New here...hoping to lighten the load

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by 4princes4me, Oct 7, 2009.

  1. 4princes4me

    4princes4me New Member

    Hello all! I am glad to find this group. I am new here and have been reading through the threads and I feel as if I am walking in to meet my biological family after having been in an adopted for my entire life.

    This journey of motherhood for me has not been without its excitement. Really its been more like a tremendously exciting/frightening rollercoaster. There have been the normal ups and downs, and then there has been the unimaginable frightening drops that I never saw coming, with the mind jarring stops, and the occasional screams and tears. Followed by the exhiliration of completion and the desire to do it again...and again! My husband and I have 4 boys, 2 are difficult child in this sites sense.

    My oldest has been the most challenging and I am not sure that we (husband and I) can continue to do this alone though. We are at a very scary point as he is just about to be a teen ager and the ODD is really getting out of control.

    He is starting counseling again. To say the least I am skeptical. We have stopped with other therapists as he learned he could manipulate them by telling them how miserable his life is on punishment (grounded after fighting in school- led to a suspension or grounded after refusing to sit on the bus and screaming at the bus driver calling her every name you can think of leading to a permanent suspension from the bus when gas was near $4/gallon) and in both cases after a couple of days of being grounded they both undermined my husband and I and suggested (in front of him :mad:) that he should serve one more day and be taken off punishment because he learned his lesson and that is the point of discipline. But faced with the same situation and same set of emotions he will make the same choice over and over again...forget the consequences. In that moment they mean nothing to him.

    This has been infuriating I was wondering if there are others out there like us that are or have dealt with the ODD bug and what strategies have worked, what has not....and what advice you can offer.

    Current diagnosis is ADHD/ODD and BiPolar (BP) he is on Concerta, Ritalin and Geodon. I have noticed little to no change since starting the geodon. Psychiatrist is weary about increasing the BiPolar (BP) medications. We have been going down this road for a while. He has an IEP, and has a psychiatrist and as I stated earlier starting therapy again.

    I know that this is winded...Unfortuneatley I am a wordy person!
    Last edited: Oct 7, 2009
  2. busywend

    busywend Well-Known Member Staff Member


    Concerta & Ritalin? I do not think I have ever seen that before?
    Most times with BiPolar (BP) the stimulants are trialed after the BiPolar (BP) is under control. Stimulants can cause a BiPolar (BP) child to escalate and even become violent.
  3. smallworld

    smallworld Moderator

    Welcome! I'm glad you found us, but sorry you needed to.

    What Wendy said is true -- stimulants wreak havoc with BiPolar (BP) and can make symptoms impossible to get under control. It's important to treat BiPolar (BP) symptoms with first-line mood stabilizers (Lithium, Lamictal, Depakote, Trileptal, Tegretol) plus an atypical antipsychotic (Risperdal, Seroquel, Zyprexa, Geodon, Abilify).

    You should also be aware that ODD is not a helpful diagnosis. It is merely a description of a set of behaviors that has an underlying cause. When the underlying cause (like BiPolar (BP)) is identified and treated, the oppositional behaviors typically subside. Furthermore, ADHD is often undiagnosed and untreated mania that improves with appropriate bipolar treatment.

    A book that has helped many of us on this board parent our extra-challenging children is The Explosive Child by Ross Greene. You might want to pick up a copy at your local library or bookstore.

    Again, welcome. I hope you find a lot of support here.
  4. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Hi and welcome! Most of us here feel that ODD is a pretty useless diagnosis that doesn't stand alone. It is the result of a bigger diagnosis, but you do have a few other ones.

    I think a good first step would be to get another psychiatrist's opinion. Looks like this one is more interested in ADHD than BiPolar (BP) and in my opinion that's backwards. Stimulants can make mood disordered kids even worse, and they are abused by teens as well (my daughter once was addicted to ADHD medications...they crush 'em in pillcrushers and snort them...alone and with other drugs). Not saying she'd do that, but do think it's somewhat inappropriate to put her on stims while she's still unstable with the bipolar. Where's the mood stabilizer? Geodon is an atypical antipsychotic and although I'm not an expert, I have heard that it's not that great of one either. It's not used that often. Also, noticed your younger child is an Aspie. It could be that the older one is too. Often Aspegers is mistaken for ODD/ADHD/bipolar/ABCDEFGHIJ etc. It can look very different in two kids.

    Has she always been this way?

    Any other behaviors that have you confused/nervous/crazy?
  5. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    From what I can understand, Concerta is a long-acting form of ritalin. So the ritalin could be useful for tweaking the medication level, perhaps speeding up the morning medications, or toppping up at the end of the day with a view to allowing the child to later on sleep alright.

    The BiPolar (BP) medications worry me, though, with the stims.

    Something you may not have been told - where you have one Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD) kid in the family, chances are much higher that you will find at least traits in other members of the family. That's why in our family we say that autism doesn't just run in our family, it gallops. It is easy to misdiagnose - difficult child 1 didn't get his Aspie diagnosis until he was 13. And then it was only because we found a pediatrician who assessed the whole family and who confirmed the autism diagnosis in difficult child 3.

    Read "The Explosive Child" for some ideas and hands-on techniques for dealing with the ODD stuff. It should ring bells as you begin to read it. You take form the book what works and leave the rest. But keep re-visiting the book as he gets older, because later on there will be more that fits, that you discarded earlier.

    We found the techniques in the book made our lives (all of us, kids too) MUCH easier.


  6. hoobear

    hoobear Guest

    Welcome, there are many here with much more wisdom than I, but you are no longer alone. Take what you can from their experience. And take it one day at a time. Best wishes.

  7. TPaul

    TPaul Idecor8

    Let me add my welcome!!!

    Glad you found the site. I am fairly new here myself, but feel right at home. I too think that maybe the medications need changed or tweeked.

    We all understand the up and downs of living with the challenges of BiPolar (BP) and other conditions within our home. Feel at home, post about anything and know someone has either been there or is there too now.

    T. Paul
  8. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member


    I hate to stick my neck out here, but are you SURE BiPolar (BP) is the most accurate diagnosis?
    Because he does things over and over and doesn't seem to learn ... that sounds more Aspie to me. And you do have another Aspie child.
    I realize there is a huge impulse factor in BiPolar (BP), which may have caused your son to yell at the bus driver, but on the other hand, do you know what preceded his yelling? Say, some sort of change or even comment that hinted of change or something difficult child disagreed with?

    I agree with-the others, that stimulants can make BiPolar (BP) worse. Have you noticed that his behavior has improved or gotten worse with-the Concerta?

    I'm scratching my head over this one.

    I also do NOT like your therapists' undermining your decisions. Our therapist suggests things more subtley (sp), such as, "Would Mom and Dad go along with-one day of being grounded?" immediately allows us to say, "NO, because this is a huge issue." He will immediately pick up on it, then jump in and add, "I spent one summer on the farm, completely grounded to my room. So you (difficult child) are darn lucky."

    See what I mean? Keep looking for a good therapist. Go alone and scope them out.
  9. timer lady

    timer lady Queen of Hearts

    Hi & welcome. You've been given some good ideas to research. I'd like to mention the book The Bipolar Child. It's a good source on medications & their reactions.

    Again welcome. Come often, post often, even if it's just to vent. That's what we're all about.
  10. compassion

    compassion Member

    Welcome. Strateera is helping my daughter focus, in addtion to the bipolar medications.(It is NOT a stimulant.)
    I have foudn CABF (child and bipoar foundaiton) forums very helpful. Nami has been very helpful also. I also attend Al-anon, online FA . This board is helpful Keep comng back! Compassion