My 14 year old son was diagnosed with ADHD at age 8, but we never used meds. He really struggles in school and is now noticing short-term memory problems. He is willing to try medication, but I have real concerns regarding stimulants. However, I've heard the Wellbutrin can help, and having been on that medication myself at one time, I'm more likely to try Wellbutrin. Any feedback on Wellbutrin helping teenagers with ADHD. Thanks.
The evidence as to the efficacy of Wellbutrin in treating ADHD is mixed, especially in children. There have been studies that have found it to be as effective as Ritalin and those that have found that it is not. The mechanism of action of Wellbutrin makes it more likely to improve hyperactivity and impulsivity than concentration and memory (it acts on dopamine and norepinephrine in the brain, making those neurotransmitters more available, it does not directly stimulate brain activity).
The only way to really tell is to try it, we all respond to different medications differently. With Wellbutrin, it will take time, perhaps as long as a month or more to take full effect, so be patient with the medication and don't make judgements quickly.
My advice is take your time and research the various options for treatment of ADHD, find out the real risks and benefits. Don't be too quick to rule out stimulants, as they have definitively been shown to improve the symptoms of ADHD, but Wellbutrin has its proponents as well.
I take Wellbutrin, but I would be very hesistant to give Wellbutrin to a teenager because it's a much stronger medication, with more effects and side effects, and it hasn't been studied very much with children. Plus it doesn't improve concentration for everyone, and it increases anxiety for many.
ADHD drugs like Ritalin and Adderall have been around a much longer period of time. They've been studied much more extensively on children and teenagers, are shorter acting and very safe when used in the proper dosage. Studies show that ADD kids rarely use them to get high, but there is a growing problem with students selling all types of drugs to other students. So I used to give my son his pill myself every morning and I'd keep the bottle locked away all day.
Adderall can be helpful for concentration and impulse control, but it's just a drop in the bucket. Adderall makes kids easier for teachers to handle, but it won't help their grades unless they do other things too. They need to learn and practice a lot of new techniques to aid in organization, concentration, study methods, scheduling, motivation, etc. It's not easy for anyone to learn and consistently practice new habits. (Especially when their parents also suffer from add or depression, and don't monitor their follow through every day.)
You can get a lot of help from the school system if your kid will cooperate. You can also learn tips from books, CHADD meetings, other parents, and psychologists who specialize in this area. We were fortunate to have a great summer program in our area which was funded in part by research dollars. The best part of the program for me was the required classes and meetings with other parents.
Thanks for your response. What I've seen with kids and stimulants scares me. To me, they're fine until the meds wear off and they go nuts, or they're zombies while on them. I have to imagine there are success stories and of course you don't realize they are success stories.
I was offered Wellbutrin by my therapist at a time I was struggling with panic disorder and divorce issues, and declined. I was afraid that the result would be that instead of feeling depressed I would feel even more angry toward my spouse at that time. This is a common side effect of anti depressants including, I was told, Wellbutrin.
I have adult ADD and a child who also has ADD. She started more traditional meds--adderol, ritalin, at age 9 or 10. I can't stress enough that they work very very well for academic concentration. The result of not fixing this problem can cause the kid to develop low self esteem or be depressed and that may be why Wellbutrin was suggested--a sort of two for one fix. It takes a while for the kid to actually realize the positive changes in himself.
I think 14 would be a horrible time to start with Wellbutrin; instead I would consider starting with the simpler solution unless your kid's therapist really thinks the depression is severe. The adderal or ritalin stuff take a few weeks to kick in and maybe up to a couple years to really see the academic results and maybe longer to repair the social esteem issues. It was worth it in my opinion as a parent. At age 14 you also want to offer your child a choice they can actually live with--it's bad enough for them to accept that they have ADD but prob harder to accept that they are also depressed. Give them some room on this choice.
I am a new member just joining today. I do not have ADD, nor do I have children with ADD, but I have take Wellbutrin for years for depression. I am very sensitive to side effects, and this medication has helped my depression immensely with no noticeable side effects. As far I as know it is not used to treat anxiety, nor help with concentration. I have had a hard time finding a medication that I can tolerate for anxiety. Most recently I have been on Klonopin .5 mg 2x/day. Librium also has helped recently with my sleep.
My advice would to make sure your child is seeing a psychiatrist who is well trained and experienced in anti-depressant/anxiety meds. It is imperative especially for a 14 year old. I hope this helps a little.
lucylucy: Can you tell us what books/techniques you found useful? The market is flooded with books that promise to turn you into the next Richard Branson, and an experienced person would be very valuable to me - especially since I don't like near any support groups or experts on the subject.