New Anxieties, I guess...I'm confused

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by wakeupcall, May 4, 2009.

  1. wakeupcall

    wakeupcall Well-Known Member

    I'm not participating on this forum as much as I used to, but I read it every day. I suppose I feel like I don't have much support in me, since nothing has ever worked much with my difficult child. All the medications in the world, all the therapy one can imagine, and we're not in a much better place than when he was a toddler. He's thirteen now.

    I DO know that some of his crazy behavior is his age, but still.....! We have lived in this house almost three years. When we moved here, we agreed for him to have the bedroom closest to the master and that worked at keeping him out of our room for about a year. Since then he's come and gone. NOW he's in our room every night, on the floor (again). IF we are adamant about getting him out, such has having a knock-down-drag-out confrontation right when we're tired and ready for sleep, then he sleeps in the living room on the floor or on the sofa. He can't tell me why, or won't. Surely he's too old to be afraid of the dark, his room is neat so it's not that he hates disarray, I just don't get it. He's also pretending to throw up now and then before school. Last week I fell for it and kept him home two days before I figured out there was not one thing wrong with him. He did it again this morning and I marched him out to the bus. We have ongoing medication checks, but have put off therapy for the last year because I thought he might need it worse when he's an older teen than now. He's terribly disrespectful (always has been), so now I take his beloved cell away from him and he was grounded to our property all weekend. Both of those hurt since he has a girfriend, but I wonder if it sunk in.

    Please, what could be contributing to this behavior? Any ideas?
  2. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    I can, but not sure you'll be interested. You're looking at one diagnosis, that, in my opinion, could be wrong or another one. But I"ll give you my .02 anyway.

    First of all, I was terrified of the dark at thirteen. I slept with the light on or went downstairs with the television on. I wouldn't sleep otherwise. I would stay up. I had nightmares and scary thoughts at night and my imagination worked overtime even in the light, but the dark was worse. I'm an adult and still don't like the dark.

    Secondly, with his fascetious room--I don't know anything else about him. Is he on the autism spectrum? Has he ever seen a neuropsychologist? If you've tried therapy and medications and nothing worked, and he has been this way since he's been a toddler, I strongly recommend one last resort: A neuropsychologist evaluation. Sounds like nobody really knows what's wrong with him or how to help him. A neuropsychologist does intensive testing from 6-10 hours and has a fresh, different perspective and tests in all areas. More than one child, including my son, has been diagnosed with bipolar when it was really Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD). It's a common mistake. There is tremendous anxiety and strange fears with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD). Doesn't mean he has it, but his mental status in my opinion is worth a second or third or fourth look. Psychiatrists can miss things. I know this first hand.

    I wouldn't give up or let things go on as they are. Nor, if it were me, would I make him sleep in his room. He probably is embarassed to tell you why because maybe you'll say, "You're too old!" Fear has no age limit.

    I'm sorry that things are bad right now. They CAN get better. in my opinion you need to try a different type of professional who will see your child in a different way. The same ole, same ole isn't working.

    Take care of yourself too. You're no good to anyone if you're all stressed out :(
  3. wakeupcall

    wakeupcall Well-Known Member

    Thanks for your input, MWM. I need to hear this once in awhile. I honestly don't mind that he's in our room, but I feel like we're making so little progress....and I want progress so desperately. He's very immature in almost everything....yet physically turning into a man. It's all so exhausting......on and on and on.
  4. Josie

    Josie Active Member

    My 11 year old won't sleep alone, either. She has Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) and has a recurring scary thought that makes her scared to go to sleep by herself.

    For her, we are trying to work up to sleeping in her room on her own.

    First we are trying to get a medication which will help her sleep. Seroquel put her to sleep pretty quickly, even if I wasn't there, but she still woke up in the night scared, and it made her cry alot during the day. So we are still looking for the right sleep medication.

    We are having her stay in her room, trying to go to sleep and we check on her. If she has the light on, we can check every 15 minutes. If the light is off, we have to check every 5 minutes, for now. We should be able to go longer as she gets used to it. When she gets the right sleep medication, she should go to sleep this way. First, I will sleep on the sofa bed outside her room and then gradually make my way downstairs to my own bed.

    Right now, she is still so awake after about an hour that we give up and she sleeps with me on the sofa sleeper. I am ready to go to bed then and don't want to have to keep checking on her.

    It is not a good situation, but at least I feel that we are working on getting it under control.
  5. gcvmom

    gcvmom Here we go again!

    Our chronological age has no bearing on anxiety. My 12.5yo difficult child 2 is STILL afraid of the dark and needs a rather bright nightlight every night. So is my 10yo easy child.

    I agree with MWM's recommendations to seek out a second opinion with further evaluation. Clearly you still need answers for what's going on with him.

    Anxiety or depression can make a kid irritable, which can come out as disrespect. I'd be digging deeper for better answers with a neuropsychologist and possibly a different psychiatrist.
  6. flutterby

    flutterby Fly away!

    When I was 14 I was terrified to be in my room alone. My room was on the third floor. There was my room, a bathroom and a spare bedroom up there so I was all alone. I spent 3 months sleeping in the living room and would literally run up to my room when I needed something, get whatever it was as fast as I could, then run back down. When I did make it to sleeping in my room, I slept with the light and a tv. Eventually, I was able to turn off the light and just have the tv.

    I actually think fears like that at that age are relatively normal. I saw it in my easy child, in difficult child (although she hears voices and noises) and in friends' kids.

    As far as throwing up when going to school - I did that. I couldn't eat breakfast or I would throw it up on the way to school. Even without, I dry heaved the whole way to school. I couldn't ride the bus it was so bad.

    I definitely think you're looking at anxiety.
  7. flutterby

    flutterby Fly away!

    I just noticed you added strattera. Did these behaviors start after strattera was introduced? AD's can cause anxiety in some.