Monday, April 20, 2009

Violent Thoughts

Posted by Anonymous.

I am really struggling with this. I have various mental health problems, including depression with bipolar tendencies (means my moods go haywire but I'm not actually manic), personality disorder (closest to Borderline Personality Disorder), Anxiety, Panic Attacks and the like. I get so frustrated with my kids and we've been working on changing my meds to compensate for that. The new meds I just started are helping but I still have one main symptom that is starting to scare me. When I get frustrated at my kids (which is always and over VERY little things) I want to hurt them. I don't think I actually would but I get the thoughts and I have spanked them (which I don't actually believe in.) I feel like an awful parent and I want the thoughts to stop. I'd never forgive myself if I hurt my children.
But here's the problem. How do I tell the doctor without having my kids taken away? I don't want CAS (Children's Aid Society) involved in my life. If I admit to having feelings of hurting my children, they will become invovled but I obviously need some kind of medication or something. It's starting to scare me but I just can't admit to having the feelings. Losing my kids to CAS is a big fear for me. We were involved with them once before only because I had a major panic attack and dissacioative episode right after giving birth the first time and they wanted to make sure everything was okay and kids were being taken care of. I can't take weekly visits and probing questions. I asked once what would happen if I was hospitalized or something, would the kids be taken away and they said no, as long as they were being cared for properly at home (like by husband or my mom.) But if I said I felt like hurting my kids surly they wouldn't allow them in the home with me until my thoughts were gone. That would make things a million times worse and there is NO way I am admitting to the thoughts if that could happen.
So I don't know what to do. How can I tell the doctor I'm having violent thoughts and not say towards whom or elaborate? Will that be enough info to get proper medication/diagnosis or whatever? I'm at a loss.


Anonymous said...

First of all, it's very brave of you to write this. I think it's evidence that you want help and you don't want to hurt your kids. I don't have experience with this, but I am fairly sure that your doctor is bound by confidentiality rules and you shoudl talk to your doctor. You need help. Please get it. Your doctor can only break those confidentiality rules if you are a threat to yourself or others and asking for help before you are a threat, is what you need to do.

Also, is your husband/children's other parent around? Or another family member that can help you out while you are seeking help?

CAS will only take your children if you are a threat to them. Please seek help before you get there.

Good luck.

Amy said...

Wow, that's tough.

On the one hand, if your kids are removed it's because the authorities are trying to protect them, so in spite of the turmoil that would cause for them and you, that would be good - because the kids would be protected. On the other hand, I totally get why you wouldn't want to admit what you're truly feeling, because who would want to go down that road??

What if you told your doc that you don't think the new meds are working, and if he presses for details, say that they're making you think about hurting YOURSELF? I don't think your kids would be automatically removed for that.

A lot depends on how much you know and trust your doctor too. I believe that if I had told my shrink, when I had PPD, that I wanted to hurt the baby, he would've understood that I wouldn't but that the impulse was there. Whereas, someone who didn't know me so well might not have understood.

What if you brought it up as a hypothetical? Asked your doctor, "What would happen if I said that I'd had thoughts of hurting my children?" Don't incriminate yourself. Tell him you were watching Law and Order or something, and the plot was similar to your life, except that the mom admitted to wanting to hurt her kids, and you wondered if what happened in the show was realistic?

Hang in there. I hope you find the help you need in a way that keeps your family intact.

Anonymous said...

It could also be the combination of medication that intensifies those feelings.

Say to your doctor that you're having impulse control issues, which is similar. Say that you want to be able to manage your frustrations better and feel out of control in that area. Say that you want to be a good example to your children and having these kinds of thoughts could potential lead to you showing them loss of control when frustrated. Do NOT expand any further. That way, your doctor can "understand" what you're saying without having to report anything. Plus, it covers your legal butt.

(And please please please, get to know the law. That's your shield. Speak the language, they'll back off.)

You want help. You ARE getting help. You can do that while operating within the confines of the law and keeping CAS out of it. Speaking from my friend's experience as a CAS worker, sometimes they do more harm than good, especially for families that are actually TRYING to make things better. They investigate the families that were called on by nosy neighbours or hateful people on the web but miss the real cases when it's important. Sad, but true.

If you need support, we're here.

Good luck!!

Anonymous said...

I had similar feelings after the birth of my first child, but my violent thoughts were geared towards other adults. I wanted to smack my husband for breathing loud.
Remember, thoughts are not actions.
It took some time for my doctor to tweek my anti-depression and anti-anxiety meds(along with a med for my hyper-active thyroid, which was diagnosed by a nurse-prac; my doc hadn't checked my thyroid)but I felt so much better afterwards. Of course I wasn't walking around on rainbows, but feeling "even" was a relief.
It does sound like your meds need adjusting and that you are probably exhausted. If at all possible, you need to rally your support system. Your spouse, family, friends, neighbors, even joing a church group and asking for help. It would be great if you spend the night alone without worries and sleep for as long as you felt like sleeping. Any time at all for yourself would help.


i'm sorry but if you are having thoughts or fear of hurting your children you should get you have someone who can spend time with you and help with children? and for sure you should go see your doc and tell him that you are worried and maybe you need your meds adjusted.

Anonymous said...

I totally agree with Anon @ 7:24. I also want to say you're not a bad parent by any means. By facing your problems head on and trying to find help you're a fantastic parent. Struggling with mental health issues does not make you less of a good person, it makes you a person with things to overcome.

Good thoughts and best of luck to you. Please keep trying.

litanyofbritt said...

i literally struggle/d with this same issue after my baby was born. knowing you won't injure your kids is not helpful as long as you still want to. they won't take your kids away for telling your doctor you need your meds adjusted and why. i was also worried about that. you need new meds or a change in the dose and you'll feel better. i called and said "i'm having intrusive thoughts of injuring my kids and i need help." if you have a baby its actually considered a complication of pregnancy so call your ob for the meds. you'll feel better, (aka you'll be more tolerant), soon and wonder what took you so long to call. it's not bad parenting, it's chemical. don't beat yourself up. just call your doc. i've TOTALLY been there. i feel your pain!

Anonymous said...

I agree that you should go ahead and talk with your doctor. Some things you might want to think about beforehand (or just think about period) is what helps you to avoid acting on the impulse to hurt your children, techniques you use (other than medications) to cope with your frustration, support people to whom you can vent, ask for help with the kids, and the like.

When you think about it, it sounds like you actually have good impulse control, because you haven't acted on your scarier thoughts to harm your children.

I'm also curious whether you're meeting with at therapist - someone who might help you with some tools to cope with and rework those thoughts.

Take care of yourself, OK?

Anonymous said...

The most important thing is that your kids are ok and protected, dont let your own fears get in the way of that. Your doctor will help you and hopefully get things looking up for you very soon!
Do you have someone you can talk to in your life who is supportive and non-judgemental? All the best!

Green said...

Does your mom live close by? Could she come over so you are, for lack of a better term, supervised? Then you wouldn't be alone with your kids and your mom could step in if she saw you about to head down the path to hurting them. Of course that would mean you'd need to tell your mom.

Either that, or go stay at your mom's or a very close friend's house while your meds get sorted out.

Either way you can say to your doctor that you're having these upsetting thoughts, and in the next breath explain what steps you've taken to protect your kids so they won't be hurt. Lots of good luck to you.

Anonymous said...

i am a CAS worker.

you need to do what the person at 7:24 posted. talk to dr about impulse thoughts / lack of control NOT that you want to hurt your kids. dr will understand the implications of not being in control without you saying that you want to hurt someone. ask the dr for referral for psychotherapy in addition to medication management.

you will get reported to CAS if you have no support, are single, are the primary caregiver for the children with no respite or protective factors.

if CAS were to get involved - you need to have a plan to show they are being protected or the risk is reduced / minimal.

for instance, they are in daycare during the day and your husband is home in the evening - no opportunity for you to abuse / hurt them.

or you have a relative or friend who gives you respite care of the children for a few hours a few times per week.

sometimes CAS will be invovled in cases like this as there is the "potential for risk to safety". however, they won't yank kids unless they have been harmed already.

ensure you have good relationships with collatreals in your life - ie. daycare, school, dr, as they will be supports to you.

another part of your plan is going to drop in program. in ontario there are "early years programs" that are great for getting moms out of the house and into the community.

the more eyes on the kids, thebetter for a CAS worker and "less risk" to kids. if kids are old enough get them into a "boys and girls club" afterschool, brownies, other community activites. that way CAS worker knows that lots of people are developing relationships with ths kids, they see them in the community, and know they are safe.

the highest risk kids are infants under 1 in the eyes of CAS. you want to go to drop in programs, have repite care, regular dr appts.

the next highest are from 1-4 before they can talk well and aren't in school.

if you use substances like alcohol / marijuana or other, have a criminal record, are in an abusive relationship, have a history of childhood trauma you never got treatment for, these are the things that CAS watch out for as increase the risk to the children.

i assume you have some sort of trauma history if you are disassociating and if you have been diagnosed with borderline personality disorder (most women with BPD have history of childhood sexual abuse). you need to deal with your own trauma in order to be a better parent to your kids.

best thing is to be cooperative. highlight your strengths, admit weaknesses, and move on to plan for accounting for your weaknesses.

sometimes fostercare can be a good thing for families when the parent, CAS worker, and foster family work together for family re-unification.

should you HATE your worker. call the supervisor and ask if you could work with someone else as you think it would help to be able to develop the proper planning. if you get a male and want a female, request a female. when dealing with CAS folks, be polite, dont swear and be horrible, you can agree to disagree but not in a conflict driving way. that makes the situation harder for everyone.

should the CAS proceed to court, you need a family lawyer. best advice, you need a kinship plan - someone who can care for the kids for you. they can be approved as "kinship foster parents" so they get reimbursed for the care of kids, but it is less intrusive for court. be creative - can be an uncle / aunt, neighbour, church friend, brother in law. someone who will FOLLOW THROUGH!!

good luck and make sure those kids are safe.

Anonymous said...

CAS worker here again.....

have an exit plan, being able to identify when you are going to explode is very powerful. have a 24/7 plan to call someone or have someone come over during those situations!

Jill said...

I agree with the others- it is VERY brave of you to write this. And I am so impressed that a CAS worker wrote the whole plan for you on how to deal with it.

I love this blog because it gets me out of my own pity party sometimes and I also love the way people are here for each other.

Hang in there Mom- You are being honest and trying to get better. That is the best thing you can do!

Anonymous said...

I haven't read all the responses, so I may be repeating what was said: I just want you to know you are not alone. I have very harsh, visual moments of a desire to hurt my children. I know I NEVER would ACT on them, but they are played out in my mind because of the neglect I expr'd as a child.

Please, find a good therapist who you can talk with. I have shared this with my therapist, and she assured me that I was not wrong or 'bad', but only experiencing an inability to have compassion for my own inner child, and projecting it on to my children.Hearing this alone gave me so much peace.

It is jarring to look at you sweet, innocent child and imagine smacking then, or worse -- and if you knew me, you would be shocked to know these moments occur in my mind! I'm a very kind and gentle mother, but came from a very harsh childhood.

Be kind to yourself, literally take moments out of the day to just hug yourself and tell yourself you are safe, you are okay -- you'd be amazed how sometimes this can relieve the feelings of wanting to 'make your kids know your pain.'

You are not alone; know that there are other mothers out here thinking of you.

Callista said...

I'm the original poster...

I doubt anyone will see this but just wanted to say I'm still here and I still haven't hurt kids or anyone else. I actually forgot I posted this and the reply from Her Bad Mother went to an email address I rarely check so I forgot all about this or I would have commented sooner.

Thanks for all the understanding and advice alhough the full CAS plan talking about going to court kinda scared me. But anyways, my meds are still being adjusted but they're better and although I still get very angry and frustrated sometimes, the urge to hurt has gone down.