Today I got an email asking me some good questions and I thought it would be a perfect post since many of you have started reading this blog long after I started writing it. I’ll answers the questions below and if you have more, leave them in the comment section below and I’ll try to answer them.
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I’m new to your blog and I’ve been reading past entries to “catch up”. I now have a few questions:
1. When did you first start seeing symptoms (what age was your son)?
By the time he was in first grade, the teacher started reporting that he was putting his head down in class, refusing to participate and covering his head with his hood. She said that during circle time he would isolate himself from the other kids. We also heard him saying things like, “this is the worst day ever”, “I have no friends” or “I should just cut my head off”. This may have been the first time we started to see depression. It was during this year that we started to see rages at home over homework for the first time. He would become explosive, irrational and very angry over the smallest things. I remember a moment when I looked around the house and saw furniture tipped over, and my son was on the countertops in my kitchen acting like a wild person after hitting and biting me during a 3 hour rage. I knew then that this was serious. I remember that the behavior seemed so out of line with my son’s previous behaviors that I even started to question if my son was being molested at school (he was going to a new school). It was the only place where he was out of my sight and what I was seeing was so dramatically different. My investigation lead to nothing, but the rages continued.
Then over the summer, while on a family vacation with relatives, my son went into a rage in front of everyone. At one point we had him in a room behind a closed door and he was screaming that he wanted to kill everyone. Everyone could hear the screams and violent bangs against the door. After the rage, I clearly remember my son staring out the window and quietly saying, “I’m God’s mistake, I wish I was dead, I should never have been born.” When I came out of the room with him, I remember my mother-in-law comforting me and giving us feedback that what she saw was not normal kid behavior and she encouraged us to take the first step in seeking professional help.
The night before I approached my son’s doctor about trying the recommended medicine, I had a heart-to-heart talk with my son about what he thought about the whole situation and what he wanted to do about it. This is what he said:
“I’m a tornado, destroying everything and you two (his parents) are two large mountains that I’m trying to break through.”
“I want the doctor to give me medicine so I don’t do bad things and act out. I want them to make my ‘bad side’ go to sleep so my ‘good side’ wakes up first.”
Prior to this discussion I remember very clearly a moment when my son was watching a home video of himself when he was younger. He said that it made him sad to see the old home video since “I was so happy back then”, unlike now.
His little brother’s response to the video was “Ah, that was when my brother use to be nice”.
2. What is the longest period of time that a medication has “worked” for your son?
3. How many different meds has he been on?
5. Is there a light at the end of the tunnel? I know you can’t cure this, but have you seen consistent improvement in your son’s symptoms?