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Old 11-27-08, 07:01 AM
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A question for ADD people who remember their teens

My 14 year old son is currently undergoing a trial of medication at his own request because his psych does not believe that my son has ADD ( psych thinks he has an anxiety disorder), my son takes 5mg of Ritalin twice a day. The effects have been very positive but not outstanding. He has been a nightmare to get into school before medication he was very anxious and dreaded each day.

Last week on starting the medication he managed to go in four days out of five. This week he had managed Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday all day. We had a school review meeting yesterday which the psych attended, and he said L should be told which days he can go in and not pick and choose and that tomorrow he should only do half a day. Then next week have two half days off and the week after do a full week.

Sorry to go on but you need to know the background to see why I am asking the question. I told my son that his head of year would be seeing him tomorrow and telling him the arrangements. This morning my son refused to get out of bed and just kept saying in a sarcastic tone, go away goodbye - repeating them over and over to any question I asked. He is 6" taller than me and stocky there is no way I can get him out of bed if he refuses.

I see this morning as an act of defiance and I'm not sure if the defiance is because of what was agreed at the meeting yesterday. He didn't seem to bothered about it yesterday when I told him and he was very bright and positive, and stuck to all the boundaries we give him (being off his PC by 9.30 at night).

So this morning was a bit of a shock and I feel absolutely drained, he was doing so well.

Do you remember feeling angry and defiant over the slightest thing. I do remember my mom getting on my nerves when I was a teenager but I'd never refuse to get up or go to school. I think I just used to go and eat a chocolate bar because she used to moan about my weight all the time - how was that getting at my mom!!!!! LOL

Will he always be like this, it doesn't help that his psychiatrist seems so unsupportive, my son is starting CBT on 10th December if I can get him to go to that. HELP!!!!
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Old 11-27-08, 01:31 PM
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Re: A question for ADD people who remember their teens

What I remember about being 14:
- occasionally lying in bed and crying for hours for no reason
- sometimes staying up all night just so I could see if I could stay awake in class the next day
- being irrationally angry at my mother for no reason
- being irrationally angry at my teachers / the world / girls in my class, then my mom would try to say something to comfort me, but it would make it worse. I know she was trying to help, but if you feel immature and emasculated by your peers, hearing "Mommy still loves you" only made me feel younger, less mature, and less capable.
- feeling euphoric one day and depressed the next day, for no good reason
- feeling like whenever something went wrong, someone would say, "You're old enough to know better", but whenever I wanted to do something, someone would say, "Your not old enough." Well, which is it? Is 14 exactly old enough to be blamed for everything like an adult, with all the restrictions of a child?
- wanting to sleep all day, every day, but never going to sleep before 1 or 2 a.m., even if I was exhausted
- sneaking down to my computer to download porn (you used to have to work for it when I was kid - you would download 30-page text files that could be converted to images. Took about half an hour per image. You really earned that porn in the early 1990s.)
- feeling sore and edgy every time I woke up
- being told I had to go somewhere, but I was waiting for a call from a girl, but I didn't want to tell my parents about my crushes, so I wouldn't tell them I was waiting for a call from a girl, so they would say, "Let's get going to Aunt So-and-So's house", but I couldn't imagine anything I wanted to do less, so I would just sulk and resent them for keeping me away from the love of my life (whoever it was at the time)
- finding out that being right is irrelevant; the only thing that matters is who has the authority. I had this message hammered into my by school authorities (they thought they were progressive, but they were old-school authoritarians when it came right down to it). When you are 14 years old, and you know you are right, and you know you made a rational, reasonable, well-supported argument about something to your teacher/parent, and then the parent or teacher tells you, "That's too bad. You have to do it my way," you quickly lose the desire to discuss things with your parent or teacher. I'm sure every 14-year-old has felt like this at some point - it happened to me all the time. It made me not want to reason with my parents and teachers- I just wanted to placate them, and do my own thing.

Eighteen years later, some of my behaviour seems laughably immature, but some of it still hurts, if you can believe it. I had occasional discipline problems in high school (pyromania, absenteeism and streaking, mostly - never violence) but I did not have trouble academically. My friends who did not do well in school seemed to have all my issues, plus a constant level of stress about being "dumb" or a bad student. If I had the double threat of rejection by my peers, combined with academic troubles, I don't know how I would have made it to school.
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Old 11-27-08, 05:28 PM
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Re: A question for ADD people who remember their teens

Here are some of my 14-year-old memories:

I was mad at the whole world, even my boyfriend, who was never anything but lovely to me. I would blow up over silly things, shout, scream, throw stuff, cry - then it would go away as quick as it came on and I'd be all remorse. I used to bite through the inside of my lip to make it bleed (still do that sometimes, actually) because the blood fascinated me as did the process of the wound healing. I was really into martial arts and training was the only thing that felt right for me to be doing, and yet my parents often wouldn't take me to class because they wanted to sit indoors and get drunk and they wouldn't let me take myself there in spite of it only being a short bus ride away. I didn't play truant in the conventional sense, but I did have a lot of time off sick from school when it all just got too much to handle. Or I'd go home at lunchtime and not go back. My mum never seemed to care. She and my dad certainly never disciplined me for it or tried to find out what was going on with me. I did homework sporadically and swung between being quiet as a mouse and recklessly defiant in class. None of my teachers bothered to try and figure me out either. I had some good friends, but I couldn't see it at the time and didn't know how to reach out to them for help.

Your son is so lucky to have a caring, supportive mum like you. You show more genuine love for him in one forum post than my alcoholic mess of a mother did throughout my whole adolescence. This psychiatrist sounds like an *****hole of the highest order. It sounds like he is floundering now that it's obvious, in spite of his opinions, that your son has ADD and is trying to claw back some credibility by giving half-baked 'advice' without considering your son's actual needs as an INDIVIDUAL, not some damn page out of a textbook. (Not that I have strong feelings about this issue...) I think that you know your son better than most and that if you believe his behaviour was down to the meeting with this individual, then likely it was. You don't have to do what ANYONE tells you, no matter how many letters are after their name. If something feels wrong, it is. Maybe have another chat with your son, let him know that it's OK not to agree with the doc's advice, and see if he really is as upbeat as he seemed at the time about it all. And if what he was doing before was working, it probably never needed changing in the first place.

Hope this gets resolved. All the best to you both!
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Old 11-27-08, 05:37 PM
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Re: A question for ADD people who remember their teens

I am a teenager. I am defiant and angry and explosive. He also has raging hormones going around.
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Old 11-27-08, 08:22 PM
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Re: A question for ADD people who remember their teens

I don't remember the details but I hated being 14. I hated school and my parents. I struggled socially and academically. I was always being yelled at or punished for something. I think being 14 is tough for anybody but add ADHD and other conditions and it can be VERY hard!!!
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Old 11-27-08, 08:24 PM
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Re: A question for ADD people who remember their teens

I also remember the use of the word defiant...It was right up there with the word Lazy!!! It's too bad that in 2008 parents are still confusing executive functioning issues with defiance!
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Old 11-27-08, 08:29 PM
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Re: A question for ADD people who remember their teens

I may be wrong, but from your post, it sounds as though all these decisions were made by you, teachers, psych etc ... but did he get to add any input? Was he heard? Was he even there?
A lot of the time my family and those "in charge" of me would have a meeting and come to some decision about what was “right for me”. Then mom would come home and inform me of what these other people had decided about my life and my mental and emotional health.
At the end of being told how it was going to be I would be asked something like "Is that okay with you?" or "How does that make you feel?"
Well what answer could I give?
The decisions were already made, anything I said or felt about it really didn't matter did it? So I'd tell Mom it was fine, even pretend it sounded good.
(in fact sometimes it did sound good while mom talked happily and excited about it, until I had time to really think about it. Then I looked at it differently)
So come the next morning, I would exercise the only real power I had. I refused to get out of bed and do whatever these other people had decided I was going to do.

I am 28 and I still flatly refuse to do anything if my mom tells me to, she absolutely has to say “please” and “thank you”, because of how it was when I was under her roof. I guess I can't quite let that go.
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Old 11-27-08, 08:43 PM
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Re: A question for ADD people who remember their teens

I remember too well what is was like at 14 yrs.

I raised 3 kids, and I'm still not done lol. I still have one going into that wonderful full blown teenage years. My first 2 are boys, 21 (ADHD) and 17 yrs old my baby girl is 11 yrs old now. All i can say is, it does go away lol..really!!!

Kids at that age are hypersensitive, it's a time of discovery on becoming an adult. A lot of it is due to there brain not being entirely form. Too make it short, they miss a certain part that is not yet form in the frontal brain ( i thinks it's frontal lol), anyways somewhere in there coconut they are missing the part that takes time to think and decide on what he can do on the situation. It's like they just go on acting upon whatever triggers them.

For my experience, i kept the communication open, try not to take it personal when they go on there "ihatetheworldandyoumostlytheparents" mood. They think they know more then you, you are stupid. But it comes and goes you will see. And in the good time, is right to do something with him, ask about his life ect. My boys were never really big talkers about their lives. Well my oldest was more talkative.

And about him being 6 feet tall, as nothing to do with you cant moving him. At this point respect as to take over, I was always very respectful of my kids space and i never accepted they defy my "rules" or disturb my space.
When you were younger you say you would never have done that, it's because there was a respect, plus i am sure your parents would not have put up with it even one time. Today i find parents ( not necessarily you, i am talking about in general) are scared to discipline their kids. And i am the first to admit that with my first i was terrible, young mother who knew nothing for real. And still admit that i have lots to learn.

My boys are big boys, but when i say something it goes. If not, i cut the thing he loves the most? What cant he live without?
With me when i said i am cutting your electricity, it was everything that was plug in.

Usually they move pretty fast.
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Old 11-27-08, 11:05 PM
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Re: A question for ADD people who remember their teens

I'm 15 and it's hell. my anxiety is absolutely killing me lately.
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Old 11-28-08, 03:06 AM
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Re: A question for ADD people who remember their teens

Back in the old day,,lol (digitl says while rocking in a her chair and shmocking her corn pipe)

ADD did not exist, they tried valium on me , to calm me down . Well it did work i was so calm i was falling asleep everywhere, my mom stop giving it to me after a little while. Thank goodness. Imagine all the chaos i would have miss doing .

My anxiety were at my highest in my teens and pre-teens. But i use to self medicate with booze and drugs. I dont recomment this method to anyone. It sure was better then thinking i was completly dysfunctional, atleast i had an excuse.
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Old 11-28-08, 05:35 AM
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Re: A question for ADD people who remember their teens

I think Russell Barkely's observfations make a hell of lot of sense. Use lots of carrots and very few sticks.
Remember the issue on the day is not that big a crisis- and to let it cause a scene and bad feeling is counterproductive. It is better to beat a strategic retreat. Reward good behaviour and actively ingnore bad behaviour. Make sure rewards are only available for good behaviour and keep life pretty basic without rewards. Make your own unrewarded existence pretty spartan too- so you are not seen to be punishing him. We ADDers are hypersensitive and we constantly suffer from insults and challlenges to our ego. Pushing negative consequences is only likely to further damage our weak "ego" ( for want of a better word). Russell Barkely lays this out in"Taking Charge of ADHD" and it rings so true for me both in my dealings with my daughter and my own recollecitons of my childhood and teens.
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