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Schizopherenia and Stimulants in children
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Schizopherenia and Stimulants in children

My 8 yr old son was dx with ADHD combined when he was 4 yrs old. Since that time he has been on different stimulant medications. For the last 2 yrs he has taken Concerta with the most success. In the last year we have really began to worry that there was something else going on. A therapist told us she thought he may have Aspergers Syndrome and told us we should get a psycholgical evaluation. His psychiatrist diagnosed him with Aspergers, but we still wanted an eval. He has finished the eval with a psychologist and to her surprise as well as ours she found he has schizophrenia as well as ADHD. I think my dad has schizophrenia as well so I guess it shouldn't be such a surprise. While researching this I found that stimulant medications can cause symptoms of schizophrenia and/or open the door for early onset. My question is whether or not we should take him off the Concerta. Will this make any difference? Also any information about schizophrenia in children would be helpful. I do not think it is severe in my son, but I am worried and am unsure of how to approach this.
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Avatar_m_tn
  A very good question and one I cannot remember seeing asked in the 4 years I have been monitoring this forum.  It is technical enough that you would, I think, definitely want a doctors opinion.  I would certainly go back to your psychatrist for that opinion.  I believe they are the only ones with the training to give you that information.  And if your present psychiatrist cannot - ask for a referral to one who can.  Good Luck.
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Avatar_n_tn
Concerta is a amphetamine based drug, basically  speed. I adopted a boy, where his bio-logical father was labeled Schizophrenic, and his bio had alcohol and pharmaceutical drug dependencies. The Pediatrician issued a prescription of Concerta to him, and it has a "black box" warning by the FDA, specifically stating do not administer this to patients with alcohol or drug abuse history, and it is "not" a cure for ADHD.

It is in my son's genetic make up / DNA that this drug could do more damage than good. Because the warning also went on to state, long term affects, can be damaging. Pediatrician issue these prescription wildly, as if this is the cure, but it is not, as the FDA states it is not.

McNeil who manufactures the drug, must be offering a "Hawaiian Vacation" through the back door, for generating the most prescriptions.their is corruption in all industries. This is the type of medication issued to the "James Holmes" and columbine kids for their ADHD. Their are other ways to cure ADHD. I personally will start with diet, and exercise, and not administer synthetic speed to my son.      
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Avatar_m_tn
     You definitely are correct.  Concerta and all the other stim drugs are not cures for ADHD and have never been given as a cure.  Unfortunately, due to uninformed, too busy, or lazy (?) doctors and parents - it has been treated as the 'cure" - and the child never has learned coping skills.
   Here is a good link to help you with diet ideas - http://www.medhelp.org/add-adhd/slideshows/9-Worst-Foods-for-ADD---Plus-1-That-Can-Help/20/2
   There has not been too many (if any) studies done on how exercise can help ADHD - but it sure helped Michael Phelps deal with his ADHD.  It is known that exercise stimulates the production of serotonin (which is also what stim meds do) - so I think it certainly should be helpful.  And if he has something like Sensory Integration Disorder  (many symptoms just like ADHD) - it is one of the key ways to deal with SIDS.  You might want to check out SIDs symptoms since ADHD is often mistaken for SIDs.  Good site here - http://sensory-processing-disorder.com/  and we have our own expert on SIDS here - http://www.medhelp.org/forums/Sensory-Integration-Disorder-SID/show/1396
    I also recommend the book - "The ADD/ ADHD Answer book," by Susan Ashley  because it gives you a lot of ways to help your son at home and in school (without meds).
    Finally, if you don't mind - I am really curious how you came on this two year old post (I am glad you found us).  Did you google something and we just popped up?  
   Anyway, hope we can be of help.  Best wishes.
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757137_tn?1347200053
We do not know the long-term effects of the stimulant medications given willy nilly to young developing individuals. That is why, in all but the most serious cases, I advocate behavioral therapy. We will never know if your son was damaged by his medications. We do know that he developed more problems as he got older.
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Avatar_n_tn
Sandman, you are correct. I just Google it. I am in the middle of a divorce where the plaintiff and i before divorce openly discussed to never introduce chemicals as the solution to his behavior. Especially due to his genetic / DNA make up of his bio-logical father. This was her discussion, not mine. I even agreed to quit drinking beer, to help ensure this is not around him.

Absolutely too risky, and long term effects. I personally do not want another James Holmes in society. If i have to take the long road, and work it out through diet, then so be it. Popping a pill is not the solution, but a mask to hide the real dangers created. This was her solution, not mine. I am going to work it out through diet, and physical exercise.

Plus, thank you very much for responding, and giving me other avenues to pursue.
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Avatar_m_tn
     Oh, tough situation you are in.  Glad you are willing to give it all up for your son.  Couple of other quick thoughts.
    Do get the "The ADD/ ADHD Answer book," by Susan Ashley, it really will help you.  And the sections on how to help with school and homework and discipline are very worthwhile.  
    One other thought.  My first recommendation is always to learn all you can about ADHD.  You have to become the expert because a lot of docs aren't.  Second is to try and deal with it with out meds.  Third, sometimes the ADHD is just so overwhelming for a child that something extra is needed.  His bio may of had alcohol and pharmaceutical drug dependencies because he was self medicating since he had no clue what was going on with him.  Point being that if the meds are used correctly and if they are needed - then they are a useful part of coping with ADHD.  So do your research - its for your childs welfare.  
   Anyway, I can be of further help - please feel free to post.  Good luck and best wishes!
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Avatar_n_tn
Personally, what ever i can do with out any medication is the right route. I will go the distance to ensure he clears this hurdle, through his puberty and teenage years. The most difficult, with pressures from school, in all levels, and personal friendships, being cool. A lot ahead, but we together can work on this and Win! Patients is key . . .  
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757137_tn?1347200053
As is often the case, I go along with Sandman2 who has a genuine understanding of children. Where we diverge is in the trust accorded to the so-called experts. After all, it is the MD's and PhD's who are prescribing the harmful ADHD medications. They are also responsible for the over-diagnosis.
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Avatar_m_tn
   Nah, I do trust some of the experts.  But a lot of the docs doing the prescribing don't have the time (or possibly the information) to do anything but hand out pills.  Thats why I always preach that the parents gotta get informed.
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Avatar_m_tn
      Definitely go for it!  Any ideas I can give to help, please ask.  
If you don't mind let me know how old he is so I can send you a few more appropriate links on ways to help him (without meds).
      For example, here is one of the latest kind of cutting edge technologies that may prove to be helpful - http://www.sharpbrains.com/blog/2012/07/18/study-adaptive-working-memory-training-can-reduce-adhd-related-off-task-behavior/
    My other thought is to always make sure he knows what is going on with him.  He needs to know himself as well as you do.  Here again, I don't know his age, but there are age appropriate books out there that explain ADHD that can be helpful.  Stay in touch!
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757137_tn?1347200053
Again, I agree. But it is sad that to be able to trust you have to study a certain amount of medicine yourself. You have to know enough to know when to take or not take advice. Or when to find a different doctor.
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Avatar_f_tn
Check with your ljcal chikdrens hospital and see what programs they have for BH.  Here in So Cal we out our son in a 10 day partial hospitalization program that was 7 hrs. A day and inckuded grouo and individual therapy, classes on coping skills and a 6 week follow up that included the whole family.   Everyone in the house need help...we all have to learn to be understanding, comoassionate and patient.  It changes all of our lives.  So medication or not...the cooing skills are key.  Keep asking questions and remember your child needs you to advocate for them.  My son has ADHD/Anxiety disorder/OCD.  Its a tough road, but knowledge is power and your child needs you.  Keep up the good work and do the work.  Its worth it.   Also....try to focus on one thing at a time.....that has helped our family a lot in behavior modification....its less overwhelming to the ADHD person also.  Hang in thers and if you happen to kive in So Cal.  Check out Loma Linda BHI.  Its amazing and your insurance ahould pay for the program.
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Avatar_f_tn
Check with your ljcal chikdrens hospital and see what programs they have for BH.  Here in So Cal we out our son in a 10 day partial hospitalization program that was 7 hrs. A day and inckuded grouo and individual therapy, classes on coping skills and a 6 week follow up that included the whole family.   Everyone in the house need help...we all have to learn to be understanding, comoassionate and patient.  It changes all of our lives.  So medication or not...the cooing skills are key.  Keep asking questions and remember your child needs you to advocate for them.  My son has ADHD/Anxiety disorder/OCD.  Its a tough road, but knowledge is power and your child needs you.  Keep up the good work and do the work.  Its worth it.   Also....try to focus on one thing at a time.....that has helped our family a lot in behavior modification....its less overwhelming to the ADHD person also.  Hang in thers and if you happen to kive in So Cal.  Check out Loma Linda BHI.  Its amazing and your insurance ahould pay for the program.
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