Are we riding a roller coaster with-our difficult child?

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by erbaledge, May 7, 2010.

  1. erbaledge

    erbaledge New Member

    Do you as the parent/caregiver of a difficult child ever feel like you are on a perpetual roller coaster, stuck to no avail, right beside your difficult child for all the ups/downs/curves, and you can't get off? I do!

    This thread I started: - show's what has happened in the near past with gfg15.

    And then this week on Tuesday, we had an OUTSTANDING therapy session, I posted about that:

    And last night when gfg15 called me, and I asked how she was feeling, I swear I could see the lightbulb effect through the phone, because instead of 'fine/okay/i don't know', she paused and then responded with somewhat concrete feelings - so it was GREAT to see her trying even outside of the therapy session.

    This morning was a FANTASTIC day, because I got to sign off on her IEP - something I have been trying to get for gfg15 for the past 4 years - so this was a HUGE success, because I truly believe this will help her get educationally closer to her peers.

    So most of this week I was feeling so very hopeful - that was, until this afternoon I got a call from PMIC! NOW, she got caught by other kids rifling through other peoples lockers/bags/etc in the gym room, on days she didn't even HAVE gym and times when she shouldn't have even been in there (this occurred at school, by the way).
    AND to make it even worse, during another phone call this afternoon with staff, I got to listen to my difficult child completely BLOWING up while she was being questioned about what occurred at school - of course she is still in complete denial - but it hurt sooooooo very much listening to her blow up. I'm not even sure why yet, as I've dealt with HUGE physical RAGES from her in the past - I think maybe because I felt so helpless.

    It is like she is roller coasting, and I'm stuck along side her, I get to share in all the triumphs but then get whipped back down with all the stealing/self harm/suicidal thoughts/etc, right with her.
    For the past 4 days I was thinking she was doing soooooo good! I thought her and I were 'clicking' and huge progress steps were occurring, but then this!

    She's set to come home tomorrow for an overnight. Her & I were initially going to have 3 hours of alone time while her bro & sis were away - but after this I chose to spend our time differently than planned - her and I will be working on her community service that she was given for the theft occurrences 2 weeks ago. I figure there are plenty of walls/floors/dusting/etc to be done at the PMIC that will keep us busy.

    This evening I spent an hour going thru each square inch of her bedroom removing ANYTHING and EVERYTHING that she could use to harm herself when she comes home for her visit.

    I'm also fearful that she will actually self harm again within the next few days, because that is what basically happened 2 weeks ago when she got caught stealing all the money and other stuff, and all of that landed her in the hospital. I pray that i can keep her safe from herself while she is here on her visit.
  2. smallworld

    smallworld Moderator

    I know I've posted this before and you're having a hard time believing it from a parent, but the reason you may be riding a roller-coaster with your daughter is that her medications may be wrong. SSRIs like Lexapro can cause problems in teens who have mood disorders. Rage, aggression, stealing, lying, hallucinations can all occur as a result of taking an SSRI antidepressant if there's an underlying mood disorder.
  3. erbaledge

    erbaledge New Member

    No, I believe you that it is possible. It is *supposed* to be the hot topic at the next psychiatric visit - though we shall see.
  4. smallworld

    smallworld Moderator

    Before the next psychiatric visit, you might want to read the Treatment Guidelines on the Child and Adolescent Bipolar Foundation website at this link:

    Although I realize your daughter has not been diagnosed with BiPolar (BP), this document may help you understand the rationale behind certain medication choices over others (given her history of hallucinations).
  5. Andy

    Andy Active Member

    I am sorry the roller coaster has come to a very huge dip in its path. Sometimes I think that when things are going so well, that those dips feel deeper and more permanent than before.

    GFG15 does have to continue working on this for herself. It really is very hard to change how you do things, even for the better. Even though she felt the rewards of some very good days, much of that was hard work on her part to maintain and that gets tiring. She is bound to retreat back into what was easier for her however terrible the consequences.

    So, it is time for you to work more on detachment so that you don't get pulled down emotionally into those dips of the rollercoaster. You need to work at staying at the top of the hill and rooting for her return. Don't hang on so tight that her getting back to the top is your responsibility. If you can stay in one place and set that as your foundation, then GFG15 will need to be the one to work on not straying too far from that IF she chooses to live up to her ability (no matter how hard it may be).

    I admire how you are standing beside her and working with her. You stated, "there is plenty of work to be done to keep us busy". You are putting your time aside to support GFG15 in what she needs to do. Since it is only the two of you for that day, maybe after the work you can go out for a dessert and talk about the good things that have happened lately. She needs to KNOW that you are aware of the positive things that happen. It is so easy for kids to think that we do not notice if we don't actual vocalize our happiness with their behaviors.

    I hope your doctors appointment regarding the medications will go well. It does take the right medication also to help the child get through. GFG15 can work as hard as she can to be the kind of person she wants to be but if the medication is not right, it makes the fight near impossible and GFG15 will soon give up.

    When my difficult child was going through his nightmare, he focused on what type of person he wanted to be. I really believe that helped him make better choices and feel repentent when he could not follow through on the better choice. Sometimes our kids know what they want to do but their bodies are so powerful in telling them otherwise. My difficult child was in tears one day when he told me he could no longer fight what his mind was telling him to do and he was afraid of what was going to happen to him. I believe many kids fight a silent battle. They don't know that what they are going through is not normal and unless they ask for help in behaviors or words, they will have unhappy lives. You have joined the ranks of awesome warrior moms to recognize that GFG15 needs help and are fighting to figure out what type of help she needs. You GFG15 is blessed to have someone who sees that her bad behavior is a cry for help, not an action to be punished for.
  6. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    I am also concerned about the antidepressant. It CAN cause hallucinations. A few of them caused me to have them and I ended up in the hospital and the doctors didn't believe it was the medications so they kept "upping" them. Being an adult, I threw them away myself and the hallucinations stopped so it WAS the medication.

    Now if she had hallucinations before the drugs, then they aren't causing them (but could be making them worse). If she sees and hears things that aren't there, I am puzzled as to why they are calling her CD. That would mean she has some sort of serious mental illness, even possibly schizophrenia or some people hallucinate during bipolar mania and less often depression. CD isn't approrpriate, as far as I know, if a child has trouble with reality.

    Are you feeling good about the place she's at? I've had a lot of dealings with inpatient hospitalizations and a few RTCs with foster kids and I was not impressed with the RTCs even a little bit. On the other hand, one of my three hospitalizations was magnificant, however that was in the day when you could stay until you were better (I was there for ten weeks when I was pregnant). I think you have to use your "mom gut" with your daughter. Sometimes professionals are wrong and make things even worse. I've had that experience too. If your daughter isn't improving then something is wrong with the treatment. From your description of her, in my opinion she is NOT bad...she is very ill.

    On the self-harm, that is also not defiance at all. My daughter did it for a long time. Now that she is over the worst of her issues, she explained that she cut to "feel something." She had been sexually abused (long story) and felt dead inside for a long time. She cut and used drugs to counteract it for several years. Cutting is hard to stop. It becomes sort of like an addiction and requires additional therapy for this one issue. I had a friend who cut once and she said almost the same exact thing as my daughter did. Usually the child does not mean to kill herself by cutting, however I know how scary it is and I'm not into taking chances either.

    I'm so sorry for your hard time and I really hope something more longterm good happens very, very soon.
  7. busywend

    busywend Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Yes, a roller coaster for sure. The ups and downs are hard to adjust to and sometimes VERY quickly. The hills might get less treacherous as they get older & mature, but they are still there.
  8. compassion

    compassion Member

    What helps me is acceptance and having realsitic expectations. I eoung ladnjo hte ups,knoing hte downs will occur and this is a young lady who has been on appropriate medications for almost 2 years. She still ccles up and down. I try to stay postive re: the quirkiness. Since Jan. 09, she has brought home a mouse,snakes, 3 dogs, a cat and already had a dog and 6 cats. I reall understand that she has illness,noy badness. Plus, I have a lo of support for me which helps me detatch: FA, Al-Anon, she has 3 t-docs and a p-doctor , I have these boards and CABF. Compassion