normal teen or disorder?

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by wornoutandworried, Apr 16, 2009.

  1. wornoutandworried

    wornoutandworried New Member

    I am new and not savy at all regarding disorders, I don't even know what all of the abbreviations mean, so please be patient with me. I don't know if I should be posting here, but I don't know who to ask. I am trying to figure out if my daughter has a disorder or if she is just a difficult child. She is almost 15, but has had some odd behaviors since she was little...or at least I thought they were odd, but not overwhelming. so when I took her to a doctor. as a toddler they wouldn't really do anything about it. At the onset of puberty, she seems like she may have some Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), last year she tried vommiting to avoid gaining weight, she pierced her bellybutton alone in her room, I have seen some possible cuts on her, but not sure about that one. She argues about everything. She started lying when she was a tot and it wasn't even about important things to stay out of trouble(yes we discussed it, punished, disciplined you name it we tried it). She had a very real imaginary friend.I remember making a comment to a friend one time when she was about 8 that it seems almost like she doesn't have a conscience. Since she has been about 14 she doesn't sleep at night much. She home schools so it is not too big of a deal. She seems to ahve trouble getting the "main idea" or even understanding what she read when she reads and struggles with math and she still hasn't mastered the multiplication tables of 6,7,8. She can sleep for 12 hours at a time.She does have friends, she is social. I fear I have already written way more than I should, but I am just so perplexed. I am kind of scared to post this...these behaviors don't all happen at once, but when you add them all up and look at them together it sure seems like alot.
  2. dadside

    dadside New Member

    I'm no expert, but what you described sure doesn't sound like a "normal teen", particularly with the sleeping and learning issues (reading and math). The belly button self-piercing probably isn't a sign of anything amiss, but cut marks may be significant. I think that at a minimum she should have at least one, and probably several sessions with a trained counselor - psychologist or CSW. Also, she should have some educational evaluations to identify the learning problems and how to address them.
    I know most of this would be provided by the local schools if she were enrolled, and I think they may be required to provide it even she is home schooled (they certainly would if she were in a private school, so homeschool may fit there). Special support services may also be supplied by the local school system as well. The place to start might be the special education office of your local school district.
  3. nvts

    nvts Active Member

    Hi Wornout! Wow, don't feel scared about posting this! We're a pretty good group and don't judge.

    Have you considered a neuropsychologist evaluation? It's a battery of tests done over a few different days and would give you a better handle on whether she's got a disorder or not. You can ususally get them at a Childrens or Teaching Hospital.

    Welcome to the crowd!

  4. lizzie09

    lizzie09 lizzie

    Wel:Dcome Wornout

    Dont be afraid to post ..thats normal in the beginning as you are trying
    to cope yourself anf hope it will all be ok.

    This is truly a lovely group of people much more experienced than I but
    totally nonjudgemental...just read some of the replies to posts and you wil
    get a hang of the depth of empathy thats available here
  5. Stella

    Stella New Member

    Just want to add my welcome Wornout and as Lizzie says, don't be afraid to post. There is most likely nothing much you can say that we haven't heard on here before. We're pretty much unshockable lol!! Nobody here will judge you and you receive some excellent suggestions and advice from other parents who have kids with all sorts of problems. You have found a wonderful place.

    Whether your daughter has an underlying disorder or not it is clear that she has a lot of issues, the oppositional behaviour, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), eating disorder, lying, self-harming, learning difficulties, lack of empathy etc. You certainly have your hands full and can see why you would be totally worn out!!

    I know you say she has had problems from a young age but often our kids behaviours increase as they get older if there is no intervention (and even sometimes with intervention!) I would say that the onset of puberty has just served to heighten matters.

    Have you ever brought her to a therapist before?

    The others will be along shortly...

  6. Wiped Out

    Wiped Out Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Welcome Wornout!

    I remember when I found this board how nervous I was to post, I had never been on any other board and it was all so new (obviously me nerves didn't last long as you can tell by the number of times I have posted). This group is so supportive and helpful, for me it has been a lifesaver.

    Fifteen is such a hard age. I also have a 15 year old daughter and have been trying to figure out if she has some sort of mood disorder or if she is more typical teen. She is seeing a psychiatrist (psychiatrist) and a therapist (therapist).

    I think some of what you describes seems more than typical teen (typical teen) but I'm not doctor. I think getting a nuero-psychiatric exam would be a good idea as Beth suggested.

    I sure can't empathize with that worn out feeling. Are you able to get any time to yourself. It is so important to your own well being to take time to enjoy the things you like. Exercise can also be a huge help. I know how difficult it can be to find the time for anything but sometimes escaping in a good book or taking a bubble bath can be so good for youl

    Again, welcome-please continue to post-that is what we are here for. Hugs.
  7. SearchingForRainbows

    SearchingForRainbows Active Member

    The others have given you good advice. It seems from what you've written, it is more than typical teen behavior. A neuropsychologist evaluation is a great idea. Once you know what you're dealing with, you'll be able to get appropriate supports in place.

    I know from personal experience, that once a difficult child hits puberty, things can become much more difficult. My oldest, difficult child 1, was totally out of control when he first hit puberty - He disregarded all social "norms" (i.e. peed outside when he needed to, etc.), became aggressive and violent, especially with me (I was the source of all his problems), physically attacked a police officer, had to be put into the back of a patrol car, and sent to a psychiatric hospital. - Not a pretty picture...

    I'm telling you this not to scare you, but to let you know that we really are "shock proof." We will offer advice from our personal experiences. Take what you can use, disregard the rest. We won't be offended. Please keep posting!

    I know that the people here have helped me survive and even laugh (a sense of humor helps us stay "sane"), when all I wanted to do was run away from it all...

    Please let us know how things progress. Thinking of you... WFEN
  8. wornoutandworried

    wornoutandworried New Member

    Thanks so much so far for all the posts and kindness. I don't discuss any of this with my friends or even much with my hubby. so it is very nice to be able to talk here. We did take her a few times to a family therapist but we were unable to continue to pay for it when my husband lost his job. It was such a short time that she saw him and she barely spoke to him so we really didn't get anywhere. We thought part of her recent teenage "issues" might have had to do with me beginning to work full time(that is a long story, I actually have always worked fulltime but used to be able to be in the home with the kids) and not having anytime left for her, so i quit my job after my husband found work again and have had to substantially change the way we live, and there is no money for that right now. We recently did get insurance for her so maybe they can help with the costs.
    A side nephew was just diagnosed with a whole bunch of issues. He is 8, aggressive, violent occasionally, and one thing they told my brother was that if untreated it could become bi-polar. I can't remember all of the things he said and all the labels for the issues that my nephew has....are these disorders genetic/hereditary?
  9. DaisyFace

    DaisyFace Love me...Love me not

    Hello and Welcome--

    Conditions such as bi-polor disorder do tend to run in families. If you have any concerns (and obviously you do), see if you can schedule your child for a neuropsychologist evaluation. At the very least, it will give you a clue as to the kind of help your child needs to improve her learning.

  10. robinm1922

    robinm1922 One day at a time

    Hello Wornout.
    My difficult child is 15, I started noticing problems with anger and sleeping a little more than a year ago. I took her to a psychiatrist to get evaluated and they found her to have Major depression, anxiety and some Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) not to mention a little ODD mixed in. One of the many questions they ask about is "cutting" it is a big sign of depression, any type of self mutilation can be.
    Excessive sleeping (which is what my daughter does) is another sign along with focus issues.
    I found NAMI very helpful, they offer free support classes/ groups (not sure where you are) along with a load of information. If nothing else you might want to start there, contact your local chapter and ask them to send you information - They sent me a lot of great material and at the support meetings you get a lot of great resources and they maybe able to point you to someone that would on a sliding scale.
    I wish you the best of luck, this is a place where we are all able to put questions out for help, vent or just "check out" for a while.
    Welcome and good luck.
  11. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    I'd see a neuropsychologist. No, this is not typical teen behavior. I'm on my fifth teen. There is more going on and therapists are not good diagnosticians.

    Yes, disorders are inherited usually.
  12. JJJ

    JJJ Active Member

    Bipolar is a neurobiological illness. Either your nephew has it or he doesn't. Treatment can improve stability and quality of life but cannot "prevent" bipolar.
  13. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    Welcome. My post will be short (or as short as I can make it as I do tend to runon and runon, lol). Probably what was said about the bipolar was that it could be a future diagnosis. Many experts do not label children as BiPolar (BP) and prefer to wait until they have matured. in my humble opinion the actual description of the problems don't matter too much so long as appropriate care makes it possible for the child to function at his/her best.

    We are at the end of the road after eight teenagers. Some behaviors are typical teen but there are issues that you describe that I think really make it necessary for you to find a means to identify her issues and find the right treatment. Like everyone else I believe a neuro-psychiatric evaluation would be the best first step. Scholastic testing should be cost free via your school system. Make the call and see what they say. the tollfree number for your State Board of Education and speak to the person in charge of homeschooling and ask for help and options. I'm sure each State has such a person.

    I'm curious. Where has she made her friends if she is home schooled and stays home most of the time? Are they positive peer role models? That would be important as they could be strongly impacting her.

    I've got to get back to work. See how "short" my "short posts" are??:redface:
  14. wornoutandworried

    wornoutandworried New Member

    We have always been in a home school that has had classes, and this year I have made her participate in some outside activities ie track n field with other teens. We live in a very populated area right next to a campground (it is owned by the same company who owns where we live)and she has met lots of teens that come here each year to vacation (some of them for the whole summer)so after school work is completed I have let her go over there on her bike and most times she comes home with a new friend made. Then they keep in touch after the new friend goes home. I am not sure I would say they are all positive relationships.....some of them seem like very good kids, but she generally does not gravitate toward what she would call the "goody goody" type. She has a couple of long term friends as I would call them that she has known her whole life who we try to see at least monthly (they are the goody goody type).
  15. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Are there any kids she hangs with almost every day? I know that, being on my fifth kid, teens and pre-teens tend to hang with their friends more than family. Once a month or thru e-mail and cell phones isn't the same as continuously socializing.

    My Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) son sees his friends almost exclusively at school. He has one friend who comes over maybe once a month and another (a girl) who forces him to go to things like Homecoming--he would never chose to do that on his own. But he isn't in the "normal" range of socializing. He's fifteen and my four other kids were always one foot out the door by that age. That's more the norm. I homeschooled for a year and the kids had a group with other homeschooled kids, but, to be honest, they really didn't get the same exposure that they get in school. It was different. However, to me (and I'm just a layperson) it sounds more like your daughter may have something "off"...more like an underlying or impending mental health disorder...I hope you can get her the right sort of diagnosis and treatment that she needs.
  16. nvts

    nvts Active Member

    You asked if these things are inherited and although I wouldn't know for sure, take a look at our history:

    2 of mine are Aspies and I'm getting a neuropsychologist done on the 3rd. The 4th is only 4 mos. old and I don't think they'd get very far with her (lol!). Two of my nephews are aspies (1 diagnosed 1 not but clearly an aspie). My brother and older sister are without a question in the zone. One of my younger sisters seems psychotic and another seems aspie like!).

    I've got the opinion that it's got a genetic component as well as environmental!

    Take care!