Angry Teenager

My son had Encephalitis when he was 10 years old. It was a traumatic and frightening time with a prolonged recovery. I don't think any of us will ever be the same again.

Since then he has had significant learning difficulties, his IQ is now in the Intellectually Impaired range. Physically he is much stronger now though and is walking and talking, though processing remains an issue so it often takes him longer to get his words out.

He is 15 now and the biggest issue as he has reached his teenage years has been copying with his anger. He gets angry over the smallest things and this quickly turns into a rage. He is very tall and very strong and when he gets into a rage like this he has no control. He has hurt my husband many times, pulled a knife on him and smashed holes in walls. We know that it's not the normal him and once the episode passes he returns to my beautiful passive boy. It is just so sad.

His friends walked away from him because they can't deal with the ups and downs of his brain. The school get frustrated with him because he isn't the same each day.

Sometimes he seems to just be in a world of his own. He has no concept of time, so he misses deadlines and appointments and assignments are never completed on time. He appears lazy to everyone, but he genuinely forgets what he's meant to be doing and his concentration span is so short that it makes it near impossible some days.

He has had reactions to most medications that could possibly help him with medication so it is best to leave him unmedicated, but it doesn't help him trying to get through his daily tasks.

For the most part we look at him in awe of all that he has achieved to get to the point he is at now. He works part time in a theatre where they understand him and work around his issues. We are proud of the person he has become, but it just makes me sad that all these years on and he is still battling the effects of this dreadful illness.

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Hello ska_boreen....

I do hope that you will discuss medication with your son's medical professional(s). Encephalitis survivors are touched by a chemical imbalance... this usually shows with uncontrollable weeping/sorrow in women... and severe/uncontrollable anger in men. This can be treated with counselling and medication.

It can take a trial of a few medications to find the one which "works" for you. This trial period is annoying, stressful and frustrating as h*ll. But... if one can hang in through those frustrating weeks, then they can adjust their chemical imbalance for the rest of their life.

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It must be extremely difficult dealing with your son, and it is, I imagine, especially difficult to ascertain what is being brought on by encephalitis residuals and "normal" teenage issues. Having had 4 children (2 of each gender) and having had E myself, I cannot imagine how uncertain all this is for you and your family.

The only thing I can add is to continue seeking medical and and psychological counsel, and to stay spiritually strong. Your love and strength is what will pull everyone though.

Our hearts, prayers, and love goes out to you.


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Please hang in there and help your son find the answers he needs. I would think some medical tests may be in order, perhaps to try and help find the correct medication, and or "physical" treatment. I also suspect his anger is from KNOWING what he was before being sick, and now knowing that inside his head he is no longer the same. Counselling could help, I don't really know, but it may be worth looking at as an option along with other treatments.

I know in my case ( I was 12), the world turned upside down inside out, tried talking about things, but was eventually told to just "shut-up, stop talking about it, ""You were not that sick"" so get on with things" I became more withdrawn into my world not understanding who I was now, - what happened to me, what wrong.

Your son needs to have help understanding these changes within his head. He is struggling inside, and before he hurts either himself, or anyone else, get him help fast. I would also consider pulling him out of school for a while to reduce the stress on him. Try to engage him in other less stressful social gatherings where he can interact with peers his age, but at things that do not stress him. I suspect he is having problems dealing with the pressures of school right now, and don't forget, his physical body is changing too, that adds stress to ALL teens, both boys and girls. Spend some quiet time with him, limit his exposure to these so called "combat" games or tele shows that have any violence. Play chess with him. The logic in playing chess will actually help him form new routes in his brain, especially at this age where his brain can make changes quite rapidly. Kick a ball around, what ever you can do. AND, get him a "foamy" brick to throw around. There are these foam bricks that look like the real thing and when thrown, they just bounce. Just be careful though, he does not mix it up with a real brick, but he needs something to help releive stress.

HUGS to you all, wishing I were there to give you all a hug personally

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Just wanted to add vitamin b supplement helped me early on decrease stressors..kind of cut the edge off.
As other have shared..continue to seek counsel to find best situation for your son.
take care,

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Hi Ska

Sorry to hear of what your son and your family are going through, I can totally relate to the anger and uncontrolled behaviour (as this anger etc also happened to me right up into my late 20s) from my point of view it was more the frustration of not being able to deal with the problems and the lack of understanding, this led to a vicious circle kind of effect, the less understanding I was faced with, the more angry I became. I am now 53 years old and have learnt to understand other people's viewpoints due to their lack of knowledge of the condition, they cannot then help in finding an alternative way of helping E sufferers.
Does your son have any hobbies that he can still excel in ? if he does then maybe he can focus more on those kinds of things,
Its just an idea that may just help him. Could the frustrations he is facing be the trigger to his uncontrolled anger ? if it is then maybe he could give himself time away from whatever is not working out for him, again this is just an idea.
I am now a youth mentor (still a daily struggle energy wise etc) who is experienced in helping young people through their anger issues etc, the reason for telling you this is that it may just give him some hope for his future.
If you feel that talking with someone who has been where he now is could help him then I am more than happy to chat with him,
I am nothing special, just someone who cares and wants to help, please keep me informed of his progress.

Kind Regards


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An herb used to 'improve mood' is St. John's Wort. Women who take birth control pills mustn't take St. John's Wort, because it will 'detoxify' the birth control pill. It also makes the person's skin more susceptible to sunburn than normal. The internet will surely have many more contra-indications about this herb. I've taken it to quiet the ringing in my ears, but I've also liked its mild calming effect. - justvisiting

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I am not a medical professional and as a survivor I can only glean from my experience. All I know that encephalitis effects us in many different ways. It sounds to me that the symtoms that you express about your son is akin to Attention Hyperactive disorder I would look at the this area. As a survivor myself I managed to get a univesity degree which was a tremendous achievment for me. I would conscentrate on as other people have advised seek medical help. What strengths and talents does your son have? There will be something he will latch on to. Could it be with animals ? A farm labourer, Gardening? Best to focus on talents, I like singing and I have a channel on utube and have dedicated a song to the gang here. Climb every mountain. Wendy and I are nearly neck in neck with hits on utube lol. I do the singing and boss woman Wendy and Ingrid my very able group leader encourages and guides me from time to time. I am also on the local community council and on a Co-operative area committee. I have found thhings to make me feel good about myself. What about sports like swimming, archery, running etc. I got kinda angry but my parents did not help much at times, my father used to beat the Hell out of me and my own mother used to say I was stupid etc and I felt stupid. I used to have hysterics at times. I got encephalitis at 5 months. Everyday is a battle and with God's help and encouragement from guys and gals on this site you will be encouraged.

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