Self-Esteem, Depression & a Vent

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by JJJ, Sep 22, 2007.

  1. JJJ

    JJJ Active Member

    Kanga suffers from Major Depression due to a very poor self-image. I'd love to help build up her view of herself but when I praise her for something she has done, she discounts it or gets mad claiming that I (or whoever else complimented her) am making fun or her. I get that part, that she doesn't see the good in her so she rejects the compliment.

    But she is intentionally doing things to get herself in trouble (trying to prove she is worthless????) - things I can't ignore (i.e. peeing on her bed, stealing food, taking food out of the fridge and leaving it on the counter in the middle of the night, spitting half-chewed food back on her plate, telling a 13 year old neighbor boy that it was okay to beat up her 8 year old brother, flunking reading class and then getting Ds this week so it is up to a D- (doesn't understand why I'm not happy that she is now 'passing')

    Now husband is mad because I won't help Kanga change her sheets because her friend will be her any minute (we're babysitting for a fellow church family -- they are one of the few that we can trust to take Kanga overnight for a bit of respite). Kanga can change her own sheets, especially since I bought her Depends to wear because she claims it happens when she is asleep and she refused to wear it because it 'doesn't work'.

    husband also thinks I shouldn't 'get her mad' when she has a game later that day because she might play bad. While I enjoy watching her play well also, a talented athlete with behavior issues and 'D's in school is not going to get to play in college!!! We HAVE to fix the attitude for her success in life - in and out of sports.

    Very frustrating morning!!!
  2. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    If complimenting upsets her, don't do it. Because a compliment is supposed to make her feel good about herself, and your compliment is doing the opposite. The more you insist, the worse it is. If you can gently say something nice and ignore any reaction totally (try to deflect and move on) then she has at some level had to accept a compliment. Maybe with time you can increase the compliment level as she can tolerate it.

    Alternatively, you could sit down with her (not at a time when you're trying to compliment - just any time at random) and ask her why she finds this so difficult.

    As for not helping her change her sheets - I wouldn't either. However, I MIGHT offer to take them from her bedroom door to the laundry, just this once, to speed up the process. Frankly, all she needs to do before friend arrives is get the wet linen into the laundry, she can then be found simply making up her bed as ANY kid should be able to do when it's time to change linen on the bed. If her friend asks, "I wanted fresh sheets, it was time I changed the bed."

  3. Sara PA

    Sara PA New Member

    I'm always puzzled when wetting the bed is considered a behavioral disorder. Who would want to sleep in a pool of pee if they could help it? I know some people sleep so soundly and are so drowzy that it is very difficult to get up when they have to go but I can't believe people pee the bed to act out. Sorry.

    Both Prozac and Geodon can cause urinary incontinece of varying degrees. "Enuresis" (bedwtting) is listed as a reported postmarketing side effect of Geodon. Further, the Geodon may put her to sleep so soundly that she either doesn't wake up or is too sleepy to get up to get to the bathroom. And then, treating her like she is being punished for wetting the bed, something that must be terrible humiliating, does nothing for her self-esteem. She surely feels bad enough about it to begin with; after all, who besides babies wets the bed (that's what most people with the problem think)? Her refusal to wear the Depends is understandable; they only remind her of what she feels is her failure and shortcoming as a human being. She would rather deal with it by denial.

    I'd treat it the same way I would treat vomitting or diarrhea. If I made my child clean up after himself when he had those problems, I'd make him clean up after himself when he wet the bed. Well, not quite.... I would ask him if he could strip the bed and bring down the sheets in a very matter of fact manner. I would not put him in a position of being humilated because he hadn't done it and people were coming.

    by the way, both Prozac and Geodon can cause weight gain. Do they slow the metabolism, do they increase the appitite or do they shut off the body's "Full" response? I don't know. But one or both of the drugs could be the cause or contribute to the midnight food raids.

    And, just for the record, lots of kids with Ds and behavioral issues get to play sports in college. Most are boys who play football or basketball, but not all of them as sports become more and more important in colleges.
  4. JJJ

    JJJ Active Member

    Marg - we have had that conversation, both alone and in family therapy and she does acknowledge that she likes to hear the compliments even if she gets hostile at the time. She has asked that we keep telling her the good things and she is working on saying "thank you". It is the intentional sabotage that we will be discussing at our next family therapy session.

    Sara - Why do our kids do many of the things they do? Most of their behaviors are irrational and self-defeating. (For a non-difficult child, I'd agree with you that it is likely something they can't control.)

    Kanga has peed on herself on purpose on and off for years. When she was younger, if we put her in timeout, she'd pee on herself to try and get out of timeout. She said just the other day that she woke up, had to pee but because she left her window open and her room was cold, she DECIDED to just pee the bed and clean it up in the morning, but in the morning she 'forgot' to change the sheets. She has taken the plastic cover off her mattress several times and we replaced her mattress once because we couldn't get the smell out.

    She also had 30 minutes to change her sheets, shower, etc. but she laid back down on the wet sheets cause she was 'too tired' and created the time crunch herself.

    She has been on the same medications for 9 months and the bed wetting only started up again this summer -- after several years of being dry.

    And for the record, football and men's basketball are revenue sports and as such they do have poor students that play because it makes money for the universities. All athletes -- even football and basketball -- must pass the NCAA Clearinghouse (to play D1)and right now Kanga's grades would not pass the Clearinghouse. Kanga plays in the top rated Elite league in the country for her (nonrevenue) sport. They have mandatory annual meetings where college coaches tell them that if they don't have at least a C average, that they don't even bother with them -- a very rare exception would be a future Olympian-level player (which Kanga is not). The league requires her to turn in her report cards and she can face consequences for continued poor grades.

    Can you tell that I am still steaming?! She still hasn't changed the sheets and her friend has been here for 2 hours! I'm not letting anyone play upstairs so that her friend doesn't find out but how hard is it to put the sheet in the special hamper we have for wet sheets???
  5. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    It does sound like this is deliverate behavior partially designed to anger you. I strongly suggest you take a look at to find some simple ways to help change things.

    Y'all are in a power struggle. Bigtime. Why, if she is choosing to lay in wet sheets, and choosing to not put them in the hamper, are you not letting her play up in her room? I might very well confine her to the room, with friend if friend wants to be theres, for a while. Sometimes peer pressure can be a useful thing. If hte peed on sheets "don't bother me for friends to see" call her on it.

    As far as complimenting her, well, maybe you should make her sompliment herself each day while she looks in the mirror. We are all beuautiful (even if we can't spelll, LOL). It can be hard work to look at ouselves with accepting and loving eyes, but it is a wonderful lthing to learn.


  6. Kathy813

    Kathy813 Well-Known Member Staff Member

    My question to husband is if he wanted the sheets changed, why didn't he do it?

    Why get mad at you?

  7. Sara PA

    Sara PA New Member

    Kids lie to cover up that there are things in their lives they can't control. It's denial. No one wants to think they can't control what everyone else apparently can control so they say they choose not to control it (or choose to do the behavior in question).

    Not wanting to deal with the sheets, not wanting the plastic sheets, not wanting to clean up, not wanting to wear Depends could all be part of the denial process. If she doesn't deal with it, it doesn't happen. That's how denial works.

    If she had wetting problems prior to taking the medication but outgrew it (or overcame it) it isn't a surprise it would come back when a drug is given that can cause the problem. Clearly that's a weak area for her. That it may have taken a few months on the medications for a side effect to occur is not unusual.

    As for the earlier peeing -- peeing can be a reaction to stress. It can, in fact, be partial seizure activity over which the person has no control. It may or may not be the case for her, but I simply don't believe young children deliberately pee themselves unless they are psychotic. (Those children who don't stop what they are doing to go to the bathroom are not deliberately peeing or pooping themselves, they just don't stop what they are doing to go to the bathroom when they have to go. There is a difference.)