This is my first post on the forum - I have been reading here for about a week. I am a single mother of two sons, 7(Z,) and 10(M.) Z is a cancer survivor and easy child. M is difficult child, (what do those letters stand for?) diagnosis with depression, anxiety and periodic mood disruptions. That is his psychiatrist's description for the fact that he has anger issues. M has taken effexor for depression and very low dose risperidone for mood for 8 months. medications have helped tremendously to reduce the frequency of his outbursts, and just recently he has begun to open up to me about his feelings. If I am good, I can head off a full-out rage with careful questions and soothing. I'm not always that good; I have read most of the parenting literature mentioned here. M's behavior issues started when his brother was born, however, XH and I considered it "normal" sibling rivalry. When Z was diagnosis leukemia @ 18 months, M reverted in many of his behaviors including being dry at night, speaking in full sentences, independent self-care, and extreme physical and emotional violence toward me. His deepening depression resulted in what I would call ODD behavior, however, he has not been diagnosis with that. Specific questions I have are about parents responding to behavior/statements. M has many problems surrounding food, (he was breastfed and I believe he associates food with motherly love.) When I tell him "no" to a request for food, he usually has a strong reaction. His pcp would like him to be 10lbs lighter. I'm pretty sure his food issues are related to depression, but are also more complicated than that. Has anyone here made food a basket A or B matter? Often when I say "no" to a food request or when I have to ask repeatedly for compliance with a simple task, (like put your shoes on,) M responds angrily. I get almost no assistance with household tasks or chores, which is incredibly difficult as a single mom working full time. Has anyone here managed to maintain a completely neutral, (disassociated,) tone and expression with their difficult child in moments of stress? Does it make a big difference? I know from times when he will open up to me, that difficult child has very low self esteem, (to the point of making suicidal statements.) medications have helped with this, but no one outside of me has ever seen the depths of M's depression. I feel a great deal of responsibility to advocate for him, and demand effective tx. If M never opens up to the therapist, his father, a teacher or someone else, he may still be suffering but considered well. How do other parents address this fear? Thank you.