New to here... But I feel at little lost right now

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by sls0308, Nov 3, 2008.

  1. sls0308

    sls0308 New Member

    I just wanted to start off with how glad I am to have found this place. Now I know I am not alone and not totally going crazy.

    My difficult child is 16 now and I am not sure what at this point I am going to do with him. He has always been my "hyper" one and was diagnosed with ADHD in Elem. School. He has always been the defiant one. I have always believed that it was the ADHD. But slowly over the last couple of years (more so the last 12 months), His agression has accelerated, defiance is overwhelming, he is stealing & lying, running away, drugs & alcohol and sex. He even broke into my father in law home. Over the last couple of months he has pretty much been in and out of jail. Finally 2 weeks ago we had him committed to a Residential Treatment Center (RTC), that finally diagnosed him with a "conduct disorder". They made me see that all the behavior that I & his doctors had passed off as ADHD was was ADHD but with ODD along with it.

    I feel so alone right now because my husband is his step-father and he is just about given up on him and to top it off the Residential Treatment Center (RTC) also stated that he also has "Homicidal Tenadancies". He has made treats to husband and my 15 y/o easy child. Luckily he didn't mention my 6 y/o easy child's (B/G twins).

    Well now here is the guilt part. The Residential Treatment Center (RTC) could not hold him on the "Conduct Disorder" or apparently the "Homicidal Tendancies". Their suggestion was to have him placed back in the hall. I am not sure Jail is what he needs either. I am so new to this that I am not sure what to think. All they did was give him antidepressants and his ADD medications and want him locked up.

    Well since he made threats to the family, he is back in jail, but I am not sure for how long or what.

    I know he needs help, we all do, but I am just not sure what to do for him at this point...I feel a little lost. And really it is taking its toll on me. I am a little "shell-shocked" right now and emotionally battered.

    Any help or thoughts would be greatly appriciated.



  2. tiredmommy

    tiredmommy Site Moderator

    Hi Stef & welcome. I'm sorry your family is struggling so much. I think that I would want my son to be re-evaluated independently to ensure the diagnosis is accurate. I'm just a parent but he has some red flags for bipolar disorder and antidepressants could just make him worse.
  3. nvts

    nvts Active Member

    Welcome to the crowd Stef! I'm really sorry you're going through what you are. My kids are still a little small for me to give you any type of insight, but definately wanted you to know that we're here for you. It's been a fairly slow nite on the board, so keep checking for responses.

    I'd first recommend that you pick up the book "The Explosive Child" by Ross Greene. It gives you a little insight (without a bunch of technospeak) as to how our kids think.

    Have you checked around for a Parent Advocate? They'll help you navigate the system and help you find a little peace of mind.

    Again, welcome to the group - you'll find a lot of big shoulders and warm hearts here!

  4. crazymama30

    crazymama30 Active Member

    I ditto what tired mommy said. He needs a good evaluation by a psychiatrist, and I would not want him in my home as he is a danger to the others. It is crazy that the Residential Treatment Center (RTC) could not hold him, in order to get a 72hr 2 MD hold in a hospital the patient has to be a threat to themselves or to others. Sounds like he is a threat to others. My difficult child is much younger, hopefully someone who has older kids will be along soon.
  5. flutterbee

    flutterbee Guest

    Both bipolar and depression, among other things, could cause that kind of behavior. Throw in drugs and alcohol and you have a ticking time bomb.

    I *cannot* believe they couldn't hold him for homicidal tendencies. That is justification for psychiatric hospital admittance - as well as suicidal ideation.

    It's time to start beating down doors. One thing other members have done is filed a CHINS (sometimes called PINS) petition. CHINS stands for, I *think*, Child in Need of Services and I believe this is done through your social services agency. That often opens the door to more help. Hopefully, others will be along who have been there done that with that option and can help you more.

    You may also want to repost this on the Teens and Substance Abuse forum. It doesn't get as much traffic as the General Forum, but the parents that visit that forum have more experience in these issues and might be able to guide you better.

    I am glad you found this board, but sorry for the problems that led you here.

  6. Fran

    Fran Former desparate mom

    Stef, you have a heavy load to carry. I'm so sorry to hear that he is exhibiting homicidal tendencies. Jail is not going to fix him but you know where he is and he is without drugs, and is relatively safe.

    How did he do in school?
    Did he have friends or any intetrests before adolescence?
    Did he have normal growth and development?

    Keeping your children safe is all of our sacred duty. Your easy child's need to be safe and I can understand your need to try to help your difficult child.
  7. sls0308

    sls0308 New Member

    Thanks for all the help and support. Health was generally good except for a bout of Meningitis when he was 6 weeks old. School- Has never done real well. Friends...hard to make and harder to keep. Only 1 friend has stuck by him for several years. He has always been a difficult & manipulative child but I guess after 16 years of it, it is taking its toll on me. ( I had to go on antidepressants myself, in the last few months)

    As far as the Residential Treatment Facility (RTF), he was there 8 days, but I am confused why they released too. I know insurance may have been a factor as I was told the insurance doctor has called the Residential Treatment Facility (RTF) and after that I was told there was nothing they could do there for him. He has been violent with family (including me) and others. The psychiatrist told me he was not suicidal but was homicidal. That is why when they released him, I felt like I had no choice but to have him placed back in the hall, for everyone's safety. But trust me, that was really the last thing I wanted to do, but felt I had no choice. I hope he is not going to be in there too long and by then, finding some help.

    The judge did state today that he was ordering another, independent psychiatric evaluation. But that was after I have pretty much begged & screamed at every agency in the county for help including CPS for at least 2 weeks now (on a daily basis). I live in a small rural county and getting services here sometimes is like pulling teeth.

    I have ordered the "Explosive Child" and it should be here tomorrow. I ordered it last week when I first found this sight and looking forward to reading it.

    Thanks for all the support

  8. totoro

    totoro Mom? What's a GFG?

    I just wanted to welcome you!
    I am heading off to try and get some sleep! But wanted to stop in and say HI!
    I am dealing with my own difficult child issues right now and need to sleep if I can... LOL
    Hang in ther and keep posting we are here for you.
  9. trinityroyal

    trinityroyal Well-Known Member

    Hello Stef and welcome.

    So glad that you found us, but very sorry that you needed to.
    You've received some great suggestions from others. I just want to weigh in with my $0.02.

    Again, I'm not a doctor and can't diagnose but I wonder if your son's issues have been mislabelled. Many of us here start out with a diagnosis of ADHD/ODD, and then it's a lot of detective work from that point to find out the true issues.

    I'm very glad to hear that your difficult child is getting re-evaluated. A lot of us have had success with neuropsychologist evaluations, and I wonder if it's possible to arrange that for your difficult child. So many disorders (autism spectrum/Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD), bipolar, etc.) have symptoms that are lookalikes to ADHD. But since the underlying conditions are different, the medications that work for ADHD can make the situation so much worse.

    My difficult child has Aspergers, bipolar and ADHD. He was on stims for a long time, which made him rage, become very violent, and become a danger to everyone in the family. If your difficult child is on stims but doesn't have ADHD then he might be experiencing similar issues. AND if he's taking street drugs, then any control is straight out the window.

    You've found a great group here. Post as often as you need to. Let us know how you're faring.

  10. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Hi Stef, welcome.

    I'm so sorry about your son. I understand about going on antidepressants, but hey, if it gets you through the day, go for it. You don't have to be on them forever.

    Meanwhile, I, too, am worried about your son's homicidal tendencies. I am glad he's getting a psychiatric re-evaluation. And I agree with-Trinity that stimulants can make things worse, depending upon what your son has. The right medications can make a huge diff.

    I don't know how you react when he threatens you, but I'd suggest not firing back a snappy retort or even replying at all. That's just for starters. :) (Not that you do that, but just as food for thought.) You will enjoy The Explosive Child. It will set off lightbulbs for you.
  11. ML

    ML Guest

    Welcome! I'm so sorry that you are going through all this. It is a very difficult road you are on. Please take care of yourself. I understand about the step father thing. That is another layer of "issues" in and of itself. Often step fathers are less tolerant of our difficult children which makes us often feel like we are in the middle, especially when we subscribe to picking battles and they simply think we're spoiling them by letting them get away with stuff. sending gentle hugs xo ML
  12. busywend

    busywend Well-Known Member Staff Member


    It sure sounds like your difficult child needs a Residential Treatment Center (RTC). I would accept nothing less. He should not be in the family environment. It is not good for anyone, including him, to have everyone worried about someone getting hurt.

    Get to work on that judge. He can make it happen. Find an advocate in your area that will help the judge understand the need for Residential Treatment Center (RTC) and order it from the courts. Get the psychiatrist to communicate with the judge. You have your work cut out for you, but I agree that you should not let him back into your home.

    Seriously, it is not good for him either. Imagine if he did harm one of you and had to live with that for the rest of his life. You are keeping all of you, including him safe by not letting him live there. Do not feel bad about it.

    He needs a facility that has more people watching than any family could provide.

  13. everywoman

    everywoman Active Member

    Stef, it is so difficult to have to take a child that you love dearly (but may not like) and have to place him somewhere to keep the rest of the family safe. I'm glad you are getting a 2nd evaluation. Hopefully, this will give you some answers and options. It is not easy to find treatment for a child who has a little of this and a little of that. I spent years trying to get help for mine, but it took jail and age to make it feasible for him to live in my home again. He will never be what I dreamed for him, but he is now able to live his own dreams. And that, in and of itself, is sometimes the only success you get. He is still a pothead, but he is not committing any other crimes. He is working two part-time jobs, but is not able to live on his own yet. He is no longer stealing, lying, or making our lives miserable---so there is some hope. Hugs.
  14. KTMom91

    KTMom91 Well-Known Member

    Welcome, Stef! In my house, the stepfather issue made things worse with Miss KT. Hubby thought she should behave the way his boys did, and all he!! broke loose on a regular basis. And then they would want me to mediate...anyway, I do understand. Many hugs.
  15. wakeupcall

    wakeupcall Well-Known Member

    stef, the ODD is one of the hardest diagnosis to live with. My difficult child just turned 13, but we've suffered that diagnosis along with others since he was 3. It's not getting any better, he's just getting older. I've not been in your shoes, but I could be looking down the barrel.

    Fight for him. As his mother, you fight for him. He's ill and needs help. Mental illness isn't thought of as an "illness", but it is. You MUST keep the rest of your family safe while you get him help. I know you're worn out, me too. It's after day after day. You only have influence for a couple more years, so do what you can to help him NOW.

    Good luck, be strong.......
  16. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    His drug abuse is kicking up his behavior problems, even if he has been misdiagnosed. My guess is he probably has more than ADHD/ODD going on. But any sort of drug abuse will make things far worse. We dealt with my daughter and, in the end, she had to leave home to want to help herself.
    If you have any mood disorders or substance abuse on either side of the family tree, I'd wonder if he had bipolar disorder and has been on the wrong medications. But, at this time, if he is abusing drugs, other medications won't help him. His constant lack of social skills could be Aspergers...both bipolar and Aspie kids can get into drugs to blunt the pain (especially bipolar kids). I hope you can get him a new and complete evaluation. Good luck to all of you.