Depressed, exhausted, scared....Horri... - ADHD Parents Toge...

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Depressed, exhausted, scared....Horrible Meltdown

Janice_H
Janice_H
37 Replies

Hello, I have so many different emotions today and feeling quite confused about my life and raising my 12 yo ADHD son as a single mom. Yesterday he had a lot of difficulty with listening, following directions and focusing on homework. He had plans to spend time with his cousin for a birthday dinner, but because of his behavior I cancelled. He completely lost it and had the worst meltdown I've ever experienced. He was screaming, crying, throwing things, banging his head on the wall and saying he hated himself. This went on for about 45 minutes until he got an asthma attack.

I don't understand why he over-reacts this way and am afraid he will injure himself. To be honest I was scared to fall asleep thinking he would attempt to hurt himself. In the past he has tried to stab or cut himself with a kitchen knife following one of the meltdowns. I find all the meltdowns occur when he does not get his way or a fun event is canceled due to behavior. They are becoming too much for me to handle.

I am 55 y.o., work full time and get little rest. When I look at myself in the mirror I see total exhaustion. Others always say I look tired. This whole ADHD thing is just too much!

37 Replies
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HelicopterM0m

Hi Janice

Your story sounds so much like mine. My son is 13, he had an epic meltdown the other day that I almost called a friend for help. I swear it’s like an alien took over his body. He doesn’t have these episodes very often. This was also over canceling plans because of his behavior. He was just so off that day I knew going somewhere in public with a lot going on would put him over the top. Luckily this happened at home. I feel so alone in this battle and I so glad you shared your story. I unfortunately don’t have any good advise but I hope more people respond with some suggestions. And yes, this ADHD life we are living is exhausting!!!!!!!!!!

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Janice_H

It's ok that you have no advice. Sometimes just hearing from another parent going through the same experiences is enough. We are all here for each other.

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DJKJ

Do you have any help? Counseling? Psychiatrist? Thay was my son about a year ago or so ago. Today my 9 year old said to me "mommy I'm doing very well and I can stop taking meds". I told we will talk to the psychiatrist next visit. We have come a far way, get him help and support him. Try to get away and relax sometimes, try to let him understand how everything affects you. Good luck.

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Janice_H
Janice_H
in reply to DJKJ

I don't think he really knows how his behavior affects me. Perhaps I should start sharing. I will definitely take your advice. Thank you.

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Crunchby

We all get it. Sorry, it sucks I'm also in mid 50s with a what feels like a little terrorist as my child. It's exhausting. Yesterday, my little Osama bin laden, 13, was screaming so loud and trying to kick the door to my bedroom in, I was surprised the police weren't but called.... Note to self: get house in loud neighborhood next time. Anyway couple things that have helped me: using the CPS method explained in the book "the explosive child. "

Even yesterday I could have prevented the explosion. I just got lazy about using the method. That was kind of a wake-up to get back on it. There's a shortened audio version of it that you can listen to quickly. The website has a lot of freebies. "Kids do well if they can" and there's some expectation he's not meeting. In your case it would be the expectation of being able to deal with disappointment. I mean that's hard for some adults. Also, there's probably some problems that need to be solved with his behavior that got the activity cancelled in the first place. the method takes a lot of work. it's not an easy path but you will get results. especially since your son is older he can reason better than a small child. The other thing I try to do is to keep myself active and do self care. These kids can zap your energy and you need boatloads of it. So take care of yourself so you can manage them. Hugs.

livesinthebalance.org/

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Janice_H
Janice_H
in reply to Crunchby

Yes, so true. My son ZAPS my energy. When he is around, my brain becomes a fog. I cannot think clearly, feel like I am smothered and unable to concentrate. I only feel like myself when he is not around me. Thanks for the reading recommendation. We both really need to be in therapy but lack of time and the expense has kept me from scheduling.

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Crunchby
Crunchby
in reply to Janice_H

Yeah, I hear you on the time piece. There are a lot of therapists that offer web sessions. Seriously, it sounds like you could use a sounding board now. They really do help. Get one that won't mind counseling you to, more like a family therapist. Good luck!

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d0nnt

Sounds like my life too. I'm a single mom to a 13-yo. This morning, he refused to get up from bed to go to school. Spoke to me like I'm bothering him. I managed to get him up and ready, but already missed the school's first period. While in the car, I reminded him about losing privileges. He lost it! I turned back home knowing I can't drop him off to school with that type of temper - I for sure will get called by the school. I told him he'll stay home to defuse himself and I'd rather just call in sick because I'd already been so stressed. Made him worse - because he knows if he stays home, he can't avail of any fun things (xbox, phone). Started getting really violent in the car kicking around, hitting the seats, and for a couple times tried to grab the steering wheel from me and threatened me that he'll crash the car. I managed to pull over and was ready to call the police. I told him I don't even know who he was at that point. We managed to get home and had him calm down, which he did. Ended up dropping him back to school amidst being late. When he got home at the end of the day - it's as though nothing happened, while to me, all of it was still so fresh. I asked him what he thought about the morning - he says, "that wasn't me". Sometimes I worry if my son has bipolar tendencies. It is exhausting to have this life. I know I'm not giving any advice, but just wanted to let you know, you're not alone in this struggle. May we find time to take care of ourselves too!!!

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Janice_H
Janice_H
in reply to d0nnt

It is ok that you do not have any advice to provide. No worries. It's good to hear others' experiences and how they handle them. So sorry you are enduring so much stress.

I have to laugh at your response because it sounds very similar. My son does the same thing every morning. We have to leave the house by 7:15 a.m. to get to school on time. He usually will not get up until 7:10 or later and then there is the mad rush to get out the door - forgetting homework, unable to find his coat, or shoes, or phone...no time to eat breakfast. He is marked tardy most days and can't seem to make a connection that if he doesn't get up on time, he's going to be late. I noticed that he also tends to forget how he has behaved, never apologizes or show any type of remorse. It is tough.

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ADHDson

I understand the way you feel Janice trust me I have two sons with adhd. I think that when my son knows something exciting or different is going to happen his behaviour also increases. I am used to this and I give a reminder to behave or we won’t go. I don’t usually cancel because I know he simply can’t help being excited which distracts him. I change my expectations for just that time or day so he can still enjoy these things. It’s taken a long time for me to get into this understanding with my youngest but it’s worth it. His self esteem is better and I try to praise him every chance I get. I too work full time and it’s hard but hang in there. I would also check with his doctor to see if his medication is still working.

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Janice_H
Janice_H
in reply to ADHDson

When he has behavior concerns do you still allow him to participate in the fun activity?

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Pennywink
Pennywink
in reply to ADHDson

My son also gets overstimulated before something fun is about to happen & can't control his behavior. I don't usually cancel the activity, unless he is misbehaving AT the activity. But I do try to find a consequence more connected to the behavior. Small but immediate consequences work better for my kids (granted, they are only 3 and 7 - I may something different when they are teens.) An example would be if he is speaking rudely to me, instead "if you don't behave, we won't go", I'd probably say "When you speak to me kindly for 5 mins, then we can go." or insist he rephrase his words & express himself politely.

Emotional dysregulation and rejection sensitivity are, unfortunately, some of the hallmarks of ADHD.

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Janice_H
Janice_H
in reply to Pennywink

What exactly is rejection sensitivity?

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Pella34

Your concerns are genuine, your description of a days activity are also worrisome. You have a child with ADHD and you have 'sleep' problems and 'exhaustion'. While managing the child, you should care for your wellbeing too.

Increase your social connections:

To be social means to be part of an organized group (like this online platform) or community (your neighborhood) marked by friendly companionships, living together, having an identity in the society and a sense of belonging while enjoying ones life to the full as far as circumstances permit. Staying connected achieves these goals, resulting in good mental health because humans like other mammals are built to socialize. Staying connected allows us to live fulfilling lives and receive protection, care and support from members of the community and family. This can reduce chances of anxiety and depression, off cos worrying is part of life but you may need to handle any stress that he or she has in his or her life and yours too. Staying connected is indeed good for mental health i believe. One resource advised me to balance my resources and demands. If your demands are higher or more than your resources, we experience anxiety and this can disturb our sleep routine and how we socialize and respond to challenges of mental or physical illness.

Why not add to your to do list of each week things you enjoy too and get some time to refresh. This way you can handle your own stresses and your childs condition as a single parent.

Exercise will improve your mood and sleep, a balanced diet would do you a favor too. Their are many things you can do to help with your situation like what other parents have done than to worsen your condition. ADHD won't go away, giving up wont change circumstances to your favor, complaining wont solve it all, but taking steps to manage ADHD and your own stresses will help you live a more fulfilling life. It's tough but it's manageable.

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Janice_H
Janice_H
in reply to Pella34

BRAVO to an amazing response. Your thoughtful advice is appreciated. I am working on all of these tips but lagging in the area of exercise. Thank you so much for taking the time to provide much needed support!

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ASMomma00

Take a deep breath, mamma. I’ve been there and so many others have as well. It’s draining, I know, but you’re doing your best.

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Janice_H
Janice_H
in reply to ASMomma00

Surprisingly we had a lovely evening with him yesterday. Why can't they all be this way?

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Madtown559

I know how u feel ..I'll be 42 and u have a four yr old that does the same thing...i. so overwhelmed and don't know how I'm gonna get through this...#FKADHD

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Madtown559

I*

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Nats2005
Nats2005
in reply to Madtown559

If it helps, things could be worse. You could be 51 with a 4-year old with ADHD+ODD. (That would be me!) And we had a challenging day ourselves.

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Courtney85

I just want to say that I understand and a big hug to you. It is too much and it will get better. I remember feeling like I had to call the police or thinking I’d call my dad to come over Because I could t handle it. It was overwhelming and scary and I feel for you.

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Janice_H
Janice_H
in reply to Courtney85

Thanks for sharing. Every day is unpredictable.

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anirush

When my grandson used to get out of control, kicking doors, grabbing the steering wheel, etc. I would actually drive to the police station and sit in the parking lot. They won't misbehave there. I would sit there long enough for him to calm himself.

When they suddenly are not allowed to go to something they have really been looking forward to, their immense disappointment is more than their immature emotional system can handle. Learning to calm themselves and handle disappointments is something a behavioral counselor can help with besides the right medication.

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Tired-Boy-Mom

I am new to the site and it was this post that made me stop and join. I have no advice to give other than support. My 5yo was diagnosed and has had the same behavior issues since he was 3. They have ruled everything else out - he is also gifted.

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Janice_H

Welcome Tired-Boy-Mom. Today I am tired, run down and wanting to run away and never come back. Thank you for your support. Everyday is different. Some days are good, some are bad. Only God gives me strength to handle whatever the day will bring. Hope your day is a sunny one.

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Lavender2relax

I’m so sorry! I’m also a single mom and losing my patience w my son who had the nerve to kick, throw shoes at me and wish me dead. I’m dead inside all right ... he killed me w his words. And all this bec I insisted he fold his sheets. Then he apologized, hugged me but I was distant and not feeling it. I’m still in shock bec that’s not what he’s usually like. I know how you feel ... we’re here to listen.

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Janice_H

Hi Lavender, wow! How did you handle that? Just know he did not mean what he said. My son has called me curse words before, told me he hates living with me and cannot wait until he is old enough to move. This was because I told him to put the clothes in the dryer. He felt no remorse later and did not apologize at all. We have it so hard as single mothers.

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Lavender2relax

I tried to not argue, but when he lightly kicked me it took a lot to stay calm. He did another number on my today. The sin? Telling him he missed some problems in math workbook yesterday. He did do the math hw today ( minus 1) and he didn’t want to do the missing ones . Sooooo I insisted and he grew angry and started to call me names, saying I don’t care about him, I’m mean, and that I take his joy. He got in my face when I took out the math book n told him it needed to be done before 8pm. He was aggressive, n grabbing me from behind when I told him he wouldn’t be staying overnight w his dad next week if he had work to make up. Note I’m not denying him seeing his dad - just not overnight because it’s not court ordered when he’s w me during holiday recess. He is 11 and I can’t stand his attitude when he flips like this. He can be so sweet, but the moment I want hw done or cleaning his room ... watch out. I’m crying ... he’s sleeping now. My chest feels heavy b I don’t feel ok. I just wanna crawl away, hide n not see anyone. Unless it’s you all who understand me.

I am going to tell therapist the new things he’s doing. He’s been bullied for the past 4 months at new school n now he’s lashing out at me like never before. I feel like I have failed as a mom.

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Janice_H

Is your son on medication? Does he have any other diagnosis? You MUST tell the therapist all that is going on. You cannot keep this to yourself. I feel so bad for you. Please message me if you would like to talk privately.

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Lavender2relax

ADD, yet I know there is something else. I’ll surely tell the therapist. I am trying to avoid meds, yet welcome therapy, advice and any supplement I can try. If those things don’t help, I might try meds as a last resort. Thanks so much ... this is one rough journey to be on. The funny thing is he’s fine today and in good spirits.

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Janice_H

My son has mood swings also. His days are unpredictable. Yes it sounds like there is some other condition. Please re-consider medication so that your son can get back to feeling like himself and you can find peace in your own home. Many of the members on here would support your decision to add medication. If you are uncertain, you can post a question

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BlueMama1

I'm sorry that you are going through this. I don't have any advice only to tell you that you are doing the best that you can. In reading everyone's stories I am counting my blessings that my daughter doesn't have those violent meltdowns, thank goodness! unfortunately, i am the one who really needs to learn better ways of staying calm when I am repeating myself for the millionth time with her. Yesterday was not a good day at all; everyday when I send her off to school I give the same talk, "Do your best, I am so proud of you, make sure you take your time and pay attention, etc". For the past year I have also told her on a near daily basis to make sure that she puts her glasses in her bookbag BEFORE she leaves her classroom to get on the bus or attend aftercare. She often loses them or forgets. Last week when I picked her up I found her glasses in the middle of the gym floor, not in a case and nearly stepped on them. Yesterday when I picked her up from aftercare she was wearing the glasses and the case was in the middle of the floor along with her school books and notebooks. I got so angry that once again she did nothing that she was supposed to do and her belongings were all over the place instead of being zipped in her bookbag. I screamed at her in the car all the way home and when we got home I sent her directly to her room. I tried to talk to her later and she was sobbing all the while telling me that "nothing was wrong". Once again, I felt like a horrible person for losing it again on her. My heart breaks because she is the sweetest child and she truly can't help it. I also recognize the fact that I am human an d its frustrating but I have got to do better. I'm tired of feeling like a monster and don't want her remembering her childhood as one with an angry Mom who did nothing but yell at her all of the time. My husband also has his ADD issues so I guess its just that i'm constantly reminding, managing, double checking or yelling. My insurance is horrible so at the moment finding a good therapist for myself isn't an option (i've been exhaustively checking for almost 2 years) and I cannot afford to pay one out of pocket.

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Janice_H
Janice_H
in reply to BlueMama1

Hello BlueMama, your story sounds similar to mine. My son requires a lot of managing, organizing, reminding, checking, re-checking...... The nature of ADHD causes children to be forgetful and unorganized. I am constantly praying for more patience but find myself, like you, losing it, yelling and then later feeling like a bad mother.

I do have some tips for you. See if you can get your daughter an eyeglass necklace or clips that will stay on her neck. If she wears them all the time, and during sports, there are the type that have a stretchy back (like goggles). Have you tried a reward system for when she remembers things? How about a checklist?

Next time you feel like yelling, laugh instead. Let her know if you find that she has forgotten any items, there will be a consequence (no yelling) - no TV time, no electronics, cancel an activity. I think she will do better with remembering if you tie the consequence to it.

Stay calm, take deep breaths or read a Bible verse if you are a believer. Keep the Bible with you and just put your hand on it when you feel you are about to yell or say hurtful things.

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Lavender2relax

My son forgets things at school weekly. Hats, thermos, planner, workbooks, homework etc. They cannot help it

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BlueMama1
BlueMama1
in reply to Janice_H

Thank you so much Janice for your kind words. I definitely working on ways to keep my frustrations in check because I know that she can't help it. We have actually been having a great rest of the week, I'm so proud of her. The day after the glasses incident when I picked her up from school she proudly told me that her glasses were in her bag where they belong and then proceeded to show me her math test which she got 100% on!!

On the other hand, my husband, is still an issue. Multiple episodes of forgetfulness throughout the the week per usual and the final straw was last night. After working all day with a migraine and exhausted from sleeping only 3 hours the night before I went grocery shopping so I did not have to contend with the crowds over the weekend. My husband put the groceries away and when I went to get something from the garage several hours later I found that he had left the deep freezer wide open!! The over $300 worth of food that I had JUST PURCHASED was sitting there beginning to thaw! I lost it! I don't know how much longer I am supposed to continue to hold it together. For my children, it's easy, but I deserve peace and not DAILY struggles of ADD and managing it all!

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Janice_H
Janice_H
in reply to BlueMama1

Wow!!! Congrats on the math test! That must have made you so proud. Be sure to recognize her hard efforts - take her out to the mall, go see a movie, or go for ice cream. She doesn't want to disappoint you and only wants you to be proud of her, even when she forgets important things. She cannot help being forgetful. It is common with children with ADHD.

My ex husband suffered with ADD also. I know how it can get with the forgetfulness, carelessness, disorganization...... You cannot change either of them physically, however you can choose to accept and find better ways of coping.

Once you get the rest you need, you will not be on edge and will feel better about the situation. Stepping away to breath and find peace for an hour or so helps too.

Hugs!!!

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BlueMama1

Thank you!!

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