husband refuses medication for difficult child. Is there anything I can do

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by idohope, Jun 3, 2010.

  1. idohope

    idohope Member

    At this point we have had multiple tdocs and a psychiatrist tell us that feel medication is appropriate and necessary for our difficult child. Although initially willing to go to the psychiatrist husband is now saying that he will not go the medication route. We have a followup scheduled with the psychiatrist and at that appointment we will discuss the specific medication and dosing etc that the psychiatrist recommends and husband can get all his questions answered but at this point he is saying that he will not medicate her.

    Can I medicate her if husband does not consent? Is there any legal action that I can or would need to take in order to be able to give her medication?

    I will definitely continue to work with psychiatrist and try to address husband's concerns and fears about medication but I consider this a "hope for the best but prepare for the worst" situation and I would like to know what I might have to do if he continues to refuse.

  2. nandz

    nandz Guest

    I was in the same boat as you for a while. My husband was in extreme denial about our difficult child and his diagnosis. He was unwilling to medicate. It finally took our difficult child getting some reports from his kindergarten teachers for him to really open his eyes to realize that difficult child really does have some issues that needed addressed. It was only after that time did he finally open up to me and tell me his concerns about medications. He finally realized that difficult child needed medications to better improve his way of life. Now that difficult child is on the medications, husband really sees the difference in his behaviors and attitudes. It took some time. Your husband may be in denail or he may be just really worried about your difficult child and the effect the medications will have on him/her. Is he willing to talk to anyone about his concerns about medications or does he just say no without giving any reasons why he is against medications? I hope you can talk about it and if medications are the right choice for difficult child then I hope you and your husband can come to understanding for the best outcome for your difficult child. I'm not sure about medicating without his consent. I can tell you I did that and it caused A LOT of trouble in our marriage and it's not worth it. I hope you guys can talk about it.
  3. tictoc

    tictoc New Member

    My husband also refused to medicate our difficult child at first (and still isn't on board for antipsychotics). difficult child was having a lot of trouble at school and had multiple diagnoses, yet husband STILL thought we should not medicate. Honestly, he didn't change his mind until I went out of town for a weekend and he had to deal with difficult child and easy child on his own. He is a very involved father, but he needed to deal with difficult child with no backup for a couple of days to see the real extent of the issues.

    I like the book, "Straight Talk about Psychiatric Medications for Kids," by Timothy Wilens. It is a very calm look at different mental health issues and the medications used to treat them. It is not at all alarmist, but tells the side effects of the medications and when each class of medications is used and why. husband and I have both found this book very useful.

    Good luck.
  4. slsh

    slsh member since 1999

    Your husband is on medications. Do they help him? Does he feel better when he is taking them? If so, why on earth would he deny his child the possibility of receiving benefit from medications?

    I look at it this way (and I was staunchly anti-medication many years ago). medications are not a cure. They're a tool. If they could potentially give a child a better chance to grow and learn, how could you *not* try?

    The best explanation I've ever seen on this board is this example: If your child were a diabetic, would you deny them insulin simply because you're "anti-medication"? What is the difference between diabetes and mental illness? Untreated, they both have the potential to severely affect the quality of your child's life.

    I hope you and husband and psychiatrist are able to come to a meeting of the minds on this.
  5. idohope

    idohope Member

    Yes, husband is on medications and they have been critical for him. husband focuses on the side effects and imagines that years from now difficult child will come to him and say " I was a child why did you put me on these medications". I think if we dont difficult child will come to us and say " I was child who needed help, why did you not help me". tdocs and psychiatrist have talked to him about the side effects of not medicating, both to difficult child and to our PCs and all relationships within our family. husband also does not really believe in therapy. His plan at this point is to spend more time with difficult child. I think he thinks if he just loves her enough this will all go away. We are way beyond that, however.
  6. flutterby

    flutterby Fly away!

    To be blunt: It would be abuse if your child had a treatable medical illness and you did not treat it. In my mind, to not treat a treatable mental illness, is no different.

    I have suffered from major depressive disorder since I was 13. I didn't even see a therapist until I was 16, almost 17. medications were never discussed. I was tough and a go-getter, and managed to overcome a lot on my own, but my life was a lot harder and more painful than it had to be. I started medications when I was 27 - 28 and I realize how much of my life was wasted to depression.

    I made a lot of bad choices as an adult (abusive relationships, struggled maintaining any kind of a relationship) because of my mental illness. Had I been properly treated at an earlier age, I don't think that would have been the case. The longer mood disorders go untreated, the more difficult they are to treat. Untreated mood disorders are linked to heart disease, cancer, etc. I had a heart attack at 33 years old. I was always fit, active, etc. No one saw it coming.

    A cure? No. I have recently added a 3rd medication to my psychiatric medications. But, it's worth it for the quality of life I have. I still have to work to not let depression win. I'm in therapy. I still have periods where I really struggle with depression. The difference is, the depression doesn't control me anymore.

    Before medications, I couldn't imagine living to be 80 and being miserable all of my life. That sounded like hell to me.
  7. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    My kids have all been difficult. My middle son has the most insight into himself. He completely looks back and knows how important medication was on his life and how he would have never grown into the man he is today if he hadnt been placed on it as a very young child. He tells people all the time how he is a proponent of medication when

    Which reminds me, he has a coworker I have to call because she has a difficult child who is trouble right now...sigh.
  8. idohope

    idohope Member

    Thanks for all the replies. I know how important medications have been for so many kids on this site. I just dont know how to convince husband. What could he do to me if I medicate difficult child without his permission? Believe me the marriage is already so stressed at this point I am much more concerned about helping difficult child than preserving the marriage.
  9. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    Fear of the unknown can be overwhelming. Furthermore medications don't usually just "solvethe problems". Very often it takes alot of trail and error to find "the combo" that allows a child to function at his/her best. Having a difficult child strains the best of marriages. I've known parents who have tried medications with-o the knowledge of the spouse and it has not worked well. It is close to impossible to "hide" medication use. In some cases, I think, it could actually be a danger to the child as side effects are not uncommon and mutual observation of behavioral changs is necessary to help the difficult child.Do you have any idea what type of medication the psychiatrist is likely to recommend? If so, I'd suggest doing internet research and becoming as educated as possible about the choices.My former spouse and I were not able to survive the stress of having a difficult child. In retrospect Iwonder if a little more mutual research might have made a compromise possible. difficult child's canreally benefit from having two parents available as they travel their difficult path.Good luck. DDD