Monitor, distract (and Chunky Stan)

Brief summary. LB’s become very anxious, constantly agitated and out of sorts over the past couple of months. He’s developed a fear or phobia of someone harming him.  His teacher/school nurse have suggested he be referred to mental health services which we’ve resisted. First, because we feel the medicalisation of these dude kids is a bit too free and easy (and can be damaging), and second, because previous encounters with mental health services have been pretty pointless (along the lines of “Er, have you thought of using star charts?”)

ryan5-25Then the Christmas tree fell over. Probably because all the baubles had been put on the same branch during a bun fight deccy situation. ‘Mmm’.. I thought. ‘This don’t bode well’….

Christmas morning, LB lost it over a tiny thing and had a distressing episode (? breakdown? frenzy? malange? Slinky malinky?) Not sure what language there is to describe this sort of thing, other than crap, meaningless jargony social care/health type stuff). But horrible. For everyone. Especially so at Christmas.  He stayed home, rather than going to his dad’s, and we swung into a ‘monitor and distract’ routine. For those of you who haven’t come across this (you lucky bastards), it goes like this;

    1. Constantly listen and look for any signs of mounting distress (in LB’s case, talk of being attacked, gesticulating and gurning).
    2. Act instantly to stop these (in LB’s case, through a firm ‘Stop it now’).
    3. Follow this up with a distraction (in LB’s case, an Eddie Stobart book, Mighty Boosh DVD, drawing cartoon figures).
    4. If necessary, follow this up with an uber distraction (in LB’s case, a very long, hot bath).
    5. Revert to A.

ryan5-23So 48 hours of monitoring and distraction was successful but relentless, wearing and, again, pretty shite over Christmas. We also weren’t confident of containing his distress anywhere other than home. I called the GP who suggested a type of prozac. And some emergency tranquillisers to use, if necessary, until the medication started to work.

That was yesterday morning. Last night (after step D) LB turned into a bit of a chill pill. We stayed up watching documentaries like Cop Squad with him. Enjoying the peace.

A mistake of course. Other family members also need monitoring. Like cheeky Chunky Stan.


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