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General Parenting Issues The purpose of this forum is to discuss general parenting issues related to children with AD/HD(ADD & ADHD)

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Old 01-03-05, 10:57 AM
palooka23 palooka23 is offline
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my son....with and without adderall.

I have been researching here for about 8 months now. We have an 8yr old son that since the age of 3, we have suspected that something was just "not right". As years progressed, and after many a frustrating experiences, we finally took him to child psych and he confirmed what we had thought: he has ADD. He was diagnosed with inattentive ADD. After agonizing the decision of meds or not, we opted to try and see if the meds would help him. He takes 15mg of adderall daily. I was paranoid about all the things most people are worried about. But in the end, we wanted to help him reach his full potential and help our suffering relationship.
A bit about my son: He is extremely bright. Very loving, full of life, never aggressive, loves to enjoy every minute of every day. Excellent student, "good" with peers (sometimes a bit overzealous). His main problem is and has always been impulse control. Never anything violent or dangerous, but the ability the control his impulse decisions.
So far our experience (as far as impulse control, concentration, etc) on the meds have been good. We are growing increasingly concerned over side effects. Namely, weight loss or lack of weight gain and lack of appetite. He has noticeably thinned out. Its like his body keeps growing but the weight doesnt keep up. Sleep is always an on/off issue. But to me, it seems like he can never get a good nights rest. He will sleep all night, but still looks tired in the morning.

Every time we lay out that little capsule, we agonize over wether the benefit outweighs the effects.

This leads us to our New Years experiment.
Since he had winter break, we decided that it might be a good idea to give a "meds vacation". Of course his impulsivity took over and although it was a little harder to control him, we managed. We took a road trip to visit friends for New Years weekend. This is about a 4 hour drive. On the way up, it has been about a week since he had taken his last dose. The ride was filled with fidgeting, lack of focus, constant questions, inability to read (he is an avid reader), watch TV, and just general lack of self control. Again nothing violent, but 4 hours of watching him struggle.
While on our vacation, we decided to start meds again. Why? We just hated to see him unable to control inpulses and toggle from activity to activity. We just felt so bad.
On the way home we had faced some serious traffic issues and the ride became 6 hours. During those six hours, He read 2 books, watched TV quietly, was pleasant and very understanding about the situation. It was then I realized something totally depressing that has sat with me since that ride. My son is unable to function without this medicine. The very thought that he "needs" this medicine to carry him is something I hate. I wondered all night last night how long will this continue. Since he is 8 of course we control his taking or not taking the pill. What about when it becomes his choice? What about addiction? What about growing side effects? His weight? Growth pattern? My mind races sometimes for hours thinking of the pros and cons.
The reason for this post is two-fold: to let others know that their thought and concerns are the same as my own, and to find comfort that this is the right choice.

Every time I see that pill on the counter every morning, I agonize over the decision.

I hate to see him stuggle with his issues, but I also hate to see him be affected by taking that little pill.

Thanks for reading.
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Old 01-08-05, 06:52 PM
spottkitty spottkitty is offline

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Wink my emerging thoughts on meds...

I understand the agonizing, it's a tough decision to make. I think we've been fed information and dis-information which makes the choice even harder.

I'm very interested in the neurological theories - that this is a brain function issue. The brain isn't functioning and routing as it should which brings out these behaviors, reduced impulse control and all that fun stuff. The medication helps get the synapses firing correctly.

This is our first week trying medication out - after having 2 relatives immediately screamed "Don't Drug Your Child" when we mentioned we were evaluating. Makes the decision even harder. Today has been a great day at home so far. David pitched a fit this morning before his pill. He asked me to get the jelly jar open so he could have a jelly sandwich for breakfast. Silly mom, I opened the jar and made the sandwich. He took two bites and started to cry kick and scream that he wanted to make the sandwich and I was only supposed to open the jar. 20 minutes later I forced him to sit up and take his pill and got him to compromise. If he ate that sandwich he could make the next one. So he ate 2 sandwiches for breakfast.

Since his pill he's worked on Math worksheets for fun, played a spelling game, had a light lunch, hasn't argued or fought with little sister, has wanted hugs and kisses. And he hasn't been climbing all over the furnature. We are having a great day at home so far!

Back to the brain stuff - I'm a believer in our brains are wired differently theories. I'm dyslexic and they've done analysis to show that a dyslexic person has activity in a different part of the brain than an non-dyslexic does while they're reading. I'm routing and processing information differently. If there had been a medication to help me reach my potential I would have been all over it!

Over to the medicine questions - I've heard the asthma/diabetes comparison which is good, but that's almost a have to thing, where with ADHD we're "opting in" Here's my opting in analogy:

I have Chronic Non-Allergic Rhinitis and Chronic Sinus Infections. What this means is that I have a constant post nasal drip down my throat. (sounds nice, eh?) I'm not allergic to the trees and pollen, but those plus car exhaust, dust and all kinds of things can make it worse. What it does to me? After a certain amount of drainage I start to get a sore throat and cough. If I do nothing I will lose my voice, be unable to stop coughing and after a couple of weeks have bronchitis. The coughing gets worse at night so I have trouble sleeping. This also makes it easy for me to get a cold or flu and have it turn into a sinus infection. Ever had one? The entire front of my face (sinuses are over the eyes, in the nose and cheeks) will hurt so bad I feel like I can't move.

My nothing and suffer or take decongestant and anti-histamines every day. Do I like taking the pills every day? No. Are the results worth it? Yes!

Am I wild about giving my son medications, no. Are the results worth it? Yes. He came home this week and was able to tell me he had a good day in class and he was excited about school. We still have some trial and error to go on the meds, I feel that we've made the right direction to help him.

My .02 for now, hope it is helpful!

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Old 01-08-05, 07:12 PM
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moonlily moonlily is offline
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Im sorry your struggling, your obviously a great & concientious Mom. You might examine your reasons for struggle. You seem to hate the idea that he "needs medication" why? If he was diabetic would you hate the idea that he took insulin? Those side effects can be life-threatening. I would try & see if you can give him supplements like chewable protien wafers (healthfood stores) and/or nutrient dense food. My understanding is that he WILL grow to his adult height/weight, even if he looses a little before. Dont worry about future "addiction" (I dont believe it exists, but thats controversial) deal with todays troubles. Also, are you ADD? I see things like "my mind races for hours going over the pros & cons". It makes me wonder. Im just curious, Im not diagnosing you! Good luck!
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Old 01-17-05, 09:59 PM
lmhyv lmhyv is offline

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I could have written your message

Dear Palooka,

I'm reading your message and just wanted to tell you that I could have written it. I too suffer when I give the medication (Adderall) to my son. Feel a tremendous guilt, but have to repeat to myself that without it, he would be much worse off. I did try the non-medication route for the first 3 years after his diagnosis (at the age of 6), and believe me, nowadays I think we could have saved him and ourselves a lot of grief had we started him on that earlier.

It's not that he is an extreme case of ADD, and also, sometimes I feel that the medication does not have that big of an effect (and thus, that it should be increased), but just to think about it gives me the chills. But he needs it, no doubt in my mind.

We can do so much, believe me.
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Old 01-18-05, 02:53 AM
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Gregster Gregster is offline
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It sounds like the medication is right for him at this time, and I'll bet it's doing wonders for his self esteem. He may one day outgrow his ADD or come to control it with experience and decide that he doesn't want to take the pills anymore, but for now it's helping him and he sounds a happier child for it. He'll do better in school and will be more likely to fulfill his potential - I sure wish I'd been medicated when I was school, exams would have been far less frustrating! It doesn't sound as if there is much of a downside - no serious side effects, he seems to eat - except for the naysaying relatives. Do the relatives know what they are talking about - have they done any research - or are they just giving you a classic knee-jerk reaction? Got the same reaction from my mother when I started taking the pills at age 39 - and she's completely clueless on such matters, but I guess she'd heard the name "ritalin" - I keep forgetting to thank the media for informing her so well.
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Old 01-18-05, 09:43 AM
palooka23 palooka23 is offline
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Thanks for the kind words. I agree, he is a happier child for it. I dont get grief from anyone in my family because they all know how I research things and am well informed. They know I would never medicate my child without full details and exploring all possibilities. I know that this is the best thing for him. I have also looked at it as others stated; diabetics and insulin, heart patients and meds etc.... Like anyone else with kids, you never, ever want your kids to experience anything negative or have any problems. I know in the big picture, I have a healthy, happy young man and I do thank God for it, but I never want to see him suffer over this issue.
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Old 09-22-08, 10:19 AM
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Re: my son....with and without adderall.

I feel and understand what you are saying.

lIke you we agonized over this decision, as a scout leader, soccer coach and parent volunteer, i saw so many "zombie" kids on ADHD meds that i worried that J was going to be like them, . I also saw the other side, the unmedicated kids who were so spun out of control, that they ad no clue as to what they were doing, they were the loners, no buddies, i worried that j was going to go that route to.

j has been on his meds for some time now, and he is still J, just controlled, and able to control his impulses, the one day last week he missed his meds he was out of control, maybe even worse than before.

he is 10 now, and I am hoping that he may not need his pill in the future, but for now, it helps him to be so successful, both in school and out, that i would rather see him have that success, and the positve outlook he has of himself because of uit , than go back to where we were aa year ago
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Old 09-22-08, 02:44 PM
MGDAD MGDAD is offline
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Re: my son....with and without adderall.

Be careful in responding to threads that are three years old. The OP will probably never see your response.
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