Quote from Bubsmomalso:Thank you so much for all of your replies. They mean so very much to me. Sometimes I feel like there is no need to try to get help anymore since nothing has ever helped. I DO keep trying though. It just gets so frustrating when I feel like my husband and I are the only ones fighting for this kid who SO deserves to feel good. Our families are supportive of whatever we do or try, but they aren't the ones who go to all of the many many appointments and live with him and his moods and problems all day, every day. Does anyone know what I mean?
To answer some of the questions:
He has never just been yanked off of any med. The doctor slowly ups the dose when on a new med and slowly weans him off of it when they do change.
He has been on the current meds that I wrote of in my first post since last summer. The only thing that has changed since then is in the last three months since his coming home his psychiatrist has slowly upped his abilify.
About him being bi-polar:
We have been going to the same mental health care center since all of these behaviors and moods started almost four years ago. The first psychiatrist we saw diagnosed him as bi-polar without knowing my son had been molested. He only saw my son a few times before the office brought in a child and adolescent psychiatrist. My son then saw her until he was admitted to the hospital in October of 2003. She said that she did not agree with bi-polar and that the main cause of all the problems was due to my son's biological father abusing him emotionally, physically, and sexually. (In the time since she became my son's dr my son started telling my husband and I and his therapist all what his real dad had done to him. ) My son went for an interview with CPS and told them all about it. Everything he told everyone all was exactly the same, same details, same time frame, same place, same person who had done this to him. My ex husband,(son's biological dad) had an interview with a state policeman detective where in the report it says that my son's dad adamantely denied all of it and agreed to come in and take a polograph test. The appointment was set up and my ex never showed. Then the policeman's report says that he took all of this to the prosecutor who said no charges could be filed at this time.
Needless to say, after a long fight in court, my ex is only to have supervised visitation which he is to pay for. This has not happened once. Instead the ex called me numerous times demanding I let him see his son since I should know that he would never do anything to hurt him. The phone calls only stopped when we moved and no longer had the same number.
Mine and my DH's families have never said one single bad word about my ex or do we even bring him up unless my son does so as not to put any form of ideas in my son's head. All my son has told everyone has always been of his own will. I absolutely REFUSE to make my son any worse off than he is.
Alot of you have said in your posts to look for a dr who uses natural remedies such as vitamins and things like that. That sounds like a good plan to me. My question though is what do I tell or ask the dr and therapist that my son sees now. Will they fight me on weaning him off the meds? When do I start taking him to a new or different dr? Do we go to the new dr before getting him off the meds or wait until he is off them. Do I keep taking him to therapy and keep his case manager? And not the psychaitrist?
So many questions- I'm very sorry. I really do appreciate those of you who take your time to reply and give your thoughts, especially being that you all have your own problems to deal with every day. Once again thank you.
Love and heartfelt wishes to all of you
Oh my, how sad that your son was abused like that. That may have been his problem from the beginning, and bi-polar diagnosis may have been inaccurate. Problem is, once a person is on the drugs, the drugs can effect the brain in such profound ways that in itself needs to be addressed.
From what I've read, when a drug is given theraputically every single day, the brain will eventually not even try to produce the action on it's own the drug normally does, this is dependancy and a shut-down of the brain's own ability to do the job. Then, over time, the brain, with it's wonderful survival instinct, tries to defend itself by building of opposing receptors to the drugs.
In it's effort to control itself over the chemicals, it may set up too many of the wrong receptors(imbalance) in response to the chemicals. This is what can cause tolerance to drug effects, thus the need to escalate dosages or change drugs altogether, only most of the drugs are very simular so the brain could already have alot of opposing receptors built up for the new drug and will soon cover what it hasn't.
Tolerance building can be very slow or very fast, no set time on that. When things are that imbalanced, no way could the brain function correctly if the drugs are taken away suddenly, the brain needs alot of time to re-adjust or recover. Withdrawal itself is only the beginning, after that's over, withdrawal-type symptoms can linger while the brain is recovering, or re-learning how to produce/recieve/metabolize it's own chemicals again.
I'm glad your docs were cautious about the tapering, but the brain is also effected by the new drugs so the cycle continues without any real healing.
So your son, if he was not actually bi-polar to start with, may actually have a chance at recovery but this would be a long, long process with tapering and staying off drugs completely.
Again, this is not something I would say could be done without medical supervision in case he responds badly. You know, to illustrate the unsure nature of chemicals, I've read of some people who have went through this and actually felt better and better as the drugs were weaned, whearas others had continued withdrawal symptoms not only during tapering but long after. It's like night and day for some people. It's very hard to guess how your son would recover, and since his state is so bad, he would have to be watched closely. I always feel it's good to expect the worst case scenario, in order to be prepared. If things end up going smoothly, then it's just that much easier.
I wish I had good news about your doc's support on this issue of perhaps trying other methods besides drugs, I'm not sure your docs will approve. The first line of treatment for most of psychiatry these days is drugs; it's become the instant answer. And once the cycle of chemicals begins, things get complicated and there are no instant answers anymore. But you should ask them and insist they give you the medical support you need for your son.
So, I've never done this sort of thing, so I can't tell you how to find the people who may help you, but you may run into alot of brick walls since drug therapy seems to be the absolute answer as far a most doctors are concerned. It will be hard to find support, however, don't give up looking.....I've read some people have found very supportive doctors when it comes to weaning drugs and finding alternatives.
As a side project for your own information, you might want to read up on Dr. Peter Breggin, he offers alot of infomation on the web. He is one of the few psychiatrists in existance who is anti-drug, so much so he is considered a black sheep in the profession.
I have read others like him who are not so boldly anti-drug but anti-drug nevertheless, have also been scrutinized like Dr. David Healy, a psychiatrist who does prescribe but only very sparingly and has written papers on the dangers of Prozac.
Dr. Ann Tracy, Ann is not a psychiatrist but psychologist PHD and is a very radically anti drug. Her site is in that very strong tone. There are many professionals out there Dr. Loren Mosher, Dr. Joesph Glenmullin, etc. too. They do write books but offer alot of infomation without the need to buy their books.
Many "pro-drug" professionals have written books too, but alot of people ignore that and claim these anti-drug people just want to sell books.
However, usually their websites are full of free information, so money isn't the only motivation and who can say mainstream psychiatry has no monetary gains from their work, eh?? I figure everyone needs to make their living, nothing wrong with that.
So, if you want some interesting reading, check those people out. They have alot of research backing up their beliefs and I feel they are really sincere in helping people who have been failed by conventional psychiatry.
A warning: Dr. Peter Breggin's info and Dr. Ann Tracy's come on very strong and may alarm you; do not let it. They do that because they are passionately anti-drug, but they sometimes scare the wits out of some people with all the bad news.
The reason you should not be alarmed at their severe warnings of the toxic problems of these drugs is because I've personally read of many, many success stories, survivors of psychiatry and medication. Your son can be fine, he's not doomed. He does need the kid-gloves handling and it may take you some time to find just the right medical doctors and alternative therapy people to guide you.
Then again, who knows, perhaps he would be one to recover fast and without much problems...the thing is, one never, never knows how they will react and recover, so it's always good to figure on "worst case" scenario to be safe and sure.....
Wish I knew where to tell you where to go,, who to see, it is something you will have to explore for what's available. Let us know what you find out!