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  #1  
Old 04-15-12, 09:56 AM
BlackTieDad BlackTieDad is offline
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At the end of my rope (again)

DS4.5 seems to have "outgrown" the meds/dosages that worked for him just a month ago. I guess that's not that uncommon when they're growing so much.

Psych didn't want to increase his sleep meds, and was concerned about his alarming moods - saying that he hated himself, he "hates his heart" (feelings?), wants to cut himself with a knife, hates Mommy (he has never told us he hates either of us, and it was just during story time, no conflict at all, asking what we would think if he died, etc) so she put him on Risperdal at night and reduced his Clonidine.

So far this isn't working. He takes at least an hour (sometimes 2) to fall asleep, and gets up in the middle of the night and trashes the house. We have locked up everything we can, but you just can't lock up everything, and there's no way in our house to secure the kitchen.

He was up at 3:45 this morning; I put him back to bed (calmly), and he laughed maniacally, flailed his limbs, and joyously shouted: I CAN'T SLEEP I CAN'T SLEEP I CAN'T SLEEP!

By 5:45 he had awakened DS6 and had managed to put EGGS in both their beds (before DS6 woke up). This time W sorted things out, but by 6:00 he was in the backyard in his pullup shrieking and bellowing happily at the dog.

It's like he hadn't taken any night meds whatsoever.

We are also adding Straterra right now.

The scary/violent moods are better, thank God. That was scary. Psych is very concerned that he may have child-onset bipolar (apparently not unheard-of as a co-morbid condition with ADHD; mania in little ones can show up as anger/irritability).

Needless to say, all knives and chemicals and such have been secured by combination padlocks all this time. I wouldn't trust a key-lock with Mr. Houdini here.

Leaving a message for the psych today. I haven't had an undisturbed night of sleep since his meds stopped working as well. Getting up several times a night isn't good for us or for him. Or for his brother, whom he awakens well before morning.

I'm so exhausted and frustrated.
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  #2  
Old 04-15-12, 05:11 PM
inbetweenshades inbetweenshades is offline
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Re: At the end of my rope (again)

I'm SOOOO sorry to hear about this.
I'm ADD myself, so I may have missed this, but I didn't see the age of your son, or exactly what he has been diagnosed with. Aside from the ADHD.

However, what you have described sounds very much like what I have gone through, (and continue to go through) with my 11 year old daughter.
She has ADHD, along with a plethora of other "possible" disorders.
I say "possible" because despite having been tested for everything from Autism to Bi-Polar, to early onset childhood schizophrenia, ect, no one really wants to label her other disorders so early in her life.
The official diagnoses at this point is ADHD, psychosis NOS and depression.
She has been hospitalized once, and came very close to having to be hospitalized again at the beginning of the school year. I managed to avoid it by taking her out of the public school system and enrolling her into an online school here at home, and upping the dose of her medication.

Due to whatever her actual secondary disorder is, she became unable to take any sort of medication to treat her ADHD, which sadly, is extremely pronounced.
She was started on medication for the ADHD in kindergarten, after a teacher called me and asked if she had ever been checked for learning disabilities. She hadn't, but I was fully aware that she had something wrong, and had already attempted to get her help. As young as she was, no one was willing to treat her with medication before she started school.

She had a sleeping disorder from the time she was born, and at the age of two, she went through a period of staying up for several days at a time.
She learned slower than other kids, and didn't speak in complete sentences until she started the medication for her ADHD. After that, she was like a different child, with the exception of the sleeping thing.
She continued with the medication without issues until the age of seven, when she suddenly started seeing and hearing things, and became violent.
After that, I had to put her into a hospital for a couple of weeks, and then medicating her got tedious.

Everything that we tried to give her for the ADHD caused these new symptoms to come to the surface, including Straterra, and she had serious side effects to almost every anti-psychotic there is. Eventually, we had to stop the ADHD meds completely, and within a month, her grades plummeted. Within the year, she was put into learning disability classes. And there she stayed until I eventually pulled her from the school system.
She now has an IEP, and has been taking Seroquel ER along with a smaller dose of Seroquel IR for a couple of years now. Every time she has a shift in hormones, the dose has to be adjusted.

I'm telling you all of this because from what you described, your son may have something along the same lines. My daughter has said many of the same things to me that you said your son has, and has shown violent tendencies from time to time.
They happen far more frequently when she is given medication for ADHD.

My daughter has had a few tests that I don't know if your son has had, but they might be worth looking into.
MRI, Pet scan, EEG. If there is anything seriously wrong, something like that may help to find out what it is.

Then again, it may not, but it couldn't hurt to try.
I hope for you and your family's sake that he is just having some sort of reaction to the stimulants, but if not, don't be afraid to explore other possibilities.

A diagnoses of schizophrenia, worst case scenario, might sound like the end of the world, (I know it did for me,) but the good news is that if it's caught in time, there is at least one medication out there that has proved to be successful in protecting the brain during the years when schizophrenia does it's damage, and people who have taken it have gone on to live perfectly happy and successful lives.
I'm sure there have failures too, but of course, our doctor hasn't told me about those.
My daughter is scheduled to start taking it when she turns 13.

Another thing you may want to look into is getting him disability benefits. If your son is diagnosed as Bi-polar before the age of 18, it shouldn't be difficult to do. I had to do that for my daughter, and while it doesn't help with everything, it has allowed me to hire a tutor for her, which has relieved some of the pressure for me. Depending on what state you live in, there are a whole slew of other benefits available if you do that.
(In home counselor and or nurse, for instance.)

I wish you the best of luck, and my prayers are with you.
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  #3  
Old 04-15-12, 05:58 PM
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Re: At the end of my rope (again)

What is your son's diagnosis and how many meds is he on? 4.5 years old is very young to be taking multiple medications. What were his symptoms before you started medicating and have they gotten worse since? Perhaps the combination of meds is what's causing some of his symptoms.

Have you seen the Frontline Special, "The Medicated Child?" You can find it online at:
http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/medicatedchild/
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Old 04-16-12, 11:10 AM
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Re: At the end of my rope (again)

Quote:
Originally Posted by inbetweenshades View Post
A diagnoses of schizophrenia, worst case scenario, might sound like the end of the world, (I know it did for me,) but the good news is that if it's caught in time, there is at least one medication out there that has proved to be successful in protecting the brain during the years when schizophrenia does it's damage, and people who have taken it have gone on to live perfectly happy and successful lives.
I'm sure there have failures too, but of course, our doctor hasn't told me about those.
My daughter is scheduled to start taking it when she turns 13.

inbetweenshades - can you tell me a little bit more about this medication or where I can find out more about it? My son is 3.5 and has a family history of schizophrenia. I'm always interested in more information - just in case we need it - and this sounds very interesting to me. Hope it helps your daughter.

blacktiedad-sorry to go off topic
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  #5  
Old 04-25-12, 12:52 PM
inbetweenshades inbetweenshades is offline
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Re: At the end of my rope (again)

I apologize for taking so long to answer you. I have been searching through old files from my doctor, and I honestly cannot remember the name of that medication. I tried to call and ask him, but unless it's appointment time, it's like trying to reach the pope. :rolls eyes:

I remember that one of the big hospitals did a research project on it a few years back, and that it starts with a "C."

I am SO sorry that I can't be of more help at this time, but I will ask my doctor the name of it again when I see him during my next appointment, and if I run across it again before then, I will be sure to post it for you.
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Old 04-25-12, 01:40 PM
inbetweenshades inbetweenshades is offline
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Re: At the end of my rope (again)

Ah, here is an article, along with the medication name. Clozapine.
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3317175/

I hope that is helpful.
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Old 04-25-12, 01:52 PM
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Re: At the end of my rope (again)

The Columbia University has a wonderful child psychiatric department. http://columbiapsychiatry.org/
Also I know a great psychiatrist that works with children. I can give you her info if you want.
Regards,
escott
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Old 04-25-12, 04:54 PM
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Re: At the end of my rope (again)

How long has he been taking the Risperdal? It can take a week or two to have any visible effect, unfortunately.
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Old 04-26-12, 01:52 PM
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Re: At the end of my rope (again)

@inbetweenshades - thank you so much for taking the time to track down that information! It was very helpful.
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Old 04-26-12, 01:57 PM
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Re: At the end of my rope (again)

If your willing to spend a few days in NYC I can also give you the name of a great psychiatrist. She's young and on the ball. Just let me know.
Take care,
escott
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Old 04-26-12, 02:10 PM
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Re: At the end of my rope (again)

Quote:
Originally Posted by escott View Post
If your willing to spend a few days in NYC I can also give you the name of a great psychiatrist. She's young and on the ball. Just let me know.
Take care,
escott
I find this to be an odd recommendation for this particular situation, since the OP lives in Utah.
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Old 04-26-12, 02:11 PM
inbetweenshades inbetweenshades is offline
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Re: At the end of my rope (again)

tripleE, you are quite welcome.
I completely understand how difficult it can be to find useful information on this matter. I felt VERY alone when I was first dealing with it, and sometimes, still do.

I strongly recommend taking whatever help and information that you can get, such as what escott has provided too, if at all possible.
And don't take just one doctor's recommendation or diagnoses as gospel either.
Schizophrenia is a very serious diagnoses, and if there is even a chance that it could be something else, I would look into that very carefully before deciding/agreeing that is definitely what your son has.

Of course, the flip side to that is that if it really is, don't let the scores of doctors, family members and friends talk you out of getting him the proper help either.
Because they WILL try. Often, their hearts are in the right place, but they simply don't understand.

Whatever the case, I wish you and your family all the best, and if you ever need to talk, please don't hesitate to contact me.
*hugs*
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Old 04-26-12, 02:12 PM
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Re: At the end of my rope (again)

My granddaughter who is 10 now was diagnosed with Atypical Autism several years ago.
Since she began having her menses about 9 months ago, her behaviors have become
much worse, including anxiety and sleep disorder, and we're seeing more depression.

We talked about the possibility of bi-polar when we first started seeing a therapist and
agreed that Autism was the best fit in terms of diagnosis. But we recently began to
revisit the possibility that she may have bipolar.

I'm reading "The Bipolar Child" by Dr. Dimitri Papalos (checked out from library). Great info.
He includes a chart that can be copied or scanned, by keeping track of several things
you can help the doctor determine whether bipolar is likely or not.

I hate keeping charts but we're going to give this our best shot. Fortunately her mom
will be doing some of the charting, it's not just up to me.


Don't know what's going on lately, we've had a very bad week so far. We saw the therapist
this morning and he says he knows of 6 kids with Autism in his practice who were suspended
from school on Wednesday, including my granddaughter (for hitting her teacher in the back).
Is it the weather? End of school anxiety?
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Old 04-26-12, 02:22 PM
inbetweenshades inbetweenshades is offline
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Re: At the end of my rope (again)

Quote:
Originally Posted by LynneC View Post
I find this to be an odd recommendation for this particular situation, since the OP lives in Utah.
I can see why you would, but in cases as rare as this, you might be surprised at how far away real help can be.

I was looking at NIMH, in Maryland, and another clinic in Switzerland, I think it was, when my daughter was at her worst a few years ago.

There is another good clinic in Minnesota, the Mayo Clinic.

My biggest issue was money, as treating this sort of thing can be extremely costly, and when that is a problem, you often have to go very far to get any real help at all.

Childhood schizophrenia is still in the early stages of research, although it has come a long way since I personally began looking into it just four or five years ago.
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Old 04-26-12, 02:33 PM
inbetweenshades inbetweenshades is offline
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Re: At the end of my rope (again)

Lunacie, I don't know that much about Atypical Autism, but I suspect that the fact that your granddaughter has started her menses, coupled with the stress of the end of the school year, actually is contributing to her symptoms.

I know that with any sort of disorder, added stress and/or hormone changes, no matter what age the patient is, definitely can, and usually do, impact the persons symptoms.
This is especially true in children, since they're still growing, and going through so many physical, mental, emotional and environmental changes so rapidly.

Probably that information isn't overly helpful, and I apologize for that, but maybe it will help some to know that it is at least normal, and to be expected.

The good news is that the older they get, the longer the periods of stabilization tend to be too.

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