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10yr old adhd, tics, aggression, bullying sibling

Cezzacezza888 profile image


I'm posting about my 10 year old son, in Yr 5. He has a diagnosis of Adhd and also struggles with anxiety and lots of anger and aggression towards his family. We have had to take him off methylphenidate because it caused his tics to become much worse. He has had some transient tics since being 6 but has consistently struggled with verbal tics since October (he started medication in January). He is onone hand a very kind, caring and sensitive boy but alot of the time is bored, unable to entertain himself and on the cusp of massive anger outbursts and aggression

Today he broke out of the house and ran away to the park. He has called me terrible names including the C word. He woke his sister up last night by pouring water on her so she thought she had wet herself (she is 4). It's very hard to homeschool him as he struggles to do work without 1 to 1 help and gets angry very easily. I'm already just doing little spurts of maths and English and trying to catch up on basics as he is at Yr 4 level for most subjects and has social communication issues

On top of this my husband and I are both still working.... Gawd it's a pressure cooker

I'm not sure what I am asking for here.... Moral support? Medication advice? Anything from anyone who gets it

Thanks in advance



16 Replies

I hear every word you're saying. I'm not going to go on and on, but I will tell you to look into broad spectrum micronutrients. There are two companies, True Hope and Hardy Nutritionals. These were recommended by my son's psychiatrist, and have been a lifesaver. My son is no longer on medications, and is strictly on the micronutrients. I highly encourage you to research them. Wishing you the best!

Hi, thanks for your reply. What did they help with and how long did this take to work?

Cjkchamp profile image
Cjkchamp in reply to Cjkchamp

My son was having aggressive outbursts, and his mood would change on a dime. They wanted to put him on Prozac. We had trouble with him running out of class, attacking the teachers, biting, hitting, hiding under his desk, saying he wanted to kill himself, and threatening us. It was horrible, unbearable, heartbreaking. My son had issues like this beginning from about 15 months. He was diagnosed with ADHD at 4. I had to place him on medications at 5 because things were increasingly worse. At 7, they were about to diagnose him with disruptive mood disorder. The psychiatrist said if we didn’t want to try Prozac she recommended broad spectrum micronutrients. I picked the Hardy Nutritionals. She monitored him coming off Guanfacine and Focalin as he increased the micronutrients. For Hardy, a half dose is six capsules per day. When my son reached two capsules, three times per day we saw a huge change over a weekend. My son is now in a general education class again. For the first time teachers have told me how much they love having him in class. They’ve discovered he is pretty darn smart. He sits and does his work without arguing or running away. He laughs and plays, joined soccer, and I don’t hear anything about wanting to hurt himself or other people. He’s been on them for over a year, and has had a good response. Our experience was better emotional control almost immediately, and the attention and hyperactivity Took probably a good six months and has gotten better and better since then. I highly recommend you research them, see if they are right for your child, and make sure you have a supportive and knowledgeable psychiatrist if your child is already on medications as the medications may need to be reduced or eliminated. Wishing you the best!

My son is 9 and he does the same thing. You are not alone. Is he sleeping at night? My son has to take sleeping medication. It helps his moods and aggression. He will only sleep 2 hours if he doesn’t take them. He raises hell that next morning and it is exhausting.

He does sleep but takes a long time to settle down. Last night I stayed with him for an hour until he dropped off cause he kept saying he was having urges to humiliate his little sister

He wakes up at 6.30 usually and is tired but won't rest

It sounds a little similar to our situation about a year ago and again a month ago. Our son we found out was really depressed about a year ago. When we started him on zoloft, within a week we saw that he was getting better and less anxiety, angry outbursts, stopped covering up etc. It hasn't been a cure all though. In extremely stressful times, the zoloft just loses its efficacy and when we tried to up the dose it seemed to make it worse. We tried cbd last fall and it worked almost immediately. He was literally perfect for like 2 months, but then with the return to school in January he was under tremendous pressure again and the cbd didn't seem to work anymore. We had to pull him out of school in late February. We were homeschooling and then this covid - 19 thing happened. He was in terrible shape when we pulled him from school. He seemed a little better after keeping him home but it's taken a long time to recover from the trauma of the public school. And now I think the isolation is getting to him.

I recently found out about cbdv and was able to find some. We're trying it now. So far it seems really promising. It's hard to find though and very expensive. Cbdv is being studied, under clinical trial currently by a company GW pharmaceuticals for autism. (Our son was tested for autism but missed by 1 in several markers.) Anyway I reached out to the woman in charge of the clinical trial and she said that early results were extremely positive.

We have also been doing the Nemechek Protocol for almost a year now. We think this is working for our son as well. It's a slow healing process though.

I hope some of what we're doing is helpful to you. My heart goes out to you. My husband and I are both working from home full time (we both have small businesses) and our son is completely incapable of doing any work by himself when he's in this depressed mental state.

Additionally, our son got a cold this past Saturday. A girl in our cul de sac knocked on our door for him to come out and play. I made the mistake of telling her that he was going to be staying in because he has a cold. He didn't have any of the covid symptoms and was fine by lunchtime and ready to go out and ride on his scooter (6 feet away of course) but that girl told the whole neighborhood that he was sick and now the kids are all "get away from me". It's really brought him down. He's starting to regress, chewing on his shirt again and bursts out loud noises again. (these things go away when he's not depressed). So anyway, we went and got the extremely uncomfortable covid 19 test done yesterday just so that when we get the test results back that he doesn't have covid that we can show the results to everyone and they can stop alienating him.

These are tough times.

Have you tried non-stimulants? Guanfacine is helpful with emotional regulation and executive functioning. It is also a first line therapy for tics. We’ve had good success with it. Have you had a developmental behavioral pediatrician or neuropsychiatrist evaluate your son? Sometimes they can help drill down to identify other disorders and with recognition of those disorders, more specific medication and therapy treatments. Some of what you describe sounds a little bit like the very common co-occurrence of anxiety, tics and OCD. There are good therapies and support groups for kids and families for diagnoses like Tourette’s, OCD, and autism as well as add. Finding your “tribe” is so important for our kids and us, on many different levels Check out the Tilt Parenting website too. It is helpful for gaining a new perspective on parenting our neurodiverse kids :)

One other thing, I think a lot of our kids need a lot more structure than other kids to feel secure. We have recently bought a dry erase board and sit down and plan our day together. We try to include a little something from all parts of a balanced life in our daily schedule: mind, body, social/family, spiritual, leisure. Involving our son in the planning, brainstorming (for the non-academic pieces) and scheduling has helped tremendously as has having a visual to refer to through out the day.

You are most definitely not alone! My 12 year old daughter is downright nasty and mean a lot of the time. It gets so bad that I can't stand to be around her, yet there is no escaping it especially during this time. The horrible name calling, mood swings and in my case aggressive physical behavior. It's like living a nightmare sometimes. I have not tried the medication route, but rather started trying outside resources like a psychologist and now a few programs through the county that will hopefully help with the anger and coping skills because the general consensus with her psychologist, school counselors and endless other professionals I have spoken to is that she does not know how to cope with and express feelings in a healthy way. So, I am there with you as many other parents are and just do the best you can, take it one day(or even 5 mins) at a time and possibly look into your local resources for child advocacy programs. Good luck!

Hi, it was almost like I wrote your post. My son is also 10 and I deal with similar issues. He is on 10mg of methylphenidate; we tried 20 per day, but it caused tics (eye rolling, very scary). Before bedtime, if he takes a shower and sleep aid like melatonin or Guanfacine (we have discovered multiminerals by Mary Ruth), he rests well and sleeps longer. I was trying to find a psychiatrist who accepts our insurance, but then COVID happened, so therapy is on hold. I just want you to know that you’re not alone and I agree with others that you should get your son into therapy (mine had a therapist about 2 years ago and it helped). Also, let’s look into the micronutrients; I love this resource because it’s such a great support network.

Hang in there.

HonestAbe profile image
HonestAbe in reply to yap11

Maybe now is actually a good time to continue with a psychiatrist; some are meeting with new patients virtually through Telehealth.

We were able to have our son meet his psychiatrist for the first time recently. I found the experience so much more comfortable for the family in many ways. It's definitely a blessing.

You have come to the right place for moral support. We all have our stories of when times were bad and also when we finally achieved success.

There are some fundamental tools that help our children. They are: therapy, medication (natural or prescribed) and some type of educational plan. Some parents also attend parenting classes or some type are support, there is no road map for this journey.

One thing that made a HUGE difference was to see a child psychiatrist, she is amazing and has really dialed in the medication for us. Before we were on a single medication and it was not really what he needed.

As far as therapy goes, I am with him at all times so that we can discuss the real issues. I remember when we only had medication and not the others and we really didn't get far. We have been using all 3 tools for a while so our son is stable. But as soon as we fall back to not using one of the tools it always gets bad.

In addition I have been listening to the podcast "parenting ADHD", by Penny Williams and I love her advice. Our children are not Neuro-typical and when we treat them different we find success.

We are always here for you to support you through this journey. I know that when we were are our worst I couldn't believe it would get better and now our son is 13 years old and is really doing well ( I don't even want to say it.. for fear). We are headed to high school next year and I am really hoping that things go well.

Big hugs for your pain.

I'm sorry to hear about your struggles but you certainly aren't alone. Hang in there! I know many people have to go through many different meds before finding the combination that works for their child. We have been fortunate to find a pretty good combination of Foculin in the morning and Guanfacine in the evening. We added the Guanfacine later to help with emotional outbursts/irritability that started happening in the evening when the Foculin was wearing off. It seems to help calm him down at night.

There is one thing that I like to point out to folks who are dealing with a kid that gets angry a lot. My son would get enraged over the littlest things when he was younger and just fly off the handle. While we were waiting six months for an appointment with a specialist, we read how artificial food coloring could have this affect on some kids so we eliminated all chemical food coloring (Red1, Blue 3, etc) from his diet. Within a week or two we noticed a huge difference in his behavior. No more enraged hulk outbursts! He has been off of it for about 5 years now and we are convinced it made a difference. We've tried letting him have some coloring a few times (Halloween!) but he always has anger tantrums over the next couple of days. Anyways, I don't know how common this reaction is, but eliminating the coloring has made a huge difference for our son...as hard as it is for him to abstain. (Coloring is everywhere. White marshmallows?!)

I wish you the best on your journey! Take care!

Hi everyone. Thanks so much for your support and responses. It really does help to know that there are people out there who understand.

My son has seen paed specialist nurse who diagnosed adhd and prescribed methylphenidate. We live in the UK and neuro developmental services are very separate here. My son was referred for an autism assessment but I backed away from it as didn't want another diagnosis on top of adhd. I felt like it would be difficult for him as he says to us 'I don't have autism'.

I am very interested in micro nutrients. Can anyone recommend any UK brands that are good quality? And what particular supplements should I look for?

He most certainly experiences anxiety and has some obsessive behaviours relating to routines and exercise. He is a rigid little guy bless him

In response to one of the posts about aggressive behaviour, I have been reading about an approach called violent resistance and we have found some of this quite helpful.

It does feel that all that is offered over here is medication and the rest u have to find for yourself

Other things we had been doing pre corona was boxing classes, social skills groups. I think therapy is a great idea so will definitely look into it.

One day at a time

Thanks again


My wife and I used to be foster parents, and we had kids that had various diagnoses such as tics, ADHD, add, bi-polar, etc. There is no easy approach or a one size fits all perspective in addressing the extremities. Tics we learned it's a motor-sensory neurological disorder affecting the nervous system, and how the brain communicates with the nervous system. Chiropractic care we have found to be very beneficial with kids. Sounds like a long shot, and by no means is it a quick fix. Overtime a chiropractor can make adjustments to the spine that works hand in hand with the nervous system, the nerves contain neurons that send signals throughout the body basically telling the muscles how to act, etc. Maybe, getting a second opinion from another child psychiatrist that has a specialization with tics or with his diagnosis. Meds are never definitive nor do they resolve the issue in it's entirety, however they can treat the symptoms. Underlying symptoms on flip side they don't. Counseling, coaching, or enrolling them in a activity that requires a lot of energy. I would recommend martial arts, sometimes to kids they need to feel like they're apart of something higher than themselves that gives them purpose, hence something they enjoy doing.

It can be exhausting dealing with the issues, and even easier to give into them letting them have their way. We learned that having firm boundaries with kids not only gave them a structure but they enjoyed having it bc they knew themselves they would lose control.

That's a really interesting suggestion. I'm not hugely comfortable with medication to be honest, particularly as so far it has improved one symptom but worsened another.

I will look into chiropractor or perhaps cranial osteopathy to see if this helps at all.

There is also a boxing and young person's counselling combo that may be good for him

Thanks again x

Just one more thought. You mentioned sibling aggression issues and your son stating he had urges to humiliate his sister. An overlooked part of OCD is intrusive thoughts. These thoughts are very alarming to kids with OCD and they often feel like they’re bad or something is very wrong with them. Psychologists can offer kids techniques to help kids focus out and tame these disturbing thoughts. Not sure if that’s what your little guy has going on, but FYI in case. My nephew experienced this around 12-13 years of age.

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