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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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  #1  
Old 11-25-17, 11:46 PM
beeebeee beeebeee is offline
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Attempted suicide

I'm new here.

My son will be 12 in 2 days. We have known he has had adhd since he was a baby. I also have 2 other younger girls who have adhd.

We have tried mostly non-medication interventions to encourage his success - diet changes, supplements and homeschooling for a period of time. Last year we did put him on Strattera for about 8 months. while he was doing well at school he was NOT doing well at home - super hyper, excessive anger at me and my girls - constantly bugging us. So we decided this summer to take him off the meds. He stopped taking Strattera in July.

I homeschooled him for 1st/2nd grade and then we put him in a small Christian school the last 3 years. We've had only minor issues with his behavior at school. At home is another story. Except for this year. We starting getting calls the second week of school and they never stopped. Essentially the teacher was super rigid and couldn't tolerate anything. The principal got involved, they were sending us emails almost daily about his behavior. They were both negative influences for my son. We meet with them in person and said we would talk to him about some of his behavior but most of the other stuff was not a big deal and they needed to be more tolerant. We told them that punishing does not change behavior in our kids. We know, we've tried it. We encouraged them to reward positive behavior versus punishing him all the time. We knew that our son was really upset about this teacher and we were imminently considering pulling him out of the school.

Then on a Monday morning, I dropped him off at school and it was a normal day like any other. He hugged me goodbye and got out of the car. We got a call 2 hours later that he went to the bathroom and hung himself in the bathroom at school with his belt. It is only by the grace of God that he lived. No one at the hospital can believe that he lived and then beat the odds of having a severe anoxic brain injury. But 8 days later he walked out of the PICU walking and talking.

I guess why I am writing this post is that we had ZERO sign he was going to do this. He didn't seem depressed or withdrawn. Had not ever talked about suicide and then to hang himself? Nothing makes sense.

He said he did it because he was sick of getting in trouble at school. I'm just struggling with adhd and suicide and understanding how they intersect.

He went to outpatient therapy and is in ongoing therapy. He doesn't appear to be suicidal at all, but then again he didn't appear like that before! He is also acting like nothing happened and seems surprised that his life has to be different now.

We have tired him on 3 medications so far and all have been TERRIBLE - concerta, Focalin and intuiniv. The stims made him crazed, obsessive, mean AND he was still hyper. The intuiniv made him lethargic and weepy.

Every morning I wake up and check to make sure he is still alive.

Does anyone have any other stories to share to give me hope or advice?

Thanks.
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Old 11-26-17, 12:09 AM
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Re: Attempted suicide

Amphetamine.


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Ian
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Old 11-26-17, 06:54 AM
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Re: Attempted suicide

Stratterra was originally marketed as an antiderpressant so its possible that it could contribute to his feelings of suicide.
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Old 11-26-17, 07:28 AM
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Re: Attempted suicide

Hi beeebeee, welcome to the forums.

I'm sorry to hear about the challenges that you've been facing with your son and his school.

The whole bathroom ordeal must have been terrifying for you. Does your son attend any counseling at all?
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Old 11-26-17, 08:03 AM
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Re: Attempted suicide

Sorry to hear you had this happen to you and your kid.

People with ADHD tend to struggle with impulsivity. It might be that your kid did it more on impulse than anything else. That doesn't change the fact that he is really struggling but might mean that if his ADHD is treated better the chance of recurrence is smaller.

That he doesn't seem suicidal does not mean much. When I was seriously considering suicide (as young as 12 too), I was very careful not to let anyone notice. Especially not teachers as they could get me into trouble (or so it would have felt from my perspective), or my parents as they would be worried sick and I did not want them to feel that way.

I trust that your kid has therapists talking to him about why this happened and to help him change things for the better? Because a parent is emotionally invested in a kid's well-being and the kid can easily sense that, a parent is not always the easiest person for them to open up to
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Old 11-26-17, 09:46 AM
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Re: Attempted suicide

Yes, we have not tried amphetamines yet, but just frustrating that none of the other meds provided even one positive benefit after having been through an attempted suicide.

He stopped the Strattera in July and this incident happened in October.

Yes, he is going to a therapist weekly (which he has had for awhile) and he has a new psychiatrist (previously he was being treated by his pediatrician).

Thank you for your post arthos. That is what we have been told is the adhd children actually have a higher rate of suicide because of their impulsivity and when they face interpersonal conflict they can make rash decisions. But I'm conflicted because we've also been told by a few doctors/therapists in the hospital, outpatient, etc. that hanging is an elevated method of suicide and that we should be VERY concerned. And that there has to be some premeditation with it. He did say he thought about it a few days before so I can't make sense of how truly impulsive it was or if he is just really good at hiding his feelings.

Whatever it is, as a mother it is truly terrifying to have to actively have to try and keep your child alive.

I'm just looking for answers on how to help him so this doesn't happen again.

Thanks for taking the time to respond to me.
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Old 11-26-17, 10:25 AM
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Re: Attempted suicide

Quote:
Originally Posted by beeebeee View Post
Yes, we have not tried amphetamines yet, but just frustrating that none of the other meds provided even one positive benefit after having been through an attempted suicide.

He stopped the Strattera in July and this incident happened in October.

Yes, he is going to a therapist weekly (which he has had for awhile) and he has a new psychiatrist (previously he was being treated by his pediatrician).

Thank you for your post arthos. That is what we have been told is the adhd children actually have a higher rate of suicide because of their impulsivity and when they face interpersonal conflict they can make rash decisions. But I'm conflicted because we've also been told by a few doctors/therapists in the hospital, outpatient, etc. that hanging is an elevated method of suicide and that we should be VERY concerned. And that there has to be some premeditation with it. He did say he thought about it a few days before so I can't make sense of how truly impulsive it was or if he is just really good at hiding his feelings.

Whatever it is, as a mother it is truly terrifying to have to actively have to try and keep your child alive.

I'm just looking for answers on how to help him so this doesn't happen again.

Thanks for taking the time to respond to me.
I dont know the others but i was diagnosed when i was 20
until that day, suicide was a ordinary thing for me
if i got sad , things dont didnt go on my way suicide came to my mind easily . But i couldnt do it because we didnt have gun in our home. I always wanted to be sure that if i commit suicide , i must die %100 sure so i always thought about guarantee methods.
even after medicines suicidal thoughts easily come to my mind and if i had gun that i carry , who knows maybe i can do it any day.
Once i was very close, i went to shooting range for commiting suicide but shooting range officer were staying too close to me so i didnt have time to pull gun at my head.
I am trying to say that if you are (your son) very impulsive person , it is easy to commit an unplanned suicide . He tried to do it with belt, a planned suicide wouldnt be that amateur because possibility of failing is really high.
Don't worry about that thing , just get methylphenidate or other amphetamines as soon as possible for your children.
Strattera isnt that good and first line treatment medicine , i hope amphetamines will work for your son.
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Old 11-26-17, 10:34 AM
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Re: Attempted suicide

but hanging yourself with your belt , it seems to be very instant and not calculated

Last edited by peripatetic; 11-29-17 at 09:41 PM.. Reason: removed details of calculated suicide options
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Old 11-26-17, 10:59 AM
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Re: Attempted suicide

I am inclined to agree with Emre22 but only because my own experience is very similar to his. It may not be the same for everyone. My best option was always the train, as I used to take them to school anyway. At times I have been very, very tempted to do it when a train came rushing by. Scary stuff.

One of the underlying reasons that ADHD kids are more prone to suicide attempts is probably their low self-esteem. Having ADHD often causes a lot of interpersonal problems. Growing up with that sort of thing can lead to a chronic lack of self-worth or self-confidence. It is not that big of a leap from there to suicide.

Just imagine yourself every day at school or work, trying your hardest to be good and well-behaved, yet people still get angry at you and no one sees the effort you are putting in. I can tell you, that is extremely frustrating. Combined with chronic low self-esteem it is inflammable.

Is your son still going to the same school and all that? What has changed in his life since his attempt? It is not realistic to continue on (virtually) the same path and expect the outcome to be different than before
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Old 11-26-17, 08:02 PM
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Re: Attempted suicide

Some kids I've worked with have done well on mood stabilizers and antidepressants. It can be a long road of trial and error, and some psychiatrists have simply told me it's a matter of trial and error until the right combination of meds is found. My heart breaks for you, the responsibility must be awesome. Hang in there, I will pray for you
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Old 12-02-17, 06:33 AM
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Re: Attempted suicide

I cant believe I didnt mention this but get help immeditately whether or not it was meds or calculated. My one daughter was hospitalized at age 11 and my older one has been inpatient three times. No matter whether its a cry for help, real or not, calculated or not it has to be taken 100% seriously.`
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