My daughter is in her early 20s. She has shown ALL the signs in the time range you described. They said she was narcissistic, gave her medications she would not take the medication. Over the years she has not gotten any better but smokes weed all the time and gets mad when I tell her to stop. 

Mental health conditions, like personality disorders and other metal health illnesses (depression, anxiety, etc.) can often present with a substance use disorder, such as marijuana, alcohol, caffeine and tobacco. It can make it more challenging to encourage individuals to seek professional help, particularly if they believe their way of self-medicating is providing relief of their condition. I would encourage you to not give up on our daughter. Being a continual support of promoting healthy treatment is good and she may eventually, consider your recommendation. Sometimes, an unfortunate circumstance has to occur that may lead an individual to seek help.

We are experiencing these behaviors with my youngest son. He has been seeing a therapist and psychiatrist for the last year. We have seen no improvement in his behavior. We have had to put locks on doors and restrict access to Internet because he steals. 

It is important for you and your child to feel safe in your home. Try not to evoke or redirect kids/teens who may respond with anger or intense emotion. Do not feel guilty or upset about this tactic. Your priority should be on the safety of your child and your family. It is also a sign that professional health is needed if you have to place locks on doors to prevent your child from stealing.

Behavior management can be complex and challenging. Children and adults with behavior disorder tend to resist active participation in individual therapy and/or taking medications. I would advise you to have a very serious discussion with his mental health team (psychiatrist and therapist)and ask if they can offer alternative methods.

I would also suggest you consider obtaining other forms of supportive resources, to include second opinions. Second opinions do not mean you no longer trust your son’s providers. You may locate other providers that can provide a different approach to your child’s clinical situation.

It is also important to explore other supportive services that you add to your child’s mental healthcare team such as:

1) Multisystemic Therapy (MST), which is one of the most effective interventions for managing poor child behaviors (it involves parents, other caregivers as well as your child),

2) Parent management training that includes positive parenting strategies,

3) Behavior Family Therapy,

4) Group Therapy may be helpful for young children, but not for teenagers,

5) Boot camp is actually counterproductive,

6) Research shows that longer-term programs that include academic support, are more effective.

 

Dr. Dawn Brown is a double-board certified child, adolescent and adult psychiatrist. She is the owner, CEO and sole practitioner at ADHD wellness center and has two private practice locations in Texas. She is also the psychiatrist for 3 clinics in Texas and Illinois.

 Dr. Brown also has a growing virtual presence, offering online appointments. She is a coach, public speaker, two-time best selling author, professional mentor and organizer of “the ADHD amaze-ability™ academy.” She’s a graduate of Xavier University of Louisiana, Saint Louis University School of Medicine and Baylor College of Medicine.

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