I'm not really a parent... child in need of help? (ODD?+ADHD+?!?!?)

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by Hitchhiker42, Mar 10, 2011.

  1. Hitchhiker42

    Hitchhiker42 New Member

    Um. Hi. Er.
    I'm not really sure where to go and I was googling ODD and ADHD and came across this so uh. :D hi.
    I've been diagnosed with ADHD and Dysgraphia since 6th grade. My little brother has it, as does my dad. I'm 17 years old, and I'm a senior in high school.
    Recently, I've been researching college options and whatnot and difficulties I might have with ADHD in college and I came across ODD. I fit the... majority of the symptoms? That's a bit of an understatement; my personality basically IS that.
    See, I'm VERY argumentative. Of course, this is helpful, being Captain of the Debate team (/brag), but at home it can be awful. I just argue and argue with my parents until I get my way. I just see everything they do as stupid and unjust. I literally CAN'T drop an argument because I know that means they 'win'. Especially my dad because if I drop an argument or I leave he makes this face like.. haha. You know just. A smirk. Because he knows he's won. I also do the same thing with my debate coach, and I talk out at her all the time (because she had done some very... well. I thought they were awful things). I don't have this problem with teachers, unless they are mean or... talk down to me. Like I'm not an equal. I guess it's because I just have this thing where I think I know better than my parents/most people (BUT I DO.)

    My parents also complain about me blaming people. Like. When I did something wrong I will say "Yeah I hit her BUT she hit me first" or "Yeah I forgot to do my homework BUT my teacher did not post it on blackboard".

    ... I also disregard my parent's rules. My parents told me I cannot take food to my room? Well what do they know? I take it up anyways. My parents told me I couldn't get pet rats? I bought them myself. I guess I just... follow my own rules. :/

    I also cannot help it, but a lot of my friends get upset at me because I can't drop arguments with them.

    The thing is, I'm really missing a huge part of ODD- the violent part/sexual promiscuity/drug abuse. I'm just not violent. Well, I am violent with my WORDS but uh. yeah. I'm also not very promiscuous (never even been on a date), and I am a teetotaler- TOTALLY against drugs/tobacco/alcohol. The only time I have ever been in trouble at school was insuboordinance in 9th grade. (Teacher was trying to make me organize my binder and I refused)

    I'm also indecisive. The other day I was buying groceries and I couldn't decide what to get and I just began taking items and putting them back on shelves and then I started sobbing because I just COULD NOT DECIDE.

    I'm also sort of... I don't know. Insecure yet confident? I'm always afraid people are talking about me behind my back but I'm like WOOO cheery around all the time and I'm a good leader (I HAVE to be leader. THINGS MUST BE DONE /MY/ WAY) but in stores I'm afraid to talk to clerks because I'm afraid they will be upset at me.

    ... I also have hygiene issues. I just... I can't explain. I forget? to bathe? I also hate showers and have to take baths. I sometimes go like 4-6 days because I simply keep FORGETTING.

    Do I have ODD? something else? I just feel so lost because I have all these... I just know it's MORE than ADHD. Sometimes I'm like WOO happy (yeah like right now LOL) and other times I'm like well balls I've had the best day ever and I'm still upset. I've been asking for therapy for a long time but my parents say that it won't help me because they will just say I'm wrong and that will make me worse. I just wish I could go home without ARGUING all the time. I've resigned myself to sitting in my room.
    I'm a good student (well sort of. I'm really forgetful and I am VERY disorganized)

    Is there anything I can do? I e-mailed my guidance counselor at school but he never e-mailed me back and I'm so non-confrontational that I don't know what to do because while I can type all this out I CAN NEVER SAY IT TO SOMEONE IN REAL LIFE

    ... it's really frustrating.

    sorry for like the longest post ever I just don't know what to do and I'm so worried about college and if I can't even do this stupid stuff how am I ever going to go to college or become a teacher? (Like I want to be)
  2. dreamwallaby

    dreamwallaby New Member

    Welcome to the group, though I am so sorry you are struggling. You have made some very important steps by first recognizing that there is a problem and also by wanting to help yourself. Maybe you should print a copy of what you just wrote and give it to your guidance counselor and also your parents. I find that writing is sometimes a better way to communicate, especially if you are argumentative because you can't get pulled into an argument and away from what you really mean to say. I wish your parents were more supportive of helping you find a psychologist or psychiatrist, but maybe if you do the research, find someone you would like to see and then provide them with the info they need to sign, they will let you. My fiance' read a great book called "Driven to Distraction" on ADHD. it helped him. I wish you the best of luck and hope your family can be more supportive.
  3. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Print this out and show it to your guidance counselor. You do need to get help. You could also go to your county mental health services.

    I think you should also show this to your parents. (((Hugs)))
  4. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    Welcome. I do think ODD is not the main tag you should be looking at. At 17 it is tricky to get a neuropsychologist assessment, because a lot of them are geared towards diagnosing or assessing younger kids. But there are services and assessments around for adults, it could be worth checking into those. Your college could be a starting point.

    Support - it is there, but you need to pinpoint what exactly you think you would need help with, in terms of what you need to be able to do for college. For example, the dysgraphia, at one of our colleges, could get you a scribe to take notes for you. Or you might be able to get permission to tape-record your classes. You might need to do some negotiating on that - I had to tape my uni classes (different reasons) and there were a lot of obstacles over it, until I offered to make the tapes available to any student who asked for them. Then the tapes were okayed, and things went smoothly.

    Are you male or female? It does make a difference. Because especially if you're female, I think you need to look into Asperger's Syndrome. The indecision you describe seems to be especially a girl thing in Asperger's (from my personal observation).

    It is very perceptive of you to identify blaming as a problem for you. It is a bad habit to get into, and one you need to get out of. Maybe write out for yourself and stick on the wall, "Sometimes bad things just happen, even to good people." You would benefit from some counselling, probably cognitive behaviour therapy, to help you modify the behaviour problems you have identified. They are not locked in stone. Whether your diagnosis is 'only' ADHD or something more, you have still already adapted a lot to modify yourself towards a more normal social functioning. But I have often said - it is like the swan on the lake. You adapt, so you appear to cope and function well, but it only SEEMS serene as it glides on the e lake. Underneath the ate there is a lot of furious activity going on, to make that semblance of serenity possible.

    I have two sons with autism or Asperger's, and a daughter who we're fairly sure has Asperger's but has not got a diagnosis. All three of them have ADHD too. You remind me of my Aspie daughter. She saw her therapist just today, she needs help dealing with her indecision and her anxiety levels, especially how she gets teary so easily when she has to confront someone. Or when she has to talk to her lecturers. She is highly intelligent, socially perceptive (almost intuitive) and is amazing in so many ways. But she also can be very argumentative and is very blame-focussed. She is 24 years old.

    Welcome, there is a lot of support and advice here.

  5. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Marg...wrong about NeuroPsychs. They diagnose adults too. I've gone to them three times as an adult. I think a neuropsychologist would be a good idea, but they can be pricey and at 17 she still may need parental approval. I'm not sure about this.
  6. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    Yes, neuropsychs do diagnose adults, but in my experience some of them, a lot of them, tend to focus mostly on kids and as a result they don't have the experience or test material for adults and merely try to extend the childhood test material to cover it. It should be easy to check ahead, to make sure any neuropsychologist Hitchhiker tries to get in to see, is equipped and experienced in accurately assessing young adults.

    difficult child 1 was assessed when he was 15, at a specialist multidisciplinary clinic. The testing took all day, but they told us afterwards that they usually only tested people up to age 17 and even then, only if they had obvious mental deficits. difficult child 1 was right at one end of their spectrum and as a result, I think they missed a lot. The test they applied, technically was valid to be given to a 5 year old, but it lost accuracy badly. He should have been tested as an adult.

    It's like trying to accurately record and measure certain sound volumes - if the speakers are set to record fairly standard music, or speech, and you then try to use the same system to record te cannon from the 1812 Overture, you will get distortion because it is too far off the scale. In the same ay, being a little older tan the usual testing range for a practice CAN mean that their results are inaccurate and distorted.

  7. busywend

    busywend Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Welcome! You sound so much like my difficult child it is scary - if she was 17 I would ask if you are her! Well, she did not do well in school - but she is very smart just could not figure out how to get organized enough or focus enough.

    Anyway, first I think it is a huge sign of intelligence that you recognize your own self. Self realization is the first step to improvement. I assume you do not want to 'change' but to improve your techniques for dealing with people and not be so confrontational.

    My difficult child once said to me 'stop trying to change me!' and my eyes were opened to a new world of my difficult child. I never was trying to 'change her', but I was in her eyes. She felt I did not accept her for who she was. Pretty hard to do when there is constant bickering in the house. I just could not imagine that anyone would want to live that way.

    So, fast forward only 3 years - she is 19 now and moved out when I got married in Sept of last year. She refused to live with my husband. He is a great guy and loves her dearly. Has done more for her than her father has recently. But, the critical thing to point out here is that she is HAPPY, HAPPY, HAPPY! I have never seen my daughter happier. She is so sweet to me now. She hugs me and texts me all the time. Makes comments on FB that she has the best mom. It is so wonderful to see & hear. You see, she just can not live with her parents. That simple. Whatever it is in her that is bothered (maybe your point about always being right and the whole 'winning' thing is what my daughter felt) by her parents - is no longer true if not under the same roof.

    You are a good kid. Stay that way. I am sure your parents are not trying to 'win' anything. I suspect if you speak to them as adults (with respect) and respond as an adult, your conversations will turn into something that is not a competition. Frankly, I think you should start by telling them that you feel like you have to win. Tell your dad that he gives a smirk that means 'I won' to you. But, do it in a calm moment.
  8. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    You've made a huge first step in reaching out for guidance. Congrats! Do your parents have health insurance? If so, you have a course of action available. I have a Granddaughter who empowered herself by making an appointment with a therapist and went to counseling on her own. She did not have your issues but she was an A student who "in her gut" knew that she had problems that could prevent her from functioning at her best. Although she was not confrontational she had fears that she was not comfortable sharing. In her case after a few talk sessions she was referred to a psychiatrist who prescribed a medication that did the trick. In some cases just talking about your concerns with someone really helps. Sometimes you can learn of a way to improve your executive functioning skills as well.

    If you have, which it appears you do, a working relationship with at least one parent then share that you feel like you need a little help and want to consult a professional. Probably your parent will be delighted that you are attemtping to improve your life...which, lol, will improve their lives too. Good luck. You're a smart cookie! DDD
  9. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    I think printing out your post would be very helpful. Take it to your guidance counselor and ask him to read it while you are there. If talking with your parents is always about who "wins", try talking about this with the guidance counselor there to help mediate between you and your parents. I don't think your parents are out to win every conversation, but I do recognize that sometimes that element is there. My own father was much that way with my brother when he was a teen. In our situation it was more a matter of 2 people with similar problems not beinga ble to cope very well with each other.

    I do think the "I know better/am better than everyone else" is going to be a big problem in your life if you don't learn that being better and even being right or correct are just not that big a deal out in the real world. It will mean that you argue with employers, with coworkers, etc.... and it can keep you from promotions and sometimes from even being hired at all. You are going to have to figure out a way to say 'I amy be right but that doesn't matter now. This task has to be done even though it is completely stupid and the way they say it has to be done is even more completely stupid, but that is the way it has to be done so they can just pay me to be stupid right now." Or whatever is needed. I guarantee that your college profs are going to do a lot of things you think are stupid or even flat our wrong and they will not care one fart in a windstorm if you think they are wrong or stupid.

    The testing could be helpful if you can get your parents to consent to it. You may want to check out your state laws - in some states you need parental consent for medical and psychiatric care until age 18 but in others you can go and get care (esp psychiatric) with-o their consent before that. I do NOT recommend going against their consent as a first option. I would go and try to get them tounderstand and help you through this. But if they won't (and there truly are some people who will not agree to get this kind of help for their kids) you may have options. Otherwise, you will be 18 sooner than you know and it will then be up to you to get the help you need.

    Do you take any medications for the ADHD? Are they working? Are you willing to try different medications or any medications if you are not taking them now? The medications can make an enormous difference in your life if they work for you. My older bro is horribly adhd and after years of my mother suggesting medications he finally tried one. It was a miracle drug - a total change. He has addiction issues and chose to try strattera because it is not a stimulant and is not addicting. It has been over 5 years and it still works for him, thankfully.

    There are other things you can do. First is to put a LOT of effort into organization. Get timers and use them. Get a calendar and use it. Create a daily routine and stick to it very much. Put the various hygeine requirements on the schedule. It sounds like you have some sensory problems - certain sensations are unpleasant/drive you nuts/bug you or else you can't get enough/love them/seek them out. This is called sensory integration disorder and means your brain isn't handling input from your senses correctly. The book that explains this is The Out of Sync Child by Kranowitz. Pay attention to what sensory things bug you and while help you calm down. It can really help to handle your emotions if you get a handle on the sensory issues.

    I hope that some of these things are helpful to you. When you look at colleges, ask them what accommodations they offer? They will have a department that handles this and can give you valuable insight. If you REALLY want a kick in the pants and some forced organization, look at the military. If you haven't taken adhd medications they may not care about the adhd. My bro had not been diagnosis'd when he went in and WOW did they force some of the "this is stupid I don't have to follow the rules cause I am smarter and better" out of him. I cannot tell you how many times they took him down a rank for that type of thinking, but it DID get through and it DID show him how staying very organized can keep his adhd in check. Of course he also had Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) and is incredibly compulsive about cleaning, so . . . needless to say the army LOVED that.
  10. HaoZi

    HaoZi Guest

    Aspie was flickering in my mind, too, Marg. A lot like I was at 17 (come to that... while I've mellowed a lot, I'm still argumentative way too much). Learned to research products online before going to store to narrow things down and then read labels when I got there. Still can't decide? Lower price wins.
    Have quite enough responsibility with Kiddo now that I'm willing to let other people be responsible about things even when I think they're wrong (when I got this job I specified from the outset that I do NOT want to be in management ever again. I may have minimal say as a peon, but I don't have to stress the extra responsibility either).
  11. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    On the subject of the military... an Aussie experience.

    difficult child 1 was mingling with the "good kids" at school, but when he was about 13 he was trying to see if he could do without his medications. he had a couple of violent episodes because he was also trying to self-medicate with caffeine (he was in denial, but the problem only lasted about six months). As a result, his behaviour deteriorated and came to the attention of the school. They had a number of problem kids - what could they do?

    They rounded up the problem boys and sent them off on a three day wilderness camp specifically designed for problem kids. What it did - not a lot for the boys, other than threw them together and bonded them with one another. difficult child 1 came back from his three days' camp and his "good" friends wouldn't hang with him while the other weird kids were with him. So difficult child 1, as a result of the school's interference, ended up with a new set of friends, among the problem kids.
    We had a parents' gathering on the last day of wilderness, where we got to welcome our boys back and all have dinner together, comparing notes at dinner in a club, but with the kids there and their team leader, who allegedly had some sort of training. I was happy to meet some of the parents, horrified by others. One man, "uncle" somebody, clearly the mother's current squeeze, was talking about army discipline and a good switch being all tat was needed. But he was a blusterer and big talker. He tried to engage husband & me in conversation about things like husband's tie (a family tartan) and then talked in long and loving detail about highland tartans - he was one of those who every time he opens his mouth, he demonstrates his own ignorance. husband stopped trying to correct him; it wasn't sinking in anyway. So we looked at one another and said, "No wonder THAT kid is a problem!" And that kid was - when he became one of difficult child 1's three best friends (there were only five kids on the camp, one dropped out) I had to ban him and one other from our house when they made death threats on difficult child 3, who was an annoying little kid at the time, but was in his own home and should not have been threatened. One friend I did not ban - interestingly, he was the one the school was most afraid of. He was also physically the biggest. An expressionless face - I suspected, and later found out, he is a severe Aspie. He also later on was Best Man at difficult child 1's wedding.

    Back to the military - the friend who made the death threats to difficult child 3 did settle down a bit as he got older, but was always wild and unpredictable with a heavy overtone of violence. I never met his mother again (or creepy "uncle") but there were often times we heard him and his mother shouting at one another from either side of the front door, when we went round to collect him for an outing. The mother did not come out to talk to us or greet us, which I thought was strange.

    A couple of years after the boys finished high school, this friend decided to join the Australian army. ADHD medications not allowed, so he just stopped taking them. Not a pretty sight. he then lied to the recruiting officer about his medical record (ie did not tell them he had a diagnosis of ADHD) and was enlisted. They soon worked out there was a problem but to their credit, they tried hard to find a niche for him. He was sent to advanced driving school (I only got in the car with him once - never again) and became a driver for various officers etc. He was eventually discharged after about three years - they let him go because they realised you can't make a silk purse out of a sow's ear. But I think it did give him a lot of self-discipline, and some other useful skills.

    But flash back to a couple of years after school finished. We were shopping in the area near the high school when difficult child 1 spotted one of his old teachers. It just happened to be one of the teachers who had been hard on the boys and especially on the "weird kids". difficult child 1 went up to greet the teacher gaily. "Hi, great to see you, Mrs Z! Yeah, I'm going great now, I'm finishing my schooling by correspondence, I'm doing well, got Y results so far!" (teacher had been one of those who said difficult child 1 would never achieve anything, never amount to anything). "Hey, you remember my friend K who liked to set his hand on fire? Well, he went off his medications, joined the army and they gave him a gun and taught him to kill! Isn't that cool?"
    I was with difficult child 1 at the time and amazed that my boy, who at school had only ever spoken to his teachers in sentences of one syllable, was now not only so fluent but also so accurate in his irony. Wow! The exchange was outwardly a happy one, difficult child 1 genuinely happy to see the teacher OUTSIDE a school environment, but the teacher's own feelings about those boys had always been one of extreme prejudice and open fear. I watched in secret delight while the teacher made fast muttered excuses, turned pale and left in a hurry.

    As she moved out of sight, difficult child 1 punched the air. "YES!"

  12. JJJ

    JJJ Active Member

    You sound a lot like my sister. The great news is that she was (and is) an incredibly successful woman by 30. I agree with everyone else about printing off your post and giving to a trusted adult. The main thing my sister had to learn was how to compromise and how to feel respect for everyone and their opinions. Reframe "winning" to mean understanding a new point of view rather than wearing everyone else down.
  13. Steely

    Steely Active Member

    Sending you many hugs.....part of your post reminds me of me at that age. I was very argumentative, and yet that turned me into a great leader in my career. Some could say that is a strength. My sister was the same way, only even more argumentative and confrontational, and again she was an amazing leader in her career.

    I does NOT sound like you have ODD though, because as you mentioned there is more violence associated with that, and a great lack of introspection, which you have a lot of.

    It could be that you are depressed, or have a mild mood disorder which would explain having a hard time with choices and the hygiene issue. I have severe depression, and have had it since 16, so that is not uncommon. It is also very treatable with therapy and sometimes some medication.

    Since you are bold and brave enough to be seeking advice on message boards and the internet (awesome:)), I would suggest seeking out what services you have in your community beyond your guidance counselor. There are many counselors that will take people on a sliding scale, and could benefit you greatly. Sometimes guidance counselors are too busy with educational stuff to help with psychological - which is sad - but still the reality of our school system.

    Stay in touch with us and let us know how we can help you. This board is a very smart informed group of people - and we will do anything to help:)
  14. Hitchhiker42

    Hitchhiker42 New Member

    OK A quick update; since this post I have talked with my guidance counselor at school and we are trying to work through my argumentativeness and so I'm trying to gain some coping mechanisms. It's working out pretty well so far... IN addition I have gone to my psychiatrist? (I'm not sure; he is in charge of every 6 months checking on my Concerta dosage and making sure it's ok) and I asked about a psychiatric re-evaluation and we talked about some of my worries and he gave me a mild anti-anxiety medication to take. (I'm not sure what it is; we haven't picked up the prescription yet.) I have a phobia of needles (which is unfortunate, seeing as the doctor's room is RIGHT next to the vaccination clinic and I had to listen to the kids screaming about it...) and I became rather.. upset when we started talking about getting vaccinated for college. In addition, I became upset when we were talking about college (I want to live off-campus because I just can't stand the idea of sharing a room with a stranger and a bathroom with 30-60 others and having no place to be alone when I need to be... GAH. I need to be alone... anyways. Yeah.) He is referring me to a behavior psychologist and I will be getting re-evaluated soon :)
  15. TeDo

    TeDo Guest

    I am so glad you have taken some of the advice from here. Sounds like things are ?improving?. It is very mature and responsible of you to take on this kind of thing on your own. That is a huge sign. Keep up the good work and keep us posted. PLEASE?!?!
  16. HaoZi

    HaoZi Guest

    Great to get an update 42, and glad to see you're asking for help and getting it (getting that help even when you ask can be difficult in some places). Keep us updated!
  17. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    Way To Go! It sounds like you have taken the bull by the horns and are seeking help for the problems that are limiting your enjoyment of life. That's really mature and awesome. Do you feel empowerment seeping into your personality? I bet you do. I'm proud of you. DDD
  18. AnnieO

    AnnieO Shooting from the Hip

    Hey hitchhiker!

    I am sorry, I have missed your post somehow. But I wanted to tell you - just admitting there might be an issue? Is HUGE! And it sounds like you are on the right track, trying some behavioral stuff. I know it's not easy. Stick with it!!!

    About that needle phobia. Well... I have one too. Which is weird considering I have tattoos. But I digress. In the last year I've had countless blood draws and actually have to give myself injections. That's awful, trust me. I have had lots of dental work done, and learned - deep breaths, and forced relaxation (no, it's not easy) help when others are poking at me. But the ones I have to give myself - eeeeeeeee. Seriously. So I asked the board here for help. So - honestly? Vaccinations really stink, but they beat the snot out of DIY. Unfortunately, to go to college you HAVE to. Ugh, huh?!
  19. Steely

    Steely Active Member

    Wow - awesome update!
    I am so impressed that you are able to talk to people about your fears, your needs, and your worries. That is the MOST important step in anyone having a happy life.
    I know things are still hard, but one step at a time.
    Are your parents willing to pay for you to live off campus? I would be the same way in terms of needing my space and alone time. I totally understand.
  20. Hitchhiker42

    Hitchhiker42 New Member

    I don't really feel empowered, just annoyed. He prescribed me Buspar (Buspirone?), presumably for Generalized anxiety disorder, which I don't really feel I have. I'm debating on whether or not to take it at the moment.

    And my needle phobia is PARTLY with other people touching me (I don't really like being touched; even up the nose vaccinations freak me out for some reason) but mostly because of the whole going into flesh thing. (I'm quaking just thinking about it). My phobia has gotten MUCH worse lately; I used to be able to watch doctor shows and watch them make incisions without any trouble other than an 'ew' but now I simply cannot watch it or else I just... Quaking is how I'd describe it. Just like a shiver and pulling in on myself because it's just horrifying. My doctor said we could take valium for when I had to get my vaccinations and that would help? (So many medications!)

    Also with the living off campus; it's not more expensive to life off-campus, it's actually around the same if not cheaper due to the FOOD. (It's around 15$ a day, I calculated, on campus, and I'm VERY thrifty so I would spend significantly less. I also hate the idea of eating fast food EVERY DAY. yuck.) My mom just wants me to have the 'college experience' and I don't think she trusts me on my own. I'm still trying to convince her though.