Am I finally headed toward medications? (long 1st post )

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by sweetiegirlz, Oct 1, 2007.

  1. sweetiegirlz

    sweetiegirlz New Member

    I have an 11 year old daughter who has been diagnosed with ADHD/ODD at age 7. This daughter is the third of 4 children, although the two oldest were out of the house by the time she was 6 years old.
    The symptoms of this daughter started very young at 3 years old with some symptoms obviously surpassing normal tantrum behavior. Can't sit still. Bored easy, This included not eating/satisfied with meals until I made 3 different breakfasts for example and then not eating ANY of it , just to spite. urinating on the top of table and couch on purpose. excessive crying and yelling. (When she was an infant of only 6 months old, she began to cry at bedtimes a LOT. Nothing would soothe her. and this is very much what she is like today) When she was a 5 or 6 year old, she once rammed a shopping cart into the back of my heels on purpose because i would not get her a toy.
    Now that she is 11 years old this child has very volatile rages that consist of yelling and screaming, antagonizing the family members, and calling names. She has come into her menses for 5 months now and the result is that her bad behaviors have multiplied x10 around the time of her period. She has a normal diet, actually a very good diet for a tweenager, and gets really regular sleep. She goes to sleep on her own around 9 to 10 pm and gets up by 6 am. She is very independent and gets ready for school by herself. the only thing lacking is her shower times, that she will sometimes skip and sometimes she will pull dirty clothes out of the laundry and wear them dirty because she likes them so much. Her only medical things wrong are childhood asthma, and dishydrotic exczema. She rarely gets sick but When she does get sick it is precarious, as she will turn a bad corner fast if she has N/V she needs IV fast.
    When she is calm, she will talk but will rarely make eye contact with me. Every word is punctuated with a whine or a smart remark, or an insult. She knows no calm tone of voice unless she wants something from me such as magazine, gift, or such.
    I can no longer get her to do anything for me. Every rule I make, she breaks. Every consequence I give, (extra chores, grounding, no computer) she ignores.
    I give up. Taking care of this daughter has taken every ounce of strength from me.
    She has on occasion hit me (lightly) called me stupid, ugly and I hate you (sometimes in public)as well as written it down on paper. None of these things have been said to her as a child from me so I am perplexed. Within the past year, I took both girls with me while I was having my hair cut. Once she saw that I was occupied with an apron around my neck she proceeded to humiliate me in public by antagonizing and fighting with her sister, back talking me in front of the other adults, and then, she took a business card from the salon and came and tried to shove it in my mouth, because she knew I couldn't just jump up from a haircut. This behavior netted her "room time" and not going out with me in public for awhile.
    She has also scratched her wrist with a stick with no explanation of why, and cut small pieces of her hair every now and then, even though she's been asked not to. She has verbalized within the past year that she wants to die, she wants to kill herself, When confronted by me verbally about does she actually want to DIE, and no longer live another minute on this planet, she says, "no". Then I have told her, "Please do not say that then."
    She loves conflict and will instigate the slightest conflict from her sister, to provoke war. Her younger sister is normally happy most of the time, is now fighting back and calling names when she hadn't before.
    This 11 year old child will behave perfectly for every authority figure except me. She gets very HIGH grades and is extremely smart. She will do anything for any other adult except me, including teachers, her father, her immediate family etc.
    I give this child her basic needs plus occasional treats. I praise her when she does eventually do what I ask or something without me asking. She has a regular school routine, and has a few friends. She has almost no chores except to clean her room and occasionally her hamsters cage. But she will tell me occasionally that she hates her life.
    We recently separated from my husband in 2006 and we moved in July to our present location which is much much better than the apartment we came from. When we were there she said she hated it, now that we're here she hates this too. Although she loves hanging outside with her friends and she loves school, she seems that she will say this whenever she is not getting her way, or told to do chores, etc.
    It seems that her favorite word is hate. She occasionally verbally claims that I hate her.
    We're in direct communication with her father 3 or more times a week. Her father has told her to be good for her mother. Has expressed disapointment when she is acting badly, and love towards her. She gloats and smirks after conversations like these, saying that "I'm going to live with my daddy" "daddy doesn't care what you say" as well as telling her dad that I am "cussing" at her, because she thinks it will make him upset. I have explained to him that once she has pushed all my buttons 3 or 4 times I will curse like, "Damn it Alyssa, why don't you do what I tell you?" type thing. I often feel chest pain associated with these incidents where I feel powerless with Alyssa. I feel stress from yelling. Sometimes i feel pain in my arms and neck.
    Overall, this 11 year old 's moods include acting: hateful, spiteful, screaming, yelling , insulting us, degrading us(she's called her sister "fat ugly hog" "stupid" "I hate her" "I wish she was never born" "Why did you have to have her?")but then in calm days will play with her and even comes to her defense if she gets hurt or someone is messing with her!,
    She definitely see saws between moods or has a roller coaster mood. Her dad also has this character and it was one of the reasons why I did leave him, he was unpredictable. I haven't thought a child could be bi-polar so I haven't kept track of her moods, but there is a definite "swing" where sometimes 'life's so great' and other times she will raise bloody hell with her sister and I just to see conflict.
    When she is punished, for example sent to her room, she will often try to cut the punishment short by coming out of her room and acting as if nothing ever went wrong (like passive agressive) I will sometimes literally tell her to do something 20 times. Pick up your bowl from your cereal x20. What am I to do? shove her face in it? get violent?
    Many times I shy away from punishments because my own childhood with my mother was of nightmare quality, being raised by a mommie dearest type who gave extremely bizarre punishments to me. (I could write a book) I have raised 2 grown adults ages 23 and 19 and they are fine upstanding citizens and they respected me even though i was a single parent, they obeyed. My 9 year old girl is also respectful even if she is kind of dramatic, and copies her sister's ways such as tantrums etc. At least she does do what I say and respond to correction.
    I need help now. She has had counseling in the past, without much luck, chore charts (big joke), rewards system, and consequences. I have done everything except medication and not sure if I can get her to swallow a pill and IF she did, most of the adult anti depressants are not made for kids. I have tried putting her in her room, having the local sherriff come out and speak to her about juvenile hall, placing her on a chair on my balcony to cool off. Writing sentences.."I will not...." and writing essays and apologies, extra chores, etc...
    She is happiest it seems when she is doing as she pleases. She often gets REALLY angry when anyone touches her belongings, but doesn't think twice about wearing her sister's clothes, my mascara, using my camera (when I explained how precious my camera is to me and it would hurt me if it got broke). The other thing she does is not have any such thing as consideration. She will wake us up in the morning by coming in the bedroom BELLOWING loudly about something she cannot find. She will start loud arguments with her sister when I am on the telephone. All attempts to correct her are met with the "What? me? look"
    this child will also scream LOUDLY if I even advance towards her as if I am to spank her. Any neighbor listening would think I am beating my child to death when I haven't even Touched her!
    In general, my child is making her family miserable and seemingly does not even care.

  2. Wiped Out

    Wiped Out Well-Known Member Staff Member


    Welcome. I'm so glad you found us. Much of what you have described could be written about my 10 year old boy. You are not alone. Has she ever had an evaluation by a nuero-psychologist? or seen a child psychiatrist? If not it would be a good idea to have some evaluations done.

    It isn't that uncommon for a child to be diagnosed with bipolar. Many of us here have children with bipolar. I'm not saying she is just want you to be aware it isn't only diagnosed in adulthood.

    Are you able to find any time for yourself? It is so important to be taking good care of you!

    Again, I'm glad you found us. You will find much support here! Hugs.
  3. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Welcome to the board.
    Before I'd even worry about medications, I'd want her re-evaluated. My suggestion is to have her see a neuropsychologist AND a Child Psychiatrist (the guy who has an MD). If not both (which is what WE did because it's so hard to pick out the various childhood disorders), then I'd go with one or the other. Off the top of my head, as a layperson, she has symptoms of both a serious mood disorder and possibly high functioning autism/Aspergers. I have a few questions.
    1/ Who diagnosed her?
    2/ Any psychiatric or neurological problems on the family tree? Substance abuse?
    3/ Any speech delays, motor delays, lack of eye contact, unwillingness to cuddle (stiff as a board when held).
    4/ How does she do with her peers?

    It is best, in my opinion, to medicate only after you are pretty sure what the problem is because ADHD medications can make other disorders worse. So if she is given stimulants and it turns out she doesn't have ADHD, she could get worse instead of better. I learned the hard way with my son who was repeatedly misdiagnosed. It is tricky to get a true diagnosis. for children, which is why I recommend seeing both a neuropsychologist (I feel they are the best because they do actual tests) or a Psychiatrist (the guy with the extra training that goes beyond just therapy).
    Others will come along with their words of wisdom.
  4. meowbunny

    meowbunny New Member

    Welcome to the board. You'll find a great wealth of advice, information, and comfort here. I agree that the first thing you need to do is get an accurate neuropsychologist evaluation.

    It's funny how we all see what we know in the descriptions of a child's behavior. My first thoughts as I read what your daughter was doing was bipolar, foetal alcohol effect and/or reactive attachment disorder. (While this is mostly a disorder for adopted children, it is possible to have a child have it with biological parents. It doesn't mean bad parenting, it means your child could not attach.) As I said, we all bring our baggage to the scene.

    One thing certain is that kids like yours need different parenting from others. One book that is highly recommended is The Explosive Child by Greene. It does give great insight into the workings of the mind of a "tempermental" child.

    I imagine your daughter takes all of her anger and frustration out on you because you are safe. No matter what she does or says, she knows you will love her, or at least hopes you will (there may be some doubt with the divorce from her father).

    I hope you get some answers and some help. If it requires medication, think of it as though your child had diabetes. You wouldn't hesitate to give your child insulin. Medications for extreme behavior issues, chemical imbalances and the like are much the same thing. They don't cure, but they do help.
  5. flutterbee

    flutterbee Guest

    Well, you certainly have your hands full.

    I agree with Sharon and MWM that she needs to be reevaluated. Members of this board have had luck with neuropsychologists, as well as multi-disciplinary evaluations which are generally done at a Children's or University hospital. There is more info on the MDE's on the FAQ board.

    It's important to remember that these illnesses/disorders look different in children than they do in adults. In addition, a lot of these illnesses/disorders have overlapping symptoms or mimic another and determining one from another takes time and the right professionals.

    Now, as far as your health. Get to the doctor. Now. Your symptoms of chest pain and pain in your arms and neck caught my attention. You need to have your heart checked. It may very well be nothing more than anxiety, but this isn't something that should be ignored. I'm not trying to scare you, but any good doctor would tell you to do the same thing. It is sooo much better to be safe than sorry. It is the practice to rule out the most dangerous thing first. If your doctor doesn't listen or brushes you off, find another. I cannot stress this enough. If it is anxiety, that is treatable, too, either with medications and/or therapy. You know the airline oxygen mask analogy? We have to take care of ourselves so that we can take care of our children.

    It's very important to take time for yourself. To recharge your battery, so to speak. This journey is a marathon.

    Welcome to our little corner of the world. The people on this board are wonderful and there is a lot of knowledge here.
  6. Stella Johnson

    Stella Johnson Active Member

    The others gave some great advice. I just wanted to add my welcome :coffee:

  7. busywend

    busywend Well-Known Member

    Welcome! Your difficult child sounds a lot like mine except mine did horribly in school. Mine has ADD. And the stimulants help her to focus. It does nothing for the attitude or the anger.

    It does sound as if your difficult child may need a mood stabilizer. But, I agree you need another evaluation - a neuropsychologist is the place I felt like I finally got the right diagnosis.

    You said she has good grades - does she act up at all there?

    What about moving her to dad's? Is that possible? I did it. For one year. It was amazing to see the improvement in her behavior as I was able to get myself back and she was to mature a bit in that year. I think she appreciates me a bit more since that year.
  8. sweetiegirlz

    sweetiegirlz New Member

    Dear forum,

    Thankyou thankyou, a million times over for all your great advice. It certainly helps to know I am not alone. I will start at the top today and work down. I realize by reading all your replies that there's much to be done that I haven't already. Thank you for putting up with the LOooooong post. lol. I needed
    to get it all out.

    a couple things~~

    I am myself on anti-anxiety medications for 5 years now. I had big anxiety attacks that sent me to the ER. Had a big work up then.
    No heart troubles.

    I manage to have a reprieve when they go to school, and sometimes once a month I date someone just to get out of the house.

    She can stay with her daddy but I am leaning away from that just because he has his own "issues" (they are so alike, I wouldn't rule out genetics)

    My own mother is an adult survivor of an alcoholic and as abusive herself as they come....a dry drunk.

    Again thankyou X one million!!!!
  9. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    Welcome sweetiegirlz, so glad you found us. And so sorry you need us. But you will get great help and support here. And we don't judge. With all of us, we give advice and you can take what helps and leave the rest with no insult. It is why we are so WONDERFUL!

    As far as you: your work up was a while ago. Get another one. Undiagnosed heart problems are a leading cause of death in women. What happens to your girlz if you aren't there? (NOT trying to scare you, just telling you what my docs tell me).

    Your daughter (difficult child or Gift from God, the child who brings you here) certainly seems to be a major challenge. I strongly recommend seeking out the docs mentioned above and possibly a pediatric endocrinologist if things are that bad around her cycle. Pediatric endocrinologists test all sorts of blood and body chemistry. If something is out of whack there it can cause real problems. I am speaking as one who turned into Medusa around her period starting at age 17. Sudden, I couldn't control it, very strange. GYN sent me to pediatrician endocrin. I had several medication problems, and we found out quite quickly that certain body chemicals were not being produced or processed properly (do I need another P work ther? LOL). This most likely is NOT all of your problem, but at some point it may be worthwhile to get an evaluation.

    In the meantime, get a copy of The Explosive Child and read it. Also go to and read some of the things on the site. Listen to some of the downloads.

    You need to start approaching her and parenting her in different ways.YOU HAVE NOT DONE ANYTHING WRONG. YOU ARE NOT A BAD PARENT!!!!!!! I cannot stress this enough.

    You just need some new tools in your toolbox to help"fix" this. These sites will not try to diagnoes your child. They will give you some different ways to look at parenting.

    I am so sorry you are having such a hard time.


  10. sweetiegirlz

    sweetiegirlz New Member

    Thankyou to everyone, I'm getting that book and making appointments TODAY. I will keep you posted. Have a peaceful day~~ as I am thinking of you- and -your loved ones today also!
  11. flutterbee

    flutterbee Guest


    I sent you a PM. To access it, click on the flashing envelope above "My Stuff" at the top of the page.

    One more thing, it helps us to keep everyone's info straight (and keeps us from asking the same questions over and over) if you fill out a profile similar to what I have at the bottom of my post. To do this, go to "My Stuff" at the top of the page, then select "My Profile".
  12. SearchingForRainbows

    SearchingForRainbows Active Member

    The others have already given you excellent advice. I really can't think of anything to add. I just want you to know that I think I understand what you're going through too.

    difficult child 1 was similar in many ways to your difficult child when he was her age. I truly understand how difficult life can be when raising difficult children!!! difficult child 1 wasn't officially diagnosed as being bipolar until he was 14. Once he was medicated, it made a big difference in our lives.

    I'm glad you're making appointments for your difficult child to be evaluated. I think in some ways, it is the hardest before you have a diagnosis. Once you have a diagnosis, you'll be able to determine the best course of treatment.

    Sending lots of cyber hugs!!! WFEN
  13. Jules71

    Jules71 Warrior Mom since 2007

    I am so sorry for what you are going through. This pretty much sums up my 5 yr. old son as well. I just wanted to welcome you and let you know you are not alone. Hang in there!