New/desperately seeking help with-ODD 15 yos. Feel I am losing my mind....

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by Khoikhoi, Apr 12, 2012.

  1. Khoikhoi

    Khoikhoi New Member

    I searched the entire web, it seemed, to find a forum for parents of kids with ODD kids, specifically teenagers. This site was all I could this the place I should be? Just seeking friendship with-others and the sharing of ideas to help in dealing with the daily struggles. It is such an isolating disorder (our son exhibits NO ODD behaviors outside of the home).

    Mom to 4, sadly feels like I am losing one to ODD....

    Still figuring out this site....
  2. keista

    keista New Member


    Yes, you found a great place to find support, tips and a place to vent freely without judgement. However, I'll start off by gently telling you that most of us don't believe in ODD as a stand alone diagnosis (diagnosis). More often than not, there is something(s) else going on. Address the something(s) else and the ODD starts to fade.

    Does your child have an official diagnosis? How long has the behavior existed? What's the family dynamic - Nuclear family, steps, bios, adopted, birth order? Any issues on the family tree (diagnosed or just suspected)- parents grandparents, aunts uncles?

    Welcome again. The more information you can give us, the more we can start helping out.
  3. DaisyFace

    DaisyFace Love me...Love me not

    Hello and Welcome!

    I second what Keista said about ODD as a "diagnosis" (Really? My child is oppositional and defiant? Tell me something I don't know!)

    What kinds of issues are you dealing with?

    Has it been going on a long time - or is this new behavior?
  4. Khoikhoi

    Khoikhoi New Member

    Thanks for the welcome! We have had a couple of professionals tell us anxiety/depression are most likely the underlying root causes but I'm not 100% convinced. I'm afraid that in our quest to help our son, I have become rather cynical about the psychiatric. profession ( though I have an undergraduate degree in psychology!). I just feel that the diagnosing of mental health issues is so subjective that you can get a dozen different opinions thus it scares me to death! Anyway, our son has been oppositionally defiant and argumentative since 3 years old...he really never snapped out of an extreme version of the terrible twos. Since the onset of puberty 2 years ago though he has become almost unbearable to live with as the behaviors took on a whole new level and his attitude became disrespectful, negative, critical, sullen and full of anger..I could go on, but you get the drift. A year ago we felt we had no choice than to try medications. He has been on Abilify and Zoloft since then and we have seen some improvement but not the radical change we had hoped and prayed for.
    He is the oldest of four and will turn 15 this summer. He is super bright, maintains As in his honors classes in which he is self-motivated, has a small group of great buddies who are good kids, plays in a competitive sports team, seems like a regular those outside of our family!!!!
    Our other children are 12 (bio boy), 8 1/2 (bio boy) and 4 1/2(girl adopted at 21mos.) We have no issues ( other than your normal run-of-the-mill kid stuff) whatsoever with our other kids. As for family, my husband and I have been married almost 18 years and have no psychiatric. issues other than insomnia for me (brought on by my excessive stress/worry/sadness about the situation). On his side there are several siblings with past addiction issues and his father was an alcoholic but passed away in early 70s. There is a nephew with ADHD who is doing awesome on medications (he's 16). My family is small and tho' no one has been diagnosed, I would say-and my brother who is a physician agrees-that my mother has mild depression brought on by life situations more than anything else. She also has chronic insomnia of which, unlike myself, she refuses to get help with.

    Are there any other families dealing with-ODD? I just read that Ritalin can help with ODD behaviors so wondering if others have treated their child with this drug.

    Thanks for reading.
  5. TeDo

    TeDo Guest

    Thanks for giving us more background. It will help alot.

    Anxiety and Depression in children presents very differently than in adults. They are commonly associated with anger and frustration in children so I wouldn't necessarily write those diagnosis's off completely. A book I would highly recommend you read is kind of our site "bible" so to speak. It is called The Explosive Child by Ross Greene. It gives great strategies to help figure out what's really going on with our kids. It even works on neurotypical kids.

    I dealt with an ODD diagnosis for almost 4 years with difficult child 1 only to find out (after implementing the processes explained in the book) that it wasn't ODD at all. Once we got a THOROUGH evaluation by a neuropsychologist that we got accurate diagnosis's, things changed drastically because I changed MY thinking. Once I fully understood where difficult child 1 was coming from, it has been much easier to teach what I didn't realize he didn't know so our house is much calmer.

    Try the book and see if you can get "into his head" and find the REAL cause of his behaviors. Kids' behaviors are a lot of times their way of communicating.

    You have come to the right place. ALL of us have been where you are so we can all relate and what works for one person doesn't work for others so this is a GREAT place for many different perspecitives and ideas. Welcome to our little family.
  6. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Because of my own experiences, when I hear that a child deteriorates when a teenager I always ask if you think he may be dabbling in drugs/alcohol or both. Kids can be very sneaky about it and it definitely makes everything 100% worse, whatever it was to begin with. Have you searched his room when he's not there? Checked his social networks? They can tell you a lot!
  7. keista

    keista New Member

    Yes, Ritalin can most definitely help with ODD when the root cause of ODD is ADHD. If you research enough, you will find "evidence" of every medication helping with ODD. It's because like I stated before once you start to fix the underlying cause, ODD will start to fade.

    That could be because the dxes aren't 100% right, but that's the best they can get to without a full evaluation. neuropsychologist is most desirable. Short of that, you want someone who has extensive experience in all areas of behavioral psychology. For me, that person turned out to be a school psychologist who did independent evaluations as well as consulting with a neighboring school district.

    My DD1's original dxes were depression and anxiety. She still has both designations, but since she was also identified as an Aspie, so much makes more sense. Like why she "suddenly" gets depressed when we go to my dad's house. She doesn't. She just feel absolutely awkward interacting with him and his wife. I didn't' even realize she was skipping basic pleasantries like saying hello when we walked in the door. So now, we're working on these most basic of skills. Now that I see her as an Aspie and know she's not just being a witch with a b due to depression, life is so much better.

    I am in no way saying this is your case, but there could be something subtle missing. Or it could simply be depression and anxiety, and he works really hard to keep himself "together" and presentable outside the home so what when he gets home, he just falls apart.
  8. buddy

    buddy New Member

    Welcome from another mom who, though I have a different cause of the issues, is overwhelmed by how puberty has thrown a whole 'nother level into the whole mess.

    If you possibly can, given his history of issues, maybe see a neuropsychologist. With your background you may or may not know the difference but these people have additional training in neurology and how the brain and mood/behavior is connected. They can diagnose both developmental and psychological conditions and it is a little more scientific and broad view of giving a diagnosis than just going into a psychiatrist or psychology office and in an hour getting a diagnosis and medications. Of course since he is a teen it is always good to NOT believe them about drugs and drinking and just check. They are very good at hiding it.
  9. Khoikhoi

    Khoikhoi New Member

    Thanks for the input. I appreciate it :)
    We have The Explosive Child book. What a relief it was to read that...we we are not alone! Describes our son to an absolute T. I have also read a lot about childhood/teen depression. He shows some of the signs but not all. We also don't see much change after taking the medications for a year, so one would expect a change after taking anti-depressants if one is depressed, right? He also says he feels no different.
    As for drugs/ alcohol. A definite no. He never leaves the house unless for school/ soccer. I check his room constantly and as for social media- he's not interested. Soccer is his world- he breathes it, plays it, watches it, reads about it. Every day. We figure it could be worse!
    He texts (all innocent teen stuff, usually soccer related) friends a bit, but that's it. He does not have a smart phone or his own computer and never will, in our house. The two friends he hangs with are definite not otherwise specified also. They are fanatical about their sport and I just don't see any signs of substance abuse whatsoever.

    Keista- thanks for your input. He most definitely works hard all day to 'keep it together' and we get the fall out when he gets home. Peachy. I have an appointment for him to have a full neuropsychologist. evaluation. on May 6th. I have lost confidence in his current psychiatrist (though very happy with the therapist he sees bi-monthly for CBT). I'm so weary of hearing "he could be bipolar", "he could be depressed". I have often wondered if he was on the Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD) spectrum. I just want someone to tell me categorically what it is so we can work with it, whatever IT is! I do realize I'm wishing for the impossible....

    Thanks again everyone :)
    Last edited: Apr 12, 2012
  10. keista

    keista New Member

    Keep wondering and explore this. I was getting that feeling until you put in the team sports thing. Not that it's impossible but very unusual. However if EVERYTHING is soccer, then it's gets back "on the table" so to speak.

    Glad you've got neuropsch scheduled. Regardless of what's going on, once you have a good understanding of what the issues are, life does get a bit easier. {I said a bit}
  11. TeDo

    TeDo Guest

    Keista, difficult child 1 is a socceraholic also. He has even played basketball on a team. He gets along well with his teammates but he is still very much ON the spectrum.

    Khoi, one thing all of us trust and listen to.... our Mommy guts. God gave them to us for a reason. Very seldom are they wrong. Glad you have the neuropsychologist scheduled. If they are good, you should get great results. Ours was phenominal and right on! It also completely validated that my mommy gut was right...again. You are definitely on the right road. Have you implemented Plan B with him? If you have, can you give us an example of the behavior, its circumstances and your son's input in the conversation. That will help give us an idea of how he thinks. It should give YOU an idea of how he thinks.

    Keep going. You're doing great.
  12. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    No, you're not wishing for the impossible. Next-to impossible, yes... it isn't easy to get (we spent 10 years to get "there"), but... it can be done.
    Just keep in mind that it may not be "IT"... it may be multiple pieces in different directions, that defy a "single label" approach. This is also valid. In our case, it is the ONLY thing that makes sense. So... get the most thorough evaluations you can... push specifically for Occupational Therapist (OT) and Speech Language Pathologist (SLP) as well, because the fall-out from sensory, motor, or auditory issues is HUGE.