I completely understand your concerns. I’ve never read Dr. Amen’s book, but I was immediately skeptical when the book says to do this but NEVER that, etc. Every child responds to the medications differently. First off, does your doctor know about the history of schizophrenia? If he does, he probably took that into account when recommending a medication.
If you have questions, don’t be afraid to ask your doctor. If you’re worried that there might be psychotic effects, don’t be afraid to ask your doctor. And never, ever feel bad about getting a second medical opinion if you are really concerned. I don’t know how many questions I’ve asked the doctor that I’ve had to preface with “I know this is a dingy question, but …..”
Personally, I was a mix of terrified and guilt-ridden when I decided to let my son try stimulants. Terrified because what if the side effects were bad, like really bad — and guilt-ridden because I felt like putting him on stimulants was the lazy way out. My son has been on stimulants for 3 years now and I have completely changed my tune. My son’s doctor said something similar when we first started. He told us that the process was a lot of trial and error but for children like my son, he liked to start them on Concerta. He recommended Concerta because, in his practice, that was the most effective medication for children that exhibited the same traits as my son. He also said if Concerta didn’t work, we’d try something else. So even though he was starting at a medication he prescribed to many patients, if that medication had not worked for my son – he would have been moved to another. We also started at the lowest dose and slowly ticked our way up until we got to an optimal level.
I referred a friend to my son’s doctor. He went to the doctor and the doctor prescribed him something completely different from my son, but said the same spill. “For your son’s traits, I recommend this because I’ve seen results”. So he definitely just wasn’t handing out Concerta to everyone that walked in the door.