Am I in denial of the severity of my difficult child's problems?

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by SuZir, Sep 25, 2012.

  1. SuZir

    SuZir Well-Known Member

    Well, of course that is not a question you can have an answer to. But it is something I'm thinking right now.

    After just having shaken excess adrenalin out of me because of difficult child getting himself lost, he gave me new adrenalin rush. He was diagnosed with PTSD at summer. He is applying for funding for intensive psychotherapy (which he actually already started, but we hope we get public funding to cover the cost) and he needed psychiatrist's recommendation after going through certain 'evaluation period' for being a good candidate for therapy. Funding is for people, who are currently unable to work or study or are in risk to end up unable to do so due mental health reasons and it is for rehab purpose meaning that it should be likely that therapy would restore ability to work or study or prevent a loss of it. I have been sceptic for difficult child getting the money. What I have researched it seems people successfully applying have been in quite a bad shape. psychiatrist however things difficult child has a chance. difficult child has now done the evaluation period and psychiatrist wrote her recommendations. difficult child showed me the letter and it was a tough read. And that caused me question my view of my son.

    I don't say the letter was wrong, there was some stuff I didn't know (worst being that difficult child has had suicidal ideation quite a lot at certain times of his life and the severity and frequency of his dissociative symptoms), but it does describe my son well. I'm just shocked how serious his situation sounds when it is written down like that. I do know that psychiatrist has played up some aspects of my difficult child's situation, because she wants him to get the funding, but still I have difficulties to see my son anywhere near as disabled than this letter would suggest.

    When I look at him, I see so much strengths, coping ability, high-functioning and resilience I really struggle to see him so troubled as this letter describes him. I'm not saying he doesn't have issues, he certainly does, but being in so bad shape? Just very difficult for me to comprehend. And if he really is that ill, how much can I demand or expect from him? Or others? Is he totally over his head in his life even though he seems to be coping rather well?

    Have you any experience on getting your vision clouded, to one direction or the other, when it comes to your difficult children?
  2. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    It is very hard to read reports. Sometimes they read too bad and sometimes you think, what? Which kid did you look kid is much worse than that? LOL
  3. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    Well... back when we were starting to try to get help, one of the best tdocs we had told us... when dealing with your KID, you need to look at and build on the positives... and when dealing with anybody who has to pay for anything, you need to look at and emphasize the negatives. And we've found that to pretty much be true.

    *I* have had to write those kinds of reports, as a parent, to get tdocs and psychiatrists to notice. I've also had to read them from tdocs and psychiatrists who are on our side... and trying to get stuff funded.

    I've learned to look at it "from both sides now"... but, unlike the song, the positives are "more real" than the negatives.
  4. Calamity Jane

    Calamity Jane Well-Known Member

    That's a great perspective.
  5. DaisyFace

    DaisyFace Love me...Love me not


    Human beings are amazing creatures - we have great abilities to adapt to almost any situation. Unfortunately, because we have this ability to adapt - even the most extreme situations soon become "normal" for us.

    You've probably just gotten used to whatever is the "norm" for your family and stopped recognizing a lot of little things in your child as being "different", "unusual", or even "extreme".

    I think it happens to all of us....
  6. Signorina

    Signorina Guest

    forgive me for speaking out of term - but someone (on the tip of my tongue-can't remember who it is and this may not be the exact phrase) has "I don't care what label you put on my child, so long as it gets him the help he needs" as part of their signature.

    Wise words. Kinda the same thing here.

    When my car makes a funny noise, I am known to turn up the radio. But -- I tell the mechanic - "HEY, the car is making a noise and it needs to be fixed." I don't tell him that I have a great radio that can disguise it or that I enjoy my car so much that I don't care about the mechanical issues (which is true sometimes) or that the noise only happens 90% of the time. In fact, I may even describe it more loudly or more emphatically because I want him to take me seriously that this noise is a problem that must be dealt with. Know what I mean??
  7. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    I have no idea if you are underestimating your son's problems. Probably depends on how badly they affect his life. But I do know one thing. It's VERY hard to judge "normal" with your first child. I mean, we have has no other experience raising a child....

    Good luck :)
  8. SuZir

    SuZir Well-Known Member

    Yes, it is easy to adapt to very untypical circumstances and them becoming 'the normal.' But I also do have a easy child child, who, compared to most of his peers, can be considered super-easy child, so that does balance some out. And this report is certainly meant to help difficult child get that funding. Almost only positives/strengths mentioned are that he is motivated to therapy, he is able to commit to it and he doesn't have severe enough symptoms to conflict with successfulness of this kind of therapy.

    It's just that when I read that report, if I didn't know my son, I would have assumed it describes a person who is almost unable to function in any 'normal' way. As I said, it does describe my son's troubles well, but after reading that report it is very difficult to imagine we are talking about a person, who is gainfully employed and in the high pressure and in some ways very demanding job nevertheless. Who is able to live in age appropriate romantic relationship. Is able to live independently and take care of his daily tasks in age appropriate manner. And if he really is that disabled, are we simply demanding too much from him?

    But maybe this is about the same phenomenon that made him undiagnosable as a child. He certainly had problems and very weak areas, but he did compensate so well with his strengths that his over all functioning was always considered too high to give him a diagnosis. Maybe this report is, what he is like, when you take that compensating out of the picture. I don't know.
  9. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    SuZir I can completely understand what you are saying. My difficult child#1 for eighteen years was an achiever with awesome potential..until he began drinking/pot etc. At eighteen he had a God awful fall, brain surgery and rehab. (by the way, the CD family was a HUGE help for me during my out of town stay when we didn't know if he'd survive and/or how he would be able to function!) It has been seven years. We applied for disability. We reapplied for disability. He was turned down and deep in my heart I thought "he really can get along if he just accepts that he no longer is who he used to be and adapts to a minimal job etc".

    He was just approved on the final appeal. When the attorneys sent copies of their written presentation I cried. Each physicians report was documented and seven evaluated him...some I didn't even know about. The young man they evaluated is a disabled adult. I'm getting teary eyed just typing this...and I'm not the cry baby type, lol. MY kid is funny, loving, bright and impulsive. on the other hand they document he is impulsive, can't sustain thoughts/actions adequately and has severe short term memory problems.

    Yes...I understand. Yes, it is difficult. I'm still a work in progress. What I hope is that the disability doesn't end up defining the person. The parts you love will not disappear. Hugs DDD
  10. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    Consider WHY the report is being written... because I suspect they know it has to do with "funding". In which case, yes, they WILL ignore the coping mechanisms and accommodations and interventions and describe the PROBLEM. in real life, the coping mechanisms and accommodations and interventions do make a difference, but not "enough"... so he needs to get "more" help... which you agree is necessary.

    It just doesn't look "right" on paper.
  11. SuZir

    SuZir Well-Known Member

    I wanted to bring up this old thread, because something I find kind of amusing.

    This was about the letter difficult child's psychiatrist wrote for him to apply funding for therapy. Now she had written him another letter for different purpose and difference are rather striking. She really seems to know how to write for occasion. This second letter is to give brief description of difficult child's mental health situation, services he needs and his ability to work. difficult child is in process of transferring teams and one interested team had asked if he would be interested to give their medical staff some medical info to evaluate and give a recommendation if he would be fit enough for them to continue pursuing (in other words, they don't want to make a deal, have to publish it and then maybe nix it after physicals.) difficult child and his agent decided it is in his interest to give reports asked, even if it of course only depends of that team's doctor's moral if the reports stay confidential as promised. So they gave some x-rays and MRIs this team asked and this psychiatrist assessment also asked (small world and very effective rumour mill make sure very little stays secret, the least something so juicy as my son's troubles.) So certainly written for very different use than that earlier letter and you wouldn't know they talk about the same guy. Though again facts and diagnosis stay same, so do treatment need assessment. This one is also much less descriptive on the actual problems difficult child has. Just listing of him having PTSD due bullying and other related trauma, having dissociative symptoms caused by that and anxiety needing treatment, need for this specific type of therapy and currently needing medication he is having. Needing help with social skills and having some mild executive functioning issues, that are well accommodated currently. Mentioning the past addiction issues and going through and graduating treatment for that and that issue being currently well under control. Other than that it is mostly about progress difficult child is making, his ability to compensate and strengths he does have. Her assessment is basically that in current situation difficult child's ability to work is not compromised as long as he gets services he needs.

    I have to say that I have much easier time seeing the boy described in this second letter in my son.
  12. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

  13. Dixies_fire

    Dixies_fire Member

    I agree with Midwest about the evaluating your first child. Because they set the standard of "normal" for us.

    I also think her letter may have been ""closed mouth don't get fed" or "doors that don't squeak don't get oil"

    I think many people have suicidal ideation and t docs seemed to be the only people who consistently tell us it's not normal to consider it. I think it's more along the lines of does he have a plan? Is it something he really thinks he might do one day

    I won't say I have so much thoughts of suicide anymore but occasionally have had death seems like a very peaceful place compared to this koi.

    My mom got put in the psychiatric hospital because she had a dream she committed suicide and dreamt of her funeral and it showed her how loved she is and who needed her. She told her doctor and was committed for 3 days. And mom was stinking mad about it because she Was Not suicidal.

    Normal is relative.
  14. scent of cedar

    scent of cedar New Member

    As I come to understand the depths of my daughter's problems, SuZir, I realize the raw courage it must have taken for her to function. Perhaps this is your son's truth, as well? An almost unbelievably strong, centered spirit, coping with challenges we cannot even imagine. The question then becomes how to strengthen them for the journeys of their lives, right?

  15. SuZir

    SuZir Well-Known Member

    Dixie: With my difficult child suicidal ideation went little farther away then just thinking about it time to time (And I agree that is common. At least I don't consider myself even a bit suicidal and I have a plan how I would commit suicide if need would arise. For me the point I would start to seriously consider would be something like certain mortal, painful, impossible to treat to guarantee a good death type of illnesses.) difficult child was more like hanging near railroads and thinking if he would walk in front of next train or sitting in high places and thinking jumping. difficult child being an immature teen boy with impulse control issues that kind of scares stuffings out of me. Especially when suicide mortality among gambling addicts really is very high. At this point however I'm not too worried. difficult child seems to have his eyes firmly on the future and I don't think he has had much of suicidal ideation lately. But it scares me to think how close it may have been in the past.

    SoC: You are right. I do admire how much courage and determination difficult child shows while soldiering on with all his issues. He is a very brave boy.