I trusted my gut instinct and cancelled my Thursday appointment with the therapist that I wasn’t happy with. I called him today and asked if he had reviewed my son’s case yet and he said he was only half way through. About five minutes later he called me back ready for questions.
I asked him, “So what do you think is going on with my son?”
He said, “Well it looks like he’s dealing with some OCD, impulse issues and oppositional defiant disorder (ODD), possible ADHD and maybe bipolar disorder.”
I then explained that yes he does have a problem with impulses and being defiant, but this is not all the time, only when his moods are off. When he is stable he has self control and obeys us and wants to do well. As for the OCD, I don’t now how he determined that being that he has no OCD tendencies.
Then I asked him, what about him seeing monsters? (Information I provided in the documents he read.)
He said, “For some kids this occurs because they are scared of monsters or of the dark and think they see things. It’s pretty common.”
Then he mentioned that the voices were not typical and that they weren’t coming on gradually so he didn’t think it was schizophrenia. I told him that I agreed and explained that the monsters were not a result of him being scared of the dark.
I then went on to explain the episode that lasted over an hour where he started feeling deep despair followed by seeing monsters. He then experienced quick changing moods of laughter, to crying, to thinking his parents were dead and to him seeing a white bunny with a pink scarf under the bed with his bloody ears cut off, holding a knife and growling at him. After that, my son vomits (from all the adrenaline ) then takes a bath. Once done, he goes down to have dinner and acts as if nothing happened, almost no memory of the episode.
To further demonstrate that these were clear episodes, I then explained a similar thing happening when he left Legoland. While driving home, he sat up with eyes of terror and thought I was a monster in the car trying to kill him, this lasted for about 30 minutes, also occurring after a drastic mood shift into depression.
The therapist responded with, “Is it possible that he just wanted to stay at Legoland and was sad?”
I explained, “No, he was happy to leave, in fact he had a brand new lego in his hand that he couldn’t wait to open once he got back to the house.”
From there I knew he wasn’t getting it. All good questions, but after the materials I provided him, I didn’t think these type of questions would follow.
He then said, “well it’s possible these episodes are mania and in that case I’m leaning towards bipolar. If that’s the case, there’s no way to end the illness, so we can only address his oppositional behavior and impulses. He would need to learn that they aren’t acceptable.”
The fact that he was separating the symptoms had me concerned. Just addressing his oppositional behavior will only lead to him feeling like a bad kid. We need all of his wellness addressed. He needs to learn how to cope with his struggles. Not be punished every time he fails.
So after getting off the phone, I prayed about it, I talked with my husband and I imagined what it would be like if I called him during one of my son’s rages and my gut instinct told me that he wouldn’t be able to help us.
So I cancelled our future appointment.
In the meantime, I have calls out all over town, even our old therapist helped out by giving me names of doctors outside of his HMO that may know where to refer me. It may be a long process, but I’m willing to do the hard work. I’m also approaching this from a different angle, I’m treating this like a job interview, asking them the tough questions, making them explain their experience and theories of practice. I’m making them earn this very important job of helping my son!