My son is always so angry. Does this sound like ODD? - Page 2 - Mothering Forums
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#31 of 38 Old 12-27-2012, 08:28 PM
 
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So I don't really understand what you mean by "true" mental illness, all we have are labels made up from a menu of behaviors published in a book.

 

If you have actually seen a person with a true case of bipolar disorder or schizophrenia you would not be asking this. 


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#32 of 38 Old 12-27-2012, 09:53 PM
 
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While there are plenty of examples of the rare individual whose mental illness does not change at all as a result of food,

 

I hate to quote myself here, but this is your validation, if you want to see it, Heavenly. If you are a parent who has gone through the gamut, then you carry a special kind of advocacy that you have learned along the way. Sometimes people will find your passion offputting, but don't let that stop you. People are not taking your experience and knowledge away by suggesting a look at food, but you have BTDT and already know that is a reasonable thing to examine, since you have already done it.

 

Most parents who present with kids that initially appear to carry the full range of bipolar symptoms and perhaps even have a whole family full of people who carry a bipolar disorder may not walk away with that diagnosis confirmed. There are a whole lot of people who are "diagnosed" by the net, by well-meaning friends, etc. that don't actually carry it, but it does take an evaluation in many cases to be certain. (It would, however, be good to examine those nutritional aspects while also self-diagnosing on the internet, too...it would save a step with the therapist/psychologist/inpatient unit, is what I'm getting at.)

 

But honestly, "mental illness" also includes such things as adjustment disorder, depression, anxiety, etc., and those indeed can be affected by food. Conditions such as pediatric bipolar disorder and childhood schizophrenia are so very rare that they encompass a very small percentage of the overall concept of mental illness. Parents who must live it every day really do not feel as if it is rare, because it's what they experience 24/7....but it really is.

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#33 of 38 Old 12-27-2012, 10:10 PM
 
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No one said that moms whose kids take meds never tried anything. Perhaps those who tried dietary changes to no avail believe that they should help others save time. But what if the dietary change works in this case, and the mom is talked out of trying, and spends years trying different meds, only to discover a dietary change that works? She will regret the years wasted on medication. So, without a crystal ball, it's a try and see if it fails scenario, either way.
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#34 of 38 Old 12-28-2012, 06:26 AM
 
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So I don't really understand what you mean by "true" mental illness, all we have are labels made up from a menu of behaviors published in a book.

 

If you have actually seen a person with a true case of bipolar disorder or schizophrenia you would not be asking this. 

 

I am merely stating how mental disorders are diagnosed. There is no blood test, saliva test, genetic test, or any other biological test for these conditions. There are very distressed people who's symptoms fit certain criteria, as described in the DSM, that get labeled bipolar or schizophrenic. That's all. How can you say what is true and what is not true in a subjective diagnosis? All you can have is degrees of severity. 

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#35 of 38 Old 02-27-2013, 10:01 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for the replies, all appreciated.  Continued comments appreciated and will be read, or just feel free to vent.  It made me feel a lot better, this is therapeutic.  Thank you everyone!  We are working on this...

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#36 of 38 Old 03-04-2013, 06:52 PM
 
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 Unexpected circumstances and unmet expectations.  I realized he did not deal well with these things when he was a baby and am so used to dealing with it in prevention mode, I didn't talk about it yesterday.

 

I am far from any expert, but this sounds like he might have a mild form of autism. I know a lady who adopted a son who has to have everything "just so". She has to let him know in advance exactly what to expect. I believe he has been labeled as autistic.

 

I have heard of natural means to deal with autism, but I have not pursued anything like this because my child's outbursts were different. Pulling her out of public school made such a huge difference, that I refused to allow her to return even when she wanted to (usually, because a friend had convinced her it was a good idea). I valued the safety of my other children and myself too much.

 

I have heard that autism may be caused by vaccinations. I know there are ideas out there of cleansing a child's body of the vaccines' effects. I don't know if they work, or how well they work. I am not saying vaccines do or don't cause this problem. I am just throwing out ideas (that may have already been mentioned; I don't know). Anyway, it seems that the vaccine damages the nervous system or something. I'm not quite sure.

 

Google searches may turn up something, if you're interested in pursuing that avenue. Dr. Mercola comes up as an idea for a search term. It may or may not help. It just popped into my head.

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#37 of 38 Old 03-06-2013, 11:36 AM
 
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Your son's behaviors do also sound to me like high-functioning autism (PDD-NOS, Aspergers). I have three children on the spectrum, and two with behaviors that manifest similar to your son's. The doctor we are currently seeing (who is brilliant BTW!) said that 95% of kids with ASD have symptoms of ODD. They are oppositional in response to being constantly overwhelmed and confused and frustrated. The world doesn't make sense to these kids! Their brains work differently. So they try to make it make sense and attach themselves to certain expectations and then when that doesn't happen it just feels like everything is coming apart. ASD kids usually have a terrible time with transitions, changes in plans and schedules, and things not turning out how they expected. Their emotional response is often out of proportion to the event. They can express this physically through tantrums (hitting, kicking, screaming) and verbally through "ranting and raving" ("everything is horrible, you never _______, you always _________, you don't care about me, I hate life! etc) My oldest does that outwardly - lashing out at me and others, my youngest with ASD does that inwardly, lashing out at himself. 

 

You describe that your son is starting to have social problems. Its common for higher functioning kids to have social problems in later childhood while perhaps not in early childhood (or at least not in ways that seem obvious to us). The nuances of social interaction become more complex as children grow and children with social delays start to struggle as that gap widens between them and their peers. School and home pressures also begin to increase as we expect more of the child. They start to crack under the pressure and symptoms previously unnoticed really start to show through. 

 

It also sounds like your child has sensory issues relating to touch (tactile) and food (gustatory). Rejecting (loudly) the sunscreen is a tactile sensory issue. Eating only crunchy brown or white foods is extremely common in kids on the spectrum. We call it the "beige" diet. My oldest with Aspergers at that age would only eat milk, cereal, chicken nuggets, fries, grilled cheese, cheese pizza (his only source of veggies was that red sauce!), and toast. Maybe an occasional grape or slice of watermelon (both crunchy-type fruits). Being "addicted" to dairy and wheat based foods is also extremely common. And it may (or may not) be to blame for some of the outbursts. The damage to his gut from food sensitivities and a limited diet makes him less likely to absorb nutrients from his food, and the proteins in wheat and dairy aren't properly broken down and can leak into the bloodstream and get past the blood/brain barrier and cause all sorts of behavior issues. Weak liver detox (from both a limited diet and possibly heredity) make processing food chemicals like additives and dyes harder and also can lead to behavior issues.  

 

I truly understand the heartache and struggle that can ensue with food issues. I was not able to conquer it with my oldest. He was 13 by the time I learned about this and we tried but I couldn't take the ensuing tantrums of an adult-sized kid. But at 7? You betcha I'd do the GFCF diet it in a heartbeat. I am doing it with my 11 year old. We cut out all dairy and gluten about 8 weeks ago and he is a different kid. Seriously. Went from having those "angry at the whole world" episodes daily to maybe 2-3 X a month. You have to stick with it and you have to be prepared to endure the withdrawal behaviors, but its so worth it. Our health plan is very similar to another poster  - GFCF diet, no food dyes or preservatives, plenty of sleep with melantonin if needed, a simple home life with a predicable schedule (the last bad tantrum my DS had was after a marathon shopping trip), eliminate screens and media (this triggers aggression and irritability within hours), and getting exercise and sunshine (if you can find it lol). I agree with the other mama that nature walks, bike riding, and swimming have a centering effect on the brain. But again, make it simple, and predictable. Communicate clearly the when, where, how long, etc. Stay away from "overstimulating" environments like shopping centers, children's museums, and such for while. If you need to do it, keep it short.

 

I would highly recommend that you ask for an evaluation at his school. I think with a child this unhappy, this severely affecting family life and dynamics, you need the support a "label" provides. I doesn't mean you need to put your child on meds or in therapy. It just means you know from which sources to find your information. Ask for an ADOS from the school psychologist. This will give or rule out a diagnosis of ASD at no cost to you. If your child is on the spectrum, you need to know. You will have to adjust your parenting and your approach to him at home and school to give him the best chance at success. Its better to do this sooner than later. If not, then you can move on to other approaches, perhaps seeing a psychologist to evaluate for mood disorders, ADHD, etc. And unfortunately, it is possible to have both ASD and co-existing conditions such as bipolar. But everything will be colored differently if a child has autism so that is the first step, IMO. Big hugs and hope you find your answers soon, mama.

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#38 of 38 Old 03-06-2013, 04:38 PM
 
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Earthmama, thank you for that wonderful description. I am sending it to my mother to illustrate more fully about my son's issues. It is a good reminder for all ASD parents!

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