Medication after 2 visits?????

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by Arlea, Jun 3, 2011.

  1. Arlea

    Arlea New Member

    Hey all,

    I have a question last week my son got diagnosed with adjustment disorder and conduct disorder. That was his first visit. Today he went for his second visit and she says we need to talk about medicating him for adhd.
    Now generally I would think this over for a good long while, and research like crazy. My question is, should I give the drugs a try while it is summer so he does not have to miss school, and I dont have to miss work??
    Was this to quick of a diagnosis???
    Any advice please!!!
  2. exhausted

    exhausted Active Member

    Were there questionaires (like the Connor's) sent to teachers? Did you fill out questionaires? Did they do any observations of your child playing etc? How did they get to the diagnosis? Why did they not diagnose him with ADHD if they want to medicate him for it? What medications are they considering? What do you know about the medications? Are you willing to give them a try? What does your mommy gut tell you?
  3. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    I'm tired tonight so you'll get a short response. I don't know about "adjustment distorder" but "conduct disorder" is very very rarely diagnosed in so young a child. Who is giving you the diagnosis's?? I try not to be too blunt but my impression is that you do not have the right people trying to help you. Did he have a neuro/psychological evaluation? Are you using a Pediatric psychiatrist? I fear you may be getting information that isn't on target or complete. What specialist are you using? DDD
  4. keista

    keista New Member

    OY. My first question is did he actually get diagnosed for ADHD? you don't mention that. If not, I personally would NOT give him those medications. I've taken 24-48 hours to research new prescriptions before giving them to my kids. I was always comfortable and familiar with what was prescribed, but always wanted to do a double check, and have side effects fresh in my mind - just in case.

    At the urging of several members here, I started reading the Bipoloar Child. Despite the fact that we've gone through the questionnaires for DD1 and have essentially 'ruled it out', because she just doesn't really fit the profile even for children, there was still the nagging "well, maybe, kinda, but not really" I'm on chapter 4 and although I am now confident she is NOT currently bipolar, I am also more confident that she may indeed have a "tendency" to bipolar - traditionally, bipolar is thought to emerge during late teens to early adulthood. The reason I mention this is that, according to this book, many medications for other disorders, including ADHD, have been found to exacerbate BiPolar (BP) symptoms not just in the short term, but long term as well. The diagnosis's you have seem to be very vague, and seem to describe his symptoms/behavior rather than the underlying cause. The underlying cause may indeed be ADHD, you just haven't posted it.

    So, the question is, did he really get a diagnosis of ADHD? Do you think that's what this is after all the research you've done? Summer can be a good time to try out medicines, but even if they work over the summer, school transitions and routines, can change all that. No, I don't think it was too quick, if the Dr did the right evaluations. Dr is trying to respond to your urgent need for help/relief.
  5. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    More, much more, accurate then the Connors is the TOVA test. It is a computer test for ADHD. I woudln't give my kid ANY ADD/ADHD medication until the child took the TOVA test and showed ADHD. I took it and my two kids took it. Connors is subjective, the opinion of the person who answers. TOVA is an actual test to show how well or poorly a child can pay attention. It isn't subjective.

    I medicated my son fast. I am sorry that I did as he didn't actually have ADHD as his primary diagnosis. I am leery of fast medicaters. I am also leery of any professional who would give a six year old a diagnosis of Conduct Disorder. If I were you, I'd get a second opinion. Go to a neuropsychologist. Insist on your child taking the TOVA test as well as doing the Conners. A lot of disorders make a child score way up there on Conners, including autism and bipolar. But TOVA is exclusive to ADHD. My autistic son did very well on the TOVA test. My daughter with ADD completely failed it, which makes sense. She has a terrible time paying attention.

    Good luck, no matter what you decide to do :)
  6. exhausted

    exhausted Active Member

    Don't agree about the TOVA being specific to ADHD-it picks up inattention which is part of a host of diagnosis. But any evaluation across environments and people is a good idea esp. for ADHD-the more perspectives the better-this helps with the subjectiveness of the test. Agree about conduct disorder- your child is too young.
    A neuropsychologist is a good idea but it is difficult to get in and even good child psychs are hard to get into. Here in the state with the most kids per family, the waiting list is 3 months. and t o get a neuropsch. evaluation you have to get a referral from child psychiatric to get in 3 months later. Many insurance companies give you fits about paying for these expensive exams so, be prepared to pay. It is worth it. I agree that you need to at the very least see a child psychiatric. before you go whole hog into anything.
    An experienced psychiatrist, who knows kids can diagnose and help support your family in the meantime. You can't often wait unsupported. We did this with both kids and it helped us maintain until we got into the child psychiatric. and with my son the neuropsychologist.
  7. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    In many ways it depends on the child and the diagnosis and suspected dxes. Many docs liek to say bipolar but do not want to follow the medication protocol approved by the board of psychiatrists (group that certifies them). They want to give ssri antidepressants like lexapro, effexor, zoloft etc.... Or they want to do stimulants. The protocol for bipolar is done to take into account the effects of other medications on people with bipolar. Those medications can send a personw ith bipolar into mood cycling that can last months after the medication is stopped. The right way to handle that diagnosis is to start with mood stabilizers, one and often a second one is added to get full control of the mood cycling. Atypical antipsychotics are also used at this stage to help deal with aggressiveness, anger, violence. Once the person is stable mood wise, often the symptoms of depression, adhd, etc... just are not there. If they persist after moods are stable, very small amounts of a stimulant or antidepressant can be added slowly and carefully. Some years back a mom who isn't here often but is bipolar herself was swearing that lexapro was the right medication for her bipolar. A while later she ended up in a psychiatric hospital and got taken off all medications and put onto mood stabilizers - and she said that she was shocked at how different she was with those, at how much the lexapro had her moods totally out of whack and changing like a two year old's opinion. There were others here who said the same for their bipolar and for their children's (even if they didn't have it but their kdis did, they said following this protocol for medications amde a HUGE change).

    I have had many docs try to say my difficult child is bipolar but NONE of them have EVER wanted to go the mood stabilizer route. They have also not been able to tell me WHY they didn't watn to follow the medication protocol. They each admitted that it was the wise thing to do, but none of them wanted to actually do it. The last one never spent more than ten min with Wiz, usually it was 3 min every 3 months, no joke. I started using a stopwatch to time the appts. never was it over 190 seconds (3 min 10 sec). I rattled him the day I whipped out the protocol and challenged him with it, and he never again did anything but write the rx for what Wiz was on (that was working anyway - medication change was not needed for any real reason, doctor just "felt like it").

    You can find the protocol in the Bipolar Child by Papalos, also on the web.

    As for stims for adhd, is that a diagnosis you feel is valid? How many visits do you think should happen before medication is given? There isn't ar ight answer, just something to think about. Stims have the benefit of being fast in and fast out. There are extended release forms that work for up to 12 hours or so, but even these are out within a day. So they would wear off. With Wiz the change after his first dose of stims was dramatic - not just to us. we gave it before a soccer game so that if it made him more hyper he could run it off. EVERYONE - coach, ref, parents on our team and ont he other team, teammates, they ALL wanted to know what we did because he was so very much different, so abel to focus and follow through. So he has been on them since age 7 with excellent luck. Many worry about stims leading to drug use. If the diagnosis is correct, this is NOT a valid worry.For those with true adhd, there is no high from them. They work to make the mind and body work at the same speed but do NOT give a speed high. Studies have shown that given appropriately, to kids with adhd, the incidence of drug use is actually less than in the general population. The probelm is that so many people diagnosis adhd for kids that are high energy but NOT adhd. Kids can be high energy and not have adhd, but schools esp do not want to deal with it. Not all schools/teachers, but enough that if a child is a challenge they push for medicating them. Those who get it and are NOT adhd do have an increased risk of drug use.

    I would push for testing, but trialing medications in the summer can be a good thing. It takes away the pressure of having to perform in school and you can see what they are truly doing. Some medications, like mood stabilizers, take time to get to the therapeutic level and must be at that level for six weeks to know if they will work.

    Go with your instincts. Many of us have found that we made the biggest mistakes by going along with something our gut screamed was wrong wrong wrong.

    i will say that we medicated on the second visit with the psychiatrist with Wiz, but he was trully climbing the walls in her office during the appointment. psychiatrists do not do real therapy, talk therapy that is, the way the tradition image suggests. You know that freudian image of the doctor sitting htere while you lay on a couch talking, that is not done by psychiatrists anymore. tdocs do that, psychiatrists rx medications. So thinking about what you want from the psychiatrist is important, as is knowing what they typically are set up to do.

    My mother did NOT think that Wiz should be on medications, esp stims. We went to visit her and he had medications before she was really around him in the morning. One day we went to bfast at a diner and I gave him his concerta (a stimulant) as we sat down and got water to drink. By the time food came he was a different kid. It was such a drastic change that it changed her tune in a huge way. It was also the first step in getting my bro diagnosis'd and on medications. He was never on stims as he is a recovering alcoholic, but strattera has made a giant difference in his life.
  8. ready2run

    ready2run New Member

    we had our difficult child medicated on his second visit as well. during the time we were waiting for the doctor difficult child totally destroyed his office, and yes i did try to stop him but he was screaming and trying to bite me so i let him go. i tried everything to get him to come play with me and wait. when the doctor came in difficult child picked up a magazine and asked the doctor if it was his. doctor said yes and difficult child laughed and ripped it in half. the doctor said "ok, the child is clearly disturbed." at that point he was also banned from attending school and was making all our lives miserable. he was 5. now that he is 6 and had been medicated for the last year i just had a months taste of his unmedicated self and i have to say i have no regrets about medicating him and he has now undergone a number of tests because of an irregular heartbeat and tonight we put him back on his medications at the insistance of his psychiatrist, his pediatrition and another doctor we saw for a second opinion. i must say it is a releif that he is going to change back from his current monster mode to his medicated trouble making mode where yes he is still difficult but he is not attacking people and threatening to kill people.
  9. Arlea

    Arlea New Member

    Ok so I am going to try to answer all your questions!!
    My son was diagnosed with adhd, adjustment disorder and conduct disorder by a child and adolescent therapist.
    She is the only person we have seen for the problems we have encountered recently, he has not seen a nero/psychiatric.
    I do believe he has adhd and have for a while , but never persued it as it was always managable for me with scheduling and rewarding. Recently though he has become so impulsive it has put him in danger. I am concened for his and my daughters safety ( daughter has stopped sharing a room with him and has been sleeping in our room).
    The lady we see has met my difficult child twice and today was her visit with me NOT present. Origionally he was diagnosed with adjustment and conduct disorders and she said he was most likely borderline adhd. However after todays visit she seemed adamant that he was in fact adhd and told me I should consider medicating him, she did not say what medication she was considering only that I should think about how I feel about it till our next visit. I am always hesitant on medicating my children as I prefer a homeopathic approach but will do it if it needs done. I am unsure of his diagnosis, can you decide in 2 visits that a child has adhd, 6 year olds show off and act silly. I am open to anything that will help my son and our family, I just like to be sure, and normally I would take my time thinking about it but as an EA I have summers off and if we need to start something I would perfer it be out of school, and home with me where I can really see the effects it has on him.
    I feel inadequate that I struggle so much with my own child when this is my field of work??
    I just want my son to be happy again, but I do not want medication to dull his amazing personality, he really is very unique, and thats something I take tremendous pride in. I have read that adhd treatments are a lot like an anti-depressant and can mute feelings, that frightens me.
    I am very confused, and am not sure what to do, I want to try medications in the summer time if thats what it comes to. Does anyone have an all natural approach they use and find effective? I am not a crazy lady about all natural by any means but have found many herbs and products that help me with things that a dr would have perscribed medicine for, but am still open to any suggestions you may have.

    by the way my easy child (w prolapsed rectum) has been put on a "we will se what happens" period before they reccomend surgey,for anyone following my earlier posts.

    As always thank you all so much for your responses, I appreciate the support and insight, I feel alone in this situation and its amazing to have people to ask questions and discuss these topics with. Thanks for the continued support!
  10. keista

    keista New Member

    Did you fill out any questionaires? Did your son? Did he have any specific games or tests? If she just observed him for these 2 visits, well.......

    If it's the side effects that you are most concerned about - muting the personality - don't get too worked up over it. Just like any other medicine for any other malady, you'll have to weigh the benefits vs the negatives. One medication DD1 was on seemed to work on her symptoms just fine, but she had 2 side effects that I would not accept - fatigue and weight gain. The child was too tired to do pretty much anything, and she was packing on pounds very quickly. The latter is a big issue for young girls, and even a bigger issue since she's predisposed genetically to be overweight (our entire family struggles - even the athletic ones) Her psychiatrist at the time didn't care about the weight but did care about the fatigue, but either way it was MY decision if I was going to continue that medication for DD1 - I didn't.

    Anyway the medication should not dull the personality, but dull the impulsivity so the personality can shine through. If you haven't already, start keeping a journal of symptoms/behaviors (both good and bad). this will help you track and determine if this first medication (possibly subsequent ones) will be right for you.
  11. Malika

    Malika Well-Known Member

    Arlea, hello. I do understand your dilemma. To state the very obvious, none of us can say what you "should" do. We can really only say "In your shoes, I would..." And in your shoes, I would be waiting and watching before deciding on medication, first to get a sounder diagnosis and secondly to explore other alternatives first and see how effective they are.
    I have a friend here who is a medical doctor who now practises as a homeopath (in France all homeopaths have to be qualified doctors). We recently had a chat about hyperactivity, ADHD and treatments. He told me - and he's someone with a very solid reputation whose judgement I would trust - that he has seen and treated dozens of children homeopathically who seemed to be out of control, of whom the parents despaired, etc, who have undergone transformations. Since I have never consulted him or any other homeopath for ADHD, I can't be more specific than that... But it is worth a try if you know a good practitioner.
    I am wary of playing around with medications to see if it fits or not... better, as has been said, to thoroughly research beforehand and proceed from a basis of informed consent.
  12. I tried a number of approaches before medicating my difficult child. I wish I had medicated him at least a year before I did. He's happier, we're happier, the other people around him are happier. Even the plants out in the yard are happier.

    I don't think my son's "real" personality is the one that rages and can't control impulses, it's the one that emerges when the medications help him NOT rage etc. You can have an interesting philosophical discussion with folks on what constitutes personality, drugs, and mental states.
  13. Malika

    Malika Well-Known Member

    It is good to hear of your positive experience with medication and that it has led to a real improvement in your son's and your family's lives. It seems that if medication is needed and chosen, it takes time, exploration and research to find the right one.
  14. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    I am taking an anti-depressant and have been for years. For me, it doesn't mute my feelings at all. It lets me be who I am without the debilitating depression. That is really the only change I have seen. I refuse to take medication that changes who I am.

    On the other hand, I have tried Ritalin as some doctor thought I had ADHD. I took it once and was flying like anyone else on speed. Then when it wore off, I feel into a horrible depression (which I am prone to) and had trouble pulling out of it. It did not "mute" me at all. Quite the medications are hit or miss. Stims *can* make a child more aggressive. My son had this reaction to them. He turned mean and aggressive and that's not like him at all. He is now medication free. son does not have behavior problems. If my kids were hurting other people or being aggressive, I would feel I'd have to try anything I could to help him have a normal life.
  15. timer lady

    timer lady Queen of Hearts

    Medications are a viable, many times successful, treatment option for our difficult children, along with therapy, skills training, etc. Only you can decide whether you will utilize medications for your difficult child.

    Some of our difficult children have bad reactions to medications, others don't.

    Your psychiatrist recommended medications for some reason ~ possibly because your difficult child is somewhat out of control.

    Keep in mind there is no "magic bullet" out there for our children. It's a highly personal decision whether to give your difficult child medications. Saying that, how many visits will it take to utilize medications? If you don't like/agree with the current diagnosis will you withhold medications that just might help your difficult child?

    I'm playing devil's advocate here. I want you to keep an open mind either way. You may be denying your difficult child a viable treatment.
  16. Arlea

    Arlea New Member

    We have done one questionaire an he has done play tasks with her, the first visit was mostly observation??
    His teacher has not been contacted for a questionaire yet unfortunatley. I would be interested to see how she fills it out.
    I think I have to do what I always do and take my time with this, reasearch and inform myself before I make any decisions.
    Also I think I will make an app with our family doctor and try to get a referall.
    I will wait and see what her plan of action is next week, and decide how I feel about it all then.
    Hopefully i make the right decision!
  17. keista

    keista New Member

    Sounds like a plan. Research and go with the Mom gut instincts.

    As parents, the best we can do, is literally the best we can do. If these kids came with an instruction manual, or a crystal ball then things would be peachy.
  18. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Arlea, just popping in to lend support. I wouldn't mind trying an ADHD medication during the summer because you can watch him all day, and they don't stay in the system that long.
    But I don't like the diagnosis. It doesn't really tell you anything.
  19. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    ADHD medications are "fast in fast out" so you will not need a long time to see if it helps....if you decide to try it. Is the child therapist the one who came up with the more serious diagnosis? I'm not sure whether you reference to two appointments means that all those labels came down from that therapist after two meetings? or if your chld was seen by a chld Psychiatrist
    prior to that? Don't feel pressured to make the decision this minute on ADHD medications. Often times behaviors are different once the pressure of school is past so you may see an entirely different pattern. Mostly, though, I'm curious (for your sake) who exactly has he been treated by. Hugs. DDD
  20. Arlea

    Arlea New Member

    He has only seen the therapist, he has seen her twice now and she is the only person who has diagnosed him. All the labels are from the therapist.