New Here/At Wit's End


New Member
Hello, my name is Jewel & I am glad that I found this website. I have a 10yr old son named Bradley & I am a single Mom. My son has seen/heard many things that he shouldn't have. His Dad (my ex) abused him both emotionally/mentally/physically. He hasn't seen his Dad for some time, due to court orders.
About 6mo ago or more, he was diagnosed with-ADHD and put on medications..I originally thought it was a blessing in disguise. He has been on numerous medications...the last one being Strattera, which seems to help his grades/concentration wise at school, but his behavior/attitude OYE...he is also on Prozac, for depression.

Recently his pediatrician decided to up his Prozac level, since his counselor saw & heard increased signs of depression...being my son told her (counselor) that his life was a 0-1...he didn't like life anymore. She increased the Prozac & almost immediately I saw an increase in aggressiveness, more defiance, more irritability, and more "attitude". I decreased it back down to 10mg a day!

I am at a loss....sometimes he behaves well, usually in public, places he doesn't know people...which I know is good. AT home, oh what a different life. He tells people at school that his Mom can't afford anything, so he gets donations. He argues with-me about homework, how he wants to do it, what music to listen to; what tv to watch...almost like he wants to be in control of the household. I get very patience level is extremely low! Never used to be! He won't do hardly anything on his own...always wants involvement from me. But he gets to choose what to do, or so he thinks. He doesn't listen..we tried the "reward" system from the counselor, & he didn't even try to get "rewards"...which amazed me.

I am in a serious relationship...and Bradley likes my boyfriend. Loves his 2 dogs that he has also. My boyfriend is trying to find a common ground with-him as well...trying to work with him as well.

Now the counselor thinks he might have generalized anxiety disorder...there is a name for everything...I don't want a "drugged" kid...yet I want a more "normal" son...they also think he might have some bi-polar in him as well....I don't know what to think...or believe anymore.

Can anybody offer insight? Sorry for me rambling...I am just really tired/confused...and would LOVE to see some light at the end of a dark tunnel.



New Member
Welcome Jewel. I'm sorry to hear of your troubles, it sounds like you and your son have been through alot.

It sounds like your son's pediatrician is dxing and prescribing his medications.(?) I recommend that you have him evaluated by a board certified child psychiatrist.

Others will be along with more insight and advice. Take care.

Wiped Out

Well-Known Member
Staff member
Welcome-I'm sorry your son is struggling-I'm glad you found us as you will find much support here. I agree with ROE about seeeing a child psychiatrist and it would probably be helpful to see a neuropsychologist as well.

You sound tired-it is so important to take care of yourself and do things for yourself. Hugs to you.


Well-Known Member
Hi Jewel,
From long experience with a difficult-to-diagnose child, I strongly recommend taking this child to a Child Psychiatrist (with the MD), not a non-psychiatric pediatrician. To me, and I could be wrong, it sounds like more than ADHD and depression. Of course, you need a Psychiatrist to diagnose. Antidepressants can make kids with certain disorders much worse and more aggressive and it sounds like that is happening to your little guy. Prozac was a nightmare here. I would have him re-evaluated. A neuropsychologist is also a good idea, but I sure wouldn't trust a child's mental health to a pediatrician and a counselor. Have you ever read up on early onset bipolar? Are mood disorders or substance abuse in the family tree? Sounds like his bio. dad had many psychiatric issues and they can be inherited. They can also be treated, but you need a sharp professional.

Hugs and good luck.


New Member
As far as reward systems go we have came up with something new.
This is more "house currency" than rewards, my boys can earn 10 beads for each chore done around the house, these are posted on the fridge.
Five min. before bedtime we tally the beads up, but if they are not already ready for bed they forfit that days beads. (no more late to bed because still in the shower or what not) These beads then are used for privledges durring the day, 20 for getting on the computer, 15 for chosing the tv chanel, 15 for using the phone. My favorite is they have to give me 5 for asking for a new toy or anything else they don't need, if they get the item than they owe me 5 for asking and 5 more for every dollar it caust me.
At the begining of each month they owe me room rent 300 beads, plus electricity 50, if not they sleep on the floor outside their rooms each night till they earn the beads, or lose their light bulb. (we have yet to have had to do this but it is there as an incentive)
Everything is posted up and rules are layed down, we stick to the bead system and they love it! There has been less yelling, more chores getting done (they have made it into a compititon who can get the most beads each day)and I have actualy been able to relax more.
If you try this let me know how it works for you, I am curious.


Hello and welcome to the board!
After reading the paragraph on how he wants to "control" things in the house, I wasn't surprised to read that they think he has an anxiety disorder. Anxious kids feel a need to control their environment because they feel so out of control themselves. It's the only way they know to feel safe and secure. Because of that, I've not found any of the behavior mods to be effective with my difficult child. You can't be rational with something that is irrational and anxiety is irrational. I did find that once the anxiety was under control (in our case medications and coping skills, relaxation), the need to control lessened greatly.

The one thing I tell every new member is to remember to take time for yourself. It's important.

I'm glad you found us.


Active Member
I understand why they increased the Prozac, but it does sound like he could be having a paradoxic reaction to it. Talk to the docs about it, because he may be OK with another one. Or not - some kids are sensitive to all of them. difficult child 3 can't take antidepressants and neither can I, although we both have different reactions to them. But difficult child 1 has benefited a great deal from Zoloft.

You really need to be able to get inside his head, get a feel for why he thinks and feels a certain way. This takes time and patience but is worth it if you can hack it.

Also, "The Explosive Child" by Ross Greene is worth a read.

Welcome to the site, you've landed on your feet here.

Just wanted to pop in and say hello. Welcome to the board! This is a wonderful, safe place.

Ditto what Marg said about the book "The Explosive Child". It is a very good read and it puts a lot of things into perspective.

Again, welcome. You will have lots of support here.


Active Member
The history of our kids are very different, but what you are describing now sounds exactly the same. I'm working on where to get my son reevaluated this summer because bipolar may be it- or it may be something no one has brought up yet. but, prozac worked, or seemed to work, very well for about 8 mos., then the bottom fell out. now, we're trying a mood stabilizer. one thing i have learned about talking to several differents types of docs and therapists- i need to always think through what they have said afterwards to determine if it feels like they are on the right track or not. that doesn't mean not accepting something just because it's not what i want to hear, but there have been a couple of times when i just KNEW that what they were saying didn't add up with what was going on with my difficult child or inside our house in general. in spite of that, i spent time trying to implement their suggestions- and watching things get worse, my difficult child feel worse, etc. So, now, I'm also trrying to motivate myself to try a new therapist. it's so emotionally exhausting for us though- to go through the paperwork, history, where we are now, then hear "I don't think I'm the right person to counsel you", or "you should have just spanked him more when he was younger", or "well, maybe we can get the psychiatrist to put him on enough medications to make him walk around like a zombie", or "it's your house, why did you let his behavior take control of it". Even if all these things are 100% correct, how is that helping either of us to improve the situation now? In hindsight, we didn't have the most accurate diagnosis (Depression and disruptive behavior not otherwise specified)although at the time, it seemed most appropriate. But most didn't take the depression too seriously- except me who lives with him. The therapists were just going off about why he didn't behave the way he should- no solution to it- just hammering on how it shouldn't be this way and what i did wrong to cause it.
Sorry for my venting- this is your thread!! Just remember, you're not alone!!!


New Member
I have had him seen by a psychiatrist (MD) once before...he was a bit on the loony side....he had me reading chapters out of a book....noticed the mood swings...suggested possible bi-polar, but wanted me to read the chapters & then asked me what I thought?

I was paying him LOTS of $$$ to find out what HE thought...not the other way around. He put him back on Adderall XR, which REALLY increased the aggressiveness in Bradley...that didn't last long.

What is the differenc between a psychiatrist and a neuro??

He constantly worries about things too...almost to the point of 10times about 1 thing. In the early morning on the weekends, he'll ask what are we doing later in the day...late afternoon, he'll bug me as what is for dinner...he has a good appetite, but he BUGS so much....

His counselor feels like he constantly is wanting to make friends...which is true,he doesn't have many friends outside of school. That is about to change, since we are moving to an "apartment community" that has families living he'll be going to the YMCA for the summer, & he'll make friends there..

Part of the problem as well, is that I really can't do stuff with-o him constantly asking about things. He doesn't occupy himself...and he switches from 1 thing to the next...that is why they originally thought ADHD...

OYE...hoping things get better..... :crazy:


Active Member
I love the comment about the therapist asking what I think- i've heard that many times and was always left thinking that they don't have the answer if they are asking me the answer.


Anxiety can look a lot like ADHD and is commonly mis-diagnosis'd as such.