Trying to start difficult child on medications tonight for first time...

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by Stella, Aug 25, 2009.

  1. Stella

    Stella New Member

    Hello all,

    I haven't been around here for a while. I hope you are all doing well - or as well as can be expected!! :)

    I have finally "given in" and have decided that I have to start my difficult child on medications no matter what. She has repeatedly refused to take any but enough is enough. She is not getting any better and is still exhibiting very aggressive behaviours and raging from time to time.

    My plan is to bring her to my GP this evening. I have asked her to tell difficult child that she needs to take this medication (risperdal) to prevent her getting swine flu.

    I know some of you might think this is unethical but difficult child will not take medications if she believes its to combat her aggresive behaviour. She point blank refuses and says there is nothing wrong with her so I need to let her believe that it is for something else.

    I anticipate that difficult child will put up a huge battle yet again but my plan is to stage a sit in!! I am refusing to let difficult child leave the house until she takes it and continues to take it every evening at 7pm. If this means me not being able to go to work or her not being able to start back at school next week, then so be it. I have no idea how long she will hold out but she is an extremely determined child!! (that's a nice way of putting it!) ;)

    I really, really have to stick to this and let her know I mean business. I have tried to hold off on medication for as long as possible but nothing else seems to be working. My hope is that if the medications work, she will become happier and more compliant and she will be more receptive to therapy because at the moment, she refused to engage with the therapist at all.

    Please wish me luck!!!:anxious:

    Oh, and if any of the rest of you have experience with Risperdal I'd really appreciate if you could share it with me. difficult child has been prescribed one 0.5mg tablet to be taken every night.

    I'm terrified!!!!
  2. DazedandConfused

    DazedandConfused Active Member

    My concern is by not revealing the true reason she is taking the medication, she will eventually find out and it will backfire on you. Then, maybe in the future, if this medication isn't helpful, and you want to try something else, she's going to be grilling you like a cheeseburger as to the change and will not comply.

    Son has been taking Risperdal since he was eight. He was very angry, irritable, and melted down often. We had tried various medications to that point, and Risperdal was the only medication that calmed him down. He was started on the same dosage as your difficult child, and it has increased over the years. He now takes 2.0 a day. Since hitting puberty, and finding a new psychiatrist, he is now on two other medications since he had become violent and physical against me despite the Risperdal. The psychiatrist wanted to try and wean him off Risperdal and it was a disaster. He just about ruined a family celebration with his antics. When I connected the dots, and rushed him home and gave him his dose of Risperdal and the effect was immediate. So, I know that he needs the Risperdal along with the two other medications.

    Please know that it doesn't "cure" behavior, and the difficult child issues are still very much present, but at least it gave me some hope. It can offer a window to helping to address some of the behaviors. That being said, I do know that Risperdal is not effective for all difficult children and some here have had to suffer some unpleasant side-effects, such as nightmares and weight gain. So, try not to pin all your hopes on it. If it works, great. If it doesn't, have a plan B.

    I know that crossing the line to give medication a try is a difficult decision for many parents. It was for me. Yet, I just knew our family could not continue as it was and home life was so out of control and stressful (sometimes it still gets that way). My rule always is that the medication MUST improve the quality of my child's life.

    Before medications, Son had a very hard time getting along with other kids. He would explode over the smallest things and playmates would look at him as if he were from another planet. Mind you, Son is still a bit of an odd duck, but at least other kids seek him out now and can tolerate him most of the time.

    As far a taking the medications, Son fights it about 75% of the time. He yells and sometimes grumbles. He's even sneered that he hates me right before he pops them in his mouth. I don't make a big deal, I'm like, "uh huh, whatever". Often he will tell me he doesn't need them. I don't argue it simply because there is no explanation that would satisfy him. Those times when he threatens me with noncompliance, I make it clear I will confiscate EVERYTHING he holds near and dear. That would be video games, phone, tv, friends, bike, and favorite (re:cool), shoes and items of clothing. I mean it and he knows it. So, he backs down.

    I hope that your strategy works. Let us know how it goes.
  3. smallworld

    smallworld Moderator

    And what happens if she does come down with the swine flu? Will she then tell you doesn't need the medications any longer?

    My son started medications at age 10. We've always told him the truth about them and we always will. He hasn't always been cooperative, but he is part of the treatment team. We believe in working with him, not against him. After all, it is his body.
  4. LittleDudesMom

    LittleDudesMom Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Pesonally, I think I would try the "stop the world" method before telling her this lie. I just think there is too much potential for future disaster. Dazed example of having to try something else eventually and small's question about her actually getting swine flue and then what do you do, are just two of the many things that could go wrong with this.

    I'm surprised your doctor is going along with it. Now Stella, that's not to say that I don't believe you have to color the truth a little from time to time with your kids, but in the issue of medications, I think honesty is really important. There's a pretty good chance that many of our difficult children will be taking medications for life. I just don't think it's not a good way to start.

  5. Fran

    Fran Former desparate mom

    A bigger concern is that she may very well be extremely drowsy until her body adjusts to risperidol. She won't be able to do much but nap until she is used to it. I want to say it took a couple of weeks.
    I don't envy your situation.
  6. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    I doubt any dr or therapist will condone the lieing about the medication. Tdocs and psychiatrists have always told me to NEVER lie to my son. Of course, there are times when we all have to stretch it or manipulate it a bit, but not like this. I really think it will back-fire on you.
  7. Wiped Out

    Wiped Out Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I know how hard it can be to get kids to take medications, so first off hugs. We have had to endure many battles, tantrums, violence over the years with difficult child and his medications. We needed difficult child to know that not taking the medications was not option.

    Some of the time he still gets upset about taking his medications. It's not always fun, we simply tell him the tv will be off or whatever it is he is doing stops. Once in awhile he'll say he doesn't care and says he won't take it anyways. We insist it's not an option. Some times I have to tell him if he keeps refusing the consequence gets bigger. Then I start counting to three. This usually does the trick.

    We have always let difficult child know a simple version of why he takes the medications. We tell him it is to help with his moods (which it is) and that with the medications he can better use his brain to hopefully make better choices. We don't get to detailed with my difficult child because he has difficulty understanding it at this point and gets upset if we try to talk with him about it.

    Wishing you luck that this won't be as difficult as you are anticipating.
  8. GoingNorth

    GoingNorth Crazy Cat Lady

    I can't imagine any doctor who would prescribe the medications under these circumstances. The ethical considerations would be huge.

    I had rheumatic fever as a child and had to take antibiotics for a long while after I recovered.

    Basically I took my medications or I sat in a bare room. Sounds horrible. I had a mattress on the floor, a dresser, and that was about it.

    The important thing was that I took the pills. This has to be non-negotiable
  9. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    Going North has an excellent point. Here even though a child cannot refuse medical treatment the parents agree to the docs/hospitals/etc... MUST make sure the child is not going to go crazy the first few days. No one that I know in the medical community will EVER treat a child with-o explaining it to him. Period.

    If you child/children are going to have to deal with these looks and rudeness, maybe a few smart aleck replies.

    What will happen when your difficult child finds out you lied just to get him an area to let him videotape inside this is.
  10. Stella

    Stella New Member

    Thank you all for your replies.

    When difficult child was first prescribed these medications and was told what they were for she point blank refused them. any time I tried to get her to take them her she raged really badly, trashed the house etc etc. I also believe with working with her, not against her but she refuses to engage WHATSOEVER with any therapists or me and simply wont talk about the subject at all. My hope is that if the medications work that she will be more relaxed and open to talking about the situation and then I can explain to her why she has to take the tablets.

    And no, I am not lying, difficult child’s psychiatrist, the social worker on her her team and my own GP all agreed that it was a good idea. I even brought her to my GP last night and she gave difficult child the tablets and told her she had to take them as her diet is so poor as she would be more prone to getting the swine flu. They know as well as I do that getting her on these medications right now is crucial but after reading your replies now I’m worried I have done the wrong thing, although she did take the medications last night without too much of a battle…

    What is the stop the world programme and how can I find out more about it?

    Oh and thanks for the hugs Wiped Out, I appreciate the empathy…
  11. Wiped Out

    Wiped Out Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Your welcome for the hugs!

    "Stop the World" is when their entire world stops until they comply. For example, if she didn't take the medications then she is unable to do anything until the medications are taken.

    We have to use our own version of "Stop the World" with difficult child and his violence. Anytime, that difficult child is in the least bit violent (even a shove or when he pretends to "accidentally" bump us). For him his world is literally stopped for the rest of that day. He gets no t.v., no electronics, no time for games or books with Mom and Dad. He can play cards by himself, do chores (if he wants), shoot buckets by himself. We were lucky that if he was violent a second time we were able to have him go to emergency respite (we only had to use this once or twice because difficult child hated emergency respite because he didn't get to do anything fun at the house he was going to). We no longer have emergency respite available so he gets a second "stop the world" the next day if he continues his violence.

    I have to be honest and say I didn't think this would work but it did for the most part. difficult child isn't completely violence free but it isn't very often anymore. Of course, my difficult child has been on medications through all of this so he did have more control.
  12. graceupongrace

    graceupongrace New Member


    I'm so sorry that you're having to deal with this. I know from experience that being a single mom of a difficult child is definitely not for the faint of heart! And it sounds as if you are in a fairly extreme situation.

    But... she will discover the truth one way or another. She might mention to someone that she's taking medications to prevent swine flu, and they'll correct her. Or the Risperdal will not work and you have to switch to another medication (treating these disorders usually requires trial and error to find the right combination of medications and the right dosages, and even when you get it right, it changes as difficult child grows and the symptoms evolve -- it's a long journey). Or, as the others said, she'll get swine flu. It could happen in many ways, but it certainly will happen at some point.

    When she learns about the deception, she will not trust you with any aspect of her medical care. And she will not trust the doctors.

    It sounds as if you need a doctor who is more empathetic...who will get that she does not like feeling so angry, and can do a better job of explaining how the medications will help. A good doctor will encourage her to be an active participant in her care, so she can in turn explain to the doctor how she is feeling, and how the medications seem to affect the way she feels.

    The swine flu approach may seem like a good short-term solution, but I think it will cause more harm in the long run.

    Sending many gentle hugs your way, Stella.
  13. ML

    ML Guest

    Nothing to add except tons of compassion and understanding. I remember manster fighting me on medications like antibiotics for ear infections when he was like 2 and the doctors all looked at me and asked "who's the boss". Obviously they never raised a difficult child. I feel your pain and hope you're able to work through this issue. Hugs
  14. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    Sweetie, with all the people in agreement, the people right there in person with you and difficult child, then you did what you needed to do.

    It sounds like it would be a huge battle. Once the risperdal is in her system you should get some help for the raging. It was amazing with Wiz. Truly a miracle in my eyes..

    If she doesn't trust you or is mad then you will cope with that when it comes up.

    Every kid should have at least one story they can compare to that "Mommy Dearest" book. Each time my kids gets all upset because I did something, I just smile and tell them to go write it down because I am doing these things so they can have a FABULOUS job writing books and movies and being in movies about how totally horrible and dispicable childhood was.

    I usually justify it by telling htem I want to cause a few small problems so the staff has something to gossip about and so they can support me in the style to which I would love to be kept.

    NOW they laugh at me, but it used to just stump Wiz, he would start thinking of writing a book and then see an animal and then something shiny and then..... (Esp on days where he forgot his lunchtime adderal).

    Good luck and don't get too stressed out. You are a very good, very caring mom and You should trust your instincts as much as is possible.

    If difficult child is out and about, snap a picture with your phone or a digital camera. If it shows difficult child playing and husband snoring, well, you will come out of this smelling like a rose.

  15. graceupongrace

    graceupongrace New Member

    Susie, I love that -- rofl! I've gotta try that one!

  16. Stella

    Stella New Member

    Grace Upon Grace, Susie Star, ML Thank you so much for your kind, empathic, understanding words. I was afraid that I would only be judged and crucified on here for doing what I am doing and while I do understand that it may seem unethical and I actually agree that this could backfire and there are many possible scenarios in which this could happen, I needed to do something NOW. I have tried in the past sitting her down and telling her what the medications were for but she refused and raged so badly I couldn’t handle it. I am a single mom and it’s just me and difficult child at home so I have no help or support during a rage. She is a very strong 11 year old girl now and has no trouble breaking and throwing things, calling me every name under the sun. Only last week she picked up a heavy candle through it at her granny’s head and split her head open. When difficult child saw the blood gushing from her granny’s head and granny crippled on the ground in tears all difficult child could say was “I didn’t mean to get you on your head” and walked off.

    If or when difficult child realises what these medications are for I will cross that bridge when I come to it. If the medications work and she settles down to a point where I can actually engage in a proper conversation with her well then I might choose to sit her down and tell her the truth and insist she keep taking them. I will also explain why i had to lie to her in the first place, that I was doing it for her own good. If in the unlikely event that she does get swine flu, I will deal with that then. I am surviving day by day and am trying not to anticipate future problems as they may never happen. I know the issue of trust is at stake here but honestly our relationship is so strained and broken at the moment, I don’t feel like there is too much to lose. I feel like our relationship is at rock bottom anyway.

    I feel that I am being cruel to be kind and am doing this as it is the only thing left that I haven’t tried yet to help her.

    In an ideal situation I could sit her down and explain the truth about her medications but this is far from an ideal situation and I know my difficult child well enough to know that if she knew what they were for she would rather die or die trying not to take them. She is THAT headstrong.

    So far she has taken them last night and night before without too much of a battle which I am delighted about although I haven’t really seen a change yet. She is only on .25 mg for the first week to start her off gently but I expect I might see more a change when she starts on 0.5mg next week.

    I am aware now not to pin all my hopes on this drug but I at least as Dazed said it offers some hope and a bit of hope can go a long way!
  17. flutterby

    flutterby Fly away!


    My difficult child has been aggressively non-compliant with medications from the get go. easy child was also when he was 10 and severely depressed. There comes a time when you have to do what you have to do to get them to take them.

    What makes it all the more difficult is the conflicting advice you get from others, including professionals. I remember when my son was 10, severely depressed and extremely hostile and aggressive people asking me why I didn't "make" him take his medications. I finally asked if they wanted to come over and force it down his throat. At that point, no amount of consequences would have worked; he simply didn't care. In addition, his therapist was saying not to force him.

    Every child and every situation is not the same. Our children are sick in different ways. I've done "stop the world" with difficult child over medications and it was horrible. She was completely emotionally devastated. My child feels like she has no control over anything (mainly due to her high anxiety) and controlling what she puts into her body is really, in my opinion, not too much to ask for.

    Of course, I've been extremely frustrated over her complete unwillingness to try medications - especially when I've seen benefit from them in the past. But, in our case, it is very important that difficult child understand and agree with the need for them. Otherwise, I would go through all of this just to have her refuse medications completely when she's 18 and there's nothing I can do about helping her, Know what I mean?? Plus, she would never admit to herself or others that they helped if she was dead-set against them.

    Just last week she saw the doctor. The appointment was initially set up to talk about medications for depression, but difficult child changed her mind and would have nothing to do with it. However, this week her anxiety has spun out of control and she has decided that she does want medication - even though she is taking the exact same medication she would be taking for depression.

    Baby steps.
  18. graceupongrace

    graceupongrace New Member


    I understand about hope -- it's what keeps us going in the face of these seemingly impossible situations.

    I hope you told the doctor about the candle incident. Her lack of empathy is very alarming. Please do what you need to in order to protect yourself.

    More hugs.
  19. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    Stella, I understand why you made this choice and my earlier post wasn't meant to place blame on you. Obviously, you are in a bad situation with your daughter and something needed to be done somehow. Can you get her to a therapist? If so, maybe if the medication gets her to a "reasonable and rational" point, the therapist can help her deal with taking medications. If not, maybe you can talk to a therapist some to get some ideas and help you deal with the stress of it all. I'm a single parent too and my son has driven me to edges (and beyond) of sanity several times. I don't go to therapy regularly but do talk to a therapist periodically just to vent in confidentiality and get some professionals ideas.
  20. idohope

    idohope Member

    Stella, I can totally empathize with you. I am certain that if I insisted on my difficult child taking a medication for her issues the only possible outcome would be a call to 911. I could not "stop her world" without a battle that would be so physical that someone would get hurt. She is too big and too strong and I can not control her. I have had two tdocs tell me my difficult child needs to be on medications but I have not figured out how to make that happen. At the moment I have finally gotten her to go to see the therapist. therapist is going very slowly with her. We will see if this will lead to some progress in the coming months. I dont know what the future will hold and I have thought about the issue of how to get her to take medications so much. It may be that the point comes that we determine that medications are so needed that if it takes the 911 call or hospitalization to do it that is how it will happen but we are not there yet.
    Hang in there.