Stayed In Desk

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by WSM, Apr 14, 2009.

  1. WSM

    WSM New Member

    So we rearranged difficult child's room, he was moved out of the one he shared with 19 yo brother and into his own with new laminate flooring, and a new desk. He got his box spring back, but not his mattress. (older brother doesn't want to share room with him and has been sleeping on couch for the last year or so).

    Friday he poured syrup all over the pantry while doing dishes. I was in the room but not watching. Saturday he poured canola oil all over the pantry. He was out front washing the car and snuck in while husband and I were moving furniture into his new room.

    His sister's DS is missing again and some money, and he had half days on Thursday and Wednesday and didn't tell anyone (nor did the school, we can't wait for this school year to end), so the driver dropped him off to an empty house and things are missing.

    Sunday he made a map of his room of all the secret hiding places, there's only under the bed and the desk. And then he squeezed himself into the part of the desk that is meant for the computer tower. It's approx 12" x 18" x 24". He's 12 and 84 lbs and 74 inches tall. We live in south FL and our airconditioning went out and it was 94 degrees. husband made him come out, told him to stop it, and as soon as husband left, difficult child squeezed back into the desk. He was there about 10 hours.

    Monday he stayed out of the desk. Today before dinner he went into the desk, but since dinner he hasn't.

    Should we take the desk out of the room or is this some of his weird attention seeking behavior that will go away on it's own. Prior examples are the year and a half he spent all his leisure time standing at attention next to the shed, not moving, staring blankly--but oddly enough completely aware of his surroundings. If you called, "difficult child, come here." He'd call back, "OK!" and come running cheerfully to you. But he'd stand for hours without moving. That lasted a year and a half. It was extremely unnerving.

    Then he stopped that spontaneously and took up standing in the middle of his bedroom at night, facing a wall in the dark, standing still until he collapsed on the floor at 3 or 4 am. (This is what drove his brother out of the room). If you went in and made him get into bed, he'd pop out as soon as you left, even if you left the door open, and go stand in the middle of the dark room again until he collapsed on the floor dead asleep. We went to bed and left him standing there with an alarm on his door to prevent him wandering the house at night. After about 9 months he just stopped doing that.

    Then he did nothing for a while, and now he's doing this. I look in every hour or so and say, "JUst checking, is everythng all right?" He says loud and clear and promptly, "Yes!"

    I've watched him come out, he's so squeezed in there that he can barely get himself out. Once I thought he was going to get stuck in there. There surely can be no room even to move a finger. He came out once drenched in sweat. I worried about him suffercating in there, but we've fixed the ac so I guess that's no longer a concern. He fits in the door on that compartment can be closed, no part of him sticks out, but he can't shut the door with himself inside because he can't move.

  2. smallworld

    smallworld Moderator

    I don't think this is attention-seeking behavior. I think it's just plain weird thinking. I suspect the official diagnosis would be distorted thinking.

    Can you permanently board up the desk compartment so he can't fit inside?
  3. WSM

    WSM New Member

    Sometimes I think what I write is so bizarre you all must think I'm making it up. I swear this is all true. It's just insane...not that that's a helpful thing to say. But it seems like no one lives this odd a life.

    And the thing is, difficult child is something of a hyperchondriac and very worried about being like his psychotic mother or his two schizophrenic uncles. Last week he had to have a lot of blood work done before they prescribed the lexapro. Everything came out normal, all his minerals and vitamins are good, no lead, hormones right, nothing odd or off, everything perfect. On the way to the blood test difficult child was anxious and wanted to know if they would also test for AIDS, apparently he is worried he has AIDS.

    husband was shocked. Why does difficult child think he has AIDS? Has difficult child been having sex?

    No. But difficult child informed husband that there are five ways to get AIDS and he might have gotten it another way. husband asked: are you doing intrevenous drugs? No. Have you had a transfusion we don't know about? No. Has difficult child been working in a medcal facility handling blood products and needles and other medical waste behind our backs? No. Then how would he have gotten AIDS?

    difficult child thought maybe somebody at school or in public who had AIDS and was secretly hiding it, might have gotten some of his own blood on his hands and then touched things like door knobs that difficult child later touched. In any case, difficult child really, really wanted to be tested for AIDS.

    We know difficult child has depression and some anxiety and maybe the slightest touch of obsessive compulsion disorder. But he seems so normal to outsiders, psychiatrists and tdocs think we exaggerate, and difficult child knows how to play the game to look normal to them. He sees by our reaction or his brothers' that his action or words are odd and then he modifies them for outsiders.
  4. WSM

    WSM New Member

    That's an excellent idea! THank you! Thank you!

    Sometimes we are so caught up in the problem and so in despair over a new thing we overlook the very obvious.

    Thank you. I'll have husband do it tonight.
  5. WSM

    WSM New Member

    I personally think he has emerging or incipent schizophrenia. His mother was originally diagnosis'd with it, and later her diagnosis was changed to bi polar II. In any case she's in psychosis about 10 months a year, one of those homeless people who wanders the streets talking herself and yelling at God.

    Her brothers, difficult child's bio uncles, are one of them catatonic schizophrenic (he is medication compliant and has a life of eating and watching tv in an ALF, but every couple years the medications fail and he needs shock therapy. Last time they thought they wouldn't be able to bring him out of it, but they did, they were going to admit him permenantly to the state hospital); the other brother is a paranoid schizophrenic and he zoomed around the country, mostly between FL and MI, harassing people and getting arrested and baker acted. Then he's zombied on medications for a while, lives with the catatonic schizophrenic brother until the medications leaves his system and then goes frantically from one state to another.

    So husband and I both think difficult child is going to be schizophrenic eventually. I think difficult child is desperately trying to act/appear normal and that he's sicker than people think, but I don't think he's hearing voices or has had a psychotic break. I think difficult child works hard to appear normal, and sadly it works very well, so many people think he's just a poor little neglected mistreated boy with callous harsh parents who don't understand him. But by hiding his problems (if that's what he's doing and I'm just speculating, maybe it's nothing more than what we see) he's robbing himself of the opportunity for early treatment.

    We don't know what to do about this.

    I also think he has some emerging personality disorder problems which is why he blatantly ignores instructions and destroys property and steals and lies (almost everything he says is a lie, usually a pointless lie). Nobody wants to talk to him because he plays so many manipulative games, it's exhausting. He had a friend once, and after a couple of months the friend's mother (who initially promoted the relationship because her son was adhd and had never had a friend before) told her son that he couldn't be friends with difficult child anymore because, as this friend told difficult child, difficult child was 'sick in the head'.

    We don't really know what happened.
  6. smallworld

    smallworld Moderator

    I know your difficult child has been through a lot of testing, but has he ever undergone Projective or Personality testing? If not, you should have it done by a seasoned professional. His distorted thinking might come through loud and clear with psychological testing like this.

    You really can't tell for sure whether he's having hallucinations or delusions at this point. All his weird behavior could be a result of that.

    Be aware that psychosis can be part of bipolar disorder. And SSRIs like Lexapro can make bipolar disorder and psychosis worse. If your difficult child suddenly becomes worse on Lexapro, keep in mind that it could very well be the Lexapro.
  7. trinityroyal

    trinityroyal Well-Known Member

    I think that further investigation of schizophrenia and bipolar are definitely warranted.

    As for the strange poses, squeezing into tight spaces, etc., my difficult child did this for years. He used to fold himself up in a little parcel on the 3rd shelf of our linen closet (a very small closet, mind). He was even able to wriggle his hand out and shut the door behind himself. And he would stay in there for hours.

    Another favourite spot was the lower cupboard in the entertainment unit in our family room. Again, he would wriggle his fingers around enough to close the door behind himself.

    I think in my difficult child's case, it relates to his need to be squeezed, need for weighted blankets, etc. He says that it calms him.

    Just want you to know that, however odd it sounds, one or more of us have seen it before. Don't ever worry that we won't believe you. With our crop of children, one or other of us is bound to have come across something similar.

  8. WSM

    WSM New Member

    I didn't think of this. If it calms him, maybe we shouldn't board it up?

    It's sort of like being in the womb, I guess.

    Thank you for your reassurance. I was sure NOBODY ever had a child do something like this.
  9. Shari

    Shari IsItFridayYet?

    My easy child 1 loves teeny tiny places. Always has. They're secure feeling to him, and he's pretty much a typical easy child. Maybe you can offer him a tight, enclosed spot that's not quite so tight..?

    I agree, this is probably not attention seeking. Since he is worried about ending up like his mother, is there any way to let him know that the best way to do that is thru early treatment, try to get him involved in his own well-being? If he's worried and goes to great lengths to appear normal, maybe he would be medication-compliant and have a good shot at feeling "normal", too?

    Hugs. This must be so hard.
  10. trinityroyal

    trinityroyal Well-Known Member

    WSM, I think Shari's advice about helping your difficult child see the benefits of treatment in not ending up like his mom.

    As for the tight spaces, I would still board up the desk. At his height, and with the very small space, he might get stuck or otherwise hurt himself. If there is another tight space that you can make available to him, where he has just a little bit more wiggle room, then that might work.

    I too feel a strong need to squeeze myself into tight corners. When I was little, I used to wrap Tensor bandages around my body, under my clothes. In my late teens and early 20s, I would wear tight-laced corsets. Nowadays, I lie very straight along the sofa, right where the sitting cushions meet the back cushions, facing the wall. I then get husband and Little easy child to sit in front of me and lean back hard. It gives me the same "squoze" feeling, without any confinement, and husband and easy child are willing to take lots of direction about how much or how little pressure to exert.

    Just offering up a few alternatives. There are safe ways to meet this sensory need. Perhaps you, your husband and your difficult child can brainstorm on ways of giving him the same feeling without endangering him.