Emma, welcome! I'm glad you found us.

Sorry to ask questions right off the bat, but your answers will help us help you.
Were these child/adolescent psychiatrists who diagnosed your son?
Did he have previous dxes, and if so, what?
How long and at what doses has he been on Seroquel and Wellbutrin?
Any mental health issues or substance abuse in the family tree?

Again, welcome.


Roll With It
Welcome, I am so very glad you found us and so very sorry you need us.

Others will be along with ideas, suggestions, etc.. I am just sending hugs.

And the suggestion that you talk to your doctor about your feelings. It sounds much like you are dealing with depression (a chemical problem in your brain - medication can help a LOT!) and need some help.

I am not a doctor, so it is just a suggestion of the been there, done that route.




Roll With It
glad you are getting some help. Effexor is very hard to discontinue, and can cause some of what you are feeling. I became very afraid to go ANYWHERE, and was even more depressed on it. I hope you are having a better experience with it.

To be honest, it sounds like drugs. The total change in behavior, so suddenly, seems drug related to me. Is he still taking his medications at the ex's place?

I am so sorry for your hurting mommy heart. Please be gentle to it, and remember you still have 2 babies to care for and protect (even from their brother).




Well-Known Member
Hello Emma & welcome. Isn't it good to get that off your chest?

My daughter is much younger and we are not facing the same issues (yet). One thing I can tell you is that you are running out of time, he may need to learn on his own at this point. The sad fact in this country is that parents have very little to use as leverage to get their teens to comply. Many members report that they can't get access to the medical records of kids as young fourteen due to HIPPA, schools seem to be actively pushing out these students and law enforcement tends to criminalize rather than help our kids.

Is it possible that he has more going on than just conduct disorder (like that's not enough!)? Your post makes me think there may be an underlying mood disorder or something feeding his poor behavior.

A little story from my childhood: my older cousin by four years ran away from home at fifteen (almost sixteen). My aunt and uncle were told by the police there was very little they could do. Cousin did a couch tour until she ran out of friends and showed up at our house. She was cold & hungry but still defiant about her parents. My father sent her away. He told me later it was the hardest thing he had ever done (they were very close) but that she would have no reason to return to her family if she were comfortable somewhere else. She had to learn that she belonged with the people that loved her most.

She was home within the week.

The moral of this story is that we can't make things to easy for our kids. My cousin was a first rate difficult child and very difficult. I swear she took years off her parents' lives and she very nearly cost them their marriage. But she is married, working, owns a car and owns a home. She decided against having children because she was afraid she wouldn't be a good parent due to her active bipolar disorder (the root of her problems). But she grew up and made a life for herself. A pretty good life. :)


Emma, I'm going to be speaking generally here, but this is information you need to know in order to really figure out what's going on with your son. Conduct Disorder is typically a diagnosis not given to kids under age 18. In your son's case, he's exhibiting symptoms of a "conduct (read behavior) disorder," but I have to believe there's an underlying cause, such as a mental illness (such as a mood disorder or bipolar disorder).

About the medications: Wellbutrin, as you may know, is an antidepressant. It doesn't treat anxiety all that well, but is pretty good for unipolar depression. It also has stimulatory properties and is sometimes prescribed for ADHD. In certain kids, it can cause a manic reaction. The patient does well for a few weeks (typically three) and then can become angry, aggressive and out-of-control. I'm wondering if this is occurring with your son (it happened to my son on the SSRI antidepressant Zoloft).

Seroquel is an atypical antipsychotic that treats mania and bipolar disorder as well as anxiety, depression and sleep problems. Your son is on a relatively low dose of Seroquel, but it's unlikely that any dose of Seroquel is enough to offset the bad effects of Wellbutrin if that's what your son is experiencing.

I hope I've been helpful. Please ask any questions you might have. Hang in there. We're here for you.


New Member

Hello and welcome. I'm so sorry you are going thru so much turmoil.

If Effexor is your first Anti-depressant and you don't feel it's working, please, please, please go back to the doctor!!!! I tried 6 different AD's before finding one that worked with my body and mind. Mine happens to be Effexor XR, but everyone's body handles these medications in different ways. Other AD's that people told me they couldn't live without, left me in a complete, drugged out funk! Please visit your doctor ASAP!!!

My suggestion for your son would be in tune with the others. I'd suggest re-visiting the Medication choices. My difficult child 2 went thru several trials of medications before we found his "right" combination, just like I did for me. Especially with the diagnosis being so recent, it unfortunately takes time to get things better and the right medications working.

In the meantime, we're here and WE GET IT!



Emma, the reason I bring this up to parents arriving on this board is because it actually happened to both my son and my daughter (within three months of each other!), and the psychiatrists (psychiatrists) we were seeing didn't believe us. It was so abundantly clear that the medications had changed my kids for the worse. We finally got to new psychiatrists and have been doing better (not perfect!) ever since.

I'm going to scout around for specific references to Wellbutrin, but in the meantime you might want to check out these websites:

I'll be back on later this evening.

Loving Abbey 2

Not really a Newbie
Welcome to the board! Lots of people have given you some good advice so I'll keep it simple. Take a deep breath!

Do you have a therapist of your own? Posting here is great and encouraged, but between your depression and the stress of this situation, it sounds like you might benefit from some theraputic support for yourself. Many of us have our own therapists for support, especially during times of extreme stress with difficult child's. You have to take care of yourself so you continue to parent your two other children AND navigate your oldest son's issues.

The other thing is this--you are a mom, you know your son the best, like nearly all moms you have instincts that are almost always on target, and you can advocate for your son. Even if you are not confident-fake it! Gather information from this site and the ones listed below-Information is power. Remember that a psychiatrist is a person, just like all of us. Yes, they are a doctor but they are not god. Sometimes, if you are armed with information and at least act confident, you can be more effective in dealing with professionals in this field. And sometimes, you need a new doctor.

Gather some information before you take the next step. I believe your original post mentioned the option of calling the police to try to get your son home. Sometimes you can speak with a police officer (at the station or on the phone) without giving any identifying information to run the situation by them to see what the typical response would be. Then you would be able to weigh your options.

Take care of yourself and remember to breath!


From Wellbutrin's own webiste:

"WELLBUTRIN XL is approved only for adults 18 years and over. In some children, teens, and young adults, antidepressants increase suicidal thoughts or actions. Whether or not you are taking antidepressants, you or your family should call the doctor right away if you have worsening depression, thoughts of suicide, or sudden or severe changes in mood or behavior, especially at the beginning of treatment or after a change in dose (see Medication Guide: Antidepressant Medicines, Depression and Other Serious Mental Illnesses, and Suicidal Thoughts or Actions)."

Just google Wellbutrin and you will see lots more.


Well-Known Member
Hi Emma,
so sorry you have to join us, but here's a cup of tea and a soft pillow.
I would add Xanax to the Effexor if your dr is okay with-that.
I would do therapy for yourself, too.
I would focus on your other kids. Your older son is out of the house a lot so you've got to focus on the other kids.
I'd lay down the law, since your son "hates" you anyway ... you may as well make him angry because you are deliberately setting YOUR rules rather than just arguing because he feels like it. So when he's calm, tell him he does not drive your car, he does not come home unless he calls first and follows your rules. Change the locks.
You're up against a lot here because your ex is in on the whole thing. I hate it when that happens! You can read horror stories from lots of other people here about that sort of thing.
At any rate, what I 'm getting at is natural consequences. You said you bailed him out and pd back $ or items he stole ... NONOnonononnoo! Never again.
In fairness, explain to him that you will never do it again.
You will not field angry phone calls for him when angry people call looking for him.
You will not pay for his cell phone.
If he's going to think he's an adult, he needs adult consequences.

Having said that, I wonder what happened at rehab that perked him up, and what made him backslide? Did they have a really strict schedule? Did he have therapy every day?
You've gotten good advice and info here from other parents more into various medications.

Please do not let yourself get run down any more than you have. YOU are valuable.


difficult child = gift from god, the child who brought you here

Other abbreviations we use frequently on the site are listed under the FAQ tab at the top left side of the page.

Hope you are able to make some headway with your primary doctor. Our pediatrician has been a tremendous source of help in this sort of situation.


Roll With It
In your gut, what do you think the problems are? Do you think he has bipolar, or other mood disorder? If so, there is a recommended treatement protocol. It is clearly spelled out. I had results taking htings like this to the doctor and asking why we were deviating. If something is the standard set by the medical community, it seems reasonable to give it a fair shot before trying something else.

Also, be aware that psychiatric medications make S-L-O-W changes. With many medications you have to get up to the therap. level and THEN wait up to 8 weeks to see if it is working. Longest dang weeks of my life, except for the last weeks before I gave birth with thank you!!

I will try to find the link to the protocol for treating mood disordered people.

In the meantime, take time to find out what medications are mood stabilizers, antipsychotics, antidepressants, SSRI or SNRI antidepressants, etc... You want to KNOW what the medications do, and what kind of medications they are when talking to the doctor.

You also may get better results from the doctor if you fax a letter with clear concerns and requests. Then call. This way the doctor has what you think/want in black and white.

What do psychiatrist and therapist (psychiatrist is psychiatrist - one with MD who gives prescriptions and therapist is any therapist - psychologist, social worker, etc...). In the FAW forum there is a page on the abbreviations.

Also, can you do a signature (a link there also in the FAQ). This will help us keep everything straight.



Roll With It
Here are some articles I found useful. I use the words bipolar HERE to mean any mood disorder. Many experts in bipolar feel that you should rule out bipolar conclusively (done through medication trials) BEFORE treating for any other mental illness. This is because the most commonly prescribed medications for other mental illnesses (SSRI's, other antidepressants, and stimulants) can ALL send bipolar patients cycling. It can take much much longer to get off of the cycle that it did to stop the medications. FOr this, other mood disorders are also treated prettymuch the same way.

Here is an article from NIMH. Seems a bit wordy, but might help.

This is a link to the american academy of pediatrician and adolescent psychiatry - a wonderful resource. I like to take info from here and ask the doctor why they are ignoring/skipping steps that might help my child. Ask nicely, but you still have to be firm.

A good article on medications used for bipolar. Will help understand what medications do what, and why they are used.

Another good article to help you understand the medications -

There is another file I am trying to find. It is the actual doctor's guidelines for treating this. I will add it here when I find it.