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Medications December 5, 2008

Posted by linnic in Medication.
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A question was posted on one of my pages that I thought I would address as a post rather than just a reply since I am sure others have the same question.

“The only thing that worries me is that my son is now on four different medications and I am just not sure if that is healthy for him. We have tried so many medications and these are the only ones that seem to work. I was just wondering if you have the same problem and how much medication your child was on?”

My son is currently on 4 medications- Seroquel (250 mg), Benedryl (25 mg), Concerta (27 mg), and Celexa (10 mg).  We have tried others- Risperdal, Abilify, Depakote, Ritalin, Metadate, and Focilin.  We have been on the medication rollercoaster since he was 3 1/2 and are just now getting to a point were we are seeing improvement (at 6 1/2).

Medication is a difficult issue.  No parent WANTS to medicate their child for any reason, but some children need medication to function.   No parent would deny a diabetic child the insulin they need to function.   Likewise, I can’t deny my child the medication he needs to function.  I have hopes that as he ages, and is able to process his actions better, that we will be able to go down on the medication, but at this point he needs it.

My child unmedicated would not be able to attend school and would endanger those in my family.  I am not convinced that we have reached the right combination of medicine yet, but I feel like we are on the right track.

I have had a few negative and extremely hurtful comments left on this blog about medicating children, and my child’s behavior- I moderate them so they were never publicly posted.  I work in the field of education, I have seen medicine over used, underused, and everything in between.  I have heard parents swear by medicine, and swear against meds.  I have heard so many people attack my choice in giving my child medication, but the bottom line is that this is what MY child needs to be able to function in daily life.

For all parents out there with a bipolar child, it is a tough and very long road.   You  have to make HARD decisions, life altering decisions- to medicate or not, to hospitalize or not, to institutionalize or not.  None of these decisions are taken lightly by any parent.  In the end though, you have to do what is best for your family and for your child.  Surround yourself with as many professional opinions that you can, and then make an informed choice.  I feel for each of you, I personally know how heart wrenching having a bipolar child can be.  My child is a blessing, but he often brings me to the point of pulling out all of my hair or moving to a foreign country.  I love him, as I love all three of my children, more than life itself.  I would do anything to take this disorder from him, but unfortunately I can’t.  What I can do is provide him with every possible tool to make it through life successfully.

Concerta June 3, 2008

Posted by linnic in Medication.
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We have decided to try concerta on my son.  He had been on Metadate with a booster of methylphenadate in the afternoon.  Even with the booster, we were not making it to bedtime with out meltdowns.  Our Dr felt Concerta would offer a more stable dosage of medication.  We shall see.  We began the medicine this morning.  There is always a level of anxiety for me every time we make a med change.  Will things get better?  Worse? or stay the same?  Time will tell.

Just needs a little discipline May 13, 2008

Posted by linnic in behavior, Medication.
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I am so tired of hearing this phrase.  “He just needs some discipline.”  Granted, this is mostly coming from my ex who is largely uninvolved.  It is a phrase though that I hear in reference to my child, but also to many others.  I wish that people would understand that yes, discipline is a VERY important part to dealing with any child, but when there are biological issues that the child is dealing with, discipline can only go so far.  I have no doubt that I could beat my child black and blue and his behavior would not change. (I would NEVER in a million years try this!!)

I also get tired of hearing “he shouldn’t be on meds.”  Really?  And where is your medical degree from??  I know that kids tend to be over medicated, and that other things should be tried first, or at least in conjunction with it.  My son was in anger management/ therapy by the age of 3 and started meds shortly after turning 4.  Do I like medicating him??  Heck no!!  But, my other children deserve to live free from fear that he will hurt them.

Let’s see….other phrases I can’t stand (now I’m on my soapbox)…

  • “If he were my kid…”  Well, he’s not, thank goodness.
  • “Just spank him.”  Back to the beating comment earlier.
  • “Have you tried…?”  Yep, I probably have.
  • “There is this new….” Sorry not into accupuncture, accupressure, chiropractic, or other nontraditional methods.  Not to say they don’t work, but I am leary.
  • “He doesn’t act that way with me”  You aren’t around him everyday like we are.  Plus he is getting one-on-one attention, and everything he wants- who wouldn’t act pretty good given that??
  • “When my kids throw a tantrum, I just…”  Does your child’s tantrum involve bruising others, biting others, putting holes in the wall, throwing dangerous objects, and darting into traffic?  He can’t be left alone in his room, without causing major damage- some of which is dangerous to himself or others.

We all say things similar to these, I have even found myself uttering “well my kids…”  The point of all of this is that when you aren’t the parent and don’t know the whole situation, it is easy to judge.  It is easy to glare at a parent in the store because their kid is screaming and they “aren’t doing anything about it, but did you ever consider that maybe the child fell and got hurt?  Or the parent has already punished her?  Or that maybe the parent is at their witt’s end and is just surviving the trip??  I am trying to make a conscious effort to instead of glaring, make a positive, supportive statement to the parent.   Then I say a little prayer… “Thank you God, that it isn’t my child THIS time.”