Alternatives for child where ritalin has exasperated anxiety and meloncholy

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    • #137487

      Hello additude community and Happy New Year. So straight down to it. Like many other parents, i made the difficult decision to start my son on medication for ADHD at 7 yrs. He has inattentive subtype which severely effects him academically, socially and emotionally. He started a trial period on Ritalin some months back. His teachers in school have reported that the ritalin is definitely helping him with energy, to focus, concentrate and apply himself to work/ tune in, however it makes him sad, intense, nervous and emotional. He would have quite an anxious disposition. We do not live in the US, but in Ireland. My son’s psychiatrist has said that the 1st line of treatment here in Ireland is ritalin as a stimulant, then secondly to go to the non stimulant medications, and then to go for amphetamines (which aren’t actually licensed here in Ireland).
      I’m questioning my decision to put him on medication, however the knocks to his self esteem which he was getting on a daily basis in school due to his difficulty with all areas of executive function were very substantial…(these knocks might I add are often coming from his own frustration with himself at being forgetful, having difficulty with all areas of executive function to be honest.)
      I have spent 2 years altering diet, working with visual schedules environmental changes etc, and insuring plenty exercise in his daily routine…however substantial problems still exist. He also had some difficulty with his previous school and they weren’t providing him with the extra resources which he really needed ( mostly because he is not a disruptive or troublesome child…. but all his difficulties eat away at him internally). He is in a school now where he access to resource time …I work on developing growth mindset programmes with him also and he has had OT sessions.
      I suppose my question is this… stimulant medication works for him in many respects…it greatly helps him to focus, attend in class, organise his belongings, but it has very undesirable side effects which we are not willing to tolerate. I completely realise that medication is not a panacea, but a part in the much bigger overall ADHD treatment picture, however I have just decided to trust the advice and research which I’ve read saying that add children do better on meds, than without it. Has anyone experienced similar side effects with ritalin and/ or found a stimulant alternative that works also without these side effects.
      Has anyone had similar side effects and decided to go down the natural route and found treatments that help with inattentive add.The lethargy, sluggishness, and difficulty following instructions which my son has do cause him such difficulty.. I would like to add that after my son was diagnosed with ADD was I. I am also on ritalin..but it has been a life saver for me particular dealing with the Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, difficulty focusing and executive function difficulties.

      It has made me far more productive…. I know my son experiences the same difficulties as me, but to a far more pronounced degree than I would have done at his age. I do worry for his future…and basically want to help him navigate this the best way possible. It seems another stimulant medication isn’t an option in Ireland.
      Any advice greatly appreciated please.

    • #137546

      I feel your pain. ADHD runs rampant in my family inclusive of extended cousins who refuse medication, especially Ritalin as the kids felt like “zombie”. If you are looking for a natural solution I just read a study for ADHD to add magnesium supplement. also a product called “Rescue Remedy” by Dr. Bauer out of England which is fantastic it’s all natural blend of flowers and it is in a sub-lingual dropper solution which also helps with anxiety and allows them to focus and works very fast. They even have Pet formula which I use on my dog during storms .
      Cinnamon is good as well as cider vinegar and water . I’m still a fan of my adderall !

    • #137600

      Thank you sun mouse 41. Especially for all advice on natural remedies which I will definitely try. I completely understand your cousins refusing ritalin if it gave them those side effects. From what I believe, it really shouldn’t have those side effects, and if it does it should be stopped and the medication changed. I certainly dont have any side effects on ritalin…maybe appetite to a certain extent, but I can get over that. Have you found adderall (which actually isn’t licensed here), good. prhaps amphetamines would have less desirable side effects than methylphenidates for my son. ….
      Thank you

    • #137642
      Penny Williams

      There are two types of stimulants: amphetamine (Adderall, Vyvanse, Evekeo…) and methylphenidate (Ritalin, Concerta, Quillivant…). Almost everyone does well on one type or the other, but not both. I understand that you do not have the same medications in your country necessarily, but understanding that individuals do well on one type or the other helps you know where to go next potentially. There are many medications to try and they’re all different.

      A Patient’s Primer on the Stimulant Medications Used to Treat ADHD

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

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