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Desperate - 9yo anger/aggression/outbursts

Posted by TM2 on February 10, 2015, at 20:42:01

Our 9 yo daughter has recently (over the past 3 months) become extremely argumentative, moody, angry, oppositional, and is having disruptive outbursts both at school and at home. She has been suspended twice this school year and can rarely make it an entire week without having to come home early. She is sometimes fine and then will suddenly change on the drop of a dime and will rage and kick and throw things. It's gotten progressively worse since November. Her teacher is stumped, as are we. She loves her class, she loves her teacher, she loves her school, but she just seems to lose all control and almost becomes irrational over minor things. Once she gets to a certain point, there is no stopping it- she gets into almost a "fight or flight" state and looks like a completely different child even. After the episode subsides, she is remorseful and devastated. She hates that she "gets like this" and begs us to help her know why she "isn't like other kids anymore." It is heartbreaking, and it is wreaking havoc on our lives at home and her life at school.

To give a bit of background: We encountered very similar problems with her 2 years ago after she became ill with a virus and then recovered only to refuse to walk on her left leg/knee for almost a month. It hurt her so badly that we took her to numerous docs and had xray and bloodwork done only to find... nothing. Nothing was wrong with her leg but maybe "growing pains." At that same time, her personality seemed to change completely. While she's always been strong-willed, she suddenly became angry and out of control. She was getting into trouble at school and I was getting calls from her teacher almost daily. She would blow up over little things that never would have bothered her before. She was moody and unpredictable and full of outbursts and rages... just like what we are going through now. We ran an ASO and arthritis panels and tests for Lymes and all kinds of bloodwork. Her only outlying result was an elevated uric acid level which was quickly dismissed by her pediatrician seeing that she "clearly does not have gout." So... basically, after about a month of not using that leg and crying constantly from the pain and acting out at school and home, it gradually just subsided. Her behavior issues lasted longer and we took her to all sorts of specialists who... came up with basically nothing. ADD was the biggest suggestion and we tried Adderall which made it WORST- it seemed to exacerbate all of the awful symptoms we were trying to fix. So we took her off Adderall and fretted and tried to sort it out. And then she pulled out of the behavior issues the same way that she pulled out of the leg/knee pain issues. It bothered me that we never figured it out, but I was just thrilled to have my kiddo back.

Fast forward to now, 2 years later. Same problems also with leg/knee pain (though not as severe this time.) She was great over Christmas break, got sick the first week of January after getting back from break and then started acting out worse than ever. We are completely at a loss.

The psychiatrist says she has DMDD or BP and wants to "try her" on Risperdal. We are SO nervous at the thought of putting our 9 yo on an antipsychotic. Particularly when this seems exactly like what we went through 2 years ago (that magically just seemed to fade away.) I feel like there is something physiological going on given the connection with the leg/knee pain both times now.

We are open to psych meds if there is absolutely no other way to help her be able to live her life again, but I wonder if we are missing something bigger or deeper. (btw, we've done counseling with her both times- moderately helpful, but not much. There are no big stressors or life changes for her- then or now- and there is no history of abuse or trauma.)

I've been looking at homeopathic medicine lately, but have no experience with it. I've considered methylation issues and have put her on methylated B vitamins in case. (I have an MTHFR defect.) I've been looking at pyroluria lately and wonder if it could possibly account for her erratic and frightening behavior.

We are at our wit's end. I spend hours every day researching and trying to find some good solutions, but I just don't know what to do any more. Maybe Risperdal is our best bet or even only hope of approximating a non-stressful life again. BUT if anybody has any thoughts or suggestions, I would totally appreciate it. Thank you in advance!!!




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