Terrified about treatment

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    • #66380

      I’m just so overwhelmed. I finished reading Dr. Amen’s book Healing ADHD and now I’m even more afraid to choose a treatment than I was before. He outlines these seven types of ADHD and my son sounds like he fits in to a few of them. Each type has such specific guidelines– use *THIS* for type 2 and 3, but NEVER use that at all for type 5 or 7, and so on. How do I know where to begin? Our pediatrician likes to put her patients on a little Adderall, but if there are really so many different types of ADHD, it doesn’t sound very wise to “like to” put all your patients on the same thing, does it? How did you and your doctors decide where to begin for treatment?

      I’m also terrified of stimulants after reading that 3 out of 4 children with mental health family histories experience psychotic effects from stimulant drugs. My sweet 9 year old was adopted from foster care and has a biomom with schizophrenia. I also know about the scary statistics for people with untreated ADHD. We are on Intuniv at the moment and it’s just not doing a great job at all.

      Looking for some feedback and support from Moms who have this down. I’m just so afraid.

    • #66385

      I completely understand your concerns. I’ve never read Dr. Amen’s book, but I was immediately skeptical when the book says to do this but NEVER that, etc. Every child responds to the medications differently. First off, does your doctor know about the history of schizophrenia? If he does, he probably took that into account when recommending a medication.

      If you have questions, don’t be afraid to ask your doctor. If you’re worried that there might be psychotic effects, don’t be afraid to ask your doctor. And never, ever feel bad about getting a second medical opinion if you are really concerned. I don’t know how many questions I’ve asked the doctor that I’ve had to preface with “I know this is a dingy question, but …..”

      Personally, I was a mix of terrified and guilt-ridden when I decided to let my son try stimulants. Terrified because what if the side effects were bad, like really bad — and guilt-ridden because I felt like putting him on stimulants was the lazy way out. My son has been on stimulants for 3 years now and I have completely changed my tune. My son’s doctor said something similar when we first started. He told us that the process was a lot of trial and error but for children like my son, he liked to start them on Concerta. He recommended Concerta because, in his practice, that was the most effective medication for children that exhibited the same traits as my son. He also said if Concerta didn’t work, we’d try something else. So even though he was starting at a medication he prescribed to many patients, if that medication had not worked for my son – he would have been moved to another. We also started at the lowest dose and slowly ticked our way up until we got to an optimal level.

      I referred a friend to my son’s doctor. He went to the doctor and the doctor prescribed him something completely different from my son, but said the same spill. “For your son’s traits, I recommend this because I’ve seen results”. So he definitely just wasn’t handing out Concerta to everyone that walked in the door.

    • #66428
      Penny Williams

      You should work with a psychiatrist or pediatric ADHD specialist on medication for your son. Most pediatricians just don’t have the breadth of knowledge and experience to prescribe and manage ADHD medications.

      ADHD Doctor? Psychologist? Therapist? Finding the Best Treatment Professional

      In fact, there are two types of stimulants for ADHD: methylphenidates and amphetamines. Most individuals do well on one type or the other, but not both. So, if your son does better on methylphenidate, I’m not sure your pediatrician will ever get there, since they always use Adderall (which is amphetamine type). Plus, the statement of “a little” means your clinician doesn’t understand that dosing stimulants is based on neurotransmitter needs, genetics, and metabolism. “A little” might not make any difference, or even make things worse, for many people.

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

      There are also non-stimulant medications available — so maybe you can try that first.

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

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