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Dr. Mark
Dr. Mark, Psychotherapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 5334
Experience:  Dr. Mark is a PhD in psychology in private practice
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My 15 year old son was born at 29 weeks. He has been

Customer Question

My 15 year old son was born at 29 weeks. He has been diagnosed with ADD, depression and a few other things over the years. He has seen various Drs and now he has began cutting himself. He has cut from his wrist to his elbow. He is currently on no meds and has no dedicated Dr. I just retired from the military and the last two moves were very difficult on him. I am in Ark taking care of my 87 year old mother and his mom just accepted a nursing job in Ark as well. He does not want to move here with either of us. I am thinking that a resident program would be best but would like other thoughts/opinions. Thank you
Submitted: 6 years ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Dr. Mark replied 6 years ago.

Hi, Billy! You know, to give you the best answer, I think I should ask you a few questions first that will help define the problem and the situation.

First of all, are there any friends he's close to whose parents you approve of that you could ask for him to board with and you would pay for his upkeep?

Has Borderline Personality Disorder ever been brought up or diagnosed?

Is there currently any psychologist that has a connection here with him that can advise you? If so, what does he/she say?

Any siblings he's close to?

Any extra information that will help, feel free to share.

Let's go forward from the answers to these questions.

Please go ahead and post your response. I may be away from the computer for the night before you respond. If so, would tomorrow be okay for me to respond?

Dr. Mark

Customer: replied 6 years ago.
Dr Mark,
He is currently residing with his aunt and uncle (whom he is extremely close to and trusts) till school ends tomorrow. I was going to allow him to take a summer trip back to SD to visit with friends from his childhood. He lived in SD for the majority of his life and was and still is adamant that SD is where he belongs. He has been away from there for a total of 2 years now.
I do not believe that Borderline Personality Disorder has ever been mentioned in any way by any Dr. They have talked about Oppositional Defiant but that has always been ruled out through further sessions and testing.
The only Counselor/Dr that may be able to assist is in SD and we have sent an email to List Porsche asking her opinion but she hasn't seen him in over 2 years.
He has a 24 year old sister who has 4 babies that has lived with him for the last 4 years...they are not close at all and the babies and my daughter's sex life have been constant points of contention with him. She currently is here in Arkansas with me on my family's farm. He has a 28 year old half brother that he likes but is not really close to. Ryan came into our family when he (Ryan) was 12. We are trying to build a relationship with him.
He was cutting himself and I went back to see him and he as much as promised he would stop. At that time he had about 6 cuts on his wrist. Since that time he has found out his mom was having an affair (which I had told her not to share with him) and she has taken this new job in Arkansas. He is adamant that he does not want to move again and wants to live and finish school in Va. He would prefer to live in SD which as stated before he considers his true home.
Please let me know if there is any thing further I can provide.
Thank you
Expert:  Dr. Mark replied 6 years ago.

Billy, I'm sorry I couldn't get to the computer till now--I am a psychologist in private practice and I had to be in my office today. I also know that you would like an answer as quickly as possible, but Ryan's situation is clearly complex now that I know more.

He was adopted and came to you and his mom at 12. That changes things. The first thing is that we have to rule out some disorders but I don't know what the professionals have already ruled out. So I'm going to ask about two areas that are sometimes not considered and yet can be problems. I also need to make sure I understand: his aunt and uncle live in Virginia, right? Can he stay with them next year for school? Do they live in a city with more psychologists and mental health resources than SD?

If you let him stay in SD, will he have a secure place where he will be supervised properly like with his aunt and uncle?

Okay. Now the questions to rule out disorders. I hope this isn't too much for you Billy:

The first is Reactive Attachment Disorder. I want you to look at the following website and look at the checklist of symptoms on the left hand side and see what you think. Then please report back on your impressions. Okay?

Do enough of the symptoms sound like your daughter that we should explore this? What are your thoughts?

Next is Asperger Syndrome. I think it is rather unlikely, though I work with AS teens and they are usually highly intelligent and can get very belligerent and oppositional. So, let's look at the following list and see if it rings true for you:

Has he been evaluated as being higher than average intelligence?

Does he make friends easy now and in the past? Does he play in age appropriate ways and have good social skills?

Does he tend to obsess on activities he likes and have a hard time stopping when it's time to do something different?

Does he have repetitive motions and movements? Does he also have certain habits he does over and over?

Does he bring his fingers to his mouth or make facial expressions when talking, when he's unhappy or angry?

Does he have a hard time relating to other people's feelings?

Okay, I hope you get the idea of what we're looking for.

Any extra information that will help, feel free to share.

Let's go forward from the answers to these questions.

Dr. Mark