Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by feelinalone, Mar 14, 2008.
I'm sorry it was so tough. I don't necessarily think the therapist made a good choice, following him around while he was volatile.
I know you don't want to hear this, but again it is unlikely he will improve without medication. It seems he is not capable of controlling himself without raging. His violence indicates either a form of autism or a serious psychiatric problem. It will only escalate if untreated.
You may want to get a NeuroPsycological Evaluation. They are awesome and will come very close to pinpointing exactly what is wrong, then you have to make hard choices. If it turns out he's on the autism spectrum, there are interventions and sometimes the kids can get better without medication. My son is medication free.
If he has a mood disorder, however, I have one. It's not really possible to learn not to rage. If you are still anti-medication, I would try alternatives, although they have never worked for me, nor did any special diet (yes, I tried it all). But something needs to be done beyond just attempting behavioral therapy. He is one of those kids it doesn't work for.
I wish you luck
I can only throw out our own experience, which may or may not "fit" here or help you-
When difficult child first started exhibiting issues, we had several tdocs try to deal with things in this manner- because apparently even with a diagnosis in front of them, they felt that this was all a behavioral issue. I was going right along with this at first. Then I found #1) that method repetitively made difficult child's behavior worse, #2) it is not just a behavioral issue, #3) medications can alter it, #3) there are strategies that can be learned to help it #4) psychiatrist on the MDE team said that treating kids with - in our case depression or bipolar- like it's conduct disorder will never solve the problem, it appears to be what is actually a trigger for difficult child, and difficult child needs cognitive behavioral therapy, not behavioral management therapy.
Again, this is obviously specific to my difficult child, but I think it stresses to me tthat many tdocs might be good in what they do, but many times that really just is the wrong therapy or approach for our difficult child's. Sometimes tdocs are not as flexible in using different types of therapies as we think they are, and as unknowing parents who also have the objective of improving our difficult child's behavior, we readily go along with this approach. It does work for some, maybe a whole lot of kids. But if this is an ongoing nightmare with your difficult child, it sounds like something isn't working too well. Also, be careful with this because some (not all) tdocs who believe in a therapy and it doesn't work will try to convince the parent that it is the difficult child's fault that it didn't work. I wonder sometimes how many parents might have given up because they thought it must be true if the therapist said it.
I gave difficult child a break from tdocs altogether. Then found one who was willing to work on a good relationship with him first rather than behavioral management therapy. My difficult child is, also, on medications.
PS I'm not suggesting that cognitive therapy is appropriate for your difficult child- that may be something difficult for younger kids- I'm not sure.
Sorry it was rough. I know with my difficult child if I was to follow him when he was like that, it would only make things worse. When he gets like that, I say what I am going to say, then I stand back until I see that he is starts to calm down and then TRY to redirect him. Doesn't always work, but at least it doesn't make it worse.
As far as medicine, I know from following your posts that you are trying to get your son off of them and don't want him on any. I used to be against medications for children - until I was around one who benefited from them. Just like with my diabetes, the goal is to someday be without them, but for now I HAVE to be on them - its a matter of my life. I feel that is the same thing with our difficult child's, being on medications or not means their lives, not necessary (but in some cases maybe) loss of physical life, but their quality of life and being able to function.
I wish you the best and I really hope you get some help/answers for your precious difficult child.
I'm sorry, feelinalone. This does sound like you've hit a crisis stage and higher levels of intervention than family can provide are needed.
Were the behaviors you saw today similar to what landed him inpatient the previous times?
For what it's worth, in my humble opinion, I don't think your mom is going to be much help in this situation. I haven't been around too much lately and admit that I haven't had time to read all your previous posts, but when I read this, I had to respond.
It sounds like your mother has some major issues of her own. Unless she has resolved all of her issues, I don't think she'll truly be able to help you find appropriate help for your difficult child.
I also think what the others have said about medication makes lots of sense. If medication is used appropriately, it can make a world of difference!!!
I have to go but want you to know I'm thinking of you... WFEN
What credentials does this therapist have?
I'm just asking because your difficult child is very young, and I'm not sure any kid his age would respond positively by having the therapy rules read into his face every week. It really seems as if she was the one to fuel the violence rather than teach him ways to reign it in. I believe your difficult child needs a therapist who will build a relationship with him, first and foremost, and then start to work on the issues that are going on.
My easy child/difficult child 3 started weekly therapy at age 7 with a child psychiatrist. The psychiatrist played board games, drew pictures, kicked a nerf ball and did other fun kid activities with my daughter. As they played and my daughter grew to trust the psychiatrist, the psychiatrist gradually started asking questions and my daughter began to open up to her. This has been a very successful therapeutic relationship for almost two years.
There are good therapists, and there are bad therapists. If you're going the therapeutic route, you really need to find one who has the skills and knowledge to be able to reach your son.
i am so thankful you were not seriously hurt. In times of crisis like this you need to worry about what is going on, not about what other people who are watching think.
Their opinion of you is none of your business.
This seems to just keep escalating. What do you feel you need to do next?
It may be time to PUSH the therapist to find a higher level of care.
Sending big hugs, and lots of prayers.
I have to agree with the other posts, that difficult child's behavior is not ONLY due to behavior management issues. Every single one of us has gone through the heartbreaking dilemma of whether or not to medicate a child. In my case, my son had been kicked out/expelled of three schools within six months (private and public), suspended and even had a police record (now expunged) for hitting his teacher.
I have to say that I disagree with what your therapist did, and agree that you need to find a new one. But please, for your child's sake, take him to a good psychiatrist for an evaluation. If he gets that violent again, call the police and have him taken to a pediatric psychiatric facility. The police might scare him straight somewhat (worked for me), but from all your posts it is obvious that your son needs help he isn't getting. We are dealing with children who have a chemical imbalance in their brain, and the only way they feel they can handle it is by using the "fight or flight" reaction. The medications help them overcome this impulse, along with the behavioral cognitive therapy.
I'm fortunate in that I have a psychiatrist and therapist team that work together. Even though they have separate offices, I have signed a release so that they can exchange information. It took me over a year to get into the therapist, and then another 8 months to get into the psychiatrist. But it's been worth it. My difficult child is in a nonpublic school that also has a Residential Treatment Facility (RTF) as well as an onsite psychiatrist and several tdocs in a day treatment program. I know that if difficult child was NOT on medications, he couldn't possibly absorb the therapy he's getting both at school and privately. by the way, his IEP required this and pays for the school.
Please take all of the advice given here to heart. We all want to help, and saving a child's life is more worthwhile than anything we could ever accomplish in our professional lives. Take some time to do the research and find your son the help he needs before he ends up with a police record for assaulting a stranger or a teacher.
Now this is sounding a WHOLE LOT my difficult child's issues. Given our experiences, I would call (until you actually get the psychiatrist on the phone) the psychiatrist who suggested anxiety and depression and stress how important it is to get a written diagnosis and specific recommended therapuetic treatment. Go to another appointment. with this person if you have to.
I agree, the problem is the underlying issues- same for my difficult child- and I thought a few mos in therpay with the right therapist should have this taken care of. It usually doesn't work that way with kids- especially kids who might be entering puberty and already have hormones bouncing in all different directions and kids who might have a predisposition to a chemical imbalance on top of puberty. That doesn't mean it will ALWAYS be that way, but it could be that way right now. It is not uncommon for depression or anxiety to trigger that imbalance to a state that we as parents begin to wonder about.
Anyway, the underlying issues can't be dealt with exactly the way we think they should- apparently- it has taken me 2 years to figure this out. For one thing, they might be obvious to us and we want the quickest "fix", but our kids don't have a clue that they have underlying issues, much less know what they are, and are more scared to reveal things to a therapist to have any ambition whatsoever to "get to the root of the problem". This isn't defiance, it's just the way it is. So, it isn't that easy and takes a lot of time from a good therapist that your difficult child has a good repoirte with. In the meantime, medications can do a world of good in keeping those chemicals in the brain in check- to prevent things like my difficult child has done- such as potential injury to self and illegal actions.
If you get something in writing staing anxiety and depression as diagnosis's, and recommended treatment approach, it should help with the "under-qualified" tdocs trying to wing it in therapy. But, really, it would give you justifiable reason to contact medicaid or whoever, and "prove" what difficult child has and exactly what type of therapy is needed. (in my humble opinion this will be much more beneficial than continuing with a failing therapuetic situation which could lead to therapist saying that difficult child can't be helped.)
I think you are going to have to put on some armour (there is plenty around here- we'll help you with the right fit) and become a warrior mom!!
in my opinion he does need a diagnosis. I won't repeat myself about medication, but your child is a danger to you, himself, and anyone who gets in his way when he loses it. in my opinion it's not his fault nor something he can learn not to do. Dad is in prison, meaning he likely has some psychiatric disorder that can be inherited. I know it's tough--none of us want to think our kids could be mentally ill. But, really, his degree of anger is likely not going to get better whether he expresses his feelings or not. in my opinion only (and I could be wrong) he is acting like it's more than just the circumstances. He is acting as if he is a child with a psychiatric disorder. Therefore, therapy alone won't help hom. I suggest that something be done, whatever you are willing to do, before he hurts somebody outside of the family and he (and you) really get into trouble. From my own experience with mental illness and my son's numerous evaluations I've unfortunately learned a lot about the mental health system and talk therapists alone did not help me. As one with bipolar, nothing stopped my rages--no form of therapy--and I wasn't violent, I just had rages. I am hopeful that you will try something beyond therapy. Therapy is good once a child is stable, but, in my experience, even adults can't act better if they aren't stable AND if they are also mentally ill, which is a physical problem. Once somebody is stable, then therapy can kick in. in my opinion (and I'm not an expert, but do have good gut feelings) your son is not just acting out due to the situation with his father. in my opinion it's too extreme. I do wish you luck, and will stop posting here. I hope you are listening to what all of us are saying
I don't mean to sound like a broken record - but the level of violence your son is exhibiting is really alarming. I know the phosph told you that you cannot keep bringing difficult child back to them - but truthfully - they did not have the legal right to tell you that. You can bring him back to receive care, every time he is endangering you or others. I think, at this point I would do that. He cannot continue down this path - not only will he be psychologically impacted, but how will he cope if he really hurts someone? You could drive him to the phosph tonight, and tell them what happened, and by law they would have to admit him because he hurt you. Personally I would do that. This whole thing is scaring me. These actions are way beyond a kid having baggage - in my opinion, there is some chemical component to this. Now whether that means, the prozac is causing this - or he needs no medications - or he needs new medications - I do not know - but his level of violence is over the top of a child that is just suffering from psychological trauma.
I am so sorry you are going through this. I have been down every road there is to think of with my kiddo, and I am still challenged every day with his behavior - I know how hard it is. Hugs & strength being sent your way.
Wow, I'm so sorry you had such a bad experience. I fully understand, as my difficult child 2 has attacked me in public also.
However......your so called therapist clearly has no clue! YOU need to make the changes and be willing to do the work. I also deal with Medicaid and have never had any trouble getting to a good psychiatrist. All you need is a referral from your pediatrician to the right place. I know you're against medications right now, but seriously, as the others have mentioned, your safety is at serious risk right now and you need a quick (even if temporary) fix! If he flips and hurts someone else, you can get into serious trouble!! Do the research yourself, find the right psychiatrist and make the Pediatrician give you the referral, it makes no difference to them who you see. The referral is all you need and Medicaid WILL PAY!!!
He's already had 2 inpatient evaluations which clearly have done you no good. How about a Major Medical Center or Children's hospital??? I don't know what state you live in or how far you are from a major city....if you PM me with that info, I'll try to help you find some resources in your area!
Again, PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE look for better help. Your family can't do it, been there done that! If you need help finding that help, let us know so we can try to help you!!!!!!
I know I've already said a lot more than 2 cents worth, but just in case my post seems contradictory to Steely's and Midwest Mom's, I thought I should clarify.
I think something chemical is going on with your son. I also think that the "underlying issues" you noticed really do need to be dealt with, appropriately, because that appears to be the "initial"trigger of it all and these issues can cause other "triggers" in the future if not dealt with, in my humble opinion. So, I think you are on to what initiated this, but I also think it is going to take more than a few mos of therapy to resolve it. Again, this is based on our experiences and what I'm reading in your posts.
I am thinking along some of same lines sort of in some ways a klmno is.
(I have not yet read past there in this thread)
When I was reading this- something jumped into my mind.
My daughter was in so many different therapy types- family in home, family at psychiatric hospital, family at therapist, sibling at phsop, sibling at tdocs, sibling at home, peeers at psychiatric hospital, peers at tdocs, peers at school, mom/daughter, sisters, one on one at school, at home, at tdocs, at psychiatrists, and at psychiatric hospital. (all psychiatric hospital therapies were both inpatient and ongoing outpatient)
Truth is over the years all those professionals kept telling ME to "pick my battles" with difficult child. They also had been working for years with her to have her be non confrontational, take a step back, use your words instead of actions, or walk away if things are not going so great.
Sadly....I would sit and watch these professionals. They seldom did what they told me to do. Often they did almost opposite what they told me was correct way to handle things. I cannot tell you how many times I witnessed those professionals also behaving in the very ways they kept trying to say were NOT proper behavior!
They also focused sometimes on some of the weirdest (in my opinion) things. we had a girls group one nite straight after school- and that DAY in school was "dress up day" AT school, and we went straight to girls groups from school. They actually complained to me and called CPS becuz difficult child came to group 2 weeks in a row in the same dress. It WAS clean, and irnoed, and it fit her fine......but they decided girls do not really wear dresses anymore, and they found it "odd" LOL ironically the therapist running group wore MINI skirts EVERY week. with HEELS.
Another time, a different year, difficult child went thru this horrendous insane growth spurt. SHe went from a girls size 6X to a womens size 8 in less than 6 weeks. Literally daily she would put clothes on that we just bought 2-3 days prior, and while they would be loose and baggy the day we bought them, 2-3 DAYS later, they would be short and tight. Now mind you I worked double shift, and we were very low income (I made min wage and was trying to support me, husband and 3 kids) One week the therapist group leader would complain at me that my dtr was in clothes too big, the very next week complain they were too small-----and yes, she called CPS.......ironically, the week after she called CPS? She herself was wearing a button front shirt where the buttons were gapped severely, far too small on her......her bra showed terribly.....and yes, her miniskirt.....Now come on, I doubt SHE was in midst of a growth spurt!
ANyway, one time at a family session---the therapist had us all file in to the office, and said "sit anywhere" so we all took seats. difficult child wanted a specific seat, she was NOT fussing about it, noone was.....and we all sat easily and quickly. therapist decided SHE did NOT like where difficult child chose to sit. Now therapist had told me previously to not interfere when she is guiding difficult child.so I did not say or do anything. Well, therapist apprently changed her mind, cuz she looked at me and told me to tell difficult child to sit elsewhere. Seriusly I looked around and could find no good logical reason why it mattered. Even if I were picking my battles, I simply could not see why this would make a difference. difficult child was not in tdocs chair. was not in a chair far away from the rest of us. SO I tried to convey my puzzlement to therapist by facial expression. Well, therapist was haveing none of it. SHe started to get stern and not very nice to difficult child. difficult child started to squirm and tears sprang to her eyes. BUT all the seats were taken, by then...the rest of us had sat down.....and in order for difficult child to change seats, she would have to make one of us move. - and normally her asking one of us to move would cause us to have a problem with her. I mean why would we play musical chairs, we all had a seat. Now we are gonna get to the task at hand, right? So little difficult child is squirming and not sure what to do or how to do it and therapist is starting to get icky at her. Then therapist looks at ME and says You are her mother DO SOMETHING.
Huh? I said first thing that popped into my head......it is your office, if you want to assign us seats, you need to tell us where you want us to sit. My difficult child did not do anything wrong, she did what we all did, she sat down......and so did the rest of us, where do you want HER to sit?
I did not yell, I was not ugly about it, I was confused myself.
therapist jumped up, grabbed difficult child by her arm and began to pull her out of her seat!
I set the baby down, easy child kinda curled up in her chair - husband looked shellshocked. I went over to difficult child and said here, come sit by me......therapist yelled, NO< she will sit where I tell her to. Ya know, therapist began to scare ME.
difficult child breaks out in hives when she has a panic attack......and she counts quietly to herself trying to self calm.....she was sitting with tears running down her face, counting quietly.....hive begiining on her face.....
difficult child then pulled her arms away from therapist and she slowly walked to the tdocs office door. Now, I KNOW my difficult child. I KNEW where she was going. For YEARS this SAME therapist had been teaching difficult child to quietly remove herself and go to nearest bathroom, to wash her face........to self calm. difficult child is too anxious to go far from where ever I am.....no matter how much you trigger her. ANd I could HEAR her opening the bathroom door.
I KNEW she would be back in minutes, I also knew she never locked doors, so, if anything sounded funny, I would be able to get her.and I did NOT hear the lock on tdocs bathroom door engage. BUT therapist was NOT happy.
She JUMPED up, got in my face close to me, and said YOU ARE THE MOM- DO SOMETHING.
I looked at therapist and said "I" did not understand why you said for us to sit ad after she did sit, YOU decided YOU did not like where SHE sat. It is YOUR office........and at the moment YOU were in charge. All of US did everything you have taught all of us for years. We came in and sat down quietly and quickly. We did not interfere with your directions, or your interaction with her. WE picked OUR battle......who sat where was not a battle we thought was important enough to bother with.
YOU created this mess....and now you are ridiculing our child for doing what you have been teaching her for YEARS? Seems to me she obeyed 100% every step of the way!
Sad to say therapist called CPS again.said we were not "watching our child" in her office. HUH? (by the way CPS never found a problem with any of the weird things we got called in for) therapist wound up QUITTING 2 weeks later, but refused to see difficult child again.
My point? Just becuz they have credentials to hang out a shingle does not mean they are always right, or that they always handle things well. Sometimes they blow it. And sadly sometimes when THEY mess up, they act like a difficult child and try to make it look like someone elses fault.
Seems to me for therapy to work...a person has to have a relationship in the first place. Personally, I cannot see ANY type of therapy working if the client and professional do ntot have a positive relationship in the first place. I don't care how old or young the client is. a client simply cannot be guided, give credibility to, trust, listen to, honor, another person unless they have a reason to. ANd if a therapist is not on good terms with a client or vice versa, personally I do not think it will matter even if the client is not a diagnosable client, or if they are on magic medications that DO make everything wonderful.
ANd yes, some tdocs and psychiatrists might be great ones, BUT there still has to be something positive between The CLIENT and the professional.
I mean don't we work hard to try to teach our kids who it is safe to trust and who it is not safe to trust.....if they have some problem with their professional, for whatever reason- why would they listen? why would they trust? why would they ever care if they "please" that person? There HAS to be "chemistry" between the therapist and client. Before ANYTHING else can happen.
well, thats my 2 cents anyway.
Sorry, I still have not read the whole thread.....but I had another thing pop into my head.
Seems to me....many times over the years, not often, but sometimes----different people would do things that would frsutrate, anger, irritate, annoy, ANYONE. psychiatrists, tdocs, teachers.....(in a Special Education ED BD class) UM, let me think of an example...um..ok like you know how we teach the kids "good touch, bad touch" but then many places also go further and require a child to get permission to even enter anothers personal space? (especially in an ED BD class or psychiatric hospital or group setting, it is common, kids have to remember to stay say an armslength away from any other person?)
We teach kids from a very young age that they are to complain to someone if another person touches them and whatever? difficult child does not like tobe touched, has some mild sensory issues......"I" can touch her, but....she would often even cringe when it was me trying to brush her hair or whatever.
9th grade, lice going around. OK, makes sense, I understand BUT.....techer assistant comes up from behind difficult child and simply grabs her head to check for lice. No warning, nothing. difficult child jumps, when she jumps, her headknocks TA chin. TA grabs difficult child by body to hold her still to check for lice. difficult child starts to cry, tears sliding down her cheeks, and she is wriggling, saying let me go, what are you doing, don't touch me, PLEASE don't touch me.
Teacher runs over and grabs difficult child by front and says difficult child STOP IT RIGHT NOW!
We are checking you for lice!
By now difficult child is letting herself fall to floor, crying. Not wild sobbing and tantrum, juts kinda sliding to floor.
TA is holding her from behind, teacher from front.
Teacher then says difficult child! KNOCK IT OFF< we HAVE to check you for lice! difficult child is now curled in fetal position on floor of grade 9 ed bd class.
Teacher tells another student to go get school nurse to do lice check, as she holds difficult child in place.
Nurse comes and difficult child by now has her arms curled around her head, and TA holding difficult child so difficult child cannot "go anywhere" well difficult child is NOT trying to go anywhere......she is simply in fetal position on floor, arms wrapped around her head, by now mumbling "bugs? in my hair? oh no, not bugs, not in my hair? please let go of me, let me up, call my mom, she will check my hair, I don't want bugs in my hair"
Nurse tries to pull difficult child arms away and is not succeeding.
Now nevermind difficult child has diagnosis of anxiety, sensory issues of touch, panic attacks.......nevermind they drill it into the kids all about "touching" and "personal space" and even "humiliating peers"
Nurse decides heck with this garbage, we ARE gonna check her head right now no matter WHAT. SHe yells at difficult child, difficult child! I am getting the school police officer to come handcuff you so we can check your head.
Um.......difficult child is VERY afraid of police, has the idea police will ALWAYS take you straight to jail. Does fear make difficult child get up? Nope, it makes her hyperventilate and break out in hives and go flaccid.
School ploice officer comes, tries to play hardball with difficult child. Actually DOES handcuff her, and she begins to wail. School nurse decides oops, we pushed difficult child too far...another kid in class has a forbidden cell, and has already called me.......
I show up.
School decides difficult child is in the wrong.
I am sorry. school has taught her for years not to touch anyone else if someone does not want to be touched. School drops the ed bd kids down levels, revokes priveleges if the kids violate personal space rules. Noone started out in immediate danger.lice do not jump up and kill people on the spot. Even if she HAD lice. What would have been so hard about handling this differently?
WHO escalated this?
Now-----I think even a nonn difficult child would have difficulty being manhandled this way over something.
Many times I wonder, was something handled differently BECUZ someone is a labeled difficult child? ANd hey there are lots of incidents where a reaction a difficult child displays can be relatively NORMAL.....but, becuz it is a difficult child reacting, suddenly everyone jumps up and has a problem with how difficult child acted. Does not matter the reaction might be normal. I can tell you, if yu come at me from behind, with no warning and start messing with MY head, I am not gonna be happy. and if you then pin my arms, I am gonna be MORE not happy. and if you escalate such a thing to involve threats of police handcuffing me? I will prolly react far more aggressively than my difficult child EVER does.
But becuz she IS a diagnosis'ed and labeled difficult child......seems like she is not allowed to have NORMAL reactions. Suddenly everything is subject to scrutiny, possibly medication changes, possible discipline, loss of privelege......whateever.
Hey if I hit my thumb with a hammer? Likely I am gonna have some not so nice language coming out of my mouth. Now if I was just talking to the lady at checkout at grocery and swore at her for no reason, yes, something might be wrong with me, I am behaving crummy.maybe I need medication change....or I need to be reigned in. But hey, if I hammer my thumb and cuss? and the oh sh words come blurting out? in my opinion THAT is NOT grounds for people to get all riled up or talk about changeing my medications or anything.
Or even washing my mouth out with soap. Forget it.
I do not go around pushing buttons of difficult children or non difficult children. Not on purpose, and if I do it by accident, well, why would I poke a lion? Sounds like I would be the one doing something dumb.
regarding availability of tdocs and psychiatrists? IN some areas it is still quite difficult to find ANY therapist or psychiatrist at all, no matter what kind of insurance you have or do not have or whether the todc/psychiatrist is good or not.
For quite awhile in my county, the wait lists go be seen first time, IF you were discharged from inpatient psychiatric hospital- the wait list could be as long as a year, if you had NOT been inpatient, the wit list could be longer.
Our county mental health agency, were the largest majority of patients are seen went 11 months with NO psychiatrist at all, acquired a psychiatrist, she lasted less than 2 months, and they went without a psychiatrist for another 3 months after that. Same facility has dozens of tdocs.a day treatment, a partial hospital, a substance abuse program, and handles ALL court ordered psychiatric issues here.
And as far as Medicaide goes here? What a joke, a very bad joke. I have been working with DHS for 18 months seeking ANY type of doctor at all for my difficult child- with NO luck. No psychiatrist, no therapist, no GP, no gyne.....When we leave our immediate area and head to the city? (several hours way) they tell us nope you are not in our service area. You do not have an address in our county.
Some areas do have good acceptance of Medicaide, but some areas do not. and some areas do have choices and options for child psychiatrists but some have a severe shortage of child psychiatrists.
As for fight or flight? This is a normal survival thing leftover from more primitive times. SOme people have a more easily switched on fight or flight reflex. In primitive times it was very useful and saved persons lives literally. Once you cross over into true fight or flight, certain changes do occur in the body, and a person in true fight or flight is not readily available for discussion of their actions. Literally their brain is not available for reasoning with or explanation or conversation at all. They are in the most pure form of literal true survival and while they can phsyically perform some very amazing feats- you are not going to be able to have a conversation or try to reason with them or have them see logic. It is interesting to google it and read about it in depth. It can help you understand the intensity of it better. The key is to help a person not go into fight or flight in the first place. Once engaged in fight or flight, you are only going to increase the fight or flight by interfereing.
Yes many people have overly sensitive fight or flight. Yes it is a serious problem. Yes it does burn out on it's own, it is not a state a body can remain in indefinetly. It can be useful to understand what REAL fight or flight is, how you can distinguish it, becuz trying to accomplish anything when the person is in real and true fight or flight is impossible. All you can do at that point is work to keep people safe with actions. Talking usually does not register in the affected person. And handling that person further increases the fight or flight.
One last comment. Drug abuse is very common with kids who are mentally ill and untreated. They self-medicate. My teenage daughter did it and it was a nightmare. In the end, if you don't medicate your child could end up using illegal drugs, like your brother, because these kids know they're "off", know they can't control themselves, are often depressed and will find ways themselves to alter their chemistry. Your brother may have stopped some of his violence, but he turned to drugs. My daughter almost died of her drug abuse. Please don't let this happen to your precious child. Get more help. See a psychiatrist. (((HUgs)))
feelinalone, after reading your last post, it appears to me that there might be a misconception about some terminology that is used openly and freely on the board. Whether it was my post or someone else's, it looks like you have interpreted some of our words to be judgemental and critical. I don't think anyone here has been that way on this thread, but I think it might have come across that way due to your definition of "mental illness".
This is not uncommon for us when we are first starting down the road of having to deal with psychiatrists, tdocs, question of medications, etc. When my difficult child started having issues and ended up in psychiatric hospital and they were getting family history from me to try to help diagnosis him, I was asked if there was any mental illness in my family. I said "no" and at the time, I sincerely thought that was the truthful answer because I thought they were asking if anyone was schizophrenic(sp) or just completely insane (needing to be institutionalized), etc. I might have hampered my own son's intitial diagnosis because of this. Later, as I learned more and accepted more, I realized that depression and anxiety issues are considered along the lines of mental illness and I should have told the psychiatrist that who was trying to determine if my son was unipolar or bipolar. It might not have changed the diagnosis, but they might not have started him on prozac. This is a guilt I have to carry.
It took some time for me to really come to see that "mental illness" is the EXACT same thing as "physical illness" in the sense that it is an illness not to be crticized but to be treated in appropriate ways. Most of us on the board have had at least one situation where we have had to fight to get help for our difficult child and we feel just as frustrated as a parent would if they had to bang on a locked hospital door yelling "let us in, my child is physically ill, why won't you help".
That physical illness might be as simple as the flu or an ear infection, it doesn't neccessarily mean it is a terminal illness like cancer, or a lifelong illness that needs to be maintained, like diabetes or asthma. Nevertheless, all of these are physical illnesses. Those (or at least most) of us here have accepted the fact that these various issues that make our difficult child's the difficult child's they are (when we are talking about mood disorders and such), are issues that fall into the category of mental illnesses. We don't look at this as a terminal illness or reason to consider our children "black sheep".
I don't think anyone here believes or means to suggest that anyone in prison is automatically mentally ill. I am SURE no one here is being critical of anyone with mental illness or views a person with mental illness as being "bad" because of it.
Those of us on this board are usually the ones working to get others that we have to deal with to change their stereotypes and stigmas attached to the words "mental illness". By reading about your family, it does sound like there have been at least temporary periods of some "issue", whatever that is. Just like most people have some periods where they might be physically ill in their lifetime, this is nothing to be ashamed of. I hope you can try to see that when reading our responses about that, if it wouldn't bother you if we said "physical illness" instead of "mental illness", then no one meant anything judgemental about saying "mental illness".
And this is not something that WE think or YOU should think is something to be ashamed of. The question of whether or not someone is "bad" is a completely separate question than whether or not someone has a "mental illness" and you'll be hard-pressed to find people who understand that more than the people here on this board. So, I apologize if it came across to you otherwise.
Yeah, I have to explain here. Being in prison is often due to mental health and substance abuse issues. Most people follow the law. I didn't mean he was bad, but that he was likely sick, but you say he's not...ok. I believe you. If he's not the biological father, then you have to go back to the biological father to track down genetics on that side. That being said, your difficult child is exhibiting signs of mental illness, and it should be checked out by a psychiatrist (with the MD) in my opinion. That just isn't how kids behave, even if they've had personal traumas. I do wish you luck and hope you understand we want to help. NObody is calling your child bad or you a bad parent (which, unfortunately, many of us hear from psychologists and therapists). That is one reason I prefer Psychiatrists and NeuroPsychs. They have never judged my parenting as they know that these things are physical in nature, although they come out as behavioral...the "bad" behavior is a symptom of the illness.
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