New here and in a pickle!

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by texasbamafan, Aug 14, 2009.

  1. texasbamafan

    texasbamafan New Member

    I am so grateful to have found this group! My 7yo DS was recently diagnosed as
    Overfocused ADD, ODD, and borderline CD and Bipolar. He has been on Vyvanse to
    treat the ADD for the past month, and we have seen great results with that so

    This past week, his psychiatric prescribed Risperdal for his ODD and aggression
    issues, but here's where I am in a bind. My husband is totally opposed to adding any
    more medications and is adamant about not using Risperdal based on what he's read on
    the Internet about its side effects. I love husband dearly, and we have what I would
    consider to be a relatively strong 10+ year marriage; however, he has been
    fighting me tooth and nail on everything related to DS's diagnoses since day
    one. He is very "old school" when it comes to mental illness, believing that we
    should be able to handle our DS without medications, and feeling as if it's a
    reflection on his ability as a parent if we do not. He has been VERY slack about
    attending appointments with me, having only been to one counseling session and
    NO pediatrician. or psychiatric. visits. It took A LOT of discussion, arguing, and research for
    him to even agree to put him on the Vyvanse. He feels that this is enough for DS
    to get him through the day.

    But, we are seeing more and more "breakout" raging now, especially in the
    evening after DS's medications have worn off. The other night, his rage was so bad that
    both husband and myself had to physically restrain him for close to 20 mins so he
    wouldn't attack his brother. The psychiatric informed me that the Vyvanse is not meant
    to treat the aggression symptoms of ODD, ONLY the attention issues with ADD,
    which is why she prescribed the Risperdal. She also felt that the Risperdal
    would help with the insomnia and appetite issues that the Vyvanse causes. So,
    here I sit with the prescription for the Ris. on my kitchen counter, unfilled, and a follow-up visit with the psychiatric scheduled for this coming week. Any words
    of wisdom on how to handle this situation with my husband, and also any personal
    experience with Ris. and its side effects would be greatly appreciated!

    Thanks for letting me vent!

    texasbamafan: undiagnosed ADHD child of HPD(histrionic personality disorder)
    father, currently on Lexapro for depression/anxiety
    Mom to 7yo ADD/ODD DS and 9yo "normal" DS
    Wife of 10yrs to husband, who also happens to be on Paxil for Panic Disorder!
  2. mstang67chic

    mstang67chic Going Green

    It's funny you should say that your husband is very "old school" about mental illness. Just in the last week there have been two posts on this. I don't have the links but if you look in General on, I believe, page 2 for the post titled "Do You Consider Your Child to be Mentally Ill" and in the Watercooler, also on page two, for the post titled "Christy Inspired Me"...these might help.

    There is still, even in this day and age, such a stigma about mental illness, be it the term itself or the actual illnesses. Most mental illnesses are biologically based which, technically, makes them a medical condition. It is only because they are brain based and affect behavior and thought process that they are considered Mental. No amount of behavior modification, discipline, therapy or counseling is going to help if your difficult child if he is raging like this. He, in my opinion and obviously the therapist's also, needs medications to help get him where he needs to be to work on the rest himself.

    No one likes to think about putting their child on medication but sometimes it is what is needed. Is it the medications themselves that your husband is against or is it the mental illness label?

    If your son had a medical condition...thyroid, diabetes, etc....would your husband raise such a ruckus about medications? medications aren't a cure all but they do help the child/person stabalize so that they can work on things themselves. Take the diabetes for example. Without the correct medicine (be it insulin or the pills), his body wouldn't function correctly. But once his sugar levels are stabalized and where they need to be, THEN he could adjust his diet and maintain a healthy lifestyle. The same can be said for mental illnesses.

    As for the Risperdal, my son is on it and has been on it for years. It has worked wonders for him and I haven't seen a rage in a very, very long time. I too had to restrain him when he was younger or else he would have destroyed the house, hurt himself in the process or someone else. If husband is so concerned about the side affects then he needs to speak with the therapist and voice his concerns. He's not a doctor. Simply reading about possible side affects does you no good in the long run. Almost EVERY medication out there has possible side effects. That's why all of the commercials you see for various things say TALK TO YOUR DOCTOR. You can educate yourself all you want about the side affects, benefits, etc. but in the end, you need to talk to the doctor about the risks, benefits and probability of the side affects.

    Welcome to the board by the way and I hope this has helped in some way.
  3. timer lady

    timer lady Queen of Hearts

    Hi & welcome. I'd like to offer to your husband that it isn't healthy for either you nor your difficult child (gift from god - the child who brought you here) to have a child so out of control that physical restraint is necessary. The emotional turmoil & lasting anger is lasting.

    How is this any different from a medication that might help the child? I'd like to add that my difficult child son has been on risperdal since the tender age of 8 (he's now 15) & is doing well; no side effects.

    The info given about the tardive dsykensia & the like happen to a very small % of those who take it.

    I'm sorry if I sound "harsh" or such but I hate seeing a child in a physical restraint if a medication can help.
  4. Josie

    Josie Active Member

    Would your husband consider a change in diet instead of medications? My daughter could be violent and was already taking Lexapro. We were needing to add another medication to contain the violence and were looking at Seroquel. Around that time, we discovered she was gluten and milk intolerant so we tried the girlfriend/CF diet to see if that would help. Now, she doesn't need any medications and, as long as she sticks to her diet, she is fine.

    My husband was slow to agree to the idea of medicine and extremely resistant to changing her diet. I also changed my diet and could see how it helped me, so I insisted that we try it for her.

    in my humble opinion, it is a little unfair to the child to expect them to change their behaviour if there is a biological reason they can't control themselves without offering them the biochemical support that they need.
  5. Rabbit

    Rabbit Member

    Hi I do not know if this information will help u but here goes. I was also reluctant to put difficult child 2 on medications. I waited too long to do so and I ended up in the ER. One of the first drugs we tried was Risperdal. difficult child 2 ended up in the ER because of side effects from the drug. Now he has been on Lithium for about 5 years and has not (Knock wood) has a violent episode in years.
    Sending Hugs Rabbit
  6. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Hi Texasbamafan, welcome.
    been there done that with-my husband. He is a chiro and very anti-drug.
    I had to threaten to leave him b4 he would try medications for difficult child.
    After that, things got better, then worse, until difficult child ended up in the psychiatric ward. After that, no question, difficult child would be on medications, probably forever. The positive changes in his behavior are Soooooo worth it!
    I can't recommend that you threaten to leave, with-or with-o your difficult child, just that it worked for me, because our lives had devolved to that point. Something had to be done. Period.
    Your husband needs educating. I would suggest an appointment with-a pschiatrist who can show husband pics or PET scans on medications, and ADHD PET scans, etc. so show him that there is a huge physical manifestation and that it isn't just a behavior issue.
    Until your difficult child gets stabilized, if he's like our son, behavior therapies will only partially work because he won't be able to absorb the information.
    Best of luck!
  7. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Your husband is on medications to help himself. Why is medications for son different? I would insist that DS be allowed to try medication. The kind of outburst you described is horrible for the child's self-esteem and hard on everyone.
  8. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    It may be time to draw the line in the sand with your husband. It came to that for my husband to get out of the way of our difficult child's care. I finally told my husband that if he refused to give my son medications then we would be out the door so fast his head would spin. I did not do it lightly and I totally meant it. I saw it as if our child had a missing arm. We would not deny him a prosthetic arm would we? Put like that he gave in. Once he saw some progress he became a staunch supporter.

    One of the things you can use in your discussion with your husband is that very often drug and alcohol abusers are self medicating for mental health problems.

    Your son is no dummy. He KNOWS he is different. he probably wants to do what you want him to. Most kids really do want to please parents. For a difficult child is just isn't physically possible. Their brains and bodies just cannot do it without help.

    My son took risperdal for many years. It was really great. For the entire family. it didn't fix things but it let him feel and act more normally. It also made life much safer for our other kids.

    This isn't just about your difficult child. It is also about the rest of the family. Your other child deserves parents who are not spending all their time trying to force his sibling to behave. So often our other kids aer the ones who really suffer.

    If need be draw that line in the sand. Do whatever you can to make sure your kids have every chance at success. Take this medication as a way to keep your child off drugs and alcohol. it isn't perfect, but studies are out there who show that kids like our difficult children who are medicated from early on are much much less likely to become addicts.

    For my husband, having been through the mill with various alcoholic friends and my alcoholic brother, that is the argument that helped him get out of the way of our difficult child's health and well being.
  9. texasbamafan

    texasbamafan New Member

    Thank you all so much for your replies! I apologize for the delay in responding, but it has been a rough last few days here. The good news is that my husband is finally on board with starting difficult child on Risperdal! The bad news is that it took several nights in a row of difficult child's rages and incessant insomnia (up til 3am some nights) for husband to see the light. We give the first dose of Ris. tonight and have a follow up with the psychiatric on Thursday, so I will keep y'all posted on how things go. Thanks again for your support!