My son is 11 years old & was diagnosed with Asperger Syndrome at age 6. Over the last 2 - 3 years, we have noticed that his ability to control his anger/frustration is becoming extremely difficult for him. We took him to a psychiatrist who prescribed Zoloft for his anxiety.
I am looking for any information from anyone who has had experience using this med for their child. Are there any side effects? Has it helped with anxiety/anger? Any information would be very helpful. Thank You!
I have both Asperger's and OCD. My mom made me go to the doctor when I was 15 to be put on an anti-depressant (she's on one for unipolar depression) because I was so irritable all of the time. My anxiety was really bad, too. I was diagnosed as having "Generalized Anxiety Disorder," which I do have, but it was the OCD that was bad. I was given Zoloft, and my mother and I noticed a change the very first day, even though that's said to be virtually impossible. It did make me calmer for awhile, but I still had panic attacks on it. (Klonopin's the only thing that helps my panic attacks, a medicine I wasn't given until last June.) However, Zoloft made me sooo incredibly tired after a year of taking it, so I switched to Lexapro, which was a big mistake because it made me even more fatigued and my OCD worse. I went back on the Zoloft in January of 2005, and I was up to 250 mg (the max is 300) when I started CBT in the summer, and I was still obsessing a lot. I went off of the Zoloft and started Prozac this past November. I recently went off the Prozac because it, too, made me exhausted, and I really don't think SSRI's do much for my OCD. I know they don't do anything for my panic attacks. I have typical waxing-waning OCD, and now I'm obsessing more, but I highly doubt it's because I'm not on an SSRI. After all, I had two OCD breakdowns while on one. Anyway, this past November, the same time I got the Prozac, my college psychiatrist recommended that I go on the mood stabilizer Lamictal. We weren't sure what the mood swings were; I actually thought that I had cyclothymia, a very mild form of bipolar disorder, for awhile. Now I know that it was my Asperger's. I was diagnosed with Asperger's by my new CBT therapist in March. It helped explain so much, including why CBT was a total failure for me because it's very hazy where my OCD ends and my Asperger's begins at times. The Lamictal has been an absolute Godsend. My therapist and my family, especially my mother, have noticed a big change in me. I think I may need to get it increased, though. I've been feeling very tense and irritable lately from sensory issues. Right now my clothes feel like they're strangulating me... I sincerely hope that the Zoloft works for your son. Everyone is different, and I had success with it for awhile, but it just didn't do anything for either one of my conditions. I think the reason it worked in the beginning was because I needed something, and I was on the lowest dose there is: 25 mg. If you have any questions, feel free to ask! God bless!
"Not everything that steps out of line, and thus 'abnormal,' must necessarily be 'inferior.'"
Thank so much for the information. I'm willing to try it for him, but I am just concerned about any side effects. He has had one suicide attempt (very ineffective), and this is why we went to a psychiatrist to begin with. He does go to a psychologist once a week for anger management, but we feel my son needs something a little more right now. I really do appreciate your perspective.
IME some kids are helped tremendously by SSRIs, others not. In some kids, they work for a while then things get weird. That is what happened w/my son, who I must say does have an unusual metabolism for meds.
Be sure to read the black box warnings that come with your son's Rx & keep an eye on things.
My DS's anxiety is kept well at bay using a combination of EPA concentrate fish oil daily, and Cranial Electrostim (Alpha-Stim) as needed. This has worked better for him than meds, and the only side-effects seem to be good ones, like being mellower & wanting to talk things through more. So, you can keep this option in mind if the Zoloft doesn't work out.
I have been taking Zoloft since 1998. I think it has helped me a lot. I used to be a lot more anxious before then. I cannot imagine where I would be if I had kept on the way I was as a child. I had nightmares of being in an institution, being filled with drugs. My family would say I was stupid for saying that, but that is the future I envisioned for myself in my early 20s. I felt I was growing worse by the year, even though I was not so impaired that it prevented me from doing well in school, eventually attaining a Master's in English.
I wouldn't say Zoloft is a "miracle cure." It hasn't made me "typical." That's too much to ask for. However, I do think that it has helped relax me to the point that has allowed all of my successes from 1998 on.
That's very good to hear and that's the least I can hope for my son. I just want him to be able to keep a grip on himself and not be set off by every little thing that he perceives is annoying or frustrating or makes him angry. We do relaxation using yoga, but he doesn't like it so it's not always consistent with him. I'm hoping if I can get him to be more on a even keel, he can learn to calm himself down. That's my goal right now! We'll see what happens down the road.
I just want him to be able to keep a grip on himself and not be set off by every little thing that he perceives is annoying or frustrating or makes him angry.
That's exactly how I am and how I react. Needless to say, living in a dorm this past fall made it ten times worse and was the reason I began the Lamictal. Just so you know, the Zoloft may help with this, but if it doesn't, consider asking your doctor about a mood stabilizer, granted that it's allowed to be used in kids his age.
"Not everything that steps out of line, and thus 'abnormal,' must necessarily be 'inferior.'"
Gatsbyluvr, thanks again. The Zoloft is the first thing we are trying, so if it doesn't work, I will bring up the mood stabilizers. I don't like the idea of medicating an 11 year old child, but I have to try something because I want him to be succesful & he is enerting Middle school this fall - VERY SCARY!
I've been on zoloft since 1996-and it really helps with my anxiety. I've wondered whether or not our 7 year old should try something for his social anxiety and OC behaviors. I wish there was a test that could determine the chemical you are lacking in, (for me it is seratonin) before trying all of these different meds. And then with puberty--which was a killer for me--(almost literally on several occasions) it is very important to stay on top of the meds...all of those fluctuating hormones can wreak havoc. It is really scary. I hope they find the right medication for your son. Keep us posted.
Thanks for all the good wishes. I agree with you about the puberty issues. I know that those hormones are really hitting him hard now, & that can't help. Plus the fact that he knows he's a little different, but doesn't want to be.
Anyway, I started him on the zoloft this morning, so I'll let you know. He's been very agreeable all day, but I'm sure it's just the power of suggestion, because I understand that it takes at least several days for the med to effect your system. I'm keeping my fingers crossed!
Hi, I'm new here- just want to post my child's experience for anyone reading regarding Zoloft, and stell you omething to watch out for. Zoloft did help him with anxiety, but he started to become more agitated over a period of months, until finally he was diagnosed with a mood disorder. The Zoloft may have triggered a manic state because the mood-disorder was not yet diagnosed. He had been previously been diagnosed with ADHD and ODD - with some Aspie and OCD traits. His current psychiatrist thinks that Asperger's may actually be at the root of his behaviors that were previously thought to be from other disorders. The ODD is no longer part of his profile. So if you try Zoloft, even if the targeted symptoms decrease, watch out for other increasing or new symptoms just in case. Best of luck to you - I know of others whom Zoloft has been very helpful for.
Thanks for that info. I am watching him like a hawk, because even his Psychologist recommended very close observation. It's only been almost 2 weeks & he's been doing very good - just a couple of meltdowns, but nowhere near as bad as they were 2 weeks ago. I am concerned about the long term though, so with your info, I will continue to watch!
I use the Alpha-Stim for Aspy related anxiety. It calms me right down within minutes. It is a very safe non-drug approach. It is safe for kids too, there are no black box warnings or contraindications for kids, and in most of the world it is sold over the counter (in the USA a Rx/medical order is required). The other thing that helps my anxiety/nerves is exercise and good diet. God Bless.
I think I might be very slightly aspie, and I was on zoloft for a year. It did help my OCD and did help me relax a bit, too. But like someone else said, it did make me very tired and a bit lethargic, but as side effects go it wasn't too bad. I do remember my doctor telling me it's fairly safe, and as far as he knows it's ok to stay on it. Good luck with your son.
We tried Prozac and Zoloft with my son who has a high level of anxiety along with being on the Autistic Spectrum. The meds made him worse - he was an emotional little guy and turned violent and nasty on the meds.
What he is on now is an Anti-Anxiety med called Buspar. He's been on it for 2 years and it's been great. Doesn't come with the terrible side effects either.