More Fun Without Meds?


"My 18-year-old stopped taking his ADHD meds because his friends told him he was 'more fun' without medication, but now he's having trouble. How can I convince him to give it another try?"

Dr. Larry Silver specializes in treating children with attention deficit disorder (ADHD).

Make a list of the differences others perceive in him when he's off medication. Because it's never easy to convince a teen that his parents are right, solicit input from teachers, counselors, coaches, and so on.

Give your son the list, then let him decide whether the medication has a positive impact on his life. And you might mention his friends' comments to his physician. They may be right: If a stimulant dose is too high, it can "flatten" the patient's personality.

Larry Silver, M.D., is clinical professor of psychiatry at Georgetown Medical Center in Washington, D.C. and director of training in child and adolescent psychiatry at Georgetown University School of Medicine. He is a former acting director and deputy director of the National Institute of Mental Health, as well as the author of Dr. Larry Silver's Advice to Parents on AD/HD and The Misunderstood Child: Understanding and Coping with Your Child's Learning Disabilities.
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