another WWYD question

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by wintak, Jun 27, 2011.

  1. wintak

    wintak New Member

    Hi all...I've also got a call into his therapist, but just wondering WWYD or rather, what should I have done?

    difficult child is no longer in his "happy place" (crud) and got mad at me on Sat night because I was being mean (as usual) and wouldn't let him put his swimming trunks on and go swimming at 7:30pm. He's throwing all the usual comments at me, I'm not responding so then he throws out "I'm going to kill myself"

    I was inside, he was outside and his little sister heard this. If he was trying to get a reaction out of me, he did. I gently guided him to the car as he was SCREAMING his head off. I'm telling him we need to get him some help and now he's out of his mind. Unfortunately, I am alone with 3 kids so I need to either bring the other 2 to the hospital or call my mom.

    After a few phone calls to various people I elected to NOT take him in. I don't know that he was serious, although now he knows how to get a reaction if I'm not reacting to any of his other threats.

    We talked about what that means and he waffled on if he truly understood what it meant. I think he does. I asked his 5 y.o sister if she knew and she could tell me.

    Should I have brought him in even if A) I don't think he was serious or B) I don't think he would know how or C) he may or may not even understand what that means?
  2. DaisyFace

    DaisyFace Love me...Love me not


    I understand the hassle of loading up the kids and "taking the show on the road"...

    But unfortunately, I think you are going to have to call his bluff on this one before it escalates. He needs to learn 'suicide threat=a trip to the ER'. And the emergency room means a long wait in a waiting room...being poked and prodded.....having to talk to the docs and nurses....IOW - no fun!

    If he's serious...he will get the help he needs.

    If he's not serious? He will get the message that it is NOT OK to threaten suicide when he does not get his way.
  3. Marcie Mac

    Marcie Mac Just Plain Ole Tired

    You don't say on your sig what his diagnosis is, but to be on the safe side I would have taken him in - if nothing but for a record. Would bet at 8 he may know exactly what he meant, and you don't want to test a theory that he doesn't - especially if he has any impulse control problems.

    I would also choose words very carefully when you talk to him - saying ok we are getting help because you are "out of your mind" may not be the ones to choose with an 8 year old. And I definately would not be getting his younger sister involved in any discussions other than to tell her older bro has problems and you are trying to get him help and leave it at that. At 5 years old, and a easy child, you may be putting fears about what her bro would do and start a lot of anxiety.

  4. JJJ

    JJJ Active Member

    I'm torn on this. Kanga had about 8 trips to ER with 4 resulting in psychiatric hospital stays and 4 deflections home. Eeyore had one ER trip about 9 years ago which SHOULD have resulted in a psychiatric hospital stay but didn't because by the time they got to us it was 2am and he was out cold.

    ER trips are a pain in the butt. But they do create that almighty paper trail and if the screening shows that he is a danger to himself, they will admit.

    I would create a plan now so that they next time he says it you are ready. Do you have a neighbor that could take you younger two until your mom got there to pick them up? I would not take them to the hospital with you. Does your insurance cover the ambulance ride? If so, talk to your local police. They can tell you how to get a notation in your 911 file that states that your 8 year old has diagnosed mental health issues with suicidal ideation and that if you call for a psychiatric transport to ER that it should be done even if the emt's see an apparently calm child. Own town responded to psychiatric ER 911 calls with an ambulance, 2 cop cars and a fire engine. (Never did get why the fire engine always showed up - lol).

    I would send Kanga in the ambulance and then take the time to calm the other kids (cause she usually had them terrified) and get my mom or sister to come watch them. Then I'd get myself ready, grab a bite to eat, and then meander over to the psychiatric hospital. The ER staff would have been told by the EMTs that I had to get a sitter for the others but that I would be there as soon as I could. Only once were they annoyed that I was 60-90 minutes later than her and that was because (due to a shift change) the message that I was on my way didn't get to the right nurse.
  5. wintak

    wintak New Member

    diagnosis is Mood disorder (not otherwise specified), possible tic disorder and severe ADHD. I'm not totally convinced on the ADHD. The only reason I asked easy child if she knew what that meant is because she heard him say it so I was curious if A) she knew what that meant and B) if she knew, then most likely HE should know.

    I didn't tell HIM he was out of his mind, I told him very calmly that we most likely needed to get some help for him and these were serious words that people take very seriously etc. I do not swear, or get physical with him or say mean things to him, although today I did tell him he was mean for encouraging his little brother to eat bathwater colors.
  6. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    My friend has a nine year old who routinely breaks sharp objects, throws fits and threatens to kill himself. The police are there a lot. They are the ones who take him to the hospital, not an ambulance and she doesn't have to take her other two children with her. In fact, he just got out of the hospital two days ago. Sadly, I think his siblings are immune to hearing him say "I'm going to kill myself!" although he sounds like he means it. LIfe goes on while he rages until the police, who know them well, arrive.
  7. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    I didn't always take Wiz. Mostly because our ER is awful for kids - they truly have no idea or interest in caring for them. The times I did take him they gave him their standard treatment for children. A benadryl. Yup. One benadryl was supposed to fix his suicidal ideations. Given that he was diagnosis'd with unipolar depression and made two SERIOUS attempts at suicide at age 7, I was pretty furious with them. THe nearest psychiatric place for kids is 80 min on a good day and he likes car rides so by the time we hit the city limits he was calm.

    But I did always call hte psychiatrist. He hated that. Didn't want the doctor to know because the doctor would talk to him about responsiblity and good choices. Even more effective was telling his sp ed teacher that he said it the night or day before. He didn't wnat the ones he liked to know.

    I would take him. Send him by ambulance at least a few times if insurance will cover it. Or else get someone to help with the kids, or even take them in if you must. because that is better than having the difficult child actually try it. You don't want that.
  8. keepongoing

    keepongoing Guest

    I worked at a crisis line and this is what we were trained to do (thought these were adults): Ask if he has a plan and what it is. If there is no real plan, risk is low. If there is a plan that is a bit vague like jump out of a window we'd give more weight to it. If there is a plan like access to a gun or medications stached away it is serious.
    You know your kid way better than I : Is this said on an impulse or as manipulation or could he maybe really have a plan. If you are not sure, ask him! Would he be capable of hurting himself on impulse? What is his pay-off from rage? Does he like the attention and drama?-If so I would not bring him to the hospital unless it was a desperate emergency. Generally the bad news about psychiatric units is that you get attention for drama. Can be toxic.
  9. wintak

    wintak New Member

    OH, SO LOVES attention. And is always wanting to be "sick" or "hurt". Wants braces for his teeth NOW (he hasn't even lost enough baby teeth yet), wants braces for his legs (there's 'nothing wrong with them), a cast for his leg or his arm (he doesn't care), wants glasses for his eyes (no, he doesn't have a vision problem) so yeah, getting tons of attention at the hospital would have been good. On the other hand....

    His manipulation cannot be tolerated. Throwing out things like this to see if he gets a reaction (which he did) is what he does. I'm learning to NOT react, but that is the first time he threatened hurts the all powerful "self". I had always said he'd NEVER hurt himself, he loves himself too much.

    I talk to him about things and he lies so much and manipulates so much that I have NO Idea if he truly had a plan or not. I know when he told me he was going to kill me with a knife at age 5, he had a plan.

    His pay off for the rampage is he got to see his mother calmly put him in the car and then make some phone calls. I didn't feed into it. Yeah for me.

    Hopefully won't have to cross this bridge again...but I know I've got to be prepared. I AM prepared to bring him in if he causes harm to someone or something else. I'm ready to cross that bridge.
  10. hamlet

    hamlet New Member

    Wintak, I don't have any fantastic suggestions, just a lot of sympathy for what you are going through. My own difficult child, age 10, uses the dreaded phrases all of the time when he's angry;

    I want to kill myself!

    I hate this life!

    Kill me, please!

    Nobody CAAAAAAaaaaaaaaaares!

    I have always wanted to record him in one of these sessions as I feel that no one really believes me when I describe it. difficult child does not have a plan, nor he have any intention of following through. He's saying these things... to say them? Because he truly thinks that not getting a pop tart when he wants it is worthy of a suicide threat?

    He pulled a knife on me once and threatened to kill me. I was scared, but I did not take him to the ER.

    Last night he told me that he couldn't fall asleep because he was worried that I'd taken him seriously when he said he wanted me to kill him. Maybe I would sneak in at night and do just that bcs I really thought he meant it.

  11. trouble

    trouble New Member

    The irony is that some of the kids at highest risk for a suicide attempt, don't behave this way at all. They withdraw into themselves, feeding on their own negativity until they feel their whole world is collapsing around them and there is no way out... there are subtle signs, but its really tricky.

    There's no easy way to separate the serious cases, from the "drama" cases... at least, not by rules and signs and symptoms.

    Wish I knew a LOT more - we've been too close to the edge.