easy child wants medications for ADD? Please respond

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by hearthope, Feb 18, 2007.

  1. hearthope

    hearthope New Member

    Suggestions please!!!!

    My easy child is struggling with her attention span, she has asked to see a dr. for medications.
    Has always made good grades but now in her junior yr is struggling (we saw a drop last yr and contributed it to all the issues we were dealing with with difficult child)

    She is forgetful,will start a conversation and forget the subject,can not stay on task. We have called her "a true blond" jokingly. She is having problems staying focused at volleyball practice.

    I am not a fan of medications, my difficult child was misdx'ed and went we through many medications and many different docs.

    I want to handle easy child's doctor visit right. Please share what steps I should take and the right questions to ask.
  2. dreamer

    dreamer New Member

    I am not sure the right questions to ask etc...but----I wanted you to be aware some kids, especially in HS will ask for medications for ADD ADHD becuz the kids all know that it has been discussed grades can go higher for those on stimulants. Kids buy these medications from each other, and they steal them....becuz even if you do not have ADD ADHD they can help you focus better. ANd docs might be suspicious of a kid that age wanting those type medications.
  3. oceans

    oceans New Member

    I have a friend who's easy child did not get good grades. When they were in HS, they were taken in for an evaluation and diagnosed ADD. The medications helped to bring up the grades, and they were able to get accepted to college.

    My easy child did well up until HS and it became a real struggle for him because he had no attention span. He said that he was pretty certain that he had ADD, but did not want any medications. He was afraid because of watching the medication roller coaster difficult child has been on the past 6 years. I did not push it as he was passing and got accepted to college. He is very smart and probably could get honor roll with the medications, but he is almost 18 and I decided that it was his choice.

    These things are sometimes missed in very bright kids, until the work gets excessively difficult.

    If it were my easy child, I would probably bring her in for an evaluation.
  4. hearthope

    hearthope New Member

    I don't think that is the case, but the issue really came to a head after she talked with her math tutor (senior student) he struggled with grades and explained to her how much better he could focus with medications.

    We have questioned if she was add for many yrs. I was so engulfed with difficult child and his difficult child'ness that I think I was blind to easy child and what was going on.

    She went from honor classes, to struggling with reg. class. At the time my difficult child was disappearing,in a grouphome,jail,rehab, I went through a major depression and I put easy child's struggles on all that was happening at home.

    I see now more than ever that she does have trouble concentrating, I don't know if my eyes are finally open, if posting on this site has given me a different insight or if if has become more pronounced with her age.
  5. needabreak

    needabreak New Member

    I agree with dreamer.i dont know if they do this everywhere but now i have to get a authozation to get my sons ritallin fiiled and this just started this month.some one told me that it had to do with teenagers getting these medications but not really needing them .im sure there is more to it but that is what i was told.also you have to have the symptoms for a certain amount of time dont you?have the teachers said anything concerning your daughters performance.hope everything works out.
  6. hearthope

    hearthope New Member

    Oceans ~ How do I find the right doctor? there is not one doctor that I used with difficult child that I would go back to. We never got anywhere but a circle with difficult child and his docs and diagnosis's.
  7. Astrid

    Astrid Member

    I think it is a good idea to have your easy child evaluated, but do not focus on the ADD thing oto much. I think it's best to consult a dr. over her problems, cause if they cause problems in school and/or at home, they need attention. It could be ADD - some ADD kids keep up real well till they reach a point where they hit the wall and then fall apart -, but it could be other things. If the problems are due to issues iwht difficult child, that doesn't mean it's not significant. Many siblings suffer cause of their sibs' behavior problems. I wouldsay, don't be too quick asking for medications, but do get the problems addressed.
  8. hearthope

    hearthope New Member

    NAB ~ No, I have not spoken with her teachers. She attends my difficult child's old school and I have been through the ringer with all there dealing with difficult child.

    This is something I would do on my own, if easy child chose to tell the teacher it would be her choice. I have made this decision from looking back on what happened with my difficult child at school.

    She has failed one class, and is struggling in her math. She has b's in the other two at this time. My easy child wants to attend a major university and is now realizing how hard she is struggling to keep up her grades in hs. She wants to play volleyball at college as well and is struggling with the higher level of rotations and remembering to be where she is supposed to be at any given time on the court. (she is playing jr olympic level in tourneys now) The mistakes she makes on the court are from her second guessing where she is supposed to be.
  9. oceans

    oceans New Member

    I am not familiar with the area you live. A good place to start is a large teaching hospital or university medical center. Do you have one near where you live? That would be a good place to start. I have also used referrals which came by word of mouth from others who liked who their kids were seeing.
  10. Nancy

    Nancy Well-Known Member Staff Member

    We just went through this with our easy child daughter who is a sophomore in college with a 3.9 GPA. She had been finding it very difficult to focus and concentrate lately and in all honesty we have questioned for years why she was so forgetful and unfocused. She always got very good grades but had to work very hard for them and is now finding it more difficult to keep up with the subject matter in college.

    She has been seeing a psychiatrist for anxiety for several years so she asked about medications for ADD. We had to fill out a questionnaire as did she and she came out high on the ADD scale. She has recently been started on Strattera because it is a non stimulant and the psychiatrist thought that would not interfere with her anxiety like a stimulant would.

    Perhaps she should have been on ADD medications years ago, perhaps that would have prevented some of the anxiety from being such a perfectionist and finding it difficult to concentrate.

    You can start with your family dr. Since she is a easy child I wouoldn't hesitate to have her talk to someone. If she can be helped then it's worth it.

  11. hearthope

    hearthope New Member

    Nancy~ my easy child sounds alot like yours, we questioned things she did, but mostly looked at it as her personality. Just this yr she has really struggled.

    I hesitate though with therapist, I went through a program in the county for a therapist. It was a program that was offered but not advertised through the school, she ended up with the therapist that my difficult child son was using that got in on the tail end of his treatment.
    She said easy child has major depression and wanted to put her on medications for it. This is after a 30 min counsel, with me and easy child. No one that knows easy child agreed with this.
    Through several personal references, I called another therapist, she met with easy child once for about 2 hrs., said easy child was great, she got it all out of her system and is no way in a depression. She said call back as needed and easy child has not needed to call back.
    This therapist is the same one that led me to my treatment of depression.

    I guess I am so concerned because we went through 3 different medications with me, the last being the worse, where I had ideals of suicide that made me discontinue the medications against the therapist and the docs advice

    I have not seen either of them since. I believe one of the medications helped get me over the :censored2:, but I am scared to think what may have happened if I continued to take them
  12. kris

    kris New Member

    i think girls are grossly underdiagnosed when it comes to adhd. they are far less inclinded to be swining from the ceiling lights....they are more likely to be easily distracted.....the typical dreamer.

    i'd start with-her primary care physician. hopefully he will feel capable of trialing her on either strattera or a stimulant & hopefully the first trial will yield good results. i don't hold that everyone with-add needs to be seen by a psychiatrist. it's not a psychiatric disorder tho it does have mental health implications. add/adhd is neurological at it's base.

    if primary care doctor doesn't feel qualified he will most certainly refer you out....at least for the evaluation. hopefully after that he will handle medication management for you.

  13. oceans

    oceans New Member

    I would not go to a therapist. I would go to a psychiatrist, or see a family Dr like Nancy suggested. Either one could prescribe the proper medication if it is needed. The family Dr might be able to tell you who a good psychiatrist would be in the area you live.
  14. hearthope

    hearthope New Member

    Thank you all for the good advice, i will start with the medication doctor and go from there.
    What is the difference in ritalin,strattera and adderall?
  15. Wiped Out

    Wiped Out Well-Known Member Staff Member

    We just went through this with our easy child. For years we questioned possible ADD but one night she just broke down saying how hard it was for her to focus on her work at home and at school.

    We went to her pediatrician who had the teachers and us fill out a questionairre. After gathering all the info. we decided to try Adderall. For her it has been great. She seems much more focused than ever before-her grades increased greatly.
  16. Sara PA

    Sara PA New Member

    The fact is that almost anyone will do better in school if they take stimulants. Back in the 60's, I knew baseball players who took greenies bacause the drug helped their concentration which they needed to play. In the 70's it was well known that drinking coffee before tests improved memory and concentration. Stims are widely used in colleges these days as study aids or to get better grades. They work that way for almost everyone. There's a reason amphetamines are abused in the workplace; they enable people to focus and get their work done quicker. There's a reason they are called "performance enhancing drugs" in the major sports organizations. You don't have to be ADD/ADHD to get the benefits of taking these drugs.
  17. hearthope

    hearthope New Member

    That is why I am here questioning the right steps to take, I do not want to medicate her if she doesn't need it.

    Are all ADD drugs stims?
  18. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    Ritalin, Adderal, Concerta, Focalin are all stimulants used for ADHD. Strattera is not a stimulant and works differently. Each
    person is different and the reaction the medications also differs. As
    you see by Wiped Out, the Adderal can be a charm. on the other hand, my kids
    displayed anger and negative side effects after two days on Adderal. The Ritalin and subsequently the longer acting Concerta work like a charm. Other people in the CD family have
    had exactly the opposite effects. It's all trail and error.

    Although I completely agree that you need to see professional guidance, I wonder reading your post if her difficulties could
    be signs of math LDs. If her other grades are fine, and the
    sequencing for sports and advanced math are the problems. It's

    Good luck in finding the right answer. I think all of us have
    ignored our PCs while surviving the difficult child stress. Once again, you
    are not alone! DDD
  19. Nancy

    Nancy Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I think her family dr is a good place to start. We would have gone that route if easy child didn't have a psychiatrist for her anxiety. Our family dr is wonderful and would have helped easy child but because of her anxiety issues it was better to use the psychiatrist.

    Perhaps everyone can do better in school if on stimulants, but everyone doesn't need them. It was obvious that our easy child, and it sounds like yours, struggled for years in trying to do it without medications and they are finally finding it very difficult to perform.

    That's why I like Strattera, it is not a stimulant and is not abused and has no street value. Not that easy child would ever do that, but difficult child would in her dark days and I feel much safer this way. There is no question why she is taking them. If they help her in college that's great. She isn't taking them to outdo someone else, get a better grade, get into a more prestigous position, qualify for grad school, get a scholarship, etc. She wants to be able to read her text books without having to spend hours reading and rereading them only to discover she didn't comprehend one word.

    I say good for your easy child in knowing her body well enough to know that something isn't right. I'll be anxious to hear what happens.


    P.S. I like what DDD said. For years we ignored our easy child because of our difficult child's needs. We accept medications for our difficult child, why not for our easy child. It doesn't make her a difficult child.
  20. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    I have a different take on it. I'd want her evaluated before being tried on stims and a family doctor won't do that. You can't know for sure that it's ADHD and stims are badly abused by teens. Not saying she'd go there, but my daughter, who is now 22, was deeply involved in the drug culture as a teen. She scared me out of my wits about ADHD drugs because they are used/abused so badly on the streets. Kids fake ADHD just to get them, and they are given out with very little regard! My daughter says her and her friends would crush them in pillcrushers and snort them to get high, either alone or with other drugs, and the most "popular" abusive ADHD medication is Adderall, which she stole from my son and sold for $10 a pill. She is ultra-honest about her drug use days now that she is clean. I had no idea how badly these medications are abused. I'd want to be 100% certain that my teen needed the medications first. And it's true that college kids have been popping stims for years to study for tests, ADHD or not. They make everyone attend better, but they can also cause problems. Since my daughter AND my son were both misdiagnosed (and both appeared to have ADHD), I am loathe to tell other parents to just ask for medication without having intensive testing. Something is in the family--the difficult child has problems--why risk triggering something that isn't there yet, since she is doing fairly well? When she goes to college what if she drinks and also takes stims? Just a few other things to think about. Trust me, until my daughter told me she'd used drugs, and then gave me the lowdown on them, I had no idea myself about these stims. I didn't understand the degree of thier abuse. The teens know how to fake ADHD to get the prescriptions. My daughter said, "There's a computer test you take, and you just flunk it on purpose, and they'll give you something." Bottom line: Don't diagnosis. yourself and take her to a neuropsychologist (I'd do that over a psychiatrist because ADHD is NOT a psychiatric disorder) and then weigh the pros and cons. If it were my kid, and it turned out she had ADHD which was not able to be contained with interventions, I would consider only Straterra. It's not a street drug. I wish you and your easy child lots of luck. It's hard when the "easy" one starts having problems!!! This is JMHO too, by the way.