Thursday, July 12, 2012

Our “Little One” Starts Therapy

This summer has been a tough one for our “little one” who is now 7 years old (the same age when our oldest started showing signs of a mental illness). Over the summer we’ve seen our little one’s agitation grow and anxiety take over as mentioned in a previous post, Staring Over with My Youngest. We’re still not sure if this is just Post Traumatic Stress Disorder from living with his brother, if it’s an Anxiety Disorder or something else, but either way, both our psychiatrist and therapist thought it would be a good idea to start therapy.

We had our first appointment with our therapist yesterday, he’s seeing the same therapist that my oldest sees. After seeing him with his brother at previous appointments, our therapist said that she could see how our little one uses avoidance as a coping mechanism to tune out from the family and she’s witnessed for herself how easily agitated he gets.

This week he refused to use his book light because he was worried that his batteries were going to die. I explained to him that he had new batteries and that I had a bucket of other new batteries so we could replace them when they’re gone. But even after getting out of bed to exam the battery bucket, per his request, he still couldn’t let go of his worry and had a huge meltdown. Then the last few Sundays before church, he gets overwhelmed, begging us not to go to church because it’s too crowded there. We hear the same resistance when we want to eat lunch in a restaurant. At the pool, he’s easily angered, resulting in him screaming, “IDIOT” at his brothers before storming out of the pool and knocking over signs. Around the house, he tends to play alone and often comes across nervous, even hiding his face with his t-shirt as if he feels embarrassed when coming to talk to us. He seems uncomfortable in his own skin lately. For days he’s been moping around the house not wanting to play with his brothers saying, “I hate them, I wish they would go away forever!” He’s easily offended and assumes we’re being mean over the slightest observation about him. He also complains about being scared a lot because of “scary thoughts.” Being that he isn’t as expressive as his older brother, he isn’t willing to tell me about these scary thoughts.

As much as some of these behaviors sound the same as his brother, they seem to come from a different place. With our oldest son, some of the behaviors came from a “dark place”, I don’t know how to describe it other than that. With my youngest, it seems that he’s on high alert and experiencing overload from it. It makes him irritable, anxious, scared, overreactive and at times, explosive. It’s like his body is prepared for the worst all the time and anything can set him off, as a result, he’s emotionally exhausted.

And we’re exhausted too.



7 comments:

  1. I know that, at some point in the future I will read a post about how well your youngest is doing, what at tough road it has been but you all can see the light at the end of the tunnel. And I will be thinking as I always do when I read your posts, how lucky your boys are to have you and your husband. I have no doubts about this whatsoever. But for today, my heart breaks for you.
    Betsy

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    1. Thank you so much Betsy for the encouraging words, I needed them today.

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  2. It sounds like PTSD, which would be completely understandable. But it's tricky because PTSD and bipolar disorder do look alike in some ways. I know what you mean about there being a difference when that behavior is coming from a dark place-I've felt that same way about Bug. Whatever it turns out to be, your little one is lucky you're so on top of it and getting help for him now. I'm just sorry you have to go through this and hope you start seeing results from the therapy soon!

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    1. Thanks Bug's Mom, I’m glad you get what I meant about the behavior being different than his brothers, on the surface there is so much that is the same, but my little one doesn't seek out to hurt others or seek out trouble for entertainment, his behavior seems to be based on reactions to his environment. I hope therapy works too!

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  3. prayers and love from 5th Street. N

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  4. Wow, your youngest one sounds so much like our 9 year old. We've been dealing with this since has was 5. We are so exhausted and quite frankly don't know what to do. We finally got an appt. with a psychiatrist next month and it couldn't come soon enough, I just pray they have some answers. We have 5 kids and I feel so bad because his behavior exhausts us emotionally, physically, and mentally. I feel like we can't give our children our all because of this. Anyway, I'm glad I found your blog! Good luck with everything!

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    1. Hi Stephanie!
      Glad to hear that you are taking steps to get help. This can be a long process and answers may take a while to get, but at least you’re starting while he is still young. I hope you get solutions soon! Let us know what you find out.

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