Any advice for a mom of a mentally ill child? - Sybermoms Parenting Forum
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post #1 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-05-2014, 08:04 AM Thread Starter
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Any advice for a mom of a mentally ill child?

Just looking for any advice or support I can find. Long story. I'm married with 13 and 14 year old boys still at home. My 14 year old has been diagnosed with mood disorder NOS and intermittent explosive disorder. My 13 year is intellectually disabled. We don't spank. We do take things away and ground them. My 14 year has to be restrained occasionally to prevent him from hurting himself or people around him. He's bigger than me and physically stronger so I haven't been able to do this for a long time now. I've had my nose Click here to enlarge, been choked, kicked in the ribs, had my arm slammed in a door, etc.
3 weeks ago the psychiatrist took my son off of his main medication cold turkey, Abilify, because it was making him sick on a daily basis. Things went downhill really fast. We were having problems with him already because he was hanging with a really bad group of kids. He'd get cigarettes at school, put a fan in his bedroom window, smoke and literally put them out on the windowsills. We can't have any kind of alcohol in the house because he will take it. I had to install a key lock on my bedroom door and lock up all the medications in the house because he'd sell them. We limited who he was allowed to hang out with, where and what he was allowed to do, etc.
He spent 10 days inpatient last year after he broke my nose and choked me, put numerous holes in the walls. Then he spent an entire summer in a partial hospitalization program. And we've had a mobile therapist coming into our house since then.
My husband doesn't stick with the rules and consequences we set with his therapist. For instance, we agreed with him and his therapist that he has to clean up his room and load/unload the dishwasher to get minutes on his cellphone. He didn't do either, at all, for an entire month so he didn't get minutes. My husband handed over his iPhone to him instead. He kicked me in the ribs one day in front of a big group of people. We grounded him. My husband let him go out with friends the next. After each scenario he always says it won't happen again and he will stick to it.
So things went downhill after the Abilify was stopped cold turkey. My son got caught drinking so he was grounded. He got mad and flipped. Was punching walls and hurt his hand, screaming that he was going to kill himself and all of us. I wasn't home at the time. He calmed down and begged his dad to not tell the hospital or me what really happened because being off his meds he knew a hospital stay would be pushed. He needed an xray. They told the hospital and me he fell down the steps. I knew as soon as I saw his hand he punched something. It was obvious.
The next day my husband gave him permission to go somewhere else after school (again lied to me about where). When my husband told him he was coming to pick him up and he decided he didn't want to come home he just took off. Started sending us text messages that he wasn't coming home unless we agreed to unground him and let him hang out with who he wants. He didn't get his way so he went on Facebook and started screaming that he's an abused child. His stupid friends were encouraging him to keep running. He was posting that he'd rather go to juvenile detention than go home or a hospital. All of his friends have been there.
He was gone for 3 days before we found him and had the police pick him up. He admitted to children and youth services that he hurt his own hand punching things and that he has behavioral issues. He was refusing the hospital so I asked a family member to take him for the weekend until I could get him admitted against his wishes. He's been in a hospital almost 2 hours away since Monday and started on new meds. But he's still acting up.
I have done everything I can. I've been the one to take him to appointments, sit through therapy sessions every week, deal with school, I even took off over a month of work to help him. My other son with special needs is very good natured, does well at school, etc but I had to allow him to be put on medication last year because his brothers issues were causing him so much anxiety.
I think my husband has finally learned a lesson but I feel like its too little too late. I'm ready to take my younger son and move out for awhile. I've even rented an apartment, but I feel like I'm letting everyone down if I actually move into it.
I don't know anyone who has gone through anything even close to this. All of our friends who have witnessed all of this are telling me to get myself and my younger son out of this for awhile and let my husband have to deal with it.
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post #2 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-05-2014, 08:44 AM
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I'm on a break at work, so I only have one minute to reply, but I would be looking at a therapeutic school, probably a residential one. I am so so sorry!
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post #3 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-05-2014, 08:45 AM
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post #4 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-05-2014, 10:55 AM Thread Starter
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A therapeutic school isn't an option until he gets in more trouble at school or legal trouble. The police came when he broke my nose but I didn't press charges and instead agreed to more mental health treatment. A report was filed when he ran away but it doesn't become a criminal issue until he does it again. His mobile therapist and I tried to her him a case manager a few months ago in order to have him put into an after school treatment program but they refused because he was doing a tiny bit better. CYS has the ability to override some things but they are only monitoring temporarily and then dropping it because he's not an abused child.
What the professionals want to do is start sending in 2 new therapists from a completely different therapists from a different agency. All that does is push out the mobile therapist who has been working with him all along because it would be considered duplication of services and insurance won't pay. His mobile therapist has seen it all and knows what goes on.
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post #5 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-05-2014, 10:57 AM Thread Starter
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Sorry for all the typos. Typing from my phone.
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post #6 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-05-2014, 02:58 PM
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I finally had time to read your whole post. When I was reading earlier, I was foggy-brained from my dd's issues. I apologize that I wasn't able to offer more support. Anyway...

In enough time he *will* qualify for inpatient therapeutic school, right? I'm not an expert and I don't have any experience, but it sounds like if you can get him into a good one, it might be really beneficial for him (and for the rest of the family). Do what you can to make sure the school is documenting the problems he has and any problems he causes. Be clear with them that being lenient will probably keep him from qualifying for the treatment he really needs. And if he does anything else illegal, you need to report it and press charges. I hate to say that. I'd have trouble doing it.

In the meantime research the therapeutic schools so when he qualifies, you can push to get him into one that can really serve him.

As for leaving your dh and son, that's hard to say. I just really don't know what's best. I'd try family or couple's counseling first, but then you already have your hands full, so I don't know how realistic that is.

I hope someone can come along and give you a sense of whether my perception of therapeutic school being best for him (and my suggestions on how to get there) are too severe. It's just a really tough situation.
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post #7 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-05-2014, 05:01 PM
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I don't know what to say, but I wish that we could share a bottle of wine and a hug. Damn, that is a bunch to deal with and you need a break and some real support.


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I am not one of those who believe - broadly speaking - that women are better than men. We have not wrecked railroads, nor corrupted legislatures, nor done many unholy things that men have done; but then we must remember that we have not had the chance.- Jane Addams
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post #8 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-06-2014, 03:07 PM
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I can only add that you need to continue to reach out for help from anywhere you can get it.

I'm so sorry you're having to deal with this without the support you need. Click here to enlarge

Please keep reaching out.
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post #9 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-07-2014, 05:49 AM
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I have no experience with this, but it sounds like a terrible situation that won't improve if his condition is not being treated. They took him off Abilify and didn't put him on anything else?

I can only imagine the stress that a situation like this would put on a marriage. I wouldn't encourage you to leave your dh right now. I'd encourage family therapy and possibly in-patient treatment for your son.

I'm so sorry for you.
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post #10 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-07-2014, 05:54 AM
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post #11 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-07-2014, 05:55 AM
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post #12 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-07-2014, 07:03 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BabyKisses View Post
I have no experience with this, but it sounds like a terrible situation that won't improve if his condition is not being treated. They took him off Abilify and didn't put him on anything else?

I can only imagine the stress that a situation like this would put on a marriage. I wouldn't encourage you to leave your dh right now. I'd encourage family therapy and possibly in-patient treatment for your son.

I'm so sorry for you.
Click here to enlarge It seems very strange that they would stop a psych med without something else in place.

It sounds like you need counseling individually and couple's counseling with your DH. He needs to stick firmly to the disciplinary guidelines that you both have set in place.

It sounds like inpatient treatment is a necessity until your son's medications are stabilized. He may need a new doctor if he has one who just stopped a psych med without having something else in place - that can be super-dangerous. Click here to enlarge Click here to enlarge

Can you check with the resources in your area for some type of respite care or outpatient resources? You need some relief.
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post #13 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-10-2014, 07:56 AM
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it sounds like you've already rented the apt, so go for the weekend. take your son and leave your husband home and take a mental health weekend of no stress for yourself so you can just think. your husband should be on your side, not battling against you. that has to make everything even harder.

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post #14 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-16-2014, 12:55 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the replies. I had rented the apartment and then gave it up. Services really lack here. But this is where we are at. He spent 8 days in a psych hospital. He came home a week ago yesterday. They started him on a new med, Risperadon, but increasing slowly and not yet seeing any positive effects from it. He's rude, demanding, and extremely disrespectful. He had a meltdown last Friday night that went on for hours. He woke up his brother, yelling, slamming doors, smashed a trophy, etc... Had another episode Monday night and was refusing to take his meds.
The hospital was supposed to change his services to family based, which just means 2 therapists instead of one, they'll help him, as well as our family to manage this, and come out to help with his meltdowns. But that's yet to happen. His mobile therapist has increased her hours but it's not really helpful.
I've been trying to get the school to help all along. But they've claimed they don't have time to meet in person to get everyone on the same page. They're down a guidance counsellor and he's doing fine they said. I guess. If fine means failing everything with grades of 20 and below and they admit to being concerned about the peers he's hanging around with. But, this week, they've finally agreed to test him for learning disabilities out of the blue. We have a meeting on the 23rd.
His psych had taken him off the Abilify because he was vomiting on a daily basis and over the last 6 months he's had swollen lymph nodes in his abdomen and an enlarged spleen. After testing for everything else his per could think of, they thought it was the Abilify that was causing it (it was as he's not getting sick anymore). I did question it because I knew he'd go downhill, but was told he had to be off Abilify for at least 2 months before they could start anything else.
There isn't a residential school for him anywhere around here. There's a residential placement but he's going to have to get into more criminal type trouble in order to get sent there. There is no respite care available here.
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post #15 of 15 (permalink) Old 10-01-2020, 09:24 AM
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