My 8 yr old son recently had to be sent to a behavioral treatment center and I am trying to understand what is going on. He told the principal he wanted to kill himself and we took him to the Doctor, after a discussing the issue with our son and the Doctor we felt the best treatment would be in the hospital. Once he was there they did all sorts of testing and came back with the diagnosis of ADHD, ODD and Depression.
Now for 3 years we have known he was ADHD and some issues with ODD, he has been on Ritalin, Concerta and Adderall all at different times. I took him off Concerta in April and went the rest or the school year and summer with out it and the begining of this school year too, he was fine. Minor not wanting to follow direction issues but could be redirected and was fine. He has been in SpecEd which seems to have led to lots of teasing and name calling and in teh end my son said this is where the feeling of being unwanted , no fiends and not liked just built up and he had enough.
At the treatment place they have put him on Strattera and Risperdal. I have visited or talked to my child everyday, he is in a trance I swear. It is not the kid I know , raised , or want him to be like. He is tired, no emotion and it makes me sick. I feel like they are drugging him to keep him calm in there but not really preparing him to leave and deal with the world.
Strattera is new to us so I don't know much about it, but I am not sure he needs it either, we were doing fine academically and mostly behavior wise too, it was the depression that got to him. Is there nothing else to treat depression in kids or why even medicate at all? can therapy and counseling work too. I feel like defore sedating we should teach and I don't think it is happening.
Is riperdal the right medication for the issue, because when I talked to the nurse she said they basically put everyone on it in there... seems like a deal with the drug company to me!
I think you have a complete handle on what is happening to your boy....its a shame it got to this point, if it wre me I would slowly with help, wean him off all the Meds, start him on Supplements.I felt very sad for him reading your post.Those are powerful meds, you are his parent maybe its time to tell them waht to do.Rewad some of the other posts here, scroll down to the dire warnings. most of all good luck
I don't think that you are getting the information that you need to make good decisions for your child. You say, "Strattera is new to us so I don't know much about it, but I am not sure he needs it". You need to find out how strattera works. It is different then the normal stimulant drug.
I assume that your child did not tell his principal that he wanted to kill himself while he was on ADHD med. It was only after he was taken off them that this occurred? I don't think you have an understanding of what having ADHD is like in a school setting. Summertime can be fine, the school year can be hell for a variety of reasons. Margypops is right, these are powerful medicines (well Risperdal is). However when an 8 year old threatens to kill himself, this is not a normal situation.
Don't do anything rash! You need to get more information about what is going on and what these medicines can do. Hopefully, you have informed the treatment center that you feel your child is acting like a zombie. Many times the initial dosage can be too high. And there are other anti-anxiety drugs like zoloft that could be used.
The main thing is that this is a very serious situation. Children don't get sent to a treatment center on a whim. I feel that you need to demand a very complete explanation of what is going on and what the future treatments will be. If you don't understand it, then ask again.
. Given the seriousness of the placement, this is not the time to start experimenting with supplements. Maybe in a year or two, once things have stabilized, but not now.
actually he did say it last year while he was on ADHD meds. We took him to a doctor then as well and they talked to him for a while maybe 2 months of weekly visits and then told us he didn't need to be seen. They also advised us to take him off the ADHD meds and see how he was.
It is not a lack of knowledge, I have done lots of research, but it is a desire to not overmedicate my child to where he becomes so immune to the outside world that he cannot cope with life unless he is on drugs of some sort. There are other options to treatment than harsh medications.
While I am not ADHD and you are right I don't know what it is like to be an ADHD child in school I do know that no medication makes the kids magically become nice, or the teasing to stop. I want my son to gain copeing skills and learn how to react in unkind situations.
I did talk to the treatment center and while he is there I don't seem to have alot of say but I already told them what I plan to do when he is home. Seeing as how the physican he has been seeing fro 3 year here agrees with me that he does not need the ADHD meds I know where I am going on that route. I also know that it s not normal for a child to say what he said but...
I have seen how my son gets attention and he will take it anyway it comes at school and at home. While here we try to do positive reinforcement at school he gets attention for all actions, and this is part of where this stems from. Last year when he was on meds and said it the world came to a stop , everyone was over him catering to him and not wanting to set anythign off... this is attention none the less and he feeds off of it, that is his game.
Whiel there are other things going on in our personal lives that i didn't disclose there is another reason he may have chosen this time right now to say such things when in teh past 8 months he has said nothing. As soon as we switched ADHD meds and then took him off the talk of suicide was gone until the 5th day of school. SO the issue is steming from school we already know that.
I am not trying to do anything rash but I am also not going to sit by and watch a loving kid turn into a drug dependant, feelingless child. One day at a time is how we are taking it.
Wow, so much going on here. Thank you for your response.
I am beginning to get the feeling that you may have a pretty intelligent child who may be playing the system a bit. That's not all that uncommon, but it does make it harder to deal with until the child gains enough maturity to see what is going on.
I agree with you completely when you say, "but I am also not going to sit by and watch a loving kid turn into a drug dependant, feelingless child." I am not advocating medication, but if it is done correctly the above should not happen. What I am really beginning to wonder about is the medical advice that you are getting. It seems all over the place and the worrisome thing about that is that it makes you start to distrust the system. Most studies I have seen on ADHD kids say that psychological help is an important part of dealing with ADHD. Unfortunately, finding the right psychologist is tough. It needs to be someone that can relate to the child, establish a relationship with them and show them coping skills. Thats a tall order to fill and probably expensive. But the depression bothers me. Read some of the posts by "theotterone", she has some excellent insights has she has dealt with this issue.
The school and especially the special ed dept. needs to know what is going on and to get behind you. The teasing can be stopped! However, when you said that, "everyone was over him catering to him and not wanting to set anythign off... this is attention none the less and he feeds off of it, that is his game." It will have to be carefully done.
I think the main thing I want to say to you, is don't try and deal with this by yourself. I have worked with special ed kids for almost 40 years as a teacher and principal. You have a bit of a unique situation going on here. One day at a time is definitely the right approach for you to take and I feel for you. But do try and find some more help.
By the way, it perfectly ok to ease him back into the school setting. Find the teacher or time that he is the most comfortable with and go with just that. Then slowly add to to that.
Every child reacts differently to different kinds of medications, and as any Psychiatrist will tell you, it is all trial and error unfortunately. When you find the right drug(s), you still may have to play with the dosages to get it right. One thing I might suggest is to ask your doctor about starting him on something called Fish Oil pills. These have had good luck in moderating mood, which is what the Risperdol is doing. They are available over the counter, and are fairly cheap- they were originally used to keep hearts healthy, and dont have the side effects like these other drugs.
I am not a doctor, so I am not qualified as a child social worker to say what meds will work, but I would tell your psychiatrist about these new symptoms and ask if he can have a med change or dosage change and consider adding the fish oil pills. I would say be patient- it gets easier, I promise.
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