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Seeking advice from Mental health professionals or anyone else

Mia2Desarbo's picture


SS14 has always has "Emotional issues" (Oversensitive, aggressive, immature, lashing out etc.) since 4 or 5 years. SS14 has been under the care of both a Psychologist and Psychiatrist for many years and medicated for his issues. 

For the last two years SS14 has had a few Explosive meltdowns from minor issues that resulted in SS14 breaking our things and DH getting hit by SS14. Not sure if these explosive meltdowns are getting worse or just seem worse because SS14 is bigger and stronger than years ago. Due to Covid SS14 has been doing full Remote learning for the last two months. This has been a disaster. Both BM and DH get daily emails saying SS14 refuses to turn his camera on or answer questions when asked. SS14 also has lied about doing his HW to DH and BM. Finally the teachers started reaching out to DH and BM stating SS14 has not handed in ANY HW in three weeks. When Confronted about this and told SS14 HAD to sit down now and get his HW done now SS14 flipped out. SS14 started crying hysterically refusing saying he was going to kill himself. Yes all over being told no more excuses get your HW done. Of course DH backed down and called SS14 Psychologist saying SS14 is Severely depressed and suicidal. The Psychiatrist talked privately with SS14 and after told DH that SS14 was not Suicidal just stressed over both parents bugging him about doing HW. Now I should add all SS14 wants to do in his free time is watch tv. He won't go outside or do anything else. DH has threatened to take the tv away in SS14 bedroom and SS14 started crying saying SS14 would kill DH if DH tried. 

So yes this kid has a few screws lose or something. My questions....

1. Could SS14 just being having these crying/ threatening meltdowns to get out of doing things he does not want to do?

2. Does this sound like depression? This is what the Psychiatrist thinks 

3. Other's thoughts????

tog redux's picture

There is not enough information here to challenge the diagnosis the doctor gave him.  And 1 and 2 are not mutually exclusive. He could be depressed but manipulating to get his way with outbursts and threats. If his parents react to that behavior by giving in, then he's learned how to use it. But that doesn't mean he has zero mental health issues and he's just being a jerk.  


Mia2Desarbo's picture

Yes BOTH parents back down when SS14 flips out. SS14 Definitely is spoiled Defiant BUT I don't know ANY 14 yr old that can act so Convincingly as far as crying hysterically to a point he's gaging and almost vomiting when DH try's and gets him to do something SS14 does not. 

tog redux's picture

Because he's probably not acting - he may have trouble regulating his emotions,  which should be what therapy is helping him learn.  They need to learn to parent better as well, and teach him how to cope with negative feelings rather than backing down when he has outbursts. 

Rags's picture

I am a huge proponent of the work time Vs fun time model of consequence.  If this kid isn't working when he is supposed to be working then he works when he is supposed to be relaxing and having fun.

No discussion, just implement.

Time for misery and isolation since that is what he is earning by his choices.

This model worked extremely well with my SS when he was at that stage.  The infuriating thing about my Skid was that he would nearly always do his his work, then hot turn it in.  He was also extremely aware of what was required to pass while doing the bare minimum and then doing what he wanted to do rather than what he knew he should do.

I would guess that your Skid knows full well what he has to do an dis choosing to leverage his behavioral crap to avoid doing the work.  The solution, IMHO, is a state of escalating misery and discomfort for him.

No TV, no entertainment at all, homework and then countless hand written sentences in perfect handwriting, perfect spelling, and perfect grammar focusing on his poor choices.

"I will do as instructed by my teachers, I will turn on my camera, leave my camera on, promptly answer any and all questions asked of my be my teachers, and I will do my work and submit it promptly."

10,000 times at a rate of 180 per hour. Any missed hourly quota erases all sentences written to that point and he starts over from ZERO.  14 is long past old enough to go to zero tolerance for this crap.

Kids these days use the syndrome of the month bullshit t their advantage and parents sadly buy it hook like and sinker far too often.

Mentally ill or not, this kid knows exactly what he is doing and that cannot be tolerated IMHO.

Misery is an amazing inducer of performance improvement.  So, deliver a state of escalating misery until he improves his performance.

Good luck.

Wicked stepmo.'s picture

As an adolescent and he is suffering from depression his ability to self regulate will be more impaired than that if the average teenager. 

That being said, structure and consistency remain important. Because he feels out of control his environment should help provide that control. 

He should have clear boundaries and expectations, with clear rewards and consequences.

An example if SS shows he completes his homework for the day he earns X time playing video games or watching tv. 

Everything except basic necessities are privileges that are earned. 

I agree if he makes threats to harm himself or others he should learn their are real consequences for those actions and he should be taken to the ER for evaluation. He should also be taught better ways to vent his frustration, whether it be a punching bag, listening to music with headphones. Things that will help distract him from his negative feelings and thoughts until the emotions pass.

Mia2Desarbo's picture

To hurt/kill himself or others we are to call 911 and have him evaluated in the ER. Well DH told SS14 (when SS14 was calm) that SS14 needed to STOP saying he was going to kill himself or others or someone would end up calling 911 on him and send him to a mental hospital possibility. SS14 said he can and will say whatever he wants and if anyone try's and take him away he will kill them or himself. DH asked how SS14 would kill himself if he was sent to jail or mental hospital and SS14 said he would find someone at the jail to do it.  One would think that threat would scare a kid but nope. 

Rags's picture

Time to stop playing this kid's games, take his life out of his own hands, and put him under the strict  control of professionals, the courts, and law enforcement.

He is a risk to himself and others.  That must be mitigated as aggressively as necessary to ensure the safety of others first, and him second. Your DH should have immediately called 911 when the kid threatened to kill himself, have himself killed, or kill those transporting him.

Zero tolerance.  This kid needs to be in a rubber room drugged into a semi coma before he hurts someone or himself. Let the system and professionals gradually work him through treatment and the wellness process.

My childhood BFF was Dx'd with schizophrenia in his late teens/early 20s.  His parents had him committed, made a ward of the state, and supported forced intervention and forced care and medication for his condition.  He is now 58.  He has lived in a small apartment attached to his parent's home for the last 20+ years.  He has outlived all of the projections for survival for someone Dx'd with Schizophrenia by nearly 20 years and counting.

He is fairly stable and diligent in taking his meds. But he does upon occasion go off of his meds, looses touch with sanity, and his dad has to call 911 to have him taken to the Psych hospital to be treated with therapy, stabilizing him on his meds again, and getting in back in touch with sanity/reality.

I applaud his parents for making the hard choices to protect him, themselves, and society from their mentally ill son.

It would be great if the parents of all out of control mentally unstable children would do the same thing.  Protect the kids, protect themselves, and protect others regardless of how unpleasant that may be.

Thumper's picture

Follow ALL instructions and guidance of mental health professionals involved in SS's case.



Thefatherismyfamily's picture

My SD was worse when she was 14 and it wasn't even a pandemic. She'd cry say, she wants to kill herself, ball her fists up like she wanted to punch people, literally punch her dad and brother, come towards me like she was going to attack me, run away in public with her mouth foaming and her hair all matted down with sweat, swearing and screaming in public, refusing to do any chores nor follow any rules, talking back and being inappropriately nosy, break things steal things talk trash about people, be judgy and racist, insecure, treat people like objects she could control. She was also diagnosed with anxiety and depression. Right now she's 16 and she has full blown depression and anxiety that is very obvious. She's on a ton of meds and always has a million doctors appointments. On the other hand, I also have a teenage stepson and a teenage daughter, neither of whom had any of these symptoms and are doing perfectly fine. They are calm, socially appropriate, knows how to express their feelings calmly, are rational people. 

Thought-i-had-this's picture

Okay so this child is clearly suffering and his responses are always in danger of being manipulative based on knowing how to get what he wants. However, this sounds similar to borderline high functioning autism, definitely on the autistic spectrum im guessing. Unfortunately you cannot ever ignore and treat a suicide mention as acting out even if it seems that way. 

What you should be doing is focusing on the lead up to volatile situations and be creating time and spaces where it can be managed better. You can't control SS when he's in a hysterical state however you can try to prevent and help before hand and afterwards.

Try transitioning aids, inform him of a 'traffic lighted' process where right now you're doing *insert here* and it's fun/interesting (always a positive spin) but we need to look at homework soon. [GREEN] Youve done so well doing *previous task* In 10 minutes you need to start your homework. [AMBER] and well done finishing the task, now we're ready to do homework [RED]. You repeat the red until it is done and patiently wait for the tears and tantrums to stop and repeat again until it is done. When there is yelling and things thrown etc you sit and wait. Perhaps say that you understand that they are upset, would they like to calm down and breathe with you? If no..wait...try again..if they try to be aggressive with you, hold their wrists not their hands in a loose hold and tell them you are not allowing yourself to be hurt...if they do then try slow breathing from yoga or whatever you find easier. Rub their palms to soothe them and have their eyes closed. It will take forever for this to take, especially in the beginning because resilience will be so high. The idea is here that you acknowledge his feelings, yet ignore them and not yield and hopefully even if its 2 hours in...get a result that at least moves towards the parents goals rather than the child's. 

This being said...this is bio parents job and also you should talk everything through about managing the behaviour before it gets to the boiling point. At will have to compromise, it is the way of life for parents of additional needs children. Pick your battles and let SS guide you.