View Full Version : I think I'm panicking. Please help.


deedeedunne
11-06-14, 06:03 PM
Hello,
To make a long story short. I need a little help finding a support system for myself and my son. My son is 16, he has ADHD and some ODD of course, and has anxiety and depression. All of which he takes meds for.

As always he is having trouble in school. He has all F's...but barely. He does well on tests but seems to be refusing to do the work needed in school and is getting zero's for it which brings his grades down. I get no help from his school. In fact they are all very defensive. He does have a 504 but the teachers don't do much and fight me when his work is one day late (which is allowed by his 504).

His doctor says that my son thinks he is a failure and after failing so many times you start not to care and that's where he is at. His favorite thing to say lately is I don't care. He stays in his room most of the time playing PC video games like mindcraft. He's almost always angry and never smiles. I can barely speak to him. He does have some friends but not many. He has made a few attempts at looking for a job but nothing has come through yet. He has no motivation to do anything for himself. Clean his room, do his laundry, drive, even brushing his teeth seems to be a problem.


I don't know how to help him. I am so upset. I really feel like he is in crisis. Every week he tells me something new...like he wants to dye his hair blonde, he wants to smoke vapor cigarettes, he wants to wear eye liner, he think's he is bi-sexual. I am about to jump out of my skin.

My husband (my son's step father) doesn't believe in ADHD even though we have all lived together since our kids were 5 and my son has been on meds that long. He thinks my son is just lazy. So I have no support from him. My son's real father lives in Florida and they don't speak. My family doesn't have time to be bothered with spending anytime with my son whatsoever. My parents are not rich but they offered to throw some money at me for a tutor or whatever. They would rather do that then spend any time with him.

I'm alone....just me and him having our own power struggle over his life.

I do plan on switching insurance plans in January and getting him a therapist that he can see weekly if necessary or one we can see together but that's January.

I would appreciate any advice. I don't know where to turn. Has anyone tried Empowering Parents? Or know of any support groups?

Maurice
11-06-14, 10:08 PM
Hello,
To make a long story short. I need a little help finding a support system for myself and my son. My son is 16, he has ADHD and some ODD of course, and has anxiety and depression. All of which he takes meds for.

As always he is having trouble in school. He has all F's...but barely. He does well on tests but seems to be refusing to do the work needed in school and is getting zero's for it which brings his grades down. I get no help from his school. In fact they are all very defensive. He does have a 504 but the teachers don't do much and fight me when his work is one day late (which is allowed by his 504).

His doctor says that my son thinks he is a failure and after failing so many times you start not to care and that's where he is at. His favorite thing to say lately is I don't care. He stays in his room most of the time playing PC video games like mindcraft. He's almost always angry and never smiles. I can barely speak to him. He does have some friends but not many. He has made a few attempts at looking for a job but nothing has come through yet. He has no motivation to do anything for himself. Clean his room, do his laundry, drive, even brushing his teeth seems to be a problem.


I don't know how to help him. I am so upset. I really feel like he is in crisis. Every week he tells me something new...like he wants to dye his hair blonde, he wants to smoke vapor cigarettes, he wants to wear eye liner, he think's he is bi-sexual. I am about to jump out of my skin.

My husband (my son's step father) doesn't believe in ADHD even though we have all lived together since our kids were 5 and my son has been on meds that long. He thinks my son is just lazy. So I have no support from him. My son's real father lives in Florida and they don't speak. My family doesn't have time to be bothered with spending anytime with my son whatsoever. My parents are not rich but they offered to throw some money at me for a tutor or whatever. They would rather do that then spend any time with him.

I'm alone....just me and him having our own power struggle over his life.

I do plan on switching insurance plans in January and getting him a therapist that he can see weekly if necessary or one we can see together but that's January.

I would appreciate any advice. I don't know where to turn. Has anyone tried Empowering Parents? Or know of any support groups?

I am really surprised nobody has helped you ought yet, wow! My only idea would be to take the Minecraft away until he "cares." But then again I'm not a parent but hold on a few and let me see who's around and I'll do my best to find you some help.

Rebelyell
11-06-14, 10:53 PM
Sounds like he's severely depressed and shutting down.ive gotten like this life is just so frustrating and despondent sometines

Lunacie
11-06-14, 11:09 PM
It can be difficult to figure out which stuff is related to the ADHD and which is just the same stuff all teens go through.

My granddaughter is also 16, has ADHD, and decided a couple of years ago that she didn't like the way her meds made her feel.
The depression got so bad recently that she agreed to try Bupropion, but she's still having a really tough time.

Last year she was able to switch to the e-academy (online school), which has been good for her.
But she chose some very difficult classes and feels really pressured although she's making good grades.

Our local mental health clinic started offering a parent support night last year.
They have various people speak to us, or show a video, or sometimes just share what we're
struggling with and what's been working for us.

Keep looking for help in your area, maybe find a group that helps advocate with your school.
Take your ex-in-laws up on the offer to help monetarily, better than nothing.

Flory
11-06-14, 11:13 PM
im not a parent.

BUT there are certainly people here like myself and others that have been where your son has been. when everything and everybody in your environment responds to you and your impairments negatively its hard to be positive or even care you do reach a point where everything you do starts to feel wrong and you just become completely despondent particularly where school is concerned, my behaviour though bad in younger school years certainly escalated in high school and spent most of my time in isolation or suspended.

this probably for you feels frightening/worrying and upsetting but i promise you theres another side to this, it takes time and plenty of patience but it can and will improve with the right help.

Love him, encourage him, and so important is to praise him for what he does do right. by adulthood so many of us are utterly destroyed by our failings and low self esteem. it'd help maybe to find something not school related that he could enjoy and be successful in. the confidence boost could help all around.

is he receiving any therapy? id reccomend getting in contact with school and your mental health support team to see what else you can do from a counselling medication aspect...

also...who is looking out for you? do you have support. I know this probably feels really horrible for you too

regards flory

Rebelyell
11-06-14, 11:23 PM
I spent 3 quarters 0f my senior year in high school, I just got a devil may care attitude, I was cursing out and.be brazen to teachers, I walked out of gym class cause I was sick of being picked last I said **** you all you don't need me if that's how you feel play w out me.ya. would if teacher didn't make you take sides.I came.close to being permanently kicked out and they wanted to extend me.another year so I could have a trade, I'm glad I didn't decide to.do that.i lost pops following would be school year and.dound out thru another student I.met out of school that the.whole school rioted against.the principals and teachers, I.surly would of been leading the charge amd.would of gone to.jail and it would or been so bad for my.mom if that had been.the.case.

tripleE
11-07-14, 10:51 AM
Love him, encourage him, and so important is to praise him for what he does do right.

id reccomend getting in contact with school and your mental health support team to see what else you can do from a counselling medication aspect...

also...who is looking out for you? do you have support. I know this probably feels really horrible for you too


Ditto what Flory said.

I think worse than failing high school is the loss of a connection with a parent. If he's connected with you and you are that one person who can give him some genuine positive feedback, it can get him through.

Video game addiction is a serious thing, but I can also see how mindcraft can give a positive sense of self control and would also be very soothing. Does he connect with other teens when he plays it?

I had my FASD/attachment disordered old niece live me when she was 15/16. Very difficult age. But by 17 things were more positive and have continued slowly upward. So....I hope you can find some hope in that.

Counselling - we always asked our niece to try each one 3 times and then she could quit. She found a fit, didn't work miracles, but it was someone for her to talk to.

I have never tried the empowering parents program, but I always find their articles to be very useful, it might be worth a look.

I would really recommend Dizfriz's corner (look up in the sticky's section) - tons of useful and relevant parenting advice.

Best of luck.

jlynn30
11-07-14, 11:21 AM
I am so sorry you and your son are going through all this right now; especially with no support system. I think a therapist for him and one for you sounds like a good idea. My son is only 4, but we both go to one and I have found it really helps me (and him).

Does your doctor have any recommendations for your son?

ccom5100
11-07-14, 03:17 PM
My 15 year old exhibits some of the same behaviors, but once we added Concerta (he was already taking Tenex), his attitude toward school has become much better and he is really trying hard this year. The fact that we gave him an incentive helps as well. We told him that if he can keep all his grades at a B by the end of the 1st semester, he will be allowed to take drivers ed in the second semester. So far his grades are all A's and B's, as opposed to C's and D's from last year at this time.

Like your son, he spends most of his time in his room playing computer games or texting on his phone. We only allow him to play X-Box on the weekends, and only if his grades are at a B. He seems to have friends at school, but doesn't really socialize out of school. He has to be forced to clean up after himself (I won't give him internet access until his room, bathroom and the TV/Video game room are straightened up). Naturally, he hates that, but too bad. Everything is a power struggle with him.

He does see a therapist weekly and that helps him a lot. It gives him a chance to complain about all the "unfairness" in his life, yet also helps him to understand and put things into perspective. I'm glad you will be getting your son therapy soon and I think that will help.

ToneTone
11-07-14, 10:11 PM
So sorry to hear about your struggles. Parenting any child, but especially a child with a serious condition, is impossibly hard. Hats off to you from this non-parent.

Just your coming here and sharing shows that you care a lot and love your son a lot and that you are a very good parent.

It's unfortunate (that's putting it politely) that your husband dismisses your son's struggles with the simple label of "lazy." I can't tell you how much hearing that label upsets me, and I'm not in your situation.

Given that you do not have spousal support on this matter, I would highly suggest, if you can afford it and even if you can't, that you get to a really good therapist FOR YOURSELF. First of all, you need to take care of yourself during this time or you'll go crazy and start all kinds of bad habits and over time, you'll be exhausted, angry and spent and won't be of any help to your son.

A stronger, healthier, happier, saner you will be in better position to help your son. You'll think better, brainstorm better, problem solve better and connect with him and others better. You will also get some great ideas for a good therapist about what to do with your son. And with luck, your stress level will go down.

And as someone else said, I also think your son could benefit from a really good therapist. You might have to visit multiple therapists to see if there is one he best connects with. Don't just randomly focus on one person, because finding someone your son really trusts makes all the difference. Could be a man or a woman therapist--sometimes young guys connect better with male therapists. But sometimes guys prefer to open up to women.

A paradox of him going to therapy is that he would experience a chance to get out of the "medical" treatment box. Even though therapy is a treatment, a good therapist easily conveys the feelings that the client is a person, a full complete and interesting person just as they are right now. And a good therapist listens well and elicits the views of the client, so the client feels heard, sometimes for the first time in their lives. Then along with all of that, the therapist will deal with school issues and the like.

I agree with the previous posters that not having his father involved in his life (and having a step-father who thinks he is merely "lazy") has to take its toll on his esteem, and his confidence. Having a parent walk is traumatic for a child. Young people try to put up a good face (I don't care, forget him), but there's no getting around it: Being abandoned by a parent is traumatic.

Does your son have any friends? One thing that often serves a breakthrough for people with all kinds of disorders is a relationship with someone that they really like. When a girl/guy you love makes a constructive suggestion or criticism, it's so much easier to hear than it is to hear the same suggestion from a teacher that you've lost faith in or a school that you've lost faith in. And again, a great therapist will want to encourage and guide the client to build friendships.

Crazy as it sounds (and I teach college), I wouldn't worry about school right now. Help him get him to a happier place and the school issue will take care of itself. And many school districts have programs for students who don't like traditional environments. So if he has to repeat a grade, he can find a decent place to do that.

Good luck.

Tone

BrainFreeze
11-08-14, 08:57 AM
((hugs)) DeeDee :) Reading this sounded verrrry familiar to me. My 16 (nearly 17) year old son is quite similar (not ADHD though). However, I can tell you my experiences of boys this age if you would like? It is a revolting age (trying to remember what i was like at that age and too scared to)... It's not only a time of finding their identity, but also discovering what is the purpose/meaning in life and questioning life, death and religion has been a biggie in my house. Peers are the most important people in their lives, as they measure their self-worth against them, and unfortunately that is the difference between good self-esteem and low self-esteem. One critical comment from a peer and it can shatter their world. What makes it even harder is for kids who are sensitive (specially with ADHD) and start to think they are 'weird'. The computer games are an outlet to relieve frustration and feel 'good' at something. But, the kickback is they are addictive and can become the focus of the young persons life.

You sound like a brilliant mum, and it's so obvious that you love your son and are worried sick. I have been there myself, and did the psychologist stuff with my kid, sent him to a youth programme to find himself (away from home for 4 months), let him drop out of school to work and every day it is a work in progress. There is no ultimate answer in what to do for your own child and each kid is so unique. However, one thing I can offer is to keep those lines of communication open and not freak out at anything your kid tells you (not saying you do - but I'm just thinking out loud). The other thing is to ensure that you have time out for yourself. I know this is hard - but you have to take care of yourself also. Away from home, doing something pleasurable for at least an hour a week.

I am also alone with my sons and it is ******* hard, but that is why it is imperative that you have a break! And like Flory said, with the proper support in place - it will improve! How would your son feel about counselling? or family counselling? Art Therapy? Music Therapy is also awesome for this age group. Taking an interest in my son's interests like music has been a big hit. I get us tickets to music festivals (cause I have the wallet >.<) and he gets over the fact his mum is with him because he is seeing Amity Affliction and I just hang in the wings people watching (I could do that ALL day), Or even stuff like going camping for the weekend or to the beach for a drive? I make my son come away with me for the weekend to the beach (even though he whinges being away from his computer) but once we are there - he tells me he is glad i made him come. And after doing these treks for a while - he has started opening up to me about the deep thoughts going on his head. I have been shocked many times, but I have had to remain calm and ask him what he thinks would be the best thing to do about those particular thoughts or stuff he has done. I'm always surprised that he actually has quite a good grip on reality - even though it doesn't look like it by his actions. And I tell him this. I also tell him some of the challenges I face too (work stuff etc - nothing heavy) and ask his opinion on what he would do if he was me.

I also have those 'difficult' conversations with my kid such as I might be watching a doco on self-harm and casually start a conversation with him like 'a person must be feeling reeeally sad to hurt themselves on purpose?' and he might correct me or start to talk about friends he knows who do it and open right up. I then ask him has he ever thought about it? (very very casually) and get a mouthful in exchange and then he might get on facebook and say 'my mother just asked me if i'm a cutter!!! OMG!!' ...but, I do go there with all those difficult topics.

Hang in there, and just keep doing what you are doing and come to this place to offload :) I come here for my 5 year old (ADHD) and get feedback and also to have a laugh. I don't know where you are, but in Australia we have a phone service called Parentline and it is open until late at night and I have used this many times to chat to a trained counsellor when I feel really anxious about my kids behaviour. Is there also something like that where you are that is a quick remedy when you need to hear a human voice at the end of the line that isn't judgemental, and is a good listener? :)

michaelaisabell
11-08-14, 01:40 PM
~hugs~
Teenage years can be very trying especially for someone with aDHD.
It obviously sounds like he's really done and depressed but some of the lack of motivation may be comming from his meds not working great or possibly not really taking them?
During the teen years meds often have to be adjusted to a higher dose or sometimes switched to something new.

You guys might benefit from some individual or family therapy.

As far as your husband that is very unfortunate. Since you have been together for so long I'm sure you've tried to get him to understand that adhd is a real condition. Would he be willing to watch a video about it online that shows brain scans and scientific evidence?

deedeedunne
11-11-14, 06:40 PM
Thank you all for your help, advice and hugs. I have just signed my son up for a music school. I am hoping that this can be his therapy until I switch insurance in January and hopefully get him therapy or both of us therapy. I put in a call to a therapist that I have seen a couple of times and we are playing phone tag. I have more to say and more to ask so I'll be back soon.

finallyfound10
11-11-14, 07:11 PM
I'm not a parent but it sounds as though the meds he is taking are not working. I'm glad to hear that you have called a therapist and are going to go for yourself too.

About the 504 and the teachers giving you a hard time, just tell them, the principal and guidance counselor that you are going to call an Educational Advocate and they should shape up. If not, call an Educational Advocate and they won't like that. I'm a teacher and know about this stuff!

Last, but most importantly, love him unconditionally and tell him you love him when he says he wants to dye his hair blonde, think he's bisexual and wear eyeliner. Statistically, none of them with last more than a few weeks maybe a few months. Also, I think vapor cigarettes have cartridges with no nicotine so that's a good thing if he tries it.