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Children's Diagnosis & Treatment This forums is for parents to discuss issues related to diagnosis and treament of children with AD/HD

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  #1  
Old 10-29-10, 11:51 AM
javadroid javadroid is offline
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New here, daughter AD/HD, depression, anxiety

Greetings. I'm new to the forum. My 16 y.o. daughter was diagnosed with AD/HD - Inattentive type this past spring. Given her test results and progress so far, I'm wondering if we're on the right track or if there is some other disorder or disability we should be considering.

Daughter was an extremely independent and self-motivated learner through the 9th grade. She had a grade skip from 6th to 8th. Straight-A student. Very perfectionistic. Brother with history of ADHD and severe depression (doing well now in college).

In 10th grade, she developed depression and anxiety. She missed a lot of school but was able to make up the work and still got straight A's. The situation was still difficult enough that we decided to homeschool. She liked the homeschooling better, but continued to struggle with keeping up with a full academic schedule - actually did not keep up with a full schedule. Grades still A's and B's - except Algebra II. Very resistant and anxious about the material.

The depression and anxiety continued, so we have further psychological testing done last May with a psychologist. The Brown scale was highly suggestive for AD/HD. Myers-Briggs was INFJ. I was very surprised by WAIS-IV results: Verbal 143 (99.8 percentile), Perceptual 113 (81 percentile), Working Memory 80 (9 percentile), Processing Speed 92 (30 percentile). The discrepancy between highs and lows was a surprise given she had done so well academically in her early years.

She is currently taking Cymbalta for the depression/anxiety and Intuniv for the AD/HD. She tried a variety of stimulants, but they all caused worsening anxiety. She also takes a small dose of clonidine and Xanax at night for sleep.

She has up and down periods - more ups than downs lately - except during her menstrual cycle when she is down and very unmotivated for school work. She has regular counseling every two weeks or so. Homeschooling gives us some flexibility with her schedule when she is in a down period, but I'm concerned about helping her be more consistently productive for when she starts college next year.

Her favorite subjects all related to the language arts. She's a voracious reader. She despises math. We abandoned Algebra II and are doing a personal finance curriculum instead.

So...give that history and those results, does it seem like we are on the right track with the diagnoses. Is there anything else we should be thinking of or addressing?

Thanks much!
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  #2  
Old 10-29-10, 01:27 PM
MGDAD MGDAD is offline
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Re: New here, daughter AD/HD, depression, anxiety

Wow, it sure sounds like you are doing many things right. You have gained a lot of information about your daughter. The personal finance curriculum in leiu of Algebra is a very interesting alternative.

It is good that she is on a good antidepressant. Cymbalta is a strong one. Acts on both seratonin and Norepephrine. Sometime doctors have you up the dose during the menstral time. Then back down after. She probably did well up until the 9th grade even though she had ADHD simply because she is so intelligent.

Dont know if ther is any magic fix possible.
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Old 10-29-10, 01:46 PM
javadroid javadroid is offline
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Re: New here, daughter AD/HD, depression, anxiety

Thanks for the support, MGDAD. I'm sure you know that, as parents, we often blame ourselves or wish we had done something more or different. I learned a lot with my older child, but my daughter is so different from him. Initially, I thought she would be "the easy one."

Wondered about Cymbalta. She moved from Lexapro to that this summer. She started at 30 mg, but when she hit her menstrual cycle, she bottomed out and even when her cycle was over, she couldn't pull herself back out again. Her doc did suggest going to 60 mg during her periods, but ok'd her staying on this dose through the next period to see what happens. She seems to be pre-menstrual the past two days, and feeling low and un-motivated again, although perhaps not quite as bad as last month. We are trying to work on some self-help techniques today, but I think school work is a bust for the day.
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Old 10-29-10, 03:21 PM
MGDAD MGDAD is offline
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Re: New here, daughter AD/HD, depression, anxiety

Yes, Lexipro only works on Seratonin. When that quits working they move onto something that works on Seratonin and Norepinephrine (Cymbalta, Pristique, Effexor). Be very carefull if you ever decide to stop taking those antidepressants. You need to taper very slowly or you will crash like a rock. Good luck with everything.
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Old 10-29-10, 08:20 PM
Justtess Justtess is offline
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Re: New here, daughter AD/HD, depression, anxiety

Quote:
but I'm concerned about helping her be more consistently productive for when she starts college next year.
Tricky question. What seems to work for my teen son is posting an agenda on the wall when time management becomes an issue. He has started to use it to gage how much time he has left and what he needs to get done. He also occassionally wrote a priority list with a large poster paper to get things he wants accomplished that day. Another thing that he seems to be very dependent on lately is the smart phone. He has downloaded a number of apps to help keep him organized, time manage, as well as help with some of his math and science courses. With parental controls, I can turn off certain features if he procrastinates however, lately, he does not use his phone for recreation so there was no need.

Last year when he was a Junior, a team of teachers, counselors, and myself insisted that he communicates with his instructors when his courses become out of hand and learn to take the iniative to schedule a tutorial. Because his courses are project based and on a specific schedule... he has gotten behind where it snowballs and he starts sinking instead of swimming. He'll usually pull through by finals.

We are dealing with a lot of anxiety, anger, and a bit of depression lately and I realize perhaps it can be attributed to overexcitability issues and learning to manage them.

His doc recently prescribed Xanax as an 'emergency' take the edge off of anger when needed remedy but I am not very informed about how it works or how it may affect him.
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