Any Other difficult children Ever Say This?

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by Bunny, Nov 18, 2010.

  1. Bunny

    Bunny Guest

    So, last night difficult child was sitting on his bed. He had no priviledges after his behavior on Tuesday afternoon/night and he had not earned anything back yet. He said that he wanted to talk to me about what happened and he said that he was really sorry for the things that he said to me and he thanked me for trying to calm him down towards the end of the tantrum, even though he "had been really mean" to me.

    I asked him about the tantrum itself and he said to me that while he was in the middle of the tantrum he "did not feel like himself." He said that he felt good in the morning, while he was in school, and even when he first came home from school. He just felt that way while he was raging. Is this from the medication? He's never said this to me before and because of that he seems to think that's the cause. I told him that I really did not know as I am not an expert on medications. I cook and cross stitch, I'm not a doctor. When I call the psychiatrist on Monday I will tell him what he said and ask him about it, but I was wondering if anyone here ever had their difficult children say this.

    Thanks for your help.

  2. hexemaus2

    hexemaus2 Old hand

    While I'm the farthest thing from an expert on medications, I can tell you about us and our family.

    With difficult child 1, I seldom listened to what she had to say about her medications, short of obvious physical symptoms or changes in her behavior that I NOTICED. I did in the beginning, until I realized she was being manipulative to find a reason, ANY reason, not to take medications. It made it hard, not knowing if she was saying something because it was the truth, or because she just wanted to stop taking medications all together.

    With difficult child 2, I found his input on what he was feeling with regard to certain medications very insightful. He seldom offered his insight unless asked, but when he did, the psychiatrists and I listened. In fact, his input on how he felt while on certain medications combined with what we observed was often the basis for sticking with a medication or trying something new. He had some pretty off-the-wall responses to various medications. In fact, he had a reaction to Zoloft that was so unusual the docs took pictures and consulted with the manufacturer who asked my permission for copies of difficult child's records in regards to it. (It looked like he had been "whipped" by little toy soldiers or something - weird, string-like, bruise-looking streaks on his arms and torso. They took him off it, waited two weeks, then "challenged" him again with it - same reaction. It was weird.)

    In any regard, difficult child 2 would often make comments about how he felt at different times during the day. There were several medications we tried where he made similar comments to your difficult child about not feeling like himself during a rage. Actually, his comments were more along the lines of "Fluffy was harder to control this time, Mom" or "Fluffy didn't feel like the normal Fluffy." ("Fluffy" - a reference to the three-headed dog in the first Harry Potter movie - was the name he gave his temper and violent side. It helped him separate his Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) behaviors from himself. He used "keeping Fluffy in his cage" as a metaphor for controling his outbursts. It helped keep him from beating himself up over things he did in the midst of a rage, without avoiding responsibility. It was an aspect of his gfgness he had to manage, just like a dog owner is responsible for controling a dog and keeping it from hurting others. He had to train Fluffy to behave.)

    In any regard, I found it helpful to listen to what difficult child 2 said about how he felt with different medications. After all, the only thing we had to go on was what we could observe. We couldn't get inside his head to see how the medication affected him from a mental standpoint. There were several medications that we stopped because difficult child told us himself that they made him angrier or meaner, thus making it harder for him to control "Fluffy."

    But like I said, I'm far from an expert. I can only tell you want we experienced, and yeah, there were a lot of medications we tried for ODD-type behaviors that made the behaviors worse instead of better. Poor kid was a walking pharmaceutical experiment, trying to find what worked for him.
  3. TeDo

    TeDo Guest

    My difficult child has said "I don't feel like I'm me" when he is in a full rage. He also apologizes after it happens and sometimes even cries heavily with remorse. He says it feels like someone else is controlling his body. He is not on the same medications as your difficult child so , in my humble opinion, it is a symptom of the rage. I believe he doesn't have control when he is in the middle of a rage so I do what I can to try to head it off before it starts, comfort him when it's over and he feels bad, and don't hold anything he says or does during it against him. After it's over and we're processing, I try to teach alternatives so that some day, they will be etched in his brain enough that they can come through even in the middle of the rage.

    Hope this helps. Sending good thoughts your way.
  4. hexemaus2

    hexemaus2 Old hand

    Ditto what TeDo said! :) difficult child 2 seldom had much control over himself once he spiraled into a meltdown, and he always felt horrible after. So much so that we had (and still sometimes have) problems with depression with him. He beats himself up over what he's done a lot. He's quite honestly, scared to death of his own temper now.

    It took years to help him get to where he can control it, to an extent. (He still has issues, but it's of a verbal nature now, rather than violence.) However, his issues with rages were extreme. In all, he was hospitalized for violent rages a total of 12 times between the ages of 9 or 10 and 15.

    It did help not to take what he said or did personally, and it did help to always reassure him that we'd find the answers together. Likewise, his "fluffy" metaphor also helped him to distinguish between himself as a person and his behavior. His behavior didn't make him a bad person. Not trying to learn how to control it would.

    For years I didn't think talking to him after a meltdown and going over what to do next time would ever work. I didn't think it would ever stick in his mind in a way that he would become proactive and learn to stop them before they started. But I kept doing it anyway, hoping eventually some small kernel of something would stick. It did. With maturity, repetition, more maturity, more repetition, and learning triggers and early warning signs, we slowly (and I mean slowly) saw progress.
  5. HaoZi

    HaoZi Guest

    I know during my rages when I was young (and I was not on any medications) it was like someone else had control. My daughter, like me, is the same, and sometimes there is a "blackout" or "fugue" to it, as well, if it's really bad. She feels the same no matter what medication she's on once she hits that tipping point.
  6. Bunny

    Bunny Guest

    Thank you for your answers. We did talk about it last night: how he reacted. Why it was not the right thing to do. What he should do next time something doesn't go his way. We've had this conversation over and over and over, but this is the first time he said that he didn't feel like himself while he was raging. I don't know if he felt that way before and just never told me, or if he had is just using this as an excuse. That was another thing we talked about. We know he has an anger management issue, but that is not an excuse for the way he behaved. Threatening someone because you are angry is NEVER right, I don't care how angry you are.

    We go to the therapist tonight. I'll see what he has to say. The psychiatrist is on vacation until Monday, so I will call him next week.

  7. Andy

    Andy Active Member

    When my difficult child was in the midst of his anxiety, he would say it felt like he was evil and he did not want to be. He said it felt like there was an evilness inside him trying to control him.

    When our kids meltdown and rage, they are loosing control over themselves. Kind of like a drunk person has no control even though they think they do. You hear stories of college students especially after a night of drinking being astonished of what they did the night before. At the time they thought it all in fun but when they sober up they are embarrassed. What they did was not what they wanted to do. They were going with the flow and not taking control of themselves.

    People who rage are much the same. They are going with the flow of their emotions. The anger is so powerful and strong that they don't know how to stop once it starts. They may not even want to stop at the worst of it because that power does feel good at the moment even if they will regret it later. It is very scary for them once they "sober" up and learn about what they did.

    It is a good step for your difficult child to recognize that he did not feel like himself. I would hope he didn't like that feeling because that will be part of his motivation to turn this around. Part of the reason why he wants to learn more about his triggers so that he can create his own weapons to squash it before it leads to the rage.

    I would talk to my difficult child a lot about his feelings leading up to, during, and after. He would work on finding ways of controlling those actions. He had to learn what triggered the bad actions and be able to battle those triggers. He had to learn how to recognize that very first stage and redirect his actions to keep things calm and peaceful.

    A really hard thing for anyone to do, especially our younger difficult child's who have not yet mastered the maturity level that much of this needs.

    You are doing a good job with this. Those bad moments are horrid but keep up the good work and it can/will get better. It did for my difficult child and our family! :)
  8. flutterby

    flutterby Fly away!

    Your difficult child is at that age where he is starting to develop insight - one of the executive functions that comes along about that age - which may explain why he's able to articulate it now.

    I know my daughter is not in control when she rages or meltdowns. I don't even try to reason with her because there is no rational thought (both off and on medications). If she's melting down, I will rub her back but I don't generally talk. If she is raging, she gets it out - usually in her room, on her own - and then she comes out to talk when she has calmed down. Trying to have any kind of conversation during the event is pointless and often makes it worse. I also don't hold her accountable for things said in that state as she really has no control. My goal is to get her to where she doesn't have the rages and/or meltdowns, or at least has more control over them.
  9. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    I know what your son means. As a child, I used to rage. Once it started there was no turning back. I couldn't stop myself. What I said or did during the rages were things I hated after it was over. The best thing to do during a rage, as hard as it is, is to not say anything and fuel the fire. That's when I'd calm down.
  10. trinityroyal

    trinityroyal Well-Known Member

    I still rage occasionally, and this is exactly what it's like. I've been working with my therapist to recognize the signals leading up to it, because I can head it off and not get into the state. Once in it, the rage has to run its course. Not engaging is the most effective way to get it to stop. And your son's description of not feeling like himself is very apt.
  11. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    Wiz actually didn't even REMEMBER many of his rages. Not what he did, what he said, or what I did (I was usually the only person near him as he raged. My husband could NOT cope with them and took them very personally so usually it was just Wiz and I during a rage. Taking it personally is NOT helpful regardless of the cause of the rage, in my opinion.

    During a rage, even when he remembered them, he had zero control. It was a complete and total loss of control and of any ability to control himself. It was NOT a teachable moment, it was time to control a wild animal. I am not using wild animal as a metaphor. Wiz acted much like a wild animal when raging. Sometimes I had to restrain him, and it was difficult and dangerous, esp as he got older. More often I kept him in a contained area, kept him from hurting himself or others, and used a gentle, soothing voice and calming words to settle him down. Even at the age of 10 or 11 I would still recite the words to "Chicka Chicka Boom Boom" (the little kid book) in a chant or put on a tape of my father reading Uncle Wiggily stories (his voice is incredibly soothing - puts adults, even ones who don't know him, into a super relaxed state or to sleep, and calms kids incredibly well). These are things that otherwise we did for thank you, who is 8 years younger. During a rage they would soothe him and I had an easier time keeping him in one area and keeping him from hurting himself or me.

    I can remember, vividly, being a teen and taking large doses of steroids for a health problem. Now no teen girl would ever be rx'd that medication at that dose, but it was what the doctor rx'd for me. I had some HUGE rages, over stupid, idiotic stuff like running my last pair of hose and screaming at the top of my lungs at my mother that it was all her fault because if I would tan then I wouldn't need to wear pantyhose. I stomped from one end of the house to the other to find her to scream at her about this - she did NOTHING to provoke me. I knew, in part of my head, that I was being an idiot. I just had NO control. I didn't WANT to do or say that, I HATED that I did it. I cried and was so angry at myself afterward, because it was NOT true, NOT something mom did or had any control over (she doesn't tan nor does her living sister or any of her nieces, nor did her mother or aunts). I just couldn't stop it or prevent it. In that case, it clearly WAS the medications and maybe my hormones because they were NOT normal at that age (many many signs that they were all over the place).

    This is our experiences. I hope it helps you understand or figure out what your son was going through and how to help him. In our case one problem was that Wiz liked to rage. It gave him control and attention. I couldn't ignore him in a rage because he would hurt someone, usually Jessie, if I did. As he got older he managed to completely turn himself around, though I have NO idea exactly what got through to him. It was partly a friend who is a girl who he really respects and listens to, but never dated. She did NOT like difficult child behavior and she freely told him so. He wanted her friendship and respect and it helped him turn things around. He also ended up an "only child" in my parents' home. IT took certain pressures from my mother off of him, and we had been told years before that he would be best off if he was an only child. I was preg with thank you at the time, and told teh doctor that they better find another way to help him because I was NOT sending the other 2 back where they came from, LOL. Serious, but still lol, Know what I mean??
  12. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    I have to ditto Midwest Mom. Only it wasn't me, it is Nichole. She has described that to me so many many times over the years almost word for word.

    As a child she tried to blame the medications because she hated taking them, hated having to take them, and honestly feeling that way during a rage scared her so it was easier to believe it was the medications and not something about herself she couldn't control,. As an adult she is learning to control the rages and she is doing much better.

  13. flutterby

    flutterby Fly away!

    My daughter doesn't remember many of her rages and her worst panic attacks, either.