I am honestly at my wits end with my 8 year old, he has bee diagnosed with adhd and I have tried numerous medications for him. When he was in school he would do really good but nights at my house are awful if you say the wrong thing to him he just snaps and has an anger outrage, hitting kicking, threatening to kill himself or me and his sister. Tonight he got upset because I told him no shoes on the couch and he flipped put and actually punched me in the face!! I am at such a loss of what to do if anyone has any advice it would be very appreciated. I am a single mom and I feel.like I am going to have a mental break down if I don't get him under control
8 year old with adhd and massive anger - CHADD's ADHD Pare...
When he flips out is it a day he had the medication? If so, I bet it’s the coming down effect which puts some people in major anger state. It’s such a shame that you get the good part and then it has to be completely ruined by the anger at the end of the day. I would try different meds or completely avoid him and try to give him a big meal because hunger may be the culprit too.
I think that what Grateful was suggesting was that when some kids are coming down off of a stimulant and are hungry (because you have little appetite on a stimulant) they can be very irritable—from the reduction in medication and hunger. Sometimes it’s best for that hour to leave them alone to eat and readjust. Let them watch TV, read a book, color, etc. Otherwise big blow ups outside of their control occur, feelings are hurt, kids are in time out, etc. So, yes, avoidance is recommended.
My son had very explosive outbursts, threatened to kill himself, threatened to kill or hurt others, would attack me and his teachers. It was like being in a nightmare you couldn’t wake up from. They were about to put him on Prozac, but we said no as he was just 7. The psychiatrist recommended broad spectrum micronutrients. He had a fantastic response to them. I highly recommend you research them to see if they might be an option for your son. There are two companies, True Hope and Hardy Nutritionals. Sending you strength to endure and overcome!
My son uses the Hardy Nutritionals Daily Essential Nutrients. They are in pill form, but it also comes in a powder. The capsules also break apart. The dosing for True Hope is different. I would contact their customer service line, and also read reviews about what people have put the powder in. There is also a tutorial to help teach kids to take pills on the Hardy site which helped me with my daughter who is now able to take pills.
A full dose with Hardy is 12 pills per day. However, when we started it was 1 pill twice per day, then two twice her day, and then two three times per day. At two three times per day we saw an overnight difference. My son, 8, has been on a dose of four pills morning, four pills afternoon, and three pills at night since about September/October. He has been off all medications since last May. It takes longer to see a difference with the hyperactivity/inattentiveness/impulsivity. He just keeps getting better, and is now in a general education classroom rather than a self-contained room. Some people need less than others. Some people require more than the 12. The same applies to True Hope. My friend's son takes more than the recommended amount of that brand.
He should never be allowed to get away with hitting you... I would send him to his room... take away all devices & screen/tv time... then I would walk in to the police station and request an officer come speak with him about domestic violence... if he gets away with it now he will always think hitting & punching is ok. He needs a male officer (or male figure in his life) to literally scare him right now... or he will have this behavior for the rest of his life... he will grow taller & stronger... and he will abuse you if you don’t stop him. I watched my brother hit my own mother for years when I was a kid... our father died and he felt entitled to hit anyone especially weaker females... he still has an anger & abuse issue today because my mother didn’t know what to do with him at the time...
Do whatever you have to to protect yourself... even if you have to send him to a relative for a while till he gets it that hitting you is never allowed or accepted. Get him a psychotherapist now! For his sake and your family’s safety.
Hello my love! First of all my heart hurts for you! I feel your pain, I’m a single parent of a profoundly deaf, adhd autistic son! I am sorry you have to live this way! I have a lot of questions! I’m very thorough! How many medications is he on & what are they?! I use this holistic stuff that helps with mood swings & irritability! It’s LIFEVANTAGE PROTANDIM NRF1 & NRF2 SYNERGIZER! It could be his nutrition too, since the gut is the brain! Plus the newest thing is CBD OIL! There is 1 made with hemp & I’ve tried this too! I also will tell you Charlottes Web is a good solid company & Veritas’s Farms Cbd oil! It’s life changing & I mean mind blowing! It’s good for anxiety depression cancer patients the list goes on! I know people associate it with a drug but it is processed to be completely safe & for children too! My son is 5 years old having meltdowns & he bites, hits, goes nuts! Have you had him go through a full on diagnostic appointment with a neurologist! He may be slightly on the spectrum for autism too! It’s not always easy to see bcuz some are more functioning! I believe in my heart you should get other medical diagnosis & really dig into why he ticks this way because it sounds like it could possibly be many things & if you can get to the root of it all you can focus on therapy & trying different things for him but medications are scary & he may be having some adverse reaction on it! Look into those I spoke on & do some YouTube searches of autism adhd on there & look into cbd oils for adhd children it’ll change your life! I hope I helped you! I am going through this with you ok, you’re not alone! They need our help & his actions are screaming for it! You are an amazing mom & should be proud of how far you’ve come, keep up awesomeness
Omgosh! This sounds just like my story. Just last summer I was going through the same with my seven year old. I ended up admitting him to the psychiatric hospital. It was one of the hardest this I’ve ever had to do as a parent but it was for the best. He was given medication for mood stabilization. They were able to monitor him all the time and actually see what was going on with him that way they could get a good Regiment going. He has been seeing a psychiatrist for about a year before that and we still see her now every month.It’s nowhere near perfect now But the outburst aren’t as bad they don’t last as long. Also he’s not as violent and she was! I know how hard this is especially being alone. I wish you the best! Hang in there!
Have you already tried non-amphetamine based stimulants? For some kids, amphetamine based stimulants tend to result in more aggression. Also, single isomer methylphenidates like Focalin are “said” to have less side effects like aggression. Genesight testing might be helpful in determining which medications will work and which will cause reactions.
You might want to ask your MD about guanfacine. Either in conjunction with or separate from the stimulant. It works completely differently then a stimulant, on the prefrontal cortex. It aids emotional regulation. Have you checked out The Explosive Child by Ross Greene? Depending on your issues, it may be helpful as of course are good professionals to support you. Hang in there. You aren’t alone.
I’m so sorry you’re going through this as a single parent! It is/was difficult enough for me and my husband together when our just turned 7 yr old son started doing many of these same things but not as violent. You can search my previous posts for much more detail on this.
When he was having an “episode” I’d have to sit on him and pin his arms and legs down or my husband would have to put him in a wrestling hold (figure 8). We had to physically control him until he could calm down and control himself. And yes, he’d hit me at times, but I’d call in my strong husband to take over. Rather than push him away when he was so out of control, we found we needed to pull him closer and be his self control until he could handle it himself. Be his scaffolding until he can stand on his own. It was absolutely horrible and worrying experience for us, as well as our other older child with ADHD and anxiety who was in the house.
Our son was getting stronger and bigger as the months went by and the episodes were becoming more frequent and intense. What we were doing was a band aid solution and unsustainable. We needed a real professional to help, not just the pediatrician (took the history info, but provided no guidance!) or the unequipped mental health counselor who didn’t bond with our son. It took me a while to find the right person and had an available slot in their schedule...never mind the high hourly fee.
In short, what we discovered through a very talented child psychiatrist was that in addition to his ADHD, he also had generalized anxiety. In kids so young, especially athletic and physical kids, anxiety looks very different than you’d expect. (In comparison, our introverted no n-athletic daughter’s anxiety looked like panic attacks, crumpling into a ball on the floor crying over the smallest challenge.) The ADHD and the physical and angry anxiety together are very explosive and out of control.
The child psychiatrist and our then 8.5 yr old son had a good trusting relationship from the start (this wasn’t the case with the first person we used) and we all went to appointments with him every week or two for therapy and med adjustments for several months until our son stabilized. Then once every 4-6 wks now after 10 months.
The psychiatrist first recommended addressing the anxiety to get that under control, then address the ADHD. Anxiety meds are very effective and safe. He’s on Lexapro and it’s helped tremendously. We are so thankful!
For his ADHD, he’s on Strattera. We’re still working through this but it has helped. Not sure that we won’t keep trying other higher doses of this or try something else.
The meds are in addition of course to the other accompaniments of therapy and at home routines of making sure he is eating well (not just sneaking snacks and saying he’s not hungry at meals!) and getting enough physical activity (he’s in several sports), understanding his triggers, building good habits of helping with house chores (vacuuming, help cleaning car, yard work, filling up his own pill box container with his meds and vitamins) and self discipline (very hard for the ADHD kids), lots of special time with me and his father (could be playing a game, bike ride, talking dog for a fun hike), and lots of talking about life and how personal actions and responsibilities will shape his future (the idea is to show him that he is in control, not the anxiety).
What works for our son is not what works for our daughter. Their personalities and brain chemistries are different. It’s a slow process finding the right balance of meds and parenting approaches, and as they grow older it continues to change.
Stay strong, take action (don’t delay!) and know it will get better!
We are a lot like bdhb96, lots of medication trials, behavior counseling, holding him and keeping him from hurting himself and others. It was a long road and he was doing the best ever until he grew a foot and this corona virus thing hit. He has really been affected by all of this.
So we are back to trying to get him stable again. So frustrating!
I was going to chime in about my horrible experiences with my adhd/bipolar/violent child who became abusive at 13 and is now 22, but realistically, you need support, not more confirmation that this sucks for you right now.
Suggestions: Get a therapist/for you.
Get a child psychologist for your child equine therapy too if possible.
Get a full psychological evaluation of your child so all of their symptoms are being treated.
Involving police is a double edged sword if your child is of color. That’s a whole different topic, though when a therapist finds about you being assaulted, a mandated reporter may call the police on your behalf.
If you can’t afford therapy out of pocket costs then apply for sliding scale or need based services. Apply to the county board of developmental disabilities. They may be able to support you emotionally and financially for therapy and services.
Parenting with two adults is hard. Single parenting is like never having enough energy to cook, but you do it anyway.
Peer and parent mentoring may be available as well from the National Association of Mental Illness.
I wish you luck, strength, good doctors and providers as you learn to get a handle during these explosive episodes. Exercise is sometimes suggested for kids who have severe violent withdrawal from their short term ADHD meds.
I’ve been where you are. Do what you think is best and accept help when offered. Help yourself first, so you can better support your child. Good luck and it does get better.
Choose your battles.
You are so welcome! I always forget to ask what country you’re writing in from, ‘cause the services and terminology differ. Since you’re in the US, try to get WrapAround Services. I just googled WrapAroundServices Salt Lake City and found some links. They try to coordinate doctors, social workers, therapists, mentoring, parenting and peer support for the parent as well as the entire family. Your daughter may need a separate support as well. They try to make sure everyone’s needs are met, or at least investigated. That’s how it worked in Ohio. It’s a good, helpful nationwide organization.
Good luck to you. You’re doing well. Any small step is progress.
It's so hard isn't it. We have similar outbursts so can really understand what you are going through. Ours have increased since isolation and stopping a stimulant medication.
We have been reading about an approach called the violent resistance. It has really helped us although the outbursts are still there. The idea is that you only focus on 1 or 2 behaviours that you pick... So ours are violence towards us and swearing...everything else you ignore. You identify a support network outside of your house, ours are limited but we have a neighbour and my sister-in-law. You could involve the school, medical team but it has to be someone who can call or drop by; the idea is to remove the tendency to hide violent behaviour. The supporter would make it clear that this behaviour is not okay. There are also other phases to this
It isn't a magic wand solution but gives you a strategy and some support. I also think that usually the child doesn't want people to know the extent of their behaviour so it gets them to think about why that is (when they have calmed down)
When it is all kicking off it is so intense and overwhelming. What sometimes helps me is to put TV on when u can and do something to help you to feel calmer (for me it's youtube yoga)
I know that when my son settles down he feels pretty awful about himself. I can usually see it starting to bubble and sometimes we can distract and divert... Other times it goes into full meltdown.
You are not on your own. This is such a challenging time.