does my stepson really have CD?

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by maddymae, May 26, 2010.

  1. maddymae

    maddymae Guest

    Im soo glad to have found this forum! My husband and I waiting for the "other shoe to drop". My stepson was just rx with conduct disorder...until today, I really had no idea what that meant. After spending all day researching, Im scared! I think we have covered all the basis with getting him as much help as we can, so far, no good. He still hasnt taken any responsibility for any of his actions or admits that there is an issue. Any words of advise? we expect he'll be home with us in a couple of days.
  2. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It


    I can't answer your question until you give us more info. Even then, we are just parents of kids with problems, so our answers are NOT diagnosis, and are just our opinions.

    How old is your stepson? Where is he now that he will be home from son? Where is his mother and how is her relationship with him and with you and your husband, esp in regards to parenting? Has your son ever been through a full evaluation, or is this diagnosis based just on his actions? Has he ever been evaluated by a neuropsychologist (a good evaluation takes 100-12 hours of testing over several visits)? What was his early development like? Any medical problems?

    Any history of autism or mental illness on either side of the family?

    Others will be along soon with more welcomes and questions.
  3. SearchingForRainbows

    SearchingForRainbows Active Member

    Hi maddymae,

    So glad you found us but so sorry you had to! If you go to the FAQ section, I think it will help you do a signature. The signature gives us a bit of background about your stepson, known as a difficult child here, so we have a better understanding of what you're going through.

    We're mostly just a group of parents and aren't qualified to give you medical advice. However, we can offer a shoulder to lean on and let you know what helped us through some of our darkest times with our difficult children. The people who come here are absolutely the best!!! They've helped me more than they'll ever realize!!! This board has been a safe place for me for over three years now.

    I really don't have any advice at this point but just want to welcome you to our little corner of the world... SFR
  4. maddymae

    maddymae Guest

    Thanks for the welcome! Im really not looking for a diagnosis, just cant believe that the sweet kid that came to live with us is really in that much trouble. He came to his father 2yrs ago with a "relief from abuse order". He was living with his mother and stepfather, he accused his stepfather of physical abuse. Since my husband was in another state, we really dont know exactly what went on in the household. We have recently requested all the files from the DCF, and should be getting them any day. We hope it will shed some light on the situation. He has never spoke of the accusations again, not even to us or DR or counselors. He has had a history of testing, medications, counselors, IEPs, ect...since second grade. He has been diagnosed with ADHD since he was 6, he's 15 now.

    When he moved in with us, we decided that maybe a fresh start would be all he needs, to get away from whatever was going on in the other home. Everything was great for awhile, he was awsome with my 2yr old, my family, fit right in to everything. He started a new middle school in my town, was near honor role for a bit. Then we started getting the phone calls, distracted in school, not doing his work, but not "acting out" either. We talked to his mom and found out his last medication was concerta, we asked him if he would like to back on it, he said yes. and so we did. then next phone call from the school was a bit more disturbing, he had been on the school computer and found out how to access porn. Again, we called his mom, this was apparently not the first time he had been on these websites in school, the first time was 6th grade. After beening caught in school he proceded to do it several more times, nearly crashing the school computer. Finally, he was just simply not allowed to use schools computer. When the school computer was no longer available for him he began using every computer he could get to for porn. My mothers, imagine your mother turning on her computer to find a history of 30-40 websites that where as I would consider, hard core. She locked down her computer. When that was no longer available he moved on to my work computer, he was alone with it for no more than 15mins. He doesnt come to work with me anymore. He also got into my brother in laws computer, and our home computer. We finally cut all ties with computers, we began locking our bedroom door with the laptop in there. Thats when he began breaking in to our room to get to the computer, several times. each time he was caught. The last time he broke in he finally crashed our computer. (we where in no hurry to fix it.)

    So after all the computers where locked down, broke, or just off limits, he discovered "pay per veiw" on our cable tv. We didnt know that there was a default code to order movies, He ordered several porns, again, hard core, costing us several hundreds of dollars. There is no longer an option for renting movies on our tv.

    For his birthday, i gave him a cell phone and a little freedom. Within weeks he found the 800 numbers, phone sex. he was staying up all night on the phone. again, I discovered the several hundreds of extra minutes on his line and took the phone away. costing us a fortune again. The phone stayed with us until one night he wanted to retreive a phone number from it. we let him and took the phone back. The next week, there it was again on my bill, he had been stealing the phone back late at night and putting it back before we got up. Cell phone is gone far away now.

    so, with the pay per view gone, the computer gone, and the cell phone gone, and us on him like a hawk, he began renting movies from cable at my sisters house (occasionally he would sleep over there) nipped that in the but too. About 3 months ago, we noticed that my husband's cell phone had some extra charges on it, He was at it again, stealing my Dhs phone late at night and accessing the internet for porn. Now we lock our cells up too along with anything else that might be the least bit sexual.

    along with the obsesion with porn came the breaking and destoying things. Not so much as an angry thing, just given nothing else to do, he will rip things apart, including his own things. He destoys thing into tiny pieces, not to put them back together, just to rip them apart.

    moving on to high school, we again had high hopes, he was taking the concerta, seemed to help with the adhd, new school, new teachers, another fresh start. I should mention, the day before he graduated from middle school, he was in the worst fight the principle has ever seen. He was able to attend the graduation cermony. He claims that he and the other kid where just screwing around. difficult child attacked another student from behind, hit him with a book bag so hard that it broke the skin, and began strangling him.
    teachers got it under control and I was called. back to high school. behavior was ok but grades fell to failing quickly. He wasnt doing any class work, his assigned home work would be done with me after school everyday but he never turned it in. He would go as far as throwing it away right in front of the teacher. His behavior at home was starting to get worse and worse, not physical with us, just defying, and lying. He also started stealing from family and friends. the thing that is most troubling about the stealing is that he steals from people and shows absolutly no conscience. he could hang out and have a conversation with you while he had your 50 bucks in his pocket. like nothing ever happened. no remorse at all. even after he was caught red handed.

    ok so on the the breaking point...recently my husband remodeled a sun room into our new bedroom (he is awsome!) we had our computer rebuilt, difficult child didnt know. our first night in our new room, we noticed hand prints all over the new windows. the computer was on a small table, since we know better, the windows where locked and the door was locked, he took a 30min oppurtunity to try to break in to get to the computer, couldnt reach the computer through the window, grabbed a cosmo magazine instead. Knowing that he had broke in again, I searched his room while he was at school to see if he had stole anything else, found a razor blade. I met him at the bus stop and brought him home. made him show me his arms and legs, found cuts all over his arms. I needed to run out to pick up my son from daycare, less than an hour, got back and he was gone. he ran away. found him a few hours later at the mall with my niece. He told her that he ran away because we where awful and mean to him. Also told her that my husband hit him. Not the case! he told us that he ran away because he thought that our lives would be better with out him there. He tells people exactly what they want to here. Hes very smart.
    the rest of the weekend was a nightmare, more cutting, destroying things, ect. finally sunday night my mother approached me with the story he told my niece about husband hitting him. An absolute lie. I was there. I told husband, difficult child denied saying it and the aguement began. difficult child ran away again. we contacted the police, and waited. He showed up at school the next morn. We met him there with the guidence couselors and principles. They suggested a "chins" order. We needed more than that. so we brought him to the ER and contacted the crisis team. 20hours later we were on our way to Brattleboro retreat. normal stay there for assesment is 4-6 days. difficult child was there 14 days. he loved it. the doctors said that he was getting along great with the other kids but not taking any responsilbity for why he was there. after 14 days, and no progress, the discharged him to a transitional program closer to us. he there for another 4-6 days. then home. the diagonosis from the retreat is mood disorder not otherwise specified, adhd, and conduct disorder. they did change his medications to wellbutrin 300mg daily.

    his father and I are getting back to being in love. We've only been married less than a year. We are trying to get our family life back and focus on us and our 3yr old. difficult child decisions now are going to effect where he calls home at this point. we have serval services set up just in case the home coming doesnt go well. we are determined to have a zero tolerance for lyng, stealing, poor behavior, ect...

    These are just a few of the issues with him, i could go on for days.

    thanks for listening. it helps to know we arent the only ones going through this stuff!
  5. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    It sounds like you have a LOT to handle with him, a little one and a new marriage. First I would make having some one on one time with your husband every week a priority. Time where you do NOT talk about difficult child and his problems or anything in relation to him. If it is the same time each week difficult child will make SURE to cause a problem at that time or use it to get into stuff.

    Lock up whatever you don't want him to get into or break. Esp medications. Has he been drug tested? It may play a role. I would problem but a lock on the little one's door so that when you are not home and the little one isn't in there, difficult child cannot get into there just to mess up her things. Your little one deserves to have her own stuff and have difficult child not mess with them or destroy them. I am NOT saying she has much he wants. But if he gets some whim it is not out of the realm of possibility that he would take or trash her stuff, esp if he thinks she told you something he said not to.

    The mood disorder diagnosis does not surprise me, esp with the determination to get porn. Now most teens, esp boys, go through a period of time where they are interested in porn. Your difficult child takes it to a whole new level. Does he have a psychiatrist at home? I would ask to have him put on a mood stabilizer. These are the first line drugs for bipolar and mood disorders. Welbutrin is an antidepressant. If difficult child is not "simply" depressed, the welbutrin will likely cause his moods to cycle more and it will make the hypersexuality and other things worse. There may be an improvement for the first little while, but chances are that it will start to create more problems than it fixes.

    Now hopefully proper treatment for bipolar will help a whole lot. There are chances that the stealing, lying, etc... truly are signs of conduct disorder. I thought you had to be 18 to get that diagnosis, but this may have changed with the new version of the DSM (manual psychiatrists use to diagnose).

    I am sorry things are so rough. I would read the files from DSS that you have requested, taking any statements difficult child made with a whole pillar of salt. Remember the way he lies to you, he lies about you that way most likely. And most likely he did so about his mom and stepdad.

  6. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    You asked if he could have conduct disorder...I would say yes based on what you have described. He could also have the co-morbid mood disorder. Getting the mood disorder treated could help the conduct disorder...or not. If I was in your shoes, and I have been, I would contact your local mental health agency and ask if they have MST to help treat conduct disorder in teens. They will also work with a psychiatrist for the psychiatric component.
  7. maddymae

    maddymae Guest

    Good morning,

    difficult child has been drug tested, clean. We havent seen anything that would point to that yet but, we are concerned that it may pop up somewhere, sometime. We do lock up my sons room and everything else. yesterday we had a meeting with his new doctors. again, he's being treatment resistant. causing his stay at the hospital longer than most. they have started the process to have a "risk assesment" done asap. The records from DSS came, 2 files, both of physical abuse from stepdad, nothing about sexual abuse, both where dismissed, not enough evidence to support difficult children accusations. husband and I are spending more time together, time for us. Both of us are feeling guilty that our home life has been sooo much easier with out difficult child there. We've decided on a zero tolerance approach, as far as the lying, stealing, breaking in and porn.

    Depression was the most recent rx. the doctors also decided to medicate with wellbutrin because it may slow down his hypersexual behavior. Thanks for the tip on wellbutrin, the first time they medicated for depression they gave him prosac, 3 wks into it is when he really started go down hill quick. I will be looking for signs of that with the wellbutin too.

    This is all new for us, any tips or advice is really appreciated! especailly because we live in a tiny town, and im not so sure our area doctors are as well rounded as we would hope!

    thanks for listening!
  8. maddymae

    maddymae Guest

    Cd has been confirmed, I cant understand why a mood stablized hasnt been talked about yet. Ill bring it up today. we are in contact with a state mental agency, thats where he is now, but again, being treatment resistant. He is going back to school on tues, the XXXX center will be transporting him to and from. He will be still staying at the group house. We are taking baby steps to get him back in a routine, I think that if hes going to act out it will be in school next week. We'll see...Maybe he'll get the picture, realize that he needs help.

    thanks for listening!
    Lasted edited by : May 28, 2010
  9. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    It sounds like you have good services set up for him. The risk assessment is a very good idea. I do wonder what the docs are thinking when they say welbutrin will help with the hypersexuality. Welbutrin is an antidepressant and is not helpful with bipolar patients and many mood disorder not otherwise specified patients. It makes things worse, from what I have seen and read. Do you meet with the psychiatrists or is it just husband? Whoever meets with them should ask why welbutrin and not a mood stabilizer. The docs may insist on giving the welbutrin a few weeks to see what happens. Sometimes you have to let them test a few square wheels before they figure out that wheels need to be round, Know what I mean??

    Please try not to feel guilty that you are happier when he is not there. It is a very normal and natural feeling - we have all been there done that. Do all you can to strengthen your relationship and recharge your batteries before difficult child comes home from the group home, if he does.

    You and husband will need to be VERY careful at home. difficult child has two allegations of childhood against his stepdad. difficult children often use this to try to get what they want. Stepdad may well have lost it and gotten physical with difficult child. But there is also a chance that difficult child wanted stepdad out of the picture because stepdad wanted him to behave or do chores or whatever. difficult child may have expected his mom to automatically toss stepdad out if he said stepdad abused him.

    difficult child may very well try this with you and husband. Be relatively careful when you are alone with him - when either of you are. Some parents have gone so far as to install video cameras in every room so that allegations like this can be disproved easily. Also to give more info about what difficult child is doing at any given time. It is something to think about, in my opinion, in your situation.

    Sending hugs and strength!
  10. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    Seriously - the video cameras in each room would be a good idea. But don't let difficult child know they're there.

    If you and your husband are bringing in a zero tolerance attitude and determined to stick to it, and if difficult child has been bringing vexatious allegations, then you can almost guarantee he will respond to your zero tolerance, with more allegations. The cameras can give you the security of an independent witness.

    You need to instal the spy camera type, probably inside a book on the shelf, inside a clock or inside a VCR. Now, while he's still in hospital, is the time to begin to instal your self-preservation. You need the kind of camera that transmits to a recording device stored elsewhere. That way the camera can be tiny; the recordings can be somewhere in the roof space.

  11. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    You have your hands full. I actually think CD is probably right...that can lead to antisocial personality disorder (somebody who has no conscience). He probably has co-morbids too. As for drugs, drug tests don't always show everything. I wouldn't count it out. I would worry about this kid around the three year old and wouldn't leave them alone. I don't think you'll be able to actually implement zero tolerance because he won't listen to anything you say. He seems willing to break the law with no qualms about it to get what he wants...he is an extreme case. Was this child maybe exposed to drugs or alcohol by birthmother when she was pregnant? Something seems really wrong upstairs. In the end, he may need to stay in an Residential Treatment Center (RTC). He sounds like a danger to himself and others.

    Good luck, whatever path you decide to take.
  12. maddymae

    maddymae Guest

    Both my husband and I attend all meetings. difficult child has made allagations against husband of mine in the past, not me. Again, not true.
    husband visited this weekend with out me, said the difficult child seemed to be better with conversation and almost cheery! great to hear. as far as his stay at the group home, he hasnt been cutting but, eratated his hand til the point its now broke. (punched a wall in first hospital 2 and half wks ago., wasnt broke then) We are thinking that he continuely hit things with out nursing staff knowing and eventually broke it. Had an exray on friday, now in a cast. \

    the center sent him to school today with out any supervision, we where hoping that he would have someone close by, we already have reports that he was "banging his cast around and picking at the scabs". (scabs from cutting himself)

    I must say, im worried that the attension he will be getting from his peers may make things worse. I was almost hoping that they wouldnt allow him back in school with the cuts and broken hand. We'll see, no other calls or emails from school yet today.

    i am seriously considering the cameras, I think things are gonna get far worse before they get better. husband is now wanting to get him back home asap, just to kinda feel the waters. I agree, guess we have to know what more we are dealing with. anyone have any experience with the porn addiction? im really not comfortable around him anymore. Not comfortable with him around my 3yr old either. not that i have ever seen him doing anything inappropriate with my 3 yr old but, who knows to what extent he would go? I have caught him looking in the bathroom window at me undressing for a shower, not a good feeling, locked my self in my room the rest of the day. He and I where the only ones home at the time. sometimes i really feel like we are over reacting, but when you put all these instences down on black and white, its really pretty scary. by the way, he's 15yrs old 6ft 1inch, and 175lbs. big kid!!

    he also starting kinda dating a new girl at his school last month before all ****broke lose....should we be concerned for her? the only time he isnt supervised is at school. Ive tried to do some research on the sexual aspect of all this, but really couldnt find much.

    thanks for listening!!!
  13. maddymae

    maddymae Guest

    husband was with birthmother through pregnancy, no drugs. difficult child is never left alone with my 3yr old. We just never trusted him, even before we knew about the porn and masturbation.

  14. LostMama

    LostMama Guest

    What you wrote sounds like some of the stuff we are dealing with...well, minus the porn stuff. Our difficult child cuts and she has always picked at scabs like that. We've also had destruction of property and other stuff you've written about. It's tough to deal with at times. Glad you found us.
  15. busywend

    busywend Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Does he ever see his mom? Have you all considered that the abuse accusation on StepDad was false, too?

    Have you considered moving him back to his moms?
  16. maddymae

    maddymae Guest

    before the "crash point" difficult child would see his biomom once every 6wks or so. he isnt allowed at her house since last july, when he stayed a weekend while we where on our honeymoon. He stole a porn they had locked away. bio mom has been pretty active since the "crash point".

    difficult child started back at school last tues....right back to the tricks. not doing any work, lying about handing in assignments, yadi yadi. husband and I had a family meeting on weds night. difficult child was there, sounded good, he told us everything we needed to hear. we where about to say lets bring him home. Family meeting was followed the next day with a meeting with school, DCF, and case worker.

    at that meeting we where advised that difficult child told us what we wanted to hear and if he was to return home the behavior would be back in days. (exaclty what we had warned doctors about. he got us too this time.)

    at the advise of the professionals, he was evaluated on friday to see if he is at risk of being a sexual preditor. we should hear more about that today. They also highly recommended a 45 day stay in a diagnostic bed. yesterday we got a phone call from my sister in IN. when we where on vacation last month he proceded to rent 4 porns from her pay per view. not a huge shock, but, the only tv in the house is in her living room, where she slept every night. Sooo, basically while she was asleep on the couch, he was renting porn right in front of her! needless to say, that made our decision for us. Intake today.

    im guessing the testing is going to reveal some risk....

    thanks for listening, it really helps to just write it down.
  17. MrsJarheadSM

    MrsJarheadSM New Member

    Hi love,

    OHHH my heart reaches for you! I am in a very similar situation, with different details. My stepdaughters are 15 and 11, soon to be 16 and 12, and they moved in with us a bit more than 2 years ago. We got custody because bioMom had checked the then 9 year old into a state facility for delinquent children, which we thought was totally ridiculous since we had visitation and she always seemed a bit unruly (this was credited to the ADHD) but otherwise fine. Even the staff at the facility she was placed in thought she was an angel and couldn't figure out for the life of them why she was there.

    Fast forward, she moves in with us, I figure out VERY quickly that she is the most capable actress I've ever met (reminder: she was 10 at the time - terrifying). To this day, even after carefully explaining her behavior at home, my parents come in to town for a week or so and are enamoured with her - "Oh we think if you just were a little kinder and more loving towards her, she would come around".

    When it's just she and I, she's kicking dashboards, punching walls, glaring at me in such a way that I truly believe she will try to attack me when the time is right. However, IMAGE is very important to her - she gets VERY upset when you say that you're going to explain her behavior to someone she thinks she's managed to con. Husband, unfortunately, is not able to differentiate as much as I wish he would, and she often can manipulate him back into trusting her and allowing her to do things she certainly shouldn't be able to do. By 10 1/2, she stolen from the mall, ran out of the house on numerous occasions (she's never run away, but we live in the country, so it would be pretty hard to do). This past weekend she flipped my husband off and FINALLY said, out loud (not that I needed her to tell me), that the only reason she cares what I say/do/feel AT ALL is because Daddy gets upset when I'm upset. Have I mentioned my husband is active duty military? Last time he was gone for training, she went to school and told her guidance counselor that I abuse her. Hmph - it's actually exactly the opposite!

    You and hubs do need to be really careful, especially if he's pointing abuse fingers, however, if he's diagnosed with CD by a neuropsychologist, they may be willing to back you up if for some reason child services gets called. My stepdaughter was diagnosed with CD by a neuropsychologist at age 11 (they will diagnose before 18, but only in rare cases where the child REALLY doesn't seem to present symptoms of other disorders, and whose behavior truly is above and beyond) - when I told the neuropsychologist of her abuse accusations, she told me that in the event child services ever DID get called, to tell them to contact her first so she could inform them of the behavior that CD & ASP (Anti-social personality disorder) present. Unfortunately, while there seems to be some sort of assistance for parents of children with bipolar and other "real" mental/mood disorders, there seem to be very few options available for stepchildren like ours unless you can pay out of pocket for them.

    I know the frustration of caring for a kid who doesn't care. My stepdaughter has no remorse for anything....she doesn't even really get upset or bothered when she gets punished, because it's like she's accepted that WE are crazy and just punish her "even though she didn't do anything wrong" (she's convinced herself that everybody else needs help and that there's nothing at all wrong with her behavior). It's infuriating when you punish a child who is destroying your home in the hopes of teaching them something and they have no emotion at all....then as soon as they're out of punishment, they go right back to doing whatever.

    DO try to maintain a strong relationship with your hubs. Mine and I have been married for almost 5 years and it is a daily struggle to not let her issues in between us. Part of that, however, is his naivity to the situation a lot of times (also infuriates me) and his willingness to baby her to keep the peace. She LOVES attention and if she were at the center of the universe 24/7 it wouldn't be enough, so when he treats her like a 3 year old, she's like puddy.

    ANyway, I'm here for you! I'm sorry I don't have any help to offer. She's on Adderal, Intuniv, Prozac, and Abilify. The Abilify HAS helped in that when you punish her, she doesn't curse you out and tell you you're wrong and you should believe her and you're mean and nasty because she didn't do anything, but instead blows a whole lot of smoke in saying "Yes. I understand. I'm sorry. I shouldn't have." even if it's the same rule that's been broken 5 time in a day. She's trying to convince us now that she DOES feel bad (though you can tell in her face and her continued behavior that she'd doesn't). She's learning all that language at the counselor who is TRYING to teach her how to feel remorse (not working, just learning how to fake it). ~SIGH~

    Please email directly if you need me. I need to check in on here more often, but things are nuts around here. HUUGGSSSSS! Remember you don't have to be strong all the time....that's my biggest battle.
  18. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Welcome, MM and MrsJarheadSM.
    My heart breaks for you all.
    What a mess.
    MM, my first thought was that the accusations against his stepfather were fabricated. difficult child has just too long of a history to be much of a victim any more.
    I am glad that you are doing all the right things, and that he is doing well in hospital, despite the fact that he refuses to take any responsiblity for his actions.
    Does his biomom have anything going on with-genetics and family members ... alcoholism, depression, etc? This could be genetic. It can skip a generation. Just a thought.
    I totally understand the feeling of peace when you are home with-o difficult child. It is SO nice!
    Stay in touch.
  19. Marg's Man

    Marg's Man Member


    This is a dinosaur thread, maddymae only made made 8 posts so it looks like she has moved on.

    Even MrsJarheadSM's post is fairly old so she is probably gone too.

    Marg's Man