Reply To: To Medicate or Not Medicate?

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#73346
jane.mcmullen1
Participant

Hi. My son was diagnosed with ADHD at the end of grade 4 and I would say he seemed to be minor in his symptoms. My husband, who is a doctor, encouraged us to try medication even though I was somewhat reluctant. However, my son immediately noticed the improvement and said it was like having glasses for his brain. Suddenly everything came into focus for him. The meds aren’t perfect since there are some side effects like tummy aches and he says that it made him more shy than he already felt, but he is now graduating from high school at the top of his class! Because there were side effects we actually went through all the different ADHD drugs to see if something would be better and we ended back on the original medication. There were times that he want to try without the meds because he hoped that he had outgrown the need for them but he always concluded that he should be on them and that they helped him despite some of the side effects. He still needs support with organization and sometimes with motivation, but he is on a relatively low dose and it has done wonders for him. I would not be afraid to try and just see what happens. My friend, whose son is very much like my son, refused to medicate her son and planted many nasty seeds in her son’s mind about meds. When things became more difficult for her son at school they decided to try meds and all her son could do was talk about the downside of the meds. I am not sure if that is because the negative seed was planted or if meds honestly were not a fit for him, but now she is worried that he may not get through high school. Meds are not perfect, but they certainly helped my son and he could tell within a week that they were helping him to focus. I think you owe it to your child to try. Can you imagine having a vision problem and being refused the use of glasses? I know meds seem more dangerous because it is a chemical being put into your body, but if you are diabetic you would not resist taking insulin. I know that a doctor friend of my husband said that the ADHD stimulants are not that alien to our human bodies because they are not unlike adrenaline that we all have coursing through our bodies from time to time. Get a good doctor and they will try different meds on a very gradual basis and monitor your child throughout the trial period. Good luck. I remember how difficult the decision to try was and even how difficult it was when from time to time my son felt like trying something else because he was not thrilled about the side effects, but he is sure proud of himself now and says he will never go off of them again.