The Crew - Miss Fabulous, Lil Bro, Big Sis and Mr. Man

Monday, March 15, 2010

Warning - Psychotic Episode In Progress!

This post from the Porter family is spot on as Christine put over at Welcome to My Brain.

I decided to linky-dinky-do these because they were right in line with what I was preparing to gab about. 

Little Miss had herself a public rage yesterday, first time since Sept that we have had a public rage.  Which is kind of interesting timing when you consider this article from The Bipolar Child newsletter.

I use this blog to keep track of the goings on of our life and the goings on of our kids’ illnesses too so here's what I know:

Miss is attached/attaching to her family. She is most attached to Mom, no one can comfort her like Mom can. She also has an unhealthy need to be in control of Mom's attention. She is not secure that Mom will not go away, she knows Moms sometimes do go away and that her first Mom left her in a scary place and never came back.

Additionally she has learning issues and brain activity that is in harmony with FASD. Do I know for 100% sure that she had those exposures? No. Is it likely? Yes.

We know because of how she has responded positively to major psychiatric medications that her brain does not function chemically as it should. Through tracking we located very clear cycling that supports Bipolar Disorder.

We know from her behaviors that she is a child of trauma. She does not have verbal memory of the trauma because of how young she was at the time that the traumas occurred but all mental health professionals involved agree the trauma was significant.

So when I sit down and logically look at what this child has stacked against her it is amazing the progress that we have made together as a family. Some believed that she "may never" improve from her traumas and indeed she has, she has improved a lot.

Even after her public rage she now accepts that she was wrong that her behavior was unacceptable. Before she truly believed that she did what she had to and you deserved what you got. She understands that we love her even if she does rage.

So here's what happened. We were at our religious service yesterday and she did not want to be there. In the past several months she has started zoning out in the form of sleep when she wants to avoid something. Not always a bad thing for sure and much better than a rage. But this was 3:30 in the afternoon and if she sleeps then we know from experience that she will not sleep at night. We gently tried to direct her away from the sleep attempt and she was not having it. She kicked the seat in front of her and we knew right then it was go time. We tried to quietly calm her but she continued to hit Dad and we were certainly a bit of a distraction so she needed to be removed.

So we now have a almost 7 year old child hissing and spitting and kicking with high heel sandals (which did a number on Dad's leg) as Dad removes her from the building. Dad got her outside and tried to use the block and redirect technique but Miss was having none of it, she was out for blood and when she is at that point only being put in a hold will help her to regain control. One of the attendants came and got me at Dad's request and I went and stood with them and encouraged Miss to do her breathing, which she did. On lookers would peak their head around the corner to check on us and she would scream and hiss at them and they would tuck tail and run away. They got the point to stay away, we were around the side of the building where she could not see other people. She became calm with in a few minutes and I asked her if she felt in control and could Dad let go of her? With those wild animal type eyes she shook her head no she was not ready for him to let go. So he held her for another minute or so and I asked her again, she said yes. She wanted to go home and that's a tough call because in part it seems like a good idea to go home but the reality is that for a child like Miss they are always learning, we call it "changing the game". It seems to me to be a large contributor to why no specific consequence helps to change behavior in a child like this. Whatever "motivator" worked this time or seemed to probably won't work next time because they have the ability to no longer be interested in that motivator, nothing is more important than control because control means safety and so they will look to remain in control of the things that only they have control over. Also known, as I will poop my pants if I want to and you cannot control that.

With that said, if we go home this time because of a rage then we will see a public rage anytime Miss is ready to go home. Which means it is not wise to make that choice. Once she was back in control I said that I was going back inside and that she and Dad should join me as soon as they could. In part because she does not want to show this behavior to others she was embarrassed and afraid to go back inside the building. Dad was very patient and stood near by but moving toward the door back inside. 45 minutes later she and Dad returned.

I am considering making a sign in a similar fashion to a wet floor sign that says, "Child having a psychotic episode please do not disturb or offer candy." Some well meaning do gooder came around the corner with a bag of jellybeans. Really? Dad has this child in a hold to keep her and him safe and he has to say no jellybeans? Number 1 that is not appropriate even if it would have helped and number 2 those jellybeans would have become projectiles faster than the speed of light.

When it was all said and done life returned to our usual. Miss and Dad and I were able to talk about it at home. She was receptive to the talk and seemed to understand what was said. She got her shower with out any problems, ate dinner and slept well.


GB's Mom said...

I am so glad she is making progress, despite the set back. My 7 year old was diagnosed Bipolar shortly before her 4th birthday. I have definitely noticed "March Madness", although I always attributed to her birthday being in March. The need to control is also part of FASD.

Diana said...

Ohh, public rages are SO MUCH FUN aren't they? When they happen in my world, it's generally ME who wants to hiss at the onlookers and use the jelly beans they offer as projectiles aimed right at them. :-). I just let them think it's my kids that want to do it more. Why does everyone think that candy will solve all the world's problems and calm any child? IT WON'T and very often, it makes it 10x worse! I've also had people threaten to call CPS over a public rage and how we were "dealing" with it more than once. As I continue to keep myself and my kid and what they don't realize is them too safe, I usually glare at them and tell them to go ahead and do whatever they need to do because I can defend myself against them, too.

SanitySrchr said...

Well done Mom and Dad!! Well done!

J. said...

way to roll with the punches Mama, nothing like keeping it real to make sure that everyone is paying attention.
Calvin did that at church once last year and he was scooped up and removed as fast as I could move, oh did he loose it that day. We came back, he did it again and was removed a second time. After the priest commented on how fast I was - he watched the whole things and was impressed withthe speed with which I acted. We held our ground and made him finish the service and stay for coffee where he hid under the table the whole time. He hasn't done it again, well not at church anyway.
Have a good week.

Jules said...

Awesome, you guys did a great job.

Lisa said...

y'all rocked the house.

I might've knocked the do-gooder's block off. :{

Essie the Accidental Mommy said...

Well that is just brilliant. I am thinking like one of those yellow wet floor triangle boards. Like, CAUTION psychotic break ahead CAUTION.

Jelly beans? I mean, jelly beans????

Heather said...

Ahh... memories... of when my 13-yr-old pulled this in church a couple weeks ago. When she was done, I made her sit just outside the sacristy to finish the service - standing, sitting, reading, singing, etc. along with everyone else, just by our lonesome in the hallway. I, too, didn't want her to learn the lesson that fits bring good results. Good for you in standing your ground.

The LaBelle Family said...

Oh, my...I feel for you. Keep the good faith!

Heather and Brad said...

Hi, Glad you found me! Glad I found you! Isn't it funny how people who want to help, but don't know what to do, usually end up giving out candy to our raging kids?

I love it when the kids finally start to "get it". It's so exciting!

Taz's Mama said...

i get stickers offered during a rage all the time. it's the stupidest thing. i don't know why people think that a screaming, kicking, hitting, biting child would give a rip about a sticker. or would suddenly stop their wild tantrum to thank the person for the sticker and apologize to their parents. that's just crazy. i don't know how many stickers i've scraped off of my car windows.

i've also thought about making a sign. i want it to say "if you'd like to watch the show, please donate a dollar!"