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Old 07-19-2004, 02:13 PM   #1
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Question Stimulants and Effect on Personality

My daughter has been taking Adderall XR for about 3 years now. She is 11 yrs old and takes 25 mg once a day. She is the inattentive type ADHD. I've been battling with myself for the last year as to whether or not I should continue with meds. One of the main reasons I'm against continuing with medication is the way Adderall effects her personality. Naturally, she is a funny, happy child although sometimes that can carry over into silliness and immaturity. However, when taking meds, she withdraws. She seldom smiles and I even had a stranger comment once that she was the saddest child she had ever seen - which is the complete opposite of my daughter when not medicated! It breaks my heart to see such a change in sunny dispositioned child. She also notices the difference and says she doesn't like taking it because it makes her "blah" and not want to have any fun.

She has a follow-up appointment with her doctor in a few weeks and I'm probably going to ask her about other medications. I just wanted to get some feedback on what other's have experienced with different meds in relation to effecting their child's personality.

 
Old 07-19-2004, 03:27 PM   #2
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Re: Stimulants and Effect on Personality

I also found that when my son was on aderral he was a very serious child, which is so not my son. On ritilan he is much more himself.

 
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Old 07-19-2004, 03:34 PM   #3
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Re: Stimulants and Effect on Personality

All I can say is that I know what you are going through. My daughter has experienced much the same at one point or another in her life. She is 16 now, we just went through the stubborn" I don't wanna take my pills" phase of Adderall, which came to a screeching hault recently with the drivers test.

I have pondered this many a-time, cried about it and have been rather sad about all of it as well through the years. Afterall, this is my daughter, how do I teach my child responsibility, independence and self preservation? How do I go about teaching her that some meds work and some don't and all the Pediatrician and I can do is try one, see how it goes and make decisions based on all that.

IT "AINT EASY" being the mom of an ADD or ADHD child. Couple that with a divorce of the parents of this child where the dad and the new stepmom do not think she has ADD regardless of test results and Dr. diagnosis so she learned through the years that when at "dad's house" she doesn't have to take her meds.

A lot of dynamics are happening.

SO far she has learned:

1) that she does not have to follow Dr. orders if she doesn't want to.
2) that she sometimes does ok on tests without the Adderall.
3) a different way to think and process while when not on meds vs. when on meds.
4) she might have done better on the test she failed if she would have taken her meds, but she didn't want to. She can still get a "C" if she can get some better grades.

Then there are the other issues when not on meds:

1) she can depend on others to remind her
2) "I will get to it later" even when 4 days pass by and the task is still not completed.
3) "Stop reminding me" behavior.....*she grows weary of being reminded, I grow weary of reminding her....but she doesn't want to take the meds, so I help her out by reminding her, but she gets angry when I remind her...a viscious circle.*

There is so much more depending on the developmental stage and so many other factors that I just truly believe in my heart, it is better to medicate. That is my view and mine only and I do not want to step on toes by stating this, it has just been the life I have had to live with my daughter under her circumstances. IT just works better ( in my opinion) for her to use a med to help her focus. At some point in her life she must learn how and gain as much indepence and autonomy as possible so she is ready for the "real world" of jobs interviews, job performance, college, problem solving, making sound judgements, driving, ect.

Since her thinking processes are different when not medicated, the reasonable decision is to medicate. And yeah, that causes a host of problems as well for many including my daughter. Lack of ability to sleep, the grumpies at times and a whole host of many other things as well. But remember, my goal here is to have her learn independence and autonomy, to be able to think rationally and responsibly on her own. To live a full and valued life.

When she cooks at home without her meds, she always forgets to turn off the stove, no matter how many times I call, no matter how many times I remind her, no matter how many notes I leave for her and no matter how many tiems I remind while standing right there next to her. This is potentially dangerous to her and to the entire family, not to mention to our home. When she is on medication, I remind her and leave a note,,, sometimes, and the stove is turned off. That is my experience. She will use this later in life when she is on her own.

I don't know if this helps or even if anybody can understand it (including myself!) it took me forever to figure it out myself and the only thing I have always been certain of and always will be certain about is that she will someday have to do all this on her own, so how do I teach her to remember? TO focus? TO stop and think? If the medicaiton gives me an edge on helping her then I will make sure she takes her meds.

Anyway, yeah stimulants sometimes effect her personality, and sometimes her hormones do the personality thing all on their own. I miss my happy energetic daughter too with all smiles and giggles, and there are days that this part of her pops out, and there are days when that part of her doesn't. It hurts very much at times when you are the mom of the ADD?ADHD child. I just give it my all, my 100% and know that I am doing MY best whether it is good or bad, the decisions I make with her and for her are always in her best interest.

JDRKIDS

 
Old 07-19-2004, 05:49 PM   #4
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Re: Stimulants and Effect on Personality

Hi JDRkids,

I just read your post and it brought tears to my eyes. Tonite, my husband had yelled at our daughter at the 10th time of telling her to walk the dog and it made her cry. I made sure he read your post. One of the biggest frustrations for me of being a parent of an ADHD kid is knowing where to draw the line with discipline. At what point do you decide are they just being kids and not minding or can they not help themselves? And yes, we've tried charts and rewards systems and they work for awhile but when you get into the hectic daily life, they're so hard to maintain.

It's just so hard for me to accept the fact that to fit into the world, which we all have to do, that she has to take a medication that completely stifles her personality. But on the other hand, what will her personality evolve to if she doesn't take medication and is continually beat down by failures? I just hope we can find another med that won't have such a down effect on her as the Adderall has.

 
Old 07-20-2004, 07:05 AM   #5
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Re: Stimulants and Effect on Personality

Quote:
Originally Posted by Raes*Mom
I just hope we can find another med that won't have such a down effect on her as the Adderall has.
Raes*Mom,

My personal opinion is that you're right to talk to your doctor about trying a different med. Perhaps even lowering her dose might help. There's got to be a happy medium there somewhere where she isn't so sad but is able to function. If it doesn't work, you can always go back to what she's on now.

My son takes a low dose of Strattera and a low dose of Metadate (one of the newer long-acting forms of Methylphenidate - ie Ritalin). I can honestly say that he's a happier kid now than before medication. The medicine has calmed him down enough that he has friends for the first time in his life. The other kids totally ostracized him before. He is still funny. He no longer talks about being "weird" and that "just dying" might be better. He can, however, be quite irritable at times, but I'm not sure how much of that is medicine and how much is that he's turning 14!

I hate that it's so hard for us to know what's the right thing to do for our kids. People without ADD kids just don't understand what gut-wrenching decisions these are for us.

Good luck to you! Let us know what you decide.

 
Old 07-20-2004, 11:34 AM   #6
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Re: Stimulants and Effect on Personality

i can understand what you mean about your daughter's personality changing...i notice a change in personality when on my meds (adderall, xr and regular). actually, i didnt really notice it, but my roommates did. they tell me im much more quiet and reserved, as opposed to my usual loud and boisterous self. i guess i know that im still me inside, and i can still be myself when not on the meds. my roommates have even said im not as annoying anymore since im not constantly craving attention. and for me, i like how i feel when im medicated. i like being able to remember to do things, and not have my best friend remind me what assignments are due, or have my dad call to make sure that i've done them. i LOVE that im not longer failing out of college, and that my parents and i dont fight about my grades every time we talk. i suppose its all a matter of personal preference, and your daughter will figure that out for herself, you cant do it for her. good luck

 
Old 07-20-2004, 07:37 PM   #7
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Re: Stimulants and Effect on Personality

WOW! WEll all I can say is that I am glad that I could make someone feel better.

ADD/ADHD is a tough one to live with but we have to make do somehow, afterall, these are our children and someday they will be doing what we are doing.

My daughter is a bit subdued today after restarting her Adderall. She also caught a sore throat from her bfriend and is running a fever, s I will haev to see how it goes. Her bfriend has been dx with mono, at least that is what the Dr. thinks it is. He has white bumps on his throat and a horrid rash all over his body...... I am sure my daughter will catch whatever it is, they were smoochin the other day...*sigh*

I am so glad I could be of some help.

Chin up folks, it is only the beginning, again!

Have a good evening!

jdrkids

 
Old 07-23-2004, 08:47 AM   #8
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Re: Stimulants and Effect on Personality

Quote:
Originally Posted by JDRkids
My daughter is a bit subdued today after restarting her Adderall. She also caught a sore throat from her bfriend and is running a fever, s I will haev to see how it goes. Her bfriend has been dx with mono, at least that is what the Dr. thinks it is. He has white bumps on his throat and a horrid rash all over his body...... I am sure my daughter will catch whatever it is, they were smoochin the other day...*sigh*
dubl *sigh*! I have PANDAS, which is a strep-related, ADHD-like condition, and I would strongly advise you to get antibiotic treatment asap and have her (and her b/f's) throat tested for possible markers related to this. Has she had strep before?

 
Old 07-23-2004, 12:41 PM   #9
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Re: Stimulants and Effect on Personality

apinecone:

Yes she has had strept throat many times. The Dr. tested her for this and said there is no strept, it is just a virus.

Her rash has spread now and is over most of her body. I have given her Benedryl and she takes cool baths and puts OTC cortosone w/ aloe on the bad parts which gives her a little relief.I also bought her some flavorice for her throat because it hurts so badly. Hopefully it will pass soon! IF not we will be back into the Dr.'s office.

I am not allowing her to be with her bfriend till they are both cleared up, so they are on the phone non-stop. We are to go away to my sister's house next weekend, I sure hope it is all cleared up by then! I have no idea how infectious this is, I SURELY hope I do not get this!!!!!!!!!!!!!

She still has somewhat of a flat affect from restarting her Adderall.....so at least she is not being grumped and moody through all this! *wink*

jdrkids

 
Old 07-27-2004, 11:04 AM   #10
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Re: Stimulants and Effect on Personality

snowchick, what were some of the annoying things you did when you were constantly craving attention? that sounds exactly like what my 12 yr old son is doing. he has been like that forever. he is not add/adhd. it's probably just normal behavior but sometimes he drives us crazy! i say 'stop it' and he'll always do it one more time!
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Old 07-27-2004, 12:17 PM   #11
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Re: Stimulants and Effect on Personality

sawbuck...when i was younger, it was more of what my dad would call "the giggly-goos". i would make up funny stories in my head and could not stop laughing. it was always a little overshadowed at home when i was little by my brother, who was a bigger trouble maker. in school, i was always getting comments about being disruptive, hyper, and a class clown. when i went to college and had less supervision, i was able to do things like sing the national anthem in my doorway, or one night when i was unpacking from a weekend away, i put every article of clothing i unpacked on, and then jumped on my roommate. i once ran into my best friends room, pulled a sheet off her bed and ran around the hall with it wrapped around me. i used to have bright pink hair, mostly because i loved the attention it got me, kids pointing, random comments from strangers, good or bad. mainly i was always just loud, and if i was bored, look out, i'd be coming to you to entertain me.

 
Old 07-30-2004, 12:05 PM   #12
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Re: Stimulants and Effect on Personality

"Bumping up" for Karon....

 
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