View Full Version : It is like I have two kids in one, HELP


Artmama
10-14-15, 01:57 PM
I am wondering if anyone has any insight into how to parent one kid, who seems like two different kids.

My ADHD(who puts the H is ADHD) daughter is 11. On her medicine, she is mostly sweet and fairly cooperative, still a handful, but generally does ok. I give her the medicine before school and it wears off around 3. I sometimes give her a little bit of extra, but around bedtime it has to be out of her system.

When she does not have medicine on board, she is often terribly rude and defiant, screams at me, has hit me, is basically unmanageable. Out of control at times. She is almost as big as I am now and I sometimes worry she will accidentally hurt me when she loses control.

Back on the meds later, seems to have very little memory of her behavior off the meds. She is contrite and horrified about it. Seems like a different kid, basically. She is loving and sweet to me.

I have read tons of books. She goes to therapy. Have gone fully down the meds route, there is no medication that can work 24 hours a day. She has to be off the meds to eat and sleep. We have tried every med option and the one she is on seems to be the best we can do.

She is on a gluten free diet and I give her calming herbs. In short, my life resolves around trying to help this kid.

What I am saying is this- I give her consequences for her behavior when off the meds, and then when she is on them, she suffers for what she did off of them.

It is like having a terrible alcoholic in my house. When she is drunk (off meds) I am trying to get through to her and she basically isn't even there. She is wild behind the eyes. Like a person who is so drunk and you are trying to reason with them but they almost cannot be dealt with at all.

Then when she sobers up (on the meds) and I am trying to talk to her about what she did when she was "drunk" and it is really hard because the kid she is when " sober" would NOT behave that way.She is sorry, she won't ever act that way again, etc.

Then it starts all over again. The battle continues.

How do I deal with the fact that I seem to have two different kids in one? The fact that she is so much better on the Focalin tells me (and the docs) that this is ADHD at work, not bipolar or something else. She is just really, really ADHD.

I want to be fair to her, but I cannot let her abuse me. I mostly stay calm, but I totally lost it this morning and screamed at her. This is my first time posting here.

TangledWebs
10-15-15, 08:23 AM
Back on the meds later, seems to have very little memory of her behavior off the meds. She is contrite and horrified about it. Seems like a different kid, basically. She is loving and sweet to me.

What I am saying is this - I give her consequences for her behavior when off the meds, and then when she is on them, she suffers for what she did off of them.

It is like having a terrible alcoholic in my house. When she is drunk (off meds) I am trying to get through to her and she basically isn't even there. She is wild behind the eyes. Like a person who is so drunk and you are trying to reason with them but they almost cannot be dealt with at all.

Then when she sobers up (on the meds) and I am trying to talk to her about what she did when she was "drunk" and it is really hard because the kid she is when " sober" would NOT behave that way. She is sorry, she won't ever act that way again, etc.

I was a behavior interventionist and I worked with children who had really bad ADHD, but none of them had "blackouts." There should still be consequences for her behavior even when she is off of her medication. She's going to eventually have to learn how to control her impulses, rages, etc. when she is off of the meds. She is capable of doing so with awareness and practice.

I have read tons of books. She goes to therapy. Have gone fully down the meds route, there is no medication that can work 24 hours a day. She has to be off the meds to eat and sleep. We have tried every med option and the one she is on seems to be the best we can do.

She is on a gluten free diet and I give her calming herbs. In short, my life revolves around trying to help this kid.

Wow, well, you sound like you are an excellent parent! We need more parents like you!

How do I deal with the fact that I seem to have two different kids in one? The fact that she is so much better on the Focalin tells me (and the docs) that this is ADHD at work, not bipolar or something else. She is just really, really ADHD.

The risk for comorbidity is high. I'm not a doctor, but she could have something else going on as well.

TygerSan
10-15-15, 10:06 AM
Has anyone looked into the idea that she might be anxious as well? I didn't know until recently that meltdown/rages can be indicators of something akin to a panic attack, something I wish I had known growing up.

sarahsweets
10-19-15, 01:35 PM
I was a behavior interventionist and I worked with children who had really bad ADHD, but none of them had "blackouts." There should still be consequences for her behavior even when she is off of her medication. She's going to eventually have to learn how to control her impulses, rages, etc. when she is off of the meds. She is capable of doing so with awareness and practice.
The consequences have to be immediate, and fit the problem and cant go on too long. The consequence relating to the offense has to be switft, to the point and probably repeated over and over again before it sinks in. If she was younger and kept leaving the house without permission the consequence for her might be, no tv/screen time/phone time/ treats for that day/hour/meal. Her consequence shouldnt be grounding her from playing with anyone the next day or time she asks. She will already have forgotten the offense or at least it will have faded to the backround.
And specifically what you said about learning to control herself off meds with awareness and practice...well, yes as an adult now, my son is better at controling his anger, he usually only has issues around us, in the house where its safe to lash out and not get fired or arrested. I would rather him be a d**k to me, then tell his boss or professor to shove it, we parents take the brunt but thats our job. So yes, practice can help but in reality expecting an adhd child to always control themselves in all situations isnt realistic or fair.