how do you cope??

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by Jena, Aug 24, 2010.

  1. Jena

    Jena New Member

    hey me again! :) alot of lost venting to make up for

    so, anyone out there have a manic anxiety ridden kid like mine who pulls all nighters each night or just goes to bed at 3 and 4 a.m. each night?

    how do you cope? i'm just wondering because we're out of ideas. i try to put her down, yet never works. i try to close my bedroom door she just bangs on it repeatedly screaming my name keeping him up and he's got work in the a.m.

    we have zero time together which im sure many of you deal with. only way we can watch a movie etc. is if door is left open. anything else and well let's just say we have to try to wait difficult child out till 3 or 4 a.m. it's crazy.

    years ago i'd sit up with-her. i'm getting older, more tired and incapable of doing that plus she'll be 12. she has to learn how to handle herself, i wont' always be there.

    so, do you give activities, do you allow them to just roam? what do you do???

  2. flutterby

    flutterby Fly away!

    My difficult child needs to talk, however when she's gone from anxiety to panic there is no rational thought. I can bring her back to reality by rubbing her back. I generally don't talk to her while I'm doing this until she's started to come back to earth.

    She pulls all nighters most of the school year, as school is her biggest trigger. We've also been doing this for the past week or so because school starts tomorrow.

    She does need to learn how to cope with this on her own, however she's not going to be able to just teach herself the skills - especially not with the anxiety so high. When the anxiety is that high consistently, I've found it's impossible for difficult child to learn coping skills. You have to get the anxiety down first to a level she can cope with and then start teaching skills.

    Is your difficult child in therapy?
  3. Jena

    Jena New Member

    ok now isn't that very hard for you? when do you get your sleep is what i'm wondering? do you stay up with-her each night?? it's alot to cope with.

    She was in therapy for years, consistently. very recently her therapist bailed on us, long story personal problems at home. sudden leave. we're working with a new one now, art/biofeedback therapy. difficult child was done with-cognitive talk. wasnt' working.

    for us we have a mix of anxiety nights (which i do assist somewhat with) shes' been taught all the skills for years. than we have manic nights where difficult child is just writing her songs, her stories etc. and just super hyper

    this has been for us since birth. that long for you also?? and how does she cope the next day?? with us difficult child doesnt' get up on time for school causing all sorts of disasters for me :)
    Last edited: Aug 24, 2010
  4. Andy

    Andy Active Member

    What would she do if you told her that you don't care how late she stayed up. She can read or do quiet activities as long as she stays in her room? You drop your side of the struggle and see how long/far she wants to play tug of war without an opponent?

    When Diva was a toddler, I figured out the reason she would get up in the middle of the night was to play with me. I put her on the floor in front of the couch with some toys and told her she could play all she wanted but not with me. She soon figured out she would not get my attention in the middle of the night.

    I know that your difficult child has struggles I have not had to deal with so if my suggestions don't work, I can entirely understand.

    This nightly ritual of yours has become a habit. Since she is not working with you to relax and learn to fall asleep, maybe she does need to be left on her own to do so.

    If she can stay out of trouble doing so, I would say to her tonight, "difficult child, I have tried all I can to help you. It is not working! So, since you are almost 12 years old, it is up to you to figure out how to spend your nights before falling to sleep. You will need to do so quietly and stay in your room after everyone else has gone to theirs." Then suggest some activities. Does she like coloring, playing with dolls, reading?
  5. Jena

    Jena New Member

    hey :) how are you??

    lol the endless difficult child insomnia.....

    we do that, and when we do she bangs on my door, calls my name repeatedly keeps him up and he has work the next day. she will only do her own thing (which by the way I do not trust her alone at night ) if my door is left on a crack. we have had nights plenty where we close our door all hells breaks loose the anxiety kicks up, panic attacks occur, she loses it has pushed me etc.
  6. Andy

    Andy Active Member

    I am doing great! :)

    Is your difficult child's anxiety at its highest at night? Have you asked her how she feels when she is behaving like this and what she thinks will be accomplished by the behavior? I am sure you are so tired and worn down that staying calm is near impossible on your end. You have tried everything and now your frustration is at its peak as you are running out of options. Has the night time routines been a focus of therapy? Has it gotten worse? Is she upset about the marriage? Feeling like she is loosing you (even though he has been in the picture for a very long time)?
  7. Jena

    Jena New Member


    hi. she's just the same as she's always been. it only stopped for a brief time when she was on seroquel that we had to pull anyway. this is how difficult child's always been for the most part. just trying to figure out how do other's deal with-it as a parent not even so much helping them. helping yourself lol. my day cant' end at 3 and 4 each night. it's insanity :)

    difficult child has wanted her dad and i to remarry since she was two lol he's remarried as am i now. that'll never end with her. part of the immaturity thing with-her and not accepting reality
  8. Wiped Out

    Wiped Out Well-Known Member Staff Member

    My difficult child use to be up to all hours and then would only sleep about 3 or 4 hours. Seriously it was too much. It wasn't healthy for him (according to his psychiatrist-he was very manic) and it had us worn out. He started taking medications for sleep when he was 6 or 7. The psychiatrist said it was a must! The first question he asks whenever difficult child seems to be ramping up is about his sleeping.
  9. ML

    ML Guest

    I hate to admit it but one of the clonidine side effects has been a life saver in this area. I couldn't handle it, Jena. Of course I've got like 10 years on you but I just don't handle lack of sleep well at all. I hope you find a solution and fast. Have you tried melatonin?
  10. Jena

    Jena New Member

    hi..... i'm sorry to hear you guys went thru it also. it's rough.

    it leaves you irritable, edgy, less patient, you name it. all bad combo with-kids like ours.....

    we have tried all sorts of natural things, melatonin, herbs, roots, you name it. woman at natural food store is amazed how it's like candy to my daughter lol.
    yes we did clonidine, didn't work for us serious side effects. it's soo odd isnt' it how their internal clocks are totally different than ours? she revs up at nighttime. there are nights she's manic and busy busy busy than there are nights it's more anxiety driven.

    i saw a picture of me with the bags under my eyes and said wow eww....... it's been soo long now i'm losing count. sleep wasnt' perfect before with-medication but it was alot better than this.
  11. flutterby

    flutterby Fly away!

    Yes, it's been since birth. I guess I've just gotten used to it.

    A lot of times, I'll lie in bed and she'll sit on the bed and we'll talk. Sometimes that helps because she knows I'm falling asleep. I think for my difficult child the most important thing is just that I'm there when she needs it. The anxiety/panic makes her feel so out of control and she completely shuts down. It's very scary for her and if I don't do it, it's just going to exacerbate it.

    I'm hoping soon she won't need to do it as much.
  12. Shari

    Shari IsItFridayYet?

    Wee didn't sleep for the better part of 5 years. We finally just totally kid-proofed the whole house, and put locks on the doors that he couldn't reach or operate (he wasn't 12). Most nights, he wasn't unattended, but when we absolutely couldn't stay up and fell asleep "watching" him, we knew he would be as safe as was humanly possible.

    Looking back, I have no idea how I survived, let alone kept my job. 5+ years with a perpetual newborn was Lords a plenty.
  13. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    jena, it is time to speak to a psychiatrist about this. It isn't good for her, esp with school, to keep this pattern. There are a LOT of sleep medications out there, trust me. I have taken most of them at one time or another, with few side effects that did not go away after a couple of weeks. My kids, esp difficult child, have also taken them, because insomnia goes back as far as I can find in the family history on my dad's side. There are records of a great-great-great gma who slept very rarely more than 2 hours a day (and was a total witch!), and all of her kids, and most of their kids, had sleep issues. My father either sleeps all day or sleeps not at all now that he is retired. Drives my mother crazy because, as an aspie, if he is awake he wants to tell her whatever odd facts are in his head as they occur - whether it is the rain in some country she has never even heard of, or some new whatever in some obscure field of study that she doesn't care about. Youcan't ignore him or just uh huh because he will quiz you later about it - thus the problems with Aspies that spend their careers teaching, lol.

    in my humble opinion it is well worth it to try ambien (LOVE this stuff), lunesta (my biggest problem is the nasty taste in my mouth, but it sure makes you want to brush your teeth, LOL), remeron, or any other sleep inducing medication the docs suggest. I have the problem that they only work for a month or so at a time, so I rotate through them. My docs all know about this, and are quite happy to give me an rx for a different one every month. If your daughter stops sleeping on one of the sleep medications, it is likely that you will have to find at least 2 that will work for her and rotate them when they don't work. Generally they will work again after a 1-2 month break.

    I know you hate to give her medications. There is NO way she is able to learn to use ANY tool when she is not sleeping. She also isn't going to learn much in school. in my humble opinion you will be shocked at the change in her after a couple of weeks of sleeping normally, or semi-normally.

    When you get up with her, what happens? Do you play, read, talk, etc... with her? What would happen if you got up so she didn't bug husband, but then ignored her or sat like a lump of coal and didn't inter-act with her? Maybe read your own book, insisting she not use the tv, anything electronic, etc.... ? It might not make any difference, but would be worth trying.

    No matter what you do, until she gets a sleep study and/or some medications to help her sleep she is unlikely to be able to break this pattern. Her reg doctor should be able to order a sleep study - they are quite common these days. They can also be very helpful.
  14. Shari

    Shari IsItFridayYet?

    Ya know, easy child 1 was not a sleeper. One of the things we came across when we were looking for ways to help him was a method to reset your internal clock. Basically it was a program of making yourself stay up an hour later than you want to go to sleep for a period of time, and just increasing that hour until you worked your way back around the clock to a normal bedtime. No idea if it would work or not, but we ran across it in several places.