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Worried about putting my little boy an A.D.D. med. It's one thing for me

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GreenPartyVoter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Dec-29-10 06:36 PM
Original message
Worried about putting my little boy an A.D.D. med. It's one thing for me
Edited on Wed Dec-29-10 06:37 PM by GreenPartyVoter
to take risks with my bipolar meds, but it feels completely different reading all those potential side effects that could happen to my baby.

Anyone else been through this? Did you go ahead with the meds or did you back out?
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knowbody0 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Dec-29-10 07:53 PM
Response to Original message
1. I was forced to put my son on ritalin
in order to stay in school. the left side of his face went slack, and he literally cried all the time like a dying cow, moaning. I'd say "wassa matter?" and he'd reply "I don't know".......well, let me tell you I stopped. I put him in tae kwon do. that was the answer for him. He was a champion wrestler, is now in his second year college, has a job and drives a BMW.

I truly believe they do not know what long term effects are for these meds. We did the purest of pure diets, the twice a week martial arts, and as much activity as possible. he's my adopted son and was born fetal alcohol syndrome and heroin addicted. to top that off his early years were abuse and neglect. what I learned with him was that structure and nutrition every two hours helped him to balance his attention. I noticed straight away improvement when we stopped with sugar and fake food. he craved salt and fats, but when he detoxed from all of that negative food, he slept better and was noticeably calmer, more focused. he had serious impulse control deficits prior to changing the diet.

I often wonder what would have been had I continued the meds.
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GreenPartyVoter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Dec-29-10 08:26 PM
Response to Reply #1
2. The agony right now is this is the child of a bipolar mom. I went into this
diagnosis process expecting a mood disorder and this is what they came up with instead. I can see it, to a point. I often feel a lot of those symptoms fit me.

But I worry about giving him the wrong med. I worry about what this will do to his developing brain. I worry that it will stunt his growth when he is already small for his age. And the warnings about heart issues is pretty darned scary too. I guess if he was in one of his really awful rude and hurtful modes I would feel less fear and more concern about addressing that, but he's been so good lately. The only real issue we are facing is the problem with his grades, which in theory could be addressed by the meds if he truly has this ADD disorder.

So I'm here weighing the pros and cons: side effects, screwing with a growing brain vs maybe giving him exactly what he needs to succeed in school and feel better about himself. I have long seen him as being very vulnerable to drugs and other risky behaviors for a number of reasons. It was one of the main reasons we started him in counseling to begin with. I need to get ahead of that potential train wreck and stop it from happening.

Thanks for sharing your son's story with me. Food could definitely be a problem here. We've had to put mine on vitamin & mineral supplements because he's low on some things.
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knowbody0 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Dec-29-10 09:32 PM
Response to Reply #2
3. good luck to you both
my advice would be to absolutely monitor everything. some kids thrive on the meds, they are able to stay focused and do well in school. otoh, if it is a mood disorder and not add, you will know. my joey just got so sad where before the meds he was always happy and never blue. it killed me to watch him suffer.
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GreenPartyVoter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-30-10 07:14 AM
Response to Reply #3
4. I checked in with him before giving him the pill to see if he had any symptoms
from anything else, so that hopefully I know if something shows up later today that it was most likely pill-based.
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mopinko Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-30-10 09:22 AM
Response to Original message
5. there is a huge overlap in bp and add in kids
how old is he? i think most docs don't was to put a dx like bp on a young kid, so it may be a mood disorder that will become more obvious later. it is really hard to get the right dx.

my advice, as someone who raised a kid like this is- i would try the meds. give them a good 30 days at least, or even a semester of school. if he is on board with it, try.
my kid ended up refusing to take any meds, and i was lucky enough to get her into a therapeutic day school. she actually pretty much straightened out as a young adult, and is doing very well now. but she got some really intense help.
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GreenPartyVoter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-30-10 10:11 AM
Response to Reply #5
7. Thanks, Mo. He's just about to turn 11. So far so good. He had a little
dizziness earlier, and he was a bit agitated but that could just as easily been from me cutting him off from his computer time.

As long as nothing really bad seems to be coming from using the med I'll keep him on it for a while, to see if he's doing any better with his schoolwork.
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elleng Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-30-10 09:38 AM
Response to Original message
6. GPV, have stayed out of this due to lack of experience,
but happy to see Mopinko has chimed in, below; GOOD sense and experience.

Best wishes.

E
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GreenPartyVoter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-30-10 10:12 AM
Response to Reply #6
8. Thanks, ellen. :^)
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mopinko Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-30-10 03:23 PM
Response to Original message
9. i forgot to say-
:hug: having a troubled child is so hard. dealing with docs and counselors and bureaucrats and teachers and family with their 2 cents. and guilt, which is probably about 99% undeserved, but will dog your steps anyway.
it's a world of suck. good luck.
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GreenPartyVoter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-30-10 05:16 PM
Response to Reply #9
12. For the longest time I didn't think I had a troubled child. Just an extremely emotionally immature
one. But he's reached an age now where these behaviors should have ceased. I feel a little guilty waiting as long as I did, but how was I to know that he wasn't just going to grow out of it on his own?
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mopinko Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-30-10 06:26 PM
Response to Reply #12
14. how would you know? some of them do.
some of them scoot along until they are in their 50's before anybody figures out that something is just not right.
we all do the best we can. perfection is a dubious goal. don't take it seriously.
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GreenPartyVoter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-30-10 07:04 PM
Response to Reply #14
15. I guess my fear is that it took until my mid-30s before anyone figured out
that I was actually bipolar and not just prone to bouts of depression. I just don't want my baby to suffer through decades of mis-diagnosis and self-recrimination for something his brain is doing to him.

But I figure since I already paved that road it'll be an easier one for him to travel. :)
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mopinko Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-30-10 07:12 PM
Response to Reply #15
16. he will be fine.
and he will follow his own path that can lead anywhere. maybe not all good, but i think on balance he will be fine.
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GreenPartyVoter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-30-10 09:50 PM
Response to Reply #16
17. Thanks Mo *hugs*
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EFerrari Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-30-10 03:29 PM
Response to Original message
10. Your son has one thing going for him. You.
You have experience with those meds, with checking for side effects, with watching how they kick in over time. That's really, really valuable.

My son was too early for this kind of treatment. He wound up on meth and I'd bet just about anything, it was to self-medicate his ADD. :shrug:
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GreenPartyVoter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-30-10 05:14 PM
Response to Reply #10
11. Thank you. I am so sorry that your family has been through the drug hell. So far
today has been pretty decent, with only a few glitches that may not even be due to the meds. But, it's only been a day. We'll see what the cumulative effect is like, if there is one.
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EFerrari Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-30-10 05:38 PM
Response to Reply #11
13. I used to watch in 12 hour increments for the first three days
depending on the meds, then over three day periods. Good luck to you guys. :hug:
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Odin2005 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-09-11 04:04 PM
Response to Original message
18. I've been on ritalin since I was 6. I'm fine!
:hi:
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momto3 Donating Member (497 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-10-11 06:39 AM
Response to Original message
19. My daughter was diagnosed as bipolar I one year ago.
She is now 11. The one reason we knew it was not ADD was that she was having hallucinations. I am also bp and hated the idea of starting her on these drugs at her age. But, the alternative was terrifying. We were facing the fact that she might have to be institutionalized due to fears of self harm or that she might harm one of her brothers.

Needless to say, my husband and I were devastated. This is absolutely not what you want for your child and not what you want for your family. But, after a year of different medications and titrations, we have settled into a routine, and for the most part it is a normal routine. We watched her very closely for the first couple of weeks every time we changed her meds for side effects. Some of the meds had no effect on her and some were extreme. One med had her up every night pacing, another one had her sleeping 15 hours a day and another one had her put on 20 pounds in 3 weeks. The medication she is on now (Geodon) works well for her with very few side effects. Plus she has lost all of the weight she gained - which is important to an 11 year old girl.

One other thing. We were able to get her stabilized quickly enough, with the help of a fantastic pediatric psychiatrist, that we did not need to inform her school. We may still need to do this in the future. But my husband and I do not want her to have to deal with the unfortunate stigma that comes with this type of mental illness so early in her life.

I tell you my story in the hope that eases a few of your concerns by letting you know that you are not alone. I do not post here often, but I do lurk and read. I have my own illnesses and it helps me to know that I am not alone. These meds are not ideal, but sometimes the alternative is just not acceptable. With proper monitoring it can be okay.

Take care.

Tracy
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elleng Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-12-11 10:23 AM
Response to Reply #19
20. Thanks for sharing, momto.
:hi:
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