EXTREME problem child!

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Diane D.
Regular Member

Date Joined Jan 2009
Total Posts : 97
   Posted 9/28/2009 8:01 PM (GMT -7)   
OMG..Where do I start???? First of all I'm writing this for my sister who is beyond distraut right now...as she has been for all of her oldest child's 15 years. I have bragged about this wonderful site to her and now I need your advice. I have her permission to write on her behalf.

Again, where do I start? This is an abusive daughter who regularly cusses out her mother without mercy. She gets physically abusive too and says THE MOST BIZZAR HURTFUL things imaginable, things that no child should ever say to a mother. She, at 15, is a large and scarey girl who has threatened to push her mother down concrete stairs. She tried to kill her younger sister once by smothering her. She's put her sister in the hospital 3 times, not so much on purpose (we hope) but by explosive reactions. She's very strong. At 5 years old she grabbed a knife and threatened to stab her pregnant mom. As a baby, Laura would scream and scream in anger (?) until she was beet red, much more so than the average child. She had violent temper tantrums that lasted for hours and hours.

In recent years she's started cutting and burning herself. A few weeks ago she swallowed a whole bottle of her meds in a screaming fit because my sister wouldn't take Laura to her friend's house. Laura was already on restriction. All it takes is for Laura not to get her way, then she flies into a no-holds-barred rage. This has been going on for 15 years!!

Then, this same child will get SO depressed and sad. But my poor sister is so worn down and broken hearted that she has little compassion left for this child that she DOES love. Laura can be very sweet and funny too. She can be very loving.

And then other times she's, dare I say it, pure "evil". This first child is the child she and her husband prayed for after years of infertility. (I guess we should be careful what we ask for) Their dream has become a nightmare and please believe me when I say I'm not exaggerating.
It's strange she also rarely apologises for anything. When she's done screaming she goes to bed and sleeps peacefully while my sister stays awake all night trying to recover.

Yes, they have called the authorities. Yes, she's seeing a doctor (has been for years for what it's worth) Yes, Laura has been is special programs with Kaiser Permanente, their insurance carrier. Nothing works and no one listens. My sister has told them it's more than mere Depression or Passive Aggressive as she's been told. but no one listens...

Laura also hears voices and sees things. Once Laura suddenly threw her head back and started screaming that something was trying to choke her. She once said a "ghost" pushed her down the stairs.

Sorry this is so long, but there's a lot to say. All this "drama" (that's a nice word for it) is witnessed by their 2 younger daughters and now the youngest (7) is mimicking her oldest sister's cold-hearted behavior. It's affected their childhoods big time as well as my sister's marriage. My sister's husband is supportive of her but is SO passive. He won't stand up to Laura until things get really bad. My sister feels like she can't count on him very much...it's very sad. They're both so tired of it all.

Plus, they're on the edge financially and have really suffered from having to pay co-payments for the various programs. They just feel SO HOPELESS and that their whole family is at the mercy of this child. It's a nightmare!!!

ARE THERE ANY OPTIONS OUT THERE?? Any long term options? Laura refuses to take her meds regularly.

Sometimes my sister wishes that Laura would do as she often threatens to do, and just run away. Laura says that she can hardly wait until she's 18 and can move out. Then she tells my sister about all the awful things she's going to do when she's on her own.

They're at the end of their rope. Is there any place that will take Laura in? It's so sad to ask that but they have 2 other children whose childhoods are being affected by this sibbling. Are there options when you have no money to speak of????????

Thank you in advance for your much needed help, Diane


Veteran Member

Date Joined May 2007
Total Posts : 3715
   Posted 9/28/2009 9:47 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi Diane,

You don't say if this child is bipolar...

There's more going on than I can see from your post, so I can only recommend upping the ante on seeing doctors and therapists. Laura needs to be seeing a psychiatrist, preferably one who specializes in adolescents. Her insurance company should be able to recommend one -- you say she's in programs through the insurance carrier -- I'm not sure what that entails. But if the insurance co can't tell your sister who specializes in adolescents, then tell her to ask a trusted pediatrician. Your sister needs to be telling the psychiatrist about the violence and your niece hearing voices. Those aren't typical mood disorder symptoms (most bipolars don't behave like that or hear voices unless their disorder is very far advanced into mania.) Ask about Conduct Disorder and Oppositional Defiant Disorder as well.

Along with that, both your sister and Laura need to be in regular therapy -- even if it doesn't work and Laura resists at first, she may see the light if her parents insist she continue going whether she cooperates or not. Her parents are in charge of making her take her meds. That's something your sister should be able to monitor and insist upon. I understand she's tired out by this kind of behavior, but she has to be your niece's advocate, not enemy.

Most towns have a clinic nearby which offer services on a sliding scale, so money concerns can be alleviated somewhat that way.

I hope this was helpful,

Co-Moderator, Bipolar Forum
Bipolar II

"Bipolar disorder can be a great teacher. It's a challenge, but it can set you up to be able to do almost anything else in your life." - CARRIE FISHER

Diane D.
Regular Member

Date Joined Jan 2009
Total Posts : 97
   Posted 9/29/2009 12:00 AM (GMT -7)   
I'm sorry about the sketchy post. There's just SO much to list. This was a "quick" post as my own daughter had to use the computer asap after I was finished, you know how daughters can be LOL. So I felt rushed as well as very worried about the situation.

It's so frustrating for my sister, Janet. Please trust me when I say she's always been an advocate and never an enemy. I've often told her that as cruel as it may seem, God knew what he was doing when He made Janet Laura's mother. Anyone else would have killed Laura by now, I'm speaking figuratively not literally. I know I wouldn't have been strong enough...This girl is unlike any kid I've ever met. She lies and manipulates on an adult level, it's scary what she's told my sister! She's a bully against her own family.

We suspect that Laura is Bipolar but these doctors just give her the runaround! Like you said, I'm going to ask her if the current doctor they're seeing specializes in adolescents. I'll ask her about the other disorders you mentioned too. Good ideas!! But sadly, getting appointments takes months. Janet recently was able to see a therapist herself. It was helpful. But her next appointment isn't for another 6 weeks!

The programs Laura went to were 1 to 2 week inpatient programs specially for severely troubled teens. They didn't do her much good. Laura was back to her old self soon after coming home. At least the family got a breather and there was actually peace at home.

I suppose the reason I (we) came here was also for encouragement. Janet needs a measure of that precious thing called "hope", perhaps even that "mustard seed" size of faith would be nice too. She's hanging on by a thread, but hanging on none the less!

THANK YOU, THANK YOU for your response. -Diane

Veteran Member

Date Joined Apr 2009
Total Posts : 1172
   Posted 9/29/2009 9:12 AM (GMT -7)   
i would have her tested for schizophrenia. the seeing things sounds like that. my uncle had bp and schizophrenia and even at 30 he threw horrible temper tantrums worse than a five year old
The only person who can make you happy is you. Be your own self and love who you are because each and every one of you are wonderful for who you are

Forum Moderator

Date Joined Mar 2003
Total Posts : 10405
   Posted 9/29/2009 9:24 AM (GMT -7)   
Diane, in many cities there are system of care programs set up to meet the needs of children like your niece. These are often partially funded by SAMHSA, a federal office. Try this website for more information:
When I lived in Austin, TX the system could help with items such as case coordination, respite, programs and even residential services when necessary. Their goal was to help the family stay together by providing the needed supports and treatment options.
I hope there is a system like this in your area.
Co-moderator for Ulcerative Colitis

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