prescription medications

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by klmno, Jun 26, 2009.

  1. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    I honestly believe that there are times when people need medications rx'd to function normally. But, am I the only person that believes that sometimes medications are rx'd when they shouldn't be- just because a good therapist can't be found to deal with psychiatric problems so people start thinking medications MUST be needed?
  2. everywoman

    everywoman Active Member

    husband is weaning himself off Depokote right now. He doesn't like the way it makes him feel. Plus he has gained 20 lbs since April. I think there is a time and place for all medications. I know some people really need them, but I often wonder if they are over prescribed. I know when I was tired all the time and could hardly function the first thing my doctor did was prescribe a anti-depressant. I was so desperate to feel better I took it. Then I got my thyroid results----so I went back to the doctor, got on thyroid medications and dq'd the other.
  3. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    I have just been thinking about MJ and then it reminded me of a few tdocs difficult child has known along the way. difficult child had a few that "suggested" that if the therapy didn't work, maybe he needed more medications or other medications. That keeps ringing in my mind. I don't think medications should be rx'd because therapy isn't tried or doesn't work. medications won't help that, right? If it's a chemical imbalance, medications are needed. If it's carpy therapy, better tdocs are needed, in my humble opinion. And I definitely don't think we have enough competent tdocs around. Just my 2 cents for the night. LOL!
  4. everywoman

    everywoman Active Member

    I think we are talking about the difference between a chemical imbalance or an emotional issue. I have had situational depression---but it has never been an ongoing thing with me. And while at the time I could have been situationally depressed---husband's parents had both died, difficult child was in really bad shape, and pcson's wife had just left him with a 1 year old, I knew that is wasn't clinical depression that there was something else wrong with me---I have weathered storms my whole life---but the feeling of utter tiredness that is a mark of depression---just blew me away. But once my thyroid levels were normal, I was back to the old optimistic, plow through to the other side, me.

    Now difficult child is one who needs the chemical help to stabilize him. He, however, refused to take the medications. Instead he self-medicates with pot. Because of his choice, he limits himself in life. He can't apply for any real jobs because they will drug test and he will test dirty. When he broke his toe at work, he couldn't seek medical attention, because he would have been tested for worker's comp. and again, he would test dirty. If he chose to take the medications he needs, he would have more opportunities in life.
  5. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    I have wrestled with the medications/no medications questions for years. Not only on the mental health/behavioral issue but also on many other health issues. I have had medications seriously over AND under prescribed. I have had docs fake results because they could not be bothered to read a lab report. I have had excellent docs scratch their heads and look puzzled (NEVER a good thing to see on your docs face, or at least not a reassuring one!).

    I had to resign myself to a lifetime of medications to deal with the arthritis and fight with docs to let them see that some of it didn't need medications - nutrition and the right exercise and other therapies were needed. I have hidden seeing a chiro from other docs because they would refuse treatment (one specific doctor who was excellent at his specialty but didn't think anything but medications would EVER help anyone).

    I have had them tell me the medical issues were because I was nuts or a hypochondriac. Oddly enough I got more of the hypochondriac comments when I suggested physical therapy, chiropractic or other things than just medicines.

    I think there is a HUGE overlap of treatment types that can be effective. Heck, many here have seen enormous behavioral changes from what you eat and not just counting artificial coloring or preservatives.

    It is very tricky to find the treatment team that can fit your needs. I think many people are overmedicated with antidepressants and mood stabilizers and antipsychotics. I don't think this is mostly coming from psychiatrists. I see most of it from general practice docs or pediatricians. I actually had one "family practice" doctor who SWORE that zyprexa was the BEST medication to treat arthritis and migraines!!! It is NOT approved for EITHER of these things.

    LOTS of this can and should be blamed on the pharmaceutical industry. Their reps go around providing food and hand sanitizer and dolls and golf outings so they can get the docs to prescribe their medications. As often as not they push docs to rx medications for diseases and problems the medications don't even touch. Many times the doctor is so overwhelmed and busy that they just rely on what the rep says - it is how I was almost killed by a single dose of zyprexa. My husband couldn't even find my pulse - my dad did, and they got me awake after 3 days, yes THREE days, by putting cold water on my face, ice cubed in my armpits (NOT fun but it managed to reach me). The jerk of a doctor refused to take my call after a frantic call from my husband about the situation. Five months after that his partners forced him out - and they had been partners since medical school. He did this to at least seven patients (I know one of his partners nurses).

    And even after all of this I have two kids on medications daily. Plus thank you on asthma medications when it acts up. If we take Wiz off medications he is suicidal. Bad enough we have not successfuly done a medication wash in over ten years. Jessie may never be off medications - but it took over a YEAR to get her medications up to a therapeutic level because she is so sensitive to them.

    I don't have any concrete answers, but I believe that many people would be helped more by a therapist they can connect with than are currently being helped. I also think that using a combination of approaches can often work better than any one approach can hope to work.

    I hope and pray that someday we can make evaluation for sensory integration disorder mandatory at least every other year until the teen years. It is one therapy that is cost effective, EASY, non-invasive and can have VISIBLE and DRAMATIC results almost instantly. When thank you was evaluated he started off trying to cut out a circle and he started saying he couldn't do it, he was useless, all kinds of awful things about himself. Stuff NO ONE had ever told him. As the Occupational Therapist (OT) did some very gentle joint compressions with his neck and shoulders he almost magically began to cut more confidently and he even changed what he was saying. The Occupational Therapist (OT) did NOTHING to influence this o ther than the joint compressions. She didn't say anything, change facial expression, nothing.

    It is PROVEN that brushing therapy re-routes brain pathways to make the brain handle things better. I truly hope and pray that EVERY one of our difficult children has been evaluated by a private Occupational Therapist (OT) for this. Especially the kids with autistic spectrum disorders - it just makes such a HUGE difference.

    Off my soapbox. This is an interesting topic, hope I didn't go overboard!
  6. KTMom91

    KTMom91 Well-Known Member

    I think there is a potential for medications to be overprescribed, particularly if the doctor doesn't want to/know how to dig deeper into the root of the problem. Docs don't like to admit they don't know, and we all know they don't always want to hear from an educated parent, either! My previous doctor was one who liked prescribing things; the NP I see now says her job is to keep me healthy, and she monitors my blood sugar, thyroid, etc. about every three months, and hops on it when something is out of line.

    I think too that many parents come in with the diagnosis of the day, and request medications since they saw the commercial on TV and decided their child has...and the doctor gives in, without any further testing.
  7. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    I'd be dead without my medications BUT I feel they are way overprescribed, especially for kids. I'm appalled at how many medications our kids can be on. I don't think there is a need for more than two unless the child is schizophrenic and not able to understand reality from fantasy. It seems some doctors want to TRY to medicate away every symptom. Since kids are young, they can't explain when they feel horrible due to their medications. I have been overmedicated a few times, but I hate the feeling so I will refuse to take too many medications. However, if you have a clinical mental illness I also do not believe therapy alone will fix the problem any more than diet alone will fix serious diabetes. And mental illness can be lethal.
    Michael Jackson was addicted to drugs, as I understand it. He has been in rehab and has struggled for years. Drug addiction prescribed by a rich performer's private doctor is not the same thing as an antidepressant for somebody like me who simply could not function even on a minor level due to such a black depression.
    I think of all the overprescribed medications, stimulants are the most widely overprescribed and abused for kids. It shocks me how easily doctors hand out this potentially addictive drug that my own daughter abused. :mad: Don't they know the high street value of these medications????
  8. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    My guess is that medications are less likely over-prescribed for warrior moms. But, my mom''s generation used to have valium or something else rx'd just about any time a housewife went to the dr and he couldn't see obvious physical symptoms for something.

    My original post was really a result of me thinking about our kids, though. Most of us have experienced tdocs who haven't been helpful with our difficult child's- either because our difficult child couldn't/wouldn't respoond to therapy, the therapist was focused on blaming the parent, only behavior mod was tried, or whatever. My thought is that it appears to me that a few times when we went through this, the therapist decided the difficult child must need medications or a medication adjustment. Honestly, I think there were times when the therapeutic approach was making things worse.

    With situational depression, my opinion is that it depends on the severity of it. If a person is near suicide or can't function, then it's better to be on medications even if it's temporary. Still, a good therapist should be able to help work through the depression, whether the person is on medications or not. Now that I think about it, when I was seeing a therapist partly for depression, the therapist taught me how to "rethink" things and look at life and live life differently- no medications because I wasn't a danger. When my son had depressive symptoms, he was put on medications because he was viewed as a danger, but no therapist would talk to him about "life strategies" to teach him how to work through things- they only wanted to do behavior mod and when it didn't work, he needed medication adjustments. This is the part I will never understand. And, it does leave me thinking that maybe no medication combo will work because the root of his problem is not a chemical imbalance.

    Obviously, with physical illnesses like diabetes or psychiatric illnesses like schizophrenia, medications are usually a necessity. And I don't blame anyone who takes medications for chronic pain or to improve quality of life.
    Last edited: Jun 27, 2009
  9. wethreepeeps

    wethreepeeps New Member

    Unfortunately, I know my son was overmedicated at times at the beginning of our journey, and on the wrong medications at other times. I just didn't know enough to realize it at the time. I know he needs them. Without them, to be blunt, he is practically feral. He can't function. On them, he can regulate enough that we can work with him constantly to learn coping and social skills, to go to school and be educated. Maybe, hopefully, as he grows and develops, those skills will be enough to see him through. I don't know. At this point he is nearly eleven years old but I still see so many things in him that remind me of an angry toddler when he doesn't get his way, his sobbing tantrums where he really does sound like a furious three year old, and his rages where I see a gleeful, maniacal lack of empathy or concern. He's getting bigger and taller and more clever in his lies, at concealing his misdeeds. After 8 years of trying every trick in the book to get it to stop, he still steals food on a weekly basis, still urinates somewhere besides the toilet a couple of times a month, the still throws himself in the floor and hits himself in the head when he's frustrated or angry. As hard as we've worked, as many different modes of therapy as we've tried and continue to try, I know that medication has made far more improvements in his behavior than those therapies ever have.
  10. totoro

    totoro Mom? What's a GFG?

    I think like others have said, if it is a matter of if it is truly a chemical imbalance or an organic issues.
    Then the doctor must look at how long and what the symptoms are etc.
    If the person is not functioning well and it is only organic, then do they need something just to help them through the hard time or phase, while they are seeking help.

    If it is truly chemical, then you treat symptom by symptom. AND you wait until the medication is at therapeutic levels.
    Which a some docs do not do or can't seem to wait to do.
    But as a side note I also think some docs are well meaning, but you have these parents who come to them freaking out wanting a cure. Even though a doctor may give them one medication, the parent may not see a "quick enough fix" so the doctor may give in and load them up with another medication, even though the doctor knows it is not the wisest thing to do. They are trying to help the parent and the child.

    It is easy to throw stones, but in small towns where there are no psychiatristS, the pediatrician is the one who has to RX the medications, they do what they can, some are good at it , but some obviously are not.

    Or if you are in a small town and you have one psychiatrist who does not specialize in Mental Illness or Autism or only knows about ADHD... well what kind of medications are they going to give our kids?

    K was loaded up on the wrong medications in the beginning, I don't blame the psychiatrist for it all. He was one of only a few psychiatristS in a huge area...
    I would not have wanted to be in his situation.
    So I had to save my kid, but I had an opportunity that most do not.

    My husband on the other hand was suffering from an organic issue, from the stress of all that we were going through. He used Lexapro for about 6 months. Now we have a family therapist. We also have a great family doctor that specializes in integrative medicine who balances traditional and natural medications...

    There are tons of great psychiatristS. I have one and so does K. I need medications. So does K. We are both only on 2. K's psychiatrist is looking at lowering her Abilify maybe even stopping it!
    There are tons of great TDOCS... we have one also.
    But in our old small town NOPE. We had a great pediatrician though.

    All we can do is stay informed, but we are lucky, we have each other! :)
  11. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    I hve never had a psychiatrist who would treat me without also having me in therapy. Same for my kids - it was always crucial that we work with a therapist.

    I remember beign so frustrated when Wiz was little because we couldn't get a therapist to work with him on his level. They didn't understand that he truly thought like a much older child so they pushed and pushed the sticker charts and changes in our parenting rahter than actually talking to him and working with him. I don't think any of the behavior mod worked unless it was combined with a therapist who would work with him, rather than just working iwth us.

    Isn't it astounding how much people underestimate kids and what they can do and think? Just like SO MANY docs still insist that babies and toddlers don't "really" feel pain. I can remember physically barring an ER doctor from Wiz until he agreed to give some pain medications before fixing the catheter that had slipped. My mom was with me and helped me get through to the doctor.

    Why is it that so many people rely on just one mode of therapy to treat things, especially with kids?
  12. totoro

    totoro Mom? What's a GFG?

    Susie you are right about the therapies also. We have finally gotten ahold of some of the therapies that K needs. So many people still to this day think that certain therapies are only for kids who have Autism or are only low functioning.
    I have begged for her social skill, new Occupational Therapist (OT), and speech etc... we have now finally found a therapist who is demanding that she be seen by a huge list of specialist for her issues before they get worse than they are.
    She took our Nuero-psychiatric evaluation and made a list of specialist and is helping us find the best in the area.

    I think too many professionals are just overwhelmed by it all at times. I walk in the door and tell them my kid is hallucinating, delusional, cycling all day... let alone what N is going through! Half of them don't know where to start! LOL

    I think a lot of us here are the worst case scenerios? So we may also be seeing a lot of the horror stories when it comes the medical personal.
    But I also think our health care system is seriously flawed... I try to stay as open minded as much as possible... but some days the stories you hear makes you want to cry.

    Empathy is lacking...
  13. Jeppy

    Jeppy New Member

    What is therapist? I keep seeing this acronym.
  14. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    therapist is therapist. psychiatrist is psychiatrist. I use psychiatric for psychologist, but I'm not positive that everyone uses that one. There is a list of common abbreviations on the FAQ board.
  15. Jeppy

    Jeppy New Member

  16. Wiped Out

    Wiped Out Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Jeppy, therapist is a therapist, like a psychologist vs. psychiatrist which is a psychiatrist.

    I do think medications are over prescribed at times. We left difficult child's first psychiatrist because he always seemed to be pushing too many medications. Later we found out he had never reached the theraputic level of Lamictal before he switched him off of it.
    Even though my difficult child is on more than two medications I don't think he is overmedicated. One mood stabilizer alone never worked for him, not sure why one alone never worked but I would at some point like to get him off the Topamax. He needs the Loxapine which is his AP and the Clonidine really helps with ADHD issues. He is by no means a zombie.

    Even in regards to other issues I think medications are overprescribed especially antibiotics. The pediatrician we have for our kids gets very upset if an antibiotic is prescribed and there is no proof of an infection. One time easy child's quick strep test came back negative but the immediate care prescribed an antibiotic any ways saying he thought the long term would come out positive. It never did and you should have seen how mad her pediatrician got about that prescription!!
  17. ML

    ML Guest

    I look at medications as just one tool in my arsenal to live a stable and productive life. Yes, medications are over prescribed, especally for kids. When it was suggested that my son start them at 7 and 8 I refused them. I relented and tried an SSRI to deal with the anxiety when he was 9. I kind of wished I'd waited a little longer but at the time was convinced his quality of life was diminished and had tried fish oil, calcium and a battery of vitamins till he could choke down no more. I'd also tried some CBT ideas from our therapist at the time. I changed insurance a year and a half ago because Kaiser was known for poor mental health (counseling) services. I am on the waiting list now for a highly recommended therapist who has experience with aspies, and with their parents!

    So now I still wonder if I'm doing the right thing by using clonidine to help the tics and the 20 mg of zoloft that the pediatrician. said was too low to be doing anything but which my psychiatrist is hesitant to increase because of my reaction to medications in general (I hear too much hear to not have anxiety about it).

    I would like to ween away from medications for manster. Perhaps if this new therapist is as good as I hear we will learn some skills and tools to enable this to occur. In the meantime I continue to use medications and feel an ache in my gut every time I give him his pills. This includes the ones for allergies and asthma.

  18. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    I feel that way too, ML. I will definitely give my son medications when he's obviously physically ill, but in my gut, I still think they have a lot to learn about long-term effects on our kids' minds and bodies. I am convinced that asthma/allergy medications (including steroids) account for some long-term difficult child issues- not just short term hyperness.
  19. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    KLMNO, absolutely. That is the $6 million question.

    by the way, long-term steroids blow out the adrenal system and require permanent artificial replacement with-medications. Any good pediatrician will tell you that.

    Keep your eyes open, Warrior Mom! Good job!
    Last edited: Jun 28, 2009