9 Year old refuses to take meds

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    • #179886

      My son is 9 and was diagnosed with ADHD and also emotional dysregulation. During his good moments, you cannot meet a more considerate, friendlier or loving kid. I kid you not every single Doctor, teacher and most recently (5 police officers) that have met him LOVE him. When something doesn’t go his way or he feels rejected or misunderstood or anything at all that could upset him happens, he gets destructive and violent. When I say violent I mean he whips and throws things at us and might kick us but never ever anything dangerous like a knife or other sharp object. He swears and tell us he is going to kill us and he hates his life and he looks like he is in a crisis and the look on his face scares me. He looks like he is having the ultimate nervous breakdown. When this ends, he is completely calm and loving again and very ashamed by his behaviour therefore it’s really hard to speak to him about it. It’s hit and miss. Most times he will apologize and hug and others he refuses to even acknowledge it. On really bad episodes he breaks down and bawls. This happens only about 20% of the time. He was looked at for ODD but neither his pediatrician, developmental pediatrician or psychiatrist are comfortable diagnosing him with ODD because while we definitely have to walk on eggshells with him at least 75% of the time, he does not have an underline base of anger. He is usually singing (way too loudly and doesn’t stop sometimes) and normally happy.

      His aggressive and destructive behaviour has escalated. It has gone from jumping out of my car while stopped at a street light and also kicking the inside of my car to making a small hole in our door and breaking a small piece of supporting wood in our bathroom cabinet which I was able to knock back into place. Yesterday he and his sister were fighting on the balcony and it escalated. He started screaming I want to kill you and hitting my windows with a hockey mini stick and then threw a basketball and 2 tennis balls off the balcony. Our balcony faces a park. A couple of parents called the police. Naturally! He completely calmed for the police. He brown down crying and covered his face.

      Anyway all this to say is my son needs help! The help that all the Dr.’s are saying is the first step are ADHD meds. Biphentyn. (sp?) They tell me these could help by at least 50% which for me would provide the ultimate relief. He refuses to take them. We have tried EVERYTHING. Hiding them in ice cream and waffles. Sprinkling them in a Nutella sandwich.  Then he asked for them in Nutella and pb and it worked for 3 days. Then he asked for them in a smoothie, worked for 1 day. Then a grilled cheese sandwich, didn’t work at all. He tries really hard. He wants to take them while not wanting to take them if that makes sense. Meaning he hates them and doesn’t want to take them, but wants to WANT to take them so he tries. He took them once for 5 days and that was the most. Saw no improvement but he is on the lowest dose as his Dr. wanted to work him up to the right dose. Problem is we can’t get there because he won’t take them. He has major anxiety over it. He finds the sprinkles in everything. He knows when they are in his mouth. If he sees one when he bites into his sandwich he starts to chew ever so slowly. If he takes a sip of the smoothie he knows exactly when one has entered his mouth. We have tried rewards, bribery EVERYTHING.

      It’s really psychological for him and his Dr. has provided no suggestions other than keep trying. Are there any techniques I should try before giving up? I need his buy in. Without his buy in, he will NOT take these pills. He also tells me he doesn’t feel any different when he takes them so there is no point. He knows exactly the importance of taking them. He wants to do better. He wants to be able to control his emotions so he wants to want to take the pills. He simply cannot get there.

    • #179937
      Penny Williams

      It’s really interesting that he wants to take the medicine but can’t make himself. It almost sounds like suspicion or distrust from him. I’m not a fan of giving kids medication without telling them, but sometimes it’s necessary. If the doc thinks with will help him aggression and violence, then it’s an important safety issue, worth giving him without him knowing, IMO.

      Sounds like you’re in Canada and I’m not sure if it’s available there but there is at least one liquid formulation.

      Therapy would be a really good idea as well. His “episodes” are very concerning.

      Oh, read Ross Greene’s “Explosive Child” too.

      ADDitude Community Moderator, Parenting ADHD Coach, Podcaster & Author, Mom to teen w/ ADHD, LDs, and autism

    • #180050
      Anne M

      You are having a really hard time and I feel for you. Maybe you could investigate if there are any triggers in food or the environment that cause his issues, like gluten, cow dairy, food additives …… A food and activity journal can help dicover them and would help any professional that you might consult in the future. Some supplements might settle him and calm the brain like fish oil, flavoured liquid form, and a vitamin B complex (preferably methylated – perhaps Mercola, Seeking Health) plus vitamin B3 on its own can settle when beginning to get agitated. There are Facebook groups for ADHD parents too which would give you support and suggestions. Good luck.

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