Friday, August 13, 2010

Crying After the Kids Go to Sleep...

If you ask me what I’m going to do tonight, the answer is cry.

You see, the kids are still up, I just fed them and in about 30 minutes I’m going to put them to bed, then I’m going to cry and let out all this aching pain inside.

I’ve been carrying this sadness around since this afternoon, when I had to hold my son through a rage. I had to hold him to the ground, then fight to keep the door closed, while he was trying to hit me with a toy gun. He threw my eye glasses across the room and he dumped glass cleaner all over his room. I was bit and kicked while I watched the veins pop from his neck as he screamed at me.

I realized more today that he’s getting stronger as he gets older, I barely had the strength to hold his arms flat on the ground while my legs tried to keep his feet from kicking me. We both were dripping with sweat and grunting as we fought to maintain control. If there was a referee watching our wrestling match, I think it would’ve been a close match.

This rage went on for almost an hour.

Tonight my joints are throbbing, I have rug burns on my legs, my shoulders and back are a mess from trying to pull the door closed for over 20 minutes, using all my body weight and still not having the strength to keep it closed. I feel beaten up.

This rage started when my son asked his brother if he would play a game with him. When his brother said no, he attacked his brother. I immediately put him into his room for a timeout and he exploded once again. I tried to keep the door open, to keep him from escalating, but it was too late, he was already holding up objects to throw at my head. Next, I placed him into a hold, hoping this rage could be wrestled out of him, that he would grow tired as he fought to get free. But that moment never came, he seemed to grow stronger and I could feel myself losing control, that my physical strength was no match for what was burning inside.

This rage isn’t the first this week. He had 3 episodes yesterday and this morning he woke me up to tell me that he could feel his anger coming back. This all follows a solid week of peace while he was sick on the couch with a virus, we knew on the 8th day that he was getting better when he destroyed his brother’s lego creations and paced the house in a bad mood within an hour of getting up.

Tonight, I don’t have the energy to figure this all out, I just want to cry... right after the kids go to sleep.


  1. I'm so sorry about this! I just sent you an email, then saw your post about your awful week. Mine has been rough, too. I showed up at tae kwon do yesterday in tears. But after increasing his dosage, we had a great day today. I keep hoping we'll find a magic solution. Sending hugs to you tonight!

  2. I'm so sorry! I do feel your pain. We had an episode like this this morning. It is so hard to keep it all together, isn't it? It is so overwhelming. I hope and pray you have a good day. Good days make the bad ones seem less daunting and more managable. :)

  3. I was told when they rage to remove yourself and your family. Is that possible or do you think he would hurt himself? If he is too young to leave alone, get in the car and drive around the block keeping an eye on the house or take a walk down the street still keeping an eye on the house. I know this worked for Kenzie. When she did not have an audience she would die down a lot faster and no one got hurt or so scared. It seems that when we held her it just gave her the fuel she needed to make it last longer and the fight she wanted. If you think he will hurt himself it may be time to take him to a hospital. You can't keep going like this- getting hurt and terrifying your family. He is only going to get bigger and stronger! I only say this because I have been there too. My heart aches for you and I just want to help you. I know the desperation you are feeling. Hope what I said helps you. Hang in there! Hugs to you-Amy

  4. I am SO sorry you had to go through this. I can only imagine how difficult it must have been. I hope things got better after last night. You are in my thoughts and prayers.

  5. I'm sorry. I know first hand it can be so overwhelming and exhausting. What is happening with your son's meds? It sounds like an adjustment is needed to help with the rages. You guys can't keep going at this pace.

  6. Thank you everyone for your support and encouraging words. It really helps to not feel so alone with all this. We are talking to his doctor about another medication (Risperdal M) for his rages, but I'm hesitant to add a 3rd medication. So I've decided to give it a little more time to see if he recovers once his body is fully healed from the virus. He did nap the last 2 days, which he never does, so I'm assuming that he's still healing. Also, he isn't on a full dose of his mood stabilizer, so we may want to increase this first before adding in a different medication. I do agree that we can't keep going at this pace and my son has mentioned it too, so we'll have to make a change if he doesn't regain stability.

  7. I have just found your blog and have been reading many posts. I have an 11 year old son who was diagnosed at age 8. Everything you have posted I have experienced with my son. Thanks for sharing.

  8. Thank you so much for reading! What was your son diagnosed with? Has your son gotten better over the years of treatment? What is your biggest struggle now, at age 11?

  9. I just found this blog and applaud your openness. There are many of us out there going through this with our kids. I have a 17 year old daughter who has auditory hallucinations and is so scared that it has impacted her life in many ways. We have a great doctor who has tried many meds and alsoover 60 ECT treatments and we seem to be in the same place. If anyone else out there has experienced these auditory hallucinations and has any ideas about how to cope with them, please post a response.

  10. My son has had some auditory hallucinations. For us, things improved when we increased his mood stabilizer. Since we maxed out the dose, we haven't had this problem.

    But I know this is different for every person, sometimes people hear voices when they are manic and the mood stabilizer helps to calm that down, but what may be causing it in another kid may be very different.

    Since you are struggling with this, I will post this question as a new post so that readers can give their feedback on what has worked. So check back on my blog today and look at today's post to see if there are any good responses. You may want to check back over the week too.
    Mama Bear

  11. Ok, I posted your question. Here is the link:

    Also, you may want to send your question to the website:

  12. I am sorry u had to go thru that. I have done the strong hold on my 4year old and felt he was already stronger than me at his age, even my father in law couldnt believe his strength...

    I am feeling so overwhelmed and angry and scared, cause this totally sounds like my FOUR year old, and i dont want it to be thankful to most likely found the answer but also upset cause i dont want to admit to myself or anyone my sweet adorable funny beautiful boy has a MENTAL ILLNESS!

    Do they still have these hour long fits WITH meds?

    I read about the monsters and stuff, omg, how in the heck can i put my baby on drugs that might cause that

    Im crying cause this sucks. Totally sucks.

    We have his second apt tomorrow, im bringing your blog along. I wasnt able to descibe to the doc very well how hes acted most of his short life, but u describe it perfectly for me...

  13. Anonymous-I understand how overwhelmed, angry and scared you feel. I'm glad you're going to have him seen by a doctor. Are you seeing a psychiatrist?

    Yes, the medications have changed his rages for the better. Before meds they happened all the time and sometimes up to 3 hours, but with the start of meds, they started to become less often and much shorter, with his recent addition of Lithium, he hasn't had a rage yet and says he doesn't feel anger inside anymore.

    With your child being so young, I doubt any doctor would start with Lithium. In my experience they like to start with the most benign options first. When my son first had Tenex, we saw an immediate difference, this helped to confirm we were dealing with a chemical imbalance. As he grew older, his symptoms got worse and he needed stronger medication.

    As for the monsters, years later, I believe it was caused by his mood disorder, not the medication. It may be him in a heighten state of anxiety, making his brain see scary stuff. I don't believe you have to worry about the medication causing this. I would make sure your child doesn't become more depressed as I've seen this as a side effect that went away once we removed the drug.

    The whole thing is very complicated, there are no easy answers and what works for one kid doesn't work for another. Starting with the most basic things first before trying meds may be an good idea. For example, trying different parenting techniques. (We tried Magic 1,2,3) Searching for other illnesses such as allergies, thyroid issues etc. We even had a brain scan done to rule out brain tumors. If your child really has a mental illness, no parenting, food restrictions etc. are going to work. But you will have peace of mind before going to meds that you have covered these things first. I know for me, it has given me peace of mind as we have moved into more powerful drugs. I know for certain that this is a mood disorder and it would be cruel for me to withhold medication from my son, in the end, I know we are doing the right thing.

    I wish you the best of luck in your appointment tomorrow. Don't leave without asking all the questions, I say this because some doctors like to rush you. I always bring a list with me. And don't be afraid to change doctors, we've done this several times already.

    Also, if you haven't already, start a mood chart where you chart all the symptoms and episodes. If they don't know what is happening with your child, these charts will become a valuable tool over the years, creating a picture for them to understand. My own charts helped our therapist determine that this was a mood disorder based on the patterns of his moods demonstrated in the charts I created.

    I can also share that be prepared to be patient. I had hope of having clear answers years ago, but I have learned that in child psychology, there are no clear easy answers and it may take years to really know what's going on. It is pretty common to get multiple "labels" before discovering the right one. If your child truly has a mental illness, things will become more obvious as his symptoms get worse. When that happens, you will be very ready to try meds, if you aren't already.

    I spoke with my son about your post and he wanted you to know, “Don’t be afraid of medication, it will only make both of your lives better.”

  14. Thank u for your resonse. We r going to a psychotherapy clinic. They plan to send us to a psych doc for a full eval. I will def have them check for any and everything but i cant tell you how very very very similar our kidssound. Although myson does not have any sensitivity to sounds, food, or making decisions, the uncontrolable fits, which come out of no where. And the anger and growling, the intensity, and duration. I too have tried every single parenting method, and they work when hes not in a mood, which for him last for days... Hour after hour of fits... But nothing nothing nothing works when hes having a fit.

    Im so very thankful to have found this blog. I atleast dont feel so alone.

    Im first and foremost going to pray pray pray and have him prayed for. I know God can heal him if its his will. Then im going to take him to a few dif docs to have a few opinions.

    I know with him being so young its going to be hard.

    My hubby is totally against meds...

    Thank you again for this blog!
    Im starting a mood chart today too!!!

  15. I totally understand that nothing works in a rage. In the beginning I would try to stop his behavior, thinking we could reason with him, but I've learned after hundreds of rages that once their trigger is switched, there's nothing you can do but keep everyone safe and wait for your child to return to normal. Now my focus is on preventing rages, which means my son has very "loose rules", we've had to let a lot of stuff go, but it is important to stop the rages.

    I will be praying for your son tonight, if you care to share, let us know how the appointment goes. As for husbands and medication, it is very common for Dad's to be resistant to meds in the beginning, they are coping in their own way and in their own time. I know my husband was resistant too, but in his own time he came to support the decision too. Now he tends to lead the way for me.

    May God bless you, your child and your marriage!

  16. What kind of document do you use to chart his moods?

  17. Right now I’m using more of a "log" format that our old therapist suggested. It has the following:

    EVENT (what was going on, like dinner, or swimming at the pool)
    CHILD’S ACTIONS (what your kid did, or symptoms shown)
    PARENT’S RESPONSE (how I responded, like a time-out or comfort child)

    I add in any dates with medications starting or increases and even log in their reaction to medications.

    I will probably be looking at other charts soon. Some people use a number system for the day with 1 being mania 5 is normal and 10 is depression then they use a number to show how the kid was feeling that day. But my son's moods change too much throughout the day, I would have too many numbers.

    Here is a list of mood charts recommended by CABF:

    I hope that helps!