difficult child is struggling; bigtime

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by Jena, Jun 14, 2011.

  1. Jena

    Jena New Member


    So, last night I was up till 4 a.m. Most nights i'm up due to my legs spasm's yet last night it was difficult child. She has attended school for two days, with a very high level of anxiety and has only done a walk thru of the bldg. She is not able to attend any classes.

    She came to me very late last night in the middle of a panic attack asking what's wrong with-me, etc. she said i dont' know why I don't want to hurt myself yet i'm afraid I may.

    So, kitchen knives got cleared out etc. I feel it's due to the returning to school. It has placed her in another episode of hypomania, anxiety, and her Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) is really bad. The whole unrealistic fear thing, hurting herself.

    I feel horrible, my husband and I are like ok september she will not be returning full time. This is not going to go how I had planned in my mind at all. I called her pyschiatrist today to bump up appointment. we can't get in there till next thursday. I'm calling again to ask them.

    Anyone else ever go through this? I feel bad for her. It's as though she's fallen so behind on alot of levels being home with-me all year being home tutored inbetween being in hospitals.

    She def. needs a medication change. She's still on zyprexa and her weight is now 150lbs. it's incredibly unhealthy.

    september will be same as now, do walk thru first, than maybe 1 class. So, we'll be back to tutors again.

    I think i'm going to ask for a mood stabilizer this time and something to use as a prn when she gets that way. She doesn't seem to be able to tolerate benzo's, yet seroquel used to work perfectly as a prn to calm anxiety. Anyone use seroquel in that way?? And has anyone had their kid who normally doesn't present with any suicidal ideation act this way or express verbally this due to heightened anxiety, or Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) or whatever diagnosis they have? if so how'd you handle it besides medication change?

    ok thanks
    Last edited: Jun 14, 2011
  2. shellyd67

    shellyd67 Active Member

    I have no experience with the medications Jena, but I just want to offer my support and a hug ...
  3. 1905

    1905 Well-Known Member

    What is she doing there, just "hanging out"? That's got to be awkward for her, she doesn't exactly fit in just wandering around, that would make anyone anxious. In September it'll be a fresh start for everyone, new classes, new teachers. She should go in Sept, she'll get the hang of it, she just needs to go. Like you say yourself, she's fallen so far behind by being home with you, learn from that. She didn't even do the work when the tutors were coming, what will change by letting her stay home again?
    I'm just playing the devils advocate, but she's really getting too far behind on all levels.
  4. Jena

    Jena New Member

    she did the work. my only question well 2 was did anyone ever have a kid say the whole im afraid i'll hurt myself, and has anyone used seroquel as a prn?

  5. HaoZi

    HaoZi Guest

    We've had good luck with Topamax for the anxiety and trileptal as a stabilizer.
  6. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    we have had many kids who have said they wanted to hurt themselves and the answer to that is a call to 911 or take them to the local ER. If anyone says they want to hurt themselves you need to take it seriously.

    As far as seroquel prn, yes I do believe some folks have it prn but they also use it regularly too I believe. they just have extra for prn.
  7. 1905

    1905 Well-Known Member

    No, I'm going to call you on this...a few weeks ago you wrote she refused to do her work, and had work from November. You wanted to know what you could do. And seriously, I work in a school, children are supervised at all times, there could be serious legal isues if something happened. A child who isn't a student is NO WAY permitted to stay "for the day". I know this is supposed to be a spoft place to land, but come on!
  8. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Um, my daughter has spent full days at a school she used to do to when she had no school and they did. I'd say the issue is the child. So...whatever. All schools are different maybe.

    Jena, I wish I knew what to say. I always had high anxiety and school terrified me. I did have to go. Back then there was no choice. For my anxiety/depression I have taken paroxotine and clonazepan for many years, but I know that each child is different...and you said she can't take benzos.

    Hugs!!!! :
  9. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    Maybe there are difference between the states, on whether schools let a kid stay for a day to reacclimatise. Wisconsin is a long way from NY or NJ.

    As for difficult child's schoolwork - Jena, I can't see how she can have been able to keep up, with all the problems you have shared with us. You've told us how she fights the tutors, is difficult to get started etc. It takes a lot of effort to keep up under these circumstances, let alone catch up. I know - we're dealing with this with difficult child 3 at the moment, and he is a more willing student, from how things have sounded.

    What I'm saying - I think difficult child might be further behind than your loving mommy heart is willing to accept. When we want something badly enough, our capacity for self-deception becomes very high. We convince ourselves it's not that bad, we can slide through.

    With difficult child 3, he is still trying to slide by, but there is another problem which you will also have (inevitably) with difficult child 3 - lack of scaffold in what work has been done. The work in this year is needed to be good enough to lay down a foundation for next year. If you proceed before you have consolidated past knowledge, then the next year's work is even more of a struggle and will risk pushing anxiety through the roof again as the work is even more of a struggle than it needs to be.

    I have an exceptionally bright kid, but we are looking at him having to repeat about half his subjects from this year. And he is willing to work, just unable to maintain his focus for very long at a time. Given the problems you have shared with us about how difficult difficult child has been especially with her tutors, I really think you need to consider that she may simply not be ready to move on with her peers in September. Keeping her back a grade may take enough heat off her, to make it easier for her to cope with returning.

    With the "I'm afraid I will hurt myself," we've been through that with difficult child 1 and easy child 2/difficult child 2. I had to go through the room and remove knives etc. When difficult child 1 broke up with his last girlfriend (before he went out with daughter in law), she had given him an ornamental knife for his birthday. He locked himself in his room with the knife. We watched and waited, did not push the panic button, but as also talked to him. I did the same when easy child 2/difficult child 2 was expressing concern that she might hurt herself. easy child also went through this with a good friend of hers who would telephone us when she felt afraid she was going to hurt herself. it is not necessarily the same thing as suicidal ideation. "I need to punish myself" is not the same as "I want to kill myself" and it is not the same as "I'm afraid I will hurt myself."

    A cutter is not necessarily suicidal. And someone who is suicidal is not necessarily a cutter. But it is an indication that she is feeling a lot of emotional pain. it is also an indication that she IS able to ask for help - very healthy.

    it's something to discuss with the psychiatrist, and perhaps something to talk her through calmly in the meantime.

  10. CrazyinVA

    CrazyinVA Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Youngest has Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD). School ramped up her anxiety immensely back in the day. We had things in place in her IEP such as self-contained classes (smaller class size made her less anxious), and allowing her liberal privileges to go to a counselor or another SpED teacher when she started to get panicky. These are the types of things that helped ease her back into school after each short-term hospitalization. One of the things about anxiety is, the fear of what may happen is greater than what actually does happen.. and just getting them to undertand that is important. Once she knew things were in place to help her when her anxiety got worse, she was bettter able to cope. Without anxiety medications, I might add. I think the medications can help with the transition, but the bottom line is she needs to learn coping skills in order to move forward.

    I don't think the answer for your difficult child is to keep her out of school, if anything, I think that feeds her anxiety that school is some big bad scary place. She can't go through life not facing things that make her anxious. I think your focus needs to be with her therapist, not her psychiatrist... and having that therapist work with the school in putting things in place to help her get back there and back into a normal routine. Don't let her quit trying just because she's anxious. Tell her that she can do this... and that you'll do whatever you can to help her. Getting an IEP in place before the next school year starts should be your top priority, in my opinion.
  11. confuzzled

    confuzzled Member

    i personally wouldnt even give any options--you will go to school the end.

    and i am very empathetic to anxiety issues.

    but i frankly think the longer it drags on, the harder it becomes and losing virtually a full year has exacerbated the issue.

    if it were me, i'd be on the phone immediately insisting she start an extended school year summer program, especially if they offer a 1/2 day program to ease into the routine and i'd make her go. period.

    in my world, i am the parent, it is the law, and my child really doesnt get a say in the matter.
  12. april1974

    april1974 New Member

    Hi Jenna, I don't have any experience with the medications or Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) etc, but don't the schools have Special Education department, they deal with all sorts of issues, can't the school help daughter out and provide a worker for her? It sounds like the tutoring and staying home haven't helped her.
  13. pepperidge

    pepperidge New Member


    What do you honestly expect to get out of your psychiatrist? You have written you don't respect him, he doesn't know what to do, you try medications but only give them a very limited time before deciding they make things worse? If she is really as bad as you say, you need to be working with a psychiatrist you can trust and really devoting the summer to genuinely trialing some medications