View Full Version : New diagnosis for my Teen.......


CM1424
04-01-17, 05:47 PM
Hello all,
My teen son (13) was diagnosed last spring with ADHD. For years he would have a hard time behaving at school and we just chalked it up to the fact that he didn't like school and was bored. ADHD was never a thought. Until 7th grade. I was getting constant emails from teachers saying my son was a distraction to the class. I was getting phone calls from the principal because he was doing things to get in trouble. Nothing bad just things like exploding a kids pen in the pencil sharpener, playing loud music on the bus, getting out of line when going to lunch etc. Getting my son to do his homework was a constant battle and although he wasn't failing he had a lot of missing assignments. His backpack came home empty every day. His locker was atrocious, his room a disaster at home and he was constantly annoying his older brother. Finally took the guidance counselors advice and had the Vanderbilts done. It was very clear that every teacher (he had 6) but one had the same issues with him on a daily basis. Low and behold the ADHD diagnosis came. I never really had any knowledge about ADHD until I started reading. It actually fit my son to a T. The impusive behavior, the immature behavior etc. I never felt he had a hard time concentrating because he didnt show that at home. I did see the immaturity, the annoying behaviors, the rude comments he made to family members, etc. Long story short my son begged me to put him on medication. He knew other kids on it that felt it helped them. He no longer wanted to be in trouble and have kids avoid him. He wanted to get good grades and self esteem. We started him on meds and it took a few different ones and doses. Finally this new school year we settled on Adderal XR 20mg. I cannot begin to tell you what a difference it made for him in school. He is now a max honor student, the teachers pet, and I have not gotten one complaint from a teacher or principal to date. He has more friends now too. With that being said it also has its negatives......he is VERY moody more like short tempered or easily triggered, he also isolates himself from the rest of the family and only wants to play video games all day. he no longer plays with the neighborhood kids he was friends with his whole life. He seems very calm and doesn't act silly or joke around like we are used to. The family isn't fond of his new personality but we are at the same time amazed at his progress in school. It's a difficult balance because although we are thrilled with his performance and new sense of confidence he is also a different kid. Not sure if hormones being involved has a lot to do with it, he is just starting puberty but to say I am worried is an understatment. I am scared to death of what is going to happen to him in later teen years etc. Can anyone offer some comfort or relate to my situation? Much appreciated.......

Lostime
04-03-17, 02:37 AM
Hi,

So sorry that you are going through this, it must be very painful for you as the parent to have to see your son change. I completely understand what you mean by his change of personality. I was diagnosed as a kid but my parents decided not to medicate me and now at age 25 I've started my meds. I can tell you that my personality did change, I used to joke around a lot, laugh easily, etc., but now I'm more serious, as my husband put it, "the meds took your personality away," and he really wants me to stop taking them because he misses the old me.

Growing up with ADHD, I've had a lot of struggles in school from interrupting class to doing my HW last minute, then onto college where I fell one year behind and withdrew from a lot of classes. At home I've had a cluttlered and messy room that went into my marriage life and affected me as a mother and a wife. I know that I could have been much more successful if I'd have been medicated and at the same time, I would have lost a lot of creativity and imagination: basically I wouldn't have been the same person I am today. So, maybe oy medicine isn't the best way to go, maybe threapy and help would do your son best along with a reduction in dosage so that he has enough to focus but not to completely lose his personality. There's this video on Ted talks of a man who has ADHD and adviced not to medicate ADHD but to embrace it as it is not a disorder but it's just a different way of learning. You just have to find a way of combination threapy to help your son succeed and at the same time retain a bit of himself.

namazu
04-03-17, 03:01 AM
It's not "normal" for ADHD medication to profoundly change your (child's) personality.

That type of effect may be a sign that the dose is too high, or that the medication isn't the right one for you(r child).

There are also other potential reasons for changes in mood/personality -- including developmental issues inherent in being a teenager, generally.

If the changes in moodiness and personality were coincident with starting the medication or raising the dose, then the medication would be the first thing I'd suspect, and I'd work with the doctor to address the issue.

But it's also worth looking into other issues -- sleep, workload, what other kids his age are doing (it may be that a lot of them are also playing video games all day), whether he may be suffering from coexisting depression or anxiety, etc.

Medication, properly adjusted, should help your son better control his attention and impulses -- meds shouldn't control him.

Best wishes.

sarahsweets
04-03-17, 04:23 AM
With that being said it also has its negatives......he is VERY moody more like short tempered or easily triggered, he also isolates himself from the rest of the family and only wants to play video games all day. he no longer plays with the neighborhood kids he was friends with his whole life. He seems very calm and doesn't act silly or joke around like we are used to. The family isn't fond of his new personality but we are at the same time amazed at his progress in school. It's a difficult balance because although we are thrilled with his performance and new sense of confidence he is also a different kid. Not sure if hormones being involved has a lot to do with it, he is just starting puberty but to say I am worried is an understatment. I am scared to death of what is going to happen to him in later teen years etc. Can anyone offer some comfort or relate to my situation? Much appreciated.......

Sometimes too high of a dose can make hyperfocus worse. It can make you hyperfocus on the wrong thing like video games, but it can produce a sort og tunnel vision where you can sort of tune all but what you are engaged with out.
I think its possible that his dose is too high or that ne needs another form of the med.

Caco3girl
04-03-17, 08:44 AM
It's not "normal" for ADHD medication to profoundly change your (child's) personality.

That type of effect may be a sign that the dose is too high, or that the medication isn't the right one for you(r child).

There are also other potential reasons for changes in mood/personality -- including developmental issues inherent in being a teenager, generally.

If the changes in moodiness and personality were coincident with starting the medication or raising the dose, then the medication would be the first thing I'd suspect, and I'd work with the doctor to address the issue.

But it's also worth looking into other issues -- sleep, workload, what other kids his age are doing (it may be that a lot of them are also playing video games all day), whether he may be suffering from coexisting depression or anxiety, etc.

Medication, properly adjusted, should help your son better control his attention and impulses -- meds shouldn't control him.

Best wishes.

Let me start by saying that Namazu has been around this world for A LONG TIME, so what they said might be good advice, however, I have to disagree.

My son was diagnosed last year at age 13, everything you wrote I can for SURE relate to. By the way, you likely didn't notice the concentration thing at home because over time you adapted to giving him short simple one step directions....that's what I did anyway, and didn't even realize I spoke to him differently until it was pointed out that I gave short instructions and I have them in three different ways and sometimes asked him to repeat what I had asked....lol...you think I would have noticed that but nope! I just adapted to him.

The medicine had a profound affect on my son in that he grew up over night by about 3 years. I think of it like this, he was diagnosed at 13, but he acted about 8, with the medicine he acted about 11. The temperaments and likes/dislikes of an 11 year old verses an 8 year old are vastly different. So in my sons case it wasn't that the medicine changed his personality it was just that the medicine made him grow up and when you grow up your likes/dislikes change.

He is 14 now, going to be 15 in August, and I see him growing up more and more each day. Getting interested in teenage boy things, and less interested in playing with the kids on the street. He has his headphones in pretty much every minute of the day, but that is normal too, even when we were kids it was normal to have our Walkman's and headphones in.

So MAYBE your son is hyper focused as others have said, and maybe the medicine wasn't suppose to do that, but maybe he is just growing up??? Something to think about.

Letching Gray
04-03-17, 08:55 AM
It's not "normal" for ADHD medication to profoundly change your (child's) personality.

That type of effect may be a sign that the dose is too high, or that the medication isn't the right one for you(r child).

There are also other potential reasons for changes in mood/personality -- including developmental issues inherent in being a teenager, generally.

If the changes in moodiness and personality were coincident with starting the medication or raising the dose, then the medication would be the first thing I'd suspect, and I'd work with the doctor to address the issue.

But it's also worth looking into other issues -- sleep, workload, what other kids his age are doing (it may be that a lot of them are also playing video games all day), whether he may be suffering from coexisting depression or anxiety, etc.

Medication, properly adjusted, should help your son better control his attention and impulses -- meds shouldn't control him.

Best wishes.


You got it, namazu. Many opinions and theories circulate about ADHD meds that have little to no factual basis. You nailed this one on the head. Thanks for your input and expertise.

Letching Gray
04-03-17, 09:10 AM
The medicine had a profound affect on my son in that he grew up over night by about 3 years. I think of it like this, he was diagnosed at 13, but he acted about 8, with the medicine he acted about 11. The temperaments and likes/dislikes of an 11 year old verses an 8 year old are vastly different. So in my sons case it wasn't that the medicine changed his personality it was just that the medicine made him grow up and when you grow up your likes/dislikes change.

ADHD meds don't make anyone do anything. They cannot make a person "grow up" especially overnight. There is nothing in the literature supporting such a claim. And they don't fundamentally change a person's unique personality. They do enhance a person's ability to focus his attention where he chooses to concentrate. There is a wonderful sense that one's brain is working properly. The meds do not force anyone to "hyperfocus." A person with ADHD properly diagnosed and treated for this condition has the freedom to zoom in and to zoom out as he wishes.

mildadhd
04-03-17, 01:21 PM
I usually try to avoid giving people I do not know advice about their personal diagnosis and medication use.

It makes me nervous when I read someone who has supposedly never taken medication, beg to take the medication?

Sorry if that does not sound comforting, but I am not in a position to know for sure.

If you, your son and your doctors are sure your son has ADHD.

I think the your son's behaviour sounds normal for a teenager with ADHD.

Are you familiar with the term counterwill?


m

Caco3girl
04-03-17, 02:25 PM
ADHD meds don't make anyone do anything. They cannot make a person "grow up" especially overnight. There is nothing in the literature supporting such a claim. And they don't fundamentally change a person's unique personality. They do enhance a person's ability to focus his attention where he chooses to concentrate. There is a wonderful sense that one's brain is working properly. The meds do not force anyone to "hyperfocus." A person with ADHD properly diagnosed and treated for this condition has the freedom to zoom in and to zoom out as he wishes.

1. Perhaps a poor word choice. How about "The medication cleared up the fog he lived in which made him more aware of his surroundings and this led to the illusion of him aging about 3 years over night"? Within a week of starting his medication he went from a stoned surfer dude type to a person who could hold an actual conversation about his needs and wants and what he REALLY wanted to know was why everyone was repeating what they said to him three times. He didn't realize we had all adapted to how he needed to receive directions, but he no longer needed them in that way and it was frustrating him.

2. As you grow up your personality will change because as you grow up YOU change. You might find playing video games is preferable to playing outside...not a healthy choice but one many teens make. Who can remember the day that the cartoon your kid ADORED, the cartoon on half of his wardrobe and ALL over his room was deemed "That's baby stuff mom, please don't buy me that stuff anymore."

As for the "he asked for the medication"....my son asked for anything that would help him and that included medication. It wasn't anything nefarious.

sarahsweets
04-04-17, 04:46 AM
ADHD meds don't make anyone do anything. They cannot make a person "grow up" especially overnight. There is nothing in the literature supporting such a claim. And they don't fundamentally change a person's unique personality. They do enhance a person's ability to focus his attention where he chooses to concentrate. There is a wonderful sense that one's brain is working properly. The meds do not force anyone to "hyperfocus." A person with ADHD properly diagnosed and treated for this condition has the freedom to zoom in and to zoom out as he wishes.

I dont think Cacogirl was saying that as a literal fact, medication made her son grow up.

Letching Gray
04-04-17, 09:57 AM
1. Perhaps a poor word choice. How about "The medication cleared up the fog he lived in which made him more aware of his surroundings and this led to the illusion of him aging about 3 years over night"? Within a week of starting his medication he went from a stoned surfer dude type to a person who could hold an actual conversation about his needs and wants and what he REALLY wanted to know was why everyone was repeating what they said to him three times. He didn't realize we had all adapted to how he needed to receive directions, but he no longer needed them in that way and it was frustrating him.

2. As you grow up your personality will change because as you grow up YOU change. You might find playing video games is preferable to playing outside...not a healthy choice but one many teens make. Who can remember the day that the cartoon your kid ADORED, the cartoon on half of his wardrobe and ALL over his room was deemed "That's baby stuff mom, please don't buy me that stuff anymore."

As for the "he asked for the medication"....my son asked for anything that would help him and that included medication. It wasn't anything nefarious.

My fault. I apologize.

I fear some make ADHD a target, to ridicule this disorder, to make it the whipping post for people to accuse us of any and all kinds of garbage, not taking us/ADHD seriously.

Letching Gray
04-04-17, 09:59 AM
I dont think Cacogirl was saying that as a literal fact, medication made her son grow up.

Thanks, sweets. I think you are right.