View Full Version : If you medicate for ADHD

12-14-2016, 11:22 AM
Can you please give me a pep talk?

DS has struggled with attention and impulsivity for years. Now in middle, the demands are higher (normal), and it is harder for him to keep it together. I think he would really benefit from meds (DH agrees) and want to try him on one. Ped is on board.

One psychologist I was speaking to recently has made me second guess meds. He admittedly is anti-medication and says we are turning kids into addicts with these controled substances. That the withdrawal symptoms they experience when the meds wear off is terrible, causing mood swings, agitated, acting out behaviors, etc. This guy is very experienced in his field and has many, many pediatric patients.

What do you think wise mamas? Please share your thoughts and experiences.

12-14-2016, 11:55 AM
I am 100% happy with my decision to medicate DD. She simply cannot concentrate without it. It is obvious if she misses her meds based on her grades in class that day. You can start small and go up if you need to. We use Quilivant so that we can adjust the dosage as necessary.

12-14-2016, 02:04 PM
I think, if I were you, I'd try to find another psychologist. I know this is easier said than done, but if whatever it is you're doing doesn't seem to be keeping your child on track, you really need to explore other options.

While I agree that meds are not the be-all and end-all, they complement other therapies.

In children who need them, they make a night-and-day difference. There are children in my & DH's extended families who are medicated for ADHD during the school year, but they do not use meds on the weekends or during breaks/summer vacation - this is all managed with the input of their pediatricians and psychologists. The kids are doing well.

I feel like it's irresponsible as a parent to not consider meds if my child would benefit from them.

We are cautious about meds for our DD because they are stimulant medications, and she has a structural issue with her heart, so we looped her cardiologist into the discussion. We now have a plan for starting meds once we find a psychologist who takes our insurance.

12-14-2016, 04:24 PM
I think, if I were you, I'd try to find another psychologist.

While I agree that meds are not the be-all and end-all, they complement other therapies.

I feel like it's irresponsible as a parent to not consider meds if my child would benefit from them.
ITA with all if this. DD is highly impulsive. I felt like all I did was correct her; I really started to worry about her self confidence, because she was always in trouble...she just could not control her impulsiveness. She is on Intuniv, it's not a stimulant and not controlled. We tried a few stimulants and, for her, they were awful. But I know for most, stimulants are very helpful.

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12-16-2016, 07:29 PM
Both of my children are on meds, they both began at the beginning of 4th grade, and it makes a HUGE difference, like night and day. We have not had any side effects, no appetite loss, or crash after they wear off. They both take Methelphenidate extended release.

My X husband was not on board initially, but he wasn't around when they were struggling in school, I was meeting with the teachers a lot who all identified them with classic ADHD, our pediatrician has been helpful. Now that they are both successful my x is fine with it.

01-02-2017, 02:18 AM
It surprises me to hear that a psychologist would discourage parents from seeking medical help for a child who
is struggling. Ds3 was getting C's and D's in school. He had very few friends because he was too hyper and annoying for most people, including his siblings. It was impossible to take him to most public places. Now that he is seeing a behavioral therapist and we have him on Concerta with a Ritalin booster pill in the afternoons, he's doing extremely well. He gets straight A's, his class decided to appoint him class president, he has 2 girlfriends and even his siblings seek him out to play with. He can do math equations very quickly in his head which he couldn't do before the medication. The medication helps him to focus. It completely changed his life.

New studies are showing a link between adults with undiagnosed ADHD and addiction to drugs and alcohol. You should ask your psychologist if he's aware of these studies. The theory is basically, that these adults are seeking ways to slow down their hyperactive minds, use the illegal drugs and/or alcohol for that purpose and then become addicted. It's so important for children and adults to be diagnosed and get the proper help! Now, that said, it's important to get the right medication for the right person. That can be especially difficult due to the shortage of psychiatrists in certain parts of the country. I have heard of pediatricians who are not particularly patient about helping parents try out the different medications for their child. Some medications can cause severe mood swings and other difficult symptoms (Vyvanse and Focalin did this to our son. Yet those work well for friends of ours). The key is to find the medication that works while causing the fewest side effects possible. What side effects are you willing to deal with? The Concerta and Ritalin work amazingly well for Ds3 but they cause some OCD, a bit of anxiety and he picks at his skin. We are working with his therapist to find ways to deal with his skin picking and he is taking Prozac for his anxiety and OCD. The Prozac is helping his anxiety wonderfully.

If I were you, I'd try to find a therapist who is more on board with your goals. I know how hard that can be. Maybe start looking and asking for referrals now while continuing with this psychologist. But I'd straight up let him know that you are leaning towards medication and ask him if he be will able to get behind your decision and support you.

01-08-2017, 10:39 PM
Not a parent of a child, but I work within special education services at an elementary school, and I go into general education classrooms and observe a student when doing an evaluation for special education. Classroom are very loud and incredibly distracting - there's so many bodies and so much going on. I've seen students not be able to focus on the classroom task, this is going to affect their learning. I've seen students that are impulsive and get redirected by the teacher every few minutes, this is going to affect their self-esteem. Even worse is when other students start correcting their behavior (Teacher, X is out of line AGAIN!). I've seen students without friends as they couldn't calm their bodies and were in other student's personal space and just annoying them. I've have students tell me they have no friends and no one likes them. I have a 5th grader tell me he likes himself better when on the medication as he can sit and listen and doesn't get into trouble all the time (we were discussing him being physically impulsive that day in the hallway and he told me it's easier if he has had medication that morning - he gets it inconsistently per parent due to issues with health insurance).

I'm a proponent of whatever works to help your child be successful in an environment that they have difficulty functioning in. Yes, there are classroom modifications and strategies that can be taught, but it's not always enough help, and these take time and maturity to learn. Plus you have to focus to remember to use the strategy! I feel adults can be more successful with strategies than children, as children require reminders from an adult and the adult can fail to remind them.

I'd ask the psychologist what should be done instead to have your son be able to keep everything together. I'd pursue those avenues as well as look at medications and use a "we'll give everything a try" strategy, so our son can be successful.

01-11-2017, 08:01 PM
I'd look for another therapist, honestly. DD2 is on medication for anxiety and adhd. No downside only upside. Not concerned about any type of "addiction" at all.
These kids have their self-esteem, relationships, and academics negatively impacted by impulsivity and inattention. While therapy can help to some extent for some mild cases perhaps, medication often does the "heavy-lifting" for treatment of ADHD.

01-11-2017, 09:48 PM
Not an ADHD parent, but I'm just curious what the Dr is recommending, since he doesn't want to go the meds route?

01-11-2017, 11:34 PM
He sounds like he has an agenda and I would look for another doc or ask ped to prescribe. The kids we know taking meds for ADHD have only seen great benefits and are not addicts, many don't use them during the summer or on weekends. And some friends of my son developed more and are not using them and they clear their bodies in a day. I would do a trial of one and if you don't see benefit or have negative experience, stop. Good luck.

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01-12-2017, 01:45 AM
ADHD meds are the gold standard for medication efficacy. Truly life changing and miraculous for many kids.

My DH was ardently against meds for DS1. He was diagnosed with ADHD and didn't like the way he felt on the meds. It turns out that he has anxiety as well as ADHD and the ADHD meds would exacerbate his anxiety which made him miserable.

For DS1 on the other hand, we've only seen good results!

Any poster here on the BBB recommended the podcasts put out by ADDitude magazine and some of them are AMAZING. I highly recommend listening (if you can) to a few on medication. This one is really amazing:


Hope this helps!