Mental Health referral for almost 7 year old...any experiences you can share? Long, but need to get this out :( - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 11 Old 05-22-2012, 08:18 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I am so upset with myself as a mother.  I have been crying all morning, wondering what exactly I did wrong, how I could help her more, is it all my fault etc.  My almost 7 year has turned into a child that I don't even want to be around and its breaking my heart.  She was my first baby, my little ball of love that I nursed and co-slept with until she was 3 years old.  

 

She has ALWAYS had anger issues, even as an infant.  She would play with other baby's and if one of the other baby's had a toy she wanted or took something from her she would get extremely angry, scream like a banshee, hit me, etc.  She also had social issues such as EXTREME anxiety about strangers (would freeze, refuse to walk past them, and would just cry and cry and cry) and would refuse to speak to even family members like my brother.  (She didn't speak to him for the first 4 years of her life!)  

 

When she was two, I tried to get her services through the early intervention program in NYC and they said she qualified and would have done in home therapy, etc.  My now ex, her father, forbid it, saying nothing was wrong with her and would not allow me to keep the in home appointment.  (He didn't want the "government" in our home telling him what to do).  I bowed to the pressure and cancelled the appointment and tried to work with her on my own.  We moved to Pennsylvania and I put her in a small private preschool to try to socialize her and it was working well until they closed because of lack of funds.  Switched her to another preschool and she did ok there, but they had to work with her a lot on the shyness and her frustrations when she couldn't complete a task and would lash out.

 

Fast forward to now.  She has a three year old little brother, she is almost 7 and is in 1st grade.  She gets good grades and has had only a few small issues in school - nothing academic all social.  I left their father last year after many years of emotional, financial, verbal and mental abuse.  Got a job, took the kids and moved out.  Its been rough, but the final straw was watching my 5 year old daughter hold my 1 year old son in the kitchen while he cried and she said "Its ok, I'm here for you. Don't cry." because their father was having a freak out episode and I was trying to defend myself.  

 

Through all of these years, DD has had issues with extreme reactions to what would be a normal situation to anyone else.  If she is told she can not do something she becomes extremely violent, screaming, punching and kicking me, trying to hurt herself, telling us she wants to die, calling me names, etc.  I've tried gentle discipline, I've tried the advice in "raising you spirited child", I've taken parenting classes and read discipline books repeatedly.  Her reactions are well beyond the norm and none of these are effective with her at all.  Several people have made statements about this all being a reaction to the various changes that have happened in her life in the last 18 months - the split with their father, my meeting and becoming engaged to another man, our move to our own place, then our move in with my fiance, etc and while normally I would agree it was a lot to deal with, her behavior is no different then it was when we lived with their dad and life was "normal".  In fact, she is slightly better now, as there is no stress from the ex and I fighting all the time and she absolutely adores my fiance.  

 

I tried speaking to her pediatrician last week about the issues and I don't think she quite understood the severity of what is going on at home.  I took the bull by the horns this morning and called the mental health referral service from our insurance to get her help.  Her father has been diagnosed since I left with a large number of issues (Bi-polar, depression, manic, OCD, ADHD) and is on multiple medications right now (Lithium, Paxil, and a mood stabilizer), and depression runs in my family.  

 

I'm scared for my daughter, I'm scared for the health of my family, I'm 7 weeks pregnant and overly emotional about everything - I literally have been crying on and off since 7:30 this morning after yet another issue with her.  I dread calling her father to speak to him about any of this because he will fly off the handle and blame me for it all, as he always does.  

 

Thanks for listening/reading.  

 

Liz


Loving WAHM/Student Mommy to DD (6.5) and DS (2.5)  

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#2 of 11 Old 05-22-2012, 10:13 AM
 
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so sorry to read what you are going thru!

 

 

 

Quote:
I tried speaking to her pediatrician last week about the issues and I don't think she quite understood the severity of what is going on at home.  I took the bull by the horns this morning and called the mental health referral service from our insurance to get her help. 

I am also in PA - and to let you know, you may based on your insurance need your ped to refer 

 

If you are not getting through to your ped- FIND ANOTHER-ASAP!

 

I don't know where you are but Philly has children's (very good) but also LV is great- as well as Geisinger- NEPA is kind of spread out and you really should look to a larger hospitable with experienced dr's- most peds in the area do not deal with this so ask your insurance where you can go - it may mean a drive but better than wasting months, hope that your mental health referral acts and does not give you a slow run around

 

best of luck


 

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#3 of 11 Old 05-22-2012, 10:25 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you serenbat,

 

Right now the kids have Access through Medicaid because my income is low and I'm self employed.  I called the Behavioral Health Services number for Access and they do the referral them selves thankfully and I won't need the ped to do it.  She is a good ped otherwise, we just switched to her this year because the other ones in the area are not my cup of tea and we butted heads way to often.  I also have to bring DD back to her in three months because they think she has the beginnings of scoliosis and they are monitoring her for it now.  

 

I'm in NEPA, so Geisinger would be an option as well if this doesn't pan out.

 

 

I just spoke their dad about all of this and he again tried to talk me out of getting her help, saying that they are going to take her away from us and blame us.  It turned into an hour and half long phone call of me explaining that with his history, and my family history, if we ignore this then they would be right to take her away for not helping her and for ignoring it.  I am absolutely exhausted from all of this :(


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#4 of 11 Old 05-22-2012, 03:53 PM
 
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I recommend looking into the gut brain axis and gut healing protocols for dysbiosis symptoms and leaky (permeable) gut, would drastically up the micronutrients in addition to checking out the gut to make sure needed-brain-nutrients are being absorbed in the first place.  I would turn to the information put out by the Weston A Price Foundation for children's healing for help.  Good luck.

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#5 of 11 Old 05-22-2012, 08:21 PM
 
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Deep breaths. First, does her dad have any legal say in this issue? What about if you skip the conversation and specifically ask the doctor to write for mental health evaluation? Could that give you some leverage? Second, it sounds like she has had a traumatic childhood. Life was never normal for her. It is great that you have chosen to remove her from a negative environment. Now she may need some professional help processing all of the things that have happened - living in an abusive household, a father with mental illness, etc, alot to happen for a child of such a young age. Alot. It sounds like she wants and needs control. Really normal for someone who has had an unpredictable life. I applaud you for seeking this intervention for your daughter. She needs you, she needs this.
 

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#6 of 11 Old 05-22-2012, 09:14 PM
 
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Stop asking your ex for input/permission.  Trust your gut, follow your instincts, and get your dd the help she needs.  If the Medicaid psychiatrists are not current on early-onset bipolar disorder, find a way to take her to Mani Pavuluri in Chicago.  Dr. Pavuluri is on the cutting edge of pediatric bipolar research.  It's just $500 for an initial eval, and that is considerably cheaper than anyone else I have found.  We are likely going there in the next year or two.  My son could be your dd's twin.  His father has been dx with BPD and schizophrenia (not both concurrently, it's just that the doctors around here suck and they can't agree on what his problem is).

 

HTH and best wishes to you!


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#7 of 11 Old 05-22-2012, 10:50 PM
 
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My sympathies.

First of all, stop blaming yourself. Not amount of AP, BF, co sleeping or organic food will prevent genetic mental illness

 

Secondly, hooray for getting professional help. Most of the parent wait too long

 

Third,  men tall illness is just like physical illness and often requires real and serious meds.

 

Fourth, but not last, Do not loose hope. My son had many of behaviors your describe. Started around 7. Bipolar runs in my family.

 

He has great psychiatry who evaluated him. We tried various thing but it was obvious that meds were needed. He took Lithium and Abilify and MEtfomin (For side effects) and therapeutic school

 

Medications changed his life.  And hours. And family therapy.

 

Instead of angry, explosive, manic, depressed, anxious, unable to function child, we now have a 16 yo who graduated HS 2 years early, has an intership, cook dinner for his family and has an internship.

 

We also learned from out doctor that about 1/3 of children with bipolar disorder can decrease or completely stop meds after puberty according to a study in New England Journal of Medicine study. Our son now take a very small does of medication.

 

 

When my kid was 7 I thought that he would end up in state mental state hospital or juvenile hall.

 

 

Do not loose hope. You did nothing wrong. Get professional help for your child.   Many people with mentally illness are interesting people who function very well. No one is going to blame you for getting help. It is opposite actually. Do not listen to her dad.

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#8 of 11 Old 05-23-2012, 04:23 AM
 
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Quote:

Right now the kids have Access through Medicaid because my income is low and I'm self employed.  I called the Behavioral Health Services number for Access and they do the referral them selves thankfully and I won't need the ped to do it.  She is a good ped otherwise, we just switched to her this year because the other ones in the area are not my cup of tea and we butted heads way to often.  I also have to bring DD back to her in three months because they think she has the beginnings of scoliosis and they are monitoring her for it now.  

 

I'm in NEPA, so Geisinger would be an option as well if this doesn't pan out.

 

you have the right to change drs and object to who they give you- ask to see a ped specialist (Call on your own at Geisinger and see who takes Access) and if they don't put you with a TRUE specialist- tell them you found one and ask to go there-

 

......and if they see the beginnings of scoliosis don't wait on that either- see a SPECIALIST as soon as you can- you should have not only her ped but a specialist looking at that- again, Geisinger, you would need that if the scoliosis is advancing- really you should have no problem getting someon, again, you can like the ped but you can say- I just want another opinion- I WANT TO SEE A SPECIALIST-now!!! that is something you also DO NOT WANT TO WAIT ON- at least get a second set of eyes looking at that


 

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#9 of 11 Old 05-23-2012, 07:53 PM
 
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Yes, it is important to see pediatric psychiatrist. If meds are needed, insist on starting with the lowest dose.

 

Also, do not accpet weight gain as normal. One can change med or add Metformin.
 

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#10 of 11 Old 05-25-2012, 07:00 PM
 
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I am on the board of The Balanced Mind Foundation.  It provides support to kids with mood disorders.  There are a ton of resources on the site and you can join one of the online support groups that pairs you with moms who have kids the same age with the same issues - and ask questions and GET SUPPORT.

https://www.thebalancedmind.org/

 

I can second the recommendation for Dr. Pavuluri in Chicago.  She is amazing and has saved our child and our family.  I do know that there are a number of options in PA as well - the Balanced MInd allows you to search for providers. http://www.thebalancedmind.org/connect/find

 

it's free to sign up and use the services, including the helpline.  http://www.thebalancedmind.org/learn/frt-form

 

Good luck!! you CAN Get help.

 

-Rebecca

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#11 of 11 Old 05-27-2012, 04:09 PM
 
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I also want to recommend NAMI

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