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  • ADHD To medicate or not to medicate....

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    Old 07-12-2004, 12:59 PM   #1
    SpeisFamily
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    Wink ADD/ADHD To medicate or not to medicate....

    Ok, I am a parent who has taken my daughter off of ADHD medication for very good reasons. Some people believe that there is no such thing as ADD or ADHD. I believe there is, I have just decided to no longer medicate. My daughter is extremely hyperactive but she is not a bad student, in fact she has always been in advanced classes. She has a problem controlling herself and focusing. I would hold her head in my hands to make her look at me while I talked to her and her eyes would be looking at everything but me. She was contsantly fidgeting and her mind would wander. She would actually trip over things because she was thinking about where she was going instead of where she was walking. I believe that there is a condition called ADD/ADHD but I don't think medication is the ONLY answer.

    My daughter, who is 9 years old, has taken medication for ADHD since she was 4. She started with Dexadrine, then Ritalin, and then Concerta. She experienced alot of chest pains, which didn't show anything unusual on the EKG and also had severe migrains which they gave her another medication for. Concerta helped her to focus, but if she was interrupted she would become hostile and angry. With the medication she was never happy but she was focused.

    I believe that taking long term medications has led my daughter to have other problems. A year ago, after several episodes of gross hematuria (Large amounts of blood in her urine), she was diagnosed and medicated for Kidney Stones. I was wondering if anyone else might have noticed kidney stones after taking time release medications for ADHD such as Concerta. I think there may be a link.

    I have taken my daughter off of the ADHD medications and am dealing with it through focusing and concentration excersises and I hope that my daughter will soon be able to stop taking the medications for her kidneys as well. She has gained some weight, which is a good thing since she was smaller and thinner than all the other kids her age. I have also decided to homeschool for many reasons such as poor school quality in my area as well as to help her to stay focused while learning without depending on medication to do it for her. Teachers don't have the time to help a child to learn this. I have noticed that children with ADD/ADHD can concentrate if it is something they enjoy, such as music for my daughter, playing music and singing while studying helps her to concentrate while it may do the opposite for someone who does not have this disorder. My opinion is that ADD and ADHD can be treated in many ways besides medicating with patience on the child's part and the parents. I would appreciate any feedback. Thank you

    Last edited by SpeisFamily; 07-15-2004 at 09:32 AM. Reason: spelling

     
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    Old 07-13-2004, 12:59 PM   #2
    Aztec Indian
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    Re: ADHD To medicate or not to medicate....



    Why do you need feed back us??

    It sounds like you have drawn your own conclusions.

     
    Old 07-13-2004, 01:50 PM   #3
    keriberi
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    Re: ADHD To medicate or not to medicate....

    i agree with you that in certain situations there are other alternatives to medication for add/adhd symptoms. my sister was diagnosed with adhd without hyperactivity when she was about 10. she is 21 now and just stopped taking ritalin shortly before her 21st birthday. she did not experience any side effects from the medication besides decreased appetite. good luck with your home schooling and i do believe that with the increased attention that your daughter will be getting, there is a good chance that her symptoms will decrease!

     
    Old 07-13-2004, 04:30 PM   #4
    pufnstuf77
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    Re: ADHD To medicate or not to medicate....

    Medication and therapy are simply the best option if the attention deficit interferes with anyone's daily life. If it interferes with your child's life enough so that she has to be home-schooled, that indicates a problem. School is a place where children and young adults develop their social skills. If your daughter needed 'special attention' in school, why did you not opt to try to put her in a special education class? I went to them from grade 3 to grade 11, diagnosed with emotional and learning disabilites. They were small classes with five or six students and we worked with the same teacher all day in a private class. Please, I mean no disrespect twords you or your position. I read that your daughterhas had several diffrent meds for her ADD. Have you gotten a second opinion? Have you looked for alternative diagnosis? Maybe she could be a rapid-cycling bi-polar disorder which I have also with ADD. Alternativley there are some 'all natural' herbal compounds that are supposed to help with ADD. You should read up about it, maybe one of them could be for you.

    I wish you and your daughter the best, and I hope you find wellness soon.

     
    Old 07-14-2004, 06:20 AM   #5
    SpeisFamily
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    Lightbulb Re: ADHD To medicate or not to medicate....

    OK, let me clarify as I mentioned in my first post, my daughter has actually been in advanced classes for the past 2 years and is very intelligent. The reasons I chose to homeschool, like I also mentioned in my first post, are many and varied. The schools in the area I live in have been firing teachers and don't have enough school supplies due to poor school funding. I am taking an interest in my child, I have gone to school to be a teacher and I want my daughter to be able to learn and concentrate without depending on drugs to do it for her. She gets plenty of "social activity" with the kids around the neighborhood and at church.

    I think that today alot of parents sit their kids in front of the TV or video games to keep them occupied and then are frustrated when the child gets bored and wants to run around the house. I suggest involving your children and teaching them something. Instead, when my daughter runs up to me while I am doing dishes to tell me she is bored, I simply pull up a chair and let her help rinse. I don't get mad when I am cooking and my daughter is running 100 miles an hour around the kitchen, instead I ask her to help me (ie:focus on something). I have less work to do, my daughter is thrilled to be a big helper, and I know where she is, what she is doing, and it is helping her to control HERSELF. Focusing techniques like these are very helpful.

    I don't think my daughter was misdiagnosed, I don't think it is possible. My daughter was diagnosed at age 3, I waited until age 4 when I finally gave into my Dr. constant advise to medicate her. See, we are military and every time we move I have to have my daughter re-evaluated and that has been 3 times plus her original evaluation, all done by ADD/ADHD specialists. At every evaluation I was told that she has ADHD with extreme hyperactivity. And with each new doctor there was a recomendation for the newest, better drug. So I gave into it for a while, I let the medication take care of my child. Now I am finding that the medication has done alot more than take care of my child, it has had medical ramifications.

    I have decided to take an interest into my child's future. I want her to be able to learn to control HERSELF. I know it is hard, this was a tough decision for me to make.

    The reason I posted here, Aztec Indian, is for support from others who have done what I am doing and to help others who are thinking of taking their children off of medication or to parents who are still considering whether to medicate or not.

    I have to admit, I was lazy. I let her watch TV or play the gameboy just to keep her busy and out of my hair. I let the medication give me less stress. I have realized that if I don't help her she will be confined to taking these drugs forever, imagine the effects on the body, imagine what she has already gone through in these 5 years intesified by a lifetime. I care about her, that's why I am doing what I am doing and why I am posting here.

    Last edited by SpeisFamily; 07-15-2004 at 09:55 AM.

     
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    Old 07-14-2004, 07:05 AM   #6
    DoubleVision
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    Re: ADHD To medicate or not to medicate....

    I can understand a parent wanting to get more involved in his/her child's ability to cope with ADD/ADHD, and I am glad you are involved in your child's future. However, you cannot honestly come into a forum like this, tell everyone exactly what you are doing, ask for feedback, and then sound downright b-tchchy at the people who post a reply. Sounds like your daughter was on the meds for a very good reason and was able to meet her educational needs thus far, but suffered physical set-backs possibly due to the meds? Did I interpret this correctly from your posts? Like another poster replied, if you need to go to drastic measures, such as home schooling, to provide your daughter with what she needs (if that works out), then there is obviously still a problem in the absence of meds. ADD children love the one on one and homeschooling will definitely provide that, but in all honesty, you will need to teach your child how to think and behave in groups, because that is real life. Good luck.

     
    Old 07-14-2004, 07:33 AM   #7
    SpeisFamily
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    Re: ADHD To medicate or not to medicate....

    Ok, I am sorry, I didn't mean to be rude. I understand that not everyone can do what I am doing because of their situation and their desires. But trust me, my daughter has plenty of group time playing with the kids around the neighborhood, sitting through Sunday School class, and our homeschooling is very similar to the classroom setting with the same rules and both of my children are doing homeschooling for many reasons, not just the ADHD. But I truly believe that parents can do more, do you agree or do you believe that medicating is the miracle, perfect and only choice??

    Last edited by SpeisFamily; 07-14-2004 at 08:46 PM.

     
    Old 07-14-2004, 07:58 AM   #8
    DoubleVision
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    Re: ADHD To medicate or not to medicate....

    I don't see medication as the only choice, but an important one combined with other interventions such as behavioral therapy, more intense parent-child interaction...that sort of thing. Our nephew came to stay with us approx. 6 years ago (he is 12 now) and was just diagnosed with inattentive ADD based off of his poor performance in school despite small group classes and some home teaching/summer school. He is constantly fidgeting in the absence of meds and even a little bit while on the meds (Adderall XR 10 mg./day). His dose is low and he just started it within the month. He was told that he is not being forced to take the med, that it may not be necessary sometimes like when playing on the weekend off of school. He is a fairly manipulative child, so we told him that he should just tell us if he is going to take the med so we can know what sort of behavior/attitude to expect. The only problem with doing this (though I want him to learn how to control his symptoms) is that he wants to hopscotch a lot with the med, one day on, one day off...I don't see that as too therapeutic either. We are learning. The med definitely lets him slow down to think things through and hopefully will provide him the opportunity to absorb most of what he is taught, because quite frankly, retention for him without the meds is zero. Meds aren't for everyone...some aren't able to physically tolerate them. I am thankful that so far my nephew can take them.

     
    Old 07-14-2004, 07:59 AM   #9
    DoubleVision
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    Re: ADHD To medicate or not to medicate....

    ................

    Last edited by DoubleVision; 07-14-2004 at 08:00 AM. Reason: duplicate post

     
    Old 07-14-2004, 08:31 AM   #10
    SpeisFamily
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    Re: ADHD To medicate or not to medicate....

    Do you let him take his meds without supervision? This can be dangerous as children sometimes like to experiment. Please make sure you watch him take the meds if he is going to take them, to prevent an overdose which is a very serious thing. This is a narcotic and needs to be supervised, I hope I just interpreted what you said wrong

    What I am trying to say, is that children should not have to be on medication for the rest of their life. I am not saying that not medicating is the only option, I am saying that long term medication can lead to other health related illnesses. I post this in hopes that parents will be aware of all the issues involved with medicating their children.

    Last edited by SpeisFamily; 07-14-2004 at 08:50 PM.

     
    Old 07-14-2004, 12:48 PM   #11
    DoubleVision
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    Re: ADHD To medicate or not to medicate....

    My son DOES medicate himself one pill a day when he uses the medication. He has been instructed on the benefits AND the dangers of the medication and also not to ever let the medication out of the house without our knowledge (such as a trip to his aunt's or something where he has a second "travel" bottle with a medication label from the pharmacy so it's in a legitimate package). He also knows that there are NO circumstances where he is to brag about or share his medication with ANYONE. I have laid out the consequences for doing so repeatedly. He is able to demonstrate safe method of med administration and keeps his pill bottle in the cupboard with the rest of the household medications, not in his room. I count the pills daily and know if he is taking the correct amount. You may think I am crazy for letting him take his medication without me handing it to him, but he is doing what he is supposed to do and there is nothing to stop him from experimenting with meds if he is determined..now or at age 16, etc. I can teach him all the right things to do and things to avoid, but the bottom line is that he has to assume some responsibility for his control at some point.

     
    Old 07-14-2004, 01:28 PM   #12
    SpeisFamily
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    Re: ADHD To medicate or not to medicate....

    Ok, most ADD/ADHD kids can not be trusted to take meds on their own. It sounds to me as if your son is responsible enough to follow the rules, take the correct amounts and not forget to take any, than he doesn't really need the medication. Do you see what i am getting at. He has learned self control, one of the main problems with ADD/ADHD kids. Personally I see no need for your son to be on the medication if he is that responsible.

    Last edited by SpeisFamily; 07-14-2004 at 08:51 PM.

     
    Old 07-14-2004, 02:03 PM   #13
    DoubleVision
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    Re: ADHD To medicate or not to medicate....

    SpeisFamily...my son HAS impulse control issues and has inattentive ADD as I mentioned. He has many struggles, and for you to insinuate that he shouldn't be on the meds because he has enough control to administer a pill to himself daily is a very uneducated statement. You do not know enough about his specific situation to make that judgement and I guess the bottom line is that you are against medication..point blank. Your posts are at best mildly rude and very judgemental about people you know nothing about. I understand and respect the fact that you have had misgivings about the meds your child has taken and that there have been health problems as a result. It is purely your choice as a parent to deal with your child however it seems right to you. Please understand that not all children are like yours. There are varying degrees of this illness/condition (whatever). I am just fortunate enough that my child can handle the task of one pill a day. He has been helping medicate our dog for the past 3 years and has done a great job helping out, so pills are no stranger to him.

    Last edited by DoubleVision; 07-14-2004 at 02:06 PM.

     
    Old 07-14-2004, 08:19 PM   #14
    SpeisFamily
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    Re: ADHD To medicate or not to medicate....

    I just don't think it is right for a child to administer medication to himself with NO supervision. I understand letting him take the pill but you should at least be there to watch him take it. Is it that you are too busy to watch him? Adderall is a schedule II narcotic, a controlled substance. Adderall is the highest level and comes with a federal warning. This is not like giving a dog a pill, it is your child's life on the line. You can not just hope that he is taking it correctly, he needs supervision.

    You said that he has impulse control issues, what if one day his impulse is to take the whole bottle? Oh no, your son wouldn't do that he knows better. If he knows better and wouldn't do something like that why do you have him on medication for impulse control issues? I know you are new at this medication thing. I am not against medicating, I am only warning of the adverse affects. If you read my first post I was simply asking if anyone else had experienced kidney stones with time release medication. You assumed, you know what that means, that I am against medicating, I am if there is no need or if it could cause harm to a child. I have chosen not to medicate my daughter, but when I did I knew enough to administer the medication to her.

    Last edited by SpeisFamily; 07-15-2004 at 10:35 AM.

     
    Old 07-14-2004, 09:36 PM   #15
    DoubleVision
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    Angry Re: ADHD To medicate or not to medicate....

    Quote:
    My daughter, who is 9 years old, has taken medication for ADHD since she was 4

    I never said I was too busy to deliver medication to my son. My husband and I feel that at 12 years of age he should be able to put a single pill in his mouth while we keep track of the count in the bottle. As far as the issue with medicating the dog...it's NOT narcotics and it is a chore that is included in feeding the dog..she takes her medication with food. We all take part in feeding the dog. However, my son taking his medication is not like "feeding the dog". He is responsible to the point of putting a pill in his mouth...end of point. Your daughter, as you indicated, is 9! For heaven's sake, children are different at 12 than they are at 9! If you had a functioning brain cell in your head that could stop you from judging others, then you would see that I am doing the best I can as a parent to give what control I can to my growing/maturing child while maintaining the knowledge that he is doing what he is supposed to. But, no...you would rather we all be paranoid about our children overdosing and wigging out on their meds and therefore, I should be cramming the pill down his throat myself. Gee...how nice. Please get some help for your paranoias and God willing, your child will turn out ok in spite of your inability to view things from more than one angle. We all parent differently..I cannot tell you that what you do is right or wrong any more than you should be telling me what is right or wrong without being in my situation. You came to this forum looking for supposed advice and you want nothing of it...you just seem to get your jollies off of belittling others for not doing things your way.

    Last edited by DoubleVision; 07-14-2004 at 09:44 PM. Reason: quote

     
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