Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Regularly Scheduled Melt-Down

I thought I told him before that I was told that Tuesday morning was scheduled maintanence on WoW. I really thought I did. But I might not have, or it might not have made a difference. In any case, WoW was doing scheduled maintanence and Frankie was worked up with frustration that he couldn't play.

It was horrible you know, last night he had a counseling appointment and barely had time to play and do his homework, and now he can't play this morning and he has to go to the stupid eye doctor today, and...

I got him to calm down enough to listen to me and said, "Frankie, I am concerned that you get so upset over this game..."

He interrupted me to explain to me that that the game didn't upset him, it was not playing that upset him. I tried a few more times, but with no real success. He paced frantically while complaining. I tried to maintain an attitude of calm. Well, I succeeded there, but I don't know if it made much of a difference. He did suddenly decide that he should just go to his room and try to sleep more, and I let him go.

I really appreciate all the ideas regarding dealing with this behavior.

I am pleased that I neuropsych eval will be coming up soon. I will also talk to his doctor about his medications and see if he thinks it is appropriate to add or change something.

Helen -- I can ask about anti yeast and fungi treatments. I doubt though that he will be able to get any treatment with only anecdotal evidency.

A.S. -- Thanks for the suggestions. I wish that we could shift his obsessions to that degree, but I don't think we can. I said that we could shift them some, but not that much.

Baggage and others who suggested on-line groups: I'm hesitant there. He is already using all of his electronic time on WoW. I am not inclined to expand the time, and I don't think that he would be willing to spend any of the time that he does have anywhere else.

And for now, Hubby and I have decided not to take away WoW. We've come to the conclusion that it is really not the problem. It might be nice if he were obsessed with something that we felt comfortable letting him do all waking hours, but, well, he isn't.

I'm definitely following up with the medication suggestion though.

Some of your suggestions are really interesting, and the thought of trying to implement them has made me realize how serious it is. I can't imagine right now trying to get him to think of what he is afraid of, for instance. He really can't think about anything else.

But again, I really appreciate the feedback. It is good to know there are so many caring people out there!


  1. Sounds like a really tough morning. I wonder if you might have to eventually put a stop to the WoW time, though. It seems like the game is really causing him trouble.

    I realize taking WoW away won't fix the underlying problem, but maybe it will make the overall battle a little easier.

    I wish I had some sage words of advice for you, but I don't. I feel like we are having enough trouble managing our own foster daughter's behavior that I'm not in a position to advise others.

  2. Mrs Butter B11:44 AM

    Random, but here goes.

    I tried to really rack my brain about how we helped foster son #1 (several years ago, a family placement, not through the state) deal with his OCD. Oddly, we helped him develop athletic pursuits and musical pursuits. When he would start the pacing, or ripping off of skin (his lip, his fingernails til they bled, scabs, etc) or cutting himself, we would all load up, go to the park, and exercise. Jumping jacks, running, climbing, etc. After a few weeks, he would ASK to go run. He'd run sometimes for 15 minutes, sometimes for 1.5 hrs before he'd "feel better". Just make sure he's eating a well balanced high protein diet so he doesn't bottom out weight wise.

    THe other solution was giving him a chance to "express" his creativity. We tried art- his creations were depressing, dark, and often morbid. We tried instruments, he gave up at the first wrong note (he was very sensitive to light/noise). But creative writing and cooking were his "outlets". When he would start obsessing about his past, or present, or random non-important things, I'd toss him a cookbook and point towards the kitchen.

    Not exactly medical advice, but it worked for us. To a point. He was on a quick decline downward that even medication couldn't stop, but it at least helped for the 6 or so months before he got approved for meds.

    A shrink we talked to once said that many people have the genetic/environmental predisposition towards OCD, but only a small percentage develop symptoms.

    Most of those people have a few things in common- poor nutrition (high carb diets not balanced with nutrients/protein can increase the excess energy a person has, which if not burned off productively, can lead to anxiety), lack of exercise, and too much free time/not being challenged enough.

    Psychologically, then OCD sufferers will seek out "obsessions" to help burn off excess energy, but because their lives aren't balanced (and often the obsession is mental rather than physical), it doesn't work.

    Apparently there's speculation that most eating disorders, OCD problems and anxiety disorders are linked.

    Anyway, like I said, random. I will say though, that the trampoline was the single best investment ever made. Followed shortly by the lake here, where my kids swim for hours and find their inner calm.

    Hope you find a solution that works for Frankie soon. For all ya'll's sakes!

  3. Mrs Butter B11:46 AM

    Oh, before I get roasted- the "Shrink" I refer to, actually referred to himself as that. He helped "Shrink" the client's problems just like "HOney I shrunk the kids". He was a ped specialist, so go figure.

    Didn't mean that as offensive, just for the record.

  4. I vote with FosterAbba to cut off his WoW time, maybe just in the mornings before school to start.

  5. I have personal experience with this sort of situation, and I really don't think cutting WoW time will really help much at all. If Frankie is anything like me, and it sounds like it (though I am not denying that this assvice might not help at all), cutting WoW will only make the anxiety worse.

    I was obsessed with medical science and genetic disabilities for years as a pre-to-early teen, and I guess I still am to a lesser degree--I remember reading all up on Rett Syndrome, as my most memorable and intense obsession. It would've been quite upsetting to have it taken away, and I would've power struggled a good deal. Ironically the power struggle would've been made it harder to deal with the underlying anxiety. Reading about, to go along with my above example, Rett Syndrome actually soothed me.

    Antidepressents didn't really help the anxiety, though it did help somewhat with my depression.

    Thankfully, my parents--both nurses--were willing to let me 'research', even though I'm sure it did annoy them a good deal, at times.


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