New Member
My daughter is 14 ADD, not a lot of problems except disorganized, my 7 year old son is another story, he has been on Focalin XR15mg for about a year now, and school time has improved almost 100%(grades and behavior) BUT before and after school is a complete nightmare, he will not listen to anything I tell him, fights with sister, breaks things, makes HUGE mess, and moves on to make a new one, if I try to correct him he starts throwing and breaking things, ran away on bike til I locked it in the shed, now on foot, my hubby is gone 99% of the time working only home maybe a few hours one night a week. I am just SO WORN OUT. Everyone wants to tell me do this or do that, but nothing seems to work, sometimes they make me feel like I am just not good at parenting. He had been on the immediate release focalin 10mg for afternoon, it did nothing, then tried risperdal he got really sick and saw no change as well. I asked about increasing the XR, or trying a lower dose XR in the afternoon but dr. hasn't tried it yet. And almost impossible to get him to sleep at night. I am going insane, and on top of everything my hubby will call at night and expect me to listen to how tired he is even though he got off work at 5 and I am still working.
Hi! Welcome to the board. You are in a safe place, and nobody here is going to judge you.

Deep breaths.

A few suggestions:

Melatonin (it ia an all natural supplement) has been a Godsend to many board members here. Give it to your son about 45 minutes before bedtime. He will be sawing logs. You can find it with the vitamins in any drugstore.

Have you read the book "The Explosive Child" by Ross Greene? it is highly recommended here. It is a very good read. Lots of great ideas on how to handle and discipline a difficult child.

Everyone here has been where you are (many still are!). Please know that you are in good company. There will be more wise mammas along soon with advice, hopefully more to do with the doctors and medicine.

Again, welcome!!


Welcome. As BBK said we have all dealt with similiar issues. So much advice here.

we know how these special children can suk the life right out of you.

We just started with Melatonin within the last week. Mostly because my son would go to bed, but be up ever few hours. It works wonders.

Hang in there.


Hi WornOut

We understand the physical and emotional drain. It sometimes feels that there's just not enough of you to go around, doesn't it?

Couple of comments pertinent to your 7 yr old. Some stimulants cause a rebound effect. One site defines it as "the worsening of symptomatic behavior after a drug has worn off."

Our son's "rebound" was awful on Ritalin. He was much worse after the medication wore off than before it was administered in the mornings. It also made difficult child aggressive. Adderall XR is a much better medication for difficult child, but with some, it's just the reverse. Bottom line is that medications work differently for different people, and we have to trial until we find the best fit. Unfortunately, none of them are a cure-all and some kids can't take a stimulant period.

Trouble getting to sleep can also be a side affect of a stimulant. My son takes a stimulant in the morning before school. From time to time, it still interfers with his getting to sleep. He can't take an afternoon does for just this reason.

We had good results with Melatonin also. As explained above, it's an over the counter natural sleep aid.

Welcome aboard. :smile:


New Member
If you hear anything, please let me know. I'm in about the same situation!! It is truly frustrating. I can't seem to get my son to behave in a manner appropriate for a 13 year old.


New Member
Same thing here, Foclin and Straterra made my sweet boy very angry. I'm not being biased when I say sweet, he would do anything for anyone, anytime. Then he started Foclin and later Straterra. I'm still not clear which caused the anger, but it was the medications. He has been off both since early summer and is back to my sweet boy again! I'd recommend a medication check with the doctor.


Well-Known Member
Can he try a longer acting stimulant?
Do you have psychiatric problems on either side of the family tree that may have been inherited? Did a Child Psychiatrist or neuropsychologist diagnose him?

Skylark Matrix

New Member
Has anyone talked to you about an all natural diet? In our house we are not organic fanatics, but we do practice whole food cooking nearly 100% of the time. We noticed early on, without input from doctors that any manufactured food had a bad effect on the kids, the more refined the food the worse it was on their behaviour. Pop and non fruit juice - ie flavoured punches, powdered mixes, etc - seemed to be the absolute worst. After 10 years of just "knowing" this a pyschiatrist told me that it is the chemical dyes that cause this, and the darker the colour the worse the effect.
Our basic meal plan is whole grain cereal, fruit, veg., meat, potatoes, whole grain pasta, cheese, milk or water to drink.
A consistant routine helped immensly - same waking, sleeping timetable, not any sudden changes.
And, even though all this helped when they were young, in the end the ones who we did this for both turned to their own ways and I'm not sure it helped them anyway, but at least we had as much sanity as possible in the house during the younger years.


New Member
I'm not sure the Focalin is the cause of the anger issues, he's always been this way, I did take him to see one psychiatrist she diagnosed him as bipolar and prescribed lithium, and with my Mom being a nurse for many years, sister graduating soon as Nurse Practitioner, and several nurses on his dad's side they all threw a fit about the lithium, which I was already afraid about so I never tried it. He is small for his age and doesn't always eat very much, and my sister said something about blood levels or something so I gave up on that. I was seeing a Psychiatrist/neurologist for anxiety and depression for the first time in my life and mentioned my son to him and he said it didn't sound like bipolar. He said he didn't believe the focalin would work at all the way it does at school if he was bipolar because it is a stimulant it would only make him worse. Soooo, that being said I am going to see if the doctor. will try something else for the afternoon. Because I know the focalin xr works, I have seen how he is on it during the summer and weekends, etc., He is like a different child. Oh , about the foods, yes I have tried that didn't really see a change but I cook normal healthy means anyway, and he only drinks milk, water, or cranberry juice.


Actually, every time I see an ADHD/ODD diagnosis I raise my eyebrow because so often the ADHD/ODD diagnosis is bipolar.

ADHD and bipolar are not the same and the treatment is different. Medicating a bipolar child with ADHD medications can create mega problems. It's not uncommon for bipolar and ADHD to co-exist. In these cases, it is recommended that the bipolar be stabilized prior to treating the ADHD.

Get a copy of the book, "The Bipolar Child" by Popolus (sp) It may help you better understand your child and know more about treatment options.

I hate having to medicate my son. It scare me. It's not something any concerned parent does lightly in my opinion.

On the other hand, I can't justify withholding medication from my son -- I wouldn't do it if he needed insulin, chemo therapy, etc.

Bipolar disorder can be a progressive disease. In the end, it's the parent's final decision and we respect each parent's decision on the board. And all the decisions are HARD. Read, research, and self-educate, then make your decision about your child's treatment.


Well-Known Member
I'd frankly disregard the hysteria from your family--they are nurses, not psychiatrists and don't have a psychiatrists understanding of medication. There are other mood stabilizers besides Lithium: Lamictal, Trileptal, Tegretal and Depakote. If he is bipolar stims won't help him. They may help him focus (college kids pop those medications to study all night--they make everyone focus better, but they can make mood disordered kids more off-the-wall). I would see a Child psychiatrist (with the MD) and take his recommendations to heart. A bipolar person without a mood stabilizer is asking for trouble. I have bipolar. With every cycle, the child gets worse. It is definitely a progressive disorder that gets worse if the cycles aren't stopped, and ADHD medications won't help. THey could even make kids cycle more. Lithium is quite effective, by the way. All medications have side effects. I wish you luck. Take care!

Wiped Out

Well-Known Member
Staff member
Hi Wornout,
Just popping in to say welcome! Your board name is close to mine (wiped Out) and I do understand how you feel. I hope you are able to find some "me" time for yourself-it's important! Hugs.


New Member
My 9 year old has ADHD and Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) as well. He recently had a side effect to his medications called akathisa which caused us to stop all medication. I can't remember the last time he has been this happy. Unfortunatly he cannot sit still for even one minute and could never get through a day of school. Your damned if you do and damned if you don't.