To medicate or not medicate??


New Member
The psychologist we saw yesterday immediately said "we can try medications" but some kids don't respond with them in a way that it corrects their behaviors. I said I prefer not to put her on medications she's only 7 and I've seen some kids on medications that seem to be like zombies. But on the other hand if I knew the medications would make a huge difference at least to the point we can continue with behavioral counseling to correct some of her patterns then I think I might change my mind. If we tried medications and I didn't like the results or didn't see a difference can we just stop them? Also, if we started on medications does it mean she'd always have to be on them the rest of her life? I'm very torn with this option.


There are no medications specifically for ODD. I'd recommend getting an evaluation with both a child psychiatrist and a neuropsychologist. As you've probably read here, ODD is rarely a stand-alone diagnosis; it is generally a collection of behaviors that are fueled by an underlying disorder (think of ODD as a symptom rather than a diagnosis unto itself). Once the underlying disorder is identified and treated, the ODD behaviors generally improve.

Only you and your husband can decide whether to medicate your difficult child or not. It is not a decision any of us takes lightly. I know for my own children, medications have made a world of difference in their lives. In conjunction with medications, they each go to weekly psychotherapy. They have made progress that they wouldn't have otherwise been able to access without medications.

You can always stop a medication if you don't like the result (although you can't always stop immmediately; some medications need to be weaned gradually). At this point, I think it's too early to tell whether your difficult child will need medications for life. Your first step, in my humble opinion, is figure out what disorder is fueling your difficult child's ODD behaviors.

Good luck.


Mom? What's a difficult child?
What "medications" did he suggest? I was always fearful when someone said medications early on with us. We went to one guy who said, I feel she is Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD)-not otherwise specified ,he didn't spend any time with her and he said she needs Risperdal!!! He was a therapist!!!!

If it were me I would want to know what we were medicating for, medicating your child is a big step and one not to take lightly. You should be with someone you trust. My difficult child 1 most likely will be medicated for her life, so for us we want and wanted as many answers as possible.
Don't be afraid to be pushy, you can do it without sounding like a know it all... you are your child's advocate!
and research.....lots of disorders sound alike and have overlapping symptoms... journal, and video if possible, and write a parent report.


Sheena-Warrior Momma
I agree with smallworld. ODD is rarely a standalone diagnosis. Our difficult child was diagnosed with ADHD/ODD at 6 yo, it is now looking more like Early Onset Bi-Polar (EOBP) now that he is a little older. A full evaluation at this point is really the only sure way to tell. We are en route to a full evaluation at this time, as well.

Medication is really an individual family decision. Smallworld is right that there is no medication for ODD alone and the behaviors of ODD are probably under cover of another disorder.


Well-Known Member
I medicated my son fast, and I always advice parents, based on my experience, never to medicate until you have more than one opinion, and I recommend going to a neuropsychologist AND Child Psychiatrist so they can put their heads together and see what they feel is wrong and what would help. ODD in my opinion is meaningless. It just means blanket defiant behavior. It rarely stands alone. I would be careful or your kid could be like my kid: On an infinite amount of medications for disorders he never really had. He has been on (for ADHD/ODD, which he doesn't have) Ritalin, Concerta, Adderrall, then for bipolar (which he doesn't really have) Trileptal, Depakote, Lithium, Seroquel, Risperdal, Zyprexa, and I'm sure more I can't even remember. He's a good fifty pounds overweight, but was thin before all these medications. He had years of cognitive dulling. I'm not trying to scare you. Some disorders require medications. I have bipolar and I need them, but I'm an adult and can tell if I'm being zombied out. I hate to sound pessimistic but even a full evaluation can be wrong. You need updates and to see if the treatment is working. If it's not, I recommend moving on for more answers. For now, if the child is checked out by a lot of good professionals and you get the same answers, then I'd try medications. I wouldn't rush on the basis of a one hour observation. Read my other answer to you on your other post. Anyways JMO