New medications...


It never ends...
Well, I cried today after talking to the pediatrician whose opinion was the third after (MT and Psychiatric Nurse Practicioner)to say that my son might need a mood stabilizer or antipsychotic. The reaction I had was actually one of relief but I still have serious issues with medications. I should probably be on an antidepressant right now but the thought of starting that merry go round again is terribly aversive to me. I went so far as to get an evaluation and script but still have yet to follow through. I just feel like, because I haven't done ALL that could be done in terms of diet exercise, special school, etc... that medications are a cop out for both me and my son. But this is ridiculous since designing the perfect environment is unrealistic. Right?
Some support would be helpful. Anyone out there with ADHD/ODD kid on concerta and/or a mood stabilizer.. anyone with moral aversion to medications.. anyone who understands what it's like to have a difficult child that you love to death, would give your life for, and also want to kill a majority of the time because he recks havvoc on your life all the time? yah, you know who I'm talking to. Send me a life line.


Yes, many of us can relate to all your comments. Hate the fact that our kids need medications. Understand the love but at the same time have to exert restraint required not to throttle difficult child. lol Understand the emotional roller coaster ride re: perceived good news and not so good news from professionals.

Hang in


Active Member
My difficult child is on Concerta and Wellbutrin. I wouldn't change it for the world. It has made a huge difference in the quality of life we have as a family. If she wasn't medicated our life would be in turmoil. It does not indicate that you are a failure as a parent if your child in medicated. Everyone does what is best for their family. Some days are good and some days are bad. But when my difficult child is on her medicine, Most days are good! I'll take that anytime!


It never ends...
Thanks you guys.

Hmm Concerta and Wellbutrin? I have depression and Wellbutrin has worked well for me in the past but it's a stimulant and I now have high blood pressure so can't take it. I am wondering, because I think that depression should be considered in the case of my son, whether wellbutrin wouldn't be a good thing for HIM. My concern is that both medications are stimulants. How much does your child weigh? What doses/ times is she taking? What about sleep? What does your doctor say about the dual stimulant effects? Can you give me more info so that when I go in to talk to psychiatrist next week I am better prepared?

Thanks again,


Active Member
Phoebe, (I love that name)

My difficult child is on 150 mg of Wellbutrin XL and 54 mg of Concerta. psychiatrist is hoping that eventually the Wellbutrin can take over and we can lose the Concerta. But for now she is on both. difficult child prefers both and feel very anxious when we try to remove the Concerta. She sleeps fine, she is 15 and in bed by about 10:00 and still doesn't want to get up for school. On weekends probably in bed about 12 and sleeps until about 10:00. We had changed her from Zoloft which caused major weight gain, about 50 lbs in 2 years. She has lost most of the extra weight and is now a healthy 5'4 and about 135 lbs. She eats fine.


Roll With It
Hon, if your kiddo had diabetes you would do the diet and exercise, but would insulin be a cop-out? These diseases our kids have (and someof uf have) are not make-believe. They are real chemical and sometimes physical changes in their bodies.

My son needs his medications as much as a diabetic needs insulin. I hated the entire idea of them, but the change was so dramatic that there was no denying the need.

I strongly recommend reading The Bipolar Child and starting with mood stabilzers BEFORE you start any other medication. If any mood disorder is suspected, starting the mood stabilizers can save so much time, heartache, and money. Stims and antidepressants often send moods into strange and scary spins. If you trial a mood stabilizer you may be able to rule out bipolar, or you may get a huge leap in stabilizing bipolar. If your child is on stims or antidepressants when you start a mood stabilizer, you probably will not get a clear idea of what the mood stabilizer can do. The other medications keep the mood stabilizers from working.

IF bipolar is suggested, then it should be ruled out first, before you start ADHD medication. The cycles that people with bipolar go through actually create pathways in the brain, and with enough of hte highs, they are addicting. Catching this EARLY, and TREATING it appropriately, can save your child from years of heartache.

The Bipolar Child explains this very well. It is a great book. I know you want to have done everything possible before you medicate, we all do. At some point you have to weigh in the quality of the entire family's life. And how medications may change it.

sending gret big hugs,



Well-Known Member
My difficult child takes Concerta, Risperdal and Depakote. It works very
well for him and his life has greatly improved since this combo
became part of the daily regiment. DDD


New Member
My difficult child was on concerta and a mood stablizer named Geodon and mixing those two together was horrible for him and us. He had very bad mood swings all day and he cried all day long. I wish you the best of luck though, we still haven,t been able to find the right medication for my son yet(that works). He will be starting Staterra. Spelling? I'll let you guys know how it works out....


It never ends...
We tried Strattera without anything else and it was horrible for us. It takes 4-6 wks to level off and by the time we got there I had figured out that my son's new aggressive violent behavior was related to the new medication.. and then it took 4-6 weeks to get back off of it. Hope you have a better experience.

Sara PA

New Member
Wellbutrin is an antidepressant, not a stimulant. Strattera is also an antidepressant. They act on the neurotransmitter norepinephrine. Wellbutrin is a combo type which acts on three different neurotransmitters; Strattera acts only on norepinephrine.

Geodon isn't a mood stabilizer, it's an antipsychotic (major tranquilizer approve for the short term treatment of manic episodes. The mood stabilizers are lithium, Lamictal, Depakote and Tegretol. No antipsychotic (Risperdal, Zyprexa, Seroquel, Abilify, Geodon) are long term mood stabilizers. They are short term treatment of a mood swing episode. Most will tell you they simpley don't work long term.

"Anyone out there with ADHD/ODD kid on concerta and/or a mood stabilizer.. anyone with moral aversion to medications.. anyone who understands what it's like to have a difficult child that you love to death, would give your life for, and also want to kill a majority of the time because he recks havvoc on your life all the time? yah, you know who I'm talking to." That would be many if not most of us. been there done that Didn't we get tee-shirts made?
Hey, lady! I haven't been on as much lately for a variety of reasons, so you don't really "know" me, but here's some input, anyway.

I believed that many of my own issues in life were less about brain chemistry and more about being the daughter of an alcoholic father with a volatile temper and a very depressed mother ... basically, environment. So, I determined that I would give my cubs a better environment. No physical violence, no verbal abuse, no guilt-trips, etc. Standard parental thought process, huh?

Everything was fine with easy child, the older child. Then, my son. My son was the perfect baby but turned into a Terrible Two and stayed that way. After a while, it became obvious that this wasn't a standard Terrible-Two-he'll-grow-out-of-it thing. And it became apparent he was developing just like me. The all-consuming anger, the inappropriate responses, all of it.

I spent a year and a half of his toddlerhood trying different specialists, diets, supplements, behavioral techniques etc. Depsite our best efforts, the problems didn't just continue, they grew.

I hadn't wanted to drug a three-year-old and I didn't want to drug a four-and-a-half year old, either. But, the options seemed few and my son was taking a lot of psychological damage in being excluded from play by other children and by being asked to leave programs. One day, I watched one of the specialists call my son's name in a perfectly neutral tone and watched my son response with the same defensive anger, look, and posture that I used to. I decided that brain chemistry trumped environment and all of my best of intentions weren't going to stop my son's progress into becoming far more like me than I wanted. The specialist I liked best gently explained to me that the internal damage being caused by my son's continual stress and anger was more than drug trials were going to do.

So we played the roulette game of medications. After three failures, we tried Lamictal and it has made a world of difference to our little boy. Not magic by a long shot, but he doesn't rage like he used to. To be honest, I wish I'd tried the drugs with him long before I did. Had I not been bent on NOT drugging him, I could well have save him at least of year of social rejection and the pain he felt because of the anger consuming him.

I don't know if this story helped you much, but I do understand the reluctance to drug a child. It was hard for me to keep trying different drugs with various side-effects when I hadn't even wanted to give him the first one but I am glad I did. He is a much happier boy than when the anger hijacked his brain all the time.

Good luck to you!