The ADHD Medication Debate
Posted by One Tired Mama on September 4, 2007
I don’t need a formal ADHD medication debate. The debate exists enough right here in my own head. My son went to school today on Concerta. I hate it! I absolutely hate it!
When Fast Boy was three years old, I asked the doctor to prescribe something for him. Either he was going on medication… or I was. The doctor argued, but I insisted. (Things have changed since then.) After the worst rages I’ve ever seen from a child that size, he was taken off of Adderral two weeks later. No one should be afraid of their three year old.
It was a good two years later that we tried again. He was in Kindergarten and disrupting the entire class. We started him on Ritalin. It helped. Some. Eventually we switched to Concerta with a Ritalin “chaser” to try and keep him calm after the school bus dropped him off in the afternoon.
Sometime last year, we decided to decrease his meds and gradually take him off. There are so many reasons why. He wasn’t growing like we thought he should. He wasn’t eating like we thought he should. He had a hard time sleeping at night. He was still getting into trouble any way. At one point he actually told me that he had “people dancing in his head”. (They danced “quieter” when his medication was decreased.) The co-payments were more than we could afford. The trips back and forth to the doctor’s office every month to pick up the script for his “controlled substance” were getting old at a fast pace. Add to that my own personal issues, side effects and withdrawal problems from my former anti-depressant days and I just didn’t think the medication was worth it. We were also having some success with chiropractic treatment (more on that in another post) and I was feeling confident we could do this on our own.
On the last day of school last June, we took Fast Boy completely off his medication. You’ve read how well that turned out. Okay, honestly, you’ve read the bad parts of how that turned out. What I haven’t told you yet is that I actually got to see MY son this summer. The good, the bad and the ugly maybe, but the good was there. He was more affectionate that he has been in years. I missed that little boy despite all the bad behavior that came with him.
Two days into school… Two… the notes started coming home. The services we got “help” from over the summer didn’t give us the skills we had hoped for in coping with Fast Boy’s issues. They certainly weren’t going to help the school.
I felt like I had no choice. No matter how much we want him off medication, none of us can function without it. At least not with some help from something else. So, $55 out of pocket and a few pills later, Fast Boy is back on Concerta. I am hopeful that the new therapist I found will be able to help with some behavior modification and we can take him off the drugs again soon. Our first appointment is this week. Maybe I have only lost this battle. Maybe I can still win the war.