Discussion in 'Healthful Living / Natural Treatments' started by BigMamma3, Jan 25, 2009.

  1. BigMamma3

    BigMamma3 New Member

    I am pretty new to this site and have read a lot in the General forum. I have to say that I'm a bit surprised to read about so many families discussion of their kids medications. Granted it seems many of their children, teens for the most, have some pretty severe behaviors. But most have them despite the fact they are on various medications, so why continue the medications?

    When I adopted my daughters the older child, diagnosed with PTSD, Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD) and ADHD was on Aderoll & Risperdal. She immediately stopped taking the Adderoll mostly because the prescription ran out and her out of county psch doctor didn't want to refill it. I continued the Risperdal inititially, but after researching and finding out that it was experimental for a child her age (5 yo) and with her diagnosis...we tapered it off and stopped it. Asbsolutely no difference in her behavior or performance in school. No change at all other than the blank stares into space stopped and the Risperdal weight dropped off.

    Despite the fact she struggles in school and has behavior problems intermittently and impulse control issues, I feel strongly that medication is just not an option. For children exposed to drugs in utero I am afraid it will set them up for a lifetime of drug use- Rx or illicit. There was a time using these medications on young children was not permitted. It angers me that they are used so liberally with foster children for 2 reasons. One it just seems they are being medicated to stay in control so they can be kept in placement and second they are used as guinea pigs for new treatments.

    My two cents.
  2. Jena

    Jena New Member


    Yes there is always alot of controversy over medications, and to medicate or not to medicate. I also am not a big fan of medication, yet at the same time my daughter with no medication isn't able to get through her day or her night for that matter.

    I do believe very strongly that there are certain children with whom's mental illness is too severe to function with-o medications. It's just that simple. Whether or not their tested on children or not parents as well as doctor's feel that it is a matter of choice and also a matter of quality of life. Some children experience very difficult pyschotic episodes of which actually can cause injury to the brain, and the medications even with their side effects prevent the children from "checking out" so to speak.

    I happen to agree with you that there are several cases where children are drugged simply to be compliant and better behaved, or "drugged up", yet there are alot of cases, as with here on the board where parents make the ultimate scary decision to medicate or not to medicate to give our chlidren quality of life.

    Either way you chalk it up medication is a difficult game, a difficult choice for parents and alot of unknown's for the future. I guess we as parents just have to continue doing the best we can to decide what is best for our children and what isn't. What is beneficial and what isn't. It is ultimately all of our decisions, not the various doctors and pysch doctor's.

    I'm sorry that you had a negative experience with the medication that your difficult child was on, and that there was no benficial change in behavior to help her along somewhat.

    my three cents lol. :)
  3. Lothlorien

    Lothlorien Active Member Staff Member

    I'm glad you didn't post this on the general forum, because you might have gotten some very angry responses.

    I for one, tried for several years to get my daughter under control without the use of medications. It was a very hard decsion and a painful one, but once my daughter began getting more and more violent, she became a danger to herself, my son and me. Putting her on medications was a very scary decision. In the end, it took several different medications to find the right one and it just happened to be Risperdal.

    I would caution you that there are a lot of parents here with foster children or adopted children after fostering the child. I don't think they would be pleased reading that you believe they are on medications simply because they are guinea pigs or to keep them placed in a home. I'm sure that there are cases of abuse, where this is true, but the parents on this board are generally struggling to keep their lives together and hold onto a tiny morsel that someday their child or foster child will be able to function as close to normally as possible. Sometimes it takes medicine and sometimes medications are the wrong choice.

    This is a support board, not a judgemental one. Please keep that in mind Bigmama3
  4. tiredmommy

    tiredmommy Site Moderator

    Making the decision to medicate one's child is is one of the most agonizing decisions that many parents on this board have had to make. They haven't had the luxury of being able to second guess themselves or sit in judgement of others because they are doing their level best to help their children. There are many childhood disorders that won't respond to behavior modification until the child are stable or close to it.

    The fact is that we live in a society where parents of disordered children are open game to others that feel the need to comment and find fault. It's easier to stand in judgement rather contribute something useful. :mad:
  5. BigMamma3

    BigMamma3 New Member

    My post was not meant to be judgemental toward parents at all- it was to criticize our foster care system here in California and state MY fears about giving medication. I was also surprised that almost almost every member here has a child on medications- which is why I came over to this board to see what alternatives people had tried. I also recognize that many of the children blogged about here have more serious behaviors than my girls. I understand that this place is about supporting each other and it was not my attention to attack parents and I understand it is a sensitive issue. But if this is something I'm struggling with and questioning...I too need support on the issue

    I myself take medication for my Diabetes and am CONSTANTLY challenging my NP about how many and how much medication I am taking. My experience is Doctors LOVE to give out prescriptions! As with most everything in our society I figure it boils down to the money in the end. There is no money in curing people. There is no money in enabling people to take care of themselves and their children. As a society, we are dependent on Dr.'s and medicine. I'm sorry if that is a radical notion for some...but it is what I believe and hey I live in Berkeley! :D

    As for foster care- I have so much critiscism on so many levels. Initially it was based on the premise that I have had no less than 10 friends over the years that grew up in foster care and/or were adopted and every last one of them withstood abuse in their foster/adoptive family that was as bad as or worse than their family of origin. I also worked in the feild for about 4 years with foster kids of varying ages and their parents. I thne had the opportunity to witness it firsthand and deal with the fallout from placements my daughters were in. It's a troubled system.

    With my older daughter it was actually stated to me that one of her foster parents would not "keep her" unless they "put her on medications". As foster homes are diffucult to find and good ones even more rare, I understand workers are pressured to keep kids in placement.

    As for my statment regarding using them as guinea pigs- I can't tell you how many professionals (at Children's Hospital) had VERY surprised reactions when they learned of her medications (Risperdal). This was several years just wasn't done. So how was it that this 4-5 year old wound up on this medication? I think to say "experimental" is putting it nicely.

    by the way I did adopt my girls from foster care, but with the intention from the beginning to adopt. My younger had been in about 2 placements and my older probably 12+ placements. I mistated in my earlier text by saying "when I adopted..." because it was really "when we began visiting and they were placed with me"...they were actually with me for 2.5 years before the adoption was finalized.
  6. Lothlorien

    Lothlorien Active Member Staff Member

    I get where you are coming from, I think, but the way your post was not worded the way your second post was. I realize that it's hard to emote when typing, but we can't see your facial expressions or hear your voice, so before you hit the reply or post button, take a look at your post and see if something might be taken the wrong way and see if you can explain better.

    by the way, Risperdal is the only approved medication for children with bipolar disorder and Asperger's. My daughter was trialed on Zyprexa, Abilify, and even Prozac (which was an immediate disaster) before she was given the only approved medication. She did not do well on any of those. My kids are mine, biologically. Missy just got the genetic cesspool from my mother's side of the family. My brother did as well. He did become a drug addict after being plyed with Ritalin as a child and he died at 35. This is something that I do worry about, but if I didn't get my daughter stable, she would have seriously hurt herself or someone else in my house during one of her rages. It's a double edge sword. We just have to hope that the edge she's on is the dull side.
  7. BigMamma3

    BigMamma3 New Member

    I'm curious at what age your daughter was given Risperdal? I just think 4 yo is SO young to be medicating experimentally (and this was the consensus at the thereputic preschool I worked at too). Even today I don't think it is normally prescribed for PTSD, which is the reason they gave it.

    What makes me angry is they prescribed it for the PTSD during her stay at the final foster placement where I later learned she was (1) viewing the news on Hurricane Katrina (along with her FM's emotional reactions) all day every day (2) watching R rated movies with serious domestic violence themes regularly (she would quote the movies and point them out to me in the video store!) and (3) listening to seriously innapropriate music from the FM's teenage daughters who cared for the girls regularly.

    Though I reported all this to SW, I'm sure that FM is still in business. Did she physically or sexually abuse...probably not. But I do beleive she did cause emotional trauma! I personally feel that media such as TV, movies, music and video games are EXTREMELY important to monitor, modify use and in some cases eliminate exposure to altogether. Unfortunately many people are not aware of the affects of these.

    Ok...I think I have rambled and digressed sufficiently!
  8. Lothlorien

    Lothlorien Active Member Staff Member

    My daughter just turned 8 when they prescribed it for bipolar.

    Prescribing for PTSD is just ridiculous. No wonder you were po'd. Compared to what she went through, my daughter has a very sheltered life. I turned the news off, during that time, if my kids came in the room. My kids don't even watch pg-13 movies, except for one of the Harry Potter movies (recently).

    Missy has terrible anxiety and bipolar. Docs don't want to give out the diagnosis of bipolar, so they will label everything else and try treating everything else until they have no other alternative than to call a spade a spade. That is the case with my daughter, anyway. I know that's not always the case.
  9. BigMamma3

    BigMamma3 New Member

    Well my girls bio-mom is reportedly bipolar and my little one ingested (accidentally) her psychotropic medications at 1 year old- one of the reasons for her final removal from her home. I know there is a heredity factor, so we are watching them closely. At this point her therapist thinks it is only Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD). We have an SST meeting on the 6th with teacher and therapist. She has been doing *great* in school since the big blow up 2 weeks ago (knock on wood).

    My kids watch G & PG. I do allow them to watch PG13 occasionally depending on the film if an adult (me or my folks) are there to monitor reactions and explain discuss things that might be confusing. My youngest loves sci-fi and scarry movies (Shark Boy & Lava Girl, Spiderman, Independence Day) she watched recently. She is also fascinated by medical stuff, blood, wounds, etc. (in real life) and we call her "Dr." - she doesn't miss a bump, scratch or even a pimple on me. But my oldest cannot watch even slightly scary movies without getting nightmares, so I keep it G for her mostly.
    Last edited: Jan 28, 2009