Bipolar child getting violent...need support - Mothering Forums

 
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#1 of 13 Old 12-12-2006, 02:35 PM - Thread Starter
 
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My son has a major family history of bipolar disorder and has been showing signs of it himself for years. Without going into the past, here is what is going on right now. btw, 2 docs and a social worker think he is bp.

He has temper tantrums (he is 11) and destroys his own things, or hits himself. He has remorse afterwards, but can't control himself at the time. He can be articulate about his feelings when he is not in the middle of them, but only to me. He says that he gets so angry that he doesn't know what he will do, he tells me that he will destroy his own things (expensive things, like PS1's and rare comic books that he collects) He asks me what to do when he is angry, I don't know what to tell him except to hit a pillow, go in his room and scream into a pillow, put music on and draw to help change his mood...he counters everything I say.

He has started hitting his little sister, and kicking the cat, he even told me that he was afraid he would kill the cat one day because he can't help himself when he gets angry (major red flag)

He won't talk to a therapist, only to me. He won't take meds because he can't swallow pills. He had a fish oil cap dissolve in his mouth once and can't do it ever since.

I'm calling a psychiatrist today after I finish this post, I feel it is an emergency.

He tells me that he feels like he doesn't fit in with the other kids at school, he is tired of being different. He makes average grades and the other kids make a and b grades. He tells me that he doesn't want to do the work, and doesn't do it. I can't force him to actually do his homework, he can (and does) write anything so it looks like he has done it...he says that he is different bc he doesn't care as much as the other students, he then goes on to say that his life has no meaning and he wishes he was in a car accident and was dead bcause of it

He has threatened suicide more that a few times.

I need to keep DD and the cat safe, I've almost called his doctor to have him hospitalized during those times. Life is so horrible when he hangs his little dark cloud over the family. I know he needs help, but the whole family is being affected by his illness. I feel horrible saying that bc I know he can't help it, but I am definately not the parent I want to be with him. GD doesn't work, punishment definately doesn't work. I am at my wit's end (I am also a single mother)

I am getting counseling and DD is seeing a play therapist. Like I said, I'm calling to get him in to see his doctor again.

I don't know why I am posting, I feel so alone in this. I don't know anyone else IRL that has this issue. No one seems to understand how bad it is...the only things that lets people know how serious it is is the fact that he is hurting the cat and his sister (mostly the cat)

I find myself afraid of him, I don't want to give him any ideas by even approaching him at times (ex/ giving him the idea to hurt his sister in her sleep by checking on her) This is really messed up


Does anyone else go through this with a bipolar child?

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#2 of 13 Old 12-12-2006, 03:03 PM
 
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Pming you.
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#3 of 13 Old 12-12-2006, 04:22 PM
 
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Beloved,

I found The Explosive Child to help me understand my emotional reactions as much as our son's. We are both intense people. I wanted to mention The Feingold Diet (see www.feingold.org ) related to artificial colors, flavors, preservatives, and high salicylate loading. And dairy, soy, wheat, and high fructose corn syrup all are associated with hyper aggressive behaviors in our son.

Naomi Aldort's new book Raising Our Children, Raising Ourselves and Sheedy Kurchina's Raising Your Spirited Child both helped me learn communication tools of validation.
http://www.amazon.com/Raising-Childr...e=UTF8&s=books
http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg...23288?v=glance

You might also see if the traits of "The Highly Sensitive Child" match your son's temperment. Our son is auditorially sensitive and very sensitive and triggered by other's emotional lability. http://www.hsperson.com/pages/child.htm

Here is a link with many other resources and references that you might consider. Many of them may already be familiar. https://www.mothering.com/discussions...#post58 23432

Also check out the "My Challenge, My Love" thread: https://www.mothering.com/discussions...d.php?t=328627 and the "Parenting and Rage" thread. They both help a lot with challenging children. https://www.mothering.com/discussions...light=feingold

Magnesium supplementation has had a significant calming effect for our son. We use Natural Calm. Also Nordics Natural Cod Liver oil (peach flavored) have helped. When things are most explosive (tired, hungry and angry) we use Bach flower remedies Cherry Plum for anger; White Chestnut for obscessive focus; and Rescue Remedy (and Elm for me for feeling overwhelmed). Beech is helpful for tolerance of other's imperfections; and Holly for suspiciousness and jealousy. They are all natural and help when everyone is melting down. Food intolerances and sleep needs are our biggest triggers for explosiveness. The Feingold Diet has changed our lives. www.feingold.org


I hope things are more peaceful for your family soon.


Pat

I have a blog.
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#4 of 13 Old 12-12-2006, 05:00 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Pat, thank you for all of the links, I do have 'the explosive child' somewhere. I forgot about it...I'll check out the Feingold diet, it sounds interesting, though DS sneaks food (sometimes after I'm asleep)

I am hesitating before turning control over to the medical establishment, I'm just scared for our safety. I also have a large collection of flower essences, I forgot about them too...I've just forgotten everything. This is too overwhelming. Thanks for your help

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#5 of 13 Old 12-12-2006, 05:01 PM
 
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#6 of 13 Old 12-12-2006, 05:21 PM
 
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Meds can literally be lifesavers, and only in my personal experience (and I was lucky enough I was never a danger to anyone but myself) can give one enough of a breather for the other stuff, diet changes, therapy, fish oil, etc, to work. I don't know that meds are the answer for your son - I don't know any answers. But I'm so, so glad for your son that he has you. I'm so sorry you're having to deal with this, but I can't think of anyone better.
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#7 of 13 Old 12-12-2006, 05:31 PM
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I'm thinking meds too, honestly. He's saying that this is bigger than he is right now, and you've tried a lot of other things to help him and they haven't worked. I would not go with antipsychotics because they really scare me, although the 2nd gen ones are better. I would look at an SSRI or depakote, and maybe an anti-anxiety med PRN... but I'm not a doctor.

I think it's important not to look at meds as a cure or an end, but as a way to keep him and everyone safe and okay right now. And you're not turning over control to anyone... you're taking on a medical doctor as a partner in trying to help your son. There are some out there who will work with you and respect your opinions, especially if you respect theirs. One thing to remember is that meds often make people feel worse for the first couple of weeks - either sleepy or "twinchy" or irritable, and generally those side effects do pass as he adjusts... so it's important to give them a fair chance, if you go that way.

It is great that he trusts you to help him. Rather than trying to find things that will make him less angry, it might be more beneficial for him to accept that feeling and tell himself that it's the chemicals in his brain that are doing this, and it does suck... and say you wish you did know how to make the feeling go away, but you, don't... but you will be there with him and make sure everyone and his treasured pessessions stay safe. It's hard when we can't fix what's wrong, but you can be there with him while he's feeling so awful.

Does playing video games ever help? I have known some kids who found that this enabled them to sort of take a temporary "break" from their bad feelings... it was an escape, not a solution, but that's not always a bad thing.

Does physical contact ever help? When Rain was really having a hard time emotionally, we ended up wrestling a lot. It was very physical but also involved a lot of skin to skin contact and pressure, and it seemed to help her calm down. It was "play" wrestling, usually on my bed...

{{{Hugs}}}

Dar

 
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#8 of 13 Old 12-12-2006, 05:32 PM
 
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I'm sorry you're dealing with this too. ITA that meds can be a lifesaver - my husband suffered from terrible depression for *years* and his medication has turned his life around. I've never seen anyone as despondant as he could be, and he's so much better now. There is hope!

Can't give up actin' tough, it's all that I'm made of. Can't scrape together quite enough to ride the bus to the outskirts of the fact that I need love. ~ Neko Case

 
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#9 of 13 Old 12-12-2006, 05:36 PM
 
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I am so sorry you are going though this. I can't imagine the pain you must be feeling as a mother. Just know I'm thinking of you. ((HUGS))

7yo: "Mom,I know which man is on a quarter and which on is on a nickel. They both have ponytails, but one man has a collar and the other man is naked. The naked man was our first president."
 
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#10 of 13 Old 12-12-2006, 06:26 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dar View Post

Does playing video games ever help? I have known some kids who found that this enabled them to sort of take a temporary "break" from their bad feelings... it was an escape, not a solution, but that's not always a bad thing.
actually TV and vid games help alot. I guess I thought of it as an escape for me and therefore I felt it made me a bad mother. The big trigger now for this most recent bout of 'behavoir' is the fact that I'm not doing TV for a while. We are taking a TV break. This has caused a huge power struggle. I guess I used punishment because I'd tried everything else. I wasn't looking at it as a punishment because they don't work and I don't agree with them, but as I look back on it, that is exactly what I've done. How can I be so dense????

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#11 of 13 Old 12-12-2006, 07:11 PM
 
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My DD exhibits many of the same behaviors, but I've chalked it up to preteen hormones, I'm sorry your son is struggling with bipolar

Best thing for my DD is lots of computer games (World of Warcraft is by far her favorite, she even leads her own guild - at age 11! Lots of supervision by me there.....) and adding chores instead of taking away privileges for punishment...and making her pay/work off damage she's done - like the holes in her wall :

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#12 of 13 Old 12-12-2006, 08:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BelovedK View Post
actually TV and vid games help alot. I guess I thought of it as an escape for me and therefore I felt it made me a bad mother. The big trigger now for this most recent bout of 'behavoir' is the fact that I'm not doing TV for a while. We are taking a TV break.
More hugs... don't beat your self up, really. You were trying to find a solution... I just think that it's a bad time to restrict the things that do help him calm himself... and if it helps you, too, that's not a bad thing.

TV time can be a close, interactive time, too... you can snuggle up next to him with a book, if you're not into the show, and you can comment on stuff or rub his back or whatever... TV can be part of good parenting, IMO.

I think it sometimes help to think of how you would treat your child if he were physically sick, like if he were dealing with a bad spell of asthma. Just take it easy, let stuff slack if it's not important, and do whatever seems to help him to feel better. When the crisis is past, you can reorient a bit, but for now it's okay to just do whatever makes this day easier...

MHO,

Dar

 
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#13 of 13 Old 12-12-2006, 11:26 PM - Thread Starter
 
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OKay, I let him watch TV tonight, and he sat there drawing and watching. He was like a different boy. That is a good point that when they are sick with something else, we tend to allow them to do what they want/need to do in order toget a break and some rest. Thanks Dar.

I have an appt for him to see someone next week (the first opportunity) He doesnt know this yet, i'm planning on waiting to tell him so he won't worry himself to death. He was starting to have a meltdown again about having to go to his dad's house and when I allowed TV, it changed the whole energy of the situation. It really is the plug in drug (at least it worked that way for us) Also, the fact that he was drawing at the same time encouraged me that he was just unwinding. I feel a little more hope. Thank you guys

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