Refusal of medications

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by Bunny, Nov 27, 2010.

  1. Bunny

    Bunny Guest

    I know that some of you here have dealt with this issue. difficult child is on Celexa (20 mg) and the psychiatrist wants him to start Risperdal (.25 mg) and he is refusing to take it. He says that it's the Celexa that is making him behave badly (because we put him on it in the first place because he was behaving well, right?) and that if we just take him off of that he will agree to take the other medication. He only wants to take one pill. I tried to explain to him that is no "one pill" that does everything that he needs. He says that we are singling him out and that easy child doesn't have to take medications and it's not fair. When I point out that easy child does not need medications because easy child behaves differently that difficult child, he turns it into a "you love him more than you love me" issue. I tell him that that is not true, but that his dad and I want to help him.

    He admits that he doesn't like the way he tantrums and rages at people, but insists (of course) that it's everyone else's fault that he does that. If easy child would just leave him alone (but difficult child invited easy child to play in his room), if I would just give him what he wants, when he wants it, he would not have to behave that way.

    We are going to see if the therapist can talk him down from his stance the next time he goes to see him, but I was wondering what you did if your difficult children refused medications? How did you handle it?

    The last time difficult child completely flew off the handle he threatened to beat the **** out of me with a hockey stick. I told husband last night that if he ever moved to hurt me or easy child, that difficult child would have to be removed from the house. It's not fair to the rest of us to have to live in fear of physical danger. All along husband has said that he would never allow me to send difficult child away, but last night I could see that his position on that has changed. I asked the therapist about an Residential Treatment Facility (RTF), but he thinks we're no where near that stage yet.

    Who the heck ever thought that these are the things that we would have to deal with as parents. UGH!!

  2. HaoZi

    HaoZi Guest

    I told mine she could take a pill or I would have the doctor Rx it as a shot in one of those epi-pen instant trigger deals and I would wake her up by giving her that shot every morning. She doesn't know if it can or can't be delivered that way, but she agreed she'd rather swallow a pill than get a shot (and yes many of these are available as injections, but the kids don't know that's not likely a way I could Rx'd, so just showing the Rx info on the shots is enough to convince her I could do it).
  3. confuzzled

    confuzzled Member

    i would listen very carefully to what he is saying. why does he think its the celexa? does he feel "differently" or "worse" or whatever on it?

    have you been charting his moods/behaviors since starting the celexa? what changes, good or bad, have you seen--do you think its helping the situation?

    certainly, it may just be a subborn kid who "knows" everything. but in my humble opinion, kids often have pretty good reasons for voicing an opinion like that. he's not saying he's done with medications, which is different--he's saying the celexa is somehow adversely affecting him (even if it is a distorted perception, it can only help the situation to take his concerns seriously).

    i'd give him the royal inquisition as to why, other than taking 1 pill, he thinks celexa is a problem, and how exactly *HE* thinks it makes him feel and go from there.

    and of course, discussing all of it with both the psychiatrist and therapist are worthwhile, too.
  4. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I would also attempt to examine if there is any truth at all to the celexa making his behavior worse but if not, then in my home, medications were non-negotiable. If the doctor prescribed them, then you had to take them or your world stopped. Now I did allow them to tell me if they had horrible side effects or felt weird on them. My rule was to give any medication 6 to 8 weeks to see how it worked for them unless there was a true adverse reaction listed on the little handout given. And no, I didnt tell them what those reactions could
  5. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    My teenage daughter hated Celexa. Said it made her nervous, hyper and impulsive. I would listen to your son. He knows how the medications make him feel. Doctors aren't always right. I personally will not take more medications than I can handle without feeling at the mercy of the drug or like a zombie. Either is no fun. Celexa and any antidepressant can cause our k ids to get worse, not better. It's up to you, but I would trust him, wean off the Celexa, and let him try Risperdal alone. There is no medication combination on the face of the earth that will wipe out all of his problems anyway unless he is so drugged up he can't think. So, with my own experience taking psychiatric medications, I would listen and believe him. He's not refusing to take all medications. He is refusing one that he feels is making him behave badly. And he could very well be right. The only way you'll know is by trying him off of it.
  6. KTMom91

    KTMom91 Well-Known Member

    medications were non-negotiable here as well. I only had to stop the world a few times before it sunk in, and, like Janet, I insisted on the "give it time"rule. Since the "give it time" rule was already in place for anything new she wanted to try (dance, karate, softball, etc.), she was used to the idea.

    Risperdal was a life saver around more holes punched in walls, no more doors torn off the hinges and thrown at me, no more broken tiles on the kitchen counter from having pans slammed down...and I hate it that she can't/won't get it together to get insurance or Medi-Cal or figure something out to continue taking it.
  7. HaoZi

    HaoZi Guest

    Mine did even worse on the risperdal than she did on the celexa. The idea of combining them scares me silly. How long has he been on the celexa? I would take it seriously if you're seeing adverse reactions, but it sounded to me like his main issue was that he wants to only be on one medication instead of two, maybe I read it wrong.
  8. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Has he been better on the Celexa as far as his mood and behavior? I know that Prozac and Zoloft both made me nuts. I ended up in ER on Zoloft. Prozac made me so depressed, I was suicidal. If you see an improvement then you know it is working. If he is worse, it is obviously not working. I don't know how long he has been on it, but it only took two weeks of my taking Zoloft to end up in ER. I know I'm in the minority, but I'd give the kid a hearing. Some of the medications that doctors prescribed to me made me way worse. Since I was an adult, I was able to articulate that to the doctors and refuse to take them when I knew they were harming me. Kids can't do that. You can force him, I'm sure, but I don't know if that's a good thing. I have gotten toxic reactions to a few drugs for taking them for too long. I noticed warning signs, but, like people here said, wanted to give the drug more time. Amitriptylene almost choked me to throat was closing up and I had to drink water all the way to ER. Also, I was hallucinating like people do on LSD trips. It was scary. The drugs psychiatrists give to our kids, are not antibiotics that save our lives. They are pretty much "hit or miss" with no knowledge of how each drug will affect the particular child. I finally found a great drug combo that didn't make me feel worse. I took me ten year! This is a lot of experimentation.

    These medications are serious drugs. I think many doctors hand out too many too fast and don't tell us what to look for in the way of side effects. I also don't think they listen to kids (or sometimes adults). I had a kid once on medications and I saw some pretty horrible side effects, like movement disorders and, with my teenager, a suicidal attempt brought on by Prozac. Doctors aren't infallible. JMO
  9. Bunny

    Bunny Guest

    Thank you all for your input.

    The problem that I am having is that I don't know if difficult child is telling me that the medications make him behave worse because he really feels that way, or if he is simply repeating what he heard husband say after one of difficult child's particulary bad tantrums. difficult child can tell a really good tale when he needs to to, so half the time I'm not sure what's true and what's bs. Even the psychiatrist isn't sure what to believe from him!

    He's been on the Celexa since the end of August. Do I see an improvement in behavior? Really, not enough that it would make me say that he absolutely HAS to stay on it. The psychiatrist wants him on it and was not happy that we asked for the dosage to be reduced. husband felt that difficult child's tantrum were worse on the higher dose so we reduced it.

    Maybe I'll call the psychiatrist and see what he says about stopping the Celexa and trying just the Risperdal. When we started with medications what we were hoping for was that Celexa would take care of difficult child's anxiety, which would then stop the tantrums and screaming rages. It has not happened, so he decided to add the Risperdal. I have no doubt that difficult child suffers from anxiety that can be, at times, crushing, but I'm starting to wonder if that is the main issue here.

  10. HaoZi

    HaoZi Guest

    Are there specific triggers for the anxiety? Or is it something you just see building up over the course of the day until he hits a point where he just has to vent, and the final trigger can be anything?
  11. Bunny

    Bunny Guest

    Haozi, anything that is new will trigger anxiety for difficult child. He started middle school this year and I think that if he had not been on the Celexa at the start of the school year getting him to go would have beem more difficult that it was. The school gave the new 6th graders two weeks to get used to the lay out of the school before they started marking kids late to class. On the morning of the first day that they were going to start marking kids late difficult child left they house to go to the bus stop and was literally shaking like a leaf on a tree. I called the guidance counselor to ask him to check on him because he was so upset and nervous. The GC was super! He talked to him, told him that if he had any problems and thought he was going to be late to come and see him and he would give him a pass so he was not marked late. difficult child could not have been happier with the help and reassurance he got. Anything out of the ordinary will trigger anxiety. Anything unknown.

    Like I said, have I seem a huge difference in behavior? No. Not really. He tantrums more when he does not get what he wants than from things that are causing anxiety. Last night it was because I told difficult child that easy child was going to stay home with dad while we went to Subway to pick up dinner. difficult child wanted him to come. He didn't get his way and didn't get into a full blowm tantrum, but he was angry because he wanted something and his father and I said no. That is mostly what the problem is. He wants things to be his way and his way only. He wants to be the one in charge, the one who calls every shot. Life just doesn't work that way. If I can find a way to accomodate him, I do, but sometimes that can't be done and that's when we have a problem.

    I asked husband what he thought about taking difficult child off the Celexa and he said that he would be interested to see what, if anything, the Risperdal does on it's own for his behavior. Guess I'll call the psychiatrist and see what he says.

  12. HaoZi

    HaoZi Guest

    Mine is like that (or can be). While she did badly on risperdal (trip to psychiatric hospital from that one), she did do better on similar medications. The side effects of that class of medications bear close watch.
  13. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    But SSRI antidepressants make some people MORE anxious. Celexa made my teen daughter very "jittery" (her word). She was old enough to explain it.

    Rages often increase on SSRIs. They can cause mania. If you see no improvement, why make him take the medication? He's been on it long enough that if there is going to be a big improvement, you would have noticed by now. JMO again. Doctors are not always right, especially psychiatrists. I've had quite a few in my life. Psychiatry and the medications that are used are not an exact science. Good luck :)
  14. crazymama30

    crazymama30 Active Member

    Fwiw, before I started zoloft (an SSRI) I was way more prone to lose my temper. If it is for anxiety, I would think the psychiatrist would try a different SSRI if the Celexa is not helping, like paxil, prozac or zoloft.

    Everyone reacts differently to medications. difficult child cannot tolerate Depakote or Lithium, but for some (his father included) those medications can be wonderful.

    If you don't think the medication is helping enough? Tell the psychiatrist you need to change, especially if you have been trying since Aug or Sept.
  15. Jena

    Jena New Member

    hey im soo late to this. i havent' been on. i'm sorry your having issues with-him taking the medication.

  16. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    There is another drug...called Buspar that is more targeted just for anxiety. Maybe you could ask your psychiatrist about that.