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Help! Severe Aggressive/Defiant Behavior! - Page 2

post #21 of 494
I have some family experience w/ bipolar. In the child I knew (he's grown now) it wasn't constant - he would be fine, "normal" for a period (weeks, sometimes months) and then a long major instability phase of lots of up-and-down swings. This started when he was 5 and was not well-controlled until early 20s. He was terrifying to be around during these swings, would attack people for anything. Kids don't always show the same patterns of behavior as adults, and bipolar is very rare in kids, so you might want to make sure the therapist/doctor have considered ALL the possibilities.
Based on the history you mentioned, they would also considered things like attachment disorder, right (much more common in kids).
As far as the medication - if he needs it, he needs it. "Off label" just means the FDA didn't officially say "Ok, use it for that" - drugs are used off-label all the time. Especially for kids - ALL antipsychotics are off-label for kids and for the majority of diagnoses they are used for as well. It's just too difficult and expensive to do a full study on every option, so they use their best guess to decide.
I am like you, very suspicious of the medication option, but sometimes it is needed. If you want to give it a go, on a trial basis, make sure your prescribing doc is aware of that and you have worked out a reassessment appointment/Plan B idea before he takes the first pill. You don't want to be fumbling when time comes to make the keep-it-or-lose-it discussion. The doc might have different ideas than you - he/she might want to keep the meds if they work, while you might want to drop them anyway because side effects are too much...it should be worked out ahead of time or it can be much harder to convince them to agree with dropping. (Of course, hopefully you won't need to have that kind of talk in the first place!)
Good luck!! <hug>
post #22 of 494
It's really unfair of your parents using the fact that your DS is worse for you to say his behavior is your fault. Children's behavior is often worse for their primary caregiver because that's who they feel safest with. That's the person who will still love them and be nice to them regardless of what they do.
post #23 of 494
I thought as a medical person, I should reply.

First of all, as soon as you learn to accept an illness and diagnosis, the sooner you can move onto treating it. Today, still, there seems to be stigma attached to mental disorders, especially in children. But, with more research and development, we are finding that the same disorders that exist in adults exist in children (bi-polar disorder, depression, anxiety, etc.), and in children they are much more difficult to "control" without medication just because of the energy levels and their lack of understanding about their behavior and how it affects others.

Also, I've heard it said that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over, and expecting a different result. If you do the same things, you are going to get the same result.

Now, based on that, it sounds like you have done everything you can possibly do (except meds) to attempt to treat your son's aggression to no avail. You have gotten professional recommendations from his doctor and therapist as far as trying medication. Obviously, if they thought that straight therapy would help, they wouldn't have recommended the meds. And, just because whatever you read as far as Rispardil being using for schizophrenia doens't mean your son is a schizophrenic. I know somebody who takes Rispardil for insomnia. It just happens to be the best medication for aggression in children. Meds are used off label all the time. AND---taking medication is not a permanent thing, they can be stopped at any time. But, it certainly is worth a try. You can't continue being beat up, have no friends, your son have no friends, and living in fear all the time because you don't know what he's going to do.

And, as far as your parents "holding you responsible" if anything happens, screw them. First of all---you are an adult. You have a child. He is your child, not theirs----and frankly, it is none of their damned business what you do with him!! You do for your son what you feel you need to do to make his life and your life better. It sounds like they still have some sort of "control" over you, and use guilts trip to make you do what they want you to do. To hell with them. He is your son to raise, not theirs. You have to deal with his behaviors and outburts all the time, no them. Perhaps you should let them take him for a week or two and then see if they think he should be put on medication???? Let him bite them, kick them, hit them, spit on them for a few days and see how they like it----I can tell you, they won't. Don't feel like you have to *explain* why you are doing something to your parents!! It is none of their business what you are doing at all anynway!! You don't have to tell them that you put him on meds. You are a grown woman, living on her own with a child who need help. Do what you need to do to get him the help he needs.

The meds are worth a try, since everything else is not working. The insanity is not going away, so you need to do something different. You will notice pretty quickly if the meds are helping him or not. Even though it is difficult to put your child on meds, if they need them, they need them----I am sure you wouldn't think twice if he was a diabetic and needed insulin every day whether you would give it to him or not. This is the same thing. You shouldn't look at it any differently just because it has to do with his brain and not his blood sugar.
post #24 of 494
I totally agree with the PP, mama.

You are doing everything-- EVERYTHING-- and it isn't working.

So now it's time to try something different.

Maybe helping him get his emotions under control will be the first step towards helping him process all his trauma.

I am so, so sorry for all you have gone through. I cannot imagine how horrific all these things have been for you.
post #25 of 494
to you momma and your son.

I would try the medication. Once you guys get some breathing space, he may be able to heal enough to stop taking it, but you need to win that breathing space, no matter what it takes, to move forward.

V
post #26 of 494


I did not see if you had tried diet modification?

Because of the trauma history I would look at www.tir.org and see if a certified therapist is your area. Sometimes they work with children, and it's a very gentle therapy.
post #27 of 494
reading about the trauma you and your poor baby have gone through has brought me to tears. I am so sorry for everything have gone through and continue to go through.

You have received alot of good advice here. But I wonder.......................

Are you seeking some thereputic assitance for yourself? Your comments about being struck as a child, the trauma of the attempted break in, the HORRIFYING ABUSE of your little baby boy......Mama!! I would need atleast counseling for myself after such events. I wonder if alot of the behaviors your son is acting out have anything to do with your own sufferings being projected on a subconscience level? Im not saying that is the only root of the problem, I am just saying that while you are seeking help for your baby, i sure hope you are also seeking help for yourself.

Hoping you find peace for you and your little boy.
post #28 of 494
Quote:
Originally Posted by pomegranate View Post
i couldn't read without at least giving you a what you've been going through is obviously exhausting. you and your son are in my prayers.
Me too
post #29 of 494
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Oubliette8 View Post
I would actually try to avoid using antipsychotics, particularly in a child so young. I've been prescribed them off-label as an adult, and they are pretty scary. One of them did give me involuntary muscle spasms- it was painful and scary. Thankfully we discontinued the medication as soon as they appeared and they went away fully. I have met people who weren't so lucky. Some studies have also shown that atypical antipsychotics cause brain shrinkage in monkeys. And while the risk of developing permanent movement disorders (called tardive dyskinesia) is lower than on older antipsychotics, the longer a person remains on the drug, the greater the chances that they will develop. If you remain on them long enough, the risk can become astronomical- and this is in adults, where the drug has been tested. I've also known people who's doctors response to the development of these tics is to prescirbe another medication to treat the tics, while keeping them on the medication that is causing the tics because "they need it". What if your son starts on the drug at 4 and never reaches a point where they feel he can come off? By the time he is 24 he'll have been exposed to it for 2 decades. I just wouldn't use it if at all possible in a child with a developing brain- I'm wary about their use in adults as it is. Its also worth saying, these drugs are prescribed off label for any number of things- just because your son responds in a certain way t one of these drugs does not mean he has a condition- psychiatric conditions are diagnosed by behaviors, not by response to medications, because we simply don't understand the causality yet.

That said, I'm unsure what to recommend in its place. Is play therapy otherwise working for your child? I would look at getting him some trauma therapy, if its not being focused on in play therapy. It might also be worth looking for another therapist who uses a different discipline system. The ideas she is using may just not be the right fit for your son. Could you get some behavioral counseling in your home? I know this is something that my therapist's office does, they have behavioral technicians who can come and observe your childs behaviors in your own home, and help you work on properly applying parenting techniques- sometimes hearing and seeing are two different things you know? Both for you, implementing the technique, and for your therapist, who only hears your description of the behaviors. I hope you find something that works, and something that you are comfortable with for your son.
A lot of what you've said here echoes my concerns as a parent, and as someone who has been on medications to treat mental health problems (depression) and had some very bad side effects, I know how serious these medications can be.

I am also seriously listening to those who think medication should be tried, but I have to wonder if trying it is dangerous in itself? Can the medication cause permanent damage or change to his brain? Reading this post definitely makes me concerned that we could end up with more problems than we started with.

One person said that this is just like giving a child medication for diabetes, and I agree that mental illness can be like a physical illness and need medication, but when a child is so young (he just turned four years old) how can we really know what's wrong with him? With diabetes, you can do a blood test and find out for sure that the child has diabetes. This isn't the case with mental problems. There are no tests.

Another thing that has been upsetting to me coming from the medical community is that they keep saying, "Well, with you being a single mom and not having as much support, this is needed." It makes me feel like if I were part of a couple that we could somehow handle this differently, but because I am a single mom, we might as well just medicate him.

It's so confusing and upsetting. It's hard having to make these decisions on my own, and also to know that if I do decide to give him medication, my parents will be furious about it.
post #30 of 494
Thread Starter 
Hi Barbie:

Thanks for the post. Yes, I have been seeking counseling for myself, but I have Kaiser for insurance, and though I am allowed one visit per week for counseling under my benefits, I've only been receiving about one visit per month since they are so overbooked (I guess, or trying to save money, or both).

I do think that my son reacts strongly to my moods, and we've been under immense stress in the past few months. It's always been my worst fear that someone would try to break into my home to hurt me, and having that fear be realized was almost more than I could handle. Having my son there, a small child who was too terrified to cooperate with my instructions, made it a million times worse. I knew that my options to protect myself and him were much more limited with him there. By the time the police finally decided to show up (after two calls to 911, where I was begging and pleading for help) the man had almost completely broken our sliding glass door out of the wall. It was separated from the dry wall all the way around the door. He was literally moments from getting in, and he was armed with a box cutter and told the police he intended to use it on me.

Trying to deal with this on top of every day stresses, including my son, my job (I teach college and work the equivalent of almost two full time teaching jobs since I teach as an adjunct), and my parents (whom I feel tied to because I need SOME kind of help) has been almost more than I can bear.

I did call Kaiser yesterday to say that I REALLY needed help and needed to see someone more regularly. He really wanted to focus on me doing "deep breathing," as if that would magically solve all my problems. Finally I convinced him to get me in for EMDR therapy, which is the #1 therapy used for PTSD.

I feel like I haven't really been able to give my son a stable environment because of what we've been through over the past two years. Honestly, it has been complete hell. So sometimes that just makes me think maybe I am the one who needs medication! Maybe if I could be more calm, less depressed, more happy and upbeat and patient I could deal with him better.

I do really appreciate everyone's words of sympathy, support, and kindness. In the past two days I have sucked it up and drawn up all my remaining patience to be as kind and loving to my son as I can be, and he has improved, but there are still moments of incredible challenge every day. I don't know if I am completely ready to throw in the towel and try medication yet. Maybe I just need to try a little harder, a little longer.

Your words of encouragement do help give me strength and make me feel less alone, so thank you.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Barbie64g View Post
reading about the trauma you and your poor baby have gone through has brought me to tears. I am so sorry for everything have gone through and continue to go through.

You have received alot of good advice here. But I wonder.......................

Are you seeking some thereputic assitance for yourself? Your comments about being struck as a child, the trauma of the attempted break in, the HORRIFYING ABUSE of your little baby boy......Mama!! I would need atleast counseling for myself after such events. I wonder if alot of the behaviors your son is acting out have anything to do with your own sufferings being projected on a subconscience level? Im not saying that is the only root of the problem, I am just saying that while you are seeking help for your baby, i sure hope you are also seeking help for yourself.

Hoping you find peace for you and your little boy.
post #31 of 494
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by DianeMarie View Post
I thought as a medical person, I should reply.

And, as far as your parents "holding you responsible" if anything happens, screw them. First of all---you are an adult. You have a child. He is your child, not theirs----and frankly, it is none of their damned business what you do with him!! You do for your son what you feel you need to do to make his life and your life better. It sounds like they still have some sort of "control" over you, and use guilts trip to make you do what they want you to do. To hell with them. He is your son to raise, not theirs. You have to deal with his behaviors and outburts all the time, no them. Perhaps you should let them take him for a week or two and then see if they think he should be put on medication???? Let him bite them, kick them, hit them, spit on them for a few days and see how they like it----I can tell you, they won't. Don't feel like you have to *explain* why you are doing something to your parents!! It is none of their business what you are doing at all anynway!! You don't have to tell them that you put him on meds. You are a grown woman, living on her own with a child who need help. Do what you need to do to get him the help he needs.
I agree with you that I am an adult (35 years old too!) and I deserve to be treated as one. This has been a LONG standing issue with my parents. The problem is that since my son does not see his father and I don't receive child support, my parents have been helping me by paying for his childcare, which make them (my dad in particular) think that they have a say in our lives. They also watch my son one or two nights a week (overnight) so I can work, so they do have him a good chunk of time. If he was on medication, they would have to give it to him when he was there, so they would have to know. Their behavior is completely shitty and completely unsupportive though. My brother and I minded them because we were terrified of them hitting and spanking us (which they've never done to my son and now say it was wrong). I just don't think they know what it's like to parent a child who isn't terrified of you.

I wish I could have them not be such a presence in my life, but right now I don't see any way around it that would really be feasible.


Quote:
Originally Posted by ssh View Post
It's really unfair of your parents using the fact that your DS is worse for you to say his behavior is your fault. Children's behavior is often worse for their primary caregiver because that's who they feel safest with. That's the person who will still love them and be nice to them regardless of what they do.
I totally agree with you, and other people have told me that as well: "Kids are always the worst for their parents." Whenever my son acts up when my parents are around, my dad will always do this sort of snort and then say, "Well, he never acts like this for us! You need to do better than this," referring to me needing to do better. But if I try to put my son in time out, my dad will say, "We're not going to be doing time outs all day," as if it's his decision. It's like my son and I are the children, and they are the parents. It is really very shitty and painful.

Honestly, there are so many components to this mess that it's hard to know what's causing it. I think that's another thing that gives me pause. My son has had more trauma in his four years than many people have in 20 or 40 years. No one has ever diagnosed him with a mental disorder; they've only said that he has "emotional disregulation." Who wouldn't under similar circumstances?

To give a fair assessment of his behavior, I'd have to say that his aggression overall has decreased over the past year or so, but it's still at an unacceptable level, and simple things, like the activities of daily life, are often impossible because of his behavior (screaming, throwing himself down on the floor, refusing to walk, etc) even when that behavior isn't exactly aggressive.
post #32 of 494
Thread Starter 
Just to be clear, my son has NOT been diagnosed as bipolar or with any mental illness of any kind. They have only described him as having "emotional disregulation." I've asked about Oppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD) because a therapist friend of mine said that's what it sounds like, and reading the description, that sounds like a pretty good description of his behavior.

Some of the people who read my description of my son's behavior have kids who are bipolar or know about bipolar disorder and thought it sounded like a possible diagnosis, but nothing has been diagnosed yet.

I guess if somone said, "Your son has X, and this is the recommended medication," maybe I would feel more convinced, just like the people who are mentioning diabetes and saying I'd give my son insulin if he had diabetes, right? Of course. To continue the analogy, this is like saying, "Something is wrong with your son, and we're not sure what it is, but we'd like to give him insulin and see if he feels better. If the insulin makes him sick, we can always stop it and try something else, like maybe medication to reduce his blood pressure." That's how it feels to me! It seems sort of like throwing darts while blindfolded and hoping to hit the right thing.
post #33 of 494

I think many people have given great advice. I have no experience with meds as such...
I wonder...Have you tried Martial Arts? This is an excellent place to help teach him about dealing with any anger/agression he may have. It is also a great outlet (the various heavy bags, not the other students )
post #34 of 494
If you're concerned about the side effects of this specific drug, you might consider asking if there's anything that isn't as "hard core" that you can try. Maybe talk withhis doctor/therapist about what different things might be going on and the different meds to treat those disorders and start with whatever medication has the least potential for serious side effects. For example, if they think he could have ADHD with an aggressive streak due to the trauma, maybe trying a commonly used ADHD med before moving to bipolar meds or antipsychotic meds might be worth trying. Is he getting enough sleep? Lack of sleep can cause serious behavior issues, so if sleep is a problem, you might start with a med designed specifically to regulate sleep.

How well does he speak? You said you were worried that he wasn't old enough to tell you if he was having side affects. At almost 4, I think most kids could tell you if the meds were making them feel weird. Two of my kids could have very clearly articulated what was wrong at that age. My current almost 4 year old has a pretty significant speech delay, but still is able to communicate when he's feeling ill, and generally can make me understand what's bugging him. I'm only asking because I'm wondering if communication issues are another piece to his puzzle. My youngest is far more aggressive than my olders were at his age, and I think a lot of it has to do with his communication skills. While my oldest could throw a whopper of a tantrum, he would also be able to clearly scream exactly what was bugging him, and I think that made him less likely to lash out physically. My youngest will walk up and wallop someone who has a toy he wants because he can't figure out how to ask for it.
post #35 of 494
Thread Starter 

Thank you for the "I love you"

Dear Lightbearer:

Thank you for the "I love you." I just saw that at the end of your post and it made me cry. I can always count on MDC for the kindness of complete strangers, and to send out your love and compassion to someone you've never met (which MANY of you are doing! THANK YOU!) it really means a lot.

I think one way that the guilt comes in for me is that I am often just SO TIRED. I know I should be playing with him, interacting more, planning activities, but his behavior is so exhausting and my work schedule so demanding that I am just wiped out all the time. I've just started exercising again for the first time in five years, and I am hoping this will help me with my energy levels. I need to get back to the acupuncturist, chiropractor, and massage therapist. I need to recharge.

I guess what I am really hoping for here, in addition to people's experiences with and thoughts on medication for children, I am also hoping for some ideas for one big last ditch effort. I haven't completely given up hope yet, but neither do I want this behavior to go on too long. I know something has to change.

Quote:
Originally Posted by TheLightbearer View Post
I would definitely try nature therapy and art therapy first. I have always had success with these and you do not need to be an expert in either of these fields to do them. Take your son into nature every day. Make it an adventure, especially let him dig in the dirt and help you plant and care for flowers, trees, etc...There is a wonderful book called Last Child in the Woods which is fantastic and I highly recommend it.
Leave art supplies in every area he plays in-clay, crayons, washable markers, watercolors. Cover your kitchen table with butcher paper instead of a table cloth and put crayons in a vase instead of flowers. Set up a messy zone where he can use paint unrestricted on large canvases or scraps of fabric. Shower curtains are great for covering flooring during painting.
If an adult went through the trauma that your son did, a lot of therapy would be prescribed. But he is a child and although medication will change his behavior, it will not heal what he has been through. Of course he is furious! I was too just reading what has happened to him. He has been betrayed by adults he trusted and that is no small thing. He needs the right kind of therapy which is age appropriate. I combine art and nature therapy and I have worked with some very aggressive children. It always works but I have found that they work better in conjunction than one or the other alone in serious cases.
I am sending you so much love and healing. Please feel free to contact me if you need any ideas. I know you can do this. Hang in there and take care of yourself, Mama. I love you.
post #36 of 494
Thread Starter 
Actually, my son is extremely articulate. His vocabulary and understanding even at age two was developed enough that he told me, verbatim, "The teacher hit my penis" (whilst he was screaming and sobbing in pain as I removed his diaper and was wondering what the heck was going on!).

He is very bright. The only problem is that he often keeps his feelings to himself, or he will hint at things but not really explain it. He told me that he's been feeling "sad" at preschool, but when I tried to talk with him about it, he refused to tell me why. "I can't talk about it," he said.

I am concerned that he might not be able to explain feelings (physical or mental) that he has no words for. And again, I've read of some kids developing side effects on this medication that didn't go away after stopping the medication, so that concerns me as well.

Right now they are saying that this is "really the only thing" for his problem.

Honestly, sometimes I think I am exaggerating his behavior, but other people (including his therapist and, of course, my parents) have seen it, so I know I am not crazy. There have been times when, honestly, if I believed in demon possession, I would think he was possessed!

Quote:
Originally Posted by eclipse View Post
How well does he speak? You said you were worried that he wasn't old enough to tell you if he was having side affects. At almost 4, I think most kids could tell you if the meds were making them feel weird. Two of my kids could have very clearly articulated what was wrong at that age. My current almost 4 year old has a pretty significant speech delay, but still is able to communicate when he's feeling ill, and generally can make me understand what's bugging him. I'm only asking because I'm wondering if communication issues are another piece to his puzzle. My youngest is far more aggressive than my olders were at his age, and I think a lot of it has to do with his communication skills. While my oldest could throw a whopper of a tantrum, he would also be able to clearly scream exactly what was bugging him, and I think that made him less likely to lash out physically. My youngest will walk up and wallop someone who has a toy he wants because he can't figure out how to ask for it.
post #37 of 494
Thread Starter 
I really appreciate you sharing your experience. I have often worried about what my son might be like as an older child. Right now he's only four and he is almost too strong for me now!

One of my therapist friends said she thought my son might have ODD, and in reading the description, it sounds a lot like him. Of course I hope that all of this is just from the trauma he's been through in his short little life and that he will grow out of it.

Thanks so much for the book recommendation! I will definitely check it out!!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by fairymom View Post
My son (14) has ADHD and ODD (oppisitional deifiant disorder) and was very aggressive towards me.(At his worst he tried to strangle me w/a electric cord- I brought him to the ER because I didn't know what else i could do and the dr. didn't want to commit him because he was really upset w/himself and remorseful for what he'd done- he was off his meds- refusing to take them and agreed to take them willing as part of his plan to go home) He has been taking meds for his ADHD for the past 2 years and things for him/us have improved greatly!

I too tried to avoid meds for him (when he was 1st dx @ 8) and we tried lots of different more natural ways to help him but they did not work then. Some have helped NOW that's he's older- like elimination of sugars and food dyes. But as for right now we're continuing w/his meds. Its whats best for him.

When we were seeing a phsycoligist a few years ago she recommended the book The Explosive Child by Ross Greene- not for the ADHD but for the ODD and the aggresive behavior. Its a really good book IMO and has good ideas on how to deal w/blowups- and I found it alot more gentle than some.

I am giving you my experience here w/my son. None of this my work for your but I really wanted you to know you're not alone in this and please- I know how easy it is- don't blame yourself or your parenting skills for this. I took me a long time not to blame myself and to realize this is him (but not his fault,IKWIM?) and I have to do my part as his parent and love him. BIG HUGS!

As for your parents and their OP- well its just that their OP and they can have it BUT they are not raising him or living w/him- and to be honset don't sound all that great in the first place. He's YOUR boy and YOU worry about him- forget about them. You don't even have to tell them if you decide to put him on meds- it none of their business!
post #38 of 494
You asked if just trying the drug can be dangerous, and I'd have to say it can be. You never know how many doses it will take before tardive dyskinesia sets in, although the risk increases the longer it is taken. As an adult, when I developed extrapyramidal symptoms (uncontrollable muscle movements in my face and neck) I could not describe what was going on. I had no idea it was my medication. I would have continued taking it thinking I was otherwise ill, or that they were odd symptoms of my PTSD before I attributed it to the drugs. Thankfully my therapist took one look at me and told me to call my doctor ASAP. They weren't minor signs either- I had to bite my lip to keep it from curling up, and my neck was so sore that I could not hold my head up for more than a few minutes. Other, generally reversible symptoms can include increased agitation, and a sort of fogging of the your thinking. I often felt that I could not think, and attributed it to my mental health DX instead of the drugs at the time. I'm unsure that a 4 year old would be able to identify these issues, or say that they come from the medication. I'm not trying to scare you, merely trying to answer your question based on my experience. There are, of course, people who take these drugs with NO side effects and for whom they are beneficial.

I'm wondering, and I should say I'm not a doctor, if they would consider trying an anti-anxiety medication first? Risperidal is largely unstudied in young children, so I'm unsure if they would be any more inappropriate than that. it would still be off label usage. My thought being, if its a manifestation of Post traumatic stress, the acting out may be your sons way of dealing with his fears and anxiety that he cannot otherwise express. And anti-anxiety drugs generally have a calming effect. The upside is, they tend to have fewer, and less serious side effects than antipsychotics or antidepressants. It might be something to think about.

I do want to say that I've never been in your situation and have no idea what I would do if I was. I don't think there is any one right answer. Its great to see you are looking at all options, I'm sure whatever decision you make will be well supported.
post #39 of 494
Quote:
Originally Posted by Oubliette8 View Post
I'm wondering, and I should say I'm not a doctor, if they would consider trying an anti-anxiety medication first? Risperidal is largely unstudied in young children, so I'm unsure if they would be any more inappropriate than that. it would still be off label usage. My thought being, if its a manifestation of Post traumatic stress, the acting out may be your sons way of dealing with his fears and anxiety that he cannot otherwise express. And anti-anxiety drugs generally have a calming effect. The upside is, they tend to have fewer, and less serious side effects than antipsychotics or antidepressants. It might be something to think about.
This is sort of what I was getting at when I asked about talking to the doctors about other treatments. It seems like a big jump to go from no meds to something like Risperidal. While there are some people, probably even kids, who need meds like Risperidal, it seems like it's a huge jump if they haven't even officially diagnosed him with anything. I wonder if you're clear with them that you aren't willing to put him on Risperidal (even if you would consider it down the line) but are open to exploring other med options if they would come up with some other ideas. I would ask specifically about anti-anxiety meds.
post #40 of 494
Given the violence inflicted on you by this child over the past four years, I would say you are past the point of seeking some "last ditch effort."

You have diligently sought and tried all sorts of things for your child. You have made what sounds like a huge effort to treat him using everything but meds.

It isn't working. I think you need to stop looking at the past (i.e. the trauma that may be playing into his behavior) and concentrate on the reality: the behavior itself. I am the last person to jump on the MEDICATE! bandwagon. If you hadn't tried anything else, I would suggest therapy. But you have tried other methods. You have tried very hard. It is time to try - just try - medication. Frankly, I can't imagine how any side effect could be worse than the behavior you both are dealing with every day.

I also think you should try your best to stop blaming your son's behavior on your moods or your parenting. Obviously there are many frazzled single mamas out there who lose it now and then with their children. Those children don't generally display the same extreme behaviors as your son. This isn't something you are causing.

It can't hurt to try the meds. As a pp suggested, you can certainly talk to your doctors about all the options out there. But as another pp's experience shows, I think you also need to be prepared to experiment until you find the dosage/med that works for your son.

Hang in there. And definitely, tell your folks to back off!
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