One of us is getting admitted!!!!!!!!

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by Swabbie89, Dec 30, 2008.

  1. Swabbie89

    Swabbie89 New Member

    My difficult child is 8. Diagnosed with ADHD, ODD, and CD. psychiatrist has him on Concerta 54mg, prozac 20 mg and clonadine not sure dosage. Last night i had our hometown pd take him to the ER bc he was threatening suicide. Not sure if he was serious or acting out. Cant take that chance either way. After 6 hours in the ER they told me to take him home and go see the clinic in the morning.
    What im wondering is, are there any good inpatient care facilities in Ca. that i can turn to.
    Last nights festivities were the culmination of a hellish year with this child. I'm at my wits end and looking for any help here.
  2. LittleDudesMom

    LittleDudesMom Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Swabbie, "take him home and go see the clinic in the morning"???????!!!!!!!! For what purpose? Is this the clinic where his medications are prescribed and his psychiatrist works? I would be calling his doctor asap.

    While we don't give out specific names of facilities on this board (libability issues and all), members can use the pm feature to speak privately with formal names. Additionally there may be some members in your state that can help point you into a direction of services that may help your son.

    Sorry this has been such a bad year with your difficult child. So many of the difficult children here have reached their darkest (incuding mine) only to be pulled out by therapy, medications, behavior mods, quality ieps, etc. I hope that holds true for your family as well.

    Welcome to the site.

  3. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    I think you need a second opinion on that diagnosis and medications being prescribed- asap. I'd suggest a child&adolescent board certified psychiatrist. Yoou might want to call the closest Children's Hospital and see if they can suggest somewhere for you to take your child.

    I do understand how you feel- I've felt that way recently (that one of us is going to have to be locked up soon). Hang in there-
  4. smallworld

    smallworld Moderator

    Welcome. I'm glad you found us.

    Frankly, I think it's a grave disservice to the child and his family when a psychiatrist gives a diagnosis of ODD and CD to an 8-year-old. ODD is not a helpful diagnosis because it describes behaviors that are typically fueled by an underlying cause. When the underlying disorder is identified and treated, the oppositional behaviors generally improve. CD is a diagnosis reserved for the over-18 crowd. I absolutely agree with the need for a second opinion.

    Both Prozac and Concerta can cause aggression, anger, mood swings and suicidal ideation in children, particularly if the child has an underlying mood disorder. If your son has become worse on these medications, he absolutely needs to be weaned from them. The psychiatrist then needs to consider new dxes and new medications if warranted.

    The National Alliance for Mental Illness (NAMI) is a very helpful organization that can steer you in the right direction for local help and resources. Check out the website to find the local NAMI chapter nearest you. And please call there today.

    What kind of behaviors have you been seeing in your son that lead you to seek help in the first place?

    Hang in there. We're here for you.
  5. Rotsne

    Rotsne Banned

    I have received 7 written notes from my kid stating that she was tired of her life and that she wanted to be death.

    I showed it to my family coach from the DSS (my wife is very ill, so 8 years ago we got a coach, so I could give the message correct to my children, if she died which by pure luck she has not). She told me not to make a big point out of it and none of my children are on medication now or has been at any point.

    The periods where she were in the school less than normal we kept a intense dialogue with the teacher and our daughter got bodyguards from the class (stronger student) to protect her against bullies who were quick to seek out a vulnerable student until some of student negotiator were able to tell them to get lost (7 of the senior students are trained to function as negotiators and dismantle the conflict among students, so the teachers can do what they are paid to do - teach).

    It was a tough time and for a long period I was afraid that my daughter could get a depression because her mother was so ill.

    But as both my wifes therapist and the family coach told me, children use a strong language which can make it seem more serious than it in reality is.
  6. smallworld

    smallworld Moderator

    We have always been advised to take talk of suicide seriously, as in seeking medical attention immediately. Swabbie, I would urge to continue to push for help for your son. Let the medical professionals decide if it's serious or not. Typical 8-year-olds don't walk around talking about wanting to take their own lives.
  7. bran155

    bran155 Guest

    Hello and welcome. I am so sorry you are having such a rough time right now. We all can relate to being at "wits end". I have lived at "wits end" for quite some time now. I agree, you need to get another opinion. Most of our kids display behaviors that are under the ODD umbrella. I believe ODD is just the symptoms. I know plenty of "easy child" children who display ODD from time to time. The CD diagnosis is just crazy for an 8 year old!!! I am also surprised that the hospital told you to take him home. I was under the impression that when a child, or an adult for that matter, threatens suicide it is a mandatory 72 hour hold. I could be wrong.

    You have come to the right place for advice and support. This place has gotten me through many hard times. We are here if you just want to vent as well.

    Hang in there and God bless.:)
  8. Nancy423

    Nancy423 do I have to be the mom?

    My difficult child writes us notes saying she thinks everyone hates her and how she's better off gone (or dead) and we've brought each and every note to the many therapists psychiatrists she's been to. Not a single one has addressed the issue directly. I still have the notes and I still sit down and talk to her about why she's writing these things. I am still very paranoid that she might act out on her thoughts (at this time, I cannot say she will know how to actually commit suicide but I'm not counting on that)

    So what i'm saying to you is - if a doctor doesn't take it seriously, look for another doctor. Even if it's not an actual threat, it's certainly a cry for help.

  9. Rotsne

    Rotsne Banned

    The fact that they never to about what it really bothering them is correct. Both the therapist and the coach told me that kids under 10 very rarely is able to talk about things that hurt directly.

    I have also realized that I as their parent often are too close to them to talk about such issues. What really worked as something the called the core house. It as basically a play and talk group for kids with ill parents (our group). They had different groups with different problems. She was in the group on Mondays. Thursday and Friday was also for kids with parents suffering from various illnesses. On Tuesday it was for kids with parents who were alcoholics.

    Her situation improved with 4 or 5 weeks as soon as she got the overflow valve the talks in the group became for her.

    But the death wish they state in that age is not an actually death wish. It is however a question to have a serious talk with someone they can entrust their problems.
  10. smallworld

    smallworld Moderator

    The death wish, in my experience with my kids, is an expression of the hopelessness and helplessness they feel, the utter despair they are experiencing. It is a cry for help that needs to be taken very seriously.
  11. tiredmommy

    tiredmommy Site Moderator

    I agree with Smallworld on this, you do need to follow-up on behalf of your child. Threats of suicide is very serious whatever the age and intent.
  12. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    Speaking from personal experience with my son and the way profs used to address this when he first started exhibiting self-destructive behaviors and talk, I went to SIX different profs of varying types and places and was told by every one that they did not think my son was a danger to himself or others, but if I did, then I should take him to an ER to be admitted to a psychiatric hospital for observation and stabilization. After about two mos of hearing that and my son getting worse, I did take him to ER and have him admitted. I used to think I was taking him to the profs to get help and that they would tell me if my son was a risk- I found out differently and even though I might err sometimes, after someone I worked with had a teenage son commit suicide, I'm going to try to err on the side of caution.

    When my son was little, I'd say that I'd rather see him a little spoiled than abused (meaning if I wasn't sure about how to handle a situation, it's better to walk out of the room then to blow up on him and lose my temper and do something I'd regret.) Now, I feel the same way about his self-destructive "threats". I don't know if he means it or not, But I'm not willing to take that risk. I figure if he's just manipualting sometimes, he probably isn't viewing his trips to the psychiatric hospital as any reward for it.

    So, that's a long way of agreeing with the moderators' recommendations. Also, has he had neuropshychological testing? That might offer some insights about why he's frustrated and sad. I'd recommend reading The Explosive Child, too- it might help you deal with the stress of it all. It has helped many parents here, including myself.
  13. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Swabbie, I am so sorry.
    I hope he has calmed down today.

    I agree with-this: year-old. ODD is not a helpful diagnosis because it describes behaviors that are typically fueled by an underlying cause. When the underlying disorder is identified and treated, the oppositional behaviors generally improve. CD is a diagnosis reserved for the over-18 crowd.

    Do you know what set him off? Was he suicidal (or at least saying he was) b4 he went on the Prozac?
  14. 4timmy

    4timmy New Member

    OH my goodness and bless your heart! I have been through this soooooo many times with my difficult child. He probably started doing this when he was around 8yo and did it mostly at school and then the teachers would call me and tell me about it or just send home notes! I had a teacher last year call me and COMPLAIN TO ME about my difficult child disrupting class to write on the chalk board that he was going to "kill himself"!!!! She sent him to the office where he would be monitored. He's getting better at not doing this, but he will still write things like "I ****" all over his school work.

    In my difficult child's case, it is a cry for help and it just breaks my heart. smallworld is right. I have read that CD is not typically diagnosed until a much older age. My difficult child has also been diagnosis'd with ADHD/ODD since he was 7 or 8. I'm glad I found this forum, because now I have some alternative ideas for how to figure this all out.

    In our city we have a facility (non-profit) where there's an emergency # you can call. It's the "when I don't know what to do" line and they will actually have the PD come pick up and keep overnight. I've never had to do this, and I wonder if I ever will. I also wonder how it would effect my difficult child if I actually had to followed through with it. I think it would scare him real bad. Sometimes I take so much and just can't help but cry in front of him (I know, not good), but when this happens, he immediately runs to me and says "mom, don't cry"... "I love you"... "I'm sorry"..... this is what tells me in my heart that he didn't mean what he said... but it still worries me crazy.

    Sorry to write so much. Good Luck and don't give up!!
  15. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    I didn't read all the responses, so I apologize if I repeat something. First off, I'd run for the hills with my child if a doctor diagnosed an 8 year old with CD. That's not a useful diagnosis and isn't supposed to be given to a child until after he is 18 anyways. in my opinion sounds like he doesn't know his stuff. Secondly, I wouldn't allow my kid on that medication cocktail. Question on the medications: How long has your child been on Prozac? That CAN and DOES often make young kids worse, even suicidal. My daughter pulled a knife on herself on Prozac and my son got nearly psychotic. The medications are probably making him considerably worse. He is on a big dose of stimulant AND an antidepressant. Are you satisfied with your psychiatrist? Do you feel he is helping your child? I would get another opinion on both his diagnosis and his medications. So many times THAT is the real reason as we look for other ones. These medications are heavy duty. I know. I have taken them since I was 23 (and I'm 55). They can cause terrible reactions even in adults--yet psychiatrists tend to look at the behavior first and not the medication. As an adult, I can demand the psychiatrist look at the medications, but a child doesn't know. If you take him to the hospital there is no guarantee that he will be any better when he comes out. But maybe they can keep him safe for now. In the meantime, I'd look for somebody else in the treatment department to see if the doctor agrees with your psychiatrist. I prefer neuropsychologist evaluations over psychiatrists. They do lots and lots of testing.
    SSRI's have a black box on them that says that there is a suciide risk. And I've known it to be on certain antidepressants. Good luck with your precious little one.
  16. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    I just read the post about not taking suicide threats seriously. I completely disagree. We are supposed to take them ALL seriously. I would definitely take it seriously--my daughter actually pulled a knife on herself and we found two knives under her bed. Definitely take it seriously, just question the cause. And see a psychiatrist, not just a therapist for something THAT serious.Take care :)
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2008
  17. Nancy423

    Nancy423 do I have to be the mom?

    Just a is your difficult child with- self-esteem? Is he confident or does he need quite a bit of reassurance? kids with low self-esteem can find challenges to be sources of major anxiety and frustration. Those who think poorly of themselves have a hard time finding solutions to problems. If given to self-critical thoughts such as "I'm no good" or "I can't do anything right," they may become passive, withdrawn, or depressed. Faced with a new challenge, their immediate response is "I can't."
  18. tiredmommy

    tiredmommy Site Moderator

    by the way, are you in California or Canada?
  19. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    You've found a good site here. Hang around, we can help. I'm sorry you had a hellish year - we can help there, too, because on this site is such an amazing wealth of collective knowledge and experience, that you need no longer feel you're struggling on alone.

    If you can (I know you're busy, because we all are, especially when you have a difficult child = Gift From God) then do some reading of other posts on this site. There are some useful past posts which can help.

    SOmething we recommend a lot is reading "The Explosive Child" by Ross Greene. I have to admit, it took me some time to get to read it - the bookshops here didn't seem to have it, I had to order it in and I didn't want to buy yet another book until I had read it. Then there was a queue for it at the library, I had to reserve it. The queue for the book should have tipped me off - it's a darn good book.

    There is some useful discussion on the book in the Early Childhood forum, if you want a quick peek.

    The basic thing - our kids aren't being difficult just to be difficult; they're really struggling to cope in a world which just doesn't make sense to them, which seems sometimes to be deliberately frustrating for them. Then we come along and get tough, thinking that is all that is needed. It worked for us, having parents who were strict and ruled firmly. Why isn't it working for our children?
    The stricter control methods not only don't work for a lot of difficult children, they make them worse because they take away any chance of trying to apply some level of control to their life, something they feel they need to do to reduce their stress. We demand instant compliance, we punish, we end up yelling - and the child gets more difficult.

    If discipline isn't working, it's best to back off and not try, than to try and fail. Also, we tend to become micromanagers of our difficult children, often out of a sense of martyrdom after a while. I'm more aware of it now, and I see it around me at the mall, for example. The mother who is shouting at her child, "Now come along, Sam. One foot in front of the other, that's how you come along. Stop dawdling, stop looking in that shop window. Tuck your shirt in, push your glasses back up your nose. Tie your shoelaces. Come ALONG!"
    Too much happening in too short a time.

    We need to get back in touch with a better way of communicating with our children. I found that the more I scolded my child for disrespect, the more I seemed to be showing disrespect to him. But, we think, that's what our job is as parents, to teach our child by correction, how to behave. But for osme kids, this just isn't working. The more we scold, the more our child scolds us back. And this is disrespectful.

    What worked for me was to take a step back and realise that my child had no understanding of how to show respect for other people. His teacher at school used sarcasm a lot, and this only confused him. Other kids would wither at her sarcasm; difficult child 3 would stand there and look at her puzzledly, or just turn his back and walk away because in his mind, she didn't make sense. She might shout after him, "That's right, walk away!" so he would keep walking. Then wonder why he was in trouble for disrespect.

    So I pulled right back and began to show him respect, even when he was apparently very rude back to me. Instead of shouting at him, "Don't be rude!" I told him gently what he had said tat was wrong, and what he SHOULD have said. He looked surprised, then repeated te correct way. I thanked him and praised him, he was happy. Next time, he caught himself sooner. Over time, he has actually learned much better, how to be polite. When he's excited (or anxious or upset) he forgets, and slips back. Again, I gently correct. However, if he's in panic mode then something urgently needs attention (in his mind) and I won't get respect until he feels less anxious. if he's making a fuss over nothing I still help him resolve it and then tell him, when he is calmer (and therefore more receptive) that he really didn't need all that fuss, it was easily dealt with.

    I worry when I see kids getting what I call an alphabet soup of diagnoses, when often the extra labels are simply observations of behaviours or symptoms. For example, my difficult child 3 has a diagnosis of high-functioning autism plus ADHD. As part of this conglomerate, he also has/has had SYMPTOMS of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), echolalia, perseverative behaviour, anxiety, Sensory Integration Disorder (SID), hyperlexia, hypermobility, language delay, Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD), Learning Disability (LD), Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD). And probably more. A number of these labels overlap or are so similar as to be virtually the same label. I've also had other experts seeing difficult child 3 who say that he's not autistic, he's Asperger's instead. The definition/diagnosis does change. But I can't therefore say that my son has autism AND Asperger's. It's a different diagnosis and frankly, needs to be independently verified before it will be acknowledged. We get more services with him having an autism diagnosis so nobody is likely to back up such a change in diagnosis.

    Generally, a difficult child doesn't choose to be difficult. They usually WANT to be good, but don't know how and often get to a point where they just give up. It all becomes too hard.

    Go back to when your child was a baby. Did you correct absolutely everything your child did wrong? Or did you work mostly on one thing at a time? For example, did you toilet-train your child at the same time as teaching your child to eat with utensils? Chances are, you didn't. Did you notice that as a child attains a skill like toilet-training, or self-feeding, that other recently-acquired skills sometimes take a backward step? That is because the child can't do too much at once. They need to focus their energies more specifically.

    A difficult child needs to develop at their own pace. Throw out the calendar, forget the phrase, "At his age he should be doing..." because for difficult children, that phrase is meaningless and misleading. They WILL get there, it just takes longer.

    You've had some great advice so far. There is plenty more, but like your child, we don't want to overwhelm you with everything all at once. Gently, gently.

    Welcome aboard.

  20. Swabbie89

    Swabbie89 New Member

    First, thank all of you for your words of help and encouragement. Things here are getting worse actually. Last night he stole a pack of gum from the store. I have caught him taking all manner of things and hiding them in his room. Mostly random items. There havent been any more rages but now i am dealing with a little klepto.