Considering having your child take Psychoactive Medication?

Jennie - posted on 07/09/2012 ( 10 moms have responded )

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How much do people even know about "medication" that is prescribe, out to the public? Look around:most people either are prescribe some type of mind-altering supplement.("medication"), while other people are addicted (like crack-cocaine addicted) to the same medication that said to be helpful in the improvement of children's behavior.
I'm against this "medication" prescription be distributed to our children. I've seen the effects it has on people; adult/child.
For 20-some on yrs, my mother has been certified by a psychiatrist that she is in fact mentally insane and needs to be medicated to live in society. Since the 80's my mother has been taking her meds (examples: GEODON-LITHIUM-PROZAC-WELLBUTRIN-ZOLOFT-COLANAPIN etc.) I can't count how many times doctors had to switch up, increase, decrease- my mother's medication, even keeping her at C3 (mental patient floor) in the hospital. She's had mental breakdown after breakdown. Awkward around people; You can look into her eyes and see she is not all there.
Not only my mother, but my poor innocent 11yr old brother taking RITALIN & DEPAKOTE. Misbehaving at school due pass trauma; Primary Doctor's, counselor's, and psychiatrist alike believe it's best we put him on this cocaine like supplement. Not that his age of, ONLY BEING 6 YRS OLD & the fact that he just started the 1ST GRADE, make them think twice about adding my brother to the 5% of children in the U.S, diagnose with ADHD.
I myself battle an addiction with prescription medication.
Now as a parent, with this knowledge; I'll protect my baby, Speak out proudly against this; Shall I say problem?(Obviously it is more than a problem I'm just choosing a nicer, less straight-forward agative).

But please seriously take the time to over-think your choices, Prons/Cons & What your and your child's future may hold with or without these.. [& now I'll say it] DRUGS.

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~♥Little Miss - posted on 07/09/2012

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I have already seen your post on the welcome page. Are you just going to jump from one community to the next posting the same thing?

There are many wonderful benefits to using medication, and surely some are over prescribed, and we all know that they can be and are abused. I am a bit confused about your sentence "I myself battle an addiction with prescription medication.Now as a parent, with this knowledge; I'll protect my baby, Speak out proudly against this;" What specific knowledge are you referring to? That drugs are addictive? Are you speaking out against prescription drugs while you are addicted? And what course of treatment are you doing to get past it? I am sure that would be very helpful information to those suffering addiction. Also, what are you doing to protect your kids?

Alahnna - posted on 07/12/2012

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I will go out on a limb here and say you've had a bad experience with medications. The problem with your theory is that you're painting everyone in the same box.

I will speak for myself and say I DO know what medications I give my child. I have a son who is severe ADHD/ODD. He takes medication to allow him to lead a normal life. Before even considering medication, I researched and tried everything possible to prevent him having to take meds. We did behavior theraphy, I took parenting classes and defiant child courses, I tried diet after diet, no colors, no sugars, no nitrates, no preservatives, no gluten, no dairy, etc. I tried omega oils, went to mental health and then a child psychologist. I have read enough books on behavior issues, child development and ADHD to fill a library on them.

I did not take the decision to medicate my son lightly, I cried when it came to that. The fact of the matter is, it has saved his life. He would never be able to function in society without it. It took us a few tries to find the right medication and dose for him, but he is doing amazing on it. He is not a zombie as so many warned me and scared the heck out of me by doing so. He is still an active, loving, sometimes defiant little boy, but he is now manageable. I have come to look at it this way: If he had a heart condition and needed medication to keep his heart stable so he could live, I wouldn't hesitate to give him the medication he needed to have a normal, healthy life. This is no different, it is helping him be able to function where his brain lacks. As Meme said, in true ADHD, the brain is not fully developed and the neurons are not working properly, they do not have the focus or self control a typically developing child would. HIs meds allow him to be able to do those things. He deserves the best life I can provide for him and if the meds are what he needs to have that, then I will find a way to make sure to provide them.

Others should not judge when they don't know the whole story. You can never truly understand a situation unless you have been in that person's shoes.

Mommy - posted on 07/12/2012

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I am a therapist, and work closely with prescribers. I think it is the choice of the client to decide on meds, and one of the things we work on in therapy is determining whether or not they think this is the right choice for them. I have known doctors who over-prescribe, but luckily I work in an environment where the docs are very conservative in what they recommend. It's not fair to make a blanket statement that all meds are bad, because they do help many people.

Lacye - posted on 07/09/2012

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I'm calling BS on this whole thing. Yes, in some cases, children are being wrongly prescribed medication. But then again, so are some adults. Which makes it even harder for the people, children and adults alike, who actually need the medication. I have never had to be on any type of medication, don't need it. I am lucky that my daughter doesn't need it. However, I have a nephew who was just recently diagnosed with ADD and yes, he is one of the children that needs it. And like Meme said, a person with ADD will have a different reaction to the medication than a person who does not. It will calm them down and help the person to focus their mind instead of allowing it to bounce of the freaking wall.

[deleted account]

While there are cases of inaappropriate medication, I think it is foolish to demonize them as a whole.

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Kathy - posted on 09/14/2012

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As a society, I think we over-medicate. I can give oodles of examples.



I do not, however, judge individuals who medicate themselves or their children. I do not know their situation - and sometimes medication is the appropriate choice.



Op - are you still around?

Kristi - posted on 09/14/2012

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I don't know how I missed this thread in July! I will concede that there are doctors, medical and psychiatrists, who over precribe "DRUGS." However, there are people in every line of work who don't follow the rules or exercise the best judgement. It is not fair or accurate to say that all medications are bad for all people, adult and children alike.



I, too, have been declared "mentally insane," not just by a doctor but the government has backed her up. I am on disability because of my mental illness. I have also been on a multitude of medications like your mom. While she might not look like she is all there and is not blessed with the social graces of a "normal" person, she is still a human being with feelings, thoughts and emotions. Some of the medication may make her zone out a little but wouldn't you rather her be zoned out than dead? When a mentally ill person is at his/her worst, sometimes the only thing keeping their head above water is the medication. You should have seen what I looked like and acted like after having electric shock therapy. At that time, it had to be done to help reconfigure the way my nuerons were firing or just to make more of them fire more often. My doctor did what was necessary to keep me alive no matter how badly I wanted to die. In some cases that is all a doctor can do whether by medication or more extreme measures.



I can't tell if you are angry at your mom for being sick or if you are portraying her as a martyr for over medicated "victims" everywhere. Either way it is wrong. Believe me, your mom and I and the vast majority of people would rather be well and unmedicated, even normal people don't like having the flu and taking DRUGS to ease their symptoms. It is not her fault she is sick. She is also not a victim just because she is medicated. (she may a victim of something else, idk, but being mentally ill and/or taking medication does not make a person a victim.) She is not less of a person or more of a lunatic because she was hospitalized. That is another means of keeping people like your mom and me safe from ourselves. You make her sound like some sort of piriah. Regardless of our mental status, we deserved to be treated with respect and kindness. We don't need your pity or judgemental mindset. I know this post was more geared at children but you brought your mom into this.



Children who need medication are no different from adults that do. Most doctors and/or parents and/or consenting adults look to medication as a last resort. Just because you're an addict doesn't mean children or adults who are under supervision of their doctor and/or their parents will become one. A person may be phisiologically addicted but that, too, can be undone by weaning a person off that particular medication.



I'm also confused about what age your brother is. Is he 11 but has been taking ADHD meds since he was 6? Either way, if he had experienced a past trauma and was having behavioral problems, he probably did/does need some sort of medication to get his mind under some sort of control so he could work through the trauma and so he could be more aware of his behavior as to correct it. It is an awful, awful experience when your thoughts are racing and bouncing from one thing to another so fast that you can't even have one full thought. It is completely overwhelming, it is extremely frustrating, it is very scary and it causes a great deal of anxiety. But I suppose it is better to live like that than to be labelled as "mentally insane." (if it is too difficult to ascertain that I was being sarcastic with that last remark by yourself, now you know. I am also not saying children with ADHD/ADD/ODD are mentally insane.)



Actually your "knowledge" seems more like resentment and ignorance to me. Maybe I am being a bit over sensitive, and I know the legit moms will call me out if I am, but your attitude and comments disgust me. I can only hope you are not treating your brother like a poor, pathetic victim. As I said, he (we, people with mental challenges) is not a victim because of his diagnosis nor does he need your pity. He needs compassion, understanding and support to give him a sense of safety and to boost his self confidence and esteem. You should not make him feel like an outcast or like he's done something wrong. Oh God, you said you are a mother, please don't pass along your stereotyping and judgemental attitudes to your child(ren). Having a disorder or disease and needing medication or DRUGS to help give someone more control over their life does not make them a 2nd class citizen, which you seem to think it does. Yes, we are different but we're not different.



Ick...enough is enough.

[deleted account]

I think that doctors and psychiatrists overdiagnose and over prescribe now, but I also think that some medications are necessary for some people. both my parents have psychiatric problems and i have seen medication barely work for my father and work pretty well for my mother. if she was not taking medication, she would never have held her job and would probably have killed herself by now. medications aren't exact and they aren't perfect they do, however, allow some people wh are suffering with illnesses to lead productive, meaningful lives

MeMe---(Past And Present) - posted on 07/09/2012

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My daughter has severe combined ADHD and was diagnosed 9 years ago. I had a triple opinion by three different ADHD specialists. I can say she most definitely is NOT like the majority of other children, that do not have ADD/ADHD. She has been given disability status by the Government, which is NOT easy to get. Not just everyone with an ADHD diagnoses, can or will qualify.



I DID medicate her from the age of 5 to the age of 12.5, with Ritalin (Concerta, slow release). She needed it. If she had not been on the medication she would NOT have made it through school. She would NOT have been able to sit down for more than 2 mins and focus. While giving her the medication for 7.5 years, I also taught her and provided her with some essential coping skills. I was extremely routine orientated with her and very stern with discipline (constructive discipline, NOT negative - such as spanking - EVER). She is now able to function quite well without any medication. She is an A/B student and is able to use her taught methods of how to remain focused, including letting the teacher know, she needs a few mins to regain her thoughts. Honestly, the meds were a very important part of her getting to grade 8 and learning who she is and how she operates. I do NOT regret having her on the meds, at all!



It is still not the easiest world, with her. However, she is a damn good girl and I have learnt to have extended patience with and for her. Some days are harder than others, to keep my patience but she needs them, in order to have the self confidence she greatly needs.



Also, just to let you know. Ritalin is NOT like crack cocaine, it is like Meth. However, for a person with TRUE ADHD it does NOT affect them the same, as some person off the street. It actually counter balances the lack of certain brain chemistry they lack. One of these being white frontal lobe mass. It temporarily builds this in an ADHD persons brain because they have very little. This mass is what we "normal" people use for focus, judgement, fear, social cues and the alike.



I will tell you this. That for those children that truly have ADHD, they need more than just behavioural intervention. It is a mix of many things, including medication. It is extremely difficult - damn near impossible - to expect to modify a behaviour when they can not focus and properly assess what is being said/taught.



ETA: My daughter is now 13.5 years old...

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