Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by neednewtechnique, Oct 10, 2007.

  1. neednewtechnique

    neednewtechnique New Member

    Venting, and this is LONG, sorry.

    So, as some of you have read here lately, although our difficult child's attitued and agressive/violent behavior has stopped, she has begun a whole SCHEME of behavioral problems and I am at the end of my ROPE!!! It is one thing right after another, she takes EVERY opportunity she has to LIE about where she is, SNEAK around, STEAL things from people, and she does not have ANY DESIRE at all to TRY to do better. She is FAILING out of the 8th grade (passing only 2 classes) and has been serving detentions EVERY DAY THEY HAVE THEM for the last few weeks now. She doesn't care to show up to class on time, and when she does, all she does is sit and pass notes back and forth with her friends. (who, by the way, the guidance counselor from the school has expressed her concern for our difficult child hanging out with). Even this "graduated grounding system" we are trying IS NOT WORKING, she has already been DEMOTED BACK TO THE BEGINNING and not only that, but we had to devise a new stage to put at the beginning to DEMOTE HER EVER FARTHER BACK than the beginning.

    It obviously is not working, so I guess I am looking for something creative to try to help get her motivated. We have attempted before to use the "positive reinforcements" and that doesn't seem to make any difference. Even if there is something that she REALLY wants and she is supposed to be working towards, she TOTALLY BLOWS IT OFF!!!!

    On top of everything else, I found something that she had written today, and it scared the living daylights out of me!!! It was a very graphic, detailed description of a suicide, outlining specifically how she would kill herself and all the reasons why, claiming that her bio mom and the drug habits killed her baby sister (was born addicted and the withdrawals after birth killed her, this really happened), I don't know if I need to have her re-evaluated to see if she really should be hospitalized or what. Plus, now that she is pretty much confined to her bedroom except to eat, drink, and use the restroom, maybe it is not such a good idea to leave her in her room unsupervised... I don't know what to do, at least before when she was raging, she was sweet and compliant between rages....
  2. smallworld

    smallworld Moderator

    You need to talk to the psychiatrist ASAP. She sounds very depressed. I would not leave her unsupervised at all. Lamictal at 25 mg can not be doing all that much -- it's very far from a therapeutic dose for a teenager.
  3. smallworld

    smallworld Moderator

    Lamictal is NOT an antidepressant. It is an anticonvulsant/mood stabilizer used to treat bipolar disorder. It works especially well on the depressive end of BiPolar (BP), but 25 mg is not a therapeutic dose. If anything, her Lamictal dose needs to be increased.
  4. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member

    If you found a detailed suicide note, the psychiatrist immediately. That warrants immediate action. She is crying out for help.

    She may need an inpatient stay to get her stabilized. Maybe even an Residential Treatment Center (RTC). I dont say this lightly because her behavior reminds me of my own at that age and I was crying out to be placed in some sort of boarding school away from my peer group who were dragging me down into a place that I didnt need to go. I would have done so much better if I could have been placed in some sort of emotional growth placement.
  5. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    I would be thinking of the hospital. If she is relating to her birthmother's behavior, she may also be experimenting with drugs. I wouldn't want her without supervision for a minute. Since medication adjustment and levels can take weeks, I'd want her in a safe place for now.
  6. smallworld

    smallworld Moderator

    My second post is in response to a post that was deleted.
  7. neednewtechnique

    neednewtechnique New Member

    Oops, I guess I need to update my signature, she has been increased to 50 mg of the Lamictal, but the psychiatrist wants to try to increase slowly to make sure that we are handling this medication with care since she is only 13, and barely weighs 100 lbs.

    As for depression, other than finding that "writing" she did, I wouldn't even call it a note, her FEELINGS and her attitude seem to be okay. She has not been acting sad or moody at all lately, and up until I discovered that writing in her room, the ONLY concern I had was about the level of DEFIANCE I have been seeing in her lately. The whole MOOD thing seemed to have straightened itself out.

    As for the writing, it seemed to me more of a "short story" kind of thing, than a NOTE, persay, but the idea is still the same. My concern lies in that this is a fine line for her. She has threatened to kill herself before when she was mad, and made a point of her dad or I seeing her write something like that, and we were advised that this was not to worry about after careful review of the information and evaluation of her personally by her therapist and her psychiatrist. This time, it is different, I think because she did not do this in an attention seeking manner, and had I not needed to go back through her things to check over for "sharp objects", I would have never found it!!!
  8. Big Bad Kitty

    Big Bad Kitty lolcat

    Consider her recent circumstances. Her bio mom has blown her off twice now? You can tell her till you are blue in the face how much YOU love her, you can do cartwheels, backflips, etc. The message she is getting is that she is not important enough for bio mom to make time for. I believe that is enough to send a teen her age into depression.

    She is at a rebellious age. Being depressed does not mean that she will necessarily walk around mopey. Acting out is a classic call for help. She needs to be seen, pronto.

    ((((hugs))) to both of you, and just so you know, I think you are doing a fantastic job with that little girl.
  9. neednewtechnique

    neednewtechnique New Member

    I really have been trying to figure out where the stress of bio mom's problems are fitting into this equation. Bio mom getting out and blowing her off has happened much more recently than this behavior started, but at the same time, even before bio mom got out, there visits were severely limited due to unavailable visiting hours at the jail, their no-allowance of contact visits meant that even if difficult child could see bio mom, she was on the other side of a glass talking through a speaker or a phone....

    I just don't understand this need to be I mentioned, not only is she failing and getting detention EVERY DAY, but she is PROUD of these things. She doesn't WANT to be "okay", she enjoys being depressed and having all these severe problems that go beyond normal teenaged drama, and she will tell anyone that who asks. She has said it to me on several occasions, she LIKES being the trouble maker and LIKES being depressed, she acts like these things IDENTIFY who she IS, rather than them being only obstacles to overcome so she really CAN BE WHO SHE IS.
  10. Big Bad Kitty

    Big Bad Kitty lolcat

    You know, this might be her way of identifying with her mother.
  11. sweetiegirlz

    sweetiegirlz New Member

    Re: the suicide writings. If this was my difficult child, I would take this very seriously. Mine has come out with SAYING: "I want to die." or "I wish I had a gun I want to shoot myself" usually when she is being punished for something. BUT just the same I sat down with her and said to her:

    "do you REALLY want to DIE and not spend another minute of living or breathing on this planet?" I spelled it out for her in a manner she couldn't just arbitrarily throw these words around for and get away with.

    Of course her answer was "no" (she didn't want to die) then I told her "please do not ever say that again then" (and she hasn't)

    Since this was a NEW behavior on her part (like your difficult child) I took it VERY seriously. If she had continued,in this manner I would have sought IMMEDIATE help.

    RE: the defiant part. Mine is ODD to the max, girl! I feel your pain. This is where friends and passing notes and feeling of belonging with a crowd that "understands them" steps in and authority is the enemy.

    One night, difficult child was RAGING! OMG just raging on and on about cleaning her room which was prolly the size of a closet. lol. she was pounding on walls, yelling, kicking for 15-20 minutes.
    I got on the phone and called 9-1-1. I am not kidding!I didn't tell difficult child that the police were coming either. I called them and within 30 minutes a very nice Sherriff came to the door. He explained to my difficult child that the behavior she was exhibiting was called being
    "incorrigible" and that if he had to come out to the house 2 more times she would be carted off to juvie. He then explained to her that juvenile hall was a very bad place full of rowdy and sometimes violent teens who slept outside in tents and got rice to eat every four hours.
    This did make a significant and in-your-face kind of impact for her. The sheriff made a show of giving me his card and telling difficult child that "mom now had the right to call" him anytime she needed to.
    The whole time difficult child was SILENT. only nodded her head occasionally. Afterward, I went to her and explained that anything I do I do for HER in complete LOVE. and that I did call the police out of love. Big reality check for her. She cried and I cried.

    Good luck with everything. My reply to you is just my experiences and I hope that you find your answer and strength somewhere. I'll be praying.
  12. totoro

    totoro Mom? What's a GFG?

    You know when I was her age, I had people act like... if they gave me what they thought was a stable environment. (it wasn't) that I should be grateful and be OK. But i had been through SO much... Mother commiting suicide and Father in and out of prison, both abandoning me plus many other things... Not to mention the neurological things that were going on that were just simply out of my control...

    I went to a really good junior high and high school... but not as far as dealing with me, they tried. My stepdad adopted dad gave up on me, He felt like well, you have a roof over your head, what is there to be angry about???
    My Father was kind of the same, he gave me a lot of things... (no therapy though or diagnosis) they all thought I should just be happy. because the "problem" was removed... even though no-one knew what the problem was...

    My depression manifested itself in some pretty horrible ways, but none that most people who were not well versed in depression and mania would have seen... my damage was so deep that a stable home and possibly medications etc. would most likley not have worked at that point in time. It took me a long time to work out the things I went through in my life... of course I am still dealing with my Mental Illness.

    All I am saying is that even though you are trying your best and giving her everything you can... sometimes that will never be enough...

    I honestly wasn't given that, but I don't think I would have taken it at the point she is at either... it is very hard to really put yourself in the mindset of someone else... honestly why would she enjoy all of the misery if she wasn't sick??? If she is enjoying it as far as you can tell, then that is a symptom of her illness and she obviously needs help... No-one ever thought I was suicidal... everyone thought everthing I did was for attention and because I was a brat.
    Now when everyone looks back it is so clear and no-one can believe it all... even when I was locked up at 16 for a couple of days, I said what they wanted, they let me out... All for attention...
    I was on my own by 17 and so lost... but I made it.

    I do know you are trying hard, but I don't know if she is really doing these things because she wants to... and if she feels that at all it can send her further downward. The best thing they could have done for me when my Stepdad/adopted dad beat me up was not find my real Father, but send me to an Residential Treatment Center (RTC) or a Hospital... but no-one knew how bad I was or believed...

    Try to pull yourself out of the picture and keep and open mind when it comes to this child... I have to do that with my own child... why would a 6yo in a wonderful home want to die??? Because she is sick!!!

    Hang in there.
  13. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    Drug test your child. She is showing sign of drug use (change in friends, drop in grades, defiance, etc...) She may yell and scream, but do it anyway. Hopefully she is not, but you have to be sure.

    Take the writing very very seriously. The fact that it was not a note, jsut writing that she did is scary. She may be writing out her feelings, so you really need to get help for this, even if you have to call a suicide hotline for recommendations.

    There is a book by Riley called The Defiant Child. If you are going to get this to work you have toread the whole book and implement the strategy completely. I have been told that the results are very not good otherwise.


  14. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    Yep. Get psychiatrist on the phone ASAP and get her informed.
  15. smallworld

    smallworld Moderator

    You should increase Lamictal very slowly because of the risk of rash. But 50 mg is still not going to do much. My 12-year-old weighs 62 pounds and is taking 125 mg Lamictal. My 14-year-old weighs 130 and is taking 300 mg Lamictal.

    You should not have to decide how to handle your difficult child alone. That's why you have a psychiatrist. Call ASAP.
  16. witzend

    witzend Well-Known Member

    I agree about the drug testing.
  17. timer lady

    timer lady Queen of Hearts

    Contact psychiatrist ASAP. Also, where is dad in this mess? Would it help if he stepped in this situation?
  18. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member

    I agree with totoro in what she was saying.

    What your daughter is doing isnt going to make sense because she is ill. When I was a teen I was so defiant and rebellious that I deliberately failed subjects even though I knew the material just so I could fit in with the crowd I felt accepted me. I didnt feel I belonged anywhere else. I was filled with such self doubt and self loathing and all those other lovely things that fill the DSM that if anyone had taken me to be diagnosed I could have been helped..but I wasnt. I acted out in really awful ways.

    I did it all. Trust me. I could put most of the kids on this board to shame. Unfortunately for me, no one ever tried to get me help and I grew up thinking I was just a bad person and left home thinking I was bad, went into my twenties thinking I was bad, and finally in my late 30s found out why I was bad.
  19. Wiped Out

    Wiped Out Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I agree with the others-call psychiatrist right away!
  20. nlg319

    nlg319 New Member

    You really are going through a lot with her! From my experience with my daughter, she DOES NOT LIKE to be angry, deceitful, defiant, depressed or disrespectful. She doesn't know how else to be because of her raw emotions. She doesn't know what to do with these feelings and she needs help! She knows you won't give up on her so she can act that way. Please call psychiatrist to find out about in-patient treatment. I'll be thinking about you.