Haven't been here in a while, an update

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by scaredofhim, Feb 3, 2014.

  1. scaredofhim

    scaredofhim Member

    Things continue to be about the same with SS. He acts slightly better at our home every other weekend than he does at his bio mom's, and there is a social worker coming to her home and working with SS a few times a week. It really hasn't made any difference. He has missed 8 days of school recently because he refuses to get up and get ready and go to school, and bio mom claims that there is no truant officer in her county so they won't do anything about it but that if they find out that he is not going to school she can get in trouble. He is still having violent outbursts when he doesn't get his way. Last week someone hacked one of his video game accounts and took all the weapons he had earned and it was all worth 200 dollars, so he went to bio mom and demanded she get out her credit card and replace all the items immediately. She of course refused and he went ballistic, throwing things, punching the walls, breaking a lamp. And she did not call the cops on him nor did she tell us about it. We found out through a third party. Seems there are a lot of things she is keeping from us as far as his behavior goes. I am still scared senseless when he is here with husband and I, and I am beginning to think husband has his head a little bit in the clouds too as far as SS's mental illness goes. He thinks because SS isn't as violent with us (yet) as he is with his mom, that it means that he can control his behavior and from all I have read about bipolar and ODD that just isn't the case. He is very unpredictable, he just relates a little better to husband and I than he does his bio mom. But that by no means implies that he is not dangerous. As have said before, it is going to take SS doing something bad for his bio mom and husband to be willing to do what needs to be done. She still has not filed the unruly child charges against SS even though the psychiatrist told her to file them ASAP at SS's last appointment. She calls us several times a week because he is having a meltdown or breaking still and shoving her, thinking that just by husband talking to him he will stop having the meltdown. You can't even talk to him during a rage...he is in another world and unware of his surroundings. I am getting to the point where I think children's services should be involved, because this child needs help NOW before something bad happens. Please keep us in your prayers. Thanks.
  2. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Hi!! So glad you checked back in.

    Look, forget about what happens with bio. mom and what she does. You can't control her. As for ODD and bipolar, I still feel he has attachment disorder. You have my strongest empathy and I so hope things get better instead of worse. I am going to post symptoms of attachment disorder and you can look at it and decide what you think...it is just for your information and you take what you like or leave it. It doesn't sound like bipolar to me. Bipolar kids are not nasty and cruel...they have moodswings. I have a mood disorder. It's not the same as the stuff this kid does.

    I wish you the best, as always.

  3. scaredofhim

    scaredofhim Member

    I forgot to mention that we weighed SS yesterday, he is up to 189.4 pounds. He has gained almost 30 pounds in only three months and he is almost six feet tall! And just 12 years old. So yeah, I am scared....
  4. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    You should be scared if he is violent.

    Read the attachment disorder link. These kids are the hardest to live with and to treat. You may yet have to parent him outside of the home or else be very vigilant so he can't hurt you.

    Big hugs!!!!
  5. scaredofhim

    scaredofhim Member

    Hi Midwest Mom! So good to hear from you and thanks so much for the information. :) Actually we did mention attachment disorder to the psychiatrist and he does not think that is the problem at all. And SS does actually have the cycling of moods common to bipolar, he is just a cruel, spoiled brat on top of it so it clouds things a bit. husband and I actually like the new psychiatrist that SS is seeing now, he is very good and highly regarded in this area and has a great reputation.
  6. scaredofhim

    scaredofhim Member

    I read the info in the link you sent Midwest Mom and wow, it does pretty much describe SS, not quite all of it but most of it. But none of the causes of Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD) seem to apply to him. husband says SS was well loved and well taken care of when he was young (although husband and bio mom didn't have a very good relationship) and I think maybe that is where the dr. has a problem with saying that Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD) is part of what his problem is. And I am not sure that bio mom has shared much of what the relationship between her and husband was like when they were together. So there is that, and the fact that he does have all the symptoms of early onset bipolar disorder. husband did tell me that SS was a difficult baby and didn't like to be hugged or cuddled much and had colic and problems sleeping and then when he became a toddler the meltdowns started. However, husband and SS's mom did break up when he was about four years old. (they were never married) So his bio mom has been his sole custodial parent since that age. Could the fact that husband and bio mom had a rocky relationship have triggered Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD)?
  7. Malika

    Malika Well-Known Member

    Hi. Sorry to hear about what you are going through with your step-son.

    Really we must beware of diagnosing sight unseen over the internet. We are not doctors or professionals here and really we cannot make diagnoses. Many sites testify to the potential violence of bipolar sufferers - here is just one, at random http://www.sharecare.com/health/bipolar-disorder-symptoms/is-violent-behavior-bipolar-disorder - and I can personally testify to it since I once had a relationship with a man who suddenly, in his 40s, developed bipolar disorder; I was with him when he had a psychotic, violent episode and also with the psychiatrists diagnosing and treating him.
  8. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Malika, that is rare for bipolar. I have a form of it. I have had bad times, but never hurt anyone, including or maybe especially my own parents. Now often bipolar has co-morbid conditions as well. This child does not appear to be psychotic. He knows what he is doing.

    Nobody is diagnosing him. We are trying to show her possibilities because this child is dangerous and his current team of psychiatric help is NOT. Also he is not a man. He is a kid.

    If you live with this sort of violence in a child, you have to explore all possibilities. At any rate, his treatment has not made him better. And the best advice, in my opinion, which whatever he has is for him to be helped outside of the home as he can hurt those living there.

    As our neuropsychologist from the world famous Mayo Clinic told us: "Children are diagnosed wrong all the time." My son was also said to be bipolar. He isn't. If the treatment for the child is not working...heck...go somewhere else and hope somebody else knows more than those you are already seeing. Neurological differneces and psychiatric disorders are not an exact science. It is a good thing to seek out various opinions and to do your own research too!!! :) I know you did research for your son. That is always a good thing. Professionals often miss things that we see because we live with the child.

    I trust Mom Gut.
  9. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    oHi Scaredofhim, so glad you're checking in.
    I agree that it would help to not think about biomom at this point. Just use your energy to handle your own household. In fact, if you have Caller ID, I'd screen her calls. She has to learn to deal with-it on her own and to take her dr's advice.
    One thing that helped me out when my son was growing to big for his britches (literally!-- although he only ended up being 5'8"), is to remember that he is a kid, not a man. A kid in a man's body. He has no idea how big he is, although he can be manipulative. I went to counseling with him and with-o him, and was taught not to let him back me into a corner, and not to panic. Not easy when I'm claustrophobic! But when I learned to stand my ground, and to calmly say, "Remember what we learned at Dr. R's?" he learned to back down. I had to do a lot of deep breathing but it worked. Even 15 seconds of waiting on my part made a big difference.
    Also, as I mentioned in other notes, I did call the police. He had to learn that upending tables and chairs and backing me into a corner would earn him a police visit.
    Keep your cell phone with you at all times.
    When he is calm, can you talk to him at all? Tell him in a calm voice, that it makes you sad to see him so angry and out of control because you know he's grown up enough to use words and do the right thing? Don't use the word "scared." Say "sad" or something else. Don't give him ammunition.
  10. scaredofhim

    scaredofhim Member

    Hello everyone. :) I don't feel like anyone is trying to diagnose my SS but I do very much appreciate all the different information that I get from all of you because it does help when we talk to SS's dr. to be able to throw different ideas out there. It's so hard to sort everything out when it comes to mental illnesses, especially in children. We do try to talk to SS when he is calm, the problem is that he doesn't really listen. He won't even look us in the eye and just nods to answer questions most of the time or gives a one word answer. He will not elaborate on anything. As for psychosis, he has suffered from that. He was documented as being psychotic back in October when he was hospitalized. He threatened to kill himself and he threatened to kill his bio mom. He doesn't even remember a lot of what happened in the ER and the first couple of days of hospitalization. The dr. said he has bipolar disorder with psychotic features. Since he has been out of the hospital, he has threatened suicide, and he has repeatedly threatened to kill his bio mom. Once when he didn't get his way he gave her an evil look and said, "I know where the knives are!" I do agree about bio mom, she does need to handle this on her own, but husband always answers her calls. I don't though. When she calls me I ignore her. If it is an emergency, she can leave a message. She is as lying and manipulative as SS is. Midwest Mom, I trust mom gut too, even though I am only the step mom. And my gut tells me that he is dangerous and a volcano waiting to blow. Bio mom is in denial about his problems, and husband is also to some degree. As a matter of fact, husband texted bio mom yesterday to ask if SS gave her any problems getting up to go to school yesterday and she said he did get up but not when she wanted him to. Then husband told her that, "he was really good over the weekend here." Which is true to some extent, he didn't have a rage or a meltdown, but he spent his whole weekend playing video games and he was hypomanic, talking incessantly and acting like a baby, which is not normal. The problem is that telling bio mom he was "good" just reinforces her belief that nothing is wrong with him, and that will only delay him getting the proper help. Soon he will break the law or hurt someone and then it will be too late to get proper psychiatric help for him, he will be in the juvenile justice system.
  11. MyFriendKita

    MyFriendKita Member

    My son has bipolar disorder (and no comorbid diagnosis), and this sounds exactly like something he would do when unmedicated. He can be very violent, and has been that way from the time he was about 13. He also has the symptoms of Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD) when unmedicated, but none of the causes.

    Thanks, Malika, that's a good thing for all of us to remember.
  12. scaredofhim

    scaredofhim Member

    Another thing I wanted to mention yesterday and forgot is SS's hygiene issues. Have any of you experienced this with your children? This has been a battle both at his bio mom's and here when we have him every other weekend. He absolutely refuses to take showers or brush his teeth at his bio mom's. When we have him we can get him to shower, but he spends literally two minutes in the shower, and doesn't used the soap or shampoo. He gets in, gets wet, gets out. Same with brushing teeth. Takes him 30 seconds. And he will not clean up after himself. There is always toothpaste all over the sink and he leaves his dirty clothes and towels laying on the floor. We have to repeatedly tell him to pick the stuff up and put it where it belongs. Needless to say, because of the lack of hygiene the child has a serious body odor problem and he doesn't care. He also keeps chewing on his hands and fingers constantly. Everything he touches get's all sticky because his fingers are always wet with saliva. But the thing that is really disgusting is that he gets urine all over the underneath part of the toilet seat when he goes, and feces too. And he doesn't bother to clean up after himself when he does it. I really don't know how a 12 year old can get urine and feces in the places he gets it on the toilet seat either. There will literally be dried urine all over the underside of the toilet seat and all over the rim and every the very back of the toilet by the tank. I don't know how it can get all over like that unless he is deliberately spraying it everywhere. Same for feces, it literally looks like it he purposely smears it everywhere. I talked to husband about it and he had a talk with him and told him the next time he messes up the toilet like that (he showed him the mess) he will be cleaning it before we take him back home. He didn't seem to like that idea, he said it was gross. And I told him yes it is gross and I am not cleaning up after you anymore. We will see what happens with that I guess....I am just so stressed out and frustrated.
  13. scaredofhim

    scaredofhim Member

    And here is an update about residential treatment that the in home therapist recommended, bio mom says her insurance will not cover it. And SS's psychiatrist said that before he is even considered for residential treatment he has to try the Youth Challenges program first. If he doesn't improve in that program then residential treatment is an option and the dr. will recommend it. But as I said, her insurance will not pay for it (or so she says so it doesn't look like that will be an option even if the dr. does eventually refer him for residential treatment.
  14. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    So are you going to try the Youth Challenge program? Our Youth Challenge is only for teens and 20-somethings in drug rehab. Must be a different program.

    I'd be teaching him, from scratch, how to use the bathroom. Again. Calmly. With rewards, somehow. Sigh.
  15. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    by the way, the bathroom thing sounds like a combo of ADHD, sensory issues and maybe autism spectrum. Keep your eyes and ears open because things can change.
  16. scaredofhim

    scaredofhim Member

    Saturday we met bio mom at the psychiatrist's off for SS's appointment. He only sees him once a month, and I really don't think that is enough to do any good. Anyway the dr. did not talk to SS alone at all, just had us all in the office at once. He tried to talk to SS but SS didn't interact with him much. Most of the appointment. consisted of bio mom telling the dr. about how rough her life is because SS gives her a hard time about going to school, his rages, violence, lack of hygiene, bad grades, etc. One big issue is SS is tired all the time and sleeps a lot....when he isn't on the video games, he sleeps. Bio mom is concerned about the fatigue. There isn't a medical cause for it, the psychiatrist has run many tests and they have all been normal. He does have ADD (not ADHD as originally diagnosed) but this psychiatrist took him off Vyvanse because it was aggravating the aggression and violence. But he is falling asleep at school and not doing his work so the dr. put him on a low dose of Concerta to see if it will help his attention span and the sleepiness. husband expressed his concern about the Concerta aggravating his aggression and his bipolar even though it is a low dose but dr. didn't seem overly concerned about it and said if it causes a problem he will take him off it. Saturday morning before the appointment, bio mom texted and said SS was refusing to get up to go to the appointment. I told husband and he called her and she started screaming at husband and he couldn't get a word in edgewise so he told SS on speakphone to get ready to leave for the dr. and hung up. We headed out to meet them for the appointment. not even knowing if she would be able to get SS into the car to go. After the appointment, when husband and bio mom were at the window making another appointment I was in the waiting room with SS and he told me that the only reason he came to the dr. was because bio mom took the modem so he couldn't play video game, but she promised to give it back after the appointment. That's how it goes....she takes something away and then gives it right back. SS runs the house...Ugh :(
  17. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    What are all of his medications? Many medications exhaust you.

    My own opinion is that nothing will help this child and with the way bio. mom and his dad try to downplay his behavior, the psychiatrist isn't going to get a true look at the kid. I'm surprised doctor doesn't insist on seeing the kid alone. When my son went to a psychiatrist (wrong bipolar diagnosis...trust me, it happens), my son saw him without me in the room and he was only eight to ten. You may want to try a second opinion.

    Medicaid will pay for residential if this child gets into any serious trouble...such as sexually acting out or hurting an outsider. He is still young, but wait until he is fourteen.

    The poop thing sounds like autism, really. Probably lots wrong with this kid and I still think he probably has a bit of Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD) with other things...he's a mess. In the end, I believe he will end up in residential. His behaviors are too dangerous for him to maintain safe behavior with his peers. And if he is court ordered, he will go...on their dime, if necessary.Unfortunately, the usual pattern for violent, out-of-control kids is that time is not their friend and they get worse. There is a difference between mildly ODD behavior, which can get better, and truly astonishingly bizarre behavior. There is so much wrong with this child and, on top of it, he's not likeable either. If he never expresses remorse, that is more Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD) than bipolar. Bipolars tend to feel really badly when they rage. I have a mood disorder myself and no conscience is NOT a part of bipolar. THAT is your biggest danger with this child. Must be hard to watch it.

    It is possible that your husband has rose-colored glasses about the time when he and biomom were together. Maybe when they fought the baby cried and cried and got no attention when he needed it...in a contentious situation like that it is hard to know if the baby was loved on the right way or enough. So to me, again, JMO stepson is a big Pandora's Box, but nobody knows what is really in it, even the doctors. Their treatment is certainly NOT helping him and if he has allegedly bipolar why isn't he on a mood stabilizer? Why is he on a stimulant? That is bad for bipolar.

    I hope the Youth Program has an impact on him. I mean, everything I type is my own opinion so hopefully I'm wrong.
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2014
  18. jugey

    jugey Active Member

    The psychiatrist we see says kids with any kind if mood disorder should not be prescribed a stimulant without a mood stabilizer. We tried stimulants on their and it definitely triggered some very explosive situations. Now my difficult child takes both and does much better.
  19. scaredofhim

    scaredofhim Member

    His medications are Concerta, Celexa, and Abilify. No lithium or any other mood stabilizer which I find odd because his half brother is also bipolar and he has been on Lithium for a few years, and they have the same dr. Makes no sense to me whatsoever. And this same dr. took him off the Vyvanse because it made the aggression was worse, then he turns around and puts him on another stimulant. He seems to think that since it is very low dose it won't be a problem I guess. I too feel that he is going to wind up in residential, it is just a matter of time. I didn't realize that Medicaid would pay for residential or that the state would if it is court ordered. Bio mom claims to have researched all that and said that her insurance would not cover it so there is no other way for him to go to residential. She just doesn't want him to go to a residential facility, that is the REAL issue. I say better residential facility that Juvie, which is where he will end up.
  20. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Probably juvie and you don't need insurance for juvie.

    Does your child have any remorse? If he has no conscience, that is not bipolar. That is something closer to conduct disorder and a child's form of antisocial personality disorder or Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD). People with bipolar do have remorse when they realize what they have done or else they also have a personality disorder that goes with the bipolar.

    Hang in there. One day you will post that he has been taken to foster care (another possibility) or juvie. Then you can feel safe.