View Full Version : AFTER ADHD Meds


Valentine21469
01-27-17, 07:18 PM
Can any parents or ADHDers on this site share their/their children's experience about life after long-term use of stimulants? My 7 year-old son seems as though he could benefit from meds, but I am concerned about the long-term use of dopaminergic drugs on the developing nervous system; i.e. potentially creating dopamine problems later in life, post-medication, like anxiety and depression?

dvdnvwls
01-27-17, 08:15 PM
Welcome to the forum!

There is no post-medication period, except if the adult with ADHD decides for his own reasons to discontinue it. ADHD is not something a person grows out of.

Anxiety and depression certainly are effects of going untreated or unmedicated, but because of ADHD itself, not because of former medications.

Fraser_0762
01-27-17, 08:37 PM
It certainly can be an effect of going untreated. But it should also be noted that it can also be a result of side effects from medication. So choosing the correct course of treatment early on is extremely important. Different courses of treatment work/don't work for different people. So you may need to experiment with different treatment plans until you find what works best for your child. This can be a difficult period, but it's worth it in the long run.

Nobody grows out of ADHD. However, some adults find that they are able to cope without medication after developing adequate coping strategies.

dvdnvwls
01-28-17, 12:04 AM
Despite (actually not despite, just in addition to) what I said earlier, I also agree with Fraser.

ToneTone
01-28-17, 12:20 AM
This is a tricky one ... because people with ADHD are people who are biologically prone to depression and anxiety as well.

This high "comorbidity"--the increased likelihood that ADHD occurs along with another condition--causes a lot of confusion ... as people who took stimulants as kids stop taking them... and then report later problems with depression when they are adults.

Some of these former stimulant users then allege that it must be their use of stimulants as children that threw their brains out of whack. No, these are folks who are prone to depression. Period. Somehow they overlooked that (or perhaps the research wasn't as clear as in earlier decades) and so they think their mood struggles are on account of stimulants.

Well, I never took a stimulant a day in my life until 9 years ago, and I had repeated bouts of depression. I didn't fully get a hold of my depression until I started treatment for ADHD and depression in my 40s.

My thinking is .... focus on getting your child to the highest level of functioning right now. And if your child has depression and or anxiety, get on top of that with meds and or therapy. Now. Don't put off treatment because of some possibility of a long-term problem ... when untreated ADHD almost certainly leads to long-term problems, including injuries, accidents, addictions, loss of confidence, history of failure, poor social skills, impulsiveness and more.

Tone

sarahsweets
01-28-17, 07:44 AM
Can any parents or ADHDers on this site share their/their children's experience about life after long-term use of stimulants? My 7 year-old son seems as though he could benefit from meds, but I am concerned about the long-term use of dopaminergic drugs on the developing nervous system; i.e. potentially creating dopamine problems later in life, post-medication, like anxiety and depression?

This is part of my story..
http://www.addforums.com/forums/showthread.php?t=145739
I should probably update it seeing as how he will be turning 21 soon.

Valentine21469
01-28-17, 12:58 PM
Thanks for weighing in. I am confused about what to do -- I've had more than one highly experienced practitioner (psychologist & psychopharmacologist) tell me in confidence that they would do their best to keep their kid off meds until 8th grade or so and only if he was having difficulty with schoolwork, because of their concerns with the underlying science, much of it paid for by big pharma. It would be easier if my son was a clear-cut case like sarahsweets (thanks for sharing by the way). My son is manageable for the most part, and doesn't show any oppositional/aggressive behavior (quite the opposite, he's really easygoing.) But I can see that the struggle to hold it together in school is costing his self esteem, and it's making me really sad. Would a good behavioral/nutritional plan be enough so that I don't have to take the risk of messing with his nervous system during these critical developmental years?

Fraser_0762
01-28-17, 04:15 PM
A good behavioral and nutritional plan is beneficial for all children (and adults) whether they have ADHD or not. So I would certainly recommend this if your child can stick to this type of plan. Regular exercise and proper hydration are also very important.

Medication is a huge step for any parent when it comes to their children and it's something that often takes a lot of thought and consideration. Nobody on here can tell you the correct way forward. We can only offer you ideas on what may or may not be beneficial.

Medication has a high success rate with children who suffer from ADHD, especially the most negative aspects of the disorder. However, it's not for everyone. Some children try a multitude of medications and find that they can not tolerate them very well.

It's all about trial and error. Communication between your child and your childs GP is pivotal in finding the best course of treatment and ensuring that your child gets off to the best possible start in their early academic years.

dvdnvwls
01-29-17, 02:38 AM
Would a good behavioral/nutritional plan be enough so that I don't have to take the risk of messing with his nervous system during these critical developmental years?
No.

Not unless his symptoms are so mild that they're hardly noticeable anyway.

Pretty much all of us with ADHD are going to "hit a wall" where we truly can't cope anymore without serious help (of which diet is a very minor part). For me, that happened in university; high school was OK. For other people, the "wall" might hit by the third grade.


An ADHD child generally can't manage even the simplest kind of behavioral plan without the support of medication.

sarahsweets
01-29-17, 09:22 AM
Thanks for weighing in. I am confused about what to do -- I've had more than one highly experienced practitioner (psychologist & psychopharmacologist) tell me in confidence that they would do their best to keep their kid off meds until 8th grade or so and only if he was having difficulty with schoolwork, because of their concerns with the underlying science, much of it paid for by big pharma.

Do these experienced practioners prescribe any medication at all? If they do, they need to tell you what kickbacks they may receive from promoting one medication over another. They should disclose what scientific evidence they do believe in, and what evidence they think is the product of big pharma-sponsored studies.
So many doctors, especially those who dont understand how stimulants work, or controlled substances like pain medication, get on their soap box about whether they work or are safe for different groups of people with no knowledge about it other than other doctor's hearsay. Or they have a bias and seek out information to confirm that. Or they deal with only certain things they deem safe and poo-poo others. If they prescribe anything at all, they need to share why what they prescribe is safer an less influenced by big pharma than what your doctors are telling you about stimulants. Have you ever read the side effect and warning profile of Tylenol? Or that one high cholesteral med thats now in hot water for dangers? I get so made when doctors act like Big pharma is the big bad wolf when they are just as guilty of taking the "blood money" as the next doctor, even the unethical ones.
And whats the deal with 8th grade? Are 8th graders somehow immune to these perceived dangers? Does a child turn 13 and all of a sudden have no risk factors?

It would be easier if my son was a clear-cut case like sarahsweets (thanks for sharing by the way). My son is manageable for the most part, and doesn't show any oppositional/aggressive behavior (quite the opposite, he's really easygoing.) But I can see that the struggle to hold it together in school is costing his self esteem, and it's making me really sad. Would a good behavioral/nutritional plan be enough so that I don't have to take the risk of messing with his nervous system during these critical developmental years?
I think a good behavioral and eating plan is a great idea for all children and can help kids with disorders. I just dont see it as treatment for them.

dvdnvwls
01-29-17, 12:47 PM
Another point about "big pharma":

Remember that "Small Pharma" is a huge money maker itself, and that supplements are basically just new drugs that are untested and unregulated. "Big Pharma" has too many shysters in its ranks. In contrast, "Small Pharma" is pretty much all shysters due to its lack of testing or rules.

Fraser_0762
01-29-17, 01:01 PM
As I said, people can only give you ideas on what may or may not work. Nobody can give you the absolute solution, even if they claim to know what it is.

CrazyLazyGal
02-23-17, 05:19 AM
There is research documenting that when ADHD kids are medicated, their brains develop to become more similar to non-ADHD brains. I've posted the links previously.

http://www.addforums.com/forums/showthread.php?p=1599095#post1599095

There is also a ton of evidence that ADHD kids who are not medicated have a higher risk of car accidents, depression, dropping/failing out, and substance abuse.

There is evidence that kids who are medicated don't grow as tall. I think the difference is about 1 inch. Stimulant medications suppress appetite in a lot of people, and nutrition plays a big part in growing. You have to be careful that they get enough calories and nutrients.

maple17
03-03-17, 08:19 PM
I'd have concerns if a pyschopharmacologist was advising people not to follow an evidence-based and scientifically validated course of treatment because of "big pharma." Sounds like that practitioner is due for a career change.

For the OP, Valentine, we've all been there, with the concerns over stimulants. In our family, we're still ambivalent about it, but the fact is that we've seen the results of this course of treatment...improved schoolwork, improved behaviour at home (ie a level of peace finally in the household for everyone's benefit that we'd never experienced before), and most of all, a child not affected by the same level of anxiety (she had physical symptoms and was just overwhelmed and miserable). She is finally able to function. She's happier. She's doing all these things, the little things, that she just couldn't do before due to the ADHD and anxiety.

I've seen undiagnosed and untreated ADHD among the adults in my husband's family. One has been treated regularly for anxiety, depression, and panic attacks. She's been dealing with learning disorders, compulsive shopping, and an epic level of disorganisation in daily life that is only mitigated by daughters who step in and sort out her life for her...clean her apartment, get her to appointments etc. If that is the possible future for my child with untreated ADHD, I would like to avoid that.

Yes, natural approaches should be a complement to standard treatment. Who knows, perhaps someone might respond well enough that it reduces the amount of medication they require. Everyone is different. But be wary of "cures" touted by "experts." Gosh, my child was only diagnosed last September and I've had friends send me info on natural sites that recommend all sorts of protocols from diet and supplements to more dangerous approaches (chelation). I had someone on a forum for natural approaches argue with me that my child's ADHD must have been caused by the toxins in her body (sigh) and that I should buy her e-book and follow the guidelines (presumably to "detox" her). I had a cousin recommend a vitamin supplement that is supposed to treat adhd, bipolar, depression, whatever, to the extent that people don't require meds any longer. Heck, even in Australia, we had some natural treatment that made the news and TV a couple of weeks back as a miracle supplement but then the truth got out...

http://www.abc.net.au/mediawatch/transcripts/s4627196.htm

I was on an Australian ADHD forum and parents were running out the next day and buying multiple packages at once when the story first broke. Miracles are profitable.

I guess what I'm saying is that I agree with dvdnvwls that there is just as much, if not more, reason to be suspicious of "small pharma."

namazu
03-09-17, 01:27 AM
MODERATOR NOTE: A question about chelation that turned into a full-on discussion in its own right has been moved here (http://www.addforums.com/forums/showthread.php?t=183994) so that both that topic and Valentine21469's questions can receive the attention they deserve.