difficult child in youth home, need help with-medications

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by horserider, Oct 8, 2009.

  1. horserider

    horserider New Member

    I posted a few weeks ago about our difficult child who is in the jjc and was placed in a program that I was trying to have him moved from, with no success. I read a post that stated some of the programs that are based on "earning" your release can be very helpful, this gave me hope. Our difficult child calls once a wk to let us know if he "earned" his week. After 3 wks in the program he is still at square one. (he has been in the jjc since beginning of Aug.) We visit weekly, he has group and individual therapy and is actually doing pretty well in school. Behaviorally and socially he is struggling, he has been non-medication compliant since April. Nearly 17, we wanted him to come to some realization, on his own, that the medications do help him. Our last therapy session I asked him to think about going back on them, look at the "whole" picture, where he is at now. He is just tired of being on medications since 2nd grade, tried many. He wants to be "a normal kid", and desperately trying to function without them. He said what if I go back on them until I get to the next level, can I then come off them? The next level means weekend visits home. Is there any suggestions you have to help him understand his medications have helped him in the past, he needs to give it a try again.

    My heart breaks for him as he watches the other boys earn their weeks and he struggles. It is a 5 month program, 2 week initiation, 6 weeks learning, 6 weeks problem solving, 6 weeks to graduate. But some boys end up staying up to a year. It's going to be a long road if he does not go back on his medications.
    Thanks for listening
    me - hanging in there zanex, clexa
    husband - type 1, supportive, adoptive father
    ghg - only child, BiPolar (BP), ADHD, daughter
    Last edited: Oct 8, 2009
  2. compassion

    compassion Member

    Hi horserider, My difficult child daughter, age 16 has same diagnois as your son. (Not offically addd but many traits and currentlyon straeera for this)
    Nami haa shelped alot: it is not stubborness or denial , there really is part of thebrain that lacks any awareness of the illness.
    You are right, I know in our case medications help greatly withthe stability. IShe is on antipychoitc plusa mood stabilizer and was sbalefor about 10 weeks on abilify and lactimal. Strateera wasadded 3 weeks ago and her focus is much better. It is is not a stimulant. Her psychiatrist will not prescible stimulant.
    We have worked with a behavior analyst since June and got her stable by givng money incentives daily to take her medications. She was in Residential Treatment Center (RTC) for 3 and ahald months. She did not even wait for relaese and she ran away,etc. mid May. It is eeny tiny baby steps. She did a bit of school this week. That is progress!
    Good luck to you! Compassion
  3. rlsnights

    rlsnights New Member

    If you are sensitive to strong language you may want to skip this advice. If not, you might want to visit www.crazymeds.us.

    Jerod, the guy who created this site, has an eloquent if colorful rant about why people with bipolar/whatever HAVE to stay on their medications.

    You could probably copy and paste it into a document and print it out to share with difficult child. Might reach your difficult child where he lives so to speak.

    Just a thought.
  4. horserider

    horserider New Member

    Thanks for the info, replies. I am going to copy some of the text from crazymeds for my difficult child and send it in a letter. He basically speaks the langauge anyway. Coming from someone with- BiPolar (BP) diagnosis may be very powerful as he has never had advice from someone who struggles with the same issues that he does. This could really help change his mind....wow how helpful this site is and you wonderful parents that have been there.

    Compassion, your statement "there really is part of the brain that lacks any awareness of the illness" I can surely relate to. I asked my difficult child, to do some reflective thinking, do you think you would be where you are right now if you would have stayed on your medications? "Having to take the medications means I'm stupid", difficult child said. I reminded him that we raised him to never view his diagnosis in relation to how intelligent he is. A very bright child. Straterra sent our son to the hospital, for him stimulants actually help with a mood stabilizer.

    The next week or so will be interesting, I'll let you know if were successful.
    Take care

    me, 49- okay I admitted it, xanex, celexa
    husband - type 1, supportive adoptive father
    difficult child - nearly 17, only child - BiPolar (BP), adhd - intelligent, loving child
  5. TPaul

    TPaul Idecor8

    Dear Rider,
    I can understand what you must be going through, although my difficult child is just eleven, I know what we will face this issue of medications with him in the not so distand future most likely. Also with my wife, it is much like your son, they don't want to be BiPolar (BP). They don't want to have to take pills to make them function better. They want to be in denial that there really is not anything wrong with them, everyone else is just wrong.

    I him being in that setting, while hard on you, might be what helps him to see that he needs the medications, to be responsible about taking them, and that he needs to feel no shame because he has BiPolar (BP). He has BiPolar (BP), BUT BiPolar (BP) does not have to have Him. Only the part that he lets BiPolar (BP) have and control shows that it is stronger than he. In reality he can be so much stronger than the BiPolar (BP) with the drive that he will not let it stop or slow him down from living a rich and productive life.

  6. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Taking medications does not mean you are stupid! I take great umbrage to that statement...lol.

    I am bipolar and I would never go without my medications because they give me a much better quality of life. I dont want the roller coaster ride that can be my life if I am off the medications. Also, I am subject to seizures if I go on and off the medications without tapering them. No thanks! I feel so much better and more "normal" on medications than off medications. I am not sedated or drugged or crazy when I take my medications.
  7. compassion

    compassion Member

    Ridwr, The remark about medications makes me stupid is , in my expereince part of he bipolar grandiosity On some level, they relly think they are so much beyond. I have learned I cannot reason with her,espically when manic. I am not sure she really has the insight yet (she is 16) that she is bipolar. The good folks at NAMI and my treatment team alsy remeind me that it takes on average 10 years *hormones etc.) to settle dowm , be medication adherent becseu they want tlike Janet daid a beter wuality of life. In the meantime you and I have these teens to deal with with one day at atime!!! U have learned to drqaqsitcally lower my expectations and be grateful she is more stable : enjoy those small eny tiny steps.
  8. miles2go

    miles2go Member

    What I would say :

    see this
    and this

    bottom line -- NOT taking medications WILL make you stupid.
    Your brain, due to a faulty gene, is firing signals like it's under constant stress or lead-poisoning. That wears out your prefrontal cortex -- stuff responsible for working memory, focus on task, impulse control and possibly other cognition-related things (like thinking things through A to Z rather than A to D and then off on a tangent). Soon enough the damage is felt. Neurons are worn out. Glial cells are destroyed (BiPolar (BP)'s have less of these glial cells than an average person. Einstein had huge amount of them).
    Another way brain damage occurs is when a big mania/anger episode happens -- like a seizure it blasts a pathway through the part of the brain where no pathway should be, making the next such seizure more likely.

    So take the medications to keep your brain working right and not let the faulty signaling destroy useful parts of it.