Middle Child has been exhibiting poor impulse control. He spent the weekend without electronic privileges because he could not keep himself from poking or squishing his brother when frustrated. He was very upset about this. Not about the consequences, but about not being able to avoid them, as he felt he had no control.
Sometimes when I pick him up from daycare I can see in his eyes and the tone of his voice that he is triggered. There is an aggression and a stare that is not there most of the time, that had been absent for most of the past year on the Clonidine ER. His thoughts go a mile a minute and he has to get them all out. Thoughts about what he learned at school, things he has deduced in science or art. I don’t know what is triggering him. I don’t know if it is his natural unmedicated ADHD state that I am seeing, or if his PTSD is rearing up and overpowering his meds. Both situations look exactly the same to me.
I left a message for the psychiatrist this morning, she called back and left a message for me that she wanted to put him on an antidepressant, the same that Oldest Child is on with a bit of success, Zoloft. The psychologist had said a few months previous that all we can do after the Clonidine ER stops working is to put him on an antipsychotic. I don’t want to move ahead without understanding what she meant. I meet with her tomorrow.
Today we met with the skills therapist, who I asked to work with Middle Child on identifying escalating emotion so he can learn to cope with those impulses. The therapist threw him some CBT (belly breathing -not helpful with panic attacks), too, as Middle Child did well on talking about how his body lets him know it is overwhelmed (wet palms-serious stuff). My biggest problem with my PTSD was going from zero to sixty in a second flat. I got on a beta blocker and quit caffeine and it is about gone most days. I am just horrified that a six year old who takes in no caffeine is finding himself in the same spot I was in. He is less able to deal with it, treat it, or fight it. Never mind six. He was like this at age three.
When Middle Child is upset or aggressive I am triggered. This morning he had a fit of temper that lasted over twenty minutes. I am tempted at this point to start taking supplements for my adrenals again, just so I can tap into that perfect calm I had last winter. It messes with my memory a bit, but it helps so much with coping with triggers and dealing with angry children that it might be worth it. I bet I can handle it for a few months. I cannot explain what PTSD feels like, physically, except that I can feel it rising, like blood pressure or something. I have been a bit up for a few weeks now. I could try something else. Some vitamin B or St. John’s Wort or something with mild benefits and little side effects. It wouldn’t hurt.
I am just praying that the no dairy diet has some sort of effect. Perhaps I can put off the psychiatrist for two weeks, to decide if the no dairy is beneficial. I would so much rather be able to control his symptoms and issues through diet. I want a magic wand, not complicated chemicals with scary side effects that quit working during the next growth spurt.