD on Monday, so I feel for you.

    Again, get the diagnosis asap... if nothing else it starts a paper-trail you may need down the road
  3. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    Hi and Welcome!! You have come to a wonderful place for help and support!! You won't find any judgement here, just parents who have been there and truly understand.

    I do recommend that you take a look at a couple of books. The first one is The Explosive Child by Ross Greene. It truly is amazingly helpful though it may seem counter-intuitive. The second one is What Your Explosive Child is Trying to Tell You by Douglas Riley.

    I suggest you take all electronics away from your daughter for the foreseeable future. If she must use them, she needs an adult sitting right next to her. If it is for fun, she must earn your time. If she doesn't want to earn your time, she doesn't want to be online. I had to do that with my oldest child and it was not fun. I did enforce that ban, even at school. Yes, his teachers hated me with a passion. They couldn't just plug him in and go play on facebook for the entire period the way they did with their other classes. They actually had one student they had to find lessons in books for. All of his teachers were sending the kids to websites to do all of their lessons at the time. He needed to be totally offline because he could get around the school's net nanny with incredible ease - took him less than 30 seconds! So the teachers had to find other things to keep him busy. He pitched incredible fits about it. I didn't really care because I knew he needed it.

    Your daughter is doing something very dangerous online. You need to protect her before she is lured away from your home and grabbed by some creep and forced into slavery somewhere. There is a whole nasty underbelly in this country that is doing this. I live in Oklahoma and for some reason one of the big cities here seems to be a major hub for this. It is truly ugly and they take kids even younger than your daughter. As tall and well developed as your daughter is, she would be someone they would love to get their hands on. She would probably be easy to lure out of the house too. Don't think you are going overboard when you take all electronics away and tell her friends and their parents that she cannot go online for any reason.

    Have any of the doctors suggested bipolar or mood disorder not otherwise specified (not otherwise specified) for her? I ask because of the hypersexual behavior. It can be a symptom of bipolar disorder. Sometimes this is called mood disorder not otherwise specified in kids or if it isn't super clear that it is bipolar but it is clear that it is a problem with her moods. Don't write it off just because she hasn't been really depressed or really happy. Kids can express this differently. Not only do some kids cycle far more rapidly than adults, often several times a day, they also can get stuck in a mixed state where they are both depressed and manic at the same time. It isn't a fun state to deal with.

    I suggest you read The Bipolar Child by Papalous and pay attention to the medication regimen he suggests. If you decide to try her on medications for bipolar, you want to be careful. There is a medication protocol approved by the board of child and adolescent psychiatrists. For some strange reason, many psychiatrists want to not follow it even though it has been proven to be the most effective medication protocol for bipolar patients. The protocol says to start witha mood stabilizer, and sometimes an atypical antipsychotic is added to help stabilize moods. Once moods are stable, if other symptoms persist, very small doses of antidepressants (for depression) or stimulants (for adhd) can be trialed. The reason for waiting and using very small doses of antidepressants and stimulants is that both of these medications can cause mood cycling in patients with bipolar/mood disorder not otherwise specified. They tend to cause mania but that will swing down into depression and then back up into mania etc.... Quite a few other medications do this also. The book I recommended is very helpful in explaining this.

    I strongly recommend you create a Parent Report. It is a report that you write about your daughter. You can follow the link in my signature at the bottom of this post to get to the thread about the Parent Report. Moms who were here before me created the outline. It was one of the most powerful tools that I had when we were getting help for my son. It kept all of the information in one place so that I could give it to a doctor, therapist, teacher or whomever as needed. We didn't duplicate medications because I could say that we already tried that medication with this result back on such and such a date. Having everything at my fingertips gave me confidence and made it harder for any of them to intimidate me also. It really is worth taking several evenings to write the report, and to keep it updated as you work through the problems over the next years.
  4. Tallgirl5

    Tallgirl5 New Member

    We finally got the diagnosis this past April. She does have ODD as well as something called Histrionic Personality Disorder. We finally got to see a child psychiatrist based on our pestering! She was the one that diagnosed/confirmed what X has. It's a relief to know but very hard to know what to do with it. No cure, no medications or magic wand so to speak. We can't trust her at home, we can't let her start babysitting(like her friends are doing) because we don't want the call that she took something from someones house. Just trying to figure out what would work with her.
  5. Tallgirl5

    Tallgirl5 New Member

    Thank you so much for this information. We will look into those books. She was diagnosed with Histrionic Personality Disorder due to her hyper sexual tendencies. They normally don't give that diagnosis to anyone under 18 but she fits the profile perfectly. We had never heard of it until then, but it is X to a tee. She is not allowed to use ANY electronics now without us in the room, even for school work. Her tablet has been taken away for her own safety. It's so hard not being able to trust your own child. She is such a bright, funny beautiful kid. We just have to be very strict with her and nothing seems to work. Everything is lies, high drama(she lives for drama), and stealing.
  6. TallRobert13

    TallRobert13 New Member

    Also remember the three C's of dealing with ODD and the like. You didn't Cause it, you can't Cure it, and you can't Control it. Basically, until she's not your responsibility, damage control is what your life is likely to be about (including the therapy).
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  7. Tallgirl5

    Tallgirl5 New Member

    Thank so much for that! It's very hard not to beat yourself up trying to figure out why.. OUr biggest fear right now because of her hyper sexuality is ending up with a pregnant 12 year old. I know that sounds crazy but it is a REAL fear with her.
  8. TallRobert13

    TallRobert13 New Member

    It doesn't sound crazy to be worried about it because the subject of your worry does have a mental illness.

    Given her history and activities, it's actually a completely sane thing to be considering
  9. LadyWhitthorne

    LadyWhitthorne New Member

    Is it possible to get her on birth control?? 12 is young. But I’ve known girls that young who’ve been given birth control for mood shifts and balancing hormones. It does keep some of the teen hormones in balance. But it could help prevent pregnancy down the road.
  10. BloodiedButUnbowed

    BloodiedButUnbowed Active Member

    Yes, you can request she receive a depo-provera shot from her pediatrician. I would work with her psychiatrist as well as the pediatrician. I recommend you follow through on this. Chances are good if she is not already sexually active, she will be soon.

    For the same reason, I also recommend that your daughter receive an HPV shot to reduce her risk of acquiring cervical cancer later in life.
  11. Tallgirl5

    Tallgirl5 New Member

    We have already discussed this with her pediatrician who is totally on board with this. She has an appointment with her next week for the shot. Our concern was X knowing she was getting birth control would in her mind mean it was OK to have sex(this is how her mind works). Our pediatrician is going to tell her it's just a shot(not that we want to lie to her but feel in this instance it's justified). X has already had the HPV vaccine.
  12. BloodiedButUnbowed

    BloodiedButUnbowed Active Member

    I agree with you totally. Don't tell X it's a BC shot. Just tell her she needs it for school. If she pushes, lie. Sometimes lies are necessary to protect our kids.
  13. Tallgirl5

    Tallgirl5 New Member

    Thanks! Sometimes it's nice to have validation from another parent!! Most of the time it feels like we're in the deep end of the pool with an box of bricks! Just trying to do the best we can to keep her safe.
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  14. Tallgirl5

    Tallgirl5 New Member

    Most kids if they get caught ding something wrong(like approaching 18 year old boys to talk about sex and drugs; stealing, lying) they would be mortified. X has no reaction other then "I don't know". She just doesn't care. We have tried everything to make her stop. We've grounded her, taken things away, made her write lines(yes old school). Nothing works. She'll do the same thing again first chance she gets. She told her counselor she does not like to follow rules or have rules. If we try and talk to her about it she acts indignant, how dare we say we can't trust her! How dare we not believe her when she says something! How do you punish a kid like that so they learn what they are doing isn't acceptable? We have threatened to tell her friends and their parents what she does. That definitely gets a reaction( I'll lock myself in my room and never speak to you again) but we're afraid to follow through because she already has such a hard time keeping friends. She gravitates to the school trouble makers or anyone that can feed her drama appetite.
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  15. Lila256

    Lila256 Member

    It sounds like you are doing everything right in this long, chaotic, frustrating battle. My stepson had exactly the same issues you are dealing with, except his version escalated into violence against others very dramatically in the last year. It is absolutely constant, and the imagery of being in the deep end with a box of bricks is so right on!
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  16. Tallgirl5

    Tallgirl5 New Member

    LOL! Glad you liked it. Just trying to tell it like it is. As frustrating and chaotic as it is we will never give up on her. Just searching for any ideas anyone has tried that work in dealing with it.
  17. JRC

    JRC Active Member


    I'm so sorry that you're going through this. So hard to know how to parent in these circumstances.

    Clearly your doctor and her psychiatrist will guide you on all medications. I just want to issue a warning about giving birth control to someone with a potential mood disorder. It can have deleterious effects. So bring it up to be sure that what she is getting isn't contra indicated.

    Best of luck to you!
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  18. ForeverSpring

    ForeverSpring Well-Known Member

    Was dhe maybe abised on her mothers care by one of her boyfriends pr a neighbor? The overtly sexual behavior in one so young can mean she was sexually abused. She may not even remember in her conscious mind. The mind tends to block this out. But the subconscious remembers.
  19. Tallgirl5

    Tallgirl5 New Member

    That was something looked into early on. No, that was not the case with X. Yes, her behavior would lead professionals to explore that route. It's "textbook" but not what happened in her case.
  20. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    Diagnosing children is really hard. New symptoms can appear out of the blue and change everything, or old symptoms can fade away. I strongly suggest you look for a neuropsychologist and have extensive testing done to rule out anything else. This is a specialist psychologist with intensive training in how the brain function impacts psychology and education. It is often covered by insurance, but if not, it is still a very worthwhile thing to have done. The testing is often 12 hours or more over several days. It can really pinpoint problems and rule out other problems.

    I know that ODD is often diagnosed. I have a problem with it. A good diagnosis gives you an idea of what is wrong and how to treat it. It may not tell you exactly why it is wrong, but it gives you a sort of road map to at least start treatment. ODD gives you a fairly vague description of symptoms that describes almost every difficult child I have ever heard of. It dpesn't give any idea of what is wrong to cause those symptoms, just that the symptoms are happening. There is no roadmap to even start any sort of treatment. I know many of the moms who have been here for a while feel the same. I am not saying it isn't a valid diagnosis, just that it troubles me. It doesn't seem to give any real help. When my oldest was given this diagnosis, it seemed to allow the teachers to just write him off. They would tell me that since he had ODD, it wasn't worth their time to try to help him understand the rules and the reasons for them. It drove me crazy!! Wiz has Aspergers and if he understands the reasons for a rule, he is very likely to follow it to the letter. He just has to understand the logic behind it and see that it is applied to every student, not just to the students the teacher does not like.

    If your instincts say this is the right diagnosis for your daughter, stick with it. Always follow your instincts. You have them for a reason - the survival of the species and the protection of your young. Seriously. I know the times I made the biggest and worst mistakes were the times I ignored my instincts. Don't let ANYONE tell you that you should ignore your instincts. Sure doctors and various experts may have fancy degrees. They are experts after all. But they are experts in subjects, in fields of study. They have spent minutes with your child. You have spent years with her. You know her intimately, you see all of her, not just the public face she shows people. You are an expert too - an expert in your daughter! Don't let some doctor or therapist with a fancy degree bulldoze you into something. Take whatever time you need to think and research and listen to your gut instincts before you agree or disagree. Consider your self Mom Ph.D. if you need to. All those nights spent up with your child, or hours spent worrying about her, they count. They earned that Ph.D.!!

    The reason I suggest the testing is not to disprove the Histrionic personality disorder. It is to see if there is anything else going on that can be identified now. If you can identify things now, it can be easier to treat them.

    You are doing a great job with taking away her tablet and monitoring her when she is using a computer. Does she have a phone? Can it go online? What about a game system? It seems like just when you think you ahve everything covered, they make another gadget that can go online! It really seems like you have a good handle on a lot of things. Make sure you take care of yourself. Support for yourself is crucial. The teen years are HORRENDOUS!!

    I suggest you also read Parenting With Love and Logic and/or Parenting Teens With Love and Logic both by Foster Cline and Jim Fay. I love these books because they do use both love and logic. Some parenting books seem so illogical to me. These books also made sense to my husband, which most parenting books didn't. It was the first book we could use to be on the same page without having to create cheat sheets for him to look at before he told the kids something. You can imagine how well cheat sheets worked out = they were AWFUL!! L&L was incredible!! They have a lot more books and resources available on their website, www.loveandlogic.com . Some of it is for teachers. Our schools here use L&L and have for years. Periodically they bring in some other system that fails in a few months (few last even half a year) and then they bring L&L back until some administrator sees the next bright and shiny new system. The teachers just love L&L because it makes sense. No yelling, no fussing, lost of common sense, and even the kids think it makes sense. How can you beat that?
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