My son was diagnosed through Children's Behavior Health June 2009 with schizoaffective DO and Bi-Polar. After 3 visits to their acute facility, he was transferred to a residential facility here in Denver CO. He has been there since Oct 2009. He is currently on Depakote, Abilify, Resperdone, tenax (for his shaking) and Mentocyclin (for his acne).
After 2 rape accusations, continued outbursts, cutting, seeing demons and waking up on the stairs with bruising that could not be explained we had him admitted. The later of the diagnosis was recently given to us a week ago.(sociopath/narcissistic)
Last night I woke from sleep from a dream remembering an injury he'd had around 11/2-2yrs old. He knocked his head on an elliptical. The injury was on the right front side of his forehead. He had a baseball size knot for some time and severe bruising. He was not knocked unconscious. He was "ok". With this dream I had and the pictures I found from the incident I had saved due to a family vacation, I've been researching frontal lobe injurys. Some of his issues are described in these papers/documents.
How do I seek help in getting him tested? Is it possible to repair that kind of an injury from so long ago and help him return to a more normal state? He is my son, and was my only till I married 3 years ago and had the 2 little ones. It was always me an him. My family is afraid of our safety with him as are the professionals. I have to make this right. He's handsome, smart and has the hugest heart. Please help me. I will do anything to find the answer for him so he can have a life he was suppose to have vs. looking at adult facilities once he turns 18 in November. I beg anyone out there, please help me find a way to help my son. I am continually educating myself and will do so until I find an resolution. Your insight and experience and professional knowledge is greatly appreciated! Thank you from the bottom of a mom's breaking heart watching a gifted son grow into an adult having to be hospitalized to keep himself and society safe. Thank you, thank you!
The best thing is to have him see a neurologist and explain what happened. They could then test him for a TBI (traumatic brain injury) and see if there were any after effects from that as that can cause some mental symptoms as well depending on the level of impact.
The brain is very plastic and therefore can make new connections. As your sons brain is still developing there may be a small chance for some change. Once the brain is damaged though that is permanent.
You could try asking your son's doctor or try a neurologist, neuropsychologist or neuropsychiatrist. I have heard people mention that teaching hospitals are good.
Can a sociopath have a huge heart?
I personally would get a second opinion. I would also be concerned that he could be excessively medicated. I think a good therapist could also be somewhat helpful in helping him to change his behavior.
You may also like to try posting your question on the neurology expert forum. They may be better able to advise.
im not sure if the injury is what caused your sons problem. just try to think if he had any of the symptoms before then. and what age was he when you sought help for him? idk if they can fix an injury like that. but im guessing you should talk to the doctors wherever he is at now and ask them about x rays or mri on the brain. or whatever can tell u if there is brain damage. i wish the best for u and ur son and ur family and god bless.
Another important point is to put things into perspective and to accept reality.
As much as we would like too, there is no turning back the clock and changing the past. Dealing with current symptoms could be quite helpful.
I heard someone talking about biofeedback a number of years ago for treatment for TBI. I don't know anything about that but maybe that is something you could check out too.
Thank each of you for your response. Time to do that means alot to me. I also appreciate the glimpse of hope too but more so the support of facing reality as it is. One of you mentioned can a sociopath have a big heart. I know I feel it as his mother. I remember him doing things and seeing things previously that showed it. The current team of therapists he has though feel he was acting or mimicking me and my actions vs. they being real. As a mom, that is hard to hear. I'm still in the processing stage of all of this. :)
As for some of the other questions about history: the injury occurred when he was approximately 18 months. The "signs" didn't start showing from my recollection until he was about 7 with lying, fits out of control and then also playing with fire and setting stuff on fire in the house. I sought testing at that point and only found out he was "advanced" in his education and had an attitude that "he knows what he wants". At 7! Anyhow..because I was a single parent, my normal attention to detail of things were passed of mainly that he was "just a boy" or "kid things". At 13 he set himself on fire. I started getting help on a regular basis then (obviously). The sad part of our "systems" out there is you have to search to no end to find someone that will help you the way they should be. When he was 16 and before Children's Hosptial in May 2009, he had 2 rape accusations, cutting and bruising and waking up on stairs in the middle of the night, sneaking out & having sex in public places I went to an ER here. They sent us home with meds that had him drooling on himself and wouldn't hardly get up to use the restroom. They said he was on the "border" of needing acute attention, but insurance would fight us. I went the next day to an actual Behavior Health facility begging to help us. At first they identified without having a conversation that my son & I were having a "power struggle". I grabbed my purse and the tears fell so hard and fast and I told the professional, this has nothing to do with a power struggle. I'm the parent period. It has to do with trying to save my son from either killing himself, someone else or getting put in jail for rape accusations. Once she heard this she took the time for us and also said we were "borderline" in needing the acute facility, but that insurance would argue it. They referred me to Children's Hospital where we participated in the Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP) 3 times, In patient 3 times and day treatment 2 times. After the 3rd in patient they sent him residential and involved the county. Because he physically scolded my 2 yr daughter (spanking on the hand) Social Services was called on him. Nothing derived from it, but they also had to call Social Services once while he was inpatient for being a reckless patient. Anyhow at Children's I had 2 teams of therapist/psychologists/psychiatrists. We have a similar team structure at his current resident facility as well. I know his meds seem like quite a lot. They've been adjusted so much to balance things and make demons he "feels" go away and contain the racing thoughts. They continue to monitor that which is good. Even thought he is residential both my husband and I are actively involved in the team and the decisions made, not only with the team at the residential facility, but also the county team(this is a team of professionals through the state that are involved as well) that is helping support the process.
My fear is that the county and the current residential professionals feel that he will need to transfer from adolescent residential to adult residential at 18. I can't see a child I've worked so hard to raise live his life in "facilities". Even if it's to keep everyone safe. I know I'm shooting for a dream that may never happen, but if there are alternatives I've not found, procedures I can find that will help him live the life he should be able to live I will dig and dig until I find it. He's my son. I know it's a tireless and exhausting and possible endless battle, but I go back to he's my son. My heart breaks every second of every day as I watch a child that had big dreams and plans slowly deteriorate into the world of mental illness. I watch all I had imagined he could do become no longer possible because of the disability of a mental illness.
Thank each of you again! Your sweet, kind heart and words are uplifting and hopeful. I will also try the other forum suggested. I know it's a long shot..but I'm willing to try anything at this point to save him. Thank you again and BIG HUGS!
Maybe you were projecting your care and concern onto him.
Your son's behavior does seem significant. I can't even begin to comprehend how devastating this must be for both you and your family. I almost sense that a part of this push for a cure, a miracle, is due to him injuring himself on your exercise equipment and you feeling responsible. (Separate from a mother wanting the best for her child and to protect him.)
I think given his current status it is inevitable that he will be transferred to an adult facility.
Of most concern to me is his antisocial behavior. I think antisocial personality disorder is the correct term, not sociopath. From what I have read this is one of the most difficult disorders to treat.
If he were released back into the community and raped and murdered, which would be the greater burden, him being sheltered in a facility or knowing that your need to have him live normally cost someone their life.
It's not easy. Do what you need too. Continue to engage with him and his treatment team. Keep researching if you feel that is helpful.
Just wondering if the antisocial behavior isn't happening during a manic episode?? I guess health professionals would know and would run differential diagnoses.
One last thing. I would also recommend therapy or a support group for yourself (?and your family). I think you need to be able to talk to someone about this and how you feel. My concern is that you could become unwell due to all the stress.
I agree with Jaquta. I am a stepmom to 3 adult kids, as well as having raised my own. The oldest stepkid needed help desperately years ago - including playing with fire episodes. I could relate with many of the things that you said; his diagnosis is paranoid schizo, although he has no social skills and cannot get along in society. He had also attempted suicide before I ever met his father. While help for his son was promised by my betrothed (and I wanted to believe him) before I would marry him, my husband refused to follow through with the promise once the marriage occurred. My stepkid was dumped on me. I was told that all he needed was my love as a good "Christian" woman. I refused and told my husband that he better keep looking for another new wife! Loving the kid does not fix mental illness! I solicited help from outside sources like a minister, who my husband respected. Again, husband-promises were made to get the kid help and into a living arrangement for the good of the child. Please note: This was not a punishment for the child, but I cared and loved him enough to want to help him. No follow through again by husband's promises, and my hands were tied legally to help him as a stepmom. Fast forward 10 years: To make a very long story short, my stepson attempted to kill his father, me, and my still-at-home minor son. We never did anything to antagonize him. This now 27-year-old just appeared with a loaded gun and tried to blow our brains out. Thank goodness, the gun jammed. His pocket knife was his next weapon of choice - he stabbed his father in the back, which produced pain, but not death. I really wonder if this episode could have been prevented, if his father had followed through to get his son the help that this kid needed and deserved.
When the expert mental health team tells you that your son could be dangerous, please believe them. They know far more than moms or fathers, whose emotions of guilt and love are wrapped up in a wrong decision for the child. While I had the advantage of not having as close of ties to this 17 year old stepson when I married his father, I still wanted to get him help in a mental health facility out of love. Without the resident help, I also had no idea that my stepson would go this far either, but he was very dangerous - and still is.
Please get help for yourself in resolving the mommy-guilt. You are not responsible for mental illness. It's a misfiring in the brain that you had nothing to do with. What if my husband would have been able to resolve it sooner that our incident? It would have been so much more loving for the stepson and safer for us. My stepson is now in Pueblo,CO and his father and I have been separated since shortly after the attack. I can not live with my husband any longer for the safety of my minor child and me. My stepson is stating that he will attack his father again - as soon as he convinces the mental health professionals that he is fine. He can be very convincing while lying. As the DA office told me, he will be out in 4-5 years! Overcrowding or some such nonsense. That's not loving him or getting the resident care that he needs permanently. Not Guilty by Reason of Insanity does not work when he has no intention of staying on his meds once he is formally released from the mental hospital. My spouse says that he didn't/couldn't get his son help because he viewed it as punishment - as being mean - to his son. I viewed it as loving his mentally ill son enough to get him the help he needed. Divorce is eminent. Please don't let this happen to your family.
I think love and acceptance can help heal the emotional damage which is prevalent in many mental illnesses but not all.
I'm sorry that you and your family had to go through that trauma.
People with similar diagnoses, if untreated, have the potential to do devastating things.
Many, I don't think, set out to intentionally hurt people. It is an illness.
If a cat is run over do you not get it treatment because that will hurt it in the short-term?
There are lots of examples in medicine and in life where things are done that hurt people but that help people. Chemo for cancer, etc.
Your spouse is extremely ignorant. While his concern for his child is touching it very nearly killed him and others.
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