We had our psychiatrist appointment today and after some discussion, he wants add Namenda to difficult child 2's cocktail. He said he's had several patients who don't tolerate stimulants try it for improving their focus and attention with very positive results. It would be an off-label use as this drug is typically rx'd for Alzheimer's. It's an NMDA (N-methyl-D-aspartate) receptor antagonist -- it targets glutamate, which evidently has an effect on learning and memory. We are hoping this helps difficult child 2 with school. His grades this quarter range from an A+ to an F, and all points in between. The problem seems to be in forgetting to write things down, forgetting to follow through, forgetting what comes next, yada, yada, yada. If this helps, then we'll try to lower his Seroquel XR dose in the evening which should further help with his attentiveness at school (he's already been sent home once for falling asleep in class). Has anyone here had experience with this medication? The psychiatrist did not think husband's experiment with the 5-hour energy drink for difficult child 2 was something worth continuing -- the jitteriness at the end of the day would likely backfire and result in a worsening of some of his bipolar symptoms. difficult child 1 was part of the meeting, too. He's getting an A-, D+, D and D- in his four academic classes. And the A- is in a repeat math class from last year. Not good. psychiatrist said he could see that difficult child 1 was just not all there by the end of the day (our appointment was at 4:30pm), so we're going to add 10mg Focalin after school to see if that gets him through homework without spacing out and forgetting to finish his assignments (which seems to be the biggest reason for his poor grades -- just not turning in or completing assignments). psychiatrist said he agrees with my assessment that Elavil was the reason for the severe skin picking (recently) and the aggression and oppositionality in difficult child 1 over the past few years. He said he was surprised, because fewer than 20% of people respond to that low of a dosage (10mg) in that way (funny how he's mentioned that about several medications my kids have tried (!)). So since it acts on norepinephrine, tricyclics would forever be O-U-T for this kiddo. Glad I asked. Lately, I find my own mood swinging all over the map, but mostly it bottoms out to a highly irritated, agitated state. And days I don't eat right only serve to compound the intensity of my emotions. Bad girl, I know. I realize I am frustrated and stressed over the boys' school performance, our uncertain financial picture with an unemployed spouse, the approaching holidays that I absolutely do NOT want to think about let alone deal with, and extended family I just do not care to see right now. It's so sad to feel this way. I feel bad that I don't even want to talk to my mom about any of this, and normally she'd be the first person I'd turn to. I feel like running away, cocooning, hibernating, whatever. I probably should have brought up my own emotional state at the appointment today, but there's only so much you can cover in 30 minutes with two kids on the agenda. The one positive I can say is that husband is amazingly stable right now, and he's been very supportive and understanding of my current mental state. Had we been thrust into this layoff situation 5 years ago BEFORE he got on his current medications, I doubt our marriage would have survived. So I thank the Good Lord for the medical problem that led to my husband's brain surgery and subsequent medications that have changed his life -- our life. It ain't all bad, now, is it? P.S. And I smashed another mouse today.