How to explain the importance of medications???

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by ck1, Dec 16, 2007.

  1. ck1

    ck1 New Member

    My difficult child just returned from a three month Residential Treatment Facility (RTF) stay. He doesn't argue about taking his medications (100mg Seroquil PM; 25mg Zoloft AM) but he also doesn't think that he needs to. He says that, "they don't make me feel any different" and "they don't make me happy".

    I explained that they're aren't supposed to "make him happy" but they should help him to keep his moods from being all over the place. Is that right? I also compared it to having to take a full course of antibiotics, even when you feel better after just a couple of days. I don't know if that was a good comparison since he'll be taking these medications for much longer than a course of antibiotics, but I couldn't think of anything else.

    To be honest, I don't know what he would be like if he weren't taking them. I know we argued a whole lot before he was taking them, but that was almost a year ago and he's been gone for eight of the last ten months (boarding school and placement). I don't want to give a try though, because the consequences could be severe if he's not able to control himself, plus I can't go back to arguing daily about every. single. thing.

    Not that I really need to convince him to keep taking them because he will, but I'd like to be able to help him understand the importance...I'd like him to buy into it more. Any ideas???
  2. witzend

    witzend Well-Known Member

    I think I would explain it more like High Blood pressure medications. It's not something that you want him to view as "until he is better and doesn't need them anymore" because often if the medications are helping, patients will decide on their own not to take them. This isn't to say that he can't ever get off of them, because he could with a lot of self awareness and maturity add behavioral modifications to his life, knowing that he would always have to be checking and balancing his moods. Then again, that might not work for him. It's not something he should be encouraged to try without close supervision, and without knowing that he may at some time need to go back on the medications, either because he can't quite make it, or because a major stressor has come into play.

    I have been on hypertension drugs for years. We tried diet changes, and I can't really exercise because of my disability. Needless to say, the situation with my kids hasn't been helpful. But, I suppose if I had a personal trainer, a personal chef and dietitian, a massage therapist, etc., I might be able to go off of them. But I'd always have to monitor, and it would be possible that I might need to go back on them again.
  3. weatheringthestorm

    weatheringthestorm New Member

    Boy, have I been looking for that answer!! I keep hoping that once we get the right combo / dose of medications he'll feel better and then with a little maturity realize that the medications are needed. As for right now my difficult child takes his medications but he doesn't want to. He periodically refuses but only misses a dose or two because he knows if he's off the medications we're likely to put him in the hospital where they'll make him take them.

    He's against all medications. He doesn't even want to use his asthma inhaler when he's having trouble, doesn't want to take Tylenol for a headache. I get long lectures about how ancient man didn't have medications and they survived, etc. My favorite though is the arguement that because he doesn't fit societies idea of a perfect kid we medicate him, we force medications on him so we can handle him (at least that one is true!).

    I think we have to just be happy that they're taking their medications and keep hoping that some day they'll accept that they really do need them.

    Best of luck to you and your difficult child.
  4. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    At first Nichole didn't do too bad on her medications. She took them only because she'd have me to reckon with if she didn't.

    BUT it wasn't until she wasn't able to take them during her pregnancy that she realized just how MUCH she actually needs them. Now she does it herself, I've bowed out.

    You can also point out that a diabetic feels great while taking their insulin and staying on their diet, an epileptic may be seizure free as long as they take their medications, but for both to stop taking them can have some horrible consequences. Same for the medications difficult child takes. There just for a different type of disorder.

  5. flutterbee

    flutterbee Guest

    He's weaning off the zoloft, right? Have him keep a daily mood journal starting now and continuing after he's completely off the zoloft.

    I know that difficult child cannot see the difference the AD's make for her. I, however, can and very distinctly, too. A mood journal will be that irrefutable proof since it is his journal kept by him.

    He is right, by the way, that the zoloft may not be working. It took several AD's for me before I found one that worked. So, I think a discussion that even if this one doesn't work, there are others to consider is in order.
  6. ck1

    ck1 New Member

    Thank you so much for all the good ideas.

    Witz: Thanks, the blood pressure medication idea is much better than mine. I'll bring that up with him soon.

    DL: That was a tough way for Nichole to learn but Thank God she did!! As I said, I'm afraid for my difficult child to learn that way because the consequences could be severe!!! Diabetes and epilepsy are also good examples, I'll talk to him about those as well.

    Heather: Yes, he is weaning off the zoloft but our next psychiatrist appointment isn't until February because we have to start with a new doctor. I think a mood journal is a great idea!!! Do you think it could be something that I make up and he just checks off however he's feeling that day? maybe a few times a day? I have to make it easy or he probably won't do it. I will also talk to him about possible trying other AD's, once we meet with his new psychiatrist.

    Thanks again, all...I knew you'd have good ideas!
  7. flutterbee

    flutterbee Guest

    ck -

    You can make it as simple as you want. It could even just be a calendar where he writes: sad, happy, angry, etc or draws a face - I know that part sounds a bit too young for him, but I've used it for me because it was quick and easy. It just needs to be something so he can look back and say I had more happy days while on the AD than off - or whatever.
  8. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    Witz, that BiPolar (BP) medication comparison idea is brilliant. We see the paed tomorrow, I'll pass it on to him.

    difficult child 1 & easy child 2/difficult child 2 haven't always been medication-compliant. The doctor asks them if they feel any different not on medications and the kids say, "I don't feel any different, I can't tell from how I feel or how things seem, if I've taken them or not. It's Mum who makes a big fuss, she nags me a lot more if I've not taken my medications, she really annoys me when I haven't taken my medications."
    So I've pointed out to them, "Why would YOU taking medications make MY behaviour different?"

    So now they get it - they mightn't feel any different, but if they don't take their medications, OTHER PEOPLE want to kill them.