7 year old has MAJOR anger issues and acts out. Can medicine help??

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by choose adoption, Oct 6, 2010.

  1. Hello moms! I have a 7 year old daughter that can not control her anger. If you upset her in anyway she will go ballistic. She yells, kicks, screams to the point where I am scared that she is going to hurt herself. She turns into a different person (doctor ruled out being bi-polar). When she isn't upset, she is the best behaved, sweetest little girl that I have ever known. She is also very intellegent, already at a 4th grade school level. It breaks my heart to see her when she is upset. She says that she can't control her anger and that makes her sad.

    I took her to the doctor and they put her on Ambilify which hasn't helped at all. I was wonder if Prozac would be safe and if that would help. Anyone have any thoughts? Something has to be done.

    Thank you for any advise!
  2. TeDo

    TeDo Guest

    Sorry you and your daughter are having such a tought time. Some medications take a while to work. How long has she been on the Abilify? It could be that she's not at the optimal dose. There are many other medications out there. Research them and look for anything they say about the cautions or comments about giving some of them to children, especially small children. Don't give up and keep on the doctor until they find something that works. You can also ask the doctor about any and all medications. They are usually more up to date with new studies and information about the effects of some medications on children. Things are always changing. It might be that an antidepressant isn't even the right kind of medication for her. Keep the lines of communication open with the doctor and voice your concerns frequently. That is what they are paid for. Good luck.
  3. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Hi and welcome to our board. I have a few questions that can greatly help us help you. We just don't have much information. Is your child adopted? (Four of mine are). If so, was this child ever exposed to substances in utero and do you know anything about the birthparents? I just asked because you have "Choose Adoption" ;) as your name, and that really alters the advice you would get.

    1/Who diagnosed her? Has she EVER had a 6-10 hour evaluation by a private neuropsychologist? If not, they rock and tend to diagnose in my opinion better than almost all other professionals.

    2/ Are there any psychiatric disorders OR substance abuse on either side of her genetic family tree?

    3/You say she is very bright. How is her ability to relate to her same age peers. Can she hold a give-and-take conversation well? Is her eye contact good with strangers? Any quirks or obsessive interests? Does she speak with big words, a bit like a Little Professor? Can she transition well from one activity to another?

    I am a bit uncomfortable just trying medications with no thorough evaluation/testing. If you are only seeing a pediatrician, I strongly advise you to move on. That just isn't their field. If the child is adopted, in my opinion it is more important than ever to have a neuropsychologist workup since you don't really know all of the history.

    Others will come along with their .02
    Last edited: Oct 6, 2010
  4. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    medications rarely fix it, but in a lot of cases if the medication choice is right, they can make it easier for the child to learn self-control.

    If part of her problem is anxiety then antidepressants can help. Getting her thoroughly evaluated should give you much-needed information. She sounds like she is motivated to understand herself, and to improve. That is most important.

    A book that helps a lot of us is "The Explosive Child" by Ross Greene. If you have a bright child, they actually can learn faster, especially if you are using a method that makes it easier for them to comply. Often they rage because they are being asked to do something that is difficult for them (sometimes downright impossible) or in some other way, feels wrong. I have found that often, very bright kids are also equipped with a keen sense of injustice and will be very reactive if they feel the decision being made on their behalf is unfair or unjust. Also, they need some ownership of choices being made for them; not having control is known to be a major stress factor for all people. Experiments on rats being given electric shocks (experiments by Skinner, a noted behaviourist) showed that rats who could actually do something (such as pressing a lever), even if it wasn't actually reducing their shocks, suffered fewer stress-related health problems. If the rat pressing the lever reduced the shocks for both itself and the rat without the lever to press, it was the rat which had the lever that was healthier. We learned a great deal about stress and control, from those experiments.

  5. timer lady

    timer lady Queen of Hearts

    For my difficult child wm, it was a combination of medication & cognitive therapy. By the time we found the right medications for his diagnosis's we found that wm was stuck into these reactions. He had to learn different, less damaging ways to express his anger.

    All of your little wonders are different ~ they all react to medications individually. The right therapist can help with the cognitive stuff. We didn't take on the emotional stuff until the tweedles hit a more mature age.
  6. ShanDiann

    ShanDiann Guest

    Wow your 7 year old and mine could be twins. I know exactly what you mean. With difficult child it's things that don't go as planned that tend to set him off. He currently has a diagnosis of ADHD and is on Focalin it helps a little. He still has times where he rages. it seems to be worse when he is having a growth spurt. It also happens more at school when he is feeling frustration. We finally have an appointment at the Psychiatric clinic. Waiting on that. I just downloaded a copy of The Explosive Child and am hoping that will offer some strategies. Welcome and hugs.