Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by PumaMami, May 18, 2009.
Glad you posted, but sorry you had to. by the way, appreciate your mom. Any mother who would retire to move in and care for two very difficult grandchildren is a diamond. I don't know if I could do that anymore.
Do you and your current hub have any psychiatric problems or substance abuse on either side of the family tree?
This is my Mom Gut opinion.
Your ex probably got psychotic on those medications because he has a mood disorder. I have bipolar. You have to REALLY be careful with the medications. They CAN make somebody with a mood disorder psychotic. I don't believe he has atypical panic disorder and never even heard of it. I have actually (check below) a whole bunch of diagnoses which really are one big diagnostic umbrella called Mood Disorder Spectrum. That includes the moodswings, the anxiety, the Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) thoughts, the panic attacks, the whole nine yards. ADHD medications of any kinds and antidepressants can be VERRRRRRRRY dangerous for people with mood disorder syndrome. They can cause hallucinations, violence, psychosis. About your kids:
I'll skip to difficult child 2. Although your ex isn't his father, your son doesn't sound that different from difficult child 1. It sounds like he is hallucinating. IF it were me, I would go for another opinion. If he sees the statues jumping around, unless they are really jumping around, he needs an anti-psychotic. I'm taking a layperson's guess that he has some psychiatric illiness--like you said, bipolar could be it. But I'd get him on good medications now rather than waiting for him to get worse. I have read that bipolar cycling gets worse if it isn't controlled. Mood stabilizers are usually the first line medication--they include Lithium, Lamictal, Depakote, Tegretal and Trileptal. Often anti-psychotics are given with them. Sometimes they are used in place of a mood stabilizer. Nothing I've heard from anyone in my Mood Disorders Support Group has convinced me that antipsychotics make good mood stabilizers by themselves, however that doesn't stop doctors form using them that way. You have to get a good psychiatrist and see what works. Lots of trial and error.
Skipping back up to difficult child 1, my layperson's guess is that he probably has a mood disorder as well and is at risk for psychosis. I would be leery of any ADHD medication included Straterra, which is an antidepressant, and any antidepressant, such as Zoloft (wich made ME nuts), Prozac (horrible for me), any at all. I'd make him try a mood stabilizer first. OF course, I'm me and you're you and you have to find someone you trust and go with what he says. But never be afraid to question or say "no." Any and all medications CAN and OFTEN DO cause cognitive dulling so it is not uncommon for kids to start to do worse in school and not to be able to understand as well or as quickly. I was so dulled by mood stabilizers that I personally won't take them, so you have a dilemma. I don't have the type of bipolar though that causes psychosis and I mainly got depressed, not manic. I'm doing ok on other medications. All bipolar is different--there are actually four different types. They aren't treated the same.
There very well be some Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD) mixed in. Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD) and mood disorders run in the same families. However, to me (and I have a son with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD)), it sounds more mood disorder-ish than Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD), although one can have both.
Now that you have my layman's opinion, I'd take both for fresh evaluation. I think I'd go with both a neuropsychologist evaluation and a very very highly recommended child's psychiatrist (they are not all created equal).
I wish you lots of luck, whatever you decide, and I hope you post again. Feel free to disagree with everything I said
Man, do you have your hands full! I'll bet you do your own taxes too!
I've got the 3 difficult child's floating around right now and will try and post later but wanted to say a quick "hello" and welcome you to the crowd. For your own peace of mind make sure that you float over to the Watercooler now and again - we have a few laughs over there every now and again!
Talk to you later!
Thanks for the replies The quoted pieces are from MidwestMom in my reply here.
"by the way, appreciate your mom. Any mother who would retire to move in and care for two very difficult grandchildren is a diamond. "
Yes, she really is a diamond. She's got a master's in education and used to teach, but still she's kind of in over her head with these guys, as we all are. I'm concerned about her health, since she has type II diabetes and all the stress can't be good. She was suggesting retiring to help for 6-7 months, so when difficult child 2 got kicked out of child care, and difficult child 1 was flunking 6th grade, I said it was time to go ahead and take her up on her offer. She's exhausted by the end of the day, even though she has them a long half day at most during the week. She rests evenings and weekends (and needs it!), so we lost all our respite care, which isn't helping the climate at home. But her help lets me keep working, which is good (so we don't lose our townhouse), and the boys get to spend lots of time with grandma, which is good, too.
"Do you and your current hub have any psychiatric problems or substance abuse on either side of the family tree?"
My father's mother had a "nervous breakdown" in about 1957 a few years after being widowed with four teen boys at home, committed herself to the state hospital, and never lived on her own after that (20 years). She was hyper and high energy at some times, and in bed 2-3 days with migraines other times. So likely some type of bipolar.
I've had deep depressions and some hypomania-type stuff (painting all night for a class until 6am, going to 8am class and not being tired, likewise with being out dancing late, then up early, etc.). I drank very heavily age 14-21 then quit. Did lots of drugs during high school and college, but quit that at 20. Marijuana gave me hallucinations and severe paranoia (the psychotic type, not the slang type), so I quit that after trying it a few times. I probably have some bipolar going on. My guess would be bipolar II, since it's lots of depression and some hypomania type stuff. No mania outside of drug-related.
Antidepressants made me feel like I was going to die in my early 20s -- tried Paxil, Celexa and Immipramine --briefly!! MDs always want me to take them because they say, "you seem depressed," but now I just say, "Thanks but no thanks." I do OK without them. I haven't had bad depression for about the last 13 years. In my teens in the early 80s I was diagnosed with depression, but not medicated (thankfully). Then in my early 20s I had panic attacks and anxiety, but that cleared up by about age 29. Took Xanax for 30 days after being at ER with a panic attack, and that helped a lot. But they don't keep you on it. Exercise (dancing!), magnesium and B vitamins help a lot. I quit drinking at 21 and that helped, too.
My current husband's father is a raging alcoholic. He once offered me something he called "apple pie" with a glint in his eye. It was a drink made with nothing but Everclear, apple schnapps and cinnamon schnapps. He and family have no awareness whatsoever that this is a red flag, or that he's an alcoholic -- "I've never seen my father drunk"-- and yet he makes his own Irish cream and Long Island teas at home, and pushes drinks on everyone else. He says mean things at holiday gatherings as "a joke." He battered his kids and "beat down" his wife verbally/emotionally, but must have mellowed somewhat in his 60s and 70s. husband and I have been together 6 years, so I've not seen his father first hand earlier in life.
husband has two daughters from a previous marriage, one is about 20 and has very severe schizoaffective disorder that came on at 12, when she stabbed her mother, almost killing her (Wellbutrin related?). Massive hallucinations (family of 30 aliens, devils, angels, you name it). She was diagnosis Asperger's in elementary school, too. She's on so much medications since age 12 that she tremors, shuffles, drools, falls asleep all the time, gags a lot, etc, but her "voices" are still constantly telling her to attack people. She was passed from residential to residential for a little over four years, and has been home with her mother since about age 17. Her mother is looking for a group home, but dropped her out of her Special Education program a few months ago. I'm not sure how well she will do in a group home. She is very dependent. But since she went home to husband's ex/her mother (who borderline personality disorder), she hates me like poison. Maybe once she's at a group home I can try to build some type of relationshiop again, but right now she's too high a risk to be around. I also have plenty on my plate without that element added in right now.
husband's older daughter is about 27, and has three kids, never married. She just went down for 60 days for assault a couple of years ago for stabbing her boyfriend (not fatally, fortunately). She used to not work, but always had a car and cell phone. Last year or so she's got a real job. Boyfriend is involved in a theft ring, and we wonder about prostitution or drug dealing. She was institutionalized during high school with suicidal depression and ODD. She is very, very thin and may be doing some kind of stimulant drugs, but tests have always been negative (child protection was involved after her arrest).
husband says this all comes genetically from his ex wife's side, but I doubt that very much at this point.
So difficult child 2 probably does have serious mood disorder stuff going on, and some psychosis, too, hopefully from mania rather than schizophrenia. With the family history, could be schizoaffective. He's scheduled to see a child psychiatrist next week. Hopefully a good one. I couldn't get him in at the university teaching hospital difficult child 1 started going to, because difficult child 2 is only four. When he's older I'll get him in there, though. I think he has to be six.
"Although your ex isn't his father, your son doesn't sound that different from difficult child 1. It sounds like he is hallucinating. IF it were me, I would go for another opinion. "
Yes, we are definitely on that track now. difficult child 2 was first diagnosed Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD)-not otherwise specified by a social worker. Then we took him to a developmental pediatrician, child clinical psychologis and child educational psychologist for evaluation last November. They came up with Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD)-not otherwise specified and disruptive behavior disorder, and mentioned "mood dysregulation" in one of their reports. We just brought him to an experienced psychologist last week, who hot-referred us to their group's child psychiatrist, and we got an appointment two weeks out. So I think his diagnosis is about to get updated.
It's been very, very hard to get anyone to give any real recommendations on psychiatrists to go to. No one so far will go on record and say who is really good, or really bad. We are going to try a couple of NAMI support groups in our area. Maybe people there will talk about recommendations.
"There very well be some Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD) mixed in. Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD) and mood disorders run in the same families. However, to me (and I have a son with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD)), it sounds more mood disorder-ish than Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD), although one can have both."
Yes, I think we are dealing with both. difficult child 2 lines up toys, has rituals that are violated at our peril (he must open screen door first, go down stairs first, girls can't say "cool" only "beautiful", has to start grace at the table, etc.), has communication issues (talks but not about feelings, or a real conversation -- more like interrogation). He talks too loud, has trouble interacting with peers, doesn't read social cues, trouble reading facial expressions, does parallel play, only started imaginative play when almost four, gets too close to people, has obessions about things like sharks (talks all about shark facts), perseverates about things, has sensory-seeking behaviors, is very bothered by sounds, and won't potty train. So I think the autism piece is definitely there, too, along with moods and some hallucinations.
We are definitely in for it . difficult child 1 is about to be a teen, and I know what I went through!! I'm hoping for better experiences for him, but I know it will be a long, hard road.
Hey...be proud of your own efforts. You've done GREAT, and he is in wonderful hands.
We're always here for you if you need us. Sounds like you are on the right track.
Make sure you take care of yourself too or you won't be any good for anybody else. YOU matter too!
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