Bad Day and Self Doubt

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by ML, Jan 12, 2009.

  1. ML

    ML Guest

    I called manster’s psychiatrist today because he was having what I thought of as medication side effects. She told me that she was concerned that I was clearly having trouble with the medication issue in general. She felt that I have been looking for problems and that I was overreacting and that I could have waited till our Friday appointment (incidentally I also got in trouble once for waiting). I think it’s true that I have trouble with the medication route because so many people here have shared bad experiences and also have said that their kids do better without them completely (specifically those on the AS spectrum). This is clearly a case of me allowing the experiences of others to influence me too much. All of my friends in real life have tended to be rather “naturalists” and have shared caution and warning as I have gone down this path. I don’t feel supported in my journey. Perhaps a “stronger” person wouldn’t need the validation but I guess I do. This is so hard. I love my son so much and just want to do the best by him. I don’t want to make him worse but his quality of life is suffering and I avoided trying medications for years. I vowed I would only medicate to make his life easier, not mine. I have not found anything that has given me a “wow” factor yet but I thought this Zoloft was close. *Am* I looking for side effects too closely and maybe subconsciously sabotaging any efforts in this direction?

    And even as I type this I feel so vulnerable and needy and feel disgusted to have such uncertainty and doubt. I just want to feel like I’m doing the right thing. Do we ever get that?

  2. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    I don't know, but my guess is "probably not." I have taken medications since I was 23 (I am 55). I'm here to tell you that almost all the medications made me worse. A few saved my life, but I had side effects to almost all that I tried. These are potent medications. I am on the mood disorder spectrum and can not function without medications. I would kill myself--or be totally useless. I've tried. BUT...for my son, who is on the AS spectrum, he personally does better off medication. That doesn't mean all spectrum kids do best off medications. About 50% are on medication. My son doesn't really have behavioral issues. He DOES have obsessions, but he says he'd rather deal with them without medications because he didn't like the way medication made him feel. He also doesn't rage/meltdown. He can function without them. You know your child best--better than us or the "naturalists." Why is your son on medications? Are any helping? Is he functioning? Only you can answer those questions. I personally don't like SSRIs for kids, but that's my personal opinion. I hope you find the answers you are looking for. I do think some doctors hand out medications too fast. I know many of mine did--and so did many of my son's. The key is to do our own research so we are well-informed. Is your son in any AS interventions?
  3. Josie

    Josie Active Member

    I would probably be considered to be a "naturalist" since my kids are not currently on medications for their psychiatric issues. However, I am a firm believer in brain chemistry or function causing these problems and do think it isn't always possible to find a "natural" solution. I think sometimes medications are the answer. I have tried them in the past and, especially for difficult child 2, may try them again.

    That being said, I would have a lot of trouble with a psychiatrist who did not take my concerns seriously about side effects that I might be noticing. It sounds like she is dismissing your observations just because you have reservations about medications. The medications do have side effects and you are the one that will notice them.

    As MWM said, you will have to decide if he is better on or off the medications.
  4. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    ML, I just stopped in between running out to copy and fax stuff to PO and witing on difficult child to take him to psychiatrist, so this will be briefer than it warrants.

    You ARE a strong person and your are struggling the same way all consientious parents do so don't worry about that. I have received the same "complaints" from difficult child's psychiatrist on more than one occassion. Keep going with your mommy gut. We all need to tweak our "reactions" to our difficult child's "reactions" sometimes, but this is all normal and to be expected.

    You have every reason to be confident in what you are deciding to do, not do, and question regarding your son and medications.
  5. totoro

    totoro Mom? What's a GFG?

    This is such a hard call.
    There is nothing wrong with going with your gut.
    The way I look at it is, that if your child and *you* are getting through the day OK without medications, then it is OK to be off of them.
    With Therapy, with support and love, if he is able to move forward and gain some momentum even a tiny bit and if he is happy and making a little bit of progress. THen it is OK.

    But if you and he are not existing and not functioning. If he is so unhappy or wanting to die. If he is obsessing over everything and unable to leave the house. If your family is falling apart... if all of the Therapies and modifications are doing nothing without the help of a medication.
    Then maybe a medication might help.
    Maybe he needs a different medication. Maybe he doesn't need a medication. Maybe he needs more supports?
    I don't know... I wish I did.
    I *need* medications personally.
    I don't feel like have horrible side affects anymore but I think I have a pretty good combo now.
    Or at least the benefits outweigh side effects.
    But it is not perfect, I never will be.

    I struggle with this all of the time for K, and she has a Mood Disorder.
    Her psychiatrist asked husband if we were taking her off at the last visit? We want to, even though we know we shouldn't. She has gained 12 pounds, she is dull. She is a mess.
    But she is worse, so much worse off of medications. So we have a few things we are working on and then we will change this medication.

    But to put our mind at ease and to make sure we were doing the right thing we did take her off for awhile. Just to see.
    We went for 3 months. That was all that she could take and she needed to be back on.
    Who knows, but you need to do what is best for your family. Any Doctor should respect you wishes.
    I am sorry you are struggling.
    I was and am more of a naturalist as well. So this was truly a gut wrenching thing when I had to medicate K. And myself for that matter.
  6. bran155

    bran155 Guest

    I completely agree with klmno. You are a good mom. You are not a doctor therefore you MUST question everything you give to your son. You are being a good mom in doing so. The medication maze is very hard and we never know what will work, what won't, what will cause side effects and so on... If the doctor is bothered by your concerns, well that's just too bad for him. You have every right in the world to question him with your very VALID concerns!!!

    I am a lot like you in that I feel better about a decision, any decision, when I am not alone in making it!!! Especially with regards to medication. In fact I just posted about a medication the jail put my daughter on. I do want to hear feedback from people who have experience with the medication in question. Isn't that how we learn about things? Word of mouth. Just be cautious because one bad reaction does not mean that your son will have that same reaction. But it is good to be aware of what to look for.

    Hang in there. YOU ARE A GOOD MOTHER!!! :)
  7. 'Chelle

    'Chelle Active Member

    I think you're right to question any side effect you think you're seeing when putting your child on these medications. They're still doing studies on lots of them as to how they affect kids, so I think a parent is always on the right side to be a little cautious when putting a child on them.

    Our difficult child was on zoloft for about 2 years, and I didn't make the decision lightly either. I read up totally on the medication and watched for side effects too, and worried the whole time about whether it was right to put him on them. However, for him it was necessary I believe. His anxiety, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) tendancies and perfectionism, and probably some depression over the years of thinking he was bad and always seeming to be in trouble, would just not let him see the choices he was making, and he couldn't apply any strategies we were trying to teach him. The zoloft helped calm him just enough that he could understand what therapist, psychiatrist and parents were telling him as ways to succeed at school etc., and once he did learn them, we were able to take him off and now he's been medication-free 2 years and doing well. We never got a "wow" factor either, he still had issues, but I did notice the difference in that he could learn how to cope and help himself. We only went up to about 1/2 what his max dose could have been, might have got more wow with a larger dose LOL.

    Try not listen to what friends, family, etc say about medications. It's their opinion, which may not be right for your difficult child and you. You know your difficult child and only you can really tell if it's helping him. Even our difficult child couldn't tell LOL, he always said he didn't feel any different taking the zoloft, but we could see a difference.
  8. Shari

    Shari IsItFridayYet?

    Your doctor doesn't live with manster.


    If you are seeing something new, and he's on a new medication, you would be doing a disservice to your son to ignore it. If your doctor feels that reporting it is you over-reacting, perhaps the next appointment with that doctor needs to be just the two of you coming to terms with this. No one will know a child like the person who cares for him 24x7. That, my dear, is you.

    What did the doctor say in regards to your concerns about the medications?

    And ya know what, if you really can't get rid of the doubt, do like Toto said and go off it a while. Compare notes.

    I struggle with second-guessing myself all the time. I know it serves no purpose, but I also know how hard it is to stop.
  9. DaisyFace

    DaisyFace Love me...Love me not

    Hi ML--

    You are a wonderful, caring, and wise parent--one who obviously only wants the best for their child.

    When giving my child medicine, any medicine (I mean heck, look at the warnings on vitamins and cough drops, for gosh sakes), I always feel like I have to weigh very carefully the need for the medicine against the risks of the medicine--especially if it is a drug that alters the brain.

    My daughter (difficult child) has such violent rages that she is, at times, at risk of causing harm to herself and others--and for me, this clearly outweighs any potential side effects that she might experience from being medicated. Whether she is currently on the right mediciation, I am not sure, but I am willing to keep trying to find what works for her.

    My son has ADHD--emphasis on the H!!--but he has no other issues. He does well in school, he makes friends easily, he is a bright happy kid--he just does not sit still. For me...the potential side effects from medication far outweigh any problem with his energy levels...and so my son is not taking any medication for ADHD.

    I am being criticized on many sides for my choices (the teacher, for example, is pretty insistent that my DS get medicated so that he will sit still, and mother in law is upset that I would put my daughter on mind-altering drugs), however, I feel pretty confident that the choices I am making are the correct ones for their well-being now and in the long run.

    You must do what you feel is best. You have your child's best interest at heart--trust yourself. And don't let anyone make you doubt your instincts...

    Best, DaisyF
  10. ML

    ML Guest

    Thanks so much for the responses. I will write more later, just popping in on a break from work. Love, ML
  11. Big Bad Kitty

    Big Bad Kitty lolcat

    Girl, you know you may have just caught psychiatrist on a bad day. You deserve to have peace of mind with your child's medications, and if you don't have that peace of mind, you have the right to question it. Don't allow a doctor who has a bad case of the Mondays make you feel like any less than the terrfic mom you are.

    Hugs to yo uand Manster.
  12. Wiped Out

    Wiped Out Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I think you were definitely right to call about possible side effects that are concerning you. It's what we as parents are told to do. One time when I called difficult child's former psychiatrist about a side effect he sort of tried to shrug it off-turns out he had Tardive Dyskensia.

    I've questioned medications for my son but I do truly believe he needs them. The violence level and so many things make it necessary, at the same time I do worry about cognitive dulling for my son. I think Toto's thoughts were right on.

    Sending hugs to you.
  13. Andy

    Andy Active Member

    It is scary giving your child a medication that isn't a guarantee and no one really knows how it will affect your child. You do want to recognize a side effect before it gets out of hand and to determine if they outweigh the positives. I do understand what you are feeling. I don't know if you are overreacting or not but I do know why you have the self doubt.

    I don't have any advise, just hugs. Know that your instincts are often right.
  14. Steely

    Steely Active Member

    Join the warrior mom's club. It sometimes stinks, but it is what it takes to make sure our kid's are healthy.

    I have been accused of a bazillion things from psychiatrists..........don't really care now. I did at the time. However I finally found a psychiatrist that understood my fears, and worked to help my neurosis as well as my kid, and I felt validated and understood.

    You have to go with your gut. From the day difficult child was conceived I was the most homeopathic, healthy mom, ever. And yet, at age 6, I knew I had to do something different for the kiddo. Since then, we have tried numerous medications. I have demanded the psychiatrists take my kid off of about 9/10ths of the numerous medications because I could SEE the side effects. Many did not believe me, and yet data is now coming out that proves what I saw. On the flip side, I know I overreacted to some situations. It is a hard, hard call.

    I still am not sure if difficult child is better on or off medications - but I do know that the current medication regimen that he has been on for 2 years - is probably the only one I would not change. I see change, and the ability for him to process things on this medication regimen, that he did not have before. (Never mind it took 12 years.)

    As far as the AS diagnosis and not using medication vs medication. Again, hard call. I think a lot of it depends on whether there is a secondary mood issue. My difficult child has NonVerbal Learning Disorder (NVLD) which is on the cusp of AS, but also has Axis 2 Bi-Polar. We do not know what co-morbid diagnosis our kids are dealing with sometimes until they are much older.

    Hugs & wisdom being sent your way.:peaceful:
  15. Ropefree

    Ropefree Banned

    ML: It is a big desition. And HOW would you know if you did not ask? I ask LOTS OF QUESTIONS. I read a lot about it books ect and then I ask MORE questions. After awhile the people I am taking advise from...medical or what have you, know I will be asking questions and I will be calling when I have LARGE as well as small concerns.
    THe fact is the reluctant parent turning to medications is NOT some big SURPRISE to psyciatrists at all. A good one welcomes the interest. ANd you are learning. If it is any help after now five years of taking the same thing I called when another doctor mentioned the possibility of another medication and suggested I ask the psyciatrist. We met, we talked and I felt defensive about what I felt was projection on the part of the psyciatrist. Although I have researched the medication very thoroughly which was perscribed for my child I have not pursued looking at other possiblities or asked EVER about others. So what alternative TO the person who has as closely observed my son as anyone over years?
    Whatever was said let it be about him. If you are feeling as if something touched on some area that you feel you need to tend in your own thinking prosess than do that. If you are uncertain you do the right thing to ask a question. Another person: your pharmacist. The pharmacy staff at the two places I use are now people I look forward to seeing and talking to and they are
    more than happy to help me learn and understand. And also frame questions that a psyciatrist will hear and respond to as if I am not just insecure because I am givng a child drugs. Yes, in these times in our culture we do have a hurdle to leap and giving a child drugs is one. So do not let the doctor imply you are not appropriate. To do nothing and not ask would be the inappropriate turn.
  16. ML

    ML Guest

    All I can humbly say is "thank you" to you wise warrior moms for giving me such great insight and advice. How awesome it is to have a safe place to vent, to breath, to ask these questions (sometimes ad naseum it seems) and learn even more to help me navigate this journey. I feel empowered. Thank you.