Conduct Disorder paper

Discussion in 'General Parenting Archives' started by mftstudent, Dec 1, 2003.

  1. DeeRW

    DeeRW Active Member

    The most difficult parts, to me, fall into categories (sorry, I'm clueless how to be short):

    As a parent -- Knowing that the dreams I had when I adopted my daughter won't happen. Not because she's not capable of succeeding at whatever she wants but because she refuses to do what is necessary to succeed. The incredible fear that she will destroy her life just to prove that she can do whatever she wants.

    Watching other children play together age-appropriate and have fun. Watching friendships form for other children. Watching my child stand on the sidelines rejected, alone or being used.

    Finally being forced to send her to someone else to give her what I couldn't -- complete structure, instant rewards and consequences. The two years she was at an emotional growth boarding school were the most heartbreaking, difficult centuries I've ever experienced.

    As a friend -- The loss of friends who were not willing to accept that this child ("that monster") is my child and that she comes first ... before them, before myself, before anyone.

    As a student's parent -- The constant phone calls complaining of acting out, running from class, not going to class that have been ongoing since pre-school until today.

    As an employee -- The many jobs I have lost because of having to take time off to be there for my daughter for school issues, therapy, meetings. The stress of wondering when I would be called in to be terminated (going through that again now).

    As an individual -- The isolation from others. Neighbors who won't speak to me because of the disruption my daughter has caused, the thefts she did when younger. Shoppers who would stare at my daughter as she demanded whatever she wanted and her rages when refused. Friends, professionals and strangers who would offer advice that I knew would never work for my child (I'd tried spanking her - nada; I'd tried point systems, reward systems, direct consequences, rewards, everything - nada).

    I'm one of the lucky ones. My daughter has a chance. At 12, she didn't. At 12, I foresaw a child who would be a high school dropout, pregnant and on drugs by 16. Today, she is 16, still in school (not sure whether she will graduate, but I'm hopeful), pregnancy is no longer a major fear and very anti-drugs (this is another one that could go either way, depending on who her friends are).

    ODD is truly an ugly, devastating disorder. It is a daily, non-stop battle over every thing. Your chld feels so entitled that s/he will say and do whatever s/he feels is necessary to get what s/he wants. It is mentally and physically painful. Most parents dealing with it end up suffering from stress-related depression. There is a true sense of hopelessnes. I used to compare it having to deal with a teenager when my daughter was 6 and 7. Today, I am dealing with a very immature teenager but I've learned how to cope much better even though there are times when the hurt flows to the point I feel like she has literally torn out my heart and stomped on it. Detaching only goes so far.
  2. Suz

    Suz (the future) MRS. GERE

    In our case, the most difficult part is that my son can't be "cured." His combination of mental illnesses seem to be chronic, with good times and bad....mostly bad, for us. 16 years of therapy, Residential Treatment Center (RTC), group home, countless docs and outpatient hospitalization and he still gets fired, still has no common sense, still goes from place to place...and still hates me.

    It is heartbreaking.

  3. envisablepuppet

    envisablepuppet New Member

    I'm interested in hearing about the most difficult part of dealing with these disorders.

    (One of those things is the reason this post is so long. Just needing ppl to understand why we as parents feel so tormented ourselfs.)

    For us it's this small town we live in. The ppl here have treated her like a bad seed since preschool. Not her peers. I'm talking adults here. Of course sometimes she did have peer problems but over all was well liked. When she was younger she didn't get in trouble ever, except for normal home stuff.

    husband and I fought so long and so hard to help her it seemed some ppl (aka school system) just let her fail. She failed 90% of all classes in public school. 6th grade CATs collage level. I had home schooled for 3 years prior to that, but the isolation got to be too much for her so I had to mainstream her. After we got a lawyer on them believe it or not it got even worse.

    As a family we were very, very close. She was my best friend. As she was growing up she HAD a lot of friends. Both her father and I were very involved in her life. She tried just about every activity out there and was snubbed in all of them except wrestling. She lettered in that. 5'3 115 lbs first girl in the history of the school for most pins.

    My daughter was diagnosed as ADD when she was about 9. She is now displaying signs of BiPolar (BP) and ODD. When she turned 17 the problems became more visible to us. She had become so good at lying and hiding her true behavior, until she hit 17 we had no clue of some of the things she was doing and had done.

    We were quite strict with her and THOUGHT we knew where she was, who she was with, and what she was doing at all times. Like I said she NEVER got into any kind of trouble anywhere. But like I also said, she had gotten very good at lying.

    We found out just this year what she had really been doing. Name it she's done it. Sex and drugs started at 13 yrs old. Don't ask me how because we were the kind of parents that didn't have a problem with just showing up wherever she was at the drop of a hat. She hated it. Said we didn't trust her. We NEVER caught her doing anything shady. Not one time.

    She turned 18 in May. Two months later she left home (her choice not ours) because we had a problem with her coming home in the wee hours on school nights.

    Since she left? She has had contact with the police three times. Lives with the biggest and most hated lowlife in town, dropped out of school, has a major drug problem, may be pg, and may be facing major jail time for aiding and abetting. She has lost all her friends except her best friend of 9 yrs (a wonderful girl), lies so much if she told me it was raining I'd go check. We live in Oregon.

    Now the ppl in this town look at us with either pity, told ya so eyes, or not at all.

    One of the hardest things is the lies. But even worse then that is the fact that SHE believes them. She hates everyone and thinks everyone is against her. She has never admitted to her behaviors. Watching her deteriorate every time we are lucky enough to see her may kill us.

    We started slowly letting go of the dreams years ago. Now the only thing that really matters to us is that she lives.

    She is mentally unstable, delusional and lives in a fantasy world. Because of her age and the laws, all we can do is watch and die just a little inside every time the phone rings.
  4. Guest

    What I haven't seen mentioned here is the part that families, in the struggle to raise these kids, try not to talk about with others. That being just how financially devasting ODD/CD can be to the family unit.

    The type of schooling/behavioral intervention these kids often need, in a residential environment where they are no danger to themselves or to others, can run up to 6 figures per year. Insurance often doesn't cover this treatment. School district may have to pay for 'education' but their standards have nothing to do with what is best for the child and everything to do with what is cheaper.

    In addition, parents are liable for damages caused by their children up to an age determined by state law in the US.

    It is not uncommon for parents to have to cash in retirement funds, borrow against or sell their homes and vehicles in order to pay for treatment.

    Siblings of ODD/CD children often require extensive therapy for depression and anxiety as well as the impact on friendships and normal social interaction.

    Socially the cost is even higher with the bulk of violent offenders having some form of CD and/or a history of ODD. School districts can be crippled by the expenses of educating these children.

    Marital units very often break up over ODD/CD children which very often plunges the parent who retains custody into poverty, unable to work because a child requires constant supervision for his/her own safety and that of others.

    These kids then become dependent on a patchwork system of gov't medical benefits that are not equipped medically or financially to deal with them.

    A conduct disorder diagnosis may deny benefits to a child because CD is considered to be untreatable by many. An adult with CD is a sociopath--absolutely unable to feel empathy--without a 'conscience' if you will. Yet, children can be treated successfuly in many cases.

  5. StephanieG.

    StephanieG. New Member

    I dont have any direct words for the question asked because it has really all been said but I would like to say thank you to everyone else who answered and to difficult child now gifted for mentioning the others strains as well, marriage, finances, etc. I have tears streaming down my face as I read all of this. It really moves me almost daily how much support there is on this board, support from those who truly know what it feels like. Over the past few weeks I have really come to realize that I am not alone in my feelings.
    Mftstudent, take knowledge from all of us....
  6. kimberlyd

    kimberlyd New Member

    very well said, all...i would only add...

    a sadness for these children because they seem to self-defeating and angry all the time...

    a weariness as a parent because when she isn't raging or sleeping, she has in internal timer that leads her to say something negative or antagonistic about every 2 minutes.

    (i went to school in nebraska...keep warm!)
  7. Lizanne

    Lizanne Member

    All so very well said.......

    The absolute stew of emotions I swim in when I know that more often than not there is no joy in raising my child. Only a mother would survive a hostile environment with nothing but negative reinforcement from all sides to continue to care for a chronically mentally ill child.

    This board is the antedote for such times!

    Thanks for asking!
  8. mftstudent

    mftstudent New Member

    I just wanted to thank all of you for helping me to better understand CD and ODD. Y'all (I was born and raised in Texas, not Nebraska) are truly AMAZING!!! I never expected to get the kind of response that I got.

    I could never understand the personal experiences of those involved in dealing with CD and ODD from reading scholarly articles, so the stories that you have shared with me are truly invaluable. I have learned so much from reading all of your responses.

    I am so happy that this website exists for family members to share their experiences and have such wonderful support from others who face similar experiences. I am so interested in working with children (and their families) in the future, especially those with CD and ODD. I only hope that I will provide similar support, in the future, to families (like yours) as a marriage and family therapist.

    I am totally amazed by the stories that you have shared with me. It is overwhelmingly obvious that you are wonderful parents; you have so much love and concern for your children. I'm very young and single, so I can hardly begin to imagine what it's like to be a parent. I only hope that I will provide my children with the unconditional love and support that you all seem to have for your children.

    Well, my presentation is tomorrow. I know that sharing your experiences with my classmates will help them begin to understand, as I have (in a more "intimate" way), the impact that these disorders have on all involved. I wish you all the best in your pursuit to help your children.
  9. Star*

    Star* call 911

    The most difficult part of having a child with CD

    Watching a beautiful baby you are so crazy in love with become a person with CD who destroys himself without knowing why. And praying that you aren't going to be the parent of somene who does horrible crimes as the nation sits back and passes judgement of your parenting skills.
  10. Fran

    Fran Former desparate mom

    Thank you mft, for taking the time to read and feel these stories. I hope it will touch someone and make one professional see and feel part of our lives.

    Wishing you good luck in your education.

    Having said that my friends, again I find the stories so poignant and heartfelt to move me to tears. I can't prune this out. I will archive it in the event that it can help someone else know they are not alone.
    Thanks for taking the time to help mft with her school work. (she better get an A) :laugh: Just kidding.

    Let us know how it turns out mft.
    I'm in Texas y'all but a yankee by birth. :wink:
  11. Guest


    Maybe we could start looking at putting together an archive of 'public service education' posts?
  12. Fran

    Fran Former desparate mom

    Kat, your idea is great.
    I just need you to move down the street from me. I need a tech person and a secretary. LOL. Not to mention a housekeeper and a surrogate mother and wife.

    Actually, if we put these in archives, when we have a collection we can put them all together in some unique sectioning of the site.

    Right now, I am trying to get over the shock that we are getting a cook book together. rofl.
  13. Stella Johnson

    Stella Johnson Active Member

    Let us know how your presentation goes.
    I agree with Fran, you had better get an A.

  14. Guest


    PM me with ideas. I wrote many a good software and modem manual so might be able to write difficult child tech docs, LoL., and I'm an uber-geek at the best of times.

    Basically we have so much here that could be made into educational docs if OPs were comfortable with posts being exerpted and edited.

    I'm thinking of a repository of docs that could be not only valid for folks who come to CD, but also possibly linked to the rest of the PP world out there.

    I'll write up a couple of 'practice pieces', send 'em to you, and you let me know what you think and whether to post them for public comment.

  15. Guest


    Last time I was in TX was for a job interview in Austin in July. I got off the plane and knew right there no way was I going to move to TX. Heck, my nosehair sizzled...

    I'm a darned good tech person but could use a decent secretary, housekeeper, and wife myself...
  16. Fran

    Fran Former desparate mom

    Oh well, I will keep looking.
  17. Guest

    That's a real relief, Fran. Not only do I look really stupid in those frilly little French maids' uniforms with my crooked legs and knobby knees, but all the ruffles and lace itch like mad and make me crazy.
  18. SassyGirl

    SassyGirl Active Member

    Even though your presentation is tomorrow, I'm going to add this for the archives:

    I found the most difficult thing was to feel love and hate for your child all at the same time.

    Love for all the good things in him. Hate for the things he has done and said because of his illness.

    I didn't know I would ever feel that way when I first held my son.

    The other difficult thing has been the social isolation, not only for my son but for my peers. You just start slipping away from the life you knew. You pretend everything is okay at home when you cry yourself to sleep. You don't share much. You post often.

    These stories are so poignant. Thanks for sharing, everyone.

  19. NatAnt91

    NatAnt91 New Member

    Ditto Ditto
    I applaud all of you that have posted - Everything you said reflected every SINGLE feeling I feel or have felt.

    Thank you
  20. kd58

    kd58 New Member

    I have never read so much much soul as I have read here today.

    I found so many posts that I related too. I found the words to describe the pain I've carried all these years.....

    I have been touched by each of you...and with your permission...I would like to take some of what you have posted to my difficult child's psychiatric. evauluation on the 13th of Jan. I am just beginning to fight this good fight.....and am a sponge soaking it all in.

    Thank you all...