View Full Version : Thank you

09-29-2010, 09:50 PM
Acting on advice now. Thank you.

09-29-2010, 09:54 PM
Wow that sounds rough!

Maybe you should think about having him see a therapist.. that can not be healthy for anyone. Obviously I don't know your circumstances and I hope you can find a way to bridge the gap.

09-29-2010, 10:08 PM
I also suggest a mental health evaluation, or really, some family counseling. I had some significant issues with my daughter, but no where near that bad. Unless he DOES have good reasons for acting like this, he is hurting and could use some help. I'm glad you are at least managing to communicate and negotiate through emails, but this is not normal. The fact that your sister did something similar could mean an inherited mental health issue or learned disfunctional family patterns coming through you.

Ok, i just went and found your intro post. your wife is a child psychologist with a Master's degree in Education. I'm thinking there is really something wrong here. It may be even harder to ask for help due to her background, but i strongly reccomend trying to find a family therapist. No one should have to live like that.

09-30-2010, 02:28 AM
I recommend a psychologist. There may be an undiagnosed mental disease at play here. while not ever that extreme I had issues with my parents when younger. I wasn't diagnosed with depression until many many years later, after it manifested itself with physical symptoms after my older son was born. I regret now the things I put my parents through (though I am still no fan of my mom's, but for very different reasons). It is possible that with the right guidance/diagnosis and possibly medication (I know, we don't like ot medicate our kids but this seems to be an extreme case) he may turn around sooner rather than later or never at all.

Just a question to think about. He says his mother isn't his mother. Was he adopted? He may be dealing with those issues if so.

09-30-2010, 05:15 AM
Oh my, not nice for all of you. I agree with trying to get him to speak to a therapist of some description.

09-30-2010, 02:04 PM
This may have absolutely no bearing on your situation.. Considering I have never been in that situation. Have you considered going to a homeopathic doctor? Now I say this because a few years ago my son was diagnosed with bipolar disease and was able to avoid traditional medicine.. BUT for your situation I mention this only because when I went in for my son's first visit which cost us 200 dollars.. I literally spent 2 hours talking to the doctor about every single thing my son had gone through or experienced since birth. He did not like terms being used like "cycling" or bipolar..he threw that all out the window.. He even asked if he grinded his teeth at night etc..

So I wonder if that would be a possible route..because they ask questions that you would not think would be asked unless you actually went there. You could probably even call one up and see what they say ahead of time...After the first visit it was 100 dollars every visit which was 6-8 weeks.. We did this for a few months and let me tell you it helped with SO MANY PROBLEMS besides just bipolar...

Just a thought..

09-30-2010, 04:35 PM
Sean, my heart goes out to you and your wife, and also your hurting son. Wish I had an answer for you. I hesitate to say this, and yet, also hesitate not to say this, so here goes. The behavior you have described (the almost utter lack of communication) is eerily similar to some of the behavior that some of the school shooters in recent years adopted before their explosions. (Of course, in those situations, the students were public schooled and bullied day in and day out.) Not saying that your son is going to go off the deep end, but the gift of hindsight in examining the failures of others can be your own salvation. Learn from the very hard-earned mistakes of others. I would strongly recommend that you get some help. If your son is social with some other people (as you mention), maybe he is close enough to a trusted person to open up about what is going on inside. Does he keep a diary or collection of drawings, or anything, that might reveal anything about his inner workings? Normally, I would not be one to advocate violating the trust of personal privacy, but there are times when that very notion allows serious problems to go unnoticed and unsolved. How many times have we heard the phrase, AFTER a tragedy, "If only I had known." If only I had known Little Jimmy was stockpiling weapons. If only I had known he had pages of awful threats written on his computer, etc. Better to do whatever you must to ensure that your son (and family) gets the help he needs rather than to live with worse consequences later. I REALLY hope the best for you and your wife. What a heavy-hearted post yours was, but I appreciate your desire to do right for your entire family. How I hope you find success!!

09-30-2010, 05:15 PM
As a member of MENSA, could you connect with other families that might be going through similar circumstances?
One other suggestion I have (as my 13yr old son is gifted as well) is to involve him in activities that will challenge him. For example, my son is very gifted in math; he tends to be challenged by artistic or musical activities. Yet, when he engages in these activities, he gains a HUGE sense of normalcy-- he understands why others "don't get why he is so good at math" when he feels similarly through art and music. Being good at just about everything (gifted) is a challenge in itself. Maybe your son just needs an outlet where he can be "normal" and be free of the stigma that comes with "being perfect" or the expectations to be their parents' prodigy or "super star."

09-30-2010, 05:20 PM
Has he been able to articulate why he has so many angry feelings towards his mom when you've discussed it with him?

Some amount of defiance and silence and angst is expected at that age, but it's usually more free floating, aimed at most everyone. The specificity of his mother being the only object of his resentment and disrespect is odd, in my opinion. Seems there should be some reason for it, even if it's not a good reason.

09-30-2010, 06:21 PM
Forgive me, but why should a therapist have to have experience working with gifted children? Do you feel that his intelligence is central to his defiant behavior? That may, indeed, be the case. However, basic control of your emotions and appropriate expression of them is something that *all* people have to learn - gifted, average, learning disabled - all people. In my experience, people who are incredibly bright don't have any leg up in the emotional department from anyone else. In my career as a teacher at a very unusual private school, I encountered many children who had been labeled as gifted but who had fallen behind academically due to emotional or social issues (in fact, this was a common "type" at the school where I worked). In my experience, these students and their families benefited from the same counselors that families with students without any such labels benefited from.

Perhaps I'm not getting it, but it sounds like you need family therapy. The idea that you have committed violence against your son, even in the interest of restraining him or stopping him from committing violence, is very disturbing to me. It also seems unusual that a close family member is apparently your primary source of assessment and even medication for your son, if I understood that correctly. If things were working, that would be one thing, but you're saying they're not working at all. The way that you talk about your son's giftedness also strikes me. The type of defiant behavior you describe isn't terribly uncommon, yet you talk about your situation as if you're somehow extremely special and expect special treatment. Maybe your son son is the next Einstein and I totally don't get it. I know that oftentimes people say incorrect things like, "every child is gifted," which shows a limited understanding of how very differently gifted children can operate. However, coming to terms with difficult emotional issues strikes me as something that everyone faces on a level playing field. As I said, I've encountered a number of children labeled as gifted who experienced emotional issues, so I don't think your situation is completely unique. All the things that add up to a person's identity - genetics, education, IQ, geography, experiences, parents, culture, sexuality, socio-economic level, friendships, etc. all inform emotions and how we deal with them. I wouldn't expect a therapist to have to have experience with every aspect of my identity to be able to help me.

That said, I taught a number of kids with the type of defiant behavior you describe and I still hear from a few of them today... many of them have totally grown out of it and are in college or working and are happy, with healthier relationships with their parents. So, of course, there is hope that he'll come out of it.

09-30-2010, 07:18 PM
In fairness, Farrar, one of the problems with sending someone to a therapist who doesn't have experience working with gifted children is the potential for misdiagnosis with a number of different conditions or emotional disorders which share symptoms with the mere situation of being gifted*. I'm not saying that in the absence of a "gifted-centric" therapist the correct choice here is "none"-- I think it's pretty clear that this family is in need of counselling.

I'm just saying that I can understand why one would preferentially seek out a therapist with that specialty or experience.

*James T. Webb is a notable pioneer in this field; see: http://www.amazon.com/Misdiagnosis-Diagnoses-Gifted-Children-Adults/dp/0910707677/ref=sr_1_13?s=gateway&ie=UTF8&qid=1285888531&sr=8-13 , http://www.amazon.com/Parents-Guide-Gifted-Children/dp/0910707529/ref=sr_1_29?s=STORE&ie=UTF8&qid=1285888558&sr=8-29

Again, this case seems severe enough to warrant an intervention quickly rather than wait for the ideal professional, but I would tread carefully in an area where I don't know the family history or situation.

09-30-2010, 07:55 PM
Ok, i'm going to respond again . .. but i'm not sure i can say anything useful. this is just making me very uncomfortable.

FIrst of all, I also get the it can be hard for a therapist who doesnt understand gifted kids or isnt well above average intellegence to win the respect of angry high-iq teens. However, it sounds like your wife is writing off therapists because they dont meet her requirements without seeing if they might be able to work with the family

I'm also still turning over this phrase "My wife tried to show humour, love, indifference, and whatnot, all to no avail." Ok, this is not what someone does when they are in a relationship, try out different strategies. She needs to be honest and firm, not trying out different tactics. I'm also feeling like you are only telling part of the story and leaving out crucail facts. I really feel like there are some serious control issues in the family dynamic - teen is totally isolating himself, parents arent open about the problems, no therapists can be trusted . . . i absolutely feel that someone who understands family dynamics needs to be let in to the heart of this family - NOT someone to 'fix' the child. the child is almost never the problem in a situation like this. Something is very wrong here and you must trust someone, somewhere, to really really hear the whole story - and you have to trust their opinion, too, instead of writing them off because you have a higher iq.

10-01-2010, 11:53 AM
I thought about your post all day yesterday and am just now responding.

I don't know if you mentioned psychiatric treatment. Honestly if my child was obsessively hostile, with or without violence, and counseling to this point had no effect, I would be putting him under the care of a psychiatrist. There may well be a chemical imbalance contributing to the situation, and if that is the case, counseling by itself will probably not help, and will be a frustrating pointless effort that only aggravates the situation. Psychiatric management plus counseling may be a tremendous help. Sometimes psychiatry is needed to quiet the chemical storm that is raging, and then the talk therapy can work to untangle the knot of thoughts, beliefs, and emotions that has formed. I am saying this from personal experience. I hope you find some help quickly.