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7-yr-old Jekyll/Hyde

My mother asked if I'd please ask around on this: my seven-year-old brother has insane tantrums every day and he's only been getting worse over the years.

Outside he's just fine, pleasant to adults and to other kids,but at home he makes everybody's lives miserable. It's like there's something in the threshold; as soon as he sets foot inside, it's "I'm friggin' bored!" "Mom, I hate you!" "I hope you die!" "This friggin' thing is crap!" and recently, something that sounded suspiciously like "F*ck you!"

He screams at ear-bleeding pitch and deciblage, throwing things around, turning all kinds of disturbing shades of red and purple, hitting mom and siblings, destroying everything in reach. Nothing anybody does to try to be nice seems good enough to him, and he really doesn't seem to want anything sometimes, just to raise cain.

Our mother works nights and usually goes in to work on 0-3 hours' sleep, and everybody's patience is wearing thin. She's tried ignoring, time-out, grounding/toy deprivation, and spankings. The screaming and destruction gets worse.

If it weren't illegal, we would already have resorted to binding and gagging the boy.

But then, suddenly, after several hours of this torturous madness, he's all sunshine and "I love you mommy."

There's no punishment or reasoning we can come up with to fix this and Mom's thinking of sending him off to a discipline camp. I'm seriously wondering if an exorcist would do any good. It's not a caffeine problem, not as easy as cutting red dye no. 5 out of his diet; we're out of ideas. Any here?

Re: 7-yr-old Jekyll/Hyde

Hi, it's possible that this could be something medical. Have you thought of perhaps talking to a doctor or paediatrician about this behaviour? my son displayed similar to this and was diagnosed (after about 5 years of backwards & forwards to hospitals) as having ODD (opositional defiancy disorder) and a form of ADHD. He takes a small dose of Ritalin and he is much calmer and actually is much easier to live with. He has been on this for about 3 years (he is 12 now) and he is showing signs of overcoming this and his dosage has been reduced significantly almost to the point where I am hoping within the next year or so he won't need it anymore. This is just my experience that I wanted to share with you but I hope you get the answers you need - Good luck.

Re: Re: 7-yr-old Jekyll/Hyde

Oh! Here's a palm-forehead moment; I was a ritalin kid myself. Thank you for pointing this out! I don't know why we didn't see that possibility, but thank you!

Re: Re: Re: 7-yr-old Jekyll/Hyde

It may be ADHD, however, if his behavior is only bad at home it makes me wonder if that is so. My little brother has ADHD and his behaviors were not limited to the home environment. Have you considered that there may be some problem going on at school or outside of the home and he is expressing his frustration in the only place he feels safe? I hope everthing is okay, but please see if you can find out as much as you can about what is going on in his life before you hurry to medicate him. Good Luck.

Re: 7-yr-old Jekyll/Hyde

My child has moderate to severe hypoglycemia. I would describe her behavior under conditions of a hypoglecemic problem as Jekyll/Hyde for sure. There are websites about hypoglycemia describing the mild, moderate, and severe (causes death..) levels of this condition. My child is 9 yrs old, but it has just been this year we are FINALLY figuring out with reliability what is going on with her. She needs to eat every 2-3 hours, protein and veg and fruits. She needs a snack with her any time sh's away from home. ANY hit of refined sugar will always predispose more towards a hypoglycemic meltdown, which BTW, she has never had in public. These fits are home occurances - I think she doesn't feel free to cavein in public, if we're out and it's happening it doesnt' go as far. BUT the reason I reliably know it's hypoglycemia is a) others in the family have it, too, and it's pretty recognizeable and b) FOOD is the magic cure. In like 5 minutes she is back on even keel and really apprears fine as if it hadn't happened. It's mindboggling how fast it swings and how fast it can occur, especially in the morning (no food all night, can't delay breakfast too long) or later evening (she's out of gas, food-wise - she's picky and doesn't eat tons of dinner)
Milk is always a great answer for her if she's in trouble, and seems great for her. Cheese and natural peanut butter on crackers, a fruit smoothie with protein (I make in blender), or even lemonade or fruit juice in a pinch (although I have learned to carry balanced snacks or other food along, for snacks - a simple ounce of prevention is worth ten pounds of cure for her). One problem is, the deeper she gets into the hypoglycemic fit/tantrum/ragefest
(and it gets ugly, belifeve me - you can see her eyes cloud up, great big circles appear under her eyes, and she gets shockingly belligerent, difficult, hateful, and just generally miserable, including sobbing, withdrawing, and yelling "GO AWAY" - we actually call it "the go away stage") the quicker you have to act and the less time you have before she'll say she's not hungry at all and will refuse the milk, smoothie, or whatever you've found to feed her. It takes patience, cajoling, and calm on yhour part -if you respond amd get intense back, it just makes it ten times worse. 95% of the time, this kiddo is terrific - she's smart, talented, well-liked at school, and a very interesting person! So I offer this little portrait up, in case it has any resonance for you. Good luck. I'd defnitely get her off the meds if at all possible, who knows what they throw out of whack unless absolutely needed. Again, best to you.