Conduct Disorder and Abilify

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by buckeye, Feb 15, 2008.

  1. buckeye

    buckeye New Member

    I am new to this group. My 12 year old son was just diagnosed with a Conduct Disorder. We have been working with a psychologist and psychiatrist for over a year and nothing seems to be working. We have tried Trileptal. He has been suspended from school at least once a week. He is very bright, in gifted classes and is missing many opportunities due to his behavior. We even hired an advocate to help us but he just keeps getting in trouble. He even has an aid and an IEP.

    Today his psychiatrist changed the diagnosis from ODD to Conduct Disorder. He told us that there is "no great treatment" for this diagnosis. He explained that it is difficult to treat and that they normally "treat the things around it". He suggested that we try Aibilify. He said that we can continue to meet with he and the psychologist but it probably won't help much. After telling us this and handing us a prescription, he sent us on our way. I felt like he handed us a death sentence for our child with no ray of hope.

    Have any of you tried Abilify? Is it working? What other treatment options have you tried?

    Thank you.

  2. ML

    ML Guest

    Others will come along that have more experience with these things. I just wanted to say "welcome". I would wonder what else is going on to cause the CD. I could be wrong but I think that is not a diagnosis that typically stands alone.

    Please don't ever feel that there is no hope. He has you, an obvious caring and loving parent. Your kid your kid has a lot going for him in my book.

    My son is 9 and has defiance, anxiety, cognitive struggles, probably aspergers. My
    own diagnosis for his is atypical xzy not otherwise specified (a little try at humor)

    Glad you found us!


  3. smallworld

    smallworld Moderator

    What are the specific behaviors that are concerning you?

    ODD and Conduct Disorder typically describe a set of behaviors with an underlying cause (such as anxiety, depression, mood disorder, Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD)). Think of them as symptoms rather than a diagnosis unto themselves. When the underlying disorder is identified and treated, the ODD/CD behaviors generally improve.

    I think you need to find a new psychiatrist who can look at your son with fresh eyes and figure out exactly what's going on. You might also want to have your son evaluated by a neuropsychologist, who can do extensive testing on your son to offer perspective on what's really going on. Neuropsychologists can be found at children's and university hospitals.

    Abilify is an atypical antipsychotic prescribed to treat hallucinations and mania associated with bipolar disorder. It is also used off-label to treat anxiety, anger and aggression. I have children on two different atypical antipsychotics (Zyprexa and Seroquel), and they have worked well for their particular issues.

    Please don't feel as if there's no hope. I don't think you've scratched the surface of what's going on with your child. It should now be your mission to find a professional who will help you figure that out.

    Welcome to the board. I think you will find a lot of support here.
  4. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    I really think you should go for a second opinion. Both ODD and Conduct Disorder almost never stand alone, and Conduct Disorder is usually for people OVER 18 who have had an untreated mental illness. ODD can and often is co-morbid with things like bipolar disorder, mood disorders not otherwise specified, autistic spectrum disorders/Aspergers, etc. I would not believe this diagnosis. There are no specific tests for psychiatric or neurological problems so the rate of wrong diagnosis. is very high. That psychiatrist doesn't sound very good.

    We got our best, most thorough diagnosis from a neuropsychologist. He tested my son for twelve hours and did not tell us anything until the end. My son had been diagnosed with ADHD/ODD and bipolar, but we didn't think either was right. The neuropsychologist diagnosed him with Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD)-not otherwise specified, and we are certain that's right. It gets us mad that we wasted so much time, but son is now doing really well.

    If you have a chance, can you answer a few questions?
    1/ Are there any psychiatric problems or neurological problems on either side of the family tree?
    2/Who first diagnosed this child?
    3/How was his very early development? How is his eye contact with strangers? His social skills? His life skills?

    THere is LOTS of hope. You just a lemon of a doctor/therapist pair and I'd dump them. I'm sure another opinion will give you a much better prognosis and I do think a neuropsychologist is worth it. If not that, then a better Psychiatrist. I would not let a regular therapist diagnose.
  5. totoro

    totoro Mom? What's a GFG?

    I would want to know I had full support from my psychiatrist before I started a new medication...
    It is not fun feeling alone with a kid on a new medication...
    I fully agree with the others about the evaluation/assessment
    Abilify was good for my difficult child, it did calm her anger and agression, it also can have some side affects. But I would want a very clear picture of what is going on, or at least just a little bit clearer... before more medications...
    Good luck
  6. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    Welcome. You will find a lot of info, others with experiences, and support here. Even if others wouldn't do what you decide is best, we will still SUPPORT you.

    AND We have ALL dealt with really tough kids. We have no concrete formulas, but we do have a lot of info and love. I am glad you found us, but very sorry you need us.

    WHAT exactly lead the doctor to these diagnoses? What is getting him the aide, the IEP, the suspensions, etc... What behaviors are you coping with??

    Abilify is an atypical antipsychotic. It is helpful with anger and rages. It will not stabilize moods, from what I understand. My son had a horrible rash the first time, they had us stop it, then start it a week after the rash went away completely. The second time he had trouble breathing. But this is NOT a unique reaction for HIM - he did this with a LOT of medications. Many here have kids on abilify with good results.

    At age 12, I would look for a new psychiatrist, and a developmental pediatrician. A developmental pediatrician will look at his development to see what went on and what is going on. We had the BEST testing done there, by a large team.

    Neauropsychs also have a reputation for doing very good testing, but we got a lemon. He did very little, his oral report of what he saw was completely opposite and contrary to his written report. But MANY MANY have had EXCELLENT results from neuropsychiatrists.

    Based on the book that gives the descriptions of disorders and the criteria for them, a person under 18 CANNOT be diagnosed with conduct disorder. I would ignore this, personally. After a very good cry and a bubble bath with a book (pref a book with no socially redeeming value that would provide a good escape for a little while!).

    ODD is a set of behaviors that is tough to handle but very very very RARELY
    stands alone. It is more of a SYMPTOM of a problem, like barfing is a symptom of a virus or flu.

    SOMETHING else is going on. YOU have MOMMY INSTINCTS and know your child best. Right now you are upset and confused and hurt. That is sad but OK. After you cope with your feelings, it is time to play detective to find out what is really going on.

    At 12 my son was beating me. We had to move him out. He had been on medications, therapies, you name it. Now, at 16, he is a good student (mostly), has friends, and is preparing for a future. He deeply regrets the abuse he heaped on his siblings and me. There is HOPE.

    I am not sure where you are in Ohio. We lived in Cincinnati and had a wonderful psychiatrist (psychiatrist) and set of psychologists (tdocs) at Cinci's children's hospital. I will be happy to send the names in a private message, if you would like them. The psychiatrist NAILED difficult child's diagnosis on the FIRST visit, but she sent us home to think about it before we proceeded with any type of treatment. She always was a straight shooter with us. Her husband was a therapist there and ran amazing social skills groups.

    If you are in Cleveland I might be able to find some other resources there as I have relatives there.

    Please don't think this is a prediction of doom. This is a set of docs who just don't have a grip.

    While you wait to get into other docs, we have a Parent Report form on the board that can help cut through the paperwork and make things run smoother for you.
    If you go to the General Archives part of the forum and then click on the LAST PAGE the entry at the BOTTOM will show you the entry that is the Parent Report. It is a way of setting up the info you have/know on your child's medical history from conception on. It helps when you have to answer all the questions on the intake forms, and helps give the docs a picture of your child and your goals and dreams for your child. I highly recommend creating one, and taking on the creation a small chunk at a time.

    Sending big HUGS and lots of support,

  7. Jena

    Jena New Member


    i didn't read the whole post i'm sorry dealing with little difficult child right now. i wanted to say though that we had a farily positive experience with abilify to an extent it did stabilize her moods, she didn't swing or have manic episode's what i did notice though it left her kinda in druggy state. it controlled sleep as well. we took her off because anxiety flew through roof. it's a side effect. so good luck be careful

  8. buckeye

    buckeye New Member

    Thanks Susie. The hugs and support are just what I needed today.

    We are in the Columbus area but would be willing to travel to Cincinnati if necessary.
    We started this journey a couple of years ago with the pediatrician. She referred us to a psychologist who referred us for a neuropsychy. Hours later and thousands of dollars later we received a diagnosis- lack of executive functioning and slight depression. They believed that this was what was causing the oppositional behavior. We then hired another psychologist who specializes in this area. We have been working with him for over a year on behavior modification but have seen little results. We were then referred to a psychiatrist to prescribe medications- trileptal and he has been on that ever since. He started middle school this year and we were given an aid and IEP so we thought we would have a better year. The IEP was supposed to address behavior and the lack of executive functioning. Before middle school he was defiant, never physical, never suspended, and had failing grades. Even though he has been suspended he still manages to maintain fairly good grades.

    The behaviors we are coping with include taunting his older sister, total lack of respect for privacy, lying, sometimes stealing from siblings and even taking things from my husband and I. He also argues a lot and often refuses to comply with our requests.

    What is a developmental pediatrician?

    Thanks for your help.
  9. jannie

    jannie trying to survive....

    Abilify has and continues to be a very effective medication for my difficult child. He's been on it for two years. It has helped with agression, anger, frustration and impulse control. In addition to medication we have had intensive therapy and on going support.

    I think it is very important to have a doctor you can trust. You may want to either call the doctor back and discuss your concerns or consider looking for a new doctor.
  10. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member

    That honestly sounds more like ODD than CD to me. Conduct disorder CAN be diagnosed prior to 18 and MUST be in evidence by age 15 to even get a anti-social personality disorder diagnosis. Its in the DSM. CD and ODD can be a symptom of another diagnosis or they can stand alone. There are some treatments that can be effective for CD and if I remember correctly the best one is something called MST.

    I had a psychiatrist tell me when my son was 12 that he would grow up to be a sociopath. I hated her for it and stormed out of her office. Little did I know how right she was. All the interventions we tried for bipolar did little to no good other than containing him for a few years. I wish we had more actively pursued the treatment for CD. I have no idea if it would have changed the outcome but what we did sure didnt do much.
  11. busywend

    busywend Well-Known Member

    Just wanted to say WELCOME!
  12. Lothlorien

    Lothlorien Active Member

    Yes it does appear that you are probably dealing with multiple diagnoses. My " personal" opinion is that ODD/conduct disorder is symptomatic of another overlying illness. Once the overlying illness is corrected with medications, the odd/conduct disorder symtpoms usually lessen as well.

    Missy is on Abilify. Missy does a lot of the things you describe, which is the impulsiveness of her disorder. When she is hypomanic, it's much, much worse. The Abilify helps to control the hypomania. She is less hypomanic. We've tried to increase the dose, but she became extremely irritable. She has a wicked mood disorder to begin with. She is also on Trileptal for a seizure disorder, but it is also a medication for mood stabilization. You may need a combination of medicines.
  13. tammyjh

    tammyjh New Member

    Hello and welcome.

    My difficult child has been on Abilify a couple of times and we've not noticed that she acts any different on it than she does off it but thats pretty much her experience with most medications. What works for some, may or may not work so well for others. If you decide to try it, I hope you find it helpful for your difficult child.
  14. Vanilla

    Vanilla New Member

    Conduct Disorder is a Childhood Disorder, and there are two types: Adolescent Onset, with no symptoms prior to age 10 and Childhood Onset with symptoms present prior to age 10. Once this diagnosis is given it can be very difficult to get payment for psychiatric services and/or admission to psychiatric programs (at least in this state) because it is viewed as strictly a "behavioral" disorder. Very, very often there are underlying issues with kids presenting with CD or Oppositional Defiant Disorder. It's crucial to diagnosing these for comprehensive treatment to occur. Abilify worked for my son WHILE he was taking it, but he went away to camp for a week and did not take it. I have never seen him more unhinged than when he returned. Angry, irritable, crying uncontrollably, truly frightening to see this. Good luck with getting your child the necessary help!
  15. jenavive

    jenavive New Member

  16. jenavive

    jenavive New Member

    My son is 11 and has not been to a full day of school since before Thanksgiving. He spends most of his 3 hours in the in house room. He is very bright but refuses to do any work! He would sit and read all day, he is in the fifth grade and I am afraid he will fall behind. I feel like there is more we should/could be doing!! Any suggestions:( I forgot to mention they think he Hess conduct disorder or odd
  17. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Hi there. You answered a very old thread. You'd get a better response if you started a new thread.

    Welcome to the board, but so sorry you have to be here!