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Old 09-28-04, 01:55 PM
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Unhappy I totally lost it today - ADHD

I think I've lost my mind. Perhaps one of you have found it? It's a fairly battered and bruised looking thing. Barely limping along, so it shouldn't be too hard to catch.

I just totally lost it at my son's therapy session today. He's ADHD/ODD. I tried to talk to the psychiatrist about the ODD and she said it's all just ADHD and that ODD is only dealt with when we're talking about total social misfits, juvies, and my son isn't that (yet). She also said that ODD was a teaching/parenting problem. In other words, OUR failure, not something he's accountable for. Then we went into the therapist and my son goes on and on about how great life is in the new school and how everythings "looking good". Then it's my turn and that's certainly not how my world looks. Every day is a battle from the moment he gets up until after midnight when he goes to bed. Vicious, violent, rude, non-stop defiance.

FIRST, I got hit with "what about consequences" for his behaviour. Consequences? We've tried every positive reinforcement program we can think of, every restriction that seems to matter to him, begging, pleading, crying, yelling, ignoring, time-outs. I have tried and abandoned so many things that I makes me tired just thinking about it.

THEN I got hit with "you just aren't looking at things realistically" because in the school vacation I was more "up". I tried to explain that in the school vacation there are almost no "rules". There is no school, no homework, no clubs, no work, no bedtime. In other words, no pressure. Of course, we can relax and get along better, but that's not the real world.

THEN I got hit with "things aren't improving for you because you aren't making an effort to do nice things with him". I tried to point out that someone who has been tortured for 30 days just isn't capable of enjoying a nice "outing" with their torturer.

THEN I'm told "You're expecting too much from him". Is it too much to ask to be treated like a human being? Is that expecting too much? I don't talk to him that way and never have. I've only ever hit him in gut reaction to being attacked by him.

THEN I'm told I've been uncooperative from the beginning because I made it clear when we started that I (we) were looking for a therapist for our son, not a family therapist. We've been there, we've worked our asses off, we want to see HIM making an effort to deal with his life. Nope, once again, the failure of HIS therapy is MY (OUR) fault.

Can she not see that she's being manipulated? fed a line? Why does she believe everything that comes out of his mouth? She was ready to sign off on us today as "up and running", so to speak?! I ended up walking out on them. I just couldn't deal with anymore.

Okay, now to me...I am also ADD and was totally not capable of dealing with this whole mess. I felt totally ineffective in communicating with either the psychiatrist or the therapist. By the end of the season I just wished I was dead. Somehow, I take my son to therapy because HIS life is totally out of control and I get blamed for it. He loves that. Jumps right in there with "yeah, mom, you never LET me help you". I am feeling totally insane. The therapist is aware that I am also being treated for ADD and tried to tell me that it's my problem with ADD that is making impossible to help us.

I am being eaten alive with pain. I keep losing weight, can't sleep, worry incessantly either about this family or my total loss of motivation. Nothing is fun or interesting anymore (except this forum, maybe). My psychiatrist says I'm not clinically depressed, but I think I'm going to have to have a heart-to-heart with her. At the rate I'm going, I'll probably f*** that up too.

Am I doing my son more harm than good? I don't want him to grow up hating himself which is all the therapy seems to accomplish. Of course, as is usual with him, once he has driven me to the brink of insanity he suddenly turns into an angel. What I can't deal with is that he wants me to just "forget" "erase" all the bad stuff, and I can't seem to do it. Is this a fatal flaw in me? Why can't I seem to let go of the pain and anger?

I feel like I've been run over by a train. What's worse, I almost wish I had been.
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Last edited by Ian; 09-30-04 at 12:37 AM.. Reason: Title change to include ADHD
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Old 09-28-04, 02:30 PM
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I'm gonna come back to you just as soon as I'm done crying...I'm crying from relief just knowing someone else is out there going thru the same things I am...my daughter is ADD/ODD.
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Old 09-28-04, 02:39 PM
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How horrible! Not only is it unfair of the psych to lay all the blame on you, it seems doubly wrong to ream you in front of your child (who already has problems respecting your authority). I know that if I were in your shoes I would feel as if I'd been seriously undermined, not helped. You did the right thing in walking out. Can you try another psych for him?

But keep in mind that this is not your fault. You're working hard to make life better for your son. Can you seek counseling for yourself? It sounds as if you badly need someone in your corner. Maybe you can find ways of moving past the pain and the anger, if you have a good therapist as an ally. By all means, tell your psychiatrist about it, too.... a course of meds might help you get over the "hump."

Good luck in whatever you decide to do!
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Old 09-28-04, 03:08 PM
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Quote:
ODD is only dealt with when we're talking about total social misfits, juvies, and my son isn't that (yet). She also said that ODD was a teaching/parenting problem.
At what age do we as a society deem someone a total misfit or a juvie? I'd like to answer that question and while she's at it since she knows what causes ODD perhaps she can give us all the answer's on how to cure it as well.

Quote:
FIRST, I got hit with "what about consequences" for his behaviour. Consequences? We've tried every positive reinforcement program we can think of, every restriction that seems to matter to him, begging, pleading, crying, yelling, ignoring, time-outs. I have tried and abandoned so many things that I makes me tired just thinking about it.
This is were my husband and I are at as well, finding the right behavioural modification program that is talor made for your child is important the question is how do we go about it? I obviously don't know the answer to this one either luckily I'm stubborn and refuse to give up on my daughter.

Quote:
I tried to explain that in the school vacation there are almost no "rules".
The only answer to this one that I have found to work for both of our children is that rules apply whether it be school break or summer vacation. Once we take a break from the rules it seems almost impossible to get back to them.

Quote:
THEN I'm told I've been uncooperative from the beginning because I made it clear when we started that I (we) were looking for a therapist for our son, not a family therapist.
She may be on to something...we've noticed the biggest turn around since we have been going to therapy as a family. But, I would definatly seek another professional since she already seems to have her mind made up.

Quote:
.I am also ADD and was totally not capable of dealing with this whole mess. I felt totally ineffective in communicating with either the psychiatrist or the therapist. By the end of the season I just wished I was dead. Somehow, I take my son to therapy because HIS life is totally out of control and I get blamed for it. He loves that. Jumps right in there with "yeah, mom, you never LET me help you". I am feeling totally insane. The therapist is aware that I am also being treated for ADD and tried to tell me that it's my problem with ADD that is making impossible to help us.
.

I, too am ADHD/Depression and at time I feel like the entire world is spinning around me out of control and I'm the one who is supposed to know how to stop it. There are days I look up and yell "any day now ". Children are natural born manipulator's I'm convinced of that. I've found that keeping a journal of behaviours and having my daughter write in it as well as to why she felt she had that behaviour...not only proves that the behaviour happened but she admits to it, there is no backing out. My children have set chore lists if their chores are not accomplished they get no priveledges and I mean NO priveledges at times I feel more like a totalatarian then a mother but it works.


Quote:
My psychiatrist says I'm not clinically depressed, but I think I'm going to have to have a heart-to-heart with her. At the rate I'm going, I'll probably f*** that up too.
Journal, Journal, Journal this way every waking moment is put on paper and you don't have to try and remember everything. My therapist reads thru my notes before we even speak to each other.


Quote:
Am I doing my son more harm than good? I don't want him to grow up hating himself which is all the therapy seems to accomplish. Of course, as is usual with him, once he has driven me to the brink of insanity he suddenly turns into an angel. What I can't deal with is that he wants me to just "forget" "erase" all the bad stuff, and I can't seem to do it. Is this a fatal flaw in me? Why can't I seem to let go of the pain and anger?
NO it is not a fatal flaw inside of YOU...it's called being HUMAN. You put it best when you said "you cannot be tortured by someone for 30 days then turn around and enjoy a couple of hours with them" My husband and I have often refered to our children as a tag team...when your just about to fall apart on one child they become the angel and the other one starts in on you...We've formed a team of our own and have become very consistant and not allowed them to play us against each other any longer. They have a strong team but we are even more determined and we do hold all the ACE cards..

We as people are responsible for our actions and how we react to other's actions, there is no getting around that. Being a consistant parent is one of the hardest jobs in the world but it does help. Opening yourself up to criticism is not easy but if it helps your son grow into a great man then it has to be done. NOBODY expects you to know all the answers or to be perfect or at least they don't have that right. The only flaw I have seen in you so far is that you do not believe IN you. Stand up for yourself!!! Be your advocate as well as your sons. I used to be a quiet mouse who would never ever say anything against anyone for fear they wouldn't like me, I never voiced my own opinions until it almost cost me my son. Trust me if I could do it YOU CAN!!!! I have all the faith in the world.

Good luck, keep us posted.
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Old 09-28-04, 03:10 PM
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p.s. I'd get a new therapist!!!!!!
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Old 09-28-04, 05:08 PM
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Well,

I can't say it any better than futs. She hit on some wonderful points. I will say hugs and good luck. Get a new therapist. The pysch and the therapist sound like total jerks. I went through that myself when my daughter was first diagnosed. I hope you can turn things around and get strong for yourself and your child/family.

Best wishes!
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Old 09-28-04, 06:56 PM
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Definitely, get a new therapist if you can. Therapists won't alway tell us what we want to hear but you need one who won't be so easily manipulated by him and one who has can be more supportive of you. She is enabling your son's behavior-BIG TIME.
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Old 09-28-04, 09:34 PM
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Kim, sounds like you lucked out getting Nucking to reply!

: - )

My older brother was like that so I do know what you're talkin about.
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Old 09-29-04, 12:57 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kimalimah
I think I've lost my mind. Perhaps one of you have found it? It's a fairly battered and bruised looking thing. Barely limping along, so it shouldn't be too hard to catch.

I just totally lost it at my son's therapy session today. He's ADHD/ODD. I tried to talk to the psychiatrist about the ODD and she said it's all just ADHD and that ODD is only dealt with when we're talking about total social misfits, juvies, and my son isn't that (yet). She also said that ODD was a teaching/parenting problem. In other words, OUR failure, not something he's accountable for. Then we went into the therapist and my son goes on and on about how great life is in the new school and how everythings "looking good". Then it's my turn and that's certainly not how my world looks. Every day is a battle from the moment he gets up until after midnight when he goes to bed. Vicious, violent, rude, non-stop defiance.

FIRST, I got hit with "what about consequences" for his behaviour. Consequences? We've tried every positive reinforcement program we can think of, every restriction that seems to matter to him, begging, pleading, crying, yelling, ignoring, time-outs. I have tried and abandoned so many things that I makes me tired just thinking about it.

THEN I got hit with "you just aren't looking at things realistically" because in the school vacation I was more "up". I tried to explain that in the school vacation there are almost no "rules". There is no school, no homework, no clubs, no work, no bedtime. In other words, no pressure. Of course, we can relax and get along better, but that's not the real world.

THEN I got hit with "things aren't improving for you because you aren't making an effort to do nice things with him". I tried to point out that someone who has been tortured for 30 days just isn't capable of enjoying a nice "outing" with their torturer.

THEN I'm told "You're expecting too much from him". Is it too much to ask to be treated like a human being? Is that expecting too much? I don't talk to him that way and never have. I've only ever hit him in gut reaction to being attacked by him.

THEN I'm told I've been uncooperative from the beginning because I made it clear when we started that I (we) were looking for a therapist for our son, not a family therapist. We've been there, we've worked our asses off, we want to see HIM making an effort to deal with his life. Nope, once again, the failure of HIS therapy is MY (OUR) fault.

Can she not see that she's being manipulated? fed a line? Why does she believe everything that comes out of his mouth? She was ready to sign off on us today as "up and running", so to speak?! I ended up walking out on them. I just couldn't deal with anymore.

Okay, now to me...I am also ADD and was totally not capable of dealing with this whole mess. I felt totally ineffective in communicating with either the psychiatrist or the therapist. By the end of the season I just wished I was dead. Somehow, I take my son to therapy because HIS life is totally out of control and I get blamed for it. He loves that. Jumps right in there with "yeah, mom, you never LET me help you". I am feeling totally insane. The therapist is aware that I am also being treated for ADD and tried to tell me that it's my problem with ADD that is making impossible to help us.

I am being eaten alive with pain. I keep losing weight, can't sleep, worry incessantly either about this family or my total loss of motivation. Nothing is fun or interesting anymore (except this forum, maybe). My psychiatrist says I'm not clinically depressed, but I think I'm going to have to have a heart-to-heart with her. At the rate I'm going, I'll probably f*** that up too.

Am I doing my son more harm than good? I don't want him to grow up hating himself which is all the therapy seems to accomplish. Of course, as is usual with him, once he has driven me to the brink of insanity he suddenly turns into an angel. What I can't deal with is that he wants me to just "forget" "erase" all the bad stuff, and I can't seem to do it. Is this a fatal flaw in me? Why can't I seem to let go of the pain and anger?

I feel like I've been run over by a train. What's worse, I almost wish I had been.
Kimalimah,

This is the exact story of my Husband's son, Alex. I have emailed him a link to your thread, and he has told me he will reply to it. I'm not sure how old your son is, but Alex is now 16. I hate to think what he will do in the future, to himself, and to others.

I cannot offer advice really, but I can tell you one thing. I have seen these kids swap the behavior from devil to angel when it suits them, and it's terrifying. YOU are NOT to blame!! To me, Alex appears more psychotic in these episodes. I am scared of him. It is not you.

((((((Hugs)))))
~Viktoria
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Old 09-29-04, 02:50 AM
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Hey, thanks for finding helping me find my lost mind! I've stuffed it back in, though whether it's wired right remains to be seen. Good thing I have long hair so you can't see the bits still straggling out!

Really, though, I appreciate the support. Futs - you certainly have some good ideas. I really like the journal bit, coz I really crack under pressure these days and just can't collect my thoughts. I wish I could wire our house with cameras because I really think the therapist just doesn't believe me about what our son is like at home. Having my son write with would also be interesting. This is first on my to-do list today...get a journal or maybe two...one just for me and one for both of us.

My husband and I talked it over last night and he, too, says I should stand up for myself more. We're going to wait for the next appt. and then simply lay our cards on the table, so to speak. Let the therapist know that we think we're working at cross purposes here and that she's just not being clear enough about what she's trying to accomplish with her tactics. As he puts it, "call a spade a spade" and if she really thinks I'm (we're) to blame then this therapy is never going to work. Maybe this practice just doesn't do behavioural mod therapy which is what we're looking for. Though, why they haven't said that up front, I don't know. I thought we'd made ourselves clear on that point when we started.

I agree that family therapy is really valuable, but we reached a point where the rest of the family felt totally conned. We'd go off to therapy and work really hard to find better ways to communicate, compromise, adapt, accept one another and M... would just sit back and let us go at it. Never participated or made any attempts to meet us half way. Eventually, the therapist broke off the sessions because he said without M.... cooperation we were just beating a dead horse.

I have to say, Futs, that we sound a lot a like. I, too, have been described as a "tiger" when it comes to fighting for my children, and my husband and I have always done our best to work as a team. United we stand, divided we fall. Unfortunately, he's had to work 14-16 hours a day, 7 days a week for the past 6 months and it's wearing us a little thin. He was right there for me last night, though. He understands that I can become confused and frustrated in situations like this, and said right away that he'd make the time to come with for the next appt.

We also have had to fight to "keep" this child. Since he was 10 yo we've been told to "consider" putting him in a home. Most of the time I say "no way! He belongs with us. No one can love and understand him more, have more patience, or more desire to get him and keep him healthy. We truly see the potential there, the "good" kid, the smart kid, the lost and confused kid. My heart breaks for him and the pain that he, too, suffers in his struggle to cope with who and why he is the way he is. Sometimes it's hard to hold on to those glimpses of hope where he actually takes a tottering step in the right direction.

Well, thanks again everyone, for your helpful, supportive words. It's now time to face another day. Armor on! Off she goes...
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Old 09-29-04, 02:52 AM
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Viktoria, cross over postings. It was great chatting with you this morning. Thanks.

Kim
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Old 09-29-04, 05:20 AM
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((((hugs))))) KIM

It seems to me to be quite a good idea to try a new therapist. How do you feel about that???????

Have you thought about letting your son read this forum, to maybe give him some insight as to how others are dealing with adhd, odd, and how his behaviour is effecting others

I know we are all here for you Kim
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Old 09-29-04, 07:32 AM
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Sounds like this person does not know the difference between ODD and conduct disorder! I really hope you find a therapist who knows what they're talking about soon!!! I'm sick of people claiming ODD behaviour is "all ADHD" - not only does it give ADHD a bad name, but it gives parents the blame when the behaviour still doesn't stop after the ADHD is addressed
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Old 09-29-04, 10:41 AM
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Afer having a son diagnosed with severe ADHD and all that has brought about over the years, I am able to say quite conclusively,

IT IS NOT YOUR FAULT as your therapist seems to be suggesting.

I have privately and fondly named my son Alex.... "The Omen" and that implies quite a bit. (he does not know this)

Sadly, I have to say, I am frightened of what he may do in the future. Now, perhaps the therapist may say... "Its your fault" I disagree.

At what age in the life of a child with ADHD do they have to accept a degree of responsibility for their own behaviour?..

Alex had been to at least 4 specialist therapists, I was there for 2 of the 4 and not one of them has ever witnessed him "go off the deep end" ,

Alex could be a real angel for a few hours when it suited him and it always suited him to be one in front of the therapists. So,...... 2 of them concluded, he had ADHD , based on the information given to them. I was there for those assessments, but I was not present for the 3rd and 4th assessment. By that time, divorce had occured and when I spoke to the third therapist, it was obvious the "B.O. (B**** Omen) x-wife had obviously done a real number on the therapist. It was strongly suggested my parenting and ADHD was the major cause of Alex's outrageous behaviour.

I suggest you change your therapist.

Therapists can be extremely manipulative and inflexible in their assessment based on "their expertise" but there is great disagreement even amongst the so called experts. Find one that will listen carefully to YOU not the angelic son they see in front of them.

I strongly suggest that you arrange respite care for yourself, to recharge and re armour yourself. This, I believe, should be part of any parenting plan for someone living with major ADHD behaviour in one or more of their children. A weekend or a few days of peace and quiet might work wonders for you.

My biggest mistake was to be to soft with my son. If I could wind back the clock, I would use what is known as "TOUGH LOVE" after the first "life endangering incident" I would now have him charged by police with "attempted murder" and/or assualt "Endangering Life" and requested comprehensive psychiatric assessment by more than one expert, preferably, at least three.

This sounds extremely tough, but in the real world he is facing soon, there will be no parent sighing "Oh but he has got ADHD".... or whatever condition it might be, when he looses the plot and seriously injures or kills someone.

In retrospect, some audio and video tapes of his behaviour at home, taken without his knowledge would have been extremely helpful. That would have quickly established the extent of his condition much more carefully enabling expert assistance by the therapists with no dis-belief possible.

Take care of yourself, you must do this if you wish to continue to help your ADHD child. Remember, ultimately, even a 10 year old is considered by law to have responsibility for their own actions, although I understand this varies from state to state.

Andrei
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Old 09-29-04, 12:22 PM
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My brother got sent off to a juvenile delinquent camp in the mountains for a summer around age 16. It was such a relief for the family to have him out of our hair. He wasn't too seriously criminal, just stealing mom's car on Saturday nights, that kind of thing. He was scared hanging with real criminals & it straightened him up enough to learn to at least not get into serious criminasl problems, though it's possible he would have learned some really bad habits from those kids too. Anyways it got him out of that family bubble where he felt he could get away with anything & taught him some humility. Mom paid for shrinks for him for years but they refused to discuss his case with her citing client confidentiality. I don't think he had ADHD so much as was just extremely selfish and manipulative. We still don't really speak much, he was a ******* to me and as far as I know he still does not feel apologetic about that.
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