I am new to this and have been reading everyone's posts. It made me feel so much better to see I'm not alone. My husband and I have been dealing with this since he was 2. He always seemed "different". At age 4 he was diagnosed with ADHD. He has been on meds since then. We've tried our fair share and had the best results with a mix of Focalin and Focalin XR. He also started taking Lexapro for depression about 1 year ago. He is turning 12 in less than a month and this past year has been nothing short of hell. We also have two other children, twin girls (7). I am very proactive and we have always taken his mental health very seriously, seeking out the best Dr.s we can find. The pediatric psychiatrist we see is amazing. The fighting over what should be minor things is out of control. His behavior has become more and more odd. He is always pulling pieces of his hair out, lying about EVERYTHING to the point where I don't know if he even knows the truth. He has become increasingly more violent, hurting himself on purpose and the disrespect is off the wall!!! He has not been officially diagnosed with bipolar but his doctor suspects it could be a problem we're looking at. He started him on 2 mg of Abilify today and he is now in bed. I felt sick when he took his first pill. I am so nervous of what it will do to him and afraid to wake up. Please pray he is okay and that it gives our family some hope. I am tired, exhausted, scared and out of options... Does anyone have a similar situation with lying, harming himself, running away, etc...? I am his adoptive mom as his biological mom recently voluntarily gave him up. His dad (my husband) is his biological father. His "mom" does have bipolar herself as does much of her family. It's hard to decipher what parts of his behavior are from terrible life experiences (abuse, abandonment) and what parts are truly out of his control. As scared as I am, your stories have truly helped. I hope all of you are surviving your struggles and you are so right when you say we are their only advocates!!! Prayers to all...
What a loving step-mom you are, I can tell from your post that you want your s-son to feel better and have a "normal" life for you and your girls.
I have a daughter that was dx at 6.5, and while she was different from birth, I thought she'd outgrow her behaviors - heck, friends told me she would. My parenting has been questioned by everyone (if you only would spank her - if you'd discipline her more, if you let me have her for a week, she'd be a different child) - HA, right ! Nothing worked.
My sanity teeters but my lifeline has been The Balanced Mind Foundation http://www.thebalancedmind.org/ I have now been a member for 7-years and don't know how I could have done it without the online support and education other parents on the site gave me.
What I do know is this, Antidepressants can and most often do, make a child with "mood issues" worse......way worse. ADHD meds are questionable.....because they too can have a stimulating affect and increase the child's anxiety (pulling out hair) and impulsivity. While I am glad you like your s-son's psychiatrist, many do not follow "Treatment Guidelines" for mood disorder in children. (The exact guidelines are on The Balanced Mind website). The first and foremost step is: Stabilize mood (using a mood stabilizer med) Next, see what behaviors are left over (ex: ADHD, anxiety, ocd) - possibly add in a stimulant med if extreme behaviors are present. MOST of children on the mood spectrum can not tolerate antidepressants, period. My daughter is one of them.
Hang in there and hold on to hope. Take care, and write back anytime, I'm happy to share my story and experiences with you!! -Kathleen
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