Teen with ADHD, anxiety, ODD

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    • #40196
      Penny Williams

      This discussion was originally started by user serenitynow in ADDitude’s now-retired community. The ADDitude editors have included it here to encourage more discussion.


      My son will be 16 soon.  He has always has ADHD and Anxiety.  He is on Concerta 72mg, Guanfacine 3mg and Zoloft 50mg.

      He has developed severe anxiety/OCD in the past few weeks.  Does not eat much, does not have many friends and likes to work on his computer in his room most of the time.  I have to make him come out and talk to people in the family.  He seems uncomfortable in his own skin.  Academically, however, he is a straight A honor student.

      Hubby takes it personally and thinks he is a strange kid.  I feel alone in helping him.  He has a therapist that he will see tomorrow that is helping a bit.  She is always booked though.

      I feel so bad for him and do not know what to do esp. since I feel like a single parent here.

      I think his meds need to be changed or reduced. Trying to get appt. with his dr. ASAP.  He is recently done with school and has some camps this summer (SOAR and a coding computer camp).  I want him to go just to get out of this house and away from his dad and be a teen.  I miss his happy self.  I think he feels like the black sheep of the family and I try to tell him how much we love him.

      I need advice as I feel alone and do not know what direction to go in.  He is our oldest child.  We have 3 others.  One is a 2 year old that actually helps him come out of his shell.

      Advice please!!  Is this just a teen/hormone thing making things worse?  He will be a sophomore in HS next year.

    • #43381
      Kevin Ju

      This reply was originally posted by user adhdmomma in ADDitude’s now-retired community.

      Stimulants, especially at high doses, can increase anxiety significantly. I’d first talk with his prescribing doctor and let them know his current medication regimen is doing more harm than good and ask if you can reduce the Concerta or even change it.

      I wonder about the possibility of autism spectrum disorder as well—not only does it typically increase anxiety, but it could explain wanting to be alone and not feeling comfortable in his own skin. My son just received the additional autism diagnosis a year ago, at age 12, and it explained issues like that for us (we don’t have family dinner anymore because he “isn’t comfortable” eating with other people anymore—only wants to eat alone, for example). Those with high-functioning autism often struggle with ADHD medications too. http://www.additude.com/adhd/article/10236.html

      And, yes, hormones are likely complicating things too.

      I’m excited that your son is going to SOAR—they are AWESOME and it makes a huge difference for a lot of families.

      Moderator, Author on Parenting ADHD, Mom to teen boy with ADHD, LDs, and autism

    • #43383
      Kevin Ju

      This reply was originally posted by user cicero67 in ADDitude’s now-retired community.

      No disrespect, but your husband needs therapy just as badly as your son does. Have you discussed this with him? Men who can’t relate to their kids unless they are perfect are, IMO, revealing their own deep insecurities. See if your husband would be willing to go with you for couples therapy. Maybe if he knows how much you need him in this effort, he’ll be less opposed.

      And one more thing. If your son’s therapist is helping him only “a bit” and she is “always booked,” you need to find a new therapist. Titrating ADHD meds is tricky. Your son needs regular appointments so the therapist can evaluate him closely. Find a new therapist who is good with ADHD, easy to see, and willing to help you. Good luck!

    • #43386
      Kevin Ju

      This reply was originally posted by user keksa23 in ADDitude’s now-retired community.

      Hi serenitynow,
      I just wanted to offer you a hug here as I can’t offer much else at this point. I’m a “new” ADHD parent – recently had my almost 10 year old officially diagnosed with ADHD (and possibly one or two other things, but he was diagnosed by a doctor with absolutely no bedside manner or ear at all so I have to find the time, amongst my other 100+ things to do between work and home, to get a second opinion), so I feel like my experience is very minimal at this point even though I read up on ADHD every single day and am at times overwhelmed at all the “possible” remedies (e.g., magnesium, zinc, behavior therapy, etc.)

      Still getting my head wrapped around everything while trying to juggle teacher’s complaints, child’s inability to complete even one task at home (I get home at 7 PM only to find no homework has been done during the three hours my husband has been home), and of course a husband who just doesn’t seem to get it. I bet this sounds all too familiar to you, so just wanted to offer a mom-to-mom hug and tell you to hang in there. At times, I’ll ride the bus with my sunglasses on just to fight back tears from all the angst I go through every day, alone, because my husband too does not seem to help. But thankfully I think God gives us moms another “wind” to help us pull through another day for our kids.

      It’s easy for folks to say “your husband should be helping”, but only those who go through it know exactly how impossible that is.

      Please remember to breath sometimes and give yourself a pat on the back.


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