My Forum Comments
Do meds work? Not always is the nutshell answer.
For me, meds changed my life. My wife and I have been together for over 10 years and we have two children. I was diagnosed with ADHD, anxiety and MDD (major depressive disorder about 4 and a half years ago. In the beginning of our relationship, we were just finishing up college and didn’t have many worries/responsibilities so other than a couple squabbles, we were fine. Then we got married and decided to have children. I’ll be honest, things were rough when my son was born. I often forgot to do things, i would completely not think of important things that were going on, i’d get over frustrated and angry and stupid little things. It wasn’t until just before my daughter was born that my wife told me something needed to be done because I wasn’t acting like a father and husband. I was basically another child in the house my wife had to keep track of. I started looking into things on my own and realized i may have ADHD. I researched as much as i could, took online quizzes and everything was pointing to ADHD. I always thought it was a “hyper” thing (the H) but that is not always the case. I have Inattentive ADHD and at first glance, i seem fine, I in actuality had a chemcial inbalance in my brain and it was effecting my life. I talked to my doctor and he prescribed methylphenidate (Ritalin) and a depression med (forgot what it was, i don’t take it anymore). For me it was like night and day. The following day i took my meds and went to work. I was so much happier, i was able to focus and got so much work done that i was falling behind on. That night after work i went home and was telling my wife how great the day was and i almost started crying. I was thinking back to all the times in my life where i was told i was being lazy or where i felt i was stupid because i didn’t do homework or didn’t do well in school. So many times in my life came rushing back at me where i realized i could have gotten through it better if only i was diagnosed when i was a child. It was a lot to take in but over the past 4 and a half years i’ve realized that i was only “depressed” because of how my ADHD was making me feel. I no longer take depression meds but i do also take anxiety meds because i tend to be a little more “angry” at stupid little things for no reason but between my ADHD meds and my anxiety meds, i feel like i can actually live my life. I am happier. I cherish every day with my wife and kids because they have been there with me through this all.
My son was diagnosed with ADHD about a year and a half ago and because of all i went through, we tried not giving him meds because we didn’t want to push meds on our son. We went so long, struggling with him and just trying to have a conversation with him and getting no where. Finally, just before he started kindergarten we talked to his doctor about meds and she thought it was a good idea to give them a try. Our son is completely different but also still his loveable self. We can actually talk to him and he sees us and listens. Sure he is still a little “much” but it made my wife and i cry seeing the difference in him and how he can actually stay on task and he seems happier now as well. He can love things more now versus being all over the place not being able to focus.
Do meds work? Maybe not for everyone but they helped give me back my life and love life. I was lucky in that the first ADHD med i took is the one i still take today, because it works but sometimes it can take months of trying different things to get it right. I don’t know your partner, it could be a completely different situation but it does sound like they need some sort of help. You should not have to stretch yourself thin “dealing” with it but it is nice having someone around to have by your side. It is important that you take care of yourself first. Give them an ultimatem. Get help or I leave. If they truly want to be with you, then they should put forth the effort to make that work, mental issues or not. Everyone deserves to be happy and you have to do what you need to do to be happy.
Sorry for the long winded reply (it happens a lot for me). Hopefully my story helps a little and feel free to let me know if you have any questions.
Have a wonderful day!
Your friendly neighborhood ADHDude!
I know exactly how you and your husband feel. We knew right away from birth that our son was going to need extra attention. He would only fall asleep if we bounced him and it was a very specific way we had to bounce him and he could tell the difference (we obtained very strong calfs lol). I was diagnosed with adult ADHD a few years ago and looking at my parents, my father definitely has ADHD even though he has never been diagnosed (I can just tell and so can others). So it all started to make sense the more and more I researched and found out more about ADHD.
1. How old was your child when diagnosed? – Our son was 5 just turning 6 when we started seeing people about his behavior.
2. Did you decide to medicate right away, or did you wait? – My wife has worked with children and has a degree in child development so we tried since he was really little to do what we could at home with the knowledge she has. When it came to meeting with people we were hesitant at first because there is always a part of you in the back of your mind that will want you to not medicate a child. We did eventually start medicating because it helped me so much it was like a switch turning on in my brain and i didn’t want our son to struggle in life like I did.
3. If you waited, what was your final reasoning for opting to medicate vs going with other methods of treatment that don’t involve meds? – While it is highly possible that kids and adults can function without taking meds, for some it does work. For myself i tried for a couple years to control my ADHD without taking meds and it just wasn’t working and it was taking a toll on my wife having to care for multiple “children”. Meds will not 100% make everything better, but it will give someone with ADHD a jump start (depending on the person obviously) and other things can be learned at a more leisurely pace I guess you could say. Again, this is for our case, ADHD effects many people in many different ways.
4. Does your child also participate in therapy? If so, did they ever have therapy sessions before medication and did they seem to help at all before you added meds? – Our son does not currently participate in therapy because the meds have seemed to help so much that the therapist said there wasn’t really anything that we’d need to come in and see him for at this time. Obviously as he gets older and school becomes more difficult we may need help then but with him being so young and in kindergarten and loving school, there is no need for therapy at this time.
5. Which med does your child take, and at what dosage? – Our son takes an extended release 10mg of methylphenidate (Ritalin) in the morning which usually wears off around 3-4pm and then he takes a 5mg short acting methylphenidate after school which helps him at home and helps him to fall asleep (I know a stimulant to help you get to sleep, but it helps calm the brain. I take the same medication he does and it helps calm my brain so I’m not awake thinking about everything).
6. Do you notice a negative difference in your child with meds vs without? – So far there has been no negative differences in our son since he has started his meds. It has all been positive. It literally brought tears to our eyes to see the difference in our son’s behavior and actions while taking meds. He is able to focus and have conversations with us now. He used to be constantly stuck in the ADHD “world” where he was hearing us but couldn’t focus long enough to talk about anything. At supper time instead of constantly wiggling in his seat and falling off his chair getting hurt, he actually sits down with us and eats his food while we talk about our day and what he did in school.
7. Are you glad you decided to introduce medication as a treatment option? Do you have any regrets? – It has been amazing seeing our son’s transformation after taking meds. We just seem like an all around happier family. We ask him all the time if he likes taking the medication and how it makes him feel and he has said that he is happy that his brain and body can be calm. My wife and I have both shed our tears both from sadness and happiness. Sadness because we didn’t think we were good parents and weren’t doing enough but happiness that we can now feel happier, not having to yell as much because we get frustrated over every little thing.
I have ADHD so I apologize for the long responses but ADHD is a very passionate subject for me and I could go on for days. The most important thing to remember is that you are good parents. Yes its ok to get frustrated and feel how you do on those difficult days. The act of trying to help your child shows that you care and love them. Another thing to remember is that just because you start a medication, doesn’t mean you have fully committed to giving your child meds forever. You can always stop the meds. Like I said, meds don’t work for everyone but it has worked for us and I am so glad that both my son and I take meds.
Hope this helps. I am always open to talk about anything so feel free to send me a message if you have any other questions and I’ll do what I can to help. I always recommend a YouTube channel called “How to ADHD”. The woman, Jessica, has ADHD and she is amazing at presenting what a person with ADHD is going through and give awesome tips that can help anyone with ADHD no matter the age. She also has a TED talk that is AMAZING.
Have a great day!
I too understand what it feels like to be in that situation. There are groups in my state for support but they are over 2 hours away so I can’t really do that when i work full time and have a family that I try to spend time with as much as possible. When I was diagnosed with adult ADHD only a couple years ago, I was also diagnosed with depression and anxiety. I take ADHD meds and meds for anxiety and between the two I am feeling good about 99% of the time. Sure there are certain days that aren’t as great but I try to view my ADHD as a positive in my life. It makes me creative, it gives me passion for my hobbies. The best thing for me was finding what makes me happiest. For work i have a knack for figuring things out and trying to make things faster. I am an automated tester in which I create processes to make testing faster in my company which is amazing. At home I make sure to set aside time each week for playing videogames because they let my mind escape reality for a little while. It is what helps me and everyone is different but that is what I would concentrate on first. Making friends is super hard. I have lived in my city for over 3 years now and I only spend time with my family outside of work. I honestly can’t say I have a single friend. We have family friends that are mostly my wife’s friends but I don’t have a friend to turn to if I need to escape home.
I do second socknoggle’s recommendation of How to ADHD on YouTube. Her name is Jessica and I got introduced to her from her TEDtalk which is awesome, I highly recommend it. I recommend just starting with looking online for groups and people. Check ADDitude for your area and also check out MeetUp’s website. My city doesn’t have a group for ADHD but yours might. I’m not sure how old you are or if you are into videogames but I know that is a way I have met friends in the past.
Hope my rambling helped a little. I am on this website daily so if you ever need anyone to talk to, don’t hesitate to reach out.
I am in a similar position. My son is 5 and I have a 2 year old daughter. My son is a bear to get ready in the morning and on days my wife has off of work, we have kept him home from 4K just because he would miss half of school by the time he got ready.
We still struggle with him but some things that have helped us is basically turning everything into a game of sorts. Now with our son, this will last a little while then it isn’t a “game” anymore, its routine and he catches on to what we are doing lol. When getting dressed, we basically race him to getting ready. For our son he likes to be the “first one” when it comes to games and such so before I get ready for work, I go into his room and tell him that I am going to race him to getting dressed and if he wins, he gets to pick out what he wants for breakfast (actual breakfast options though, its not like he gets “anything” for breakfast). This helps quite a bit for us for getting dressed but we have to make sure we have the energy level for it because the more excited you are about it, the more he will find it exciting. My wife is a birth to five teacher for our school district and is currently teaching me Positive Solutions for our kids because sometimes my frustration level is too high and I need to work on keeping things positive. Negative emotions and actions with kids only makes things worse so always try to stay positive.
With eating I sometimes ask my son to help get breakfast ready. He likes helping and getting out things needed for making oatmeal or waffles or cereal so I try to include him in that process. Obviously you still have to make sure to get things done and sometimes a kid can slow a process but I feel the time it takes him to get stuff instead of me is shorter than the tantrums he throws when I am pushing him to do things instead. I’ve also tried switching up where breakfast is eaten. Every once in a while we pull out the Little Tykes picnic table from the play room to the kitchen and have a change of scenery. If its nice outside maybe sit at the patio furniture or porch step.
My son has not been officially diagnosed with ADHD but I have ADD and I see so many signs in him (aside from being a typical 5 year old) that he may have ADHD. I was diagnosed about 2 and a half years ago and it was such a relief because growing up I thought I was just a lazy kid. My mom was a single parent who worked a lot so I didn’t have a lot of support and it sucks knowing I could have accomplished so much more if I was diagnosed as a kid. As I mentioned before the most important thing (and I know this is hard some days…or a lot of days…) is to try and stay positive. Us ADD/ADHDers have such unique minds and we are unable to change to fit with the typical world so we have to change the world to fit with us. It takes time and I’ll admit I still have super hard days, but as long as you try, you are a great parent. In the words from one of my favorite movies “Never give up, Never surrender.” -Buzz Lightyear, Toy Story.