Friday, December 14, 2012

Thinking the Unthinkable

Michael holding a butterfly
In the wake of another horrific national tragedy, it’s easy to talk about guns. But it’s time to talk about mental illness.

Three days before 20 year-old Adam Lanza killed his mother, then opened fire on a classroom full of Connecticut kindergartners, my 13-year old son Michael (name changed) missed his bus because he was wearing the wrong color pants.

“I can wear these pants,” he said, his tone increasingly belligerent, the black-hole pupils of his eyes swallowing the blue irises.

“They are navy blue,” I told him. “Your school’s dress code says black or khaki pants only.”

“They told me I could wear these,” he insisted. “You’re a stupid bitch. I can wear whatever pants I want to. This is America. I have rights!”

“You can’t wear whatever pants you want to,” I said, my tone affable, reasonable. “And you definitely cannot call me a stupid bitch. You’re grounded from electronics for the rest of the day. Now get in the car, and I will take you to school.”

I live with a son who is mentally ill. I love my son. But he terrifies me.

A few weeks ago, Michael pulled a knife and threatened to kill me and then himself after I asked him to return his overdue library books. His 7 and 9 year old siblings knew the safety plan—they ran to the car and locked the doors before I even asked them to. I managed to get the knife from Michael, then methodically collected all the sharp objects in the house into a single Tupperware container that now travels with me. Through it all, he continued to scream insults at me and threaten to kill or hurt me.

That conflict ended with three burly police officers and a paramedic wrestling my son onto a gurney for an expensive ambulance ride to the local emergency room. The mental hospital didn’t have any beds that day, and Michael calmed down nicely in the ER, so they sent us home with a prescription for Zyprexa and a follow-up visit with a local pediatric psychiatrist.

We still don’t know what’s wrong with Michael. Autism spectrum, ADHD, Oppositional Defiant or Intermittent Explosive Disorder have all been tossed around at various meetings with probation officers and social workers and counselors and teachers and school administrators. He’s been on a slew of antipsychotic and mood altering pharmaceuticals, a Russian novel of behavioral plans. Nothing seems to work.

At the start of seventh grade, Michael was accepted to an accelerated program for highly gifted math and science students. His IQ is off the charts. When he’s in a good mood, he will gladly bend your ear on subjects ranging from Greek mythology to the differences between Einsteinian and Newtonian physics to Doctor Who. He’s in a good mood most of the time. But when he’s not, watch out. And it’s impossible to predict what will set him off.  

Several weeks into his new junior high school, Michael began exhibiting increasingly odd and threatening behaviors at school. We decided to transfer him to the district’s most restrictive behavioral program, a contained school environment where children who can’t function in normal classrooms can access their right to free public babysitting from 7:30-1:50 Monday through Friday until they turn 18.

The morning of the pants incident, Michael continued to argue with me on the drive. He would occasionally apologize and seem remorseful. Right before we turned into his school parking lot, he said, “Look, Mom, I’m really sorry. Can I have video games back today?”

“No way,” I told him. “You cannot act the way you acted this morning and think you can get your electronic privileges back that quickly.”

His face turned cold, and his eyes were full of calculated rage. “Then I’m going to kill myself,” he said. “I’m going to jump out of this car right now and kill myself.”

That was it. After the knife incident, I told him that if he ever said those words again, I would take him straight to the mental hospital, no ifs, ands, or buts. I did not respond, except to pull the car into the opposite lane, turning left instead of right.

“Where are you taking me?” he said, suddenly worried. “Where are we going?”

You know where we are going,” I replied.

“No! You can’t do that to me! You’re sending me to hell! You’re sending me straight to hell!”

I pulled up in front of the hospital, frantically waiving for one of the clinicians who happened to be standing outside. “Call the police,” I said. “Hurry.”

Michael was in a full-blown fit by then, screaming and hitting. I hugged him close so he couldn’t escape from the car. He bit me several times and repeatedly jabbed his elbows into my rib cage. I’m still stronger than he is, but I won’t be for much longer.

The police came quickly and carried my son screaming and kicking into the bowels of the hospital. I started to shake, and tears filled my eyes as I filled out the paperwork—“Were there any difficulties with....at what age did your child....were there any problems with...has your child ever experienced...does your child have....”  

At least we have health insurance now. I recently accepted a position with a local college, giving up my freelance career because when you have a kid like this, you need benefits. You’ll do anything for benefits. No individual insurance plan will cover this kind of thing.

For days, my son insisted that I was lying—that I made the whole thing up so that I could get rid of him. The first day, when I called to check up on him, he said, “I hate you. And I’m going to get my revenge as soon as I get out of here.”

By day three, he was my calm, sweet boy again, all apologies and promises to get better. I’ve heard those promises for years. I don’t believe them anymore.

On the intake form, under the question, “What are your expectations for treatment?” I wrote, “I need help.”

And I do. This problem is too big for me to handle on my own. Sometimes there are no good options. So you just pray for grace and trust that in hindsight, it will all make sense.

I am sharing this story because I am Adam Lanza’s mother. I am Dylan Klebold’s and Eric Harris’s mother. I am James Holmes’s mother. I am Jared Loughner’s mother. I am Seung-Hui Cho’s mother. And these boys—and their mothers—need help. In the wake of another horrific national tragedy, it’s easy to talk about guns. But it’s time to talk about mental illness.

According to Mother Jones, since 1982, 61 mass murders involving firearms have occurred throughout the country. (http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2012/07/mass-shootings-map). Of these, 43 of the killers were white males, and only one was a woman. Mother Jones focused on whether the killers obtained their guns legally (most did). But this highly visible sign of mental illness should lead us to consider how many people in the U.S. live in fear, like I do.

When I asked my son’s social worker about my options, he said that the only thing I could do was to get Michael charged with a crime. “If he’s back in the system, they’ll create a paper trail,” he said. “That’s the only way you’re ever going to get anything done. No one will pay attention to you unless you’ve got charges.”

I don’t believe my son belongs in jail. The chaotic environment exacerbates Michael’s sensitivity to sensory stimuli and doesn’t deal with the underlying pathology. But it seems like the United States is using prison as the solution of choice for mentally ill people. According to Human Rights Watch, the number of mentally ill inmates in U.S. prisons quadrupled from 2000 to 2006, and it continues to rise—in fact, the rate of inmate mental illness is five times greater (56 percent) than in the non-incarcerated population. (http://www.hrw.org/news/2006/09/05/us-number-mentally-ill-prisons-quadrupled)

With state-run treatment centers and hospitals shuttered, prison is now the last resort for the mentally ill—Rikers Island, the LA County Jail, and Cook County Jail in Illinois housed the nation’s largest treatment centers in 2011 (http://www.npr.org/2011/09/04/140167676/nations-jails-struggle-with-mentally-ill-prisoners)

 No one wants to send a 13-year old genius who loves Harry Potter and his snuggle animal collection to jail. But our society, with its stigma on mental illness and its broken healthcare system, does not provide us with other options. Then another tortured soul shoots up a fast food restaurant. A mall. A kindergarten classroom. And we wring our hands and say, “Something must be done.”

I agree that something must be done. It’s time for a meaningful, nation-wide conversation about mental health. That’s the only way our nation can ever truly heal.

God help me. God help Michael. God help us all. 

This story was first published online by the Blue Review. Read more on current events at www.thebluereview.org


3,793 comments:

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Ceil's Children said...

You, my dear, are not Adam's Lanza mother...you are a responsible parent of a mentally ill son. Adam's mother was irresponsible and selfish in her behavior- disregarding the possible outcome of her decisions. Adam Lanza's mother should of NEVER allowed guns in her house knowing that her son was prone to dangerous behavior (she once told a babysitter not to turn his back on Adam). Your story speaks of being responsible even if it means making some pretty tough decisions for your child's sake and the sake of your family and community. Thank you for having the courage to do the right thing.

Miles said...

Have you tried videotaping one of his "fits" and then watch and discuss it with him, when he's calm? Might worth a try...

Ryan Dabest said...

^^^^^^ DO NOT DO THIS PLEASE! ITS BEST TO TRY AND AVOID TRIGGERING OUTBURSTS! NEVER INTENTIONALLY TRY AND CAUSE ONE.

Regina said...

ParaLarry said...

Where is his father?
was he ever disciplined?
Did he ever learn discipline?

December 19, 2012 4:33 AM

Seriously? Did you not even bother to READ Liza's blog before making that comment? (Obviously not.)

While lack of father figures is a real issue, SOMETIMES it is better if a specific father is NOT around.

Amy Krebs said...

I understand you on a different and much more "fixable" level when my 8 year old son w/autism became increasingly violent, smashing TVS, kicking out windows, throwing things at me while I was driving. I looked like a battered mother when I finally checked myself into a mental health facility because I was suicidal.

Luckily Jonah is intellectually disabled as well and thus could not tell me the horrible things you have heard from your son.

Jonah now lives in a residential school for individuals with autism and severe behavioral problems, like his.

We need to do something about mental illness and we need to do it NOW.

All I can say to you is YOU ARE NOT ALONE and WE MUST GET YOU HELP and I will do anything I can to help you. Thank you for your bravery in talking about this. Stay strong. Hang on. So many people care!

You can find me at www.winklett.com.

With sad camaraderie,

Amy

Justin Etheridge said...

After I saw the story on CNN.com I had to write to you. I do not know what you are going through but my mother does. The child you describe in the post is a perfect fit for myself at that age. It started when I was very young and though I have learned how to control it (mostly) I still have some symptoms at age 30. I was hoping to send you this privately in hopes that you would actually read it, but with over 3400 posts so far, I kinda doubt it. I do actually have a theory that could possibly explain the behavior. It all depends on your son suffering from extremely painful, but very short lived (about 5 to 10 seconds) headaches. I have them and now I believe that they are caused by a form of epilepsy. If so, it could explain the abrupt changes in behavior also. I know this is terrible for you but all is not lost. Even with the same symptoms, I have grown into a well rounded contributing member of society. I own my own home in a great community, I have a high paying full-time job, a loving wife, and a beautiful little boy of my own. Hopefully your son can learn, one day, to control his outburst even better than I have. Good luck and I hope he turns out ok.

B said...

Macey Said:
"In every example you gave, you forgot to look at one very important part of the story. And that part is YOU."

Perfect response and exactly what I thought as I read it. The whole story reads like a script from Supernanny. Absent father, lots of kids out of control etc.. I bet he also eats and drinks junk foods and plays video games. Labeling this kid a monster is so distasteful to me I would love to report you to the CPS and get you all checked out.

Texas Mom of Two said...

My heart goes out to you. You are a brave woman. No-one choses to be in a situation like this and I cannot believe the guts of people blaming you! I have two wonderful sons but a husband who has been diagnosed with a mental illness this year which has caused him to lose his job. He is under Dr's care and is doing o.k. but at the peak of it he put us through hell. Yes he is sick but the suffering we underwent is not any less legitimate. We love him but is VERY difficult to deal with mental illness... I'm praying for you, for strength and for wisdom.

Regina said...

Ryan Dabest and Cecil Lucius Ruffo make excellent points in their posts. All too often, children with "rage" are so intellectually superior to their parents that the communication and understanding isn't there. Is it the responsibility of the child/genius to figure out how to talk to the parent? No....it's the responsibility of the PARENT to FIGURE OUT how to talk to and communicate with the child/genius on a level he/she can understand. Some parents (and even MH professionals) will (unfortunately) never have that capability. But if your 13-yr-old has the mental capacity of an average 30-year-old, try talking to him/her as if he/she IS 30-years old, not 13. That alone would probably solve a lot of problems I've read in these posts.

By itself, being a genius doesn't generally cause behavior to this extreme. Although I (a female who always tested in the top 2% of intelligence) often became frustrated and angry at others who didn't "get it," I never expressed that with rage. I tended to turn inward and brood, read, write, do math equations for "fun" etc. to satisfy my intellectual needs. Maybe gender had something to do with that....I didn't have the raging testosterone changes of boys this age on top of their genius IQ frustrations.

At the same time, I did go through NORMAL teenage angst, and did act out of character when I felt overwhelmed about life and the world. Never threatened anyone or acted on it.....but I do understand how such emotions *could* become out of control for some individuals. My mom was a source of great irritation to me...but my father (quite intelligent) would actually TALK WITH me on an advanced intellectual level even at a young age. I always felt much more at ease with him than my mother, whose average intelligence and thus poor understanding about many things in life baffled me. Although it never made me lash out at her physically, she did often frustrate me to the point of yelling at her when her words/actions made no sense to me because they were so illogical. But some wise mentors pointed out that it was unreasonable of me to expect everyone else to be as smart as I....after all, 98% of the population wasn't. I learned, through their LOGICAL explanations of that, empathy.

(to be continued.....)

Regina said...

(cont'd from above...)

For me, I ALSO had/have extreme food allergies. If you don't believe how that can make someone feel totally bad and out of control (without knowing WHY), please watch this video:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fRDpcWZUEiU

I saw that Donahue show when it originally aired in my 20s and IT CHANGED MY LIFE. I was like, "OMG....someone UNDERSTANDS. *I* finally understood why sometimes "stupid" people would send me into crying fits or make me yell at them in frustration, while at other times it didn't bother me. Both food allergies AND specific nutrient deficiencies can be the root of behavioral "outbursts."

I believe for many individuals it is a COMBINATION of factors such as these. Some can be controlled (mental stimulation, dietary control, etc.) Others can't. But Soccer Mom, I really wish you would ACKNOWLEDGE AND ADDRESS your son's intellectual need for an outlet for his mind...TO HIM. Not by video games. You list his interests and say he will talk one's ear off. Get him in touch with other of the same intellectual capacity to discuss these things with him (even if they are much older, and for now, preferably older males) to channel his academic interests in a positive manner. Face the fact that you are not as smart as he, and never will be. He has already surpassed you on that, so you will NEVER win a "battle" of wills with him, as your (and the school's) rules are completely illogical to him. If you can't talk to him on a logical plane, find someone (an older mentor) who CAN. In the meantime, watch the video above and keep a detailed notebook of EVERY SINGLE thing (in detail: down to ingredients) that he eats/drinks and at what time. Track his moods/behavior the same way. I promise you....a pattern WILL emerge. One you can change/control.

For others, such as the child of KeroRocks, whose prefrontal cortex never fully developed.....I'm so sorry. That is an example of TRUE mental illness, and what I said above doesn't apply. Current science cannot correct that.....there are not enough meds in the world. Those people are the real dangers, and our only hope for protection from them is heavy sedation and institutionalization (for now.) Hopefully, further study will help determine what causes that and eventually, how to prevent and/or treat it.

But back to the moms/families of all the "Michaels" out there: please re-read this post until it sinks in. Doing this for your child should be your full-time job right now. If it's not, you shouldn't be a mother. Mothering is a 24/7 job, and should be your ONLY priority right now (along with taking care of your other children.) But addressing Michael's needs right now in a more constructive manner will help them, too.

And it should go without saying, but I'll say it anyway: All the posters commenting on how so many of their family members, themselves, and their children have been "diagnosed with" a string of mental disorders.....until you have a handle on it, STOP HAVING CHILDREN. You owe that to humanity. *Something* about your situation is hereditary...either genetically influenced, or caused by your lack of ability to control your own behavior, which you may be inadvertently "teaching" your children through example.

james said...

Check out "Indigo Children for Dummies". I was/am Michael (not to the same degree of violence, but the behaviour patterns are similar). There are certain aspects of our social system that are too slow for the child genius, and that is extremely irritating for the child. Indigo Children for Dummies has some great suggestions for some techniques for relationship-building with your child that will help give you both some tools to deal with the explosive behavior in a way that brings you closer to each other, instead of farther apart. It really turned my life around.

I am now married and a massage therapist. There is hope. <3

Lindsay Wooldridge said...

Even your photo looks like my brother, I know your pain, I know your story because I have been trying to explain his story for years. He spent time in hospitals and even special ed classes all because he was a 70 pound kid who could hurt a grown adult. He would hulk out and I would lock my bedroom door out of fear. I would call my best friend and ask her to put down the phone so he couldn't call 911 in a blind rage. Because he didn't realize they would take him away. He has a good heart, he's a smart man but he is scary. I don't pray but I can say things got better as he got older but the looming thought has never left my mind was a now 6'5 man of 29 can do. Thank you for your story because now I know our family isn't alone.

Evan & Maiah's Mom said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Megan said...

I wrote a similar post (citing yours as inspiration) chronicling some of my experiences as a teacher, dealing with these troubled kids in the classroom. I appreciate your willingness to admit that your child HAS a problem and NEEDS help, as one of the greatest obstacles that we face in the school system is parental denial. So thank you.

http://meganwhyte.blogspot.com/2012/12/i-am-adam-lanzas-teacher.html

Stucky said...

Can I ask when you noticed that behavior for Micheal was different? has his temper been their since birth? I ask this because you know he is mentally unstable and it would be informing to the masses at when these instabilities became apparent. Maybe, we need to work on these behaviors from the beginning signs. I don't think parents choose their children. I wanted to know where the actions start. Where do these huge mood swings come from, birth? nature or nurture? Not blaming you, I mean society and life experiences in general when I say nurture.

momandteacher said...

Your story has hit a nerve with many, many people, and it is a story I am also intimately familiar with. As parents, we keep searching for answers and do our best by providing our children with whatever they need, but most importantly, with a loving and safe environment. Take care of your needs as well, it's hard, but necessary. You certainly don't need to hear from me that raising children in today's world is difficult enough, and when your child has special circumstances or needs, it is even more stressful. Continue to ask for help when you need it, as we have done; many don't. There are some amazing places and people out there who's mission it is to help children; we fortunate enough to have one such place here in RI, Bradley Hospital. The frustration can lie, in part, in the alphabet soup of diagnoses you may have already received. From my experience, I can say unequivocally that getting the proper diagnosis leads to proper treatment, which leads to a mentally healthy child. It's not quite as black-and-white though, as going to a doctor's office with a case of strep throat, for example, and leaving with a prescription for seven days worth of antibiotics, knowing you'll be recovered in a week or so. Unfortunately, mental health diagnoses are not always so cut-and-dry, and sadly, if you’re fortunate enough to even have insurance, insurance companies often place limits on the amount of mental health a person can access. This is a travesty in our country! The other travesty is the stigma associated with mental illness. People aren't hesitant or embarrassed about seeking help for health problems of a "medical" nature and it should be no different when seeking help for health problems of a "mental" nature. I can tell you that I have spent more time and money dealing with the mental health needs of my child than his physical health needs. To me, his mental health is essential, and equally important. Many parents in this situation frequently feel isolated and overwhelmed. We don't talk about the one or two hours of weekly therapy visits, the weekly social skills groups, the endless phone calls to arrange these treatments and other services, the biweekly or monthly psychiatrist appointments, managing in-home care for those lucky enough to have access to it, the endless trips to the pharmacy, as well as the school meetings, notes, and phone calls, and the hours we spend advocating for what we know our child needs, but still need to convince everyone else. We don’t mention the impact this has on our other children, or the fact that they too, often have a special needs, like therapy or counseling because they are too often the target of their sibling’s aggression, anger, or outbursts. Getting out for some much needed respite on your own or with your significant other or spouse (if you were married and have managed to remain married throughout all this) is all but impossible. There are few babysitters, through no fault of their own, you feel confident about leaving your child(ren) with. We do what we need to do for our children like most other parents in this world, we do it because we choose to, because we want our children to be happy and well-adjusted, and because we want them to be productive and successful (however that is defined for them) members of society. Most importantly, though, we do it because we love them.
I cried when I read your story, because I understand it so well. I could have written it, but I didn’t. So, thank you for writing about it and for telling your story. I understand. More people need to understand why mental healthcare is essential to our society’s well being.

Regina said...

Miles said...
"Have you tried videotaping one of his 'fits' and then watch and discuss it with him, when he's calm? Might worth a try..."---December 19, 2012 5:19 AM

EXCELLENT SUGGESTION!!!!!

pannkub said...

Thank you so much for coming forth with your story. Hopefully, more people will GET IT that it's not all about guns. It's about the person holding the guns. It's about mental health. It's a subject that a lot of people don't want to visit. It makes them feel uncomfortable. Let's keep this topic in the forefront and not let it disappear. Many thanks...

watchfuleye said...

This is something I posted on my FB page and I would like to also share my story: This country does not take care of the mentally ill. Its taboo to have a mental problem. It's shaming, to those that are ill and to their families. There is a sense of guilt attached. For parents its "what did I do wrong" for children of parents who are ill its still, "what did I do wrong" and the answer is nothing. But we hide, we pretend because if we tell anyone-what will they think of us? Insurance companies don't help-they give someone a "few visits" to a psychologist or psychiatrist or they don't offer those services at all. I speak from experience. I grew up with a mother who was mentally ill. Actually, severely mentally ill. A paranoid schizophrenic to be exact. I lived in shame all of my life. I asked what I did wrong, what could I have done to help? My dad went broke paying for psychiatrists and mental hospital stays. I lived a "secret" life, not telling my friends about my mom. My adult life was also filled with shame when I involved myself with adolescent men who would tell me I am just like my mother (even though they had never met her and didn't have a clue what a schizophrenic was), but it didn't matter. I felt shame. I am here to stand up today for those who cant. Mental illness is a disease, a sickness. My mother had a severe problem- it's not a reflection on me and I am NOT ASHAMED-not anymore. Unfortunately, it has taken me a long time to get to this point and I write today so others won't or don't live in shame. The CT shootings have brought about my need to write. We think the problem is gun control. Its not gun control. It's gun responsibility. When I was 12 years old my mom tried to kill me. I am sure if a gun were available, that would have been the weapon of choice because it was "available". Thankfully, we had no guns in our house. Not because my dad was against them, but he knew better. He knew my mother was unpredictable so those guns weren't available. My point in writing is to "come out" for people that are still dealing with a loved one that has mental issues. Don't be ashamed-seek help-find it anywhere you can. If you know someone with mental issues and there are guns available to them-make them unavailable. Finally-to the government-Its not about what you can take away from us as people-its what you can give to us as a nation-and that is help-help to those people dealing and suffering from mental issues. Make the insurance companies have a policy or rider to help families. Make homes available for people with mental issues to live. My mother had to go to her home country of Scotland to receive help. When I was 18 she moved to Scotland where she was rareley in a hospital. Scotland took care of her. She had places to go for help. It wasn't "taboo"- She lived in a home where people could oversee her meds and when things got out of hand they were able to seek hospitalization for her. Unfortunately, she had to leave the United States of America to get the help she needed. Its time to wake up America-Learn from those precious lives taken by someone who was mentally ill. Its time to change-It's long overdue! (I ask my friends to re-post so my message gets to many who live in shame and maybe from this they will realize they don't have to. It's not shameful to have a mental issue what is shameful is doing nothing and having no where to turn for help.

Gen X said...

Ok let me say this. I dont know the situation buti. Was a lot like your son. Growing up I was full of rage and hate. One what kind of games is yourbson playing because if they are violent probably a bad idea. Second what kind of movies is he watching if violent bad idea. Third he needs an outlet music or arts something where he can focus his negative energy. Video games dont fix anything however if he has a instument or he has a canvas to get painted and go into his own world ur gonna see a major change. I wrote about 1000 songs as a kid very agressive and angry however chanelling my feelings into the art and music really helps. Trust me. I was in therpy for ten years. Also what about his dad where is he? Do kids pick on your son? I can relate to him because I lived it and did the same thing I was so angry. Love and talking to yourbson and showing him hes the most importabt thing challenging him and putting his brain to work will help. If there isbany silver lining in this that I can say that I love my mom so much for being thereband putting up with my nuttyness as I grewband we have an awesome relationship. All I can tell u is channeling isbimportant he needs to also learn to calm himself andbhave acess to talkingbto you or a couseller. Also I used to run around the school my mom actually called the school and told them if I acted out to have ne run around the school. Truth is that your son doesnt need to be diagnosed there is a deeper issue here. Maybe both of you should talk to a conseler and find out what is hurting him because I bet its something u have no idea. Once u crack that nut trust me your world will change. Much love to you and if you have any questions or I can be of service please let me know. I have lived this it was hard but.I made itm I plan on making a school to help sob s like yours eventually.

LessLacie said...

We are living the same life. I cant tell you how many emergency room visits, residential treatment centers...ect...the questions, the judgement. My son (blonde white male) is 19 and is serving his first term in prison. He has pushed me down a flight of stairs, stabbed his father, thrown himself through a plate glass window and held his sister at knifepoint. It is a nightmare. He has been in and out of jail since he climbed the watertower in town at age 13 and threatend to kill himself. I have two 4" binders of diagnoses, med history, court paperwork, Special Education Plans, ect...
The hardest part is the judgement. No one knows what it is like to deal with a very normal looking child with rage issues. I always said it would be easier if he looked different. My issue is as a duel income middle-class mother, there is NO help out there. I have been told for years if I was on welfare he would qualify for all kinds of programs- but we do not income qualify. I had to take a loan out to send him to a 3 month treatment facility in Texas,(we are in Washington)which he failed to complete. I am still paying thousands of dollars in legal fees to the state. In Washington, they charge the parent (victim) if the child goes to Juvenile Hall.

I think the biggest change in the system needs to be no longer allowing mentally ill teenagers the ability to sign themselves out of treatment. My son would become stable, then sign himself out. He has never completed a single program I worked to get him in. Now he is in prison on a weapons charge.
Basically, I just want to say I am here. I am living the same thing...and I send you hugs.

ifeelyourpain said...

I understand. I've been through it. It makes a huge impact on the family...few family outings, attention diverted from the siblings. It's exhausting and sometimes hopeless. Just when you think things are approaching normal, an incident happens. It's lonely because the rest of the world doesn't see it and you start to question whether you just don't know how to handle your child. There is no diagnosis or treatment for a child that is 97% normal - smart, funny, sensitive - and 3% out of control scary. Thanks for shining the light on this.

Shannon Shewaga said...

thank you for sharing your story you sound like a good mom doing her best in a tuff situation and I noticed the lengths you go to making sure that the knives and other dangerous things are not within the reach of your son and it makes me wonder why there were so many guns in a house with a person with severe mental health issues how many people turned a blind eye including the system who legally issued guns to a household where a person with mental illness lives. People say that we shouldn't be so focused on gun control but more focused on mental health and yes it is true that our systems drop the ball completely with mental illness but it is a multifaceted issue and gun control is a serious part of the problem

Mandy said...

I hear your pain. I have seen and experienced your struggles. My sister has been through a similar struggle for the past several years. They are just now at a place of stability. My nephew is 18 now, has a job and is at his level of independence. It will continue to be a therapeutic process and my sister has luckily had great guidance and support. She wanted me to send this to you;
"PA has a great mental health care system. I recommend that those with children on the autism spectrum seriously consider relocating to PA, for the health of their children and their families. We have been the blessed beneficiaries this system."
She is more than willing to share her story with you if you need. There is help out there, unfortunately it is not everywhere. It is time for our country to embrace mental health as community. We are all in this together. My thoughts are with you and all those who struggle. I hope there is an answer.

Words Upon Request said...

You are amazingly strong, and just amazing, period. I am weeping for your continued courage, and that you receive help and support; for "Michael", for you,for your family.

Bill the Butcher said...

I'm neither an American nor a parent, but I do want to say that I applaud your honesty and thank you for expressing yourself in such clear terms. I don't know what to say about Michael's problem - or even if there's a solution at all.

At eighteen I attempted suicide three times, finally putting myself into a coma for three days. I know the kind of despair that goes into trying to kill oneself - first hand.

I also think that if I had had access to a gun, I would not be here to write this now.

Keri Carpenter said...

Wow, Mom! I am just overwhelmed with your honesty about your current situation. It is just heartbreaking what you (and your son) are going through. Just amazing. Thank you for sharing your story and I hope you can find that silver bullet that will relieve you (and your son's) suffering -- and I hope that nothing befalls either of you. Good luck and god bless!

Henry Smith said...

The comments on this blog are a perfect representation of people in the top 2% of the IQ scale being buried among the 98% of individuals with average intelligence who simply refuse to accept the fact that they don't know as much as those in the top 2%, which in this case happens to include their children. There is a minority of posters with the proper understanding of these children's issues who have given valuable and useful advice on how to deal with them (myself, Cecil Lucius Ruffo, Ryan Dabest, Regina, Macey and others), but unfortunately, the majority of you continue to dismiss these posts or pass them over and defend this despicable woman because you see yourselves in her, crying for "HELP" when you don't even know what help is.

Those of you who continue to ignore the advice of us with actual knowledge of these children's minds and mannerisms including those with first hand experience as victims (the CHILDREN), simply because the advice is not the self serving BS you want to hear. Everyone knows you want sympathy. You want to be told that you're right and your child is the problem. You feel helpless not because you can't help your child, but because you can't "fix" him and make him into the "cookie cutter" kid you want him to be in order to fit your mold of "normal".

No one can help you unless you allow them to. This means LISTENING to the advice given by those who understand these children and know what can be done to avoid sending them into rages. If you try to convince your child he is "mentally ill" because of the way he thinks and that he needs to be "fixed", especially a genius child who is much wiser than yourself (and believe me, he knows this) he is going to hate you. Period. You must adapt to your child and not the other way around.

Parents of genius children need to understand they've been given a tremendous gift, which they cannot and must not throw away. You need to always tell your child how special they are, how much you love them and remind them of their limitless potential. If you want your child to become a happy and successful adult, just let him be himself. The world will thank you one day.

NAMI Montana said...

Please sign this online petition to tell the White House that it is time to find a better way to identify and treat serious mental illnesses.

https://petitions.whitehouse.gov/petition/launch-coordinated-national-effort-identify-biological-markers-serious-mental-illness-fight-these/6z4w0zvV

Tony G said...

Macey Said:
"In every example you gave, you forgot to look at one very important part of the story. And that part is YOU."

This response is perfect. Absolutely perfect.

In your previous blogs you describe "Michael" as being a seemingly normal boy. Yet three days after the Newtown shooting, you describe him as being a terrifyingly bipolar child with violent tendencies. What happened to change your mind? Oh yeah.. the shooting..

You talk about yourself going "stark raving mad" after having your own personal issues.. Do you expect your children to emerge from this being completely "well adjusted"? It's absolutely foolish for parents to assume that these problems with their own lives will not bleed over into their children's.

Do you even realize how damaging this blog could be to your son? If that is an actual picture of him you used, this will get around to him eventually.

Some parents need to realize that when you have children, you can NEVER think of them as a "burden". They were your choice, you are responsible to raise them well, and they are your life now.

If your son is truly how you describe him in this blog (and not your many previous ones) Than I truly do apologize. And I hope you get the help that you need.

Ringard Willycat said...

what a wonderful country lmao
http://www.horreursmusicales.com/

Tony G said...

Great Post @Macey

I appreciate your words.. you said exactly what I wanted to.

Stephens Family said...

It is really sad that drug companies can release drugs to treat mental health that may and do cause death by poring money into those whom ok these drugs with minimal testing and yet the powers that be will not put obviously needed money into mental health CARE.

Hanna Greene said...

I don't believe your son belongs in jail either and there should be a better solution, but there isn't. However, even you believe your son is clearly on Adam Lanza's path and it's hard to disagree. And before he takes out 26 innocent human beings who could be meaningful, productive, non-violent and loving members of our society, I'd rather your son were in jail.

Dan Short said...

I see your thoughts are with this poor woman...oh no , you just want to have a rant at liberals, pathetic your lack of. compassion is appaling., get back under your rock you heartless troll.
my heart goes out to the author, I hope you and your son can find peace some day x

Wendy said...

Thank you for the courage to write and inform. Mental illness is very challenging, and my family is deeply affected. I admire your courage and compassion. I truly believe that diet and exercise are very helpful. I can tell you the success I have seen is remarkable. Definitely, no sugar, and nothing processed helps. Adding in minerals and nutrients, high DHA 2000 mg a day from Omega three is critical too. Vegan diet is a great cure. I highly recommend getting your son onboard with the changes. He is a genius and just give him access to raw food diet information and he will see it for him self.
It is not hard, nor expensive and try and just add in green drinks for you and the other family members. you will all benefit greatly.
We continually poison ourselves with processed foods, but if you can learn to shop and prepare fun meals with high enzyme quality left in tact you will see alot of anxiety reduced.
Get him outside and moving as much as possible. Find the places he loves, maybe some treed areas, and take him on searching for special plants, nuts, sees, etc.
All the family will love it. He needs lots of input of information and it will be exhausting for you to try and do it alone, find some college professors or teachers that are specializing in things he might want to learn about. Raw food cooking classes...learn together. You will be so glad. The peaceful people in the world will take your genius son and help you out for a few hours a week. You can do help raise his level of participation in interesting ways, just keep trying and STAY AWAY FROM THE HOSPITALS AND JAILS...there is no help there, the food is horrible for him, and there is not enough love to nuture or help heal him there. Nutrition, Hugs, and lots of focus on saying what he does right. Ignore what he does wrong, and try just over compensating for his shortcomings. He is hardest to love at his worst and scary behavior. He hates himself much more than you will ever know, so you must love him right through. Rush to him, and try and hug him when he begins to act out. Or change the subject to something you know he is grateful for. Help him create a vision board with things he loves, and where he would like to be. Help him create a gratitude list of things he loves... add to the list lots of times during the day. When he gets lost and crazy ... pull out the list and start having him read it or you read it to him, Create a picture in his mind of his safe and lovely place... help him move to that safe place, mentally and he will calm down.
xoxox

dingman76 said...

Live this everyday... seems to be getting better with our son now 16... your story could be ours... just change the names.

lkmata said...

I'm so proud of you. What you did is really hard but is a start and is better than doing nothing. Im a babysitter and psychologist and I am currently working with a family whose children rule the house and the 7 year old has threatened me into get me in trouble calling the police and stuff but for the parents "that's just a tantrum" they can't see what they're turning they're child into so I'm leaving in 2 days I don't want to be here when he does something bigger.
As a psychologist I've seen really smart children who can't relate in a social life those are the ones we have to look out for and it's sad but although there's have to be some gun control we also need to learn more about mental illness they are real!!!

We are with you soccer mom!!! :)

Hitmam said...

Seems like you're a terrible mother. Discipline your kid.

DancesOnH2O said...

I lost my father to the combination of mental illness and suicide. I agree and loved your article, but there is a very quick way that we can slow the violence also. Please consider signing and promoting this petition on the White House page to secure the weapons and stop the violence http://wh.gov/nY3Z

DancesOnH2O said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Matt Jensen said...

I'm sorry, you'll more than likely delete this because you;re a liar.


You are insane. And Vindictive, and bitchy.

You just ruined your 13 year old sons reputation for what reason? Because you wanted publicity and attention.

Look at the fact that you have fantasies on killing your kids and beating them. You should be ashamed.

Matt Jensen said...

I'm sorry, you'll more than likely delete this because you;re a liar.


You are insane. And Vindictive, and bitchy.

You just ruined your 13 year old sons reputation for what reason? Because you wanted publicity and attention.

Look at the fact that you have fantasies on killing your kids and beating them. You should be ashamed.

Marcie Klein said...

What if these mental problems are not a result of mental problems but are related to brain chemistry malfunctions brought on my toxic chemical exposures, vaccinations and diet?

No one is seems to be taking into account that this burgeoning mental health crisis might have it's roots in the disruptions caused by these influences in the body. Personality changes have been linked to heavy metal toxicity that frequently can cause aggression and hyperactivity in children, pharmaceuticals (some of which are meant to calm can have the opposite effect), vaccinations if you start really delving into them are a mine field of danger, and one that I think is particularly important to look at is food, most specifically genetically modified organisms (GMOs).

Animals fed genetically modified foods become very aggressive and agitated. When they are taken off this feed, they calm right down (see Jeffrey Smith's documentary on GMOs called "Genetic Roulette.") Most of the food in the U.S. if it is processed has GMOs in it, unlabeled and disguised. Children that eat sweets or pretty much any food from a supermarket are being exposed to them constantly and with their higher metabolic needs are more at risk.

Who is to say that humans don't react in the same way as animals fed GMO diets—with aggression? We have to ask ourselves, why the rise in this behavior and start examining the external factors, because when we do, I think there will be reasons for this rampant rise in mental health issues.

If I were this mom, I'd be looking at this as it seems that the boy is able to understand that his behavior is wrong, but not be able to filter or control aggression. It might just be physical. I'd get him off all GMOs, feed him organic, remove sugar and have him tested for heavy metals. He might just need to see a doctor of functional medicine that can connect the dots.

Anna Kennedy said...

You have to have been there. I honor your courage, your tough love and your willingness to share. The system is plainly broken and it will take many voices of parents like us to change it.

Regina said...

@ Henry Smith:

Just to be clear, I do not agree with every "excuse" made by Macey. Even if everything she accuses SoccerMom of happens to be true, nothing...NOTHING...escuses "Michael" (or anyone) for threatening other people with knives, threatening suicide, or even calling his mother a "bitch" to her face. Part of that is illegal; part just downright disrespectful, no matter how "bitchy" his mother might in fact be. That's just not acceptable to call any other human being derogatory names, much less one's mother.

Respect for one another.

Our ENTIRE country needs to try that, imho.

"Be kind to each other.....for we are all fragile in our own way."---me

And even though it's quite obvious that Cecil Lucius Ruffo is a BRILLIANT writer/person (his post absolutely screams of intellect), I fear for him. I also read anger (and possibly disgust??) in his post, which could potentially be released in a "bad" way. Cecil, if I'm incorrect about that, I sincerely apologize. I don't know you, so it's impossible to judge based upon just one post.

Words for us all:

"I am today what I established yesterday or some previous day. I am tomorrow, or some future day, what I establish today."---James Joyce (1882-1941) Irish Novelist

Mom in SC said...

Thank you for your post. I heard your interview on NPR and immediately understood your viewpoint. I am also the mom of a mentally ill child. Daniel is now 26 years old. He began manifesting concerning behaviors as early as 18 months when he bit me through a denim dress to the point of drawing blood. The problems increased in frequency and severity including aggression, playing with fire, defiance, stealing, lying, and threats until he became suicidal at age 11. He had three acute care hospitalizations within 3 months. I worked for the state in a program assisting families with mentally ill children and "knew the ropes" but still had to fight and write multiple letters to senators and such to get any assistance for our child. Finally, he was accepted for a program that would assist with placement in a treatment setting as well as other services. Daniel continued to threaten to kill me, did hurt me, and the state agency continued to insist he come home on weekends. We begged for him not to come home on weekends out of fear. On one weekend he molested his 2 year old brother. Responses from psychiatrists varied. One doc said he was a devil me we should send him back to the country he came from (he was an international adoption). Yet another told us he would grow up to be either schizophrenic or a sociopath. Another offered us holy water. When he turned 18 he refused all medications and treatment. He somehow managed to steal thouseands of dollars in items from our home and left the state. As an adult he has continued on the same path. I am thankful he has remained in another state. He has been incarcerated on felony charges, but is now out. Last summer he attempted suicide by driving his car into a tree. He did not die, but was seriously injured. We have attempted to seek help for him as an adult, but continue to be told we can do nothing. Thank you for speaking out. Our mental health system is so in need of redesign.

Holy Mahma said...

Thank you, Anarchist Soccer Mom, for sharing your experience with the world because, in doing so, you're creating a MUCH NEEDED dialogue about the complications and consequences of living with mental illness. I live with a mood disorder (NOS) which, thanks to genetics, I passed onto my beloved child who is now an adult. We're both religiously medication-compliant and, accordingly, are blessed to live as high-functioning members of this society. But please don't confuse our decision to comply with the recommendations of our physicians as being noble. We, like so many others, learned to embrace better living through pharmaceuticals after first wreaking rage-filled havoc in our lives and, subsequently, in the lives of our loved ones. We've experienced hospitalizations as well as a brush or two with the law and we've come out safely on the other side. We're lucky. Incredibly lucky. Medication enables us to be the compassionate, service-oriented women we've always wanted to be. Yet, for as amazing as our lives are today, we never forget the truth: that without our ability to self-advocate, without the love and support of our family members, and without the support of our medication, we become capable of committing horrendous acts upon ourselves and upon others. While we've never killed or seriously maimed another person, we're not so foolish as to think that we're somehow incapable of doing so. Rather, we know EXACTLY what we're capable of doing and this knowledge scares the daylights out of both of us. Mood disorders are tricky and potentially dangerous beasts. NAMI would have you believe that people with MI are no more dangerous than the next person, and perhaps this is true. But what's also true is this: people with MI suffer from illnesses of the brain and sometimes these illnesses make us do foolish, harmful things to ourselves and to others. For as much as my daughter and I appreciate the freedoms and liberties our country promises us, we're incapable--when ill--to handle these rights responsibly. And how could we? How can ANYONE with a broken brain be expected to make good, decent, moral decisions in the midst of a MI relapse? Right now my brain is not broken and, by taking my medication religiously and by following a strict sugar-free diet, I can keep my brain consistently healthy and well for the remainder of my life. But if, God-forbid, something awful were to happen, something to cause my brain to suddenly and without notice fracture, I'm begging you: please don't invite me to invoke my constitutional rights; please don't wait for me to feel better; and Good Lord PLEASE don't expect me to do the right thing. Instead, please take my hand and walk me to the nearest ER and BEG them to keep me--and you--safe from the Grim Reaper that lurks behind every MI relapse.

Frederic Bien said...

Thank you, Anarchist Soccer Mom, for sharing your experience with the world. Echoing previous comments, your blog article has open a great door to a meaningful dialogue on types of mental illnesses in families that are rarely discussed. Weird behaviors from otherwise smart children (or parents) that could seriously mess up (or have messed up) their interpersonal relationships.

Personality Disorder Awareness Network, www.PDAN.org and www.facebook.com/PDAN is a not-for-profit association dedicated to helping families and children faced with the relationship challenges of living with mental illness in them or around them.

Would you please contact us for a follow-up discussion? Email: info@pdan.org. Thank you very much
- Frederic Bien

Frederic Bien said...

Thank you, Anarchist Soccer Mom, for sharing your experience with the world. Echoing previous comments, your blog article has open a great door to a meaningful dialogue on types of mental illnesses in families that are rarely discussed. Weird behaviors from otherwise smart children (or parents) that could seriously mess up (or have messed up) their interpersonal relationships.

Personality Disorder Awareness Network, www.PDAN.org and www.facebook.com/PDAN is a not-for-profit association dedicated to helping families and children faced with the relationship challenges of living with mental illness in them or around them.

Would you please contact us for a follow-up discussion? Email: info@pdan.org. Thank you very much
- Frederic Bien

Kim Aubry said...

There is help. It isn't with mainstream medical. Look up these two links.
Combining brain research with the study of neurotrasmitter chemicals there is SOOOO much headway in resolving the varying degrees on anxiety and depression and post tramatic stress disorders it is amazing.
The Amen Clinics are doing great brain research out there. http://www.amenclinics.com/
There are ohter specialists who are trained in brain research, brain imaging and pharmaceutical drugs along with Amino Acids from trained doctors who measure neurotransmitter chemicals from https://www.neurorelief.com/index.php?p=home Any one of these places can lead you down a path you haven't been.

Abhay said...

All my view below are generic in terms.. picking up the action and words from your blog..
I can wear whatever pants I want to. This is America. I have rights!”
America needs to teach his kids the responsibilities of the freedom as strongly as rights.

You’re grounded from electronics for the rest of the day.
Rules doesn’t need to be 100% strict.. The America has to learn a lot on this..
Michael pulled a knife and threatened to kill me and then him
Agree or disagree.. America is passionate about killing. In their thinking only way of survival is to kill others or self but the 'killing' is the central......
Kids are taught this in one way or other way..
America needs to learn the co-existence.. co-existence with good.. with bad.. with strong.. with weak.. with human .. with animals.. with science.. with nature.. with ppl like Michael...
List goes long...

I managed to get the knife from Michael, then methodically collected all the sharp objects in the house into a single Tupperware container that now travels with me
This is the prevention mechanism, you are taking.. Mapping this at National level will translate to Gun Control..
You did this even if it made your life or other's life in the home..a little bit in-convenient...

American society needs to understand the same thing.. they have to ready themselves for the little bit inconvenience for the sake of ppl like Michael.. for the sake of others

“What are your expectations for treatment?” I wrote, “I need help.”
Yes, you( and mom/family like you) need help and I am not talking about medical help only .. the society needs to be lenient to accept these kids.. as you go out of your way to keep your son with you in the home.. Society needs to go out of its way to accept the ppl like Michael in the society... The mantra is to learn the co-existence.. Not everything/everyone needs to be perfect...

America has a lot to learn from East

May God give you the strength to cope with your situation!!!!

Jackie Shelley said...

Thank you for your bravery. This discussion needs to happen, so badly. For my own bright, beautiful son. For other parents like us. I feel your pain, and I know we all need help.

Jonno321 said...

http://www.eqi.org/ginott.htm

First, of all do not deny your teenager's perception. Do not argue with his experience. Do not disown his feelings. Specifically, do not try to convince him that what he sees or hears or feels or senses is not so. p. 49

He gives the example of a child who says the soup is too salty. His parent says: "No it isn't." The child doesn't feel heard, accepted, validated, so he says with more drama and more emotion: "It's awful and I am not eating it! [This is how children become "dramatic"- when the parent doesn't accept what they say the first time.]
...

One boy says to the teacher, "Julio knocked the wheels off my car!" Julio defends himself by saying it was an accident. The teacher says, "It is your new car, isn't it, Rudy?" Rudy says yes and stops crying. He is silent for a few moments then says "Oh, well I have another car at home."

The incident demonstrates the power of succinct and specific sympathy. She did not ask why he brought the car to school or why Julio broke it. Instead she focussed on the feelings. Reality took care of itself.
...

When teachers are at their best they display a common orientation: they do not believe in the power of pontification. They neither preach nor moralize. They give no guilt and demand no promises. **

They are not preoccupied with the child's past history or distant future, they deal with the present. What matters to them is the here and now of the child in distress. **

Chapter 3 -- Teachers at Their Worst

Some teachers work too hard. They spend time and wasted energy on battles that can be avoided and wars that can be prevented. In each school there is a gigantic waste of human resources. Time and talent are devoured by needless conflicts and useless quarrels. **

A teacher asked a child to make a choice and the child was taking his time in answering. The teacher said, "mind. We don't have all day. Make up your mind, if you have one."

Ginott says: A slow student is not cured by sarcasm. Mental processes are not mended by mockery. Ridicule breeds hate and invites vengeance. **
...

Name calling is taboo for a pedagogue. **

What the teacher says about a child has serious consequences.

Gives example of a teacher who did not respect a child's need for privacy.

The teacher said, "Listen, you are like an open book to me. I know your personality. I can tell your moods. You got up on the wrong side of bed, didn't you?"

The child begged, "Please! Stop it!"

The teacher said, "What kind of talk is that, young lady? I have a mind to teach you a lesson in manners but I am going to spare you. You are upset and you don't even know it. I understand you better than you understand yourself."

The child covered her face and did not utter a word for the rest of the hour.

To tell a child "I understand you better than you do" is an act of emotional arrogance, akin to illegal trespassing.

Privacy is not to be intruded upon without invitation or permission. Self-disclosure requires a personal choice and the right to reticence. **

Ginott says "Verbal spankings do not improve performance or personality. They only ignite hate." **

Jonno321 said...

How parents and teachers talk tell a child how they feel about him. [and how they feel about themselves is reflected in how they talk] **

Their statements affect his self-esteem and self-worth. To a large extent, their language affect his destiny. **

Parents and teachers need to eradicate the insidious messages that tell a child to distrust his perception, disown his feelings and doubt his worth. **

The prevalent, so called "normal" talk, drives children crazy-- the blaming and shaming, preaching and moralizing, ordering and bossing, admonishing and accusing, ridiculing and belittling, threatening and bribing, diagnosing and prognosing. These techniques vulgarize, brutalize and dehumanize children. Sanity depends on trusting ones inner reality. **

At their best, teachers address themselves to a child's situation. At their worst, they judge his character and personality. This in essence is the difference between effective and ineffective communication. **
...

Ginott: An effective teacher does not play the role of a saint or act the part of an angel. She is aware of her human feelings and respects them. Though she can not always be patient, she is always authentic. His response is genuine. His words fit his feelings. He does not hide his annoyance. He does not pretend patience. He does not demonstrate hypocrisy when feeling nasty. **

p 85

An enlightened teacher is not afraid of his anger, because he has learned to express it without doing damage. He has mastered the secret of expressing anger without insult. **

Even under provocation, he does not call children abusive names. He does not attack their character or offend their personality. He does not tell them whom they resemble and where they will end up.
...

Children are dependent on their teachers, and dependency breeds hostility. **

To reduce hostility a teacher deliberately provides children with opportunities to experience independence. The more autonomy, the less enmity; the more self-dependence, the less resentment of others.

Jonno321 said...

Avoiding commands is another effective method of decreasing defiance. ** Like adults, children hate to be ordered around, dictated to, and bossed. They resent infringements on autonomy. The resist a teacher less when his communications convey respect and safeguard self-esteem.

Then he gives a few examples. But he doesn't give examples of the teacher expressing her feelings.

He still advocates teachers saying what "needs" to be done, what is "supposed" to be done, etc. However, at points he does indirectly suggest that it is not always necessary for the teacher to spell out what needs to be done. Rather, he says that "the teacher merely describes the situation. What needs to be done becomes obvious in the context. p 92 It is the child's conclusion, not the adult's command. **

Self inferred decisions decrease defiance, and reduce resistance and invite collaboration. **

He gives a positive example of a teacher who says: I deliberately avoid provoking defensive responses in the classroom. My communications omit pressure phrases: You must... you had better... I want to win cooperation without resorting to guilt and fear. I resist the temptation to turn requests and demands into moralistic judgments.

Another teacher: I have given up polemics in the classroom. My arguments only brought counter-arguments to justify defiance and postpone compliance. It is easier to gain cooperation by changing moods than by changing minds. ** p 95

Teachers are told that children need understanding and acceptance. What they are not told is how to convey it under difficult classroom conditions.

Then he gives some examples.

p 97 He says sentences beginning with "you" are best used when responding to the child's plight, complaint or request. The effective "you message" has the following qualities:

it accurately acknowledges the child's statement or state of mind
it does not deny his perception
it does not dispute his feelings
it does not disown his wishes
it does not deride his taste
it does not denigrate his opinions
it does not derogate his character
it does not degrade his person
it does not argue with his experience

Labeling is disabling.

He gives an example of a teacher who "in one minute managed to violate several tenets of effective education. He diagnosed, labeled and embarrassed a person in public. He offended him and his family and gave gloom warnings and doom predictions.
...
The essence of discipline is finding effective alternatives to punishment.

To punish a child is to enrage him and make him uneducable. He becomes a hostage of hostility. A captive of rancor. A prisoner of vengeance.

Suffused with rage and absorbed in grudges, a child has no time or mind for studying.

In discipline whatever generates hate must be avoided, whatever creates self-esteem is to be fostered. **

Tricia said...

As I read your post it was like looking into a mirror of my life. I have four children at home with RADS. If that wasn't enough they also say some of them could also have ADHA, BiPolar, Defient disorder, and several others diagnosis. When my 18 year old was little he was kicked out of every daycare provider in our city. We looked everywhere for help only to be told we don't have anything thing. Our situation is a little differnt. My children are all adopted and come from severe abuse. I have turned him into the police and filed cahrges against him. The hardest day of my life, and all they did was tell him he really shouldn't do that. After shattereing our front door, busting my head open, and several thigns. Everyroom in my house that has a door has an alarm so I know when and where they are going. Don't give up. Keep looking! We did, and finally found a really good therapist and he is now doing much better. But for many years I slept my my bedroom door locked to be sure I was safe a night. WE need to look hard at how we are helping children and adults with emtional problems and give help and support to the parents who take care of them. Thank you for sharing your story.
Tricia

Tricia said...

As I read your post it was like looking into a mirror of my life. I have four children at home with RADS. If that wasn't enough they also say some of them could also have ADHA, BiPolar, Defient disorder, and several others diagnosis. When my 18 year old was little he was kicked out of every daycare provider in our city. We looked everywhere for help only to be told we don't have anything thing. Our situation is a little differnt. My children are all adopted and come from severe abuse. I have turned him into the police and filed cahrges against him. The hardest day of my life, and all they did was tell him he really shouldn't do that. After shattereing our front door, busting my head open, and several thigns. Everyroom in my house that has a door has an alarm so I know when and where they are going. Don't give up. Keep looking! We did, and finally found a really good therapist and he is now doing much better. But for many years I slept my my bedroom door locked to be sure I was safe a night. WE need to look hard at how we are helping children and adults with emtional problems and give help and support to the parents who take care of them. Thank you for sharing your story.
Tricia

Torrie Patterson said...

You are a very brave person and thank you for letting all of us in the same boat that this is a large boat with alot of passengers and it seems we have no Captain to steer the boat for no one know how to steer this boat of childhood mental illness. Those that give you a hard time trying to tell you you are not doing the right thing you just smack them girl for they obviously have not had first hand experience!
It is a real nightmare and actually I do not know what I am going to do I worry for my other child and will have my 3rd child in just a couple of weeks.
I know my sons main problem is he is angry about having a sibling and now another new one and a new step father that he has to share his mother with also. Yes, these are all behavior problems that you would think could easily be calmed and changed but the behavior is escalating because of the way it is being handled at school and keeps us in total confusion with the inhouse program they have him enrolled in. Now they are telling us that if we don't hospitalize him and something happens I will be held accountable yeah needed that extra pressure.
I could go on and on but it is the same story there is no help and I am trying everything I read on the internet. I have him on meds but they seem to make things worse.
NIGHTMARE AND WE NEED HELP, VICE PRESIDENT BIDEN....I UNDERSTAND YOU ARE OVER THE NEW COMMITTEE TO LOOK INTO THE CONN. SHOOTINGS WELL START HERE HELP US AND I DON'T MEAN MONEY I MEAN COMPETENT CHILD MENTAL ILLNESS RESEARCH AND HELP!

Save A Life, Give your baby a chance. said...

Before the world starts a witch hunt against children with Autism and the media acts as instigators feeding the fire against them, you should get the facts right and show the world not only one side of the story.
The issue here should be Mental Health and not Gun Control. Children with Autism are gentle, smart, reasonable and humans just like anybody else. The story about this young man Lanza who killed those innocent children in Sandy Hook his actions was not caused by Autism as it is claimed in the media. There is something more to his story, something that just does not add up. Something that is not quite clear to us. I know this because I have a child with Autism and he is gentle, smart and loving. He has some barriers but he reasons when explained to him why and because. We should educate the public about Autism and not scared them about this condition. There are people among us like my son and parents know there difficulties and limitations. It is our obligation to address certain issues that we can not handle when it comes to our children regardless if they have a mental illness or not. We can not pretend that we can fix it on our own without outside help but then again I am quite sure that Mr. Lanza actions was not caused by Autism.
Before we can pin point the why and because we should considered that among us we have people that the public acknowledges and might not know that they have Autism or Asberger like Daryl Hannah, Albert Einstein, Bill Gates, Micheal Angelo, Dan Akroyd and many more.
Gun control will not solve this problem but addressing Mental Illness and taking more action to help will. We can not turn our heads away and prentend that in our society mental illness does not exists.

Sheryl said...

I can totally relate to this mother. I have a daughter, now 22 and doing well, but that wasn't always the case. After several different diagnosis', many different "medicine cocktails", different therapists, we were finally able to go to the Amen Clinic in California at the age of 16. I can't begin to express my gratitude to the clinic. There she went through testing and brain scans that revealed EXACTLY what was going in her brain. She was able to receive the correct diagnosis and the correct medicines to help her. After being on medications until the age of 19 and working with a therapist to learn new ways of coping (easier to do once she was properly diagnosed), she is now medicine and therapist free and functioning extremely well. In fact today, the only ones that know that she had all of these struggles, is her family. To find out more about the Amen Clinic, visit: www.amenclinics.com

Sheryl said...

I can totally relate to this mother. I have a daughter, now 22 and doing well, but that wasn't always the case. After several different diagnosis', many different "medicine cocktails", different therapists, we were finally able to go to the Amen Clinic in California at the age of 16. I can't begin to express my gratitude to the clinic. There she went through testing and brain scans that revealed EXACTLY what was going in her brain. She was able to receive the correct diagnosis and the correct medicines to help her. After being on medications until the age of 19 and working with a therapist to learn new ways of coping (easier to do once she was properly diagnosed), she is now medicine and therapist free and functioning extremely well. In fact today, the only ones that know that she had all of these struggles, is her family. To find out more about the Amen Clinic, visit: www.amenclinics.com

Donna Bertucci said...

I too have one out of three of my children that I fear. I have tried and given him everything including medical and psychological help. After years of suffering and blaming that I as a parent and mother must have failed, I am getting to the point of understanding that we alone cannot tackle mental illness without our society realizing the pain and the solutions. We can only hope and pray that the phone does not ring in the middle of the night, while we lay awake worried...thinking about what else we can do? giving us the 'picture' we try to patch together every day of our lives. It carries tremendous pain to be a parent of a child we cannot help, when we have given - our entire life - to see our children be happy and contributing human beings.

AutismMom said...

I deal with alot of you what you are dealing with. My son is 16 and was diagnosed with ADHD along with Depression NOS at the age of four. The Dr we had would not listen his remedy was more medications. It took him attempting to set himself on fire before anyone would listen. The reason he tried to set himself on fire is that he was grounded to his room and couldn't get across the hall for a knife to kill himself. After this episode happened he was put in an adolescent psychiatric hospital for 7 days and at this time he moved in with me because he was living with his father. Once he started living with me I was able to get evaluations done that showed his IQ was higher than the normal and that he not only had ADHD he was fighting with aspregers disorder. SO him as the child and me as the parent had not been working with diagnosis until after this. He was not only showing the symptoms of ADHD and Aspergers he was having issues with depression. He attempted suicide a few times. He was not sure hoe to handle his mood swing and dark thoughts. We have since then found a great mental agency and they have found the right medications and therapy. The school we work with are now serving him too with the services he needs.

We still have problems at home with his behaviors but some of that is teenage attitude and the other side is the immaturity from not knowing how to handle his diagnosis. We struggle on a daily and weekly basis with his grades and school and lashing out because we expect him to do to much. He is at the age he wants to get a job and have freedoms but that usually does not happen because of his school grades. He is one of those children that everything has to be in black and white and if its not that way he is lost.

Jessica Mendes said...

Wow, of all the comments on this blog, this one stood out for me the most, Victoria. Some rock solid advice and good insight. "Learn to speak his language", indeed. Provide him sensory supports. I have read on many of the subjects you suggest and sensitivity, combined with over-stimulation and a feeling of not being heard, can indeed lead to some of these behavioral problems, in my experience. I hope that the author takes your advice, for her sake, as well as her son's. I must say that I am troubled by how many of these comments demonize the child and pity the poor mother. While my heart goes out to her -- the idea of being terrified of your own child is unimaginable -- her story speaks of an approach that focuses on behavior modification, rather than getting to the source of the problem. And that, in my opinion, is one of the central flaws in our mental health system here in North America -- the compulsion to fix and normalize behavior, which never gets to why the problem is there in the first place.

I will never forget a woman I interviewed for radio many years ago who spoke of her experience with postpartum depression. It was so bad at some point she was bordering on psychotic. She developed delusions at one point that everyone she came into contact with (be it a grocery store clerk or a neighbor) was a threat to her children, and she had to protect them at all times. Some part of her knew that something was wrong because the experience was so draining. One day, she walked herself into the mental ward at a hospital and asked for help. Instead of connecting her to someone she could talk to, the first thing they did was take her children away from her. Then they locked her up.

Because she was smart, she figured out the only way to get out and get her kids back was to behave in a way that was socially acceptable. It worked. They let her out. She got her kids back. And she continued to live with her hellish delusions for several months more, until one day, suddenly, they lifted -- never to return.

My point here is that "help" in the form of behavior modification never works. Yes, we all need to know how to get through the day and keep it together in a sane and functioning society. But we also need places we can "lose it" if we need to -- safe places, where we are not going to be judged as crazy and threatened with the loss of our safety and dignity.

I don't know anything about the author or her son other than what this post discusses, so I can't possibly pretend to have insight. But I do hope this mother gets the help that she needs and deserves, both for her and her son, and that she finds a way to do it that deals with his rage and what sounds like a lack of sufficient outlets.

Billy Bain said...

http://openchannel.nbcnews.com/_news/2012/12/17/15976160-new-details-emerge-on-private-lives-of-school-gunman-adam-lanza-and-his-mother?lite


-Could you kindly watch this (for both yourself & Nancy Lanza), and then ask yourself ask -again- if you are still Adam Lanza's mother?

Billy Bain said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Megze said...

What will they do? Have you been listening? What can they do? The state of mental health treatment in this country is so broken that they can continue to be discharged with a handful of new pills for more of the same at home or they can have their children incarcerated.

Billy Bain said...

You are NOT Adam Lanza's Mother. If you respect your son's mental illness as you claim you do (and I also can respect it, too as I "suffer" from mental illness, and its stigma alike)please take a step aside, AND RESPECT ADAM LANZA'S mental illness, too, THEN place yourself in her heels, but do NOT re-assign yourself to her identity. The women is dead..., allow her that much dignity, and let her have it back, that dignity and most of all her identity; ALL of it. Thanks...

Megze said...

Nyxy - you may have bipolar disorder. I went undiagnosed until I was 28. But no one but a psychiatrist can tell you for sure. Part of my problem getting a diagnosis was not having enough money as a young adult to go to as doctor. Our healthcare system has been broken for so long. I wish you well.

Sonja said...

Dear Anarchist Soccer Mom,

Thank you very much for having the courage to share your story and bring to light the desperate need for better mental health care in this country. On Monday I read every comment that was posted on your blog; by now there are too many for me to read, but I hope that you will see and consider this post someday. I have no personal experience with mental illness, but when I read your story my heart was filled with compassion for you. I am glad that you have received many ideas that may be helpful for you and your son, and I hope you will try out the ones that seem promising. I would like to add my own. It seems to me that the "madness" in your son is the same madness that is in us all, only more magnified. If you have not already done so, I would recommend that you read first "The Power of Now" and then "A New Earth" by Eckhart Tolle. These are powerful books for change in our lives, and they might be able to help your son manage your emotions a little better as well as help you manage yours while you are interacting with him. What Tolle writes about the ego and the "pain-body" seem to apply to your son in the same way that they they do to the rest of us. The books may not be the answer all by themselves, but I think they could help. What I would really like to see would be for Tolle's ideas and techniques to be used in all kind of psychotherapy, including treatment for the mentally ill. I can envision places of mental healing that would use these teachings in addition to therapies already in use. I imagine an environment that would keep the mentally troubled safe from harming themselves or others, but that would be compassionate and respectful, not treating patients as criminals or potential criminals, but as equal human beings in need of help. There could be lots of opportunity for expression through art and music, physical activity for health of the body and the mind, and a safe way to allow patients much time in nature... as well as opportunities to participate in other the productive activities they would normally enjoy as they go through treatment for their illnesses.

I have no idea how to make a vision like that come to be, nor do I personally have the experience or training to do it. However I stand with you and hope with you that much better options for the mentally ill will soon become available, and I will make my views known politically. In the meantime, I hope that you and your son will read those books. They may bring about some positive change.

Wishing you peace and blessings and the help that your family needs-

Mark Harnan said...

I have to ask in all these cases? Where's the father figure in all this? I have a kid with apergers, definat as hell with his mother, and when he gets like that 9 times out of 10 all I need to do is remove myself from my seat and his little attitude problem does a 180.

1prophetspeaks said...

I know the causes and i Have the solution for anyone with this issue. I can help you. For FREE


I urge everyone here to READ my free book at my website 1prophetspeaks.com

Message to Families of Mental Patients

also on blogger:
http://www.1prophetspeaks.blogspot,.com/2012/07/message-to-families-of-mental-patients.

The UNTHINKABLE would be for any family member to send their loved one to a concentration camp, but that is exactly what psych hospitals ARE. They ARE HELL. Michael was speaking the truth when he says it, and he should be believed. I have spent 7 years in them, on the drugs. They are torture. and they CAUSE MENTAL ILLNESS< suicide & Homicide. THEY ARE NOT THE HELP YOU NEED>
THere is help from GOD. Jesus heals mental illness, which is caused by demonic spirits, which he cast out and gave his followers authority to do. All mental and physical illnesses are caused by demonic spirits whose assignments are the names of the diseases. Jesus rebuked them. I have rebuked canc-, asthm-, depress.

In order to be healed one ALSO needs to assess our environment for OPENINGS for demonic oppression. This includes any drugs, which includes caffeine, nicotine, alcohol, pot, lsd etc AND ALL PSYCH MEDS.

ALso, the books, music, art, symbols around us are openings. Whatever spirit 'inspires' them will be transmitted to us if we are near them.

HARRY POTTER BOOKS are YOUR PROBLEM! GET RID OF THEM. THey are openings for spirits of witchcraft, which is exactly causing this issue.

Also, the whole music business is run by people into witchcraft who pray demons onto the masters of all the records, so THEY are spiritually contaminated and are an opening.

IF you have problems with mental or physical ilness, CLEAN OUT YOUR HOUSE> Most of this is environmental.

Sending someone to a mental hospital will NOT HELP THEM. It will only make them worse, or kill them. The psych drugs are deadly, by design. THe nazis used them to kill mental patients and this genocide has continued worldwide using mentgal health as a cover.

Get him OFF the drugs, not ON THEM! THen he can be prayed for to be deliverd from the demons FROM the drugs!

All the mass shooters were ON PSYCH DRUGS. THey ARE The problem.
so are violent video games, tv etc.

Sending someone into the criminal justice system is the worst thing you can do. It will just ruin their life. Having a record puts curses on people spiritually, which is MORE openng for demonic attack, as are any written charts from hospitals. Stop speaking negative about people; that also spews curses onto them and makes them worse. My FREE BOOK the POWER OF WORDS talks about this. Words do not just describe, they invoke what we speak.

God sent me into the psych system to be a witness against it and write a FREE book exposing their atheism, which falsely calls CHristians schizophrenic, and their genocide, and tells how to heal mental and physical illness thru prayer. Manual for Transformational Healing-God's Answer to Psychiatry at
1prophetspeaks.com

Kishanna said...

My heart will go on you. I would like to find an answer but it isn't. Sadly there's a situation like yours here, close to me. I understand your words, believe me!
Merry Christmas from Tuscany (Italy).
God bless you and your children!

1prophetspeaks said...

I am a life long musician. The whole music business has been hijacked by illuminati devil worshippers who pray demons onto the masters of all the records. God's desire is for all musicians to serve HIM with their music, to heal the world. My free book
WHAT KIND OF MUSICIAN are you GOING TO BE-GOD's CALL TO MUSICIANS. Musicians are called to be prophets, intercessors & healers talks about this.
1prophetspeaks.com

Get every mental patient a piano or guitar, and read my free book
How to Play Piano in half an hour
which tells how to play and use it to worship God, which heals us. I lived in a church for 2 years pl.aying piano and worshipping God, and God healed me and gave me a loud singing voice I did not previously have. I have a BA in music and a Masters in Jazz Composition. WORSHIP is the purpose of music, and is the most powerful way to connect with God. It is also important to get a king james bible and read that - it brings peace and has answers to our questions. It is God's will that all people be saved and born again so be in heaven with him .THat is his priority. THe problems in our lives are given to us to drive us to seek HIM to have a relationship with him. This includes any problem - medical, legal, relationship, etc.

Rachel said...

Coordination of treatment even in the wake of this terrible economy and problems with managed care should be paramount in mental health service provision. I, myself, could not read this post until today, because I have a first grader and have been working in mental health for 13-years.

Thank you for sharing your experiences with your son. This personal account brings life to the plights that parents endure, and makes the countless pages of reports that we pour through and also write have a human side.

1prophetspeaks said...

see article
Illuminati mind control in psych drugs, music and education at
http://www.1prophetspeaks.blogspot.com/2012/04/illuminati-mind-control-in-psych-drugs.html

The illuminati are devil worshippers who run the music business & pray demons onto the masters of all the recofds, since the 70s. John Todd testifies to this in his video Demons behind the music business-john Todd on youtube.
SO this music is a major cause of mental illness. Todd became a born again CHristian in the 70s and exposed this. The illuminati social engineers run the world; they control mental health, education, the media, where they spew all this pro-drugging propaganda, hollywood, banking, everything. one of their goals is depopulation of the planet by 90% so genocide by drugs is part of their agenda. The Rockefellers are an illuminati bloodline social engineering family who are behind most of this. They funded Hitler. I know one of them personally, AND THRU PRAYER God has told me this is all true. Todd says the Rockefelelrs work for the Rothschilds, who who answer directly to the devil. Others have said the same thing. THe social engineers in the US & UK who support eugenics & euthenasia funded Hitler and run mental health & education. Another book that testifies to this is The Men Behind Hitler-a GERman warnnig to the World by Bernhard SHrieber. my article "The Mental Health System is a Front for Nazi genocide:" has excerpts from his free book.

Dr Peter Breggin has written many books warning about psych drugs and was the first to expose the nazi genocide of mental patients in the t4 euthenasia program. Breggin is one of the few psychiatrists speaking the truth about psych drugs.

The cchr.org has much info about abusive psychiatry.

1prophetspeaks.com

1prophetspeaks said...

An important point I want to make is that any person who is threatened with being sent to a psych hospital is going to be afraid and often lashes out physically as a reaction to that threat - to defend themselves from what they KNOW to be harm! . Psych hospitals are concentration camps - they are hell. Most patients will tell you that. THey are NOT LYING. It is nOT paranoia to be afraid of them. Many people die in them from the drugs and people are traumatized in them. I once was jumped by 4 people and drugged, and that night had a dream I waas bing gang-raped. It is abuse. It is abuse to be involuntarily "treated"> if it was hELP, people would not be unwilling to do it. It is NOT HELP and they know it.
Mindfreedomlinternational has many testimonies of psych survivors, all horror stories.

If you as a family member will GET THIS and re=assure your loved one that you would never again send them to such a place, it will do wonder for them and your relationship. THey will calm down. They want to be believed. Living with that kind of threat makes a person very nervous, high strung. that will go away to a large extent if this issue is addressed. Trust me.

see "Message to Families of Mental patients" at
1prophetspeaks.com
http://www.1prophetspeaks.blogspot.com/2012/07/message-to-families-of-mental-patients.html

Henry Smith said...

@Regina,

You are correct that threatening to kill yourself or someone else is wrong in general. But most often in the cases of these kids as I have seen over and over again, the "threats" they make aren't genuine threats, but rather a last resort by the kids to express to someone intellectually inferior to themselves (the parent) how strongly they feel about the issue at stake and how important it is that the parent understand this and take them seriously instead of dismissing the child's concerns and telling them they aren't real, especially when the child can clearly tell that the parent has absolutely no clue what they're talking about. The same goes for the "stupid bitch" comment. Trying to reason with the parent hasn't worked, explaining their point of view politely hasn't worked and the parent is still completely oblivious as to why the child feels the way they do and does not take them seriously. The child then resorts to the only tactics that he knows his simple and naive mother will understand, which include calling her a stupid bitch and threatening suicide. All in all, the concept is virtually no different from when a parent uses different and unique tactics in an attempt to get their kids to act a certain way, such as taking away TV privileges or video games, spanking, etc.

Respect as I'm sure you know, is a 2 way street. A kid (generally) should not disrespect his mother by calling her a stupid bitch, but at the same time, she must not disrespect him by publicizing all of his issues for the world to see, villifying him to his family and everyone else around him in an attempt to garner sympathy and make excuses for her sub par intelligence and subsequent sub par parenting.

Since I don't know you personally I can't truly judge your situation and hope I don't offend you, but it sounds like you grew up with an understanding father with an intellectual prowess equal to that of your own, which unfortunately is a privilege, or "luxury" that the vast majority of these kids including "Michael" do not have. The stories I have heard from most of them (mostly boys, which is another crucial factor as you touched on) generally sound far worse than your situation. While you may have had your father to turn to when problems arose which were caused by the general "stupidity" of the rest of the world, the majority of these kids have no one at all.

I could certainly sense disgust in Cecil's post as well, but sadly, that is the reality for us and the state of the world today. Liza Long and those who defend or emulate her and her narcissistic, self centered style of "parenting" are just disgusting individuals, there is just no other way to put it (that they will understand at least). In a near perfect world (in addition to the tragedy in Newtown never occurring), a blog like this would have never gone viral and the only response it would have gotten if any would be Macey's. In an absolutely perfect world, people like Liza Long and Nancy Lanza would simply not exist period.

The only solution to the problem is for the parents to fix themselves, not attempt to fix their children. These kids are an amazing asset to the world and until the parents accept this and nurture them and the limitless potential they possess, and stop suffocating them by branding them with BS psychiatric labels and publicly shaming them like in this blog, America and the rest of the world will continue it's current downward spiral. It's never wrong to admit when you're wrong ladies and genltemen, and it's most certainly never too late to make a change.

1prophetspeaks said...

Get your kid OUT of the psych hospital ASAP. THe longer they stay, the worse they get.
They write charts in those places. The more they write, the worse people Get. The words invoke curses onto them and make people worse. When you destroy the chart, the trauma leaves in the spiritual realm and the person feels more peace. I say this from experience. I was traumatized one time by some workers who jumped me to drug me. After that, whenever one of them was on the ward, I was nervous, even before I knew he was there. One day I got hold of my chart and flushed it down the toilet. Immediately I felt the peace of God come to me. The trauma was gone, and I was able to sit near him without feeling nervous! The words are the problem! Spoken words can act like curses; we can undo it by rebuking it or rebuking any curses or negative curses, rebuking anythng negative we migh have invoked, in Jesus name. This works. Written words are more problematical; they tend to fixate things in the spiriutal realm. When you get rid of what is around you, books, papers that describe problems, etc, it affects you - removes the curses and spiritual assignments. I don't print names of diseases beause that can invoke the spirits which cause the diseases. The bible says all diseases are caused by spirits whose assignmetns are the names of those diseases. I have rebuked them in Jesus name and they go I have healed canc-, asthm-, depress. Having books or papers around that say the word canc- for ex, can invoke that disease onto a person! Really! Years ago I had books in my car written by a christian who had a ministry to deliver people from sat-ism. She wrote in her books the names of demons she had cast out. Writing down their names invoked those spirits onto whoever had the books. It was a mistake. I had them in my car. My car stopped workkng. Someone told me "maybe the devil is in your car" I was at church & asked God waht to do. He said one word "Hezekiah" I looked up the reference to a king who was told to remove idols. I cleaned out my car, removed the books, and it worked fine! ANother person I later met told me his daughter had the same books, and had all kiknds of diseases. It was from the books,. THis is why I say GET RID OF HARRY POTTER BOOKS they are causing much mental illness, relationship problems, everything. It can affect eletronics, computers too. everything is affected by spirits.
1prophetspeaks.com

1prophetspeaks said...

MIchael is a bright kid. He will be able to understand that the problem is NOT HIM but what is AROUND HIM. He will agree to get rid of stuff that is creating problems for him and those around him.
|
I lived with a family with 2 little boys. One of them asked me what I thought of his comic books, and toy gun. I said I didn't think it was a good idea and to ask gOD what to do. He said ok. He did, and God spoke to him saying "You can get rid of them now" and he did. God talks to us in our thoughts, by the Holy Spirit which has been on earth for 2000 years. Children see angels and demons. They need to be taught this stuff is REAL< not hallucinations, which atheistic psychiatry calls it. Many people who are called 'schizophrenic' have nothing wrong them. THey are spiritually sensitive and are being falsely called schizo by atheist drs who don't believe in God or that he does talk to us. This is the whole problem, in many cases. Then they get treated to fix a problem that wasn't, and they are worse, since the drugs open them up to demons, which do create problems. lack of knowledge of the truth and the bible, is the root problem. THe prophet hosea said "my people sufer from lack of knowledge" he meant lack of knowledge of God, not french or math.

see article 'Foolproof test that proves God exists - an exercise that shows he is in your life"
at http://www.1prophetspeaks.blogspot.com/2012/07/foolproof-test-that-proves-god-exists.html

"Do you believe God speaks to you-he Does in your thoughts"
http://www.1prophetspeaks.blogspot.com/2010/09/do-you-believe-god-speaks-to-you-he.html

1prophetspeaks.com

Message to families of mental patients
http://www.1prophetspeaks.blogspot.com/2012/07/message-to-families-of-mental-patients.html

1prophetspeaks said...

MIchael is a bright kid. He will be able to understand that the problem is NOT HIM but what is AROUND HIM. He will agree to get rid of stuff that is creating problems for him and those around him.
|
I lived with a family with 2 little boys. One of them asked me what I thought of his comic books, and toy gun. I said I didn't think it was a good idea and to ask gOD what to do. He said ok. He did, and God spoke to him saying "You can get rid of them now" and he did. God talks to us in our thoughts, by the Holy Spirit which has been on earth for 2000 years. Children see angels and demons. They need to be taught this stuff is REAL< not hallucinations, which atheistic psychiatry calls it. Many people who are called 'schizophrenic' have nothing wrong them. THey are spiritually sensitive and are being falsely called schizo by atheist drs who don't believe in God or that he does talk to us. This is the whole problem, in many cases. Then they get treated to fix a problem that wasn't, and they are worse, since the drugs open them up to demons, which do create problems. lack of knowledge of the truth and the bible, is the root problem. THe prophet hosea said "my people sufer from lack of knowledge" he meant lack of knowledge of God, not french or math.

see article 'Foolproof test that proves God exists - an exercise that shows he is in your life"
at http://www.1prophetspeaks.blogspot.com/2012/07/foolproof-test-that-proves-god-exists.html

"Do you believe God speaks to you-he Does in your thoughts"
http://www.1prophetspeaks.blogspot.com/2010/09/do-you-believe-god-speaks-to-you-he.html

1prophetspeaks.com

Message to families of mental patients
http://www.1prophetspeaks.blogspot.com/2012/07/message-to-families-of-mental-patients.html

Julie Monachino said...

I could change the name to Brian and the story will be exactly the same. Finding help is truly exhausting and how do you know if you picked the right venue. The waiting list are usually too long. We are desperate for help. My prayers to all parents who are struggling with mental illness.

Julie Monachino said...

You could change the name to Brian and the story will be exactly the same as mine. I find it exhausting to find the help, when I do, is it the right choice? The waiting lists are unbelievable, the fear we live in may come to light before the help comes. I understand you are Adam Lanza mother because I also am his mother. Thank you for your honesty. My prayers are with you.

Ilana Shams said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Julie Monachino said...

You could change the name to Brian and the story will be exactly the same as mine. I find it exhausting to find the help, when I do, is it the right choice? The waiting lists are unbelievable, the fear we live in may come to light before the help comes. I understand you are Adam Lanza mother because I also am his mother. Thank you for your honesty. My prayers are with you.

Julie Monachino said...

You could change the name to Brian and the story will be exactly the same as mine. I find it exhausting to find the help, when I do, is it the right choice? The waiting lists are unbelievable, the fear we live in may come to light before the help comes. I understand you are Adam Lanza mother because I also am his mother. Thank you for your honesty. My prayers are with you.

Davis Marklin said...

Hi,
My name is Davis Marklin. I'm seventeen years old. I was once like Michael only a few years ago. I used to be very violent just like him. I was sent to the mental hospital several times. I've hit my mother and father multiple times, swore at them, and was like Machael but worse, much much worse. I was diagnosed with OCD and Aspergers. When I was twelve my parents decided to send me to a boarding school in Rindge, New Hampshire called Hampshire Country School. I attended for three years. In the first two years, no change really happened. I still got into fists fights with my teachers and peers and I once hit my teacher with a 2 by 4. But in the third year, something happened and a switch flipped. I worked so hard to stop being violent. I started being more positive and eventually became a very smart, well liked kid. So, after my third year, I left and by that point, I was very well respected, one of the leaders of my school, and everyone was so happy for me. I just want you to know that there is still much hope and promise for Michael and that he just needs to find the right place for him, that will allow him to change into a wonderful young man.

When I read this post last Friday, I felt like I was reading a story about myself in the past. So, I felt inspired to write a poem about Michael and I and what I would say to him. Here it is:

Myself in someone else’s words by Davis Marklin

I see myself in a reflection
I stare at it
deep inside
like a lion staring you down

I don’t brake my stare
and then I realize
I’m reading a story
a story about me
but it’s not
it’s about someone else
someone distant but yet close
I feel like I know this person
maybe subconsciously
it’s like trying to catch the air
I know it’s there but I just can’t grasp it
it’s torture

I keep reading
I realize that it’s me
in the past
I think, is that really how i was?
did i really do these terrible deeds?
but then I remember that it’s not me
it’s about someone else
but I’ve had these same experiences

a ghost
coming back to remind me of what I’ve done
I scream at it to go away
because it’s easier not to remember
but it won’t
it’s a dream
I can yell all I want
but they’ll still find me
they’ll still get me

I feel bad for the kid
I want to help him because I’ve been there
but I can’t
it’s impossible
I’m helpless
sad
sad because I know there is nothing I can do
but yet I still think about what I would say
my stomach melts
I’ve lost all my energy
I want to lie in bed and cry
I want to run to his side and tell him it’s going to be alright
because I was once there
I know what it’s like
the policemen
the mental hospitals
the doctors
the terrible pain
the rage you feel
infinite
your desire to kill yourself
you want to burn the world
and then destroy the ashes
I know, I really do
I know what it feels like
and then it will be gone
like a clearing in the smoke
years will pass
and it will be distant
gone forever
except in your mind
you’ll grow up into a young man with your whole life ahead of you
you’ll have a family
you’ll grow old
you’ll have a Good life

The best of luck for you and Michael! My thoughts are with you!

Jennifer Padilla said...

Ok so people stress me out over having kids because I still have not had any, but what people don't get is...you need to know how to deal with kids before having them. I try to put myself in these situations and I would say, if I am a single mom in this case I would not get the cops or the hospital involved, what ever happend to boarding school or military school? I know people with seriously troubled kids who have done this and it has been extremely effective. Calling it a mental illness, to me sounds like a justification for their spoiled-rotten behavior. Maybe there is some kids with mental issues but I truly believe in discpline and it's effectiveness. Kids now a days know they "have rights" and they use that as leverage over the parents. So all single moms who can't deal with their kids...it's called boarding school, one day your kids will thank you.

Maraya said...

Thanks for supporting my belief that 'gun control' is not the issue.

My daughter used to have vicious temper tantrums and night terrors. I went the Alternate Medicine route and finally, after taking her to a very wise 'crystal healer,'they stopped. Yes, I know that sounds weird. She's quite a lovely young woman now - not without her issues - but no longer violent.

My nephew was some of what you described here. He's now in 2nd year University and loving his computer studies. I don't think it's quite over with him but at least his mom is a lot safer with him out of the house.

Trying to get our Medical system to understand and deal with this is not the complete answer. This is a bigger problem. As long as our air, water, soil - and consequently our food (oh, and our thinking!)- are toxic - our bodies and our minds will be toxic.

kashmirakitten said...

Please try changing his diet - like others have said, to dairy, gluten, sugar, and soy-free - to isolate any allergies and intolerances he might have. It's a Paleo-type diet. You're probably rolling your eyes at the suggestion and I would've too, had I not seen the results this dietary change can produce for myself. It could help with your son's behavior very drastically or not at all, but in the end there is absolutely no harm in trying it.

Jessica Mendes said...

Victoria, this is the best comment I've read so far. Good advice. In my experience, sensory disturbances, an over-active nervous system, over-stimulation and a feeling of not being heard can all lead to these behavioral problems. I hope the author takes your advice.

I must say that while I feel for the author, here, it disturbs me how much of her focus has been on controlling the behavior of her son rather than getting to the root of the problem. I can't possibly know (nor do I pretend to know) what it is like to be in her shoes -- being "terrified" of your own child is unimaginable -- so I only can respond to what is posted in this blog. But I believe her strategy is aggravating the issue. When you are a young child like that with a strong will who feels powerless and unheard you will lash out with the only resource you have -- in this case, possibly, the vow to take your own life. I dare say the answer is not to threaten him with a loss of freedom or to drug him. You are aggravating the problem.

Behavior modification -- and the heavy reliance on it in our mental health system -- rarely works, because it focuses on the outward manifestation of the problem and leaves the person or child in question feeling trapped and isolated and unheard. Being forced to conform and behave in social acceptable ways when your spirit needs room to breathe is like living in a strait jacket. Again, I can't possibly know what it is like to be in your position but surely there are alternatives to having him carted off by authorities?

Why do we focus so much on molding and controlling the behavior of children? Our schools are riddled with Ritalin -- "doping our kids for school", as one New York Times writer recently put it -- all to prevent them from wiggling in their seats and whispering to their friends during class. It's a horrifying trend, and rapidly on the rise.

I will never forget a woman I interviewed many years ago for radio who had suffered from severe postpartum depression. She began to experience delusions that everyone she came into contact with -- from the grocery store clerk to the neighbor -- was out to harm her children, and it was up to her to protect them. At some point she realized she needed help and walked herself into the mental ward of her local hospital. Instead of sitting her down to discuss possible solutions, they took her children away from her and locked her up.

Luckily, she was smart, and quickly figured out that the way to get her children back would be to behave in a socially acceptable way -- they way they wanted her to behave. It worked. She got released and her children were returned to her. And she continued to suffer privately for months following, until one day, the delusions disappeared, never to return.

The point here is that just because someone behaves "normally" does not mean they don't have serious problems, and likewise, just because someone is angry and acts out doesn't mean they are mentally ill. How many murderers were later reported to have been "nice" and "sweet" and "shy" and "quiet"? Yet we missed the signs of what was coming because we ARE TOO FOCUSED ON BEHAVIOR. At least with a child like Michael, you have some idea what you're dealing with.

goldbe16 said...

test

Yvonne said...

I haven't read the many comments above, but just wonder if you have tried the GAPS diet for your son? Very often it is a problem in the gut that causes reactions to certain foods or chemicals which then cause psychiatric symptoms. It is not an easy diet, but neither is living with a person suffering from the problem as you describe it. I encourage you to look into this diet and read about the physical and mental healing others have experienced from it. Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride is the author of the diet and book called Gut and Psychology Syndrome.The fact that he alternates between moods seems a strong indication that there is a food or other toxin that is affecting his brain. My prayers are with both of you!

Roberto Clemente said...

Bullying.

Bullying?
Bullying.

Bullying!!! Why is it that in over 3,000 posts, nobody has talked about bullying?

Perhaps because a part of Adam Lanza's behavior has to do with "justified anger"? Perhaps because the forces that socialize many, many children into being bullies are really BIG compared with dealing with one "problem child"?

Do you think the shooter would have went into an elementary school to kill students if he wasn't -- was NOT -- bullied, and probably from a very early age?

Mary Richard said... "I understand, Liza. As an attorney... how Adam’s experiences in the Newtown School District, which for more than half his life consumed nearly half of his waking hours, five days per week, 180 days per year, may have laid a foundation for his violent retaliation against the school district on Friday."

Well, here's a clue about Adam Lanza's experiences in the Newtwon School District.... On TransitTV in the LA Metro bus system, an interview was done with a man who had 16 years experience in Newton with school security/public safety. This guy knew Adam well, and this guy LIKED him a lot. You could tell he was very fond of Adam. Then he said that Adam NEEDED TO BE PROTECTED FROM THE OTHER CHILDREN. And that's hitting the nail on the head. Why are the bullies given a pass by adults who can think of everything else under the sun to post about INSTEAD OF BULLYING.

Wendy McLaughlin said...

I just wanted to say I support you. It was very brave of you to write what you wrote. Also, I know there are people probably saying you need to be a better parent, but I think you're doing the right thing. Who the hell would take those threats from a kid who wields a knife?! I can see maybe if it's just words, but there are actions and that's where the fine line is. I think you're doing the right thing bringing your son to psychiatric hospitals. Keep fighting the good fight!

Unknown said...

Hi 'Mom',

Having lived with an mental Illness for more as 28 years without knowing what caused that little monster in my head (I'm 48 years now), I wish I could be there to help you and the ones you love. I could get quit angry, luckily not as angry as 'Michael', but I'm grateful for that one doctor (of the countless I've visited) who finally diagnosed my problem correctly and of course, my parents. The last thing I want for you is the struggle you're going through, but I'm very happy that have the guts to tell everyone about it. There's no doubt in my mind that you do everything possible for your kids and love them very much. I hope your story will let other people think twice before making up stories about fathers/mothers/relatives being the cause of the problems of their children. As far as I've understood about 1 in 5 persons has a mental problem, all of course in different degrees and I sincerely think your story will open eyes of those not understanding and help people in similar situations. Say Hi to 'Michael' for me, I wish I could share some of the peace with him, that I've found by now.
Best wishes, Bart.

goldbe16 said...

I read your post with a shock of recognition. I am someone who has Asperger syndrome, and issues with impulse control.
Off and on for 15 years (from age 11 to 27) I had outbursts. I sometimes struck people or destroyed property. I also repeatedly threatened suicide and cut myself. The police were called to my family's home many times.

Today, I am in a better place. I am an ordained member of the clergy; I am studying in graduate school and engaged to be married. My relationship with my family is healing.

For what its' worth I want to share a few lessons I learned along the road to recovery.

What made my life an a nightmare, when I was ill, was the fact that no doctor could help me. I went to see specialist after specialist only to be told they had exactly the right pharmacological regimen to 'cure' me. When these interventions failed I was left feeling more demoralized, angry and aggressive.

Eventually, repeated failures taught my family and me that there are no magic bullet solutions (something which I am sure is not news to you). At my lowest low, I began observing my body-mind system and following-up with reading. This is how things began to improve.

I read widely in neurology, asperger syndrome, O.C.D, and natural medicine. I have no background in science. But fortunately, there are books for laypeople tha provide insight into complex medical concepts (many of them available in the public library system where I lived).
Anyone who is a careful reader can, I believe, become informed about their condition and draw helpful inferences about how to treat it.

Gradually, I learned that I have problems with blood sugar, overload of heavy metals, allergies to gluten, mould, corn and dairy and to chemical binders used in vitamins. I found a problem with my sinuses that causes headaches and contributed to my aggression. And I have asperger syndrome (my very own version) and O.C.D. No one book provided the answers I needed but, over time, I found pieces of the puzzle.

Armed with awareness of my condition, I met with doctors who could work with me co-operatively. (they with their expert knowledge of medicine, I with my expert knowledge of my body). At times, I shared ideas that the doctors would never have thought-up on their own - and the solutions worked.

Eliminating gluten made a big difference to me. I now take an anti-consultant, lamictal that raises my stress threshold and reduces my impulsiveness (In the past, tried over a dozen anti-depressants and anti-psychotics. None worked. This little-known medicine which is designed for seizure management did the trick.) With maturity I learned the need to be mindful of my moods and use calming techniques like meditation.

What would it have been like for me if I had been unable to do my own detective work? I believe my parents could have done the same reading and drawn good inferences about my condition.

My recovery has been a long march. Even as I was meeting with doctors and making strides toward treating myself, I continued to have outbursts. This disturbed my family and robbed them of quality of life. It left me feeling demoralized and worthless.

It took about seven years of active searching before things really turned around. It cost my parents who are middle-income people tens of thousands of dollars spent on non-traditional medical therapies (some of which worked, others did not). At times I was sure I would never get out of hell.

But I did.

Now life has moved on and the nightmare seems as if it happened in another lifetime.

The irony is that I am not freed of problems with impulse control. Rather, I have learned, with time, to manage them. I did not find a solution all at once, I lived one difficult, painful day at a time, seeing what symptoms I could isolate and what medical information I could learn. Slowly, a positive momentum developed.

I pray that you will have strength in facing the challenge with your son. With perseverance I believe you will be victorious. Hang in there and keep up the good fight. Be well, A

Sunnie3 said...

I am

Unknown said...

Hi there, I've found a few links that I hope you may find helpful. http://nourishedkitchen.com/nutrition-mental-illness-chronic-pain/, http://wapfrocklandcounty.wordpress.com/learn-more/other-topics-of-interest/healing-practices/, http://www.westonaprice.org/letters/letters-summer-2008, http://www.westonaprice.org/mentalemotional-health/metals-and-the-mind. Please feel free to contact me via my email if I can be of any help.

Sunnie3 said...

My son is in a residential treatment center. He was admitted December 7. It took
almost 4 years of fighting the system to get the treatment he needs. Four hospitalizations, 1 partial program, 2 rounds of family-based therapy, outpatient therapy, several school/peer support programs, Children, Family and Youth Services and 7 psychiatrists.

I had to give up parental rights to my son to get help. We've been to court 8 times from truancy through the dependency. It still took a year to get the level of help he needed. In the state of Pennsylvania kids, at age 14, must agree to and sign off on their mental health decisions. They can refuse treatment. They decide what happens. As a parent, you essentially lose your rights and can only keep trying and keep praying that your child makes the right choices. And, when they don't it's hell.

My heart goes out to any mom or parent with a child that has mental health issues. I can only hope that in light of the recent tragedy, discussions on mental health issues are elevated at the national level. I have my doubts though. Guns and security is definitely sexier in the eyes of the government and our media.




I wouldn't wish this on my worst enemy.

Haji said...

Your post makes me so angry. Your son is NOT crazy! He is emotional and doesn't feel understood so he uses threats to express his frustration. He sounds so similar to me what i was his age, and older - basically until the time i left my mother's home at 20! I used to threaten her as well, throw things at her, say i would kill myself, etc - and sometimes i really wanted to... because i hated her, i hated my life at home, i hated myself. I didn't feel understood by my mother and unfortunately for me, i had no other relatives who could take me. So i was stuck and i reacted to it very aggressively. I would tell her and my younger brother to die on a daily basis. My mother called the police several times. I'd always change my act by the time they showed up. I knew that i was destroying my mother's life... but i couldn't resist. What i felt inside was too painful.

The first example you make about your son and the blue pants - do you realize how petty that is? How idiotic to force him to wear something he doesn't want to. So what if the school has a policy? It is a petty policy and not worth fighting about. I can tell that you have been treating him like he is mentally ill for a long time.. of course he feels it... With time, he will likely internalize it more and more and increase his acting out. I don't think you are a good mother to him. He needs a sensitivity you do not have. You might be a good mother to your other children, but you don't understand your son.

I encourage you to look for support networks for him. Not a clinic, but perhaps older people who are intelligent with similar problems that he can spend time with so that he feels understood. Also look into meditations for kids (dhamma.org for example) that can help him learn techniques to calm down on his own. Besides this, his time should be occupied by things he likes. Encourage him to write. Explain to him that you know you are NOT a good mother, but that you love him and want the best for him even though you are human and make mistakes. Encourage him to talk to you and LISTEN to him. Listen to him more than to the school. If you don't understand what he means or wants ask him to write it down. And reward him for expressing himself non-aggressively.

Your son is not a future murderer. He is hurting now - in the present. Instead of listening to his frustrations you are pushing them deeper and making him feel more like a mute - more like the world (personified through his mother) is indifferent to him. I see that you have four children, but this one probably needs more attention than the others. You need to give him that attention. Just like my mother had to give me more attention than my brother. My behavior had consequences on him of course, but many of us are traumatized by something. Your son needs you to listen to him and to RESPECT him... if you don't - maybe in the future he will take his own life, because your behavior towards him now (as i feel from your post) is planting the seeds of death inside him. I don't think he would kill others, but he may turn his aggression towards himself.

g said...

Have you tried sending your boy to a ten day Vipassana meditation course? I believe it was a very successful introduced at a maximum security prison in alabama. It is very calming, peaceful and liberating...and tough. i saw one course in washington state, which is absolutely free too.

Meredith McGraw said...

Thank you for writing this. I just broke up with the love of my life due to his mental illness- Bipolar Disorder. He takes Zyprexa (among others), he has weekly psychiatrist appointments, he has been to the mental hospital twice in the past month. Nothing seems to help. We broke up after he attempted to kill me and himself... armed with 4 rifles. I called his mother, fearing for our lives. She immediately called the police- she said she's been through this before. They took his guns away (the family hunts a lot in Texas, gun enthusiasts like the Lanza's) and then to the mental hospital. This blog made me cry... because I felt the terror you have felt- and the love.

icicle said...

According to the 2010 Census, the population of all males in the US is 49.2%. The entire white population of the US is 79.96%, both male and female.
White males do not make up 75% of the US population.

Unknown said...

Dear Liza Long:

I saw you on TV a few days ago, saying these words. How heartless you are. How can you go on national TV and tell the world you think your son is a monster? He's 13 and your child. How can hearing you say these things about him not break his heart?

I think of all the other kids too, the ones who have been diagnosed with schizophrenia or Oppositional Defiant Disorder or whatever and who would never kill anyone but now have the entire country thinking they might and wanting to lock them up in psych wards forever. I've been in them and he's right, they're hell--no privacy, no way of knowing how soon you'll get out, staff able to hold you down and forcibly inject you with drugs via the buttocks or tie you down in restraints for hours and hours, just because they thought you were acting too loud or too strange or refused to take medication. Every time I see someone use "mentally ill" as a synonym for someone capable of the horrifying murders Adam Lanza did, I feel sick to my stomach with fear for these kids. I fear that their classmates and teachers and parents will look at them and see, not as a person, but as a bomb waiting to go off. I fear that many innocents will be punished for one man's crimes.

You are hurting people with your article. I read one comment on the article that really showed how much damage you're doing: a parent of a 7 year old described as "brilliant but doesn't fit in", who says he is not violent "yet", and worries that he will grow up to be a mass murderer like Adam Lanza. By conflating "mental illness" with violence, by telling the world that you expect your kid to kill someone unless he's locked away, you sent the message to your son that his mother has given up on him, written him off as irredeemable sick and monstrous. You are also sending the message to other parents of troubled kids that their kids should be thought of as potential Adam Lanzas rather than potential teachers or artists or scientists. And you're sending the message to other troubled kids that their parents might feel this way about them.

Kids need their parents to have faith that they can succeed, that no matter what they are going through, no matter how badly they behave, their parents will still see the best in them and never give up on them. I feel so horrible for your son if he is reading this article, seeing his mom compare him to a mass murderer. On a less drastic note, I've had friends whose parents didn't see them as monsters but assumed that they would never make anything of themselves and would be on SSI all their lives and in and out of psych wards, and it's really hurt those people and discouraged them from doing things to help themselves. I'm not trying to downplay what you're going through as a parent, but I also feel that in the rush to commiserate "oh how hard it is for you to have to deal with a mentally ill child", too many forget that it's even harder to BE a mentally ill child, and that knowing the adults around you see you as a stone around their neck or even a potential mass murderer just adds to the pain.

Gratefulone1404 said...

I read your story and it took me back to my teenager years. I was a mirror image of Michael in my teenage years. Finally at 26 I was diagnosed with ADHD, anxiety and bipolar disorder. I have been in therapy as well as many different medications throughout my life that usually just made me more suicidal or violent. I have been dealing with trying to control myself and live a normal life for many years and have found nothing that worked for me up until recently. I had hit rock bottom and found my entire life completely falling apart. I couldn't get out of bed for days on end and wanted nothing more than to take my own life or be committed for life in a mental hospital. I didn't want to be part of society at all anymore and was trying to hang on for my family's sake. During this time I spent many hours searching the internet for anything that might be able to help me. I came across a form of therapy called Transpersonal Hypnotherapy. I did some research on it and found myself becoming more and more skeptical of it but I felt like I had tried everything else and had nothing left to try. The regression therapist I found had also been a psycho therapist for many years. I chose him based on his credentials as well as the testimonials I had read from his previous clients. I've had 5 sessions so far and my life has completely changed. Even after one session I was noticing the positive changes in myself. My boyfriend has been so impressed by my improvement he's even decided to set up a session for himself. I finally have a relationship with my family and friends again and for the first time ever in my 28 years I feel like a normal woman. I'm eternally thankful to both my boyfriend for sticking by me and offering to pay for my sessions as well as to my therapist. I don't even like to think of what might have happened to me if it wasn't for those two. I feel for you and your son and I hope you find something that helps your son to lead a normal life.

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Melinda S. said...

Thank you for your honesty in writing this. I'm sure it was incredibly difficult to write, and I commend your bravery.

One thing you didn't mention, which has been a life-saver for us: we discovered our daughter was sensitive to corn in any form, to artificial colors and some preservatives, and to a few other foods like almonds and strawberries. Corn syrup and strawberries can lead to rages in under 30 minutes. Figuring out these things has given us a different child. (The Feingold program helped us find these things, though it is possible to do it other ways.)

I know it won't work for everyone, but for some, maybe even for many, it can change their lives.

Jessi Rainey said...

Liza,

In all hopes that this will help, the drugs he is taking has the side effects he is acting out. Eat healthier, repair the damage, prevent illness... don't mask it. www.mercola.com Search the drugs he is taking as well as the vaccines if you have time and if you see a correlation ask him, Dr. Mercola, for alternatives. Nice article. Interested? Email back at peanut7949@msn.com.

Thanks so much,

Jessica R.

Theresa Peterson said...

Today is the first time I have turned on my computer or television. I have been paralyzed by fear knowing that someday I may be that mom on television apologizing to victims families for my son's actions. People say did no one see this coming? Hell yes I did. I begged and pleaded for help. I sat in countless hours of therapy, sat on the floor for as long as it took for "The Angel of Light" to stop talking to him, fought for hours upon hours with insurance companies trying to get medications and services paid for, lost countless jobs because I had to leave for my child. The tears and pain when I had to leave my son at the hospital that would never help but at least kept him safe. This is pain my friends. The worst is the well meaning advice people give to me. They tell me I understand, No you don't. My child is being tortured by his own mind and no magic kisses and hugs will ever make it better. The only thing I wish for in this world is to see a genuine smile on my sons face one more time.
Thank you for sharing your story with the world. for the first time I feel that I can too.

Theresa Peterson said...

Today is the first time I have turned on my computer or television. I have been paralyzed by fear knowing that someday I may be that mom on television apologizing to victims families for my son's actions. People say did no one see this coming? Hell yes I did. I begged and pleaded for help. I sat in countless hours of therapy, sat on the floor for as long as it took for "The Angel of Light" to stop talking to him, fought for hours upon hours with insurance companies trying to get medications and services paid for, lost countless jobs because I had to leave for my child. The tears and pain when I had to leave my son at the hospital that would never help but at least kept him safe. This is pain my friends. The worst is the well meaning advice people give to me. They tell me I understand, No you don't. My child is being tortured by his own mind and no magic kisses and hugs will ever make it better. The only thing I wish for in this world is to see a genuine smile on my sons face one more time.
Thank you for sharing your story with the world. for the first time I feel that I can too.

Robert Preston said...

Hi Anarchist Soccer Mom,
You are not alone, you are not crazy and you are not a bad mother. Others, as you can see are experiencing what you

are going through. Your story sounds so familiar to me because I have lived it. I am a Mr MoM and my son Michael (His

real name) reminds me of your son. First of all try to stop putting yourself in the shoes of parents of mass

murders. We have all been swept up into the emotion of the recent killings in Newtown. The chances of your son being

a mass murder are very slim. We don’t know what triggered the killer to do his rampage. His story will be told when

the facts are verified and revealed. You need to concentrate on getting the proper help for you and your son.
There is nothing more terrifying than being a single parent with a suicidal child. You feel like a prisoner. You

can’t leave the child alone to go shopping or work for fear they will jump out a window, cut themselves or overdose

on Tylenol. Are they manipulating you or do they really intend to harm themselves? It’s best to deal with his

threats as the real deal.
You have about five years to turn things around, when he turns eighteen he is not a young offender anymore and the

system will treat him as an adult and he will go to adult jails with hardened adult criminals.
Seek out or start a parents group for support and strategy that has a trained professional leader or adviser if

possible.
Get a diagnosis as soon as possible to determine what you are dealing with. Once you know, try to find an

organisation that provides home counselling or a residential program for treatment.
Keep using the Tough-Love. Don’t handout punishment while you are angry. Ask your son what he thinks his punishment

should be. He is responsible for his own actions. He has to change his behaviour or he will spend the rest of his

life out of control and probably in jail. Keep your cool when your buttons are pushed (Watch for the smirk on his

face when you lose it). When he loses his temper let him take a timeout in his room or take a walk to cool down. If

he’s completely out of control call his probation officer or the police. Speak to him calmly. No screaming or

yelling, it will only accelerate his anger. Try to stay in control. A structured life with well defined rules tells

him you love him.
I hope you find the help you need. Your son sounds as though he is gifted and if he obtains self discipline and

control will probably grow up to give back to life what he has taken and be a successful adult.
Stay strong,
A Canadian Mr MoM

oneofme said...

For the sake of your family, if this child is this bad, he should be in a locked up facility.....perhaps the family will have to pay, I don't know. I do know that if he is so threatening to you the other siblings are being traumatized and may never get over the violence in the home. It's time to think of them.
A tough love type facility that knows how to handle violent children w this type of illness could teach him and you how to raise this child to adulthood....and also keep the family safe. I'd have locks on the bedroom doors if he is this dangerous. You are getting nowhere and the child needs a full time clinic for help.

Dave said...

HOPE FOR THE VIOLENTLY AGGRESSIVE CHILD

That's a book and website many of you parents need to check out if you are experiencing severe meltdowns or aggression.

WJ Purifoy said...

I strongly urge anyone who has "mental illness" or their child has one to try going gluten free. I overcame 20-plus years of severe depression by going gluten free. I'm now off all medications (for other than depression, too) and only have a problem if I eat something with gluten in it. (It also cleared up my arthritis, heartburn, high cholesterol, foggy brain, fewer allergies and I lost 50 pounds – I also stopped eating so much added sugars.)

My studies of “food and disease” have indicated gluten is responsible for fibromyalgia, ADHD/ADD/etc., autism and a long list of other problems.

Try going gluten free for 30 days. If it doesn’t help, then go back to wheat products. As Mary said, it seems worth a try.

Bethany Perry said...

This is such a horrific and truely sad story. There are some answers out there that people may not know about. PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE contact me at life@bethany-perry.com My heart goes out to you and so many other parents. I know someone who can help1!!
With Love,
Bethany

Dave said...

A book and website many of you parents need to check out if you are experiencing severe meltdowns or aggression:

HOPE FOR THE VIOLENTLY AGGRESSIVE CHILD

Google the phrase.

Marina Lent said...

I am one of those people for whom this cuts too close to the bone. When my little brother killed himself at age 34 after a downward spiral of psych ward, jail, restraining orders, stalking charges... His social worker said "thank God he died innocent." He hadn't killed anybody. Be prepared to lose your child to this disease. I know too much about the life you lead. I know too much about Adam Lanza. Can't say enough about how rediculously relentlessly inadequate I find mental health care in this country. Bless You.

Katherine said...

As in Matthew 15:22, may parents find help and comfort from the Lord who is able to deliver their loved ones from demons. (I've been a missionary in Africa and there is a woman formerly wild and attempting to kill her own children; she was delivered via prayer. She is still sane 5 years later and serves in the church in Assumane Village.) In the Luke 9:40-42 account of a demonized child being delivered by Jesus, He made it clear that His disciples should have been able to have done it! It is important to minister more in the power of the Name of Jesus than by the mind of men and/or religious traditions.

Lenethren said...

Your words are enlightening. I have 3 kids but none have had these issues so I don`t know what it is like but this made me think. Since reading this several days ago I have paid attention to the news and all I see is headlines about guns, nothing about mental health except one statement that people were scared the word autism woould now become more scarier. I hope the people who are in the position to make changes, read your words. I`m not even American, I am Canadian and I hope my country`s leaders read your words as well. HUGS to you and you family.

Lenethren said...
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Noble Korhedron said...

I really don't know what to say to this except to express my disgust for a system that leaves you this helpless and with no other options. Whatever Republican whackjobs that are trying to dismantle what little remains of a national health system in the U.S. should either be tried for treason or expelled from the country. At least in the latter case they're no longer the taxpayer's problem.

@Uncle Timmy: I really don't know what else to say about your daughter except to say that given the chance I would fire those cops and social services personnel. They are obviously NOT doing their jobs. End of.

Livvie J. said...

I hope this post will begin to open people's eyes. I completely agree with you, and I'll pray for you and your son. Best wishes.

Jesus the answer! said...

I can only give you mothers this enormous piece of advice JESUS is your answer he came to save he is your only HOPE no other method tactic or plan and his word says " all tired weary sick come to me " not going to him, or teaching our children any Godly principles is the PROBLEM. All our children know now is demonic and evil garbage parents bring into their homes! But JESUS is waiting with stretched arms try him GOD BLESS YOU AND WILL BE PRAYING FOR YOU!

Jesus the answer! said...

Jesus is the only hope he is your answer in his word he says " all the tired worked and weary come to me and I shall give you peace " his waiting with strechted arms in this life while on earth we'll face problems where only he can save us I encourage urge to seek JESUS look for a christian apostolic/pentecostal church where only his name is preached his word also says " he is WAY the TRUTH and the LIFE " God bless you will be praying for all these mom.

Danielle Smith said...

I do not have an autistic child. I have what seems to be a normal healthy social butterfly. A few weeks ago my child told me she hated me. It was cold. People learn hate from somewhere. Normally school because I try to shield her from negatives.
This being said, I think you are doing the right thing and setting an example with not only your son and family, but to everyone who reads this. I wish I knew how to help.

kveidt said...
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kveidt said...

This story just completely disgusted me. Not about the child, but at the PARENT. I have been in the child's place before, and you know what? You are making it worse! SO much worse! Infinitely so! He is acting that way because he wants you to understand him, to listen to him, to LOVE him! By committing him, and freaking out huge like the whole family is super scared of him is making him very upset, feeling very unloved, and you know what? YOUR behavior towards him is what will really make him flip out one day, not like you have seen but by doing something drastic, probably by killing himself. He WILL get a lot more violent by you treating him this way.

He is tired of you treating him like some freak. Put him back in his original school and take him out of that 'special' school. He doesn't deserve that. He does, however, deserve to be treated like a human being, and like a young man rather than a bad child/freak of nature.

YOU ARE TEACHING YOUR CHILD TO HATE HIMSELF. YOU ARE MAKING HIM FEEL LIKE AN INNATELY BAD PERSON, WHICH HE IS NOT. LOVE HIM. UNDERSTAND HIM.

What you are doing is CHILD ABUSE, whether you believe it or not. It is more harmful to him than if you were to beat him.

If you want any more tips on what is going on in your son's head and heart right now, please feel free to contact me. I feel for him so much right now, and it brought tears to my eyes just knowing how badly he is hurting inside from all of this.

By the way, he is showing his hurt through anger. That is the main point here. He does not trust you enough to cry in front of you, or to show his honest, painful feelings. Get that trust back by talking to him, like an adult - that part is important, to himself he is NOT a child, do not degrade him that way. This boy is a child genius, as I myself was as well, and it is NOT an easy world to live in being surrounded by children being childish/stupid and adults treating you just as if you were like them.

If you want to stop this from permanently affecting his life in a very negative and dangerous manner, you HAVE to change your behavior. Quit playing the victim - more importantly, quit playing HIS victim. He is hurting inside, very much so, and he needs YOUR LOVE and UNDERSTANDING. So far, all he sees from you is hate. Hate and fear.

Do you really want him to grow up seeing himself as the monster you show him he is? I didn't think so.

Laurie Hamilton said...

I was inspired by your letter. I was praying that some of our politicians (Mr. Presidendt) would take note and look at the mental health problems rather than start pointing fingers about the gun laws. Both areas need help. There is no simple solution to both areas, but all I heard today was about gun control. That was very disheartening. The shootings in OR & CT were both young men that lost their way and could of used some mental assistance. Lives where lost that should not of been lost...

kveidt said...

Also, medication is NOT the answer, either. I would say that if you were to medicate him with anything whatsoever, an anti-anxiety medication, such as Vistiril, would likely help but anything beyond that is just harmful. His mind is still developing, as one poster said earlier, and giving him SSRIs and the like are very detrimental. He is a very smart boy; don't ruin that for him.

And please, do NOT commit him anymore. It is so clear by your post that you did that as a punishment; I would go so far as to say it was out of revenge, as was frantically asking for the police to be called. You are hurting him, so much, while he is already hurting more than you could ever imagine.

As I said in my previous comment, I have been exactly in his place, and I know what is going on in his head and his heart. I say that with certainty. Later on in my life, my mom realized how wrong she was to have treated me that way, and while we have a very good relationship now, we didn't have any for a long time.

When you regret your actions years later and see how strongly, and badly, they hurt your son, will he forgive you? Or will he choose to treat you the same way you treated him - with hate, and fear? Or will it be too late, and he won't be around anymore for you to love?

Please take these words to heart; I am speaking straight from mine. As you said in your post, you are Adam Lanza's mother, well, I am Michael, just about ten years later.

He needs you right now more than ever. I think you know that, you just don't know how to go about it. Together, you can fix this.

(By the way, state mental facilities are right next to jails in terms of quality of life, in every aspect. There is a lot of abuse, child abuse, that goes on in those places. You can find out about that on Google. Please don't subject him to that anymore. It is Hell in those places!)

Minna Ormiskangas said...

I read this, and I was going to write a long text full of stuff, but suddenly, i can't find all the right words, so i'm gonna say what's on my mind...

Thank you for sharing this story! I can't even imagine what's going through your head and heart... I'll pray all the strength to you, and your family. I hope peace for you, and your family.

❥ ₵herri ℓove ℑ said...

My heart and my prayers with you, always.

Shabby Chic Travel Geek said...
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Virgil Maday said...

I have some advice for you. I have dealt with a boy back in my youth who was similar to your Michael. The first problem you have is your own dour way of treating your son, according to what you have documented here on this blog. I had a former brother-in-law about the same age, whose mother was, shall we say, far less educated than yourself, but possessing the same unrelenting way as you. Using your own account here, you have to realize that he is the son and you are the mother. Therefore discipline should be met out with mercy. The age old idea of taking away privileges DOES NOT work. Especially for a son believed to have either SLD, ADD, ADHD, or even a possible Autistic Spectrum disorder. If I were looking at this whole situation, I would have to say that some of your behavior did not, and does not show mercy. You may care for him a lot, which I do not doubt; but having myself been raised in a Medical Professional Family, we do not "nag" our children. Instead we, as I was, discipline by example. That means we do not try to "bend the rules ourselves." I have nothing but the most sincerest feeling for your situation, but I must say that as the Lord above has taught me throughout my life thus far that "an action creates a re-action" and that is the legitimacy of our lives here in this little ball we call Earth, and that is the truth about freewill. You as a parent, must understand that as he is 13 years of age he is look at a different horizon than you. He is looking towards his manhood. I do not know your family (i.e. marital) status, however, that is arbitrary. So, in closing I wish you all the best, and hope that you take some or all of my advice, and lastly try to look for a competent specialist to examine your son. Then you will be able to not only help him, but yourself as well.

IslayMs said...

You have my utmost sympathy and complete understanding. My son, at 7, and I, at 47, were dx'd with varying levels of bipolar disorder on the same day. Soon after, I found an email list/community of parents of bipolar *pre-adolescent* kids. I read stories, like yours, that curdled my blood and made me see how lucky I was that my son had not shown that much violence (and hasn't since then, either). We had many of the same stories--friends&family appalled that we were "drugging our kids", that we were just not using the proper discipline/behavior modification techniques that they would be using--but they never seemed to want to spend much time with these children "to show us the error of our ways". Hmmm.

I met other moms of "neurologically atypical" kids. That term does not merely refer to those kids on the autim spectrum, y'know. We could relax around each other, because we Knew What It Was Like, and like those who've lost a spouse or a child, were with others for whom no explanation was necessary.

I've seen the angry, explosive meltdown, and the kid who an hour later is all sweetness. This no-longer-a-kid is smart, but I'm hip to his tricks of attempted manipulation, changing the focus of the argument or discussion away from himself or his culpability, and trying to make it *my* wrongdoing.

Problem is, he's not smart enough to realize these tactics aren't working, and maybe owning up to his faults ought to start now, when they can be transformed into more positive behavior, for his good, and the good of others.

I wish you a swift and certain dx (or multiple dx's if that's the case), with therapies that do not alter his lipid profile or allow him to gain a lot of weight & carb/fat cravings, that your insurance will cover and you are able to manage. I also wish you respite.

Dave said...

Search or Google this phrase:

HOPE FOR THE VIOLENTLY AGGRESSIVE CHILD

That's a book and website many of you parents need to check out if you are experiencing severe meltdowns or aggression.

It lays out a new approach for these behaviors that does NOT rely on psych drugs.

Testimonials and citations provided.

Just Me said...

I had a child who was the sweetest thing in the world until puberty hit. I swear he went to bed my sweet little angel one night and woke up the spawn of satan the next day. I never tried to hide his behaviour change, or deny it, only tried to get him help. The problem is that these children are so scarily intelligent, they know what to tell the mental hospitals what they want to hear. The most I could ever get him admitted for was a week and even then the doctors told me it was "my" fault - while my son sat behind them and smirked at me while making slasher signs at me.

You know when your child needs help that you cannot give them. You MUST keep trying, keep going from doctor to doctor, keep researching on your own, forcing the puzzle pieces to come together until they fit. You MUST do this not only for your child's sake, but for the rest of the worlds.

In my case, my son was undiagnosed manic depressive with ODD which was triggered by the anesthetics from an outpatient surgery right at the time puberty hit. Of course, it still would have occurred if the surgery had not happened, but the anesthetics accelerated the onset and intensified the rage. We ended up utilizing a mixture of Chinese Medicine - accupuncture and herbs - with group talk therapy, intensive one on one therapy, daily physical exercise, no violent movies/books/games, and a presciption medication that we found thru trial and error.

There is no one simple fix. You need a strong support network and you have to keep trying until you find what works. YOU know your child. Do NOT let a doctor dismiss you or tell you that you don't know what you are talking about. Find the routine that works for you, then work it.

Best of luck and prayers to all of you out there who are going thru this...and if you are one of the ones pointing fingers from the sidelines, show some compassion and help us before YOU are the one shot by one of our kids who did not get the help they needed!

Howie_Phelterbush said...

Holy $%# snacks lady! Thanks for breeding yet another mass murderer in the making and not doing anything about it.

PS said...

I think your son has PANDAS (Paediatric Autoimmune Neuropsychiatric Disorders Associated with Streptococcus). A lingering strep infection causes the body to create antibodies that attack the strep bacteria, but also somehow attacks the brain. It results in intermittent 'crazy' behaviour that blows over as quickly as it starts. Your son is not crazy. Do please look into this. If it is PANDAS, the cure is as simple as a course of antibiotics. I read about this in the book "Healing the 4A Disorders" by Dr. Kenneth Bock. It is a little-known disease that is frequently misdiagnosed as 'craziness'. If left to linger, the damage to the brain can be lasting. Do please look up a biomedical doctor (also known as DAN doctors). Conventional medicine cannot help him, they can only drug him. Biomed can help. Please, try. You can get your son back.

PS said...

My bad, PANDAS is now called PANS (Pediatric Autoimmune Neuropsychiatric Disorder). The strep component has been removed because it is now understood that ANY bacteria or virus that causes your body to have an autoimmune reaction can result in such mental and behavioural symptoms.

"Diagnostic criteria for PANS:
- Abrupt, dramatic onset of OCD or anorexia;
- The presence of at least two additional neuropsychiatric symptoms with similarly severe and acute onset, such as anxiety, mood swings and depression, aggression, developmental regression, or sudden deterioration in school performance or learning abilities;
- And that the symptoms cannot be explained by a known neurologic or medical disorder.

Among the wide range of accompanying symptoms, children may appear terror-stricken or suffer extreme separation anxiety, shift from laughter to tears for no apparent reason, or regress to temper tantrums, “baby talk” or bedwetting, the researchers report. In some cases, their handwriting and other fine motor skills worsen dramatically."

Anyone with such probs, please, look up a DAN or biomedical doctor. Your child does not have to be committed or turn into a murderer.

John Harrison said...

Thank you for allowing the vast majority of us who don't have daily dealings with mental illness some insight into this world.

Khannea Suntzu said...

The problem is two fold (*) blame and (*) disinterest. In society and in individual people there is an element that wants to heap blame on these people. "why can't they just act normal?" is the over-used cliche. Blame is simply a manifestation of lack of imagination. Most people can't conceive of mental illness and regard as the behavior in their own frame of reference - which means the aberrant behavior is interpreted as a form of "rebelliousness" or "mere anger".

The worse aspect of society however is disinterest. Most people hear a story such as this and they respond with boredom. Exclamations such as "not my tax dollars" are all symptoms of disinterest. They state "make this problem go away without it bothering me". Acceptable neuro-typical behavior becomes the cookie cutter mold for the kind of lifestyle choices that would be in place in the average mall. Anyone who behaves different is met with disinterested apathy at best, and hostile revulsion at worst. ANY kind of behavioral eccentricity or pathology becomes a thing to removed from the common arena, in an act of cosmetic legislation.

In the US there is no democratic incentive or mechanism to improve this. Mass-shootings only serve to aggravated either knee-jerk response of blame and disinterest, and there will only be less budget for kids like your sun, and increasingly punitive legislation to purge his problems from the common sphere.

If you want to do something about it be quick. The US is about to get hit by the mother of all austerity storms and I guarantee you - when most of the US has descending in to fullblown collapse dystopia, both blame and disinterest will turn fully eugetic. People like you son will be ground up by a system so hateful and inhumane in a few years they may never come out alive again. I am not talking death camps or anything like that - but I am clearly describing the US evolving a mechanism to expediently eradicate (kill) people like your son. One way or another.

Rocheal said...

WOW YOUR AFRAID OF YOUR SON??? HE HAS THREATENED TO KILL YOU????? IT PISSES ME OFF THAT MOTHERS HAVE ALL THESE WARNING SIGNS AND THEY IGNORE THEM IM HERE TO SAY *WARNING**WARNING**WARNING* HE NEEDS TO BE LOCKED UP IN A MENTAL FACILITY THAT HAS SOMEONE WITH PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE 100% OF THE TIME ITS MOTHERS LIKE YOU THAT SAY BUT MY CHILD IS SMART JUST A LITTLE DIFFERENT....THERE IS A REASON THEY HAVE THAT LITTLE SAYING......TO SMART FOR YOUR OWN GOOD.....AND THE FACT YOU THINK YOU CAN SIT HERE AND THINK YOUR CAPABLE TO HANDLE THE SITUATION WHEN YOUR CLEARLY NOT I PRAY TO GOD MY KIDS NEVER GO TO SCHOOL OR BE IN ANY PUBLIC PLACE WITH YOUR CHILD WHO IS A LOOSE CANNON AND AT ANY MOMENT HE CAN HURT SOMEONE OR WORSE KILL THEM.....I DO THINK IF YOUR CHILD DOES HURT SOMEONE YOU SHOULD BE HELD 100% ACCOUNTABLE FOR HIS ACTIONS BECAUSE YOU QUITE CLEARLY KNOW HE HAS ISSUES BUT YET YOU LET HIM SOCIALIZE WITH THE PUBLIC NANCY AND YOU ARE THE SAME WOMAN NAIVE AND FULL OF THEM SELVES WITH TO MUCH PRIDE TO GET THE CARE THEIR KIDS REALLY NEED BECAUSE YOU DONT WANT TO SAY YOUR KIDS IN A HOME FULL TIME CAUSE HE CANT MENTALLY HANDLE THE REAL WORLD HES IN A HOME GET A LIFE AND GET A CLUE

Rocheal said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Dave said...

Search or Google this phrase:

HOPE FOR THE VIOLENTLY AGGRESSIVE CHILD

That's a book and website many of you parents need to check out if you are experiencing severe meltdowns or aggression.

It lays out a new approach for these behaviors that does NOT rely on psych drugs.

Testimonials and citations provided.

DonnellyLassie said...

Champion on Liza Long.

DonnellyLassie said...

Champion on Liza Long.

Jestew said...

Thank you for having the courage to share your story because it enables a very important discussion to begin in our homes and our communities.

I've started reading the comments, but I haven't yet seen any reference to the work of Judith Bluestone, the creator of the HANDLE Institute (www.handle.org), and the author of "The Fabric of Autism"... please, please, please anyone who is living with someone in the autism spectrum, please read this book and find out more about HANDLE...

Also, anyone who still thinks that prescription pyschiatric drugs are the answer to anything... please look at Mind Freedom International (mindfreedom.org)...

Fluffy said...

Thank you for sharing. I cannot imagine the pain you are going through. I hope America one day would realize the great danger and fear their people have to overcome everyday when guns are trivialized.

Jodi Brown said...

Thanks for sharing

Weyesowl said...

Dear Liza! You desperately need to attend NAMI'S 12 week family education course! You are not following empathic guidelines for the mentally ill and therefore making your son's condition worse!

#1 Rule: Don't criticize! Respect and protect their shattered self-esteem.
#2 Don't press, don't fight, don't punish!
#3 ignore negative behavior. Praise positive!

There are 12 all together that can greatly help you with interactions with your son. You cannot treat him like a normal child! Get some help from NAMI!

Goldenboybalu said...

If you have not looked at diet please, please look closely. Have your son allergy tested and also try the elimination diet. Food allergies and intolerances can cause terrible behavioral outbursts and personality changes. This may be a part of the mood changes that occur out of nowhere. Since your son is so intelligent have him read up on and investigate this himself. He will need to be compliant so it is important to get his cooperation. Once we eliminated harmful foods from our son's diet the hitting, scratching, biting, threatening, scary behavior stopped. We are also very thankful for discovering The Nurtured Heart Approach by Howard Glasser. These kids need to hear about what they are doing right. They get mountains of feedback about what they are doing wrong and it just feeds the fire. Hang in there with your son. He is blessed to have you as such a strong advocate for him.

John said...

Your post reads like a diary of our life. Your Michael is our Christopher Robin.

Thank you for bringing the attention mental illness and the lack of treatment deserves.

tosh christopher said...

Please research Gut and Psychology Syndrome (GAPS) a diet based approach to eliminating autism and other emotional imbalances. In a nutshell, Standard American Diet is poison, some people react to chronic systemic poisoning with irrational violent behavior. MDs then prescribe various experimental pharmaceuticals, another layer of poison, to 'see what happens'. High incidence of suicide within short period of medication, extremely high correlations between psychotropic pharmaceuticals and all mass killings. See the video "Making a Killing: the Untold Story of Psychotropic Drugging" available on YouTube. Introducing an organic natural foods diet high in probiotic supplements can safely and completely reverse all these problems with no side effects, I personally know one mother who has done this successfully with her formerly autistic son and documented it fully on YouTube, including before and after. You are a survivor, you are blessed, please continue to educate yourself and others. If you would like help with this feel free to contact me with any questions at toshxtopher@gmail.com.

tosh christopher said...

Please research Gut and Psychology Syndrome (GAPS) a diet based approach to eliminating autism and other emotional imbalances. In a nutshell, Standard American Diet is poison, some people react to chronic systemic poisoning with irrational violent behavior. MDs then prescribe various experimental pharmaceuticals, another layer of poison, to 'see what happens'. High incidence of suicide within short period of medication, extremely high correlations between psychotropic pharmaceuticals and all mass killings. See the video "Making a Killing: the Untold Story of Psychotropic Drugging" available on YouTube. Introducing an organic natural foods diet high in probiotic supplements can safely and completely reverse all these problems with no side effects, I personally know one mother who has done this successfully with her formerly autistic son and documented it fully on YouTube, including before and after. You are a survivor, you are blessed, please continue to educate yourself and others. If you would like help with this feel free to contact me with any questions at toshxtopher@gmail.com.

Gaye Freedman said...

Wow this is an excellent blog post. I admire your courage. I pray that you find the help you need. I thought parenting was a lot of work and my son was ok. I can't imagine what you are going through. Good luck.

Dana said...

Thank you.
I'm the mother of a daughter with Asperger's (she's almost 20) who also has tendencies toward Intermittent Explosive Disorder, Oppositional Defiant Disorder and Bipolar Disorder.
My child only received services because after several years of being ignored during CSE meetings and by the school district in general, I was told to contact an educational attorney. I paid nothing out of pocket and once they heard I had contacted the attorney they called an emergency meeting to ask what I wanted. I advise anyone (everyone) who is having problems navigating the system to look up an educational advocate and/or attorney in their area.

gorca smith said...

Thank you for posting this. I have a 16 yr old son with mental health issues, and he is a student in a school that has Level V program for students w/ emotional diabilities. He is rarely physically violent, but i still worry that he will harm someone if provoked. I'm sorry for the negative comments to your post. I admire your courage and honesty. This is a conversation that needs to take place in our country. The responses to your post show that there are lots & lots of kids and moms in need of support. I hope it helps to knot that you're not alone. Hugs and prayers for you and your son.

gorca smith said...

Thank you for posting this. The responses show how large this club is. The negative responses show how much education is needed. I admire your courage & your honesty. Hugs & prayers for you and your son.

gorca smith said...

Thank you for posting this. i'm the mom of 16 yr old boy w/ mental health issues. This club is alarmingly large and too seldom talked about. Thanks for helping to get this conversation started. Hugs to you and your son.

Mary said...

I am sharing your concern about your son and many people are, even when they do not go to the extent of writing onb the web here and there, they share the life of people " l a b e l l e d " with something differenT.

This young man-to-be probably reads the fear in your eyes and somehow plays with it... keep away from drugs, reduce doses? I do think that mental differences have to be apprehended globally, it is a difficult job to fix: there has been in history and will be and are leaders who are more dangerous than people locked in hospitals or otherwise. Your son looks smart and handsome, let us give his intelligence and knwoledge the right place to be and hopefully neighbours may come in handy to you to help you on a daily basis more than people on line who cannot reach out concretly. See your son in a positive light and get help for yourself from positive actions, changing the way to look at him may help you dealing with him?

troubledMom said...

I am a mother of a child that is like "Michael" when I first started reading this it hit home because it sounded exactly like my Child. I wish that there was more help for all of my children and the rest of our family that is affected by my child's actions. I pray for you and "Michael" as I pray for my own family as well Thank you for this blog I no longer feel like I'm the only one with this intense of a struggle

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Tzvi Lieb said...

This sounds like my step-daughter who is now 24. I came in when she was 16 and it was an endless story with this situation. She was never diagnosed with anything, but in the end it cost me at least 2 jobs.

Bottom line: I threw her out of the house at 20 and she had to sleep at different people's houses for months till she went to stay with her grandparents in the next building from us. Everyone got restraining orders against her. We had enough.

I still have nightmares of those times. She was never diagnosed and my stepson (now 17) is autistic. It was the neverending fear.

My heart goes out to you since it doesn't go away EVER. I know more now than I did then. I would have done things differently.

Feel free to contact me and I will be glad to offer some useful advice.

Anthony said...

It's time to talk about a lot of things: bullying, mental health, guns, the structure of school systems (their aims, goals, etc.).

Oklahoma City said...


http://savemylifedrrima.com/i-am-adam-lanzas-doctor/

The link above will take you to the (recently hacked) website of Health Freedom and an article on natural treatments for mental illness as well as an excellent video. I hope you find something helpful to you on this site. God Bless you.

Jack94401 said...

Duh - It's the drugs they're given that makes them crazier. "He’s been on a slew of antipsychotic and mood altering pharmaceuticals, a Russian novel of behavioral plans. Nothing seems to work. "

Nicky1972 said...

May you find peace and hope this Christmas for yourself and for Michael. May you be blessed with an abundance of strength and love from the Lord Jesus our Savior tonight and for always. My heart will keep you in my thoughts and prayers.
Merry Christmas fellow Mom and thanks once again for sharing your heart.

zunda said...

Please change the way you are treating your son. My eldest was exactly like yours, and the only way to make him behave normally was stopping controlling him. An intelligent child is stressed when treated like that:threats, restrictions, anger, frustration-calling mentally ill. I changed my own behaviour totally, and always gave him 2-3 different choices. Then he felt it was him choosing, not me. And I tried to make him understand, that I loved him more than anything, and was always there for him. Please understand, you have a special child with special needs, who will be bitter because you are not treating him correctly. Praiseoften, when he is acting correctly, and ask every day, if somebody has bullied him, if somebody has said something which hurts him. Because he is hurt, and you are hurting him more. Do not pay any attention to bad behaviour, instead praise him for good behaviour, and when he for instance has collected 10 reasons for praise, give him something special, maybe a short trip together etc.He is living in a hell, because he is different, he feels nobody likes him, and the only one, you, who should care, only hate him. My special son is nowadays working with computer programming and is happy and healthy-because it was me who needed to be changed.

carrie parsons said...

I feel the same. My 10 yr old is the same way. I fear the future. I hurt. At some point we have to stop blaming the gun and look at whats behind it. And is their a way to prevent it.

werner alfred peter said...

a sick society that finds it acceptable to mercilessly kill millions of innocent animals in disgusting slaughterhouses will produce more and more such psychopaths and will keep wondering ....what went wrong? This problems and others like this will only become worse until we find it in our hearts to accept all creatures high and low as our brothers and sisters who have a right to live a peaceful live.

Reuter said...

Merry Christmas...and oh my when I read your article! Everything you said I experience exactly...Melt down after melt down, knifes, threats, hopitalizations it goes on, day by day, one step at a time. I hope the greatest blessings for you and your son. And yes these types of health issues needs more exposures and I am so glad you posted this..

Henry Smith said...

For those who want to know the truth about "mental illness", which hopefully includes all of you still supporting Antichristsoccermom. Please check out my new blog "Suffering in Silence: the Anatomy of Our Nation's Largest Epidemic". I have included the text from a few useful comments here as well as an analysis of all the flaws in our current system and what can TRULY be done to help our children.

http://eradicatementalillness.blogspot.com/2012/12/suffering-in-silence-anatomy-of-our.html

Reuter said...

Merry Christmas from one mom to another. I am taking care of my 9 year old nephew because the violence was to much with his mother. Day by day we go.... Make today a great day. This article is everything I deal with, melt down after melt down, knifes, threats, tantrum after tantrum. Really sending out good vibrations, thoughts and prayers your way and to every mother, aunt, uncle or father who has to deal with this.

Reuter said...

Merry Christmas from another Aunt/Mom taking care of my 9 year old nephew because the violence was to much with his mother. Day by day we go.... Make today a great day. This article is everything I deal with, melt down after melt down, knifes, threats, tantrum after tantrum. Really sending out good vibrations, thoughts and prayers your way and to every mother, aunt, uncle or father who has to deal with this.

Reuter said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Dave said...

Search or Google this phrase:

HOPE FOR THE VIOLENTLY AGGRESSIVE CHILD

That's a book and website many of you parents need to check out if you are experiencing severe meltdowns or aggression.

It lays out a new approach for these behaviors that does NOT rely on psych drugs.

Testimonials and citations provided.

sincerelysober said...

You did the right thing by posting this blog entry. As I read your story, I agreed with the idea that you must get him on record for a crime so that he can be tracked. However, as I read on, my mind was changed. The United States' criminal institutions are absolutely not the place for the mentally ill.

And now I'm stuck. I don't really know how to solve this problem. I know that doing nothing is completely irresponsible. But, having discussions (and I appreciate your research links) such as these is required. I only wish Nancy Lanza had thought of that.

Sincerely Sober

-- Without Wax

Susan Wald said...

Hi, my son was aggressive towards my husband and I. He is 15 and has rather severe autism. We tried different meds but I found MCT oil to calm him a great deal. He's now med free and we haven't had an incident for about 6 weeks. I give lots of digestive enzymes to counteract the fat, which may irritate the stomach. It may not help your son but it is a good oil and won't hurt to try. I tell my son why I give it and he will even ask for it if I forget it. He doesn't want to hit us.

Eric Jordan said...

PLEASE READ THIS. It was too big to leave in a comment. I tried to explain as best as I could. If you had an email I would have emailed it but as you didn't leave it I had to start a blog. http://onlyifyoulistenautismspeaks.blogspot.com/

Satzanga said...

"Another School Shooting, Another Psychiatric Drug? Federal Investigation Long Overdue

Fact: Despite 22 international drug regulatory warnings on psychiatric drugs citing effects of mania, hostility, violence and even homicidal ideation, and dozens of high profile shootings/killings tied to psychiatric drug use, there has yet to be a federal investigation on the link between psychiatric drugs and acts of senseless violence.

Fact: At least fourteen recent school shootings were committed by those taking or withdrawing from psychiatric drugs resulting in 109 wounded and 58 killed (in other school shootings, information about their drug use was never made public—neither confirming or refuting if they were under the influence of prescribed drugs.)

Fact: Between 2004 and 2011, there have been over 11,000 reports to the U.S. FDA’s MedWatch system of psychiatric drug side effects related to violence. These include 300 cases of homicide, nearly 3,000 cases of mania and over 7,000 cases of aggression. Note: By the FDA’s own admission, only 1-10% of side effects are ever reported to the FDA, so the actual number of side effects occurring are most certainly higher...." http://www.cchrint.org/2012/07/20/the-aurora-colorado-tragedy-another-senseless-shooting-another-psychotropic-drug/

C. Andiron said...

You're just another irresponsible narcissistic single mom who's trying to dump her kid in a mental ward when she finds out that she really wasn't able to raise her kids by herself.

Your own ego is worth more than your children's welfare. He deserves better than you. That's what I don't understand: why didn't you just live out your self centered existence by yourself, without dragging in any innocents along if you weren't committed to see out your responsibilities to the end?

Unknown said...

The families of those with mental disorders, neurological disorders are the ones who know. They MUST be heard. There are millions of us living lives of quiet desperation unknown, unseen and unheard.
I thank soccer mum most profusely.

We know the unspeakable fear ... when will it be my loved one?

Denial by groups with vested interests does not help reasoned debate at all.

Where are the experts who are supposedly in charge of truth? They are not the professionals who proetect their own turf and reputation. They are family members.

Mental health treatment and neurological treatment is broken. It desperately needs fixing.

throwmealifepreserver said...

Hello, I too have a son that has the same fits and is in 7th grade. He has had multiple acute hospital stays, all to which have done nothing but given him a mini vacation from school. He will spit, kick, throw things you name it over something as simple as doing homework, or not having an extra snack. He has had multiple after school detention, in school suspension, countless lunch detention, expelled from the school he attended when he lived with his biological father--wanted to see if that would help with his attitude..no it did not. I however am not stronger than he is, I am 5ft 100lbs compared to his 5'4 150lbs frame it compares much like a rag doll in his fits of rage. With 2 other children in the home I did really like the idea of your safety plan with locking themselves in the car, and will implement that in our routine. My husband (his step-dad) and I have excellent health insurance and when I did find a place that would be ideal for him to get treatment it was out of network so here is what makes it even worse: they wanted the out of network copay of $3000 in addition to the $15000 of our portion of the yearly boarding fee up front before he could be admitted. So even with private health insurance (not medicaid) they wanted almost $20k to admit him. How is a family of 5 supposed to have that kind of money just laying around? Even when it is attainable the facilities make it soo unattainable to get treatment!

Mich Poster said...

Ouch.. I can't help but feel that your story essentially boils down to you committing your son to a mental hospital over his desire to wear navy blue pants. Sure he's gotta learn better ways to deal with strong emotions, but it seems this situation was entirely trivial and avoidable! I don't understand the importance of black or khaki pants, beyond what sounds like arbitrary rules set by the school. He might be a little stubborn, but I'm far from convinced that he's a potential mass murderer. I wish your son all the best! It sounds like he has great potential, if only he can find some understanding, guidance, and stability in his family life.

wishingsoon said...

Hi I posted in response to Michael but not sure if I posted correctly. I hope this information reaches Michael's mom because I have witnessed personally my grandson's extreme change in his behavior and attitude since making a few simple changes. (NOT DRUGS OR THERAPY) I am hoping to contact you to share these awesome products that have totally changed his behavior. I do not get paid nor distribute products just would love to share them with you because I feel sure you will reap many benefits and your precious son. Feel free to contact me
wishingsoon@yahoo.com

wishingsoon said...

Hi I posted in response to Michael but not sure if I posted correctly. I hope this information reaches Michael's mom because I have witnessed personally my grandson's extreme change in his behavior and attitude since making a few simple changes. (NOT DRUGS OR THERAPY) I am hoping to contact you to share these awesome products that have totally changed his behavior. I do not get paid nor distribute products just would love to share them with you because I feel sure you will reap many benefits and your precious son. Feel free to contact me
wishingsoon@yahoo.com

Renée said...

My god. I have searched and searched for answers for my sister. Every time my phone rings and it's a strange, local number...I think "she's killed them , just like she said she would.". This story could have come straight from my mother's mouth. I felt compelled to share because my sister is obviously a female but she exibits the exact same behavior.
It's like the world is never safe.
Thank you for writing this.

Juan Rodriguez said...

I'm a 25 year old male thats been diagnosed with major depressive disorder since I was 17. I just want to say don't let anyone put you down you did the right thing. You've done the best possible thing by not giving up on your son. It's too easy to give up I've lost so many friends because they don't understand. At least for me personally thats worse than death. No one wants people to abandon them but it seems due to the stigmas that still exist its so easy to do. I know I personally dont like finding.myself crying or flippingbout for no real reason. The worst was losing 40 pounds in about a month I didnt realize I wasn't eating I was never hungry. Most people think I was doing drugs or bulemic. Truth is I was suicdal and depressd but no one wants to hear that. Hard.typing this on a cell and make sure things are making sense but I really was touched reading this and wanted to say I hope everything gets better for you and your son. Please don't ever give up on him and thank you for speaking out on.our mental health system.

Juan Rodriguez said...

I'm a 25 year old male thats been diagnosed with major depressive disorder since I was 17. I just want to say don't let anyone put you down you did the right thing. You've done the best possible thing by not giving up on your son. It's too easy to give up I've lost so many friends because they don't understand. At least for me personally thats worse than death. No one wants people to abandon them but it seems due to the stigmas that still exist its so easy to do. I know I personally dont like finding.myself crying or flippingbout for no real reason. The worst was losing 40 pounds in about a month I didnt realize I wasn't eating I was never hungry. Most people think I was doing drugs or bulemic. Truth is I was suicdal and depressd but no one wants to hear that. Hard.typing this on a cell and make sure things are making sense but I really was touched reading this and wanted to say I hope everything gets better for you and your son. Please don't ever give up on him and thank you for speaking out on.our mental health system.

stadia said...

why is it so necessary for people to post things about Liza when they are not living the situation or know the family? We who are on the outside can never really understand what the families go through when they have children dealing with this problems.

We need to stop blaming the families. Nobody knows when they give birth to a child that they will have these issues. We need to check judgemental attitudes at the door.

Jamie Balyeat said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
mtgrl said...

I'm so sorry for your struggle. I will be praying for you and your son so that he can find the right solution. This was a great article, by the way, and I think mental health really is an issue that needs to be addressed and understood by everybody so we can help the ones we love.

In light of the recent shootings, I wrote an article with my take on the Newtown tragedy and what we can do as individuals to promote love and understanding in our society. A New Years Resolution: 10 Steps To Prevent Another Sandy Hook http://mtgrl.wordpress.com

xyxy99999 said...

Have you tried changing his diet? Try going completely gluten-free for a month. Or even better, follow the GAPS diet. (gluten free is simpler and a good initial test) See if his behavior improves, and also if the testiness and emotional / psychological sensitivy decreases. I've seen drastic changes in others. (And no, I'm really not kidding. When kerosene is put in a gas engine, how does it perform? unhappy and pretty darn testy, right?) Best wishes for peace, calm, and happiness in the New Year.

xyxy99999 said...

Sorry - forgot to include these references.. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gluten_sensitivity

And this woman's personal story.. http://m.anchoragepress.com/mobile/news/the-gluten-made-her-do-it-how-going-gluten-free/article_39e2478e-4585-11e2-a80c-0019bb2963f4.html

Devendra singh said...

Excellent post
HIFU therapy

M. Sorrell said...

Thank you for sharing this. I am filled with sympathy and love for you and your family. You are a hero. God bless you. And God bless your family. I agree with everything you said in this article and with everything you did. You are awesome. I hope you realize it.

M. Sorrell said...

Thank you for sharing this story. You are awesome. I am filled with love and sympathy for you and your family, and I am praying for you all. Good luck to you, and God bless you all. I hope you know what a good mother you are and that you are a hero.

beeswax said...

http://www.thisamericanlife.org/radio-archives/episode/207/special-ed?act=2

You should listen to Act II of This American Life's Black Hole Son. It sounds like this woman had the same experience with her son.

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