Will this ever get any better?????


New Member
I never thought I would be posting on anything, let alone a conduct disorder board, but here I am, sick and tired and worn out. This nightmare it seems will never end. My grandson that we are raising, age 13, (14 soon)has been diagnosed with ADHD and ADD, major depression and ODD. All I had when all of this started was a young man who didn't like school, but when he moved to the middle school, 7th grade, there was some sort of internal explosion and it has been a downhill slide since then. He has been kicked out of school for pushing a teacher. Of course,he said he didn't PUSH her, three boys beat him up after school and he was trying to get away and the teacher tried to intervene and he pushed her she said. She had 2 witnesses, so I suspect he is not telling the truth. He has become so aggressive since then. We have changed psychiatrists twice. We now have a child psychiatrist who has truly worked with us. He had never been treated for his depression, so he started him on Zoloft and all of a sudden he was a "new man". It worked for about a month, then fell back into the same routine. Fighting, abusive, rude, horrible behavior. We have tried so many medication changes it is ridiculous. Nothing seems to work. Of course, my grandson discovered pot. This just compounds everything. He cannot understand why we will not let him go back to the place where he keeps getting the pot. It is a skate park. We will ground him from the skate park for a few weeks and then he talks us back into letting him go and then of course, he comes home stoned. So this time, we have stuck to our guns and have not let him go for about a month. We have tried letting him go to friend's houses, but he never does what he says. No more pot, just will not do what we ask him to do. If we say, stay at his house, he leaves. If we say, okay, if you are going to leave his house, call first. He leaves anyway. It doesn't matter what we say, he does the opposite. He always wants to stay the night. Sometimes we will let him, but on occasion we say no, usually when we have something planned for the next day. That's when all H___LL breaks loose. He has twisted a 200.00 phone into pieces because he was told no. He curses horribly. He doesn't care where he is or who is around. We let him go to a music concert for the kids at church, some rock group came. We got a call from the police to pick him up becuase there was a fight. Of course, it was not his fault. We can't take him anywhere or let him do anything. I don't think I am capable of handling much more of this. He singles me out. He will hit at me, spit at me and curse me. Then, when it's time for bed, he wants me to come in with him and help him relax so he can go to sleep. There is no way I can make him understand that when he has behaved the way he has, I am not going to soothe him. He just doesn't get it, nor does he care that he has hurt my feelings. I think he likes it. It has got to the point that it is disrupting the whole family. It's like a cancer that eats away at everything. There is no joy or peace in this family I can assure you. He will not let you enjoy anything. Of course, everything is our fault. We took him back to the doctor yesterday, and he is going to wean him off his zoloft and start him on Concerta. He took him off Adderall because he would go 3-4 days without eating. Is there any hope? Will he ever become the person we used to know? I'm not asking for perfect, I just asking for being able to get along. Sorry this is so long. I just had to vent. Really, really bad day.


Welcome! I'm glad you found us.

Sorry for all the questions, but your answers will help us point you in the right direction:
What kind of doctor first diagnosed your difficult child (gift from God, the child who brought you here)? Has he ever undergone a neuropsychological evaluation? Are you confident in the diagnosis?
What other medications has he been on, and how did he react?
Have you performed drug tests to see if he is abusing any other drugs?

A few thoughts for you: J (my difficult child 1) had a prolonged intense manic reaction to Zoloft. It turned out he needed to be treated with mood stabilizers for bipolar disorder. His violence and agression are gone, but we are still working on medicating his depression. He is doing so much better than before we got him on the right medications. This scenario is something you may need to consider with your difficult child. Ask the psychiatrist about it. If a child with bipolar is treated with antidepressants like Zoloft and stimulants like Adderall and Concerta, he can become much, much worse.

Your difficult child is likely not able to control his behavior at this point. It feels like Jekyll and Hyde, right? And you always feel as if you're walking on eggshells, right? It can get better if your difficult child gets an accurate diagnosis and the proper treatment. That may require a more intensive evaluation and/or a more intensive treatment facility, possibly in-patient, especially if difficult child is physically abusive to you. And some adolescents who abuse drugs need a dual-diagnosis program where both the underlying condition and the substance abuse are addressed.

You might also want to get your hands on a copy of The Explosive Child by Ross Greene. It has helped many of us on this board parent our extra-challenging children.

Again, welcome.


New Member
I think that it can get better, the the right medication is a big factor in that. It seems that ADD is always a first diagnoses. I would want to revisit that with some testing and make certain it is really ADD. Stimulants can make a child who does not have ADD much worse. It happened to us. It turns out that my son has a mood disorder, and that was causing the lack of concentration that was called ADD. Stimulants either did not help, or made him much worse.

If he was diagnosed with major depression, which is a mood disorder, then it is important that it is looked at closely to rule out the possibility of bipolar.


Well-Known Member
Wanted to welcome you to the site. Please be sure to visit the FAQ/Board Help forum under the 'Forum List' section. Here is a link (that is in FAQ) to create your profile.

You will also find a list of abbreviations, a definition of a multi-discplinary evaluation, The Chandler Papers - a must read - and some recommended books.

I do have some concern that your difficult child is self-medicating with pot because none of the other medications have done what they are supposed to do yet. None that made him feel more 'normal' or like other kids.


Well-Known Member
Hi thre. I *know* it can get better. My daughter was a mess--on drugs from 12-18, and finally turned her life around. She is 23 now and doing fantastic. I'd like to ask a few questions that could help all of us.
1/ Who diagnosed him, and when was his last evaluation? Stimulants for ADHD often cause mania and rage in kids who are diagnosed with ADHD, but really have a mood disorder. Zoloft and other antidepressants can wreak havoc with kids who are diagnosed with depression, but perhaps REALLY have early onset bipolar. ODD is a big symptom of Early Onset Bi-Polar (EOBP). Has he ever been tried off stimulants and on a mood stabilizer to see if he responds to one?
2/I have a lot of experience with a kid using drugs, unfortunately. My daughter got busted twice, and it didn't stop her. We thought she was only using pot. Now that she's clean we got the whole story. She was actually ABUSING ADHD medications, cocaine, ecstascy, even shot heroine once! For the ADHD medications, and Adderrall is the most desired by teens who abuse, the kids put it into pill crushers and, either alone or with other drugs, snort it to get high. Then they need downers to sleep. Not pretty. I had no idea my daughter was abusing stims, but that was her main drug--it was easy to buy ADHD drugs from teens who had ADHD or who had sibs with it or kids who faked ADHD to get the medications and, sadly, she knew adults who sold the stuff. I'd have my son take periodic "on the spot" drug tests to make sure he isn't abusing drugs. This will also show if he's still using pot. No matter what medications he's on, nothing will work with a combination of substance abuse and it also goes along with drinking a lot of alcohol. My daughter didn't listen either. She would jimmy her window and climb out, running the streets at night. We had to literally block her window. She could lie staring us straight in the eyes. It's part of drug abuse, but also can be part of a psychiatric problem.
3/Are there are mood disorders or substance abuse on the family tree? It would help us a lot if you could post a signature like I've done below.
in my opinion his doctors aren't helping him. Before he gets too old for you to be able to help him, I'd have a neuropsychologist evaluation with an evaluation from a fresh Adolescent Psychiatrist, one he's never seen before. in my opinion perhaps he's not ADHD at all and the medication is wiring him up even more. It's worth it to get second opinions because then you have a brand new perspective.
I with you luck. I KNOW how hard it is! I had to throw my daughter out before she straightened up. She now doesn't take any drugs. Although she probably has ADHD, she can't use stimulants and has no desire to take any medications--like I said, she's doing great. Take care and hugs.


Appropriate evaluation(s), diagnosis, medications, and other parts of multimodal treatment plan are very important. Every child's treatment plan will look different depending on needs, and have to be tweaked as the need arises.

We have had some rough years, but as appropriate effective therapies came on line, things got much better. We were doing super good until difficult child hit "puberty" full throttle. I've been on the board a long time, have read lots of posts about the difficult years of +/-12 - 15 yrs old, and dreaded D-Day, hoping we could skip the "terrible teens" phase.

Ack!! It hit with-a vengeance -- right down to the fact that the chemical/harmonal changes interfers with-a heretofore wonderfully effective medication.

Adolescent years can be a difficult parenting time on it's own. Throw in neurological disorders, and problems seem to be magnified 10-times over.

But it can get better.

Welcome aboard.


Active Member
welcome, and I am sorry you are having such a nightmare. I am not sure if you and or he is getting counseling. I know my son would not listen to them either, but it helped me get stronger to go there.

it sounds like your son is on drugs with his moods and outbursts. my son chopped and snorted ritalin and did all kinds of drugs from age 13 to 21. he is drug free now and more easy to take, but he does drink every night. so it is better, he is older, and on his own, not my problem anymore.

can you give him a drug test? if the doctor knows he is drugging, he may not want him on any medications at all.