I am a single parent raising a 9 yr old boy. He was diagnosed with ADHD at the age of 6 and was put on Concerta and is now on Ritalin and Clonidine (to help him sleep). In the past 6 or so months, he has been exhibiting very aggressive behaviour. He goes into rages, when he doesn't get his way or over any tiny thing. He will scream at me, throw things, break things and will actually hit me. He has thrown balls at me, glasses, etc. He will not adhere to any kind of change and has very low self esteem. He will not try anything new and frequently calls himself a "stupid idiot". He has also stated he wishes he was dead. He defies most all adults, expect his teachers. He refuses to follow any rules. Everything with him is a battle, from sunrise to sundown. He will refuse to take baths at night, refuse to brush his teeth. It takes hours to get him started on homework at night. He does little things that he knows will annoy others and it has gotten to the point that no one wants to be around him, including his aunts, uncles and cousins. I live behind my parents and they have helped me raise him. His father is not very active in his life and my son constantly says he
"hates his daddy". When I try to discipline him and he does not want to do what I tell him, he runs across the yard to my parents house and ends up staying with them overnight. Vice Versa also, if he is mad at them, or does not want to do what they tell him, like take a bath, he runs to me. His is a child that is frightened of most things. He is afraid of the dark and still sleeps with me, or my parents when over there. Even though I am single, the child has been given almost anything he has ever asked for and he does not lack love. He is surrounded by love, but he has become so angry. He seems to be angry 90% of the time. He is infatuared with fire and constantly wants to set things on fire. He used to be an honor roll student, but now his grades are starting to suffer. He is starting to be interested in the opposite sex in a way that worries me. He constantly wants to watch nasty movies and talks about women's breasts all the time. We are on our second psychologist, with no improvement, and he has an appt. in 2 weeks with a psychiatrist. I am scared to death about his future. This is, used to be, a GOOD kid. I, and my parents, are at our wit's end. I am bipolar and I fear I have passed some mental illness on to my son. Please help!!!!!
Your son may well display bipolar disorder - his symptoms certainly suggest this is true. And the fact is that biologically-determined emotional disorders, such as bipolar disorder, are genetically-based conditions and often the treatment plan should include pharmacological treatment. Therapy alone will not be sufficient if bipolar disorder is present. IN addition, you might contact your insurance company, and ask them about family-based intervention, such as Family Stabilization. If this intervention is available, a team of clinicians will come to the home and help you with the concerns you are voicing. Such an intervention is time-limited (e.g., six-eight weeks, twice weekly), and can be quite helpful in your learning systematic ways to manage your son's behavior.
I don't know if this is relevant or not... My neighbor's son also displayed similar symptoms. He had been diagnosed with ADD at a young age. When he was 10, a psychiatrist determined that he was not ADD. He was taken off the medication and his behavior at home began to improve. He was more restless in school and had a bit more trouble with school and homework, but he became calmer and more loving at home. His parents now get spontaneous hugs (on rare occassions, but the first one was after the removal of the medication) and their son is more outgoing. Psychiatrists are still determining the extent and type of learning disability he has, but we are all sure it isn't ADD.
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