March 19, 2019 at 5:28 pm #112267
Sorry, this is long. I hope you will read it. This is my first post and I am grateful to have found and read so many post on here over the past few days. I have a 15 year old daughter in 9th grade who was diagnosed with ADD (not ADHD) in 4th grade. We spent 1000’s of $$ on a Neuro-physchologist evaluation. This doctor believed in trying alternatives such as vitamins and something for her to have in her hand to focus on during class such as therapy puddy before taking the route of medication. This helped her up until 8th grade when school got tougher. I am also a yoga teacher and I study Mindful Awareness which both of my daughters practice. It is much harder for my 15 year old who has ADD than my 12 year old who doesn’t to sit and meditate. My daughter is very eager to learn and is good at organizing her time for homework, meeting with teachers and asking for help. This is very different than many teens with ADD. My daughter is also a competitive rock climber and spends hours at the gym by choice. This is where her heart is to the point that she is starting to talk about colleges that have collegiate climbing teams that compete in USA Climbing which is what she now competes in as a teen. She also volunteers almost every weekend with a local pet adoption non-profit. So when people meet and get to know my girl, they would never guess that she has ADD and we as parents have also questioned her diagnosis at times.
So having a daughter who is organized and shows us and her teachers that she wants to work hard and does work hard in and outside of school was crushed this week when her report card arrived. She is NOT in AP classes nor would I ever want her to be in them. But she is having a tough time. She consistently says that she has so much stuff going on in her brain that she cannot focus on what she is being taught. Test are a nightmare because she says she sings songs in her head and that’s all she can focus on. In 8th grade she would sing out loud and not realize it so the teacher would send her to the library for math. This went on for months before I found this out and lost my cool with the school. She thinks others are looking at her and judging her so she rushes through test so she can be one of the first to finish. She says that she just cannot remember what the teachers have taught her. She said that it just leaves her brain as soon as it enters. Her teachers have all recognized how hard she works but that she stumbles on test and essay’s.
This past week she came to us begging us to put her on meds that can help her focus. This is not the first time she has begged us, to put her on meds. I am terrified to do this. I have a call out to her pediatrician. I am sure I am not the only parent who is terrified but let me explain why this scares me so much. My brother-in-law was an amazing man and father with his dream job as the Chief Prosecuting attorney for one of the US states and in charge of all of the state police (not mentioning the state here to protect his son). He purchased his dream home and his son is an amazing kid. But he had mood swings so he spoke to his doctor who put him on anti-anxiety and anti depressant meds. I know this is not ADD meds but they are meds that alter your brain. He felt the meds made him feel worse and one morning he put a gun to his head and killed himself. We blame this on the meds and yes, we found out later that what he should not have mixed these two meds and one was taken off the market. I hope this sheds light on why I am terrified. The side effects of ADD meds terrify me. I would love to hear from parents who have felt the same way I do but made the leap and started their children on ADD medication with success and parents who’s children have had side effects and what you have done. My daughter needs to feel success in school and I think this is now our last option. She currently feels like she is the dumbest kid in her classes and that is straight from her mouth. It is heart breaking.
Thank you for reading and thank you for your help and advise.
March 19, 2019 at 7:29 pm #112271FluttermindParticipant
Please let her try the meds. I went undiagnosed until after college (was a bright well-behaved girl too, so no one suspected ADD). I had a really rough go at both high school and college. It was stressful and overwhelming, and I couldn’t quite figure out why everything was so much more difficult for me and why I couldn’t “just apply myself”. My parents were always disappointed at me and ugh… I felt like a fraud – everyone around me thought I was smart, but that it was all a facade over my secret stupidity and innate incurable laziness. If I had known Ritalin could have helped me back then, I would have begged for it too.
Supplements and meditation only help so much – they don’t correct the ADHD brain’s defective dopamine circuitry like the meds do.
The meds changed my life, even though they came too late to help me in school. Without them I would probably still be wallowing around at some crap job, squandering everything I learned in school, and paying the bills late.
Methylphenidate (Ritalin, Concerta) is an old proven drug, on the market decades longer than modern antidepressants. It’s been studied exhaustively, and it’s very safe and effective. Furthermore, it’s different from antidepressants in that it doesn’t stick around in your system – it’s gone by the end of the day. I started taking an antidepressant recently for SAD and I was warier about it than I was about the methylphenidate, to be honest. And even these stimulant meds did “change” me, I’d welcome it with open arms because they change me into a motivated, functional person. I hated being addled and dysfunctional, and I bet your daughter hates it too. It seriously sucks.
March 19, 2019 at 7:43 pm #112273MattColoParticipant
I can’t talk about my kids but I can talk about myself. I’m 59. For nearly 6 decades I always felt like the odd one. I, too, do not have hyperactivity. But the comments from teachers and students left a scar. A year ago I found out I could be ADD only because in a fit of frustration I accidentally tripped onto a list of characteristics that described me quite well. It took a year to find someone that would help. I’ve been on medication for 3 weeks and I can do things that I couldn’t even imagine a month ago. I did the meditation and yoga, I had to exercise or else I would have killed someone. Fight or flight was who I was. I don’t eat crappy food because it makes me sick. So I did all that stuff and it still didn’t make that big a difference. I will add that after 59 years I have a lot of bad habits. One thing I can tell is that I might finally start being the person I always thought I should be. That has been my hope my entire life. When I was in fifth grade and the teacher stood me up in front of the class and ridiculed me all I had was hope. When the high school teachers all wrote “If only Matt would apply himself …” all I had was hope. When I couldn’t hold a job all I could do was hope that one day I’d figure out why I struggled so much. Now, just maybe, that hope has paid off. My career is over but not the time I spend with my kids or my wife. In the past few weeks I’ve really enjoyed being with my family when I used to just want to run away whenever they had fun.
As for your daughter, yes, there are risks. But it’s not like all the drugs out there are experimental. They’ve been studied for a long time. What you can do is understand those risks. Be a mom and look out for those issues. At the same time, give your daughter a chance to be who she is. Yes, it’s a risk, but you can minimize it. Face it, in 3 years your daughter will be old enough to do this without you. Help her now and do it right.
I truly wish you the best of luck.
March 19, 2019 at 7:43 pm #112274phan59Participant
Hi. This is my 1st post as well, and happy
To have found this forum. It’s a long one! For background, I’ve recently turned 60 with add/anxiety, very successful 35 yr old add daughter, n 19 son high functioning on the autism spectrum.
This is my sincere n heartfelt advice to any parent with similar family dynamics. Your relatives suicide has nothing whatsoever to do w your 15 daughter. True, some people have had
Suicidal thoughts on new meds n I am sorry for your loss.
ADD medication IS NOT the same as what your relative was taking. ADD meds would cause someone who does not have, ADD to become hyper
Or jittery, but for those of us w ADD, these stimulant medications don’t affect us the same as neurotypicals n truly make our brains function BETTER. If you can imagine, it’s like a fog has been lifted and you can focus on ONE thing. Of course, everyone is different and in no way am I trying to speak for others experiences.
My suggestion is that you find a good psychiatrist. These Drs understand so much about
Brain chemistry, and how n why we can be helped with medication. Ask around. Find reviews. Be sure you feel the psychiatrist ‘gets’ your daughter. Someone successful in treating ADD.
There’s NOTHING wrong w taking medication that’s been prescribed FOR YEARS for your daughters diagnosis. As a comparison, if your daughter suffered from any other medical condition that affected her daily life, for example if she had asthma, or diabetes, I doubt you would hesitate
even a moment, to get her medication. I would imagine if she had to BEG for medicine in those circumstances… I’m sure you see my point. Brains are organs in human bodies the same as hearts or kidneys or any other thing that makes us people.
I wish you had explained further your ‘going off’ at the school, and what consequences if any, resulted from that.
The way you described your family showed love and care n wanting the best for your daughter and that’s commendable.
Find her a psychiatrist who can explain what solutions may help her mental health needs. Prescribing ADD meds requires vigilant monitoring, as a controlled substance. This fact, hopefully will ease your fears.
I wish all the best for you and your family. I hope your daughter can persuade you to take her to a psychiatrist, SOON!
I’ve typed this on a phone n hopefully it translates.
March 19, 2019 at 8:10 pm #112275RandyHParticipant
If she is diagnosed ADD “inatentive” let her try. At 55 years old I stumbled on Neurological Normal when my doctor let me go on phentermine for a 60 day weight loss program. I have known I had ADD my entire life, but never knew Neurological Normal until the side effect of phentermine which only lasted a few days. Now on 50mg of Vyvanse and trying to work it out. The focus is phenominal…I feel like thoughts trapped in my head for decades are now flowing out quite lyrically. Still trying to adjust the crash in the afternoon, but the meds have changed my life.
Big deal here. I was almost immediately more cerebral and understanding. Able to identify stress triggers and deal with them in a much more logical manner.
March 19, 2019 at 9:07 pm #112278
Oh My Goodness! Thank you all so much! You just made me feel like I am not alone and you put my mind at ease. I am now playing phone tag with her doctor but I should connect with her tomorrow. I will move toward getting her on medication.
Fluttermind: As you mentioned about yourself, my daughter feels overwhelmed and she does not handle stress well. It makes her anxious and sad. Reading your post made me feel like I was reading about my daughter. Thank you so much for sharing your story.
Matt: Thank you for your story and honesty! I am so glad to hear that you are now spending time with your family on days that you have off. That is beautiful! My daughter had some of those awful teachers last year in 8th grade and it was devastating. Needless to say, I had a long talk with the head of that school and said my peace…and then some.
Phan: Thank you too! I will call her Neuro-Psycologist after I speak with her pediatrician. He was really lovely and I really liked him. He told me to stay in touch but I didn’t. Now I will. As for the time I “went off” at the school, they did not inform me that they were sending her out of the room to work alone. They were just giving her work sheets and sending her off. I found out when she asked me for help in math and then told me that she does not go to class with the other students. I was really upset. She had two teachers last year who did not get her and made her feel like she was not smart and less than human.
Ryan: That is amazing and my wish for my daughter. I love how you phrased your thoughts flowing out of your head, “Lyrically”. She is always telling us that she has so many thoughts in her head but cannot get them out. This gives me so much hope.
I will be sure to post again with an update. Thank you all so much!!
March 20, 2019 at 9:27 am #112302
Hey there, MyGirlG.
I know you’ve already had this query resolved, but I just wanted to give you my input as well, for what it’s worth. First off, you’ve DEFINITELY made the right decision here. I didn’t get diagnosed until I was almost 28. I’ve struggled with my symptoms, to a greater or lesser extent, for my entire life, and if I’d known years ago that I had ADHD, I’d have gobbled the pills like M&Ms.
It’s great that your ADHD daughter has a physical outlet, and that both of your kids practise mindfulness- these are vitally useful things for everybody, not just kids with ADHD. For people with ADHD, though, they’re doubly important. What you’ve basically done here is given your daughter everything she needs to succeed with ADHD EXCEPT medication. My specialist explains to me that treating ADHD is 70% medication, 30% coping strategies. I’m lucky, in that I’ve HAD to develop coping strategies in order to survive, but a lot of people don’t ever manage to do that, or they learn maladaptive strategies. Your daughter is in the best possible situation for medication to help her, and I applaud your decision.
But I have to warn you ahead of her taking her pills- not every ADHD medication works for every patient. In fact, most people have negative reactions to the first ones they try. This does not mean that all ADHD medications are bad. there are about 50 different medications, with different active ingredients, different release mechanisms, and a whole range of doses to play with. Getting appropriate medication is, more often than not, a case of trial and error, but the benefits you reap from being medicated are unbelievable. I got lucky, and the first medication I tried (Ritalin) was the right one for me. I’m now on an extended release formula, and we’re slowly increasing the dosage up to the correct one for my height and body weight. I have a friend whose mother tried one medication, which went very badly, tried a second one, which went worse, before trying the first one again, but under different circumstances, and she’s experiencing massive improvements herself.
The most effective I’ve ever been in my life was when I was 19 years old. I’d moved out of my mother’s place, and in with my dad. I was cooking every two days, preparing my own food, walking to school every day, and training Martial Arts 20 hours a week. I also had a job 3 days a week. Every day was completely packed, and rigidly structured, and the days where I had free time I would, 90% of the time, take care of my homework. That move was what got me the grades I needed to go to University.
I’ve been on medication for about a month now, nearly two, and the improvements to my life make the ones from my 19-year-old schedule seem like a kid proud of making a mud pie that vaguely resembles a dinner plate. I’m PRESENT in my own life in a way I’ve never experienced. I’ve felt ‘calm’ for the first time in my life. In my job (I work in research), I’m getting more work done, to a higher standard, in less time than I used to. I’ve actually started taking on tasks from different departments because I don’t have enough to do, whereas before, I was drowning in a sea of statistics and unfinished research tasks. I’m giving my opinions to my bosses, and arguing for them in a way that I previously couldn’t, because I couldn’t think straight for long enough to understand my own ideas. Now, people are listening when I speak, and including my input. I should also mention- this is all in a foreign language, because I live abroad. Previously, in meetings, I would drift off after about 3 minutes of hard concentrating, because I’d taken a minute to understand a word, formulated a point, then was trying to hold onto the point until there was a natural break in the conversation. Then I got lost, and the conversation had moved about 20 paces while I was still standing there.
Medication has improved my home life as well. I’m now cleaning things in the house that I previously wouldn’t even have noticed were there, let alone noticed that they were dirty, and I’m doing it effortlessly, without having to set aside time or energy to do it. Last week I cooked two different meals for two different people, each comprised of multiple elements, with different cooking temperatures and times. Four pans on the stove, two different items in the oven, things that needed to be microwaved, and cold items that needed to be put in their own containers and served at the table. I served these two different meals, at the same time, every component piping hot (apart from the cold ones, obviously). Before meds, if I tried to cook a single meal composed of multiple elements, I’d have burnt one thing, undercooked another, left one standing on the stove, and something on the plate was always stone cold. I’m arguing less with my fiancee, helping out more, and I don’t come home at the end of the day feeling like existence itself is a challenge. I come home with energy left in the tank. I can’t adequately express how much of a change that is for me.
What I’m saying is that you’re doing the right thing for your daughter. Your fears are entirely natural, and warranted, given the history in your family. The most important thing, in terms of safety, is to monitor your daughter closely. Ask her how she feels, ask her for feedback, note any changes that worry you. Ask her specialist what you should be on the lookout for. If her personality changes, or she ‘becomes a zombie’, or anything like that, she’s on the wrong medication, and her specialist needs to know. The most important thing is to always communicate everything to her specialist, honestly. As long as you do that, and keep an eye on everything, these medications are perfectly safe, at least insofar as anything can be considered safe. If you can stick with any negative experiences that may crop up, keep an eye on everything, and don’t be afraid, there are a world of benefits available, like the ones I describe above. I did really well for an undiagnosed ADHD person- I actually completed a degree, I moved abroad, and learned a foreign language, without picking up any substance addictions, criminal records, or other problematic tendencies- but every gain was hard won. Every day has been a struggle. Taking medication was like I’d been wearing a weighted vest every day for my entire life, and suddenly it was removed, and I could move more easily than I ever knew was possible. I had no clue life could be this easy, that it IS this easy for everyone else.
I look forward to hearing how your daughter responds to her medications 🙂 Important note, before I sign off: don’t be afraid of increasing the dosage. As long as your daughter takes her medications responsibly, there’s no danger of her becoming addicted or anything, but the ideal dosage for any person is tied to their height, body weight, and metabolic rate, not the dosages written on the pills. Taking more than the minimum available isn’t abusing medicine unnecessarily, it’s taking the right amount in accordance with your needs and how your body processes it.
Don’t be a stranger 🙂 I hope your daughter reaps the full benefits of medication. They’ll do more for her than either of you could possibly imagine 🙂
March 20, 2019 at 10:38 am #112322Penny WilliamsKeymaster
Not treating ADHD also increases the chance of suicide, in addition to accidents, illegal drug and alcohol use (self-medicating), risky behaviors, teen pregnancy, etc. Many studies have been done that all come to this conclusion statistically.
Anti-depressants have black box warnings about the potential to cause suicidal ideation. None of the stimulants on the market have that warning to my knowledge. There are a couple cases reported of suicidal ideation on ADHD stimulants, but not so many that the FDA has added a warning. Stimulant medications for ADHD are also different in that they are in the body active for a short time period. If these thoughts occur (which is really rare for these meds), you stop taking the medication and the suicidal thoughts stop, as with any other side effects. As well, stimulants like Ritalin have been around for decades.
Your daughter is coming to you and asking for help. Honoring that means she won’t go looking elsewhere for something to ease her symptoms.
I found learning the facts about ADHD medication helped me to make an informed decision. There’s so much information in the public perception.
ADDitude Community Moderator, Parenting ADHD Trainer & Author, Mom to teen w/ ADHD, LDs, and autism
March 20, 2019 at 10:56 am #112329jlb83Participant
I’m glad you’ve decided to let her give it a try! Very good decision, really.
I am a mom to an 11-year old girl who very likely has combined type ADHD just like me. I was diagnosed only a few weeks ago, and I’m 35. She is on the wait list at Columbia University Medical Center, where i currently am a patient, to see the ADHD experts, so we have to wait about another 4-5 months for her to get evaluated and tested.
I would have LOVED the chance to try medications when I was a teen. But my family is really old school, not from “Western civilization,” and therefore don’t take mental health/neurobiological issues seriously. Plus I didn’t know why I was struggling so much. So I suffered a great deal as a child, teen and young adult.
Almost all teens go through a lot of difficult stages in their lives for various reasons, obviously, but those with ADHD and mental health issues and/or other neurobiological issues face extra challenges. It’s really painful and isolating, and by the time untreated children reach adulthood, things seem completely out of hand, hopeless. Everything is a disaster.
It’s great that you are giving her the chance to see what it is like to fully LIVE with ADD, not just survive and cope. She clearly knows what she wants and needs, and her instincts are telling her that if she is given just a little extra help in the form of medication, with the things she has already accomplished and the love and support she’s already getting from her family, she’ll really thrive.
Good luck and I hope she finds the medication(s) that work best for her. Sometimes it can be slightly frustrating trial and error, but sometimes you get lucky and find the one that works wonderfully right away.
March 20, 2019 at 12:31 pm #112340
First, Happy Spring Equinox!
Thank you again for the latest post. Last night I decided to tell my daughter about this board and she asked if she can read the responses. She felt so relieved and then looked at me and said, “Thank you Mother.” And then gave me a big hug. We talked about some of your stories and the similarities to what she is going through. She said that she cannot wait to start taking the meds. Then she sat down at the table and started doing her homework without any frustration or tears. She seemed to feel a sense of hope was coming so she got through her homework peacefully last night and only needed my help to study for Spanish.
Spaceboy99: You are so awesome! I loved reading your post. Thank you so much for sharing. Maybe my girl will make a family dinner in the near future. And congrats on your success. I will stay in touch with updates.
ADDmomma: Yes, I totally get it and I am taking the steps to begin the process to get my daughters on the right meds. Thank you for your post. I will definitely read the public perception page on this website. Thank you again.
jlb83: Thank you for sharing your story. I wish you and your daughter the best and please post an update when you have one. I will keep checking back for it. I will be posting updates too.
Have a lovely day (or night), where ever you are in the world.
March 20, 2019 at 7:55 pm #112388greyisprettyradParticipant
ADHD meds do not cause suicidal thoughts as far as I know.
I have ADHD, I struggled for years and years until last spring (10th grade) when I failed two classes because I just couldn’t stay afloat anymore and was immediately diagnosed and put on meds.
My mom has many, many psychologist friends. One of them told her I am the poster child of a girl with inattentive adhd. They’re fine and dandy, doing just fine in school with only a couple of problems, and then suddenly all hell breaks loose and they fail classes out of nowhere.
I’d say put her on meds. If they’re stimulants, then they might cause anxiety, and you do have to be careful with anxiety meds, but ADHD medicine should be fine if you just make sure she doesn’t have weird changes in behavior (but be aware that when ADHD meds wear off you usually crash and get irritable and moody, that’s normal though.)
April 9, 2019 at 2:39 pm #113626
First thank you all again for responding so quickly to my post. I cannot tell you how much each of you helped guide me in helping my daughter. Last week she saw a Psychiatrist that we both like. She prescribed 10mg of Ritalin to take 3 times a day or as needed. She began the next morning. Her focus was good but she had an anxiety attack around 2pm. Not good. She was also super shaky and could not eat lunch. When I picked her up from school she crashed in the car. But on the flip side, she was very excited about how well she was able to focus in class. So I decided to cut the pill in half and try that. AH…that seems to be working been so far! YAY! With half a pill (5 mg), she has had no side effects and she has been able to focus in class and participate. So it looks like we are on the right track. She has her next appointment in less than two weeks. Fingers and toes crossed this all she needs and we found the right meds for her right away. My hope is that she experiences some academic success before her 9th grade year ends and summer begins.
Thank you again!
April 9, 2019 at 3:27 pm #113639
Just responding quickly, got stuff I need to do, but that’s amazing, good for you and your daughter 🙂
If she’s on the 10mg pills 3 times a day, then the crashing will be because they’re instant release, not extended. When I switched from instant to extended, everything got a lot easier for me.
Next appointment, mention the crashing to her specialist, and maybe she can try 20mg extended, which would be similar to the effect of 3x5mg, but without the crashing.
Also keep an eye on her meds. As she gets older, the effects may lessen. This isn’t because of dependency, but rather because her endocrine system will develop as she gets older, and the way her body processes the chemicals will change. All this means is that she may need a higher dose. This isn’t dangerous.
Congratulations, and here’s to smooth(er) sailing going forward 🙂
April 11, 2019 at 2:22 pm #113828AnimeCanuckParticipant
If your daughter is shaky and had the anxiety attack, I would recommend calling the doctor that prescribed it and detailing what happened – better yet let your daughter explain the symptoms exactly as she remembers. It’s possible that either the other delivery system is needed, another BRAND (generic Ritalin vs. actual Ritalin) or something similar that isn’t Ritalin would do her better with NO side effects. Being shaky like that is something I would be cautious of. Please do call the doctor.
April 10, 2019 at 1:50 pm #113762AngelacaweinParticipant
My daughter diagnosed ADD went from D, F’s to hating school and not wanting to go. To A, B’s and loving and wanting to go to school. Your doctor should be able to do a swab to see what medication will work best for your daughter. This school year has made honor roll all year, all A’s!
April 10, 2019 at 2:07 pm #113765
Thanks Spaceboy99. The half pill is 5mg so I will talk to the doc when we see her next. So far so good!
Angelacawein, thank you. Yes, I posted an update above. Looks like we might have found the right med and dosage on the first try. So far so good. I look forward to seeing her grades. She said that her teachers are also noticing how well she is focusing. It is so amazing!
April 11, 2019 at 2:18 am #113797
No, I know 🙂 But 5mg 3 times a day works out to about 15mg a day. The 20mg once a day pills work out to 20 mg a day, but have a ‘bioavailability’ of about6.6mg for the entire day (almost the same as if she was just taking the 5mg, minus the crashes)
Hope this helps 🙂
April 10, 2019 at 7:58 pm #113787AngelacaweinParticipant
That is wonderful, so happy for you both. My daughter was on 5mg a day for almost a year. She currently takes 15mg a day but doing great and yes it is amazing!
April 11, 2019 at 10:56 am #113812limpstringcheeseParticipant
I would definitely let her try it. I was undiagnosed and did not get medication until 10th grade, and my freshman year was the worst and I fell so behind. It’s only going to get harder without.
I would seriously recommend finding a new psychologist if he thinks those are interchangeable. If you’re worried about side affects, then express that to your psychologist, one that DOESN’T prescribe vitamins. Vitamins have no correlation to the ADHD mind. The brain is lacking a brain chemical. Vitamins are something else entirely.
April 11, 2019 at 11:14 am #113817
Soaceboy99, yes you are correct. I totally get it now. I was spacing. LOL!
Angelacawein, yes technically my daughter is taking 10 to 15mg a day depending on if she has a lot of homework in the afternoon. So far so good but yesterday she had a headache. I had her stop doing homework and gave her a massage. That helped and she finished homework. A lot of it was caused because she did not like the lunch at school so instead of going to the snack and salad bar and getting something else, she chose to hang out with friends and starve. I sent her with a sandwich and extra snacks today.
limpstringcheese, thank you. Please take a read at my update. Its all good news. And I am so happy to hear about your success. I love reading these stories. 🙂
April 15, 2019 at 10:42 am #113990LisaLewisLMT@gmail.comParticipant
I fought this same dilemma in myself and lost. I hated drugs. Still do. But without them I am dead in the water living my life in a plethora of survival tools to compensate for my “deficit”. The other hard thing was finding out that a small dose had me feel better in the beginning and not quite feel like I was making it in the world. My dose is perfect for me now and I wish I hadn’t fought the facts. I need it. I am depressed when I can’t quite cut it. I am not depressed when my meds bridge the gap. There. My antidepressant is being able to achieve to the best of my ability. No antidepressant was going to do that. The calm I have on my meds is the match between where I am and the hole in my chemistry being filled. I don’t torment myself anymore trying to make it on a lower dose. Wish I had surrendered 25 years ago.
April 15, 2019 at 12:15 pm #114016kathi47Participant
I swear by a good psychiatrist. But meds cant do everything. If your insurance has mental health look into a counselor who does DBT or CBT skill training. Thats helps you to recognize and change behavior. Also meditation.
April 15, 2019 at 12:27 pm #114022iamlaurensParticipant
Hey there. Here’s my two cents. It’s long, but I think it will provide some insight.
Since I was a kid I wanted to be a Paramedic. I got to high school, and needless to say it was a struggle. I failed chemistry, taking only one of the two required semesters, took biology three times, finally getting a “C”, and did “alright” in Anatomy & Physiology, getting “C”s. I graduated HS with a 2.8 (this isn’t even touching the social aspects of my experience). In community college, I actually did a bit better, I think it was the freedom, and reacquainting myself with swimming and water polo. I went on to art school, got a degree in Wood/Furniture, and proceeded to adulthood. I was miserable.
Toward the end of college I finally got the ADHD diagnosis and started taking Adderall. It did help but, in hindsight, the dose was too high. I didn’t like how differently I felt, so I went off of it probably 1-2 years after that.
After flailing, trying to make it on my own, learning the adult lessons, barely making bills, being broke constantly… just an overall black hole, I decided to give an EMT certification a shot. It turned out I was good at it. I was not yet back on medication, but I did have some left over from my previous prescription, so I decided to take a smaller dose, and only when I needed it. This was the key. Let me say that again, taking just the right dose at the times you actually need it, is the key.
I got back on meds (this doctor believed in an “as needed” prescription, so that was helpful) took A&P, got A’s. At the age of 31 I moved home with my parents, took Micro, and Chemistry, and got A’s. I just applied to Nursing school and I’m kicking ass. Though, I confess, as I’m writing this I’m stalling my Pharmacology studies, oddly enough.
There’s this misconception that medication is an all or none, and if you take something like Vyvanse, it is… there’s no option. But I found 5 mg Adderall tabs as needed not only helps, but keeps me from building a tolerance and needing a larger dose periodically. I, so far, have not adjusted my dose since going back on meds. But they are, without a doubt, one of the most important tools in my tool box. That and counseling.
One last thing, I can’t express enough just how detrimental not being able to accomplish what I felt I was smart enough to do in high school was to my self-confidence and self-esteem. I think things could have been different if I was on medication in high school. There are other factors: crappy teachers, crappy kids, etc., but I would have liked the option.
April 15, 2019 at 12:28 pm #114023trish64Participant
I personally didn’t like meds for my teen son and nor did he, however, when he was a freshman in high school it was necessary for his education; he was beginning to fail a class and had Cs and Ds in his other classes. It helped bring his grades up, however, we all felt that his depression and anger was heightened with the meds. He also complained how he didn’t like the way they made him feel. His doctor tried him on different meds which included stimulants and non-stimulants but he hated them all. He’s in his senior year now and took himself off of them several months ago. He maintains a C average with an A and a B class in there. He studied all of 45 mins for his SATs and scored above average and he was accepted into his first college of choice and got into his major. He always said to me that he needed to be able to deal with his ADD on his own and not rely on meds. I tend to agree with him, but like all parents, you want your child to succeed. If your child is begging you for meds then perhaps allow her to see how she does with them. A lot of these kids don’t do do well in high school because they’re made to study things that aren’t an interest to them. Once in college, or whatever they choose, these kids are brilliant.
April 15, 2019 at 1:13 pm #114037cfeindtParticipant
I HAD to reply to this one as it seemed like I was reading my own thoughts! I have never logged in to respond, but this one was SO familiar.
Just this month, my 14-year-old daughter is asking to try meds for the very first time. We’ve known since Kindergarten that something was different. Then, unofficially diagnosed with classic ADD distraction by a psychologist when she was in 3rd grade. Unofficial, as we never continued service after diagnosis and discussion, so I never got any paperwork. Anyway, we know it, she knows it, many teachers know it.
Same as described by the original poster, we worked the “toolbox” trying to avoid medicines. We altered foods, supplements, and study methods. She struggled often but always came out OK in school. She had to work twice as hard as others at times, and often fell off the rails. She maintains A’s and B’s, but it’s never easy and requires constant reminders, nudges, timers, pushes, and rantings! I’m tired of helicoptering her workload, and she realizes it can’t continue this way.
Now, as a freshman in high school, she admits that she’s finally out of control a bit. Overwhelmed with so many different courses, assignments, schedules, and deadlines. She’s asking to try medication. Profoundly, she discussed the impact on her psyche if they “worked” for her. She said, “if I’m best with them, does that mean I’m not OK without them as I am naturally?” Kind of deep thinking there. I asked her if someone who needs glasses to help their eyesight is not OK. She saw my intent and we discussed at length. I’ve always explained it to her as her brain is just wired differently, with its own strengths and weaknesses. And as I see it, medication will help to bring it all together sometimes. It won’t change who she is and how she is wired forever.
I have yet to get her an appointment to get this ball rolling. My daughter is frightened by discovering a “new” self and way of seeing the world. She’s concerned about a lifetime need for chemicals in her body. Yet, we both see that she can use the assistance, and both wonder how far it can take her in life if she just tries it. I am SO thrilled to see someone else out there in such an incredibly similar situation. It gives me hope and spurs me onward. Thanks for sharing, and thanks for progress updates. It means a lot.
April 15, 2019 at 1:56 pm #114045boatdude87Participant
This is my perspective only, but I hope it helps. I will be 50 in just over a month. Until 5 weeks ago, I have lived my entire life with out having been diagnosed with ADHD. Up until December of last year, I wasn’t even aware of the possibility that I might have it. But I have struggled continuously to stay focused on projects at work and at home. Without realizing it, I had developed coping strategies that worked so-so. Like I would always keep both a physical project and a mental project going at the same time so that I could switch off between them whenever I felt I could no longer keep my mind on it.
One area that has been very much affected by this is education in traditional settings. I did great in high school because I could literally read the material once and I could recite it and test well on it, but I never had to apply myself to consistent effort in studying. College was an entirely different story. I could not stay focused and I wrote it off to “never having learned study skills” because high school came so easily for me. By the end of my Freshman year, I was feeling so stressed out and overwhelmed I dropped out. I attempted college three more times in my life and each time I came up against the same issues of not being able to stay focused on studying. I kept going back to the same story about study skills. Each time I ended up dropping out and this started to affect my self esteem as I thought I was a failure as a student and it would NEVER be any different.
For various other reasons , I started school one more time last September. The first semester went great but at the end I was starting to get that same struggling feeling and I started to again start to have feelings of low self esteem because I thought I was going to fail again.
Then, in December, I had a conversation that opened my eyes to the probability that I had AHDH. This caused me to start doing online self assessments and all of them pointed to “go see a doctor”. Unfortunately, the earliest appointment for evaluation I could get was early April. Previously, I had learned Transcendental Meditation and had adopted a low-carb, high-fat way of eating. Also I shared my likelihood of having ADHD with my boss and she suggested taking caffeine. So beginning in December I tried to use all three ‘natural’ methods to combat my symptoms. It seemed to work for about two months.
One thing to note, I have noticed for the last 20+ years that I have a cycle where I can stay engaged in life and work reasonably well for about 2-3 months and then the stress and feelings of being overwhelmed start to build. Then at about the 3 – 3 1/2 month mark, it becomes too much and I literally have to withdraw from everything and everybody for about 3 days. During this time I basically do nothing except veg in front of my computer screen. Somewhere on the third day, it is like a switch gets flipped and suddenly I am bored. It is at that moment that I can once again re-engage life and continue forward.
I have not taken a vacation in all those 20+ years because I end up taking my vacation time as “sick” days because of this cycle. I now know that this is a build up of too much stimulation and it eventually overwhelms me.
In early February the cycle started its inevitable spiral downwards and this time faced with need to withdraw but also the need to stay engaged in my college classes, I was a state of crisis. I literally was ready to drop everything and I mean EVERYTHING – school, work, relationships – and run away. My ‘natural’ methods were no longer sufficient and I felt I was going to lose everything.
This cycle was so bad because that now I suspected I knew the reason for the cycle, yet I could not get to see my doctor for another 2 months, the ‘natural’ methods were not keeping the feelings of being overwhelmed at bay. Other people that I had spoken with who had started medication had spoke of the difference it made for them. I felt such a feeling of hopelessness. I felt like Moses because it was like seeing the promised land of medication but knowing I may never get there. It was still 2 months away and I knew deep in my heart that I wasn’t going to make it another 2 months before I did something drastic.
Five weeks ago, I got a call from the psychiatry department that there had been a cancellation and if I could be there in 30 minutes, I could get my evaluation. I jumped at it. I was diagnosed that day as inattentive ADHD. I started medication the next day. To say that it was life changing, is being modest. I am crying while I type this because I literally feel that I got my life back from the edge. The difference was so phenomenal that I did more homework in the first 7 days on medication than I had done ALL of the semester so far. The unfortunate part is that by the time I started medication, I had dug a hole too deep to be overcome in a short time, even with my new found focus. I ended up dropping back to just one class for the rest of the semester, but I am so much more engaged now that I ROCKIN’ this class now.
I know you worry about possible side effects like you described. I beg you, though, if your daughter is in anywhere near the same place of despair that I was, please let her try. I literally feel that it brought me back from the edge of a precipice and I am in such a better place now. Take care and be well.
April 15, 2019 at 4:17 pm #114065annedollParticipant
Wow. I’m so glad I read the whole thing. Thanks for sharing. That is heartbreaking — your daughter, and of course your brother-in-law. I can certainly see why you’d be so terrified and hesitant about meds. I’m certainly no expert, but I thought I could try to help.
This may sound odd, but I think it’s a good sign your daughter is asking for meds. Your daughter is amazing! She has a lot going for her already! So of course it makes it all the more difficult when things aren’t going well for her in school and how she feels about herself. I think it’s a good sign she’s asking for meds because that means she’s self-aware and open enough (as a 15 yr old!) to know when she needs help, and to take ownership of her problems, and knows who and when to ask for help.
Since you/she are already doing a lot of non-medication treatment so well already, I’d say try the meds. Explain your very valid concerns to the doctor. They should help you with questions and let you know which meds have which risks and side-effects. I put off trying meds for my son for a long time, but we’d pretty much exhausted what we could do with non-med treatments, and still needed some help. That time was a very valuable learning lesson, and I don’t love some things about the meds, but they do help and make things all around better than without. Also consider the fact that many people will turn to “self-medicating” through illegal drugs/alcohol and high-risk activities, if they don’t get the help the need (though your daughter seems at low-risk for that).
You could ask your doctor about trying medications like Intuniv or guanfacine, or Strattera, that are non-stimulants and seem to have milder side effects. We are currently liking the liquid Quillivant (a stimulant), partly because of very flexible dosing. Also, you can look into getting her DNA analyzed for which medications are more compatible or potentially dangerous for her. The pediatrician’s office did a saliva swipe and sent it off to a lab (like for geneology DNA testing), and the insurance paid for it.
Also, make sure you’re seeing a good psychologist as well, and perhaps get a 504 for her for school. Those can help a ton with dealing with the little but important adjustments, tricks, etc., for coping with it all, and finding things that help fill in the gaps where help is still needed, whether using meds or not.
I wish you all the best!
April 15, 2019 at 4:28 pm #114068mkpowers78Participant
I appreciate you reluctance to medicate your daughter and commend her on
Making it this far without medication but I think it’s time you let her give the medicine a try. I suggest starting with non-stimulants and if there is no improvement then move to stimulants. I wish I didn’t have to take medication everyday to function and succeed but I do and that’s just how it is.
Give it a chance – I think all of you will find it will change her life for the better. And if it doesn’t then at least you gave it a try.
April 15, 2019 at 5:29 pm #114080lauradickensonParticipant
Give her the meds. You are still a good mom if you do. My son is a different person with his meds. And you may have to try a couple. Definitely go to a psychiatrist and not family doc. My son is having luck with mydayis.
It is counterintuitive that stimulants calm an ADHD brain down but it is true. I suffer from depression and I thank God for brain chemical altering drugs. If you don’t have ADHD yourself, it is impossible to imagine the awful feeling of wanting to be more organized and to feel more in control. Would you rather she be continually frustrated, sad and alone? I am a mother, too. I hate that my kid has a “condition”. But it can be managed. The other commenters are right, too. Medicine isn’t the magic bullet cure. Sometimes the drugs are needed just to get to the playing field for us ADHDers.
April 15, 2019 at 7:18 pm #114094jkate23Participant
I’m so sorry to hear about what happened with your brother in law.I can completely understand your hesitation.
I would find a Psychiatrist that specialises in ADD to talk to first. Hopefully they can explain how the medication works to put your mind at rest. Antidepressants are much scarier with their side effects than ADD meds. I’ve had depression and anxiety since early teens, and it was an unpleasant experience finding out which antidepressant medications didn’t worsen my symptoms. I was also misdiagnosed with bipolar in my mid twenties, and the meds I tried to tried for that were also absolutely awful and crippling for my mental health.
It’s only been quite recent that I have been diagnosed with ADHD, and the change for me since being on ADHD has been only positive. The doctors will start her on a very low dose and will make sure she doesn’t experience any negative side effects before increasing it. She can also start on a short acting formulation that will only work for four hours, so if she does experience any side effects, it won’t take long to wear off.
I can understand it must feel terrifying starting her on a medication given your previous experience with your brother in law. I believe that the ADHD meds have been very well researched over the last 30 years, and the drugs that are on the market are mostly variations of the same two molecules.
I hope this helps. It might also be helpful to hear in mind that many studies have proven that people with ADD/ADHD who are treating it do much better in life than people with ADD/ADHD who are not treating it. As a person who was diagnosed later in life, this is something I relate to very well 🙂.
April 15, 2019 at 8:23 pm #114097karenmissionParticipant
Hi MyGirlG, when I read your post today I could not believe it. I thought maybe I had written the post and forgot that I did. Same boat, my 15 year old daughter came to me and begged me to get her some medicine. We too have tried various natural solutions and some got us a long way – fish oil, neurofeedback, meditation, being an athlete, Brain beat, Play attention, we have tried many things that got us to high school, but here we are. And my daughter seems to have hit a wall in some areas. I am terrified to give her the medicine. I have filled the prescription for Intuniv low dose but am scared. One last ditch effort yesterday I said let’s go back and try the L-Tyrosine again and she said mom please just let me take the medicine. I am so glad you posted because reading the responses to your post is encouraging me to let me daughter try the medicine and see if it can help her. Thanks again for your post and thanks to everyone else who responded.
April 15, 2019 at 9:14 pm #114098theAteamParticipant
I don’t want to scare you, but children with ADHD are 50% more likely to get into drugs and alcohol if not treated. Your daughter will be 18 in three years and will be able to make her own decisions on medication. Right now would be the perfect time for you to help her find a medication that works without changing who she is. In my experience I have heard of kids who are self-medicating with marijuana and alcohol. My son was addicted to Xanax and marijuana from age 18-20 (he was not taking medication for his ADHD.) I believe marijuana helped with his anxiety that was caused by the ADHD.. I have ADHD And take Adderall every day. All three of my children have ADHD or ADD. Two of my children take medication for school only. It really does help and is not something to be afraid of. You just need to find the right Doctor Who won’t overmedicate your daughter. I hope this helps you. But don’t be afraid to treat her legitimate diagnosis with a medication that will work immediately and be out of her system the same day.
April 15, 2019 at 9:58 pm #114101Alex27Participant
I went through the same. I am so proud of the calm effort my daughter made convincing me to let her try Vyvanse. I’m not so proud of myself for not listening and being so closed minded for so long.
My advice. Support her decision. Read the Vyvanse reviews, you will hear all sides. But note that the product gets 4 out of 5 stars for good reason. Before your daughter starts get her review the testimonials so when she has a crash or side effect she and you are aware and anticipate and agree on a strategy should a side effect occur,then go for it.
Please don’t hold your daughter back. Everyday is precious. Let her excel.
April 15, 2019 at 10:32 pm #114105angelgirl33Participant
Please let your daughter try the medicine. It could really help her, but you don’t know unless you try. Keep it monitored weekly or bi- weekly by a doctor and have your daughter keep a diary how she feels after taking the medicine. That’s what I did. I have ADD too and the medicine helped me get through high school and even college. I earned my associates and my bachelors degree. I was the first one in my family to graduate from college. I became a teacher. If your daughter does well in school she will have a chance at a bright future. There is always hope, never give up!
April 16, 2019 at 1:21 am #114107
Hey, MyGirlG, can I recommend you edit your original post, right at the top, before the main text, since all these new commenters don’t realise that the issue is much closer to resolved than they realise?
April 16, 2019 at 10:18 am #114131
Spaceboy99, I was trying to figure out how to do that but there’s no simple button that says edit. I went into my account and help tool but cannot find anything. If you know how, please send me a link. Thx so much.
April 16, 2019 at 11:52 am #114150
Hey again G,
Isn’t there one at the top of the post, around the same area you’d normally hit ‘reply’?
If not, maybe you can ask the moderators to change it? You reach them via the normal ‘customer service’ section. Worst comes to worst, I think you can ask them to delete the post.
April 16, 2019 at 11:57 am #114152
I don’t think it’s necessary for her to edit anything. More information is never a bad thing.
April 16, 2019 at 12:22 pm #114153
It is when the decision has been made and largely solved weeks ago, and when every now and again someone suddenly posts on this again, and then she gets five more comments on a solved post.
April 16, 2019 at 2:02 pm #114175
You and I obviously have a different point of view on this.
April 16, 2019 at 10:35 am #114134
I completely understand where your concerns come from, but I feel that I should point out a few important points:
– the “hyperactivity” portion doesn’t usually present itself as physical hyperactivity in most females. In females, the hyperactivity is usually internalized… more like heightened anxiety and racing thoughts… it sounds like your daughter experiences both of those. Part of the internalization is female genetics and (a large) part of it is how females are socialized in our culture to internalize things.
– you are correct that medications such as anti-depressants and stimulants affect the brain differently, and I understand your fear due to what happened with your nephew, but I will point out that these two types of medication affect the brain VERY differently because they involve different receptors in the brain and affect different areas of brain chemistry. I have to take anti-anxiety medication now as an adult (citalopram) mostly because of the years and years of internalized stress and anxiety my undiagnosed ADHD caused me.
Some food for thought:
Your daughter definitely has classic symptoms of ADHD in females which are usually very different from how ADHD looks like in males. Your daughter is extremely active physically already which is part of the “treatment” for ADHD, as well as the mindfulness meditation you teach her, and it sounds like she gets a healthy well-balanced diet with enough essential nutrients she needs. If her symptoms and diagnosis seem “questionable” right now, it’s because you and she are doing an AWESOME job helping her learn to manage her differences. However, that said… healthy diet, exercise, meditation, and good study/organization habits only go so far. ADHD isn’t behavior based… it’s a physical neurological difference of the brain and how it manages/produces certain nuerochemicals. Basically… in an over simplified explanation… her brain is “interest” based… if it isn’t “interested” then there is no dopamine action going on, and if there is no dopamine action then there is no focus action. Some people with ADHD can literally become so bored that their brain shuts them down so hard that it makes them fall asleep… it’s a neurochemical reaction and beyond their control.
Basically, what ADHD stimulant meds strive to do is to “even the playing field” for an ADHD brain. It’s just trickier to engage our brains unless something “interesting” triggers that elusive dopamine release, and let’s face it… life is FULL of boring crud that still has to be done… but for an ADHD brain it can be like the ultimate grueling challenge because we have to FIGHT with ourselves to do something that others are just naturally more capable of forcing themselves to do. Essentially, an ADHD brain is “hungry” for dopamine… it’s why people with ADHD are at such a high risk for drug addiction if they aren’t properly treated. I bet one reason why your daughter love rock climbing so much isn’t just the physical activity but because of the rush of dopamine that “risky” challenge gives her.
My advise? Let her try the medication, but follow the basic rule of “Start low, and go slow” until you guys can find her optimal dosage and timing. It will take time to really figure out whether it works for her, so you both have to commit to this undertaking with the understanding that you are looking at what could be a few weeks to several months of tweaking… everyone is different. Stimulants are actually pretty safe for people with ADHD to take so long as they are taken AS PRESCRIBED, and there’s lots of great research out there that shows it can help PREVENT people with ADHD from developing drug addictions.
One important caveat to anyone reading this… there are a percentage of people with ADHD who don’t respond well to stimulant medication. If side effects never lessen or get worse, always always always contact your doctor ASAP. The majority of people with ADHD respond well with the right medication and dosage/timing, but there some like myself who do not. There is no way to tell without trying and giving it sincere effort.
You and your daughter should both read a lot of the free articles on this website. There’s loads of great information here, but best of all, there’s information on the ADVANTAGES of ADHD as well as information on how to succeed with it. It’s important for you both to read up on how awesome and unique her brain really is. 😀
P.S. – Seeing a counselor who is trained in treating people with ADHD or working with a Cognitive Behavioral Therapist are also extremely useful… not just for learning better behaviors, but to also work through troubling thoughts and emotions. It’s hard to be an “odd duck”, especially for young people. ADHD treatment is multifaceted including diet, exorcise, behavioral training, potentially medication, and psychotherapy to help deal with the emotional load.
April 16, 2019 at 10:59 am #email@example.comParticipant
Just a thought on meds in general.
In discussing with a friend, who has a child with some issues, he was dead set against his kid going on any kinds of meds.
I asked him if his child had an injury, would he allow the doctor to prescribe pain medication. He said “Of course.”
I followed up with the fact that pain medications have the potential for abuse. But we use them to help through recovery and physical therapy. There are cases with persistent pain that these medicines are beyond the recovery phase.
So…I apply the same reasoning with my kids and their meds.
April 16, 2019 at 1:48 pm #114172judiroParticipant
I apologize in advance that I have not read through everyone’s responses. But I wanted to respond to MyGirlG with some things to watch out for.
My daughter tried both Intuniv and Adderall, and my husband also tried Adderall. Neither of them use it any longer.
Both of them have an unusual metabolism, and they take up medicines into their systems very fully, very quickly, and it takes them a long time to clear them from their system. We never moved beyond the “starting” dose of Adderall with my daughter. My husband never went above 10mg (or mcg, or whatever the measure is). They were both on such tiny dosages that doctors actually doubted that it could have any therapeutic effects. Again, they metabolize it quickly and completely, so it was plenty for them.
The problem we found with stimulant meds is that they deplete your body of magnesium, and magnesium deficiency plays a large part in the severity of ADHD symptoms. So the Adderall would work initially, but then it would stop working. A larger dose was not good, and caused them to experience side effects, while still not helping with any of the focus problems. The Adderall depleted their magnesium, which made symptoms worse, doctor raises the dose, which further depletes magnesium, making symptoms worse. That was our experience. We stopped the adderall.
I did see where someone else posted that ADHD meds don’t cause suicidal thoughts, and I wanted to respond to that. It’s not the ADHD meds themselves, it’s what happens when they wear off, or when you stop taking them. Both my husband and my daughter would get tired and moody/depressed when the adderall wore off. My husband struggled for several months when he decided that he needed to stop the adderall because the way he felt when it wore off was exponentially worse than he felt before he ever started taking adderall. It was bad enough that I had to take some days off of work because he couldn’t function. And now, years later, he looks back and remembers how he was feeling and is scared by how dark and depressed he felt after stopping the Adderall.
It’s a lot more work, but there are enormous benefits from a low allergenic diet (no eggs, dairy, gluten, soy, corn) of fresh, whole foods, the right supplementation, and IEP accommodations at school. Honestly, the best thing we did for my daughter was to have her tested for food sensitivities, and then cut out the reactive foods, and second, she spent her 2nd and 3rd grade years at a private school for kids with ADHD, dyslexia and other learning differences. By 4th grade we had mainstreamed her back into public school, and she is currently a 10th grader in the STEM program, and signed up for AP Biology next year. She’s also been playing the trumpet since 4th grade, and the music seems to support her academics in neurological ways. Math is still frustrating, and she has to work twice as hard (she feels) as her classmates. The first two quarters are usually low B, or high C. But by the 3rd term it starts to click and she’ll finish out the year with As. Still, math class is best for her if it’s in the morning, and we have to do the math homework early in the afternoon/evening. When math is in the afternoon, forget about it, that information isn’t getting in. And when we do the homework late, her frustration gets the better of her.
I hope everything is working out well for your daughter. Do be vigilant for the side effects of when adderall wears off. Personally, having had two people in my household on it, I’m not a fan. As far as the “treat ADHD like any other disease”, I do appreciate where that sentiment comes from. But as with any other disease, I would want to know what the root causes are, and I would want to treat the root causes, not just medicate the symptoms. I know it’s popular to say “if your kid had diabetes, would you deny her insulin?” Well, if the pediatrician said, weight loss through a healthy diet and exercise will reverse her diabetes, than yes, I would. If the diabetes is caused by being overweight, lack of exercise and a poor diet, I would work on those issues before resorting to insulin. In many–not all–cases, diet, supplementation, exercise, and accommodations (like fidget bands to engage the large muscle groups, which can enable mental focus and concentration) tame the symptoms of ADHD into something manageable. In our case, it turned out to be the better way. In the end, the meds were too disruptive and did not provide enough benefit to be worth it.
April 16, 2019 at 2:23 pm #114179
Thank you all for the lovely messages. It has all been helpful and I am sure it is also helping others who may be reading these post. I am also trying to figure out how to put an update in the original post. There is no edit button next to it. If you scroll up you will find an update within this post, but here’s another quick one. My daughter is now 12 days on Ritalin (the generic brand). She takes 5mg, two to three times a day depending on how much homework she has. She did not take any this weekend so technically she has taken it for 9 days. It has been a miracle. She has experienced success getting through her school work. We see her psychiatrist for her first follow up on Saturday.
Thank you again for all of your kind and helpful input.
April 17, 2019 at 12:50 pm #114093
April 17, 2019 at 8:20 pm #114340livlaughluv2000Participant
I can see from the barrage of replys to your post that this might be a bit “extra” but I couldn’t help myself. I applaud you for reaching out because even this shows that you care about your child’s needs and aren’t simply dismissive of her voice.
That step you just took was something that my mother never did, despite the fact that she could’ve. After calling my dad in college about my suspected ADHD, he revealed to me that my second grade teacher pointed it out to my parents, even proved it to them by giving me and the rest of the class a set of directions and demonstrating my inability to follow them. My mother’s response? Dismissing my teacher’s words with often-said stigmas about ADHD meds and how they’re part of the conspiracy to “drug up the Hispanics.” I will never forgive her for this. Ironically so, it is now she who is suffering and I who am thriving because she most likely has it as well (demonstrates many of the symptoms I had) and finds herself buried in a pitiful pile of ADHD induced hoarding and unproductive misery. What can I say, karma always finds a way…
I have just been diagnosed after suspecting it since the beginning of college and the medicine has changed the way I live and perceive the world. No, the medication isn’t a cure-all and doesn’t work on everyone, but it works on most and it’s worth a try.
It’s difficult to put into words what not being diagnosed feels like. I consider myself highly intelligent, yet I always found myself faltering in math class or finishing projects at 5:00 in the morning the day they were due. This made me feel stupid and ignorant.
I now find myself more able to follow along with conversations, and experience the world at its normal pace. I am finally at peace with myself and feel as if I’ve just slid the last piece of a jigsaw puzzle into place.
There are many types of medication and if one doesn’t work or has a bad effect, there are many others your perscriber/psychiatrist can recommend. I’m on Adderall (Generic) extended release and while it does raise my heart rate just a tad (an expected side effect), I am more internally calm throughout the day and this calm is a release.
Imagine having a 200 pound weight on your head being lifted off…
Please listen to your daughter’s voice, I feel her pain. She just wants that experience of being relieved of this 200 pound weight because it’s too much for her to handle.
April 18, 2019 at 10:58 am #114367fusciaParticipant
It does alter brain chemistry, for the better when the right med combo is found, which may take some trail and error. ADD is a misregulation of dopamine, mis regulations of dopamine is also found in Parkinson’s, alzheimers, and dementia. So, I wonder, if taking these medications will help the brain with dopamine regulation and perhaps even prevent these other diseases later on? ADHD is in my family, and my grandfather ended up with Aphasiatic Alzheimer’s and my grandma now has Parkinson’s.
Kids who have diabetes have to take medication, so do kids with anxiety disorders, and other neurological issues.
I understand why you are concerned, I share that concern too, but if I could find the right medication combo, I’d take it, because my ADHD has an emotional lability that cannot be controlled with out medication. No matter how much CBT, counseling, meditation, and yoga I do. I just don’t have that pause to think or call upon the Lord for help, I’m just upset and reacting like a cornered animal.
If your child wants to try the meds, let him, it’s his body, it’s his decision, and really we need to raise teach and ultimately let go and let our kids make their own decisions.
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