Formerlly perfect child is now depressed and possibly ADD

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by rachelfran, Apr 3, 2008.

  1. rachelfran

    rachelfran New Member

    So - my easy child is currently taking a generic version of Zoloft for diagnosed depression... It's been less than 2 weeks so I can't say we've seen any results but the psychiatric thinks she also has ADD... the symptom checkers online do match up but we have not experience with this and I'm wondering about taking 2 different medications and what's suggested... or what others have done in this situation ...

    She's almost 16 (in july) and really floundering in high school - after getting into possibly the best high school in the city ...

  2. change

    change New Member

    I'm sorry. I don't have a formerly easy child but my "bright spot" child is totally falling apart too (12 yrs. old) so I totally know what you're going through. All I can say is that you're not alone. She is in the best middle school in the city and we've been told her transfer will probably not be renewed (she's failing and acting out). Good luck with the high school thng. You might not want to go down that road. In hind sight, I might not have. I feel like I should have jsut put her at her zoned school and avoided all of the stress to begin with. It's not too bad of a school anyway (it's not the worst by any means) and we could avoided switching her around. That's my advice. (I'm a teacher.) Some teachers will be very understanding and be willing to help her but many administrators willonly care about the bottom line (test scores, etc.) and will send a student packing back to their home school if they are going to affect their school's "bottom line" (accountability ratings). Good Luck.
  3. Star*

    Star* call 911


    I'm not pro or con one medication or the other. I can only tell you about my own families reaction to Zoloft. My son was 15 when they put him on it. He has been on many medications. Zoloft was a last ditch effort to find a compatable SSRI. It made him suicidal. He was in jail at the time, and said all he could think about was hanging himself. He even figured out how to rig a sheet up and jump off his bunk. He had been on it for 3 months. The psychiatrist had found out I had taken it for 12 months with success and sometimes parents and children have similar chemical makeups that allow certain SSRI's to work. In this case it did not.

    Oddly enough I had been on it for 12 months with no problems. The first few days I took it I had increased euphoric feelings and swear I was the happiest person on the planet. It came to mind that I then KNEW why people did drugs. One pill and I was set for the day and you could not beat me with a stick and make me say a bad word. 15 months into taking the medication I started 'fabricating' my plan to hang myself. I would think about it and then dismiss it thinking it was CRAZY thoughts. I eventually told my therapist who called my MD and I tapered off then quit.

    After 3 weeks you should know whether it's going to help her or not. There are different SSRI's out there that may work for her. Finding which one is a toss of the dice. Literally! We tried over 65 medications in my sons life, and now at 17 he refuses to take medications. I can't say I blame him. Instead he's thrown himself into working and school. He was NEVER good in school. He tried, but just too much stimulation. Now as a 17 year old kid - he's in an adult ed class 2 times a week and going through the work like fire. We always knew he was intelligent - but at some point I had to let go of MY dreams for him - which were not huge - just graduate high school, go on to college. Get a good job.

    And it's gone from that to - I hope he won't go back to jail, I hope he goes to school 2 days a week, I hope he gets along at whatever odd jobs he is finding to pay his restitution and probation and court costs....and I hope he finds happiness for himself.

    We know what is best for our child and sometimes we get so caught up in making THAT point to them we don't hear what they are saying about what they want. And belive you me - being a big funky DJ rapper who writes lyrics at a coffee house during the day and installs stereos on the weekends while raking in the cash and having a house nicer than mine, a nicer car, a nicer bank account - and all on his delusional thoughts - was not my idea of letting go - but detaching was a way to start healing, and the world will soon kick your kiester if you think at 16, with 2 felony charges, no job, no education and no means of support - is going to be your way of life.

    I let go and now I actually get calls - "What do you think I should do." = It's not much but I'll take it.

    Get yourself a book called Tough Love - and find Suz's list from here on detaching - it's phenominal - most of us have it pasted in our minds or on the fridge - I think it should be renamed....

    Conduct Disorders parents Modern Day Guide to Survival of a difficult child.

    But it's in the archives under Detachment.

  4. Nomad

    Nomad Guest

    Very glad to hear your child is trying medication.
    We had a similar exp. with our son...super easy child...turned difficult child in high school for about a year. It took A LOT of intervention to get things back. Knock on wood and thanking G-d daily, he is doing wonderfully now and i'm very happy about this.

    I do think a top notch therapist, plus medication would have been helpful for our son at that time. Eventually, we did get this for him...but it took awhile....they are hard to find sometimes.

    Check out the book list on the main page here. There are some books on teens and depression...a difficult thing.

    Best wishes,
  5. janebrain

    janebrain New Member

    Hi Rachel,
    my younger dtr also was a "perfect" child--it was her older sister who was the difficult child. But then difficult child was sent to an Residential Treatment Center (RTC) and after a few months easy child felt safe enough to divulge how depressed she was and we realized she had been hiding her problems because she felt she had to be perfect. She too started antidepressants and was in therapy but she didn't like how the antidepressants made her feel (she tried several). We also were sure she had the inattentive type adhd but it turns she was dissociating--she had begaun dissociating as a young child as a way to cope with her older sister's abuse (which we were unaware of).

    I remember how discouraged and weary I felt when I realized I had another kid with lots of problems. I felt I couldn't deal with it but of course I did (and still am).

  6. smallworld

    smallworld Moderator

    Hi Rachel, somewhere between 3 and 6 weeks SSRI antidepressants like Zoloft kick in. It's still too early to judge whether it will work for your daughter. I sure hope it does. I personally hate the medication because my son had a prolonged intense manic reaction after taking just 25 mg for 3 weeks. That was what sent us down the path to a bipolar disorder diagnosis. But for other teens, Zoloft works very well.

    About ADD: Have you ever suspected she had ADD before she became depressed? I ask because ADD generally appears well before adolescence (generally in the primary grades). If this is "sudden-onset" ADD, I suspect it's related to the depression over anything else. Depression can make you inattentive, disorganized and unmotivated -- just like ADD. If this were my child, I would get her into therapy, wait until the Zoloft kicks in and see whether the "ADD" symptoms improve. If they do, you may not need a second medication at all. If she continues to display ADD symptoms after the depression subsides, then you could consider stimulant medications. There are lots of teens who take a combo of an SSRI with an ADHD stimulant (for example, Concerta or Adderall).

    I hope your daughter feels better soon.
  7. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Do you think there's a chance she may be involved with recreational drug use? That can certainly turn a perfect child into one who seems spacy and ADHD. And it's not always easy to tell. It can also make the child depressed. If this new, I'd be cautious.
  8. rachelfran

    rachelfran New Member

    Thanks for the comments here.

    We've been told that its not uncommon for very smart kids to be able to hide their ADD symptoms when they are younger because school is easy for them and requires little organizational skill.... It may appear to come on suddenly in high school & even college since so much more is expected...

    Regardless, last nite we had a difficult situation- she was out and though we had arranged to pick her up at a particular time.. she told my husband - through tears that she wasn't ready to leave and would take a car service home. This was not acceptable and took 45minutes of coaxing to get her to the car. She eventually calmed down but had scratched her own face! (she has a history of cutting)

    I'm so exhasperated --- I dont know what to do with this kid
  9. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    I'm certainly no doctor and won't say that they are wrong, but given what we have gone through and the similarities of a lot of these cases, I would be cautious about a sudden diagnosis of depression and adhd, especially for a teenager. It might not hurt to start logging behaviors and anything else relating to your teen- sleep patterns, changes in appetite, etc., and if these medications don't show signs of improving things in a reasonable time, I would get a second opinion. in my humble opinion.

    Good luck- I've heard this is not uncommon to start with this diagnosis and then it changes and medications change.

    Keep us posted!!
  10. rachelfran

    rachelfran New Member

    today we are going back to the psychiatrist because my daughter wants to change medications because the zoloft is effecting her sex drive; Part of me is laughing because do I really care that these medications are effecting my 15 yr olds sex drive? not really but i know it must be taken seriously because the only thing worse than having to take these medications is NOT taking them with-o the doctor knowing about it ... I've already warned her that my research shows that all of the anti-depression medications have this as a possible side effect;

    I've read that Wellbutrin has the least incident of sexual side effects AND that it may also help her ADD symptoms... Anyone have experience with this?

    I spoke with her pediatrician for the first time about all of this - and she suggested a neuropsychologist work up -- but I can't seem to figure out how to get that within the confines of our insurance.

    Thanks, as always!

    sign me -
    stressed out mom!
  11. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Again, I'd consider recreational drug use. My daughter started cutting when she started using drugs.
    Cutting is a desire to "feel something." Unfortunately, your easy child *does* have some problems or she wouldn't cut. I suspect she held it inside.
    Did I mention I'd ask her or test for recreational drugs? As unlikely as it may be, at her age, and with a sudden change in behavior, I'd look into it very carefully. If she happens to be dabbling, you want to stop it before it gets out of hand, like it did for mine. Drug use can cause symptoms of every diagnosis under the sun.
    Good luck.
  12. rachelfran

    rachelfran New Member

    I'm certain that she's not using recreational drugs... I know she drinks - usually on Friday nights... but I have our computer monitored and I'm sure if she were using drugs she would have chatted about it with friends and I would know about it ...

    Not to mention - she's not very good at hiding things ....

  13. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Drinking at her age is a problem too. I do wish you luck and it's good that you're monitoring her!