End of my rope

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by KarenB, May 1, 2008.

  1. KarenB

    KarenB New Member

    I haven't been on here months, but things have gotten much worse. I feel like I can't go on with my son. I am looking for some kind of residential place for the Summer. He lies and steals every single day. He broke into our neighbor's house several times before we figured out it was him. He just got caught(by me) for stealing library books from school. He hoards food to the point where we locked all our cabinets and refrigerator. He has encopresis issues as well as bedwetting. He'll be 14 in August. Currently he's only seeing a psychiatrist, no therapy. Therapy hasn't done one bit of good for years, and I couldn't continue to take use time and money for nothing. He hasn't had a neuropsychologist evaluation, and I have read here it's a good idea. I don't know how to get it set up, but I'll find out. They are going to test him at school and see if he can get an IEP, but the guidance counselor said she doesn't think he'll qualify based on other testing and his IQ.

    I feel like the worst mother alive, but I honestly don't want him here. I'm so angry that I can't see straight. He takes whatever he wants and lies to everyone in the family on a daily basis. We have locks on the outside of our bedroom doors so he can't take things from my husband and I, or our daughter. My three oldest kids got fed up and left! The whole family is completely unhappy and disrupted to the point of no repair. And I honestly don't want to subject my new 6 month old baby boy to his older brother at all. I am afraid of what he will learn from his brother, and I certainly wouldn't leave him alone with him! There is so much tension in our house you could cut it with a knife. It sounds like I don't care, don't want to help him. Not at all true. I feel like I've exhausted all measures, and even my sanity.

    Sorry to write a book. I just don't know where to turn.
  2. gcvmom

    gcvmom Here we go again!

    I'm so sorry for the frustration you're dealing with. Don't feel guilty about your anger. It's justified.

    I found our neuropsychologist through our local children's hospital. You might start there. Also, your insurance company may have a listing for one on their website. I doubt the schools will know much about it. Although your county mental health agency might.

    What does the psychiatrist say about the stealing? The encopresis? The hoarding? I'm no medical professional, but to me, all those things point to anxiety. Maybe Zoloft isn't the best thing for him? Wish I could offer you more.

    Hang in there and be good to yourself.

  3. KarenB

    KarenB New Member

    Thanks for your reply and kind words. His psychiatrist said the encopresis will end when he gets a girlfriend.(HUH?) As for the other behaviors, he says there's no medications for ODD, and he suggested therapy. I feel enough of my time and energy has been taken away from my other family members already to no avail. Why start therapy again with no results? He only suggested it, and seemed very nonchalant about it.

    I don't think he has a need for Zoloft either. He shows no signs of depression.

    Thanks again so much for your reply. I'm going to look into getting that neuropsychologist evaluation.
  4. smallworld

    smallworld Moderator

    Zoloft treats anxiety as well as depression, but it can also cause disinhibition, aggression and anger as side effects. Furthermore, your son is on a high dose of Concerta, which can also exacerbate pre-existing anxiety. The medications may actually be making your son worse instead of better.
  5. Christy

    Christy New Member

    I just wanted to offer my support for the struggles you are facing. It's a tough thing to deal with, especailly when it seems like nothing helps. Sounds like a thorough evaluation and possible medication adjustment is in order. Things can get better and every now and again they do. I wish you and your family the best.
  6. Steely

    Steely Active Member

    I understand how hard this must be & I am sorry.

    I echo smallworld on the fact those medications seem really wonky for a kid with mood liability issues. Furthermore ODD is usually a co-morbid diagnosis, and rarely a stand alone diagnosis. The truth of the matter is, he probably has a more serious mental challenge, and needs more mood stabilizing medications than he is receiving. I would suggest a medication wash, possibly while staying at a phosph, a neuropsychologist evaluation, a sleep deprived EEG, and a MRI, before you make a move to residential.
  7. mom_to_3

    mom_to_3 Active Member

    I have been at the end of my rope before and didn't know where to turn. It's an awful feeling, I know. I always feel better if I can take action, any kind of action as long as it moves me out of the place I am unhapy with. I did a search for you. I don't know where you live other than Florida, I hope this link will give you an option for help. That is somewhere to start at least. Call every one, ask every one that denies you help where to go next, who to call. Just don't ever stop! There just has to be help out there! At the bottom of this page, there are more links.
  8. KarenB

    KarenB New Member

    Thank you so much, everyone!

    How do I get him into a phosph? Does his psychiatrist have to admit him? This morning my son lied to me AS I was talking to him about lying!!! GGGRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR! I'm so frustrated right now. Thank you again for the support! Mom to3, I'll check out the link.
  9. Steely

    Steely Active Member

    To get him into a phosph you tell the psychiatrist that you want him on a completely new regimen of medications, and that you are worried about your safety and the safety of your family while that medication wash is taking place, and that you would like him in a phosph during this time. He can also be admitted by you, through the ER, if he is a danger to himself or anyone else.

    Good luck.
  10. KarenB

    KarenB New Member

    Thank you again!
  11. trinityroyal

    trinityroyal Well-Known Member

    You've gotten excellent advice from the others. I just want to send positive thoughts and strength.

    Don't feel guilty about your feelings of anger and frustration. If you were a bad mom or didn't care, you wouldn't be here looking for help for your son.

    When your child's behaviour is having such a drastic, negative effect on the rest of the family, then something's gotta give. I have been there done that. My difficult child is living in long-term Residential Treatment Center (RTC)/Assisted Living, and he and I will NEVER live under the same roof again. It's not that I don't love him, it's just that I don't have the tools to keep him safe and on track, while letting the rest of my family ahve any sort of normal life.

  12. wakeupcall

    wakeupcall Well-Known Member

    Karen, I'm so sorry. These children are very difficult to live with, day in and day out. As you can see by my signature, my difficult child has been in the same boat. He has most of the issues that you have told us about here and then some. HOWEVER, we have no other children at home. It's bad enough what he puts our little Yorkies through, and to even think of what he could do to a sibling sends chills down my spine.

    Just yesterday I made him an appointment. with a neuropsychologist for further testing. Then when I got out the FIVE testings he's had done in the last four years to copy to take with us, I took a step back and promptly called and cancelled it. I don't know if HE can do it anymore...but I decided I'm all through. I will keep him in his medications, but after that, I'm all done for now. I feel like I'm dragging everyone along with me and that NO one is on the same page. He's been in weekly therapy for years and none of it has helped, so last month I cancelled all appts. with the therapist until further notice. No therapy, no more testing, no more of me falling apart. Self-survival. He is what he is and if what I've done for twelve years isn't enough, then it just isn't. Detach 101.

    Your son is putting you and the rest of your family through a living you-know-what. You must protect the rest of your family. They have the right to a peaceful life and if your home is like mine, it's anything but peaceful. We know you love your son....be strong, for all of you.
  13. KarenB

    KarenB New Member

    Thank you again for the support. I know the rest of the family deserves to live a normal life, but I don't know what to do with my son. I'm working on it.

    Forgive my ignorance, Trinity. What is been there done that?
  14. Steely

    Steely Active Member

    been there done that = been there done that

    Just my 2 cents again Pamela and Karen - and take it for what it is worth - but I think you should not give up on finding the right piece to solve this puzzle. After 17 years of going through everything you guys are going through, we have finally found the right medication combo. Now, he still is not where he needs to be in a million other ways - but for the first time I see the rage gone. I cannot tell you how many medication combos he has been on...........but finally it all clicked. Maybe it is age? Maybe it won't last? Who knows - I just know that I can never give up.
  15. muts80

    muts80 New Member

    My heart goes out to you!! Everyday is a struggle to keep my head above water with my difficult child. I wonder some days...am I going to make it through this day? But somehow I do. And you will too! And don't feel guilty about having these thoughts. I often wish for the day my difficult child turns 18 and gets out of my house!! But there's also those days when I look at him and think...it's not his fault. So keep that in the back of your mind when you feel like wringing his little neck! All you can do is the best you know how.

    Lots of happy thoughts beaming your way!!
  16. KarenB

    KarenB New Member

    Thank you for the advice and happy thoughts, but most of all the empathy. It is to the point that I don't even want to lay eyes on him. If I'm in a great mood and he walks in the room I am instantly angry. This is no way to live. I constantly figure out inmy head how long it is until he turns 18!

    I really believe his medications are wrong. First step for me now is going to be getting Medicaid. Then I'll try to get a full evaluation, the possibly new medications. I'll be saying a lot of prayers along the way and trying to keep my blood pressure under control before I have a stroke.
  17. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Hi Karen,
    I know what you mean about being angry the min. you lay eyes on him. You need a break. Can you take the baby and go somewhere for a few days? It makes a world of difference.
    It sounds like your son already has a diagnosis. What's the PTSD from? Is he adopted?
    One of the things my husband does with-our difficult child is to get difficult child to say one teeny tiny bit of truth, and then husband makes a big deal out of it, says, "I forgive you. That was very good and honest of you to tell me the truth. This time I won't punish you." It's really hard to do that when you want to smack the kid but it's amazing how well it works.
    You have to take baby steps.
    I feel for you.
  18. lambsear2

    lambsear2 New Member

    My difficult child was going down the same path (at age 13/14). We were told to contact the department of mental health for the SPOA (single point of application) program (in NY) They take a ton of information and then try to help find the right resources for your situation. I was told that in order to have difficult child placed in a residential program, this was the route I would need to take. (we could not afford to send him on our own)

    Additionally we were advised to file a PINS application (person in need of supervision) This is thru the family courts. The courts have the ability to pull difficult child from home and put him somewhere else.

    The key here is that “you do not have control over difficult child” & “he is a danger to himself & others” "you are in a crisis situation" Those are the key phrases you need to work with- they are attention getters.

    You can sometimes get information/direction from the Dept of family services. Also related to the family court system.

    Sometimes the situation resolves itself. My difficult child was in the wrong place at the wrong time, we still do not actually know how involved he was, but he as arrested at 14. The courts determined that he was out of our contol placed him for 18 months at an Residential Treatment Center (RTC). He is home now and is much more manageable.

    You cannot just give up. It is not healthy for you and will only build resentment. You have to keep working on this even if it is for your own sanity.

    PS- this may seem a bit Occupational Therapist (OT), but you also need to make sure that you have good liability insurance with at least $500k coverage. We are now facing a huge lawsuit due to difficult child. Our homeowners insurance is the only thing that is going to keep us afloat. (in NY you cannot lose your home due to a lawsuit so that is a small blessing.) If your difficult child is already breaking and entering, other things can happen, the signs are all there. You need to protect yourself and your family.

    Additionally, consider keeping a log of your efforts, times/dates/names. Part of our lawsuit is for “negligence” on our part as parents. They are saying that we did not provide sufficient supervision and that we did not try to get our difficult child sufficient assistance.

  19. Sara PA

    Sara PA New Member

    I'm going to join Steely and smallworld in questioning the medications. Antidepressants (Zoloft) can cause or worsen the behaviors you describe. Stimulants (Concerta) can cause daily withdrawal symptoms - sometimes called stimulant rebound - which can include mood swings including depression. There really is no medication which can help PTSD and for that (whatever the cause) he needs to be in therapy.

    I think the clue here is that the ODD is the most recent addition to his diagnosis list. That would be a big red flag that the medications are a part of - if not totally - the cause of his negative behaviors.

    I'd want a medication wash and about 6 months with no drugs to give the brain time to heal, if it needs to, before considering another drug. Doesn't sound as though things could be worse without the drugs than they are with them.
  20. KarenB

    KarenB New Member

    I wish I could get away with the baby, but even if I could financially I have no one to keep my other son. You're right. I do need a break, and I think I'm suffering from post partum depression to boot.
    He has PTSD from his father's live-in girlfriend physically abuseing him when he was living with them. It's a very long story, but she was terrible to him. I reported her to the abuse hotline, but because there were no broken bones or bruises they wouldn't charge her.

    I think once I go through DCF to get Medicaid there are resources available for mental health issues through them. I will certainly ask. I'm sorry about your situation. I hope things get better for you.

    Concerta really works for his ADHD. When he doesn't take it we know he didn't, know what I mean? But I'm with you. I wonder if the medication wash isn't the right way to go. I have been discussing it will my husband and he tends to agree. I also think 6 months with no medications could be great for my son. How do I get his psychiatrist to agree to this? He's newly involved with my son, and when I asked about using Straterra or Adderal he didn't want to change.