Looking for Opinions!!!

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by LuvThemBoth, Feb 22, 2007.

  1. LuvThemBoth

    LuvThemBoth New Member

    OK, so here is my theory. It could be really off but, I don't think so!
    Here goes:
    If any of you read my previous post about my difficult child (15yo) you will get a little history. To add to that, she has been going to therapy since she was 6 yo. She has done some really scarey things: Stabbed my brother at age 6, Cut him with- a bbq pit cleaner (across his eye!) age7, Tried to suffocate her sister (age 4), Shoved a plastic toy broom down her sisters throat (to see what it would look like) (age 8), threw a kitten into an open faced fan because she wanted to see what it would look like (age 4). One therapist explained it as: she has no remorse, she has a fantasy belief, she had to do all of these things because of the situation (ie: she had to cut my lil brother because my other brother left the knife out!) not upset, no remorse.
    So she is no strange to what they want to hear.
    I believe that she went to the hospital and told them exactly what they wanted to hear. (She has a history of going for 2 or so sessions and listening to the questions they ask, and then the next visit focusing on that and turning the tears on!) Kept complete control and turned the whole reason she was in there around.

    Is it possible for them to pull it together that well when needed?
    I know that she doesn't get in too much trouble at school but, we are having a REALLY hard time at home.
    Just wanted some opinions from people who have been there.
    And why is it that if we go in and explain to a therapist about past behaviors in therapy and such they look at us from that point on as the controlling parent?????
    Thanks again!
  2. tiredmommy

    tiredmommy Well-Known Member

    Yes, it is called honeymooning & manipulation. And from you've written I would strongly urge you to keep her away children and animals.
  3. ForeverSpring

    ForeverSpring Well-Known Member

    Well, I have bipolar II and, to be honest, it sounds like she is much sicker with it than I was and may have some psychosis that breaks through, which may be why she is ok and then suddenly violent. I'm wondering if she's ever taken an antipsychotic with the Lamictal. Do you know if she hears or sees things that aren't there at times? I acted up, but not in that way...probably just seemed major ODD with rages. Is there any history in the family of psychosis? One last thing: I've never found therapy useful to me. I wanted it to be useful. I was always very eager to get better and never fought treatment. But bipolar of any sort is biologically based and unless the person is stabilized on the right medications, therapy doesn't always work.
  4. needabreak

    needabreak New Member

    i agree with tm.actully when you were describing her i thougt of the good son.(sorry)just that in the movie he showed no remouse for what he did almost like he did not have a concience.hope you get the help you need soon.prayers are with you.
  5. tiredmommy

    tiredmommy Well-Known Member

    I want to clarify: I think being able to hold it together at school is honeymooning, and playing the therapist is manipulation.
  6. Janna

    Janna New Member

    Yeah, I agree with TM on the honeymooning/manipulating.

    My difficult child 2 is a huge problem at home and in school. He doesn't live with me, he is in foster care. It's interesting, because he's working on his 8th placement. But every time he goes into a home, they report he's "so good", "no problems", everyone thinks I'm a nutcase and I'm making up stuff.

    The thing is, they can't hold it together forever. And he cannot. He's usually good for 6-12 months, which is a LONG time for a difficult child. Anyway, his true colors usually shine through.

    I'm really sorry you're having such a tough time. I hope things look up soon.

  7. totoro

    totoro Mom? What's a GFG?

    I know my difficult child is only 5.5 but she has for the most part been able to hold it together a lot better at school than anywhere else...which I read is common especially for girls.

    The few times she has been questioned by therapist, doctor etc, it totally depends on her cycling.During one of her evaluations, she went on about the fairies in her head telling the guy ( resident) all about her violence, voices she hears, bad thoughts etc, So then we go in to the psychiatrist, and I can see she was starting to cycle up a bit, she acts like we were all crazy, I would never hurt my sister, I don't hear voices....
    Luckily I have her on many videos for proof.

    I think some times kids can use these things and you would know her best, but it does sound like she is pretty severe. Maybe a combo of the two...
  8. Liahona

    Liahona Active Member

    One thought I had was very very smart. Mine is just starting to show remorse. I feel for you.
  9. LuvThemBoth

    LuvThemBoth New Member

    She hasn't done stuff like that since then, but it obviously stays in my mind. I don't trust her alone for more than 20 min with my youngest Daughter. And she sees this as favortism.
    She is really driving us crazy right now.
    She says she is sick (no fever, tonsils not swollen) so we told her to take some Nyquil and stuff through the weekend and if she is still not feeling well we will take her to the dr. on Monday. Her response is: Never mind, you don't care, if it were easy child you would take her. But, I feel like she is JUST doing this for attention. It is only in the evenings. Not in the morning, or when she first gets home from school.
    I am at such a loss. She doesn't go to the psychiatrist until 3/21/07 and I just don't know if we will make it that long. I wonder if I should call him myself tomorrow and give him my description of what is going on to see if he can get her in sooner????? I am just at a loss.

    Thanks for all of your input!
  10. smallworld

    smallworld Moderator

    Besides the somatic complains -- which by the way can be a symptom of mood instability or a medication reaction -- what exactly is she doing to "drive you crazy"?

    I'm sorry, but any child who did all the things you describe is not manipulative. She has a mental illness that needs treatment.
  11. LuvThemBoth

    LuvThemBoth New Member

    She is picking fights. Whenever we talk to her she is screaming, she is ordering her sister around, she is yelling at the dogs to get out of her way, she is telling us we don't care and should just send her back to the hospital.
    I understand that her medications are not working properly. But, they haven't been since Last June!!! When you have a 15 yo who refuses to go to the psychiatrist but does agree to go to your family physician you take what you can get. She still refused and the family physician said that he tried all that he could she needed a psychiatrist. So that is when the hospital came into play. They upped her Lamictal but she isn't supposed to see the psychiatrist until March 21. part of me thinks I should wait and give the new dosage time and the other part wants me to call and tell him to adjust it now. It is driving her crazy too. Not just us.
    So every night she comes home, argues, gets sent to her room, cries, screams, When I try to console her she yells at me and tells me to get out. It is just a daily thing and we are all just SOOO tired.
  12. smallworld

    smallworld Moderator

    In the fall of 2005, I had a very unstable 12-year-old son who had a manic reaction to the SSRI Zoloft. He refused to go to school, take his medications or attend weekly therapy with his prescribing psychiatrist. All he wanted to do was stay up all night playing online computer games. He was raging every evening, exhibiting aggression toward his younger sisters and me, trashing the house and threatening suicide. Needless to say, we were beside ourselves and didn't know what to do. So we came up with a plan: No matter what, he needed to go to school, take his medications and attend therapy. That involved my husband putting him in the car in his underwear (with a bag of clothes to change into) to take him to school, physically carrying him into therapy and getting him to buy into the need for medication. Everything else went by the wayside -- homework, family meals, limits on computer time, even hygiene. And our insistence on these 3 things has paid off over time. His medications are working, and he's no longer aggressive, angry or suicidal. He now goes both to school and therapy willingly (even though he doesn't always love to). He even does a little homework. It is far from perfect here, but the trajectory is upward. We are making progress because of our insistence that our son meet certain expectations. And we have a wonderful partnership with a board-certfied child/adolescent psychiatrist who understands what makes our son tick and continues to tweak medications for the best result.

    I will also say that medications for BiPolar (BP) can take a long time to get right. Lamictal in particular takes a while to titrate to the right dose. You need to start low and go slow to avoid the side effect of a serious rash. In our case, it has been worth the wait because my son has greatly improved on Lamictal. But it in and of itself has not been THE answer. We have augmented Lamictal with other medications and with therapeutic interventions. Your daughter, too, may very well need more than Lamictal. And it is up to you to set the stage for her recovery. If it can't be done at home, then you might need to consider a therapeutic boarding school or a residential treatment center.

    I once stood in your shoes -- exhausted, overwhelmed and frankly terrified. It has taken a lot of effort on our part, but we know we have made a difference in our son's life. You can do it, too, for your daughter.

  13. tiredmommy

    tiredmommy Well-Known Member

    <div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: smallworld</div><div class="ubbcode-body">I'm sorry, but any child who did all the things you describe is not manipulative. She has a mental illness that needs treatment.</div></div>

    Well, I think a 15 year old can be mentally ill and manipulative if she's taking taking the time to learn how the system works and just giving the therapist what's wanted to get out of more therapy. Even the mentally ill are capable of manipulation.
  14. smallworld

    smallworld Moderator

    I know my position is not popular, but I'll put it out here anyway. My son's behavior is as oppositional and seemingly manipulative as can be. But his psychiatrist says it's a fruitless exercise to figure what is and what isn't manipulative behavior. Most of the time, seemingly manipulative behavior is in reality a defense mechanism, a maladaptive coping strategy for dealing with the emotional turmoil kids with mood disorders feel. The trick for therapists and parents is to find common ground with these kids, to work with them rather than against them. It can take tons of time, energy and patience, but in the end, it is so worth it. Honestly, it is the only way we've been able to make any progress at all with our son.
  15. SearchingForRainbows

    SearchingForRainbows Active Member

    smallworld, I understand what you're saying, but I have to agree with TM. My difficult child 1 is mentally ill and extremely manipulative!!! Even if it is a defense mechanism, manipulation, in my humble opinion, is manipulation no matter what. I hope this doesn't sound too offensive - just my opinion. WFEN