- CASE FILE
Concerned mom of a 16 year old son who has been struggling with his conditions for the last 5 years and it is making him a recluse!
ABOUT THIS CASE FILE
In late September of 2014 my happy go lucky son who was 10 at the time suddenly having anxiety over going to school so much so that he would run from the house in the early morning hours and I would have to go after him. He threatened suicide a couple of times and I did take him to a Crisis center where he was evaluated and we were told that I needed to get him into therapy and see a psychiatrist for medication. I did both and he seemed to improve slightly but there were still episodes of the "fight or flight" response and not wanting to leave the house. He missed 183 days of school that year. Finally in May 2015 he returned to school for the rest of the year, although at times he didn't want to go. I was told by the school counselors that this was not Depression or Anxiety, but Oppositional Defiance Disorder. I went back to his therapist and psychiatrist and was told no this was not what the school was saying. My son repeated his 6th grade year because of missing most of it, this was in 2015-2016 and he did quite well up to March of 2016 when his Papa passed away unexpectedly. My dad (Papa) was my son's rock throughout all of this and mine too. He was so loving, caring and really helped both of us. My son continued on in school because "that's what Papa would want me to do" My son continued with therapy and psychiatrist, but he and I noticed that the medications didn't seem to be effective any longer so the psychiatrist prescribed a different medication that wasn't right, so they put him back on the one he had been taking, Zoloft, but at a much higher dosage. Prior to him taking the Zoloft, the psychiatrist had given him other medications that had the opposite effects. He at one time prescribed Ativan at an adult dosage and made my son even worse. My son moved onto 7th grade, but I started noticing an increase in school refusal again and an increase in aggressive behavior. I was told that happens as kids get older, but I knew something wasn't right. During that year we had to sell our house and move to another part of the city and even though is was late in the school year, they would not allow my son to finish his year at his present school and made him transfer to another school. Needless to say this did not sit well with my son so the refusals started again, a myriad of "illnesses" and reasons why he couldn't go to school. He sporadically attended school for the remainder of his 7th grade year. In his 8th grade year, started having refusal issues, worked with various agencies and the school to try to come up with a solution, nothing seemed to help. Although he didn't attend school very often, he graduated which was a mystery to me. I started researching other school systems in other cities and towns that had high grades for their special education programs and decided to move in July of 2018 to another community in our state. Meanwhile in having conversation with his psychiatrist about the medication, he decided to wean him off of the Zoloft so we could try something else. During the weaning process, I noticed my son becoming more subdued, more reclusive, not wanting to leave the house. He was finally weaned off and found out that his psychiatrist retired and did not pass off his cases to any other psychiatrist and had to go on a waiting list because child psychiatrists in my area are few and far between. In fact out of (4) that we were on a waiting list for, (3) retired or left the state. My son started 9th grade in the fall of 2018. By January he started the school refusal and got into the "dark place" as he calls it. We had to deal with the court system because of his refusal and both the judge and probation officer told us he needed more services for his mental health. We have finally found a good outside therapist and psychiatrist after a year of trying to get him help. He is on medication, Lexapro and Guanfacine and seems to be stabilizing a bit, but he's still not the son I had prior to the 2014 incident. I was talking with other people about what we have been through and someone brought up PANDAS or PANS and it got me thinking that this might be something that he needs to be tested for. As a young child all the way up to 2014, he had a lot of bouts of Strep infections, Pneumonia, H1N1 (2), an Adenoidectomy, a Tonsilectomy, of which he got infections after them and many respiratory infections. He was diagnosed as Asthmatic 2006 and had many issues with lung scarring because of the infections. When he was 10 months old he had (3) febrile seizures due to a double ear infection that was diagnosed on the same day he was giving 3 of his vaccinations. My son was recently diagnosed this past March as High Functioning Autistic. I just want my son back, and he wants to be his happy go lucky self again. He wants to be able to come out of his room, where he spends hours upon hours. Dealing with all of this is beginning to take a toll on my physical health, but, until I find out what this could be that my son is dealing with, I have to put myself on the back burner. His official diagnosis from Therapists and Psychiatrist are Major Depressive disorder, Severe Anxiety disorder, PTSD and High Functioning Autistic. If anyone out there can help us, point us in the right direction or has knowledge of what this is, we would be forever grateful.