new here

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by julieg, Jan 20, 2010.

  1. julieg

    julieg New Member


    I am new here and looking for support. Our 16-year-old was just diagnosed with depression and oppositional-defiant disorder. I am struggling to know how far to push adherence to rules during this time since we are just beginning medication and therapy. Does anyone have anything to share? For instance, he refused to attend the depression group the doctor suggested we start, and probably will refuse again. He refused to attend school this afternoon after his appointment. I realize it may be a lot to handle, but I am afraid he will use this as an excuse to further control us and hurt himself in the process.
  2. Lothlorien

    Lothlorien Active Member Staff Member

    Welcome Julie!

    As far as getting him to attend sessions, when my parents and I were having issues, they just sent me to therapy and I took it as an insult like they were blaming it all on me and they probably were. If they had approached things differently, like they were interested in working things out, I may have looked at it differently, but my parents didn't know how or didn't want to talk to me about, they just dropped me off. Then, when I finally did open up and discuss some of my feelings, instead of asking me if it was okay to discuss it with my parents, the therapist told them what I said and my dad flipped out. I refused to discuss anything with another counselor because of the trust issue after that. Talk to him, but not in an acusing way. Let him know that you love him and worry about him and this isn't a punishment or anything to be embarrassed about.....but also let him know that you want to work on things too. Let him know that you just need help (aka the therapist) in figuring out how to have the best relationship with him. I hope that helps. I don't know the whole of your situation, so this is the best I can offer. There will be lots more members to come along and welcome you.
  3. GoingNorth

    GoingNorth Crazy Cat Lady

    I had this happen also with a therapist I saw as a pre-teen. I finally opened up and she promptly told everything to my parents who had a fit.

    It took until about 6 years ago to finally trust a therapist again and that only because I knew she couldn't run out and tell my parents.
  4. timer lady

    timer lady Queen of Hearts

    My children have both refused treatment many times ~ never worked here. Saying that, I'm not being critical nor judgmental.

    I told my kids that I'm doing my job as a parent. Period. Saying that, we started at a much younger age than you are. kt & wm have been in a therapeutic setting for much of their lives.

    Tdocs are not critical & the ones who treat adolescents are some of the most patient people in the world.

    You seem to be starting out cold at the age of 16. I would continue with the normal house rules - depression (which in many kids presents with some ODD symptoms rather than an ODD diagnosis) is no reason not to continue the normal routine. In fact, it's better so the depression doesn't become too severe. Is your difficult child exercising? Are there drugs involved?

    Keep us updated, please.

  5. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    First off, I'd be leery of an ODD diagnosis. on a child that helpful it could be. Secondly, is there a chance he is drinking or taking drugs? If so, that's a whole different issue...was he always this way? Have his grades dropped? Does he have new and undesirable friends? Did this happen overnight?

    On the home with both parents? Any siblings? Any traumas or changes in his life going on? Does he lie? In trouble with the police?

    I had a drug addict daughter who turned it around. The first thing I wonder about with a sixteen year old are...too much drinking and drugs beyond weed (they always say "it's only pot." It rarely IS only pot).
  6. robinm1922

    robinm1922 One day at a time

    Hi there,
    I sent you a private message with some information in it.
  7. tandcg

    tandcg New Member

    My son is 14, and was diagnosed with bipolar and ADHD a year ago. He is also very oppositional at times. He has been steadily improving over the last year (Yea!) although we still have some bad days. Here's a few of the things that have really made a difference...

    1) Therapy. Intially we tried to get him to go to therapy together with us. He absolutely refused. My husband and I ended up going to several sessions alone, since he would refuse to go at the last minute. On the plus side, without my son present, we were able to take about some strategies for dealing with his opposition. The therapist asked us to put together a list of our expectations for him. We had about 10 things on the list (we thought it was short) - things like.. respect authority, be kind, help around house, etc. The therapist said the list was way too long for a oppositional kid and that we should focus on just our top three most important things initially. Come up with some sort of positive reinforcement for the top three things and let everything else go (just until he turns the top three around...).

    We also refused to give up on getting him some therapy. We finally found someone that my son really likes (relatively young, cool guy that he can talk with freely with and who doesn't make him feel like he is being judged). I think he really likes that their conversations are confidential. He never gives us a problem about going anymore.

    2) The right medications. We gone through lots of them in the last year (and it's putting us in the poor house) but mostly they are helping and otherwisde we'd be nowhere.

    3) Sports. A healthy, productive way for him to spend his free time, and release agression. Also provides some more positive reinforcement to help turn around that opposition.

    4) Lots of patience from those around him. (Parents, teachers, friends, extended family) This is so hard to do when he is acting oppositional. We have discovered that even using the wrong tone of voice with him can set him off at times. As he has become more in control of himself and his emotions over the last year, we've found a way to communicate so that he knows when we are very firm about something.

    Hope this helps!
  8. SadDad

    SadDad New Member

    Hi there I'm new as well. Been up all night. Can't sleep tonight/day been up looking for answers for my 10 year old son all night :( Decided I need some forums to maybe help me talk about this stuff with others. At some point I may be able to help others as I seek answers for my own son. He's doing better on medications and we've been involved with in home counselors (IICAPS) since June 09. We've recently started an "IOP" (CCATS) and the group sessions are helping although he did slug me in the jaw tonight when Mom and I "broke" his routine. I go up and down like crazy. Just when I think he's doing well, which he is overall, his explosive outbursts just depress me again. He's designated Special Education at school so that helps. I'm now an "expert" in IEP's, BSAC's, Conner scales you name it. I have mostly full support from the school and counselors but it's frustrating at times. He's diagnosed mood disorder/undefined/not otherwise specified right now and on Seroquel and Depakote. We just went to like a 3rd phsychiatrist today for another opinion to try and get a better understanding of just what is going on. I was impressed with this Dr. He seemed to get right to the point and ask all the right questions. What troubles me most is I grew up with a Schizophrenic Dad. I would not wish my childhood on my worst enemy. I then lost my brother several years ago. He was Bipolar and committed suicide. All I wanted was to put that behind me and have the best for my kids (I have a son and daughter close in age). So as you can imagine I'm devastated by this. It's so frustrating as I'm sure it will be quite some time before we get a more solid diagnosis. What is really going on? Early onset Bipolar? Asperger Syndrome? I know the label is not the most important aspect right now but not knowing what the future holds for my son scares me. And if we can't control the violance that's my immediate nightmare. God Bless everyone, goodnight for now.