It's been one full month since school has been back in session, no ADHD medications, and still no indications of ADHD symptoms in class. At Dallas' therapy session yesterday, we pretty much came to the conclusion that his ADHD behaviors were mainly mood, anxiety, sensory and PTSD-related. It appears that his original diagnosis of ADHD by his first psychiatrist, may have been a misdiagnosis.
This is extremely troubling, particularly since we were aware (and made his pdoctor aware) that there was a biological history of bipolar disorder, depression and alcohol/substance abuse. The indicators were there, but I fear this old doctor is also "old school" regarding the possibility that young children can have bipolar disorder. This was the same doctor who prescribed a tricyclic antidepressant, on top of Ritalin, for his suicidal ideation, rather than consider bipolar disorder, and the danger of prescribing antidepressants to a bipolar person. From all that I've read and researched, and given that there is a biological history of BP, a doctor must assume bipolar disorder is a possibility before giving a child or an adult antidepressant, and not assume they should the first line of defense against depression.
I'm am so grateful that my own mommy instinct kept me from giving him that medication, and that research pushed me to seek out another psychiatrist. The old doctor? Is still diagnosing and despensing medication for children in DCF custody and residential treatment facilities and group homes in particular. Scary.
We had our first set-back since starting Lamictal, last Friday evening. It was pretty awful, and the worst of the violent rage lasted about 30 minutes and ended in an episode that can only be described as a PTSD "flash back" and emotional break down as memories came flooding back. It was absolutely heart-breaking. At the same time, it is also something to feel more positive about as he is finally beginning to recognize and verbalize these awful memories and feelings and each time is another break through. The events that happened to him when he was pre-verbal are just now begining to surface as triggers, and be verbalized as memories. If only we could find a way to help him purge them. He's just barely beginning to understand them at this point, so it will be a long road. :-(
That episode was far removed from how things have been on Lamictal, and for that we are very grateful. We believe it was triggered by tiredness, which triggered aggression, which triggered memories, and on it progresses to the meltdown point... Our focus right now is to try and ensure (somehow) that he gets a good night's sleep -- which hasn't been occurring with multiple wakings in the night. He seems to be back on track though.
A really great thing happened at a school event I was working at last night, however. For the past year or so, Dallas has been too embarrassed and cool to hug or kiss me good bye or hello in front of his friends at school. The most I usually get is a very slight "I love you" hand sign down by his side so only I see it... hehehe.
Last night at this school event, he walked up to me several times, without any prompting whatsoever and hugged and hugged me and said "I love you so much Mom". Right in front of his friends, students, parents and the whole world! One mom even remarked to me that was something you don't see every day, and she was glad to see that some boys still did that to their moms in public, and how sweet and loving he is. It was so nice and just melted my heart.
I was just beaming inside. And secretly?.... I kind of laughed to myself thinking, you have no idea that he kicked me, threw his DS game at me and told me he hated me 3 days ago, so this public display of affection among his peers was pretty MAJOR for him. And for me.
He told me later he did that because he wanted to prove to me how much he loves me and that he doesn't mean to say and do the mean things he does. Pretty profound for a 7 year old with so many mixed up emotions to even look beyond his own feelings and needs.
I know he really does love me. I so wish I could find a way to make the pain, hurt and torture in his mind stop. All I can do is show him I love him, and keep looking for answers.