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    Old 09-10-2005, 12:41 PM   #1
    akmac
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    ADHD/ODD Killing our family!

    I think it would be very helpful to me to have someone to talk to (someone who can relate) about my situation with my son's ADHD/ODD and how it is tearing our family apart. I have been dealing with this since my son was about 18 months old he is now going on 10 years old. It was 18 months that I started noticing that there was something not right. He would bang his head on things, bite himself on the arms and worst of all was his temper tantrums. He was physically abusive to himself and others. I had trouble finding a daycare who could handle him with out kicking him out. I brought him to many doctors with my concerns between the ages of 18 months to 4 years and the only responses I could get from the doctors were either "he's just a boy", "he will grow out of it","you spoil him" or "it's the age". When he was 3 he started up with a series of siesures. I had him seen by another doctor who ran blood work and had an EEG done. Out of nowhere the siesures stopped. The doctor could not explain why he had them or if they will ever come back. All the while still dealing with behavior problems. Eventually I did get him in to see a phychiatrist who said that there was somthing wrong but that he was too young to diagnose.

    When my son was 5, I married and moved from the states to canada (he came with of corse). Shortly after the move my son totally flipped out (I think it had to do with going through so many changes in such a short period of time), compleatly out of control. I couldn't handle him, the school couldn't handle him so I ended up calling Children's Aid to help me get him to a specialist. He was diagnosed with ADHD and put on ridalin. The ridalin helped with keeping him calm and focusing in school but it took his appetite and he lost too much wieght.

    With my concern of his wieght loss I brought him back to the doctor who had to send us to yet again another doctor who retested him and diagnosed him with ADHD and ODD (Oppositional Defiency Disorder). She took him off the ridalin and started him on concerta. The concert seemed to be working at 36mg, through the day but at night when it wore off it was nothing but fighting and argueing (he was on that all of last school year). Then, once the school year came to an end she changed 36mg to 27mg (just for the summer). I was suprised at how well he did on the 27mg. He didn't seem to get into trouble as often as he had before although, when he did get into trouble it was for more serious things.

    Finally a few weeks ago I had to bring my son back to his doctor before he started back to school for the year. Even though I told her he did well on 27mg she put him back up to 36mg Monday thru Friday for school and 27mg on Saturday and Sundays. This is where everything started to fall apart again. I noticed that he was having involuntary muscle movments and he started having trouble sleeping at night. I took it apon myself to use only the 27mg until he saw the doctor again, I also read up on the medication again to see if I could figure out what was wrong. From what I read it sounded to me like the dose of Concerta was too high it said that if you lower the dose the motor tics would stop. The doctor on the other hand said I was wrong, she wanted to leave him on 36mg plus add clonidine (a blood pressure medication). Just doesn't seem right to me so I said no I'm leaving him on the 27mg and seeking a second oppinion.

    Now to the part where my family is falling apart. This is the most difficult for me to deal with. When my son's medications are not working I can not control him. I know they say he can't help it but sometimes I feel like he does things on purpose, like he knows exactly what he's doing and he's doing things to me just to hurt me. My husband works afternoon's so I feel I am left with the worst of it because during the day when my son's medication is working things are ok but when they start to ware off (around the time he comes home from school) he gets totally out of control. He won't sit to do homework, he won't come in to eat dinner, he won't stop doing something if he is told to or won't do chores. EVERYTHING is an argument and I feel like I can't handle it anymore. I know I sound selfish for saying this but for the past 9 years I have done everything I could think of to help my son, I have tried so hard and I have loved him so much, I have been through hell and back for this child and all I get is fighting and hatefullness in return. It's like I'm getting nowhere, I feel like I just want to give up. Also, I have recently noticed that through the years I have created some distance. When my son was little we cuddled and hugged all the time but I just started noticing that we havn't been like that in so long. I think I just started feeling so hurt that I had to disconect myself from him, I feel like I'm scared to keep loving him because the more I love him the more pain I feel inside. It's like the more I love him and the more I try to help him the more I get hurt so I just pulled away with out even noticing it until now. I've noticed too that I give more attention to my 2year old son. At first i thought it was because he was younger and he needed more attention but then I started to see that the more my relationship fell apart with my older son the closer me and my younger son became. I feel so guilty for letting this happen but I just don't know what to do.

    Things have gotten so bad that I told my husband if we can't find the right help for him soon I'm leaving. I'm going to take my youngest back to the states and leave my oldest here with my husband. I feel like there is nothing more I can do to help my son. I've tried so hard and I am soooooo emotionaly tired some times I just want to die.

    If anyone can relate please respond. I think I really need someone to talk to.

     
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    Old 09-11-2005, 05:54 AM   #2
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    Re: ADHD/ODD Killing our family!

    Dr. Gabor Mate's book is titled Scattered. Dr. Mate has written some excellent books.

    --Rheanna

    Last edited by moderator2; 09-11-2005 at 07:00 AM.

     
    Old 09-11-2005, 07:29 PM   #3
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    Re: ADHD/ODD Killing our family!

    Have any doctors looked into Autism as a diagnoses? Have you tried any behavioral therapies or behavor management? I am sorry to hear of all the things you have been through. You sound like you have been strong for a very long time and need a break. Have you looked into residential placement programs?
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    Old 09-11-2005, 08:59 PM   #4
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    Re: ADHD/ODD Killing our family!

    I will look into getting that book, Thank you rheanna.

    slaughter17,
    No. None of the doctor's have mentioned Autism. Do you think maybe I should look into that? I don't think thats what it is though. You can deffinatly see the ODD (Oppisitional Defiency Disorder) in him. He is very well behaved when at his friends houses, always using his manners and following rules (so other parents have told me). He just does not like athority. Everything has to be his way, when he wants it, how he wants it or he will explode and fight to the end for what ever it is that he wants. Even when he realizes he's wrong he will continue to fight (he dosen't back down and always has to have the last word). He can be very manipulative and sneaky too.

    I have tried Parenting classes. I have tried positive reinforcment, we made up a sticker chart when he was 4. It started as 1 chart a day and the chart was broken down into, i think it was half hour intervals, so every half hour he would get a sticker if his behavior was good and if he was not good within that half hour he did not get a sticker. At the end of the day he would have to have earned so many stickers on his chart to get a reward. I found this big box and i decorated it and I went to the dollar store and filled the box up with little toys and books and things like that and every time he earned a surprize he could take it from the box. As he got a bit older we streched the time a bit longer from a half hour to an hour to an hour and a half and so on. He eventually got bored with it. When he started to act up I would remind him that if he wanted a surprise he had to behave, he started saying "thats ok, I can be bad today and I'll try again tomorrow".

    So, after that we started taking privlages away. That also worked for a little while (it did bring on more temper tantrums at first though). We have taken toys away, tv time, birthday parties and special events that were planed, his bike, you name it and he has more than likely lost it at some point in time. That also lost it's affectivness. He just figured that he was going to get those things back eventually anyways so he would act out when he felt like it and then he would be good for a few days so he could play and then have a few more bad days. Back and forth like a rollercoaster.

    So then, we started not giving toys back. If he lost a toy it either went in the garbage or we donated it to the women's and chldren's shelter near our home. That also caused temper tantrums at first, but it worked for a bit. Then he just started not to care because "there is always Christmas and birthdays to get new stuff" don't ya know. Those where the exact words, straight out of my 6 year old son's mouth.

    So then at 6 we started making him sit at the table and write. He was learning how to read and write at school so what ever they were learning in school he had to practise. We though of it as down time and he would be learning at the same time. That didn't last very long either before he started writting on the funiture and the walls and himself. Yes, I was watching him. He would wait for me to turn away to do the dishes or answer the phone, run to the bathroom ext. When I tried to redirect him to what it was he was supposed to be doing there were more fits or he would just sit and ignore me.

    After that we started grounding him to his room. He began distroying his room. Tearing up books, scratching paint off the walls, kicking and hitting walls leaving cracks and holes.

    Now he is 9 1/2, we still ground him. I have notice that what works best for us is to ignore him while he is being punished. I know it sound mean but that is what he does to us when he is acting out and he seems to respond some what to it when we do it to him. So far it is the only thing that has shown any signs of long-term affectiveness. Although it does not work all the time it has worked more then anything else we have tried. When he is grounded he spends some time in his room and he spends some time doing chores if he has school work he is expected to do that. We keep all toys in our rec room (we find the kids go to sleep better when toys are not in thier rooms) but we do allow them to have books in thier room's, he is encouraged to read or write while grounded.

    He listens much better to my husband than he does to me. If he is grounded during the week while I am home with him I have to struggle with him to get him into the house when he gets home from school, I struggle to get him to do his homework, I struggle to get him to follow punishment (which all of the above usually ends up prolonging punishment). If he is grounded on weekends when my husband is home he usually does what he is told for the most part,but he tries to test his limits. Once in a while he will do things so... not like his age. Like lastnight he took my shaving cream and emptied the whole can into the toilet. Clogged the toilet, it was a full can.

    I have thought about residential placement (never looked into it though) but that is not an option for us. I know my son, I really think that would make things worse for him. We are a very close family (even though it may not look that way sometimes) we are very familly oriented.

    I don't know what to think anymore. I will ask the doctor about the behavioral therapies and management. Sorry this was so long. If anyone has any more advise, please feel free. Thank you slaughter17 and rheanna for responding.

    Last edited by akmac; 09-11-2005 at 09:55 PM.

     
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    Old 09-11-2005, 09:49 PM   #5
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    Re: ADHD/ODD Killing our family!

    If he's had seizures, this could be temporal lobe epilepsy, which can cause random, violent outbursts like those in ODD and Intermittent Explosive Disorder. It's been found that ADHD and bipolar disorder could be linked to overactivity in the temporal lobe in the forms of minor seizures. You might want to consider having him tested for this, or just simply do some research on it. If you have any more questions, feel free to ask. God bless!
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    Old 09-11-2005, 10:03 PM   #6
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    Re: ADHD/ODD Killing our family!

    Gatsbyluvr,
    Thank you so much for bringing that to my attention, I have never heard that before. What kind of tests do they run for that? Because he did have EEG done at the time we noticed the seizures, but then they stopped. With that Temporal lobe epilepsy, is it normal for the seizures to just stop and not come back? I am deffinatly going to look into that. Thank you!

     
    Old 09-11-2005, 10:36 PM   #7
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    Re: ADHD/ODD Killing our family!

    akmac,
    I feel your pain from personal experience. My middle daughter was never diagnosed with anything beyond depression, and never on meds, but she has at least as many mental issues as I do: ADD, OCD, Anxiety...hey, sounds like a rap song!
    She was still having rolling-on-the-floor tantrums when she was a senior in high school.
    When she was not yet 2, I had the kids in the grocery store to ostensibly shop while my ex-husband went to look at a new use wood stove. I had to give up because she just wanted to run up and down the alisles throwing cans on the floor. I think it was winter, because we couldn't wait outside. Or maybe I was afraid she'd get loose and run into the street.
    So I took her into the greeting card aisle near the front of the store from where I could watch for my ex to return. I was kneeling on the floor with my arms around her, pinning her arms to her side, while she wailed like a banshee (whatever that is).
    A very elderly woman came into the aisle and shook her finger in my face and said, "Make her stop. You can make her stop..."

    She turned out to be super intelligent, inspite of her tenuous grasp on reality. She got a full-ride scholarship to NYU and graduated last spring. She's still like that, on a slightly more mature level. It takes them a lot longer to mature emotionally with all that going on all the time. It's taken her 4 months to get 2 part-time jobs, and neither of us is sure she's going to be able to keep them.

    But she calls me on the phone at least a couple of times a week (I'm in the Chicago area, and she's still in NYC). Sometimes she's so contentious that I can barely keep my cool -- but it's a lot easier when it's the telephone. But she also has a great gift for listening to people when they are going nuts. Everyone tells her she should be a psychologist or psychiatrist. But she wants to teach philosophy, which I guess is the same thing on a larger scale, in a way.

    Her behavior contributed to our divorce, but it was just a little extra fuel on the fire. It sounds like you have a good relationship with your husband if you would leave your son with him.

    Did you say your younger one is between 1 and 2? I almost divorced my ex when my "difficult" child was that age, and actually did when her younger sister was that age. With my oldest, I was single. But I remember when she was that age that I woke up one day and had forgotten I had a child, and when it came to me, I was soooo not ready to be that person. I was still nursing them at that age. Maybe it would have been better (hormone-wise) if I wasn't.

    Okay, enough jabbering (can you tell I didn't take my meds tonight?).
    Basically, no matter how bad it was with a mentally deranged, unemployed, perhaps unfaithful husband, it was harder doing it alone with the 3 girls. I don't know if I would be better off now if we'd stayed together then, but it was really difficult financially, physically, emotionally. I'm sure it contributed to my prematurely aged body (e.g.: cataracts and osteoporosis before age 50).

    Is there any chance you're PMSing? Regardless, these things run in families. I knew a family with a totally mellow dad and a mom with issues like your son. Their son was mellow, but the daughter was like your son, and both kids (and the father) had epilepsy, the daughter worse than her brother. The mom also had a boy from an earlier marriage who was very smart, but very difficult. It was just a really poor parent-child fit with the mom and her older son and her daughter. She wound up leaving her husband with at least his 2 kids, which was probably good for the kids, since she was so volatile all the time.

    How about private school for your son? Like Montesori? Or something similar. Or maybe some sort of martial arts classes would help? If he could muster enough self-discipline, he might enjoy "acting out" in a children's theater group. Maybe a church group led by a saint?

    I hope things look brighter for you in the morning.

    Last edited by seriousperson; 09-11-2005 at 10:48 PM.

     
    Old 09-11-2005, 10:37 PM   #8
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    Re: ADHD/ODD Killing our family!

    Although the drug company claims that Concerta lasts 12 hours, I have found that it only lasts 8-10 hours. I would suggest you ask your son's physician to prescribe generic Ritalin (methylphenidate) 5-10mg at 3-4 PM. Generic Ritalin has a shorter half-life than Concerta and lasts approximately 4 hours, so it will give you coverage for the last afternoons and evenings with the level being low by bedtime. Also, chronic anger and oppositional behavior can be a sign of chronic, low-grade depression in a child. I would also suggest your son's doctor consider prescribing Prozac 5mg every morning. I would also suggest family therapy. I agree that if 27mg of Concerta works better than 36mg, stick with the 27mg rather than adding Clonidine. For insomnia due to the afternoon Ritalin, I would suggest Sonata 10mg, which is very short-acting, so doesn't cause any morning sedation, but is effective for difficulty falling asleep. Smoothies (apple juice, yogurt, frozen fruit, honey, and protein powder) is good for the weight loss secondary to Ritalin.

    Last edited by blackbelt1; 09-11-2005 at 10:45 PM.

     
    Old 09-11-2005, 10:50 PM   #9
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    Re: ADHD/ODD Killing our family!

    I find it interesting that he behaves appropriately when at others homes. So you know he knows how How does he act at school? What about his grades? You mentioned his medication wearing off about time for him to get out of school. Have the docs ever talked about giving him another dose after school. Does he take his medications on weekends? I tried something that really worked amazingly with my 13 year old daughter this past summer. I had what I thought was the perfect child until she turned 13. Her attitude changed, friends changed and the "A" & "B" student was making "C's" and "D's" I took everything away from her (phone privledges, tv, radio, etc). I mean she had nothing to do but read, write and draw. She was allowed out of her room for meals, baths and to eat. She also couldn't go anywhere or have any contact with anyone but immediate family. She had to earn all privledges back. Each week on Thursday, if her behavior during the previous 7 days was good, she earned one privledge back at a time. But if her behavior was bad at anytime during that 7 days, I would take back a privledge that she had earned back and she didn't get a new privledge on Thursday. It was amazing, within two weeks she had finally figured out I didn't care if she ever went out of her room or got anything back. As her behavior changed, I allowed her time out of her room to be spent with me. And at times I let her watch a movie with me. If she started being ugly, rude to me, I sent her back to her room. I also made a list of topics that she was to write a three page report. Each week, I let her pick the topic. She was allowed to write anything she felt with fear of getting in trouble. She was told from the beginning that she couldn't be punished for anything she wrote in the reports. A shorter version or story, drawing may work for your sons age. My daughter had referred to me as a "Bitc..." in a note I had found. So her first report was titled, "Why I think my mothers a Bitc....". My daughters groundation lasted the whole summer. Thank God it worked. She and I also got rid of three of her friends, who were bad influences. I have my sweet girl back. She got her mid grade progress report last week. 6 "A's" and 1 "C".
    I know the feeling of pulling away from your child. I make the decision a long time ago to tell all my children I love them, hug and kiss them every time I talk to or see the ones who are grown and out on their own and do the same to my child at hope every night before going to bed. For me, it's very important that my children know my love is unconditional. That doesn't mean you have to take crap or stay in a situation that is unhappy. I have a grown son, who I have had to tell that I will always love you, but I won't have anything else to do with you if things don't change. In this case, it's the "tough love" thing. I've bent your ear enough. Hope you can use some of what worked for me. Let us know how you are. God Bless

     
    Old 09-12-2005, 04:38 AM   #10
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    Re: ADHD/ODD Killing our family!

    You're very welcome! I never would have thought of it, but I just did a presentation on the temporal lobe for my Physiological Psych class... I think that they test for it using PET (Positron Emission Topography) scans, which show the level of activity in the brain because they said that they saw "increased activity." The disorder is rare, but it's speculated that a lot of psychiatric disorders are caused by some form. I tend to believe in this very highly because of how anti-epileptic drugs such as lithium and Depakote are used in the treatment of bipolar disorder. Keep me updated and write back soon!
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    Old 09-12-2005, 07:38 AM   #11
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    Re: ADHD/ODD Killing our family!

    seriousperson,
    Thank you for your response. Although it's not good to see people go through hard times, it does help knowing that I am not the only one dealing with these problems. I do trust my husband very much and we have a great relationship (I think he is the reason I have not yet gone insaine). It's not that I want to leave my son I just think that sometimes he may be better off with my husband if I wasn't around. He listens more to my husband. My sons constant arguing is very hard for me to deal with. I can only take so much fighting and then I get very stressed out and I think that just makes my sons problem worse. Almost as if we are lighting eachothers fires or we bring out the worst in eachother (if you know what I mean).

    I know what you mean about your daughter being intelligant. My son is very intelligant. I have had teachers and once a psycologist tell me that they were amazed at how he is able to manipulate adults the way he does. I think that makes it more frustrating to me because I know he is smart and I know he knows whats going on but he still acts out so baddly.

    We switched him from public school to catholic school when we moved about a year and a half ago. We moved to a much nicer neighborhood because we had so many problems with his old school. He has shown improvment at school with the occasional problem with his behavior but at home is still a nightmare at times.

    He also has taken part in many out of school activities. He was in scouts for 2 years, he was in Tae Kwon Do for a year. He made it as far as his green belt and he has won awards for competing in fights (he was very good at it!). Then he didn't want to do it anymore so I signed him up for soccer (which he enjoys) and now the soccer season is almost done he wants to dance so I just signed him up for a hip hop dance class that starts in 2 weeks.

    He does seem to lose intrest in things rather quickly even things he is very good at (like the martial arts). Even when I try to praise him and encorage him he doesn't always seem to respond to that. I have had people tell me to make him finish the Tae Kwon do until he gets his black belt but I want him to learn to make his own decisions and I want him to know I am supportive and I want him to trust me so I don't want to force anything like that on him.

    Let me know if you have any other suggestions or if you just want to chat about the kids. Thanks again for your response.

     
    Old 09-12-2005, 07:55 AM   #12
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    Re: ADHD/ODD Killing our family!

    blackbelt1,
    I still feel very uncomfortable with ritalin. Not only from the lose of appitite that he had when he was on it but he always complained of stomach pains and cramps and burning throat, which in my oppinion was his stomach eating it's self and stomach acids burning his stomach and throat from not eating.

    I do think you may be right about depression though and family therapy might work I was going to make an appointment with the doctor today to see about getting my son into see a psychiatrist.

    Thanks for you response.

     
    Old 09-12-2005, 08:41 AM   #13
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    Re: ADHD/ODD Killing our family!

    Arememom,
    Yes, he does have behavioral problems at school sometimes. At his old school they were everyday! Since we have moved and put him into the Catholic school his behavior has shown extream improvment at school. I would say that last year he received between 5-7 insident reports (3 or 4 consisted of me being called into the school). I really think that he does not like authority. I think because myself and teachers are the "authority figures" we have the hardest time with him (that leaves me wondering why he listens to my husband so well???). I do believe that alot of it has to do with his moods as well. He may respond to something ok one day if he is in a good mood but if his mood is not right on another day that same thing could cause a rage. His grades have aways been good even before he was diagnosed. He has only done poorly twice. Last year he got a D in math but after meeting with his teacher I found out he had been struggling with it for a while and she never informed me so I could help at home. The other time was on a test last year, pretty much the whole class got F's because they all rushed through it so they could socialize. They all had to re-take the test and the second time he got an A-. Other than that he has had no problems with grades.

    On the concerta we can not give him a second dose after school because it is supposed to stay in his system for 12 hours. I was told by the doctor that he MUST take it at 7am every morning or he will not be able to get to sleep on time. This is one of the reasons she wanted to put him on the Clonidine, she says it will help control him after school and help him sleep at night. Yes, he does take his meds on weekends because without them he is completely out of control.

    We have tried the grounding along with taking away privligaes and the opportunity for him to earn them back with good behavior. It did work at first but then he started not to care if he got things back or not. He knew he would get out of the house to go to school (in his way of thinking, school became his "play time") and as far as earning back toys and other things he just figured he would get more stuff at Christmas and birthdays. Our biggest problem with that method was once everything had been taken away and he still continued to lash out then what do we do? He didn't care if he didn't get things back and we had nothing left to take from him so we were trapped in our own punishment (that is an example of the way he manipulates). He is not stupid, he knows we can not keep him in the house forever because of school and his "play time" at school instead of working was like a slap in the face to us. It's like this...he's thinking in his head, "ok, you want to keep me in my room with nothing to do then I will just play at school instead of work" and "since you have taken everything from me I will keep lashing out, what are you going to take then???"). It's almost like a twisted game with him. I hate to admit it but we do end up lossing more than we should.

    As far as the pulling away from him, I do tell both of my children several times a day that I love them and I do hug and kiss them but with the older son the one with ADHD/ODD it's not as often. We used to do more together like cuddle and watch movies, play board games and sit and talk, about anything. We don't do those things much anymore. It seems that now most of our talks are me explaining to him why he can't throw rocks over the fence or why he can't touch lighters, why he has to learn to take responsibility for his actions, why it is important to do well in school. It's not the same old hang out and talk about nothing like it used to be. I have also explained to him that sometimes I get upset with him and I don't like his behavior or some of the things that he does but that no matter what he does I will always love him.

    Thanks for your response. It does help to hear of others situations.

    Last edited by akmac; 09-12-2005 at 08:50 AM.

     
    Old 09-12-2005, 09:02 AM   #14
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    Re: ADHD/ODD Killing our family!

    Ritalin and Concerta are the exact same drug (methylphenidate). The only difference is that Concerta is time-released, so if your son is doing well on Concerta, an afternoon Ritalin will continue the therapeutic benefits throughout the evening. Methylphenidate does not cause increased stomach acid production. If your son is prone to heartburn, it is very treatable with antacid medications, so you should discuss this with your family physician.

     
    Old 09-12-2005, 10:26 AM   #15
    akmac
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    Join Date: Sep 2005
    Location: Ontario
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    akmac HB User
    Re: ADHD/ODD Killing our family!

    blackbelt1,
    I know that they are both the same other than the "slow release". My son is not prone to heartburn any other time only when he is on the ridalin (the concerta does not effect him in that way). I understand that ridalin does not cause stomach acid production, but starvation does! When you do not intake the proper amount of food your boody thinks it is starving and will start to eat away at it's self. When you don't eat enough your body will eat the fat and your stomach will shrink and produce acids which eat away at your stomach. It was the lack of food intake because of the ridalin that caused those problems not the ridalin it's self.

    Last edited by akmac; 09-12-2005 at 10:28 AM.

     
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