issues with- psychiatric


Active Member
i talked to psychiatric on phone today to see if she kept any notes in her file on difficult child- particularly clarifying context of these blurbs in her report last year- like setting the fire in tire swing. she said "no" and she's not changing her report. i said i didn't ask her to change her report but i know when i told the docs about the incident, i didn't just say he set a fire without them asking a question or me clarifying the context, so i was just hoping that someone had something on file that showed it wasn't arson. she says he has committed arson, now, not last year. i know, but don't you think if someone reads last year's report, the assumption by other people is going to be that it was aarson then too, not he's about to set himself on fire? well, she says she diagnosis'd him with depression. and, she says, i didn't think he should have been in detention, and i didn't call to report him last year, so obviously, i didn't consider it arson last year.

ok, then the h**l didn't she keep any notes? if the courts decide i'm just lying about the situation and he committed arson last year because there is nothing to prove it was his own property and he was standing there playing with it as it is flaming toward his chest, then wouldn't they end up wondering why she didn't report it? is anybody really going to believe that you can tell any psychiatric your son set his swing on fire and they don't think they need to clarify the context?

then she says if he had a bipolar rule-out, i should be talking to psychiatrist about that- she doesn't test for that- she does neuropsychologist testing for behavior and educational- not psychiatric issues. Gee, I've been going to this group for almost 18 mos. and no one thought they should mention that to me after my difficult child gets out of an acute hospital diagnosis'd with- major depression, rule out bipolaar? what do we get- the prozac will take care of the dression- therapy to get lectures on starightening up and everything i did wrong in raising him.


klmno, I'm not sure I understand your point about the psychologist and bipolar. Technically, she's right -- only a psychiatrist can diagnose bipolar disorder (and by the way, it's a diagnosis made after observing the child for a while). What kind of group were you attending, and how does this psychologist fit in?


Active Member
well, the pysch is a in a small group with the psychiatrist and therapists. we started going there last year after we had gone to a family therapist because my son's behavior had suddenly changed drastically. the therapist recommended this group (the psychiatrist specificly) because my difficult child's behavior was becoming erratic and the therapist said this was getting over his head and he thought he should have a psychiatrist evaluation. the psychiatrist recommended getting psychiatric testing, (i guess that was his evaluation) so i scheduled it but before the testing ever took place, my difficult child had become such a danger to himself (and i did think someone else could get hurt in the process), that i took him to an acute pediat hospital. he was there for 9 days, diagnosis'd with- major depression and bipolar, then released to go back to his school, psychiatrist, etc.

it just seems odd to me that no one at this group mentioned the need after hospital release for any other testing (which i didn't even know existed)and that the things the psychiatric documented were just little clips about behavior, nothing about state of mind. in her report, she wrote "he set fires" ok, well, i described above what he did. i can tell you, when you look out your window and see your child swinging a swing that has flames coming from it (no one else in the yard, no animals, etc), i didn't think "oh, he's an arsonist", i thought "OMG, he's about to set himself on fire and needs to go in the hospital (this was at the same period he was trying to jump out of the car and other things. did she document the jumping out of car, rolling around on floor with- knife and saying how he didn't care about his life anymore? no, she documents "sets fires, is non-compliant". really, it looks like she picked out the facts that supported CD and not the whole picture. i'm unhappy too, that with what i know now, why hospital put him on prozac.

i've since learned about how different types of therapy work for different diagnosis's; so, if the diagnosis we started out with was that preliminary (they all said they really weren't sure but depression was in there), then why, when i continuously told them all that therapist's method was agitating things in our lives more, did they not consider that maybe they should keep the rule-outs in the back of their minds, instead of just acting like we didn't want to go with the flow?

i'm just frustrated, and wish i understood more about all this.


klmno, it is frustrating because diagnosing bipolar in children takes a lot of time and effort (and does require a child psychiatrist). It is not always a clear-cut diagnosis at the beginning, but a rule-out over time. It is not diagnosed by testing but by observing the child for years.

My son's first diagnosis was ADHD and anxiety at age 9 (according to neuropsychological testing). Over time, as we medicated him with various stimulants and antidepressants, it became clear that there was more going on. When he had a prolonged intense manic reaction after taking 25 mg Zoloft for 3 weeks, his psychiatrist decided that difficult child 1 needed a mood stabilizer and maybe we were looking at bipolar disorder instead of anxiety and unipolar depression. Even though difficult child 1 is being treated as if he has bipolar disorder, his psychiatrist says we will not know for sure until he gets to the other side of puberty. According to neuropsychologist testing last December (which ruled out all learning disabilities and even said ADHD is not a major problem), difficult child's diagnosis is Major Depressive Disorder with a rule-out on Bipolar Disorder (based on observations made by the neuropsychologist and questionnaires filled out by the people around difficult child 1).

In our case and in your son's, I'm not sure how the therapy would differ all that much whether it's unipolar depression or bipolar disorder. Either way, the child needs to learn to cope with his feelings.

I'm guessing the psychologist has some notes, but I think you have to ask your attorney whether you are able to gain access to these records.

Yours is not an easy situation. I really feel for you.


Well-Known Member
How do you know what is in your sons psychiatric notes? Those are confidential. It may not be as bad as you think or it could be worse...I wouldnt put the cart before the horse yet. There really isnt anything you can do about it anyway at this point.

psychiatrists tend to be fairly dry in their note taking. Just the facts. Not too much room for emotion.


Active Member
when i spoke with the psychiatric on the phone today, she said she looked in her folder, and "nope, nothing else there"

it will eventually be ok- when future pofessionals look at all records together. but, right now, i don't think it's a good thing for my difficult child because he's in legal problems and if there aren't enough records (or any) by profs indicating what i was in there frantic about, then it just makes everyone believe i'm lieing to get him out of trouble. the docs know they may have to testify in this, so that plays a lot into it.


Active Member
All of this sounds so confusing......gosh! I feel for you. I guess all you can do at this point is ask these professionals to testify to the fact that your son was seeing them for an undx mental illness. Worrying about what notes they had, and the context in which they are written, might drive you batty. These are professionals that are on your side, right? They are going to be testifying to get him mental help, correct? I assume they are not going to be there suggesting that he is actually just a juvenile delinquent, and needs to be locked away - I assume they will be there testifying that you are a good parent, and sought out them as resources to help your child. If this is not the case - then I would not even have them in court, and I would not have their records released to the court.

As far as different types of therapy - I am with you! We are still seeking out the therapist that will work, and my difficult child has been in therapy since he was 4. It is not an easy chore with these kids.

And as far as your question about whether you blew it with GAL on another post - I would say no, you didn't it. You were just using an expression. I would call her back, though, and clarify what you really meant so that she does not misconstrue your statement. As far as your son testifying, can he at least take the stand in the debate over whether you are a neglectful mom? Or would he maybe say something weird, or off kilter?

Hang in there, and try to find peace this weekend.


Active Member
Thanks all! regarding profs- i think they are mainly CYA themselves. the psychiatric might say she recommended therapist and we didn't continue with it. we didn't continue with it because it was making things worse. i've been researching and reading and i have a theory. when i was young, i went to therapy and i did see psychiatrist, and 2 therapist before finding one that i felt i could communicate with, then getting a grip on things and getting control back in my life came after seeing her a couple of months- i did need continued support after that, but i felt it was so successful that it was a miracle. so, i was so disappointed when tdocs last year were very unsuccessful. my research has lead me to think they were giving difficult child (and me) behavior modification, as recommended by the psychiatric. however, the therapist i had so much success with apparently used cognitive therapy. whether my difficult child is bipolar or not, there are clearly depression and anxiety issues like I have and his brain works similar to mine (although I hate to admit it sometimes), so i think this could be it. Has anyone looked into this or experienced a similar situation?

my attny is still banking on working things out with- GAL. i am 99% sure she just wants difficult child gone- backing up sd. i'm trying to figure out if i should file a complaint against her (she's done a couple of things wrong- mainly, not doing what was in difficult child's best interest) or to find a way to get a voice in court, which i don't have right now. Anyway, my son is having a comp evaluation done to see if he can assist in his own defense. the court date is june 11- if he's not comp, then they have soc services on stand by to take him into custody (apparently, Residential Treatment Center (RTC)- except i think they are having trouble finding one) i am trying to get them to have an evaluation and consultation with mental health professionals prior to determining placement. i really cannot see how a person in social services (but not sw or anything else), an attny, and a judge can know what is my difficult child's best interest re. his mental health. they could send him anywhere in the state and i'm about to blow over this and the GAL acting more like an advocate for the sd, when i know the sd didn't comply with- the law. i've spoken with- 2 defense attny's who i can hire to replace this inadequate one the court appointed, and i will do so if they don't drop or have a major reduction in charges. i've been debating whether or not they could stand in his defense about his placement against GAL at court. the sad thing is, this is already rigged. i can tell.

first, before the arraignment, this attny introduced herself and said she was an attny who would be involved with- us and that she'd already spoken with- my son. then at his arraignment, judge appoints her as gal. well, can she see in the future? then she never sees my difficult child again until 1 1/2 hr before trial when he was put back in juvy. (that's against our state regs for GAL's). then in april before i had spoken to my insurance co., regarding them paying for an inpatient evaluation where i wanted my difficult child to go, she said, well, if they don't, just go to social services and give them custody." then she said if i cared about my son, that's what i would do. i was like EXCUSE ME???? so, now that it has turned out that my insurance co. won't pay for this, she's making me look like a horrible person, and so is sd, so judge will put custody to social services. right now my difficult child's in trouble, so i guess they don't have to bring charges against me to do this. if they brought charges against me, i would have a legal right to respond. as it stands, the court can release their custody to anyone they want apparently. i'm just trying to figure out best way to fight back.

i don't see how this GAL can sleep at night. not only is she siding with- school instead of difficult child (SHE"S HIS GAL), but she's putting him in places that are obviously not in his best interest. how can she and social services even determine which Residential Treatment Center (RTC) is fitting for him?

sorry so long- i really do appreciate everyone's help and support here. i don't know how i could manage getting thru the day if i hadn't found this site. many hugs to all!!!