Need Help! 17yr old diagnosed with Intermittent Explosive Disorder (IED), what are my options

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by Dazed n Confused, Feb 22, 2010.

  1. Dazed n Confused

    Dazed n Confused New Member

    I am new at this so please be patient.

    2yrs ago diagnosed with General Anxiety, Social Anxiety, Depression. He saw counselors and a pschyatrist. They tried several different medications, etc. Nothing seemed to help his violent outbursts. We had one Dr. tell us it was a family problem and to deal with it.

    June 2009 he moved in with my parents because he had become so violent towards me that we thought he would do better with my parents.

    Well the honeymoon is over..............he has now become violent with them. Rage outbursts over little things and then feels bad afterwards. The counselor that he is seeing now diagnosed him with "Intermittent Explosive Disorder (IED)" last friday. He sees a new counselor today (monday) for the start of "more therapy".
    He has quit going to school, my parents can no longer deal with him and the counselor that he saw friday said he needs to go to a boarding school if he is going to have any chance at having a normal life. She stated that we needed to do something before he turn 18 which is Jan., she said if we don't he will wind up in jail or prison.
    She said that there are not enough resources where my parents live to help him. He can NOT move home, he is still extremely upset with me and calls me all the time to tell me he hates me. He doesn't want to move home anyways.

    We had a consultation with an Educational Consultant, she didn't say much other than she had a few ideas. Unless we sign a contract with her, no advice. Which I understand that. She would only say that she recommends a short term school and then have him transfer to a long term school.

    After reading horror stories online about different schools, I am confused, upset, left wondering what our next step is. I know boarding schools are expensive and there are no guarantees but I have to get him some major help soon.

    The police were out to my parents house about a week ago. My son broke my moms cell phone, a picture, and a door handle. They understood that juvi wasn't what he needed and when they called the mental health staff for the hospital, they stated that they thought he could wait until the morning to be seen by a regular counselor. The counselor couldn't see him until last friday.
    The hospital can refuse voluntary intakes. He is on 3 medications, one is for mood disorders, the others anxiety.

    When he lived with us and the police were out they wouldn't take him to the hospital either. It was either jail or nothing. We live in a different county about 3 hours away.

    Any help at this point is greatly appreciated. He used to be a happy, healthy, straight A student with goals. Now he is socially isolated, angry, violent and needs help.
  2. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Well, welcome to the board but sorry you have to be here.

    I am pretty sad to say that you are running out of time with him. Right now, he basically can decide whether or not he wants any medical treatment for his disorders...whatever they may be.

    I dont know that Intermittent Explosive Disorder (IED) is a good working diagnosis but I dont know that you have time to get a more accurate one. I would probably think he is developing into adult onset bipolar if he used to be a pretty normal happy boy. Or...could he have started using drugs? That is another possibility for a drastic change in behavior in the teen years. But adult onset bipolar can start happening in the mid to late teen years too.

    How to get him into treatment is going to be tough. If you can afford to fund it privately, well work with the ed consultant. If not, try going through county mental health and see what they can help you with that is within your local area. If he gets out of control and gets verbally or physically aggressive with either you or your parents, have him taken in and committed for the psychiatric holds. Be specific as you can about what he is doing and how it is a danger to himself and others. You may have to press charges for verbal or physical assault. Sometimes that is the only way to get help.
  3. DaisyFace

    DaisyFace Love me...Love me not

    Hello and Welcome--

    When you say the police told you "Jail or nothing"...that might have been the only option--AT THAT MOMENT. No juvenile is ever arrested and taken immediately and permanently to jail.
    I think the police were asking whether you wished to press charges or not. And if you had allowed the officers to arrest him and charge him with a crime--you might have had the opportunity for the court to order hospitalization depending upon his diagnosis.

    Is there a way you could contact the police department (not for an emergency) but just to ask a few questions about what sorts of options might be available to you? They might be able to give you a few suggestions about how best to handle these escalating behaviors in a way that will bring help instead of incarceration.

  4. Dazed n Confused

    Dazed n Confused New Member

    Thanks for the reply.

    I should have added, he is not on drugs or alcohol. He doesn't go anywhere, I mean anywhere. He will occasionally go to a store with my mom, but that is it!

    He doesn't have friends come over, he doesn't go to there house. Right now since he has not gone back to school he plays on the computer, plays video games or watches TV.

    We have thought that he was Bipolar, but after reading about Intermittent Explosive Disorder (IED), he seems to fit it perfectly. He gets upset over things that are not a big deal and then when his outburst is over, he sobs and doesn't know why he does what he does. Hope that makes sense.
  5. Dazed n Confused

    Dazed n Confused New Member

    I guess I should have mentioned that my husband works in Law Enforcement and we do NOT want him going to "jail". His is definently a mental illness and we do not want him in that atmosphere.

    Apparently since he wasn't trying to commit suicide or harming someone, he does not meet the criteria for a mental evaluation.

    I know that at some point many people get to the point of take them to jail, I just want medical help for him and we are running into walls left and right.
  6. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    Hi and Welcome!

    It isn't so much that we get "tired of them" and say "take them to jail" as much as it is that courts and criminal charges can open up doors to mental health treatment. It is a sad and scary fact that much of our mental health care system is ONLY accessible through the criminal court system. So parents who have called the police did not get tired of their child or their problems and decide to get rid of them.

    We found, after months and YEARS of trying to get help and to help our loved one, that the ONLY way to get help was to file criminal charges and have the courts order help. Often there simply is no other avenue left. In the cases where there are avenues left, OFTEN our mentally ill loved ones refuse to take it! Medication is often refused or taken improperly, tools learned through counseling are ignored or not used for other reasons, and if the ill person does not WANT help, WANT to do the HARD HARD HARD work necessary to get well, programs will not take them.

    This can leave the family in a very difficult position, one where they do not want to enable the loved one, where it isn't safe to be around the loved one because of violence, and where the only way they can get ANY help is to get the courts involved.

    Sadly, at 17, your son can refuse any and ALL help. I hope very much you can find a boarding school (residential treatment center or emotional growth boarding school may be the best options) and that you can afford to pay for it. Many of us cannot.

    Whatever happens, we are here and will offer advice, support, friendship and understanding.
  7. compassion

    compassion Member

    Hi, Abilify and Lactiaml has really helped my daughter with simlar type rages. I get a ltoof support and information at CABF (Child and adolscent bipolar site). Godd luck! Compassion
  8. Dazed n Confused

    Dazed n Confused New Member

    I didn't mean that they get tired of them and send them to jail, I just meant that is really the only option for them. We are hoping that we can find another way, unfortunately it seems like help is extremely limited.
  9. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    If he truly has no friends AND he explodes (is he a rigid thinker too?) I would be thinking Asperger's syndrome, which can cause explosive behavior, especially as they get older and aren't getting help. They know they are different and get frustrated. However, due his age you probably won't know what is wrong with him. It will be up to him to decide to get help. But I think he has probably been grossly misdiagnosed. There aren't too many disorders where the kids just hang at home with the family, but Aspergers is often like that. Bipolars tend to go out when manic and get into trouble and do risky things. Impending borderlines do the same thing.
  10. CrazyinVA

    CrazyinVA Well-Known Member Staff Member

    The only other comment I will make about police/court involvement is that mental illness or not, I feel strongly that our kids need to understand that violence against others will NOT be tolerated. I took a very hard line on this after awhile (mostly when my kids were in their teen years), and each and every episode of physical violence led to a 911 call and a request for crisis intervention.
  11. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I applaud your efforts for wanting to keep your sons mental illness status in the forefront. Most people would do much better with treatment rather than simple incarceration. Have you ever attempted to get your son evaluated by a neuropsychologist to find out exactly what is driving his behaviors? That would be helpful if you are trying to get him placed somewhere or trying to keep him out of the judicial system.

    The unfortunate fact of life is that unless someone is truly psychotic and so mentally ill that they cant even form coherent thoughts, then the judicial system really doesnt care if you are depressed, bipolar, have anxiety or whatever label is handy this week. If you can pass a competency hearing, then you go to jail. There are tons of mentally ill people in prison. Too many.

    Now maybe your son will cooperate with you and go to a treatment facility if he wants to get better. That would be in everyones best interest. I wish you luck.
  12. Dazed n Confused

    Dazed n Confused New Member

    I read the symptoms for Aspergers and he has some of the symptoms. He does not do well with change, he doesn't like attention drawn to him, his clothes have to feel a certain way or he wont wear them. He is extremely sensitive and does not like people to be bullied or animals to be abused.

    He hit his growing milestones at the right age, walking, talking, etc. He is extremely smart, he was in honors classes before 9th grade. Everything went down hill around November of his 9th grade year. I should explain the school setting here. K-8th grade are at one school and then all of the elementary schools go to the High School together. So his 9th grade year he was mixed in with kids from 4 other schools. He became friends with 2 kids that I didn't get the best vibe from. He still talked with his old friends and hung out with his old friends. Xbox parties, football games, etc. His two new friends had him over to there house 2 times (they were brothers), it was shortly after that things started. I have had several people ask me if something happened, he has never said anything has and I don't know if he would.

    I just can't believe that a child who was asked to go back to Difficult Child and work as a paige, take a trip around the world with a program for gifted kids, already have college credits, and have goals set for his life, decline so fast. He no longer goes to school, doesn't socialize at all, and feels like no one cares about him. As a parent I am so lost. I could care less about him going to college, I just want the happy, sweet, child back.
  13. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    I wondered earlier, and now am VERY concerned. Behavior usually does not change so suddenly. As things changed suddenly right after he was at these boys' home, chances are substantial that something happened. It could be abuse of any kind, being slipped some kind of drug, or witnessing something that terrified him.

    Is there a counselor or adult other than you and husband that he really trusts? You also may consider going to a domestic violence center to find help. NOT NOT NOT that we think YOUR home is violent, not casting aspersions, but the dv center may be able to help you get him to confide about whatever may have happened.

    DV Centers have free help, regardless of circumstance, so they may be a very good choice. Take whatever you know about the boys to this. It might help.
  14. Dazed n Confused

    Dazed n Confused New Member

    My husband has tried bringing the subject up casually since he deals with that kind of stuff on a weekly basis. We have also mentioned it to a counselor, who didn't really think that abuse (or something like that) was the problem. I know my mom has brought the subject up and he got really defensive.

    I will try calling the counselor he has no and mention it to her and see if she will approach the subject.
  15. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Oh wow. Knowing this added info really does thicken the plot.

    Something had to have happened to trigger this kind of major change in a normal, happy, above average child. There wasnt any other kind of trigger such as a death of a family member or major loss was there? Move? Loss of a long term friend? Even a pet that he had forever dying? That could trigger a long situational depression that maybe he might have a hard time coming out from.

    I will be honest, I am also thinking some form of abuse or hazing stunt gone bad. Maybe not pure sexual abuse as what one would think but maybe they scared the bejeebers out of him. And Im not saying that any form of abuse isnt abuse but most teens would say that if they werent touched it isnt abuse.

    This has to be so hard. I might google some of the symptoms of that in teen boys and see if any fit.
  16. Dazed n Confused

    Dazed n Confused New Member

    No sudden changes, same house, no one passed away, no pets died. As a parent when you get the feeling something just isn't right, well I have had that feeling ever since those 2 visits he had with those boys. They have since moved away.

    May and June of his 8th gr. year, my husband and I argued more than usual. Nothing physical or violent, just stress from the extra pressure from him working alot and I was working 6 days a week and trying to get the soccer registration for our town underway. It was more of the tired stressed, snap at each other type thing. The middle of June he went on a class trip to D.C. for 4 days and had a blast. Summer was great, first few months of 9th grade was fine and then all he!! broke out.

    I replay that summer and the start of 9th grade over and over and over. The only thing that changed were those 2 boys. He had all of the classes he wanted, he joined ROTC, he was going to football games, dances, etc. Until November..................
  17. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Did he start avoiding school right after that?

    Has your younger son ever been able to give you any input? Maybe older one has let something slip to him. My kids would talk to each other I think before they would talk to us.

    Can you find other kids who knew those other boys and ask them if anything out of the ordinary ever happened with those boys. Or did they ever hear anything odd about your son. Maybe rumors were started about your son.

    Maybe this is a case of bullying. Im just throwing things out there because something isnt adding up.

    I always knew my kids were different. It didnt happen like a light switch. That would be much more alarming.
  18. sunr

    sunr New Member

    As I go through this thread, I am reflecting on my situation. I would say this is exactly I am facing too. I have a 17 year old kid whom I tried everything possible. Used to be bright, football/hockey/basketball player, outgoing. After 9th things going downhill. Dropped out of school, Very violent inside the home but not outside. Doing pot (not sure how often), uses tobacco, drinks alcohol if I leave any at home. Not many friends any more and watching DVDs in the basement. Refusing counseling, psychiatric help however we tried. Several 911 calls and cops have come several times home and now they are all fed up. Tried wilderness, residential school and nothing worked.
    Now finally Juvenile officers filed a complaint in the court (with my consent) and awaiting the court date. I am not sure what exactly to expect but I am going to request psychiatric evaluation, physical exam, substance rehabilitation, anger management and finally a out of home school. Not sure whether all these can happen but praying for this. Clock is ticking.
  19. Dazed n Confused

    Dazed n Confused New Member

    My son finished his first semester in 9th grade at home with us. By January he was having rages, took him to his Dr. who told us it was a "family" problem and for us to work it out. My parents stepped in and had him move in with them. He finished the 2nd semester of 9th grade living with them. He wanted to move home and lived with us while attending 10th grade.

    The beginning of 10th grade was fine with a few blow ups and it rapidly increased to where he was out of control. During this time he was seeing a psychiatric. and counselor, both thought it was anxiety and depression. My husband and I kept insisting there was more going on. He finally got so out of control that my mom picked him up the last day of 10th grade and he moved in with them.

    He started his 11th grade year living with them, completed the 1st semester, went 1 day of the 2nd semester and then didn't go for 6 days. Thats when my mom called and said she needed help with him. I think she truly thought it was "us" as parents and he really just had anxiety. Well the honeymoon was over that morning. My husband went over (3hr. drive) and got my son going back to school, he went 2 days. We thought everything was fine and my husband came home. While my husband was there, he took him to his counselor and said here is what is going on. She says wow I didn't realize it was this bad. My husband asked if she requested his records from when he lived with us, she didn't really want to admit that NO she didn't. She put my difficult child on Wellbutrin and said this was more than she could handle and set up an appointment. for him to see someone else once a week, she would still see him once a month. By the time my husband got home, she had faxed the medical releases to get his info.

    The next morning my son did not go to school, that was a friday. Monday came he didn't go to school. Then Tues, he refused to go and my mom called me, while on the phone he was in one of his "outbursts", I had her put it on speaker phone and I told him if he didn't start going to school and behaving he was going to a Residential Treatment Center (RTC), Boarding School Something. He flipped and then he had the emotional breakdown sobbing, etc. He wrote my mom a note appologizing saying he would go to school, behave etc. Well Wed. came and he refused to go. That night at 1030pm I get a phone call from him, screaming to leave him the F@#! alone, stay out of his life, he hated me, wish I would die. etc. I said to him, where are your grandparents, at this point I was worried about them. My husband found my cell phone and I called my moms cell phone, I muted our home phone while he was screaming and I asked her if she knew he had called. She said what, he went to bed, then she could hear him escalating. Long story short, when he figured out she was on the phone, he took it broke it, I called the cops. They arrived, called the Mental Health professional at the hospital to take him and admit him and since the hospital didnt staff someone 24hrs. The MH professional felt that he didn't need to go. So they left and told my mom to get him into his counselor first thing in the morning. Thurs. My mom called repeatedly on Thurs to get him in, finally got a call back and said the 19th was the soonest.

    Friday was a 1/2day and he had promised my mom he would go. If he missed Friday that would be his 12 day and he basically had met the liimit for the number of days you can miss in a semester. (Presidents day, Valentines day 4 day weekend.) He promised he would go Tuesday. My mom was at her limit and didn't know what to do. During that weekend he had several explosions, etc. I told him if he didn't go to school on Tuesday he would be sent to a boys home, Residential Treatment Center (RTC), etc. something so he knew I was serious. As a group, me, my husband and my parents had decided something had to be done. I called his old counselors here and they gave me some numbers to call. Monday night he went to my mom and told her he couldn't go he was to scared, nervous, etc. She didn't make him go. She then told me she had changed her mind and he would do online school and do counseling. I flipped and said well when the next explosion happens call me and I will get the process started. It was maybe 2 days later and things were back to chaos.

    He saw his reg. counselor on the 19th and thats when she diag. Intermittent Explosive Disorder (IED) and started another mood medication. She told my mom he needs something soon or it will be jail and prison the rest of his life. I think thats when it finally hit my mom.

    Needless to say, yesterday I called an Educ. Consultant to get the process started. He can't live with them anymore and we are getting no help from the state or local hospitals. The counselor he saw on Mon. (the new one) told my mom that when he starts getting upset to hold him and say "I know you are upset, so lets figure out why." I laughed, if you even touch him when he starts getting anxious he FLIPS out.

    We are at the point of my parents walking on egg shells, afraid of him, he ?s her everytime I call. He is addicted to some computer game called "Runescape" and has been for sometime. Its like a world he can disappear into and be happy. When he comes back to reality it is a moment by moment second as to whether you can talk to him.

    We are going to be financially strapped from now until who knows when, but something has to be done. He can't move home and he can't live with them. He doesn't know its coming and he is going to flip out. I have no clue how we are going to get him there, but it has to be done.

    Thanks for listening to me vent, complain and finally let everything youngest son has been told about his brother going away, he said he didn't care as long as his problem finally got help and could be happy.

    As for finding out about those two boys, we have heard "things about them". They really didn't have alot of friends and I doubt any would talk to us. I haven't heard any rumors about my difficult child. My difficult child has never mentioned anything to his younger brother.

    Any suggestions are this point my difficult child needs somewhere to address his mental state. School is whatever at this point, I just want him to be able to participate in society and not physically assult or abuse someone.