Teenage Rage

June 14, 2013
Phyllis and Barry say they're desperate to calm their violent 15-year-old son, Brandon, and turn to Dr. Phil for help. Their requests for Brandon to perform simple tasks such as brushing his teeth or bathing cause him to go into a rage, breaking things and punching holes in walls, and even chasing Phyllis with scissors. Barry says they walk on eggshells, waiting for Brandon’s next violent outburst and that every day he leaves the house worried that his wife may not be alive when he returns. What is at the root of Brandon's anger? Dr. Phil spends some one-on-one time with the young man to determine what’s driving his behavior. And, find out what Phyllis recently found in Brandon’s room that shocked her to her core.







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Barry and PhyllisDr. Frank Lawlis, chairman of the Dr. Phil Advisory Board


A Troubled Young Man

“I think it’s only a matter of time before Brandon kills my wife, Phyllis.”

When did Brandon’s violent behavior begin?

Phyllis and Barry say they have to take safety precautions every day: They check Brandon’s clothing pockets and bedroom for weapons, like screwdrivers and lighters, and they installed locks on various doors throughout the house so Phyllis will always have a “safe room” to run to when Brandon gets violent. 

Learn what Phyllis discovered that Dr. Phil thinks is the most dangerous element yet.

Phyllis says she’s discovered burn marks on Brandon’s bedroom carpeting, and outside Brandon’s bedroom window, on the roof, she found more women's underwear and burned cotton balls.
 
Dr. Phil tells the couple that they are in over their head and that these situations can turn deadly when teens with troubled histories do not get the help they need. He points out that Brandon could burn the house down with everyone in it.
 
Dr. Phil lists the critical behaviors that he says don’t bode well for Brandon interacting well in society: violence, cruelty to animals, fire setting, playing with feces, rebellion to authority, misfit socially, unusual sexual adjustment with fetish-type behavior, violence against himself, making threats to self and others, destruction of property and a lack of empathy. Brandon has been in multiple treatment centers, and Dr. Phil has read all the paperwork on his evaluations. He asks to speak with Brandon alone, and they agree. 

Brandon explains his anger. And, Dr. Phil sits down with the teen.

How does Brandon explain the underwear?

Backstage, Dr. Phil speaks with Dr. Frank Lawlis, chairman of the Dr. Phil Advisory Board and author of Retraining the Brain. They agree that Brandon’s mental processing is unsophisticated and not developed for his age. They both note that when asked about the hidden underwear, Brandon lied and became agitated during the questions.

Back onstage with Phyllis and Barry, Dr. Phil tells them that he thinks the list of 23 medications that Brandon has been on is horrifying. He explains that some of the drugs work against others and some are stimulants, which isn’t what Brandon’s brain needs.


Dr. Phil gives Barry and Phyllis his opinion of what may be at the root of Brandon’s behavior.

Dr. Phil explains to Barry and Phyllis that there are non-invasive treatments available to activate parts of Brandon’s brain and calm other parts. He offers to send them to the PNP Center in Texas to work on neurological therapies with Dr. Lawlis. They accept.