New and Need Advice/Help for Anxiety/Mood Disorder?

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by laughinbrunette, Aug 29, 2013.

  1. laughinbrunette

    laughinbrunette New Member

    Hi~ I am looking for people who will understand and can offer advice. Where to start? My son is 6 and we started him in Kindergarten last year but then pulled him out after Christmas. He was miserable and had a lot of problems. He was having accidents (BM) in his pants, would refuse to transition from activities, he started chewing his shirt, would just not want to leave the classroom (to go to PE or Library)...all of which seemed so odd to me. We spoke to his pediatrician and he thought maybe ADHD and prescribed stimulants. My son had a bad neurological reaction, picking at his skin, mouth moving, screaming, etc. The pediatrician recommended we see a behavioral therapist. We have taken him for just under a year, once a month and he just now saw the psychiatrist today. Once we took him out of school last Spring, the chewing on his shirt stopped, the bathroom accidents stopped (mostly) and he has matured a lot. A couple of weeks ago, he started back to school to try Kindergarten again and we have been finding (at home) shirts that he has taken off because he's been chewing them.... he has been suffering from what we thought was a stomach virus, but now we are suspecting his diarrhea is being caused by stress. His teacher says he is better this year so far, just very loud and talkative. I am at a loss because the doctor today said our behavioral plan should be negative and positive consequences for his behaviors. He "diagnosed" him with a general mood disorder, otherwise unspecified. I am frustrated because I feel like we are seeing the beginning of last year all over again with no plan on how to deal with it. I have tried all sorts of ideas to deal with my son's unique behaviors. One thing that has worked is we have a timer that shows the time in red space as it counts down the space gets smaller and that has helped a lot with his transitions, but I don't know what else to do. He is bright and funny...lots of personality...he loves computers and how things are put together, Minecraft, and is friendly without really making "friends"....he can't handle change or surprises (he will have a meltdown)... it is like his emotions are right on the surface, he can be happy and fine and the next minute he is sobbing over something (to us) that is insignificant. If he is suffering from anxiety, why can no one give us advice or help of how to deal with it? If my son was old enough to understand his feelings and verbalize them, maybe I could figure it out. But he acts like he is fine, he acts carefree, even though his behaviors show he isn't. I am so frustrated by it all. His father is bipolar and has issues for depression/anxiety so we recognize symptoms in adults, but with my son I am unsure what his issues are exactly and if the Dr can't help, who can? Since my son was born, I feel like our family has had to walk on eggshells when dealing with him because it requires so much effort to keep things balanced. He is so totally intrinsically motivated that it is hard to get him to do things unless he sees the point in them. You can't simply bribe him and you can punish him severely and it can mean nothing to him if his mind is made up. He doesn't hurt others or really bother anyone, he just isn't always compliant and his emotions are all over the place- with what we fear is anxiety over coming back to school. My goal is for him to learn to deal with his emotions and feelings, but no one seems able to offer any help on how to do that or what may be wrong with him.
  2. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    I'm just another parent... but... they way you describe your son sure has some aspects of Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) or Asperer's. The difficulty with transitions, the sensory issues, the anxiety...
  3. laughinbrunette

    laughinbrunette New Member

    Thank you for your response @InsaneCdn! As a parent and educator, I know something is not right with him....but finding a doctor that will listen and help has been my biggest issue. I had no idea it would be this difficult to find help for him.
  4. GoingNorth

    GoingNorth Crazy Cat Lady

    Speaking as someone on the Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) spectrum, this child needs to be evaluated by either a neuropsychologist or a multi-disciplinary team. He's got several red flags for Autism Spectrum Disorder.

    The shirt chewing is a sensory response to a world he cannot understand. I don't have links, but perhaps someone else will for sites that sell all sorts of sensory items to chew on, fidget with, etc. These may make him more comfortable in his world and perhaps save his shirts.

    I chewed my collars as a child and ate the knit cuffs off my jackets and sweaters.

    I don't chew inappropriate things anymore. Most Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) kiddos, with proper interventions, can live a happy life though some may need assistance as adults in maintaining some degree of independence. He is not doing this to be bad. He cannot help it. The sooner you get him evaluated, the sooner you can start with interventions to help make him more comfortable.

    Best of luck to you and you boy.

  5. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    This kids needs an evaluation. Pediatricians aren't very good at diagnosing behavior issues and the whys of them. That isn't their field. I highly recommend a neuropsychologist. My son chewed his shirts too. Sensory issues usually go with kids with disorders be it bipolar or Aspergers. The BM can be a number of reasons.

    You have a differently wired little man. He needs help. He sounds spectrumish to me too.
  6. TeDo

    TeDo CD Hall of Fame

    He sure does have a lot of sensory issues. They are his way of dealing with stress and unknowns. My difficult child 1 was a chewer (still is) and shirts were most handy. When he started school, he had BM issues until he really got into the routine, the stress was that great. Taking him home to change clothes became reinforcing as it was a way to escape the terrifying situation of school. We developed a plan at school to get him through it. He never did it at home but that has always been his "safe familiar" haven. I can see where your little guy is soooo stressed that it would carry over.

    I got many things for my difficult child 1 at for the chewing and even got a weighted blanket for him through them (Occupational Therapist (OT) told us the appropriate weight and kind to get). We found a WONDERFUL Occupational Therapist (OT) (3rd one we tried) that did a VERY thorough evaluation. The things she found were amazing and she worked with him wonderfully.

    We were also lucky in that we have a highly-recommended and respected neuropsychologist in our state (3 hours from where we live). We waited for the nearest opening 8 months away but all of that was worth it. I wish that for everyone but know that's not the case for many. He was able to wade through EVERYTHING I sent (from birth on) and brought with me as well as all his testing and came up with a very clear picture of what was really going on with difficult child 1. We have come a long way since that appointment 2 years ago because I knew what I was dealing with and was able to get the interventions and services he needed.

    Your little guy reminds me so much of difficult child 1 at that age. Looking back, I really wish I had known what I know now. Things would have been a lot better for difficult child 1 for years. He had a tough life for all those years and I have to live with that guilt.

    You're doing the right thing by questioning when what they tell you doesn't sound "right". Trust your mommy gut. God gave it to you for a reason. Don't be afraid to question and "challenge" what the professionals say if it doesn't sound right to you. YOU know your son, they only know what you tell them and what little they see. Keeping records of all specific situations (time of day, before, during, and after) helps a lot. The more comprehensive the better. More information for them to go by.

    Welcome to our little corner of the world. This place has helped me keep my sanity and steered me in the right direction over and over again. If it weren't for the advice of these warrior moms, we wouldn't be where we are now.
  7. Liahona

    Liahona Guest

    It is possible to have both BiPolar (BP) and Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD). A book that has a great chart for traking mood/sleep/medications ect... Is The Bipolar Child.
  8. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    There are also free mood tracking apps. I would put in Bipolar into the search part for apps and see what comes up. I should probably download one for myself but just havent done it yet. Try the T2Mood Tracker. I just pulled it up and downloaded it. You can set your own customized list if you want.
  9. laughinbrunette

    laughinbrunette New Member

    Thank you for all the replies. It is comforting that people understand and that I am not off base with thinking that there is an issue. That's a great idea about the app (@DammitJanet) and I have ordered the Bipolar Child and plan to read it. I finally found another Dr to try but the appointment isn't until the end of October...However, I plan to use this time to document his behaviors. The restroom issues are (I hope) slowly improving but his mood swings are just so difficult to keep up with. He is still chewing his shirts *sigh* This morning he was manic, talking 90 to nothing and all over the place. Normally he will answer that he likes school, but then he will slip little things into conversations like he did this morning: "If I was mayor, I would summon air strikes to blow up all the schools because I hate school" and when I asked why he said he hates school...he answered that only smart kids like school. Of course I told him he was smart and he said he messed up his name at school and left part of it out. I discussed with him all the things he is good at and how smart he is and that we'd work on his name, etc...(which he can write perfectly, he just struggles with dexterity depending upon his mood). I also told him how if all the schools were gone, that it wouldn't be good because I wouldn't have anywhere to work and earn money. He replied, "Oh, ok. That makes sense. SO I guess I wouldn't have them blown up, I would just make it a law so that kids don't have to do work." We continued the conversation until he was satisfied that we had covered everything. His obsession today?..the old shows of Dr Who....why or where he got it, I have no idea. (It is exhausting to manage him)
  10. Liahona

    Liahona Guest

    Have you tried acidophilus for the diarrhea? Hope you like Dr Who. How long do his obsessions last?
  11. laughinbrunette

    laughinbrunette New Member

    No, we haven't tried it... but if the Benefiber doesn't work (pediatrician recommended) we will definitely give acidophilus a shot. His obsessions range in time depending on what it is. Some things are long standing, he will always be obsessed about them. There are other things that he will pick up, or a phrase that he will say for days or weeks. For an example, space/satellites and Minecraft....those are the long-term obsessions, where if someone asks him about them (or doesn't) he will talk their ear off and tell them every last detail (things no one could possibly remember). Things like Dr Who or Angry Birds might last days...or make a return out of the blue.
  12. TeDo

    TeDo CD Hall of Fame

    Yep, exaggerated response to a minor problem. difficult child 1 does that a lot and he gets so fixated on that one idea that he can't see any others. I'm glad you were able to get him to see another point of view. Right there, he's telling you the "WHY" of something. It bothers him that he messed up his name. It's the school's fault (in a weird kind of logic difficult child 1 would think too) so the solution for it to NEVER happen again is to simply blow the schools up. That is the kind of "logic" I have had to learn to think in order to see the why's of difficult child 1's behaviors. When he doesn't have the words to tell me. I have to try to think like he does to figure it out. Your son just gave you a clue to how he thinks. At least this one didn't come with behavior but it is DEFINITELY noteworthy.
  13. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Those answers sound VERY spectrumish to me rather than bipolarish. I'd make sure I saw a neuropsychologist who can diagnose both Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) and/or bipolar. He has a "different" way of thinking, but is obviously very bright.