Reply To: Frustrated, sad, depressed

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Allison Russo

This reply was originally posted by user NCAM in ADDitude’s now-retired community.

Thanks for all the info everyone!

We had him independently tested by a psychologist back when he was in K. They tested for all learning disabilities and he came up fine on everything but definitely positive for ADHD. I was only 6yo when he was tested but I knew probably by the time he was 3.5 that something was up. I suspected ADHD but I was really surprised when we got the results. NOT because they were positive but because of how SEVERE the psychiatrist said his ADHD was. At that time he was only in K (for the second time however as we held him back) and to me seemed to be a fairly typical 6yo but a bit more difficult to keep on task. He seemed to learn everything… well when the psych gave us the results we asked, on a scale of 1-10, 10 being the worst where you put him and the psych said, about an 8! My husband and I were FLOORED! I asked her how he could be so high and she said because he was very smart and had no learning disabilities but being half way through his second year of K he had ‘retained’ very little. She pretty much said, there are lots of things you can do to help him but he is likely going to need medication.

Yes, we tried straterra, he took it for about 2 weeks and was horribly depressed, would cry uncontrollably for 30min at a time and when you asked him why he was crying he couldn’t tell you why. and then he became jaundiced. That’s when his pediatrician started to wonder if he has a medication metabolism problem and referred us to a psychiatrist. We tried concerta and Intuniv with the psychiatrist. The concerta was BAD for him, made him go nuts and gave him a horrible facial tic. The intuniv seemed like a miracle drug at super low dose for the first 2 weeks then suddenly stopped working. When we went up to a slightly higher dose (still way below normal dosing) he passed out and ended up in the hospital with low blood pressure.

We are about to see a new psychiatrist on Thursday and I’m planning to ask about Zoloft. It’s metabolized differently then the stimulants and non-stimulants and I’m hoping that maybe it will just take the edge off the anxiety over school work enough that he’ll be willing to even TRY.

I may look into more of the psychotherapy options after reading some other posts on here. He’s 8yo, will be 9 in the summer so I don’t know if ‘play’ therapy would work but maybe some other type of therapy.

I recently found a website called and really like it! It’s given me a new way of framing this for him. I tell him his brain is just faster than average people and that it’s nearly a super power but just like super heroes he has to know how to control his super power. That at least made him (and me) feel good for… a moment. I just have to keep reminding myself of that so I can continue to stay positive.

Thanks again for all the feedback!