does anyone have any ideas for me to help with a child who has adhd bad and carries so much anger with him all the time??

MOST HELPFUL POSTS

Durga - posted on 02/24/2009

2

24

0

We've been able to manage my boy's ADHD with diet changes and supplements - check out www.feingold.org if you're interested in this route. I noticed that artificial food additives really exacerbated anger for him.



Another helpful behavioral approach has been Celebrate Calm. Kirk Martin sends out a free e-newsletter that is quite helpful. He also sells CDs, which I have never checked into, but have heard very good things about. It costs nothing to read the newsletter, however - so what have you got to lose? You can subscribe here - http://tinyurl.com/adkvf3



Good luck!

Rachel - posted on 02/24/2009

14

17

3

My daughter was digonsed with ADHD very young.  I dont doubt at all that she is but we could never calm her anger problems.  I was told that ADD meds can cause up & dwns of emotions but they shouldnt stay mad.  After blood test were taken we found out that she is bipolar and have found meds to balance her moods.  They seem to help.

33 Comments

View replies by

Betty - posted on 05/25/2010

170

20

43

Hi Jennifer Can you give me an update on what his issues are so Ican help. I specialize in helping children who have ADD and ADHD issues. Ihave had quite a few children that have learned not only to focus but to become more confident in their abilites in school. Let me know precisely what issues he is upset with and hopefully I can help.

Christina - posted on 03/01/2009

29

28

1

Quoting Amanda:



Quoting Michele:




i agree with amanda 100 percent i feel the same way!!we have to stop medication these children!!










Not stop medicating, we need to stop mis-medicating.






As I've stated time and time again, there are times when medication is the only viable options, but for a good many families its being pushed as the only option.






I was not told the risks, nor was I given options before medication, and this is something we need to address with the medical community.






But if you are the family that knows the risks of your medication, and you find that the benefits outway the risks, the more power to you. All I want is people to be allowed to make informed decisions, and unfortunately, thanks to some doctors who get offended if you question there treatments we often times aren't able to do that.






I have made better, more informed decisions regarding maintenance of my auto than my own childs health, because the information wasn't that easy to access, and that is what I have an issue with. I'd like doctors to sit down with parents and show them all the options and let them decide rather than just the option that they get funds for suggesting.






I mean when you go to the paint store to get paint for your house, do you only get to see two paint colors to decide from? No you get to see the whole spectrum.






As the mother of an 11 yr old who after trying everything to avoid meds, and has seen many doctors about my son's problems. Unfortunatly his meds are the only thing that allows him to function.  I am well aware of the side effects and have discussed in detail the benifits and risks of each of his meds. 



I have seen and delt with a few other children who are medicated, that I (my opinion) feel could do without it.  These are the kids who I have weekly contact with some only take meds during school days, no weekends, no summers.  There are too many other ways to treat these kids.  Medication should be a last resort. 



We use a combination of meds and therapy to treat my son, his doctors, therapists, teachers and I are very active in his treatment.  Not one of us could help him with out the others.  I agree that medication should not be taken lightly.



Just in case some might wonder about his diagnosis : ADHD, ODD, and depression.  The depression is the most recent, we do not feel that it is a result of his current meds. 

[deleted account]

Wow I just realized how way off topic I've gotten and I'm sorry Jennifer.



Back to the original topic, which was your sons anger. My sons anger came at a very young age. Well before his ADHD diagnosis. When he was just under two years old he would get mad and smash his head on things like a battering ram. He would get angry at not getting his own way and that was it, he would bash his head on the wall, and not just once either. He would bash his head 7 or 8 times with as much force as his little body could manage, and then after smashing his head on the wall he would hurl his body to the ground and scream the most horrific scream in rage. He would do it at home, and he would do it in public. I was mortified because I thought I was failing as a parent. Especially when he would do it in public and people would stop and look at me and say what is wrong with your child.



Looking back I think his anger was probably the first sign of what his battle with ADHD would be like. My sister in law, who is a councillor for children with Aspergers told me to have him checked out because she saw a lot of signs in him. My family doctor at the time said "have you ever had him checked out for ADHD?" At that time he was only 2 and after seeing a psycologist with him, I was told that a proper diagnosis cannot be made before 6 years or at the very least when the child starts school.



After his diagnosis, and medication his anger seemed to increase. After much councilling we found out that his anger was triggered by his fact of helplessness. He gets frustrated over the fact that he has a million ideas running through his head at a time but his mouth can only vocalize one at a time. Add to that the fact that teachers and adults are always telling him to sit down, behave, and act proper, and you get a very angry person, because he is constantly being told to do things that he physically can't do.



There have been many ideas put forth for you, now you just need to take time (and don't forget to take some for yourself once in a while) and figure out which path you want to go. Don't be surprised if your first choice doesn't work, or you don't see immediate results as most times we need to try different options before we find the one that truly works for our children.



Best of Luck.

Kelly - posted on 03/01/2009

3

45

0

My daughter was diagnosed with ADHD ,Conduct disorder and ODD , After a long battle I found an adult Psychiatrist who was willing to put her on Ritalin and Risperdal ,She is now a well balanced happy 10 year old ,they said she was the worst case they had ever seen ,never stop searching for help ,finally you will find someone who will help you and your son. I have also completly changed her diet ,radically ,she still has to be extremely careful with what she eats or the anger will resurface .hope i could help kelly !!!

Debbie - posted on 03/01/2009

1

15

0

my daughter was diagnosed with adhd when she was about 8, she is now nearly 14, and it doesnt get any easier. she has her bouts of temper tantrums when she cant get her own way and then she escalates to kicking walls and being nasty. the anger side to the adhd takes some getting used to.

Carey - posted on 02/28/2009

2

19

0

My 8 year old son has ADHD.  My husband and I were really afraid to medicate him so I went online and found so much info.  Basically we removed all foods with high fructose corn syrup (which has many names), sugar (pure cane seems to be ok) and all artificial dyes (which contain arsenic, petroleum and mercury!)  What a difference in less than 2 weeks!  His teacher is amazed at the change in him, and we are just so happy we researched before medicating him. 



Yes grocery shopping at first was difficult, having to thoroughly read ingredients in EVERYTHING, I had no idea the contaminants we were all ingesting!



We only started our new diet after Christmas (we all changed our diets, I don't want to label my son)  we just eat healthier now.  Even my 13 year old who does not have adhd is improving in school, seems to have an easier time concentrating and remembering! 



What a difference and well worth giving it a shot!  What did we have to lose?!  Fuuny- right after we eliminated High fructose corn syrup, we keep seeing commercials saying it's fine, made from corn etc...

[deleted account]

Amanda, if we could figure out a way to do what you said we might fix most of what is wrong with healthcare now days.

[deleted account]

Quoting Michele:



i agree with amanda 100 percent i feel the same way!!we have to stop medication these children!!






Not stop medicating, we need to stop mis-medicating.



As I've stated time and time again, there are times when medication is the only viable options, but for a good many families its being pushed as the only option.



I was not told the risks, nor was I given options before medication, and this is something we need to address with the medical community.



But if you are the family that knows the risks of your medication, and you find that the benefits outway the risks, the more power to you. All I want is people to be allowed to make informed decisions, and unfortunately, thanks to some doctors who get offended if you question there treatments we often times aren't able to do that.



I have made better, more informed decisions regarding maintenance of my auto than my own childs health, because the information wasn't that easy to access, and that is what I have an issue with. I'd like doctors to sit down with parents and show them all the options and let them decide rather than just the option that they get funds for suggesting.



I mean when you go to the paint store to get paint for your house, do you only get to see two paint colors to decide from? No you get to see the whole spectrum.

[deleted account]

Oh sorry for the misunderstanding on the age thing Tracy and I wasn't bringing it up to be confrontational, sometimes words don't come across on a forum as they were intended :)



It seems that we actually agree on most ideas presented, and it seems that ADD or ADHD is sometimes a hereditary trait as I too suffered from it as a child (before we had the labels, I was just called a difficult child) and to a certain degree I still suffer from it. I also suffered from depression (and to a degree still do too) but I have learned to deal with it and work through those days that I just don't feel like getting out of bed or even opening my eyes. It takes work but like an alcholic trying to quit I take it one day at a time and have learned to recognize the symtoms of a cycle before it hits.



I'm glad that you are able to have your son properly checked out (being a cardiac nurse) and that must ease your mind a ton, but you do have to admit that there are a lot of parents that don't have the information or access to the same care, because they are not nurses, and doctors resist there concerns. 



Not once did I have my doctor once check my son over for heart problems, even when I took him in and told the doctor that he was complaining of heart attack symptoms. The doctor told me oh its just Heart Burn which might be a side effect of the medication or a problem with his diet. When I asked for further tests to make sure, I was made to feel like I was the nut for suggesting that there could be more serious problems, even after taking in the literature from Health Canada that showed serious heart problems could occur.

Michele - posted on 02/28/2009

85

10

15

i agree with amanda 100 percent i feel the same way!!we have to stop medication these children!!

[deleted account]

Amanda,
I am not going to argue with you. I would like to clear one thing up.... I did not say my son was diagnosed with ADHD at 3years old. I said my son started having problems at 3 years old. He was not diagnosed until he was almost 5 1/2 years old. There have been children diagnosed before they were 6 but it is not common and not always accurate. We (my husband and I) both have problems with ADD. I also have problems with depression - as does just about everyone on my father's side of the family. With that information, the pediatrician's and the specialist's evaluation of my son and much discussion about the pros and cons of medication we made our decision. It was a long hard process!! I watch him constantly for psychological problems. I can contact his doctor through my best friend, his pediatric nurse practitioner, anytime I need anything or have any questions or concerns. On top of that I am a cardiac nurse with over 18 years experience and am well aware of the cardiac risks and have had him evaluated.

I do agree that the physicians need to explain the risks and side effects of the medications better to the parents. Physicians as a whole are not very good at explaining things. It is really a shame that we have to check into everything ourselves.

[deleted account]



Quoting Tracy:




I understand your point of view Amanda but your tone and some of the wording you use make one believe that you are putting down moms that medicate their children for ADHD. .


I have a 6 1/2 year old son. He started having problems when he was 3. We work with him for 2 years before starting medication. ..... Anyway, we eventually had to go to medication to calm him down. We tried a few different medications over 6 months. We have had to increase it every 6 months so far. We also had to add a second medication a few months ago.


One other thing about the medications. He had side effects from some of the medications he was on in the past but is not having any side effects from the 2 medications he is currently on....




I just wanted people to hear that medications are not all bad. Oh, and have you ever looked at the side effects for medications like aspirin, tylenol and advil? Most everything has horrible side effects listed.....





I never once put down all moms that medicate their children, I clearly stated that its the moms who medicate their children without knowing fully the effects of the medication and use it before giving anything else a chance. Pharmacuticals should be a last resort and not a first choice I think I made that pretty clear.



Secondly you said that your son was diagnosed at 3 with ADHD, and then after trying other options you chose to medicate 2 years later when he was 5. After trying a few different medications over a period of 6 months, and increasing it every 6 months or so you have now had to add a second medication. My question is who did the original diagnosis on your son at age 3? Because it has been scientifically proven that ADHD cannot be fully diagnosed until at least the age of 6. You had your son on different medications, well before he was even at the age of proper diagnosis. That is something you should be asking the doctor who diagnosed and perscribed him medications about.



People are allow doctors to write perscriptions (and don't get me wrong its not our fault as parents its the doctors who are writing the scripts, and getting paid by the manufactures to perscribe their meds over another) for children who according to all scientific data cannot even be properly diagnosed. Even the pharmacutical companies that market these meds tell people that they should not be used on children under the age of 6 because a proper diagnosis and proper dosage cannot be made. Also it can take up to a full 3 months for the ADHD medications to take effect fully. Most psycologists will tell you, you will not see the full effect of how the medication is going to work for at least 3 months so how your doctor could perscribe many different meds in a 6 month period should be causing you to ask questions, and again you had to add a 2nd medication which should send up a warning flag that the original medication wasn't working.



When we start taking one medication to combat issues caused by another medication or because the first one isn't working, we all need to question both the doctors and the pharmacists and ask the manufactures to come up with a better option.



I have never said "all meds are bad" I said it was bad when people give their children meds without being fully informed as to what the med is going to cure and what it may cause. I believe that if the benefit of the medication outweighs the possible side effects then certainly its worth using it. However that being said, there are a lot of people who will take medications and not even look at the list of side effects and then when they experience one, they are back to the doctors to get a new perscription to combat those very same side effects.



And yes I have read the list of side effects for things such as Asprin and Tylenol and even the daily multivitamins, and on the very rare occasion that I have taken such meds, I have done so knowing what the possible side effects were, and I made the choice for myself to take the medications. Which is more than I can say for my son when I was giving him meds.

[deleted account]

 Here's another story since everyone is telling their experiences with various treatment types. My cousin Jason is 24 years old and is preparing to get married to his girlfriend of 6 years and I'd love to say he is going to walk down the aisle before he and wait for his bride but he's not, because he is in a wheelchair and will be there for the rest of his life.


The reason he is in a chair is because at 14 years old he jumped off of his 5th story balcony and broke his legs and did severe irrepairable damage to his spine.



The reason he jumped off the balcony, well he was late getting home from school and missed a dose of his ritalin and those highs and lows you all talk about kids experiencing on there meds, well lets just say he wasn't feeling one of those highs.



There is a reason the manufactures are now required by law to put the seperate "may cause suicidal thoughts and depression" stickers on your pill bottles, and its not because it only happened in trial situations. There are thousands of cases of children having committed suicide, attempting suicide, or hurting themselves or someone else on ADHD medications.



On September 21, 2006 Health Canada released a statement regarding all ADHD drugs that states:



Health Canada is informing Canadians that the prescribing and patient information for all drugs used for the management of ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) is being revised to provide information about the potential for psychiatric adverse events, including rare reports of agitation and hallucinations in children.



This update comes in light of an ongoing review of psychiatric events associated with the use of these drugs and follows Health Canada's May 2006 Public Advisory regarding rare heart-related risks for all ADHD drugs. At that time, Canadians were advised not to use ADHD drugs if they have high blood pressure, heart disease or abnormalities, hardening of the arteries or an overactive thyroid gland. Standardized labeling that identified risk factors for rare heart-related side effects, and new recommendations to physicians were added to the prescribing information for all ADHD drugs.



Health Canada continues to monitor the safety of ADHD drugs and Canadians will continue to be informed if new safety information arises. These drugs include Adderall XR, Attenade, Biphentin, Concerta, Dexedrine, Ritalin, Ritalin SR and Strattera.



and in May, 2006 they released this letter to doctors and pharmacists:



Dear Health Care Professional,



Health Canada wishes to inform you that the prescribing information of all drugs indicated for the treatment of ADHD in adults and children, has been updated to include standardized cautionary prescribing information identifying risk factors for cardiac-related adverse events with this class of drugs, and to provide recommendations to reduce these risks. The changes affect the Contraindications, Warnings and Precautions, Dosing recommendations, and Information for the Patient.



This advisory applies to the following drugs, and all products containing these drugs:



ADDERALL XR, ATTENADE, BIPHENTIN, CONCERTA, DEXEDRINE, RITALIN, RITALIN SR, STRATTERA.



ADHD drugs should be started at the lowest possible dose, and increased slowly, as individual patient response to these drugs is known to vary widely.



ADHD drugs should not be used if a patient has: symptomatic cardiac disease; moderate to severe hypertension; advanced arteriosclerosis; or hyperthyroidism.
ADHD drugs should generally not be used in patients with known structural cardiac abnormalities;



Before prescribing an ADHD drug, it is important to be aware of whether the patient: has a family history of sudden death or death related to cardiac problems; participates in strenuous exercise; or takes other sympathomimetic drugs; as these are thought to be additional risk factors. In patients with relevant risk factors, and based on the physician's judgement, further evaluation of the cardiovascular system may be considered before starting on the drug;



Patients who are considered to need long-term treatment with ADHD drugs should undergo periodic evaluation of their cardiovascular status, based on the physician's judgement.
Patients taking drugs for the management of ADHD are being advised not to discontinue their medication without consultation with their physician.



Similar information will appear in the Information for the Patient materials for these drugs.



(How many of your children were put through a proper stress test prior to medication to see if they did have any heart problems? Because I know my doctor didn't do it for my son)





On February 9, 2005 Health Canada issued a recall and took ADDERALL XR off the market and here is the letter they sent out to doctors regarding it:



Dear Health Care Professional,



Health Canada advises you that marketing of the Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) drug, ADDERALL XRTM (amphetamine salts) has been suspended effective February 9, 2005. ADDERALL XRTM, marketed by Shire BioChem Inc., is a prescription drug that was authorized in Canada for the treatment of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) in children.



Health Canada's decision to withdraw ADDERALL XRTM is founded on very rare, international, spontaneous reports of sudden deaths, in paediatric and adult patients in association with ADDERALL® (immediate release) and ADDERALL XRTM (extended release). Reports for death include those for patients taking usual recommended doses, including recommended starting doses, of ADDERALL® and ADDERALL XRTM. In a minority of cases, the events occurred on the first day of dosing or shortly after an increase in dose or a switch from another drug in the structural class. Deaths were reported for patients both naïve or chronically exposed to amphetamine-related Central Nervous System stimulants. This decision was not based on reported deaths that were associated with overdose, misuse or abuse. Of the 20 reported deaths, there were cases that occurred in patients without a documented history of structural or other cardiac abnormalities/disease. In a few cases, other drugs, including anti-depressants, clonidine and/or anti-psychotics, were concomitant medications. Exercise was an associated event in some of the reports of death. None of the reported deaths occurred in Canada.



Health Canada is aware of 20 international reports of sudden death in patients taking either ADDERALL® (immediate release) or ADDERALL XRTM (extended release) with 3.45 million patient-years of exposure. 14 deaths occurred in children, and 6 deaths in adults. ADDERALL XRTM has been marketed in Canada since January 23, 2004, while the immediate release form of ADDERALL® has never been marketed in Canada.



A preliminary review of safety data for the other stimulants authorized for use in the treatment of ADHD in Canada has been conducted. The incidence of serious adverse reactions leading to death was higher in ADDERALL®/ADDERALL XRTM than in the other stimulants, based upon these reviews. In addition, the safety information submitted to Health Canada also included 12 reported cases of stroke, with 2 occurring in children.



Health Canada has requested manufacturers of other stimulants approved for the treatment of ADHD provide a thorough review of their worldwide safety data. Information updates will be provided as they become available.



Health Canada reminds physicians of the following wording currently contained in Product Monographs of all drugs indicated for the management of ADHD: "[X] is indicated as an integral part of a total treatment program for ADHD that may include other measures (psychological, educational, social) for patients with this syndrome. Drug treatment may not be indicated for all patients with this syndrome. Drug treatment is not intended for use in the patient who exhibits symptoms secondary to environmental factors and/or other primary psychiatric disorders, including psychosis. Appropriate educational placement is essential in children and adolescents with this diagnosis and psychosocial intervention is often helpful. When remedial measures alone are insufficient, the decision to prescribe drug treatment medication will depend upon the physician's assessment of the chronicity and severity of the patient's symptoms."



The identification, characterization, and management of marketed health product-related adverse reactions are dependent on the active participation of health care professionals in adverse reaction reporting programmes. Any occurrences of cardiac or other serious and/or unexpected adverse reactions in patients receiving ADHD treatments should be reported to Health Canada





The list of warnings and recalls at Health Canada is overwhelming and I know that when my son was on medication I wasn't told the half of them I had to do the research myself to find it, and had I know the half of it when I started I might have made different choices. I know my aunt would have.



April - posted on 02/28/2009

6

9

0

I have found out with my son who is 12 now, that listening to him, helps alot even if he doesn't make the best of sense. Counseling is also very, very important. Why?? because I know there are times when my son is so angry that he just can't talk to me or my husband like he wants to. With his counselor he (most times) can talk about what is bothering him and then he comes home and we as a family can talk together. Sometimes it just takes that breaking of the ice so to speak with someone else that is involved, but not there all the time. As far as meds, well I use to be one of those mothers that said "My child will NEVER be on meds, EVER" well that changed after two years of anger, breaking toys, yelling, slamming doors, him hitting, suspensions from school, fighting at school, hitting the teachers, NO work being done at school at all, he wouldnt even try. Everything I did as the mom was always wrong, from cooking his food to his clothing to just talking to him. He has been through counseling now for 3 years and just has 6 more sessions to go and he is done, unless he needs help in the future, then we would re-evaluate and see. He has been on Concerta for 14 months and wow what a life change for him and us as a family. He has had some side effects but nothing serious. He has had some nausea, but that has went away maybe on a rare ocassion now, dizziness he had also, but not anymore. The only thing right now that still seem to bother him is his appetite. We really have to push foods where he is concerned even the good stuff like pizza, and junk food he turns down. He did have a bad week of depression back in December, but his dad in Illinois had had 2 heart attacks in just a couple of days, and that weighted very hard on his mind, but he is much better now. His teachers at school and even his counselor all caught it at once, which was good and we immediately tried to make things better. I will say that it has been a long road and I am sure that there will be days that still will be long,, but he is a much happier and boy and I am sooooooo glad to see my son be himself.......:)

[deleted account]

I agree with both of you. Medication should not be a first response but for some it may eventually lead there. I understand your point of view Amanda but your tone and some of the wording you use make one believe that you are putting down moms that medicate their children for ADHD. there are parents out there that use medication because they do not want to exert the effort but I do not believe there are as many as you make it sound. I have experienced just the opposite as you. I know of MANY moms that do everything they can to avoid giving their children medications for ADHD. there are times when the benefits outweigh the risks and the medications need to be used.

As for 30 years ago, the children with ADHD or ADD were just labeled as "bad" kids. They tended to stay in trouble all the time. I have a brother that went through that. He dropped out of school and turned to drugs to try to make him feel better. He was outside all the time but it did not keep him from getting in trouble in the evenings. He just could not calm down and focus. We have much more knowledge of ADHD now, part of which is the use of medication when necessary.

I have a 6 1/2 year old son. He started having problems when he was 3. We work with him for 2 years before starting medication. My husband and I were very hesitant to start the medications, partially because of the things that you have mentioned previously. He sees a Behavioral and Developmental Pediatrician besides his regular pediatrician. he also takes karate year around, plays baseball in the spring, football in the fall, intermittently plays basketball and soccer and plays outside constantly. he is allowed to play video games or watch TV occasionally, not daily. I cried when I thought about putting him on medications. My best friend is a pediatric nurse practitioner (I am a registered nurse) and she gave us pros and cons on the medications and we discussed which would be better for him. I forgot to mention that we started the medications when he started getting notes from school in kindergarten for hurting other children. When he is hyperactive he does not know his own strength. He is very, very kind-hearted and does not want to hurt people. He does however have anger issues - which began long before the medications. He also voiced wanting to kill himself at age 5 - before the medications. he used to tell me that he was going to "pray to God to fix him so that he would stop getting in trouble." His teachers were GREAT. They worked with him to find ways for him to focus and learn without getting in trouble. One teacher had him walk around and straighten the room while she taught the class. It worked good for him but some classes he had to sit still. He still kept getting in trouble. We even enrolled him in a dual language (English/Spanish) to make school a little more challenging because he learns quickly and gets bored easily. Anyway, we eventually had to go to medication to calm him down. We tried a few different medications over 6 months. We have had to increase it every 6 months so far. We also had to add a second medication a few months ago.

He now feels better about himself. He is very happy and is doing well in school. The difference in his ability to focus is unbelievable! My husband and I are not happy about the fact that he has to take medication but it has helped him so much. Hopefully one of these days we can get him off of it. We are working with him constantly.

One other thing about the medications. He had side effects from some of the medications he was on in the past but is not having any side effects from the 2 medications he is currently on. He is taller than anyone in his class - >100% on the charts. He has no loss of appetite which is a big side effect for all of the medications. It took us a while to get here but things are much better. Not perfect by any means - he is still a child with ADHD but it is easier for him and us to manage.

I just wanted people to hear that medications are not all bad. Oh, and have you ever looked at the side effects for medications like aspirin, tylenol and advil? Most everything has horrible side effects listed. When they do the clinical trials before a medication is approved by the FDA they have to keep track of anything that happens to the patients while they are taking the medication. Even if the symptom has nothing to do with the medication it has to be listed as a possible side effect because it did happen when someone was on the medication during the clinical trials. Not to belittle the side effects listed but I usually look at the most common side effects and then ask the physician more about them.

[deleted account]

As I said it was only opinion and from what I have personal experienced with the medications they didn't work, as a matter of fact they caused more problems then they solved. I am not putting "moms" in general down who are trying to help their children, I am putting down the moms who would rather stick a pill on their childs tongue then actually deal with their children. Lets face it 30 years ago when I was a child I would play outside all day long and come home worn out (and I was an ADHD child long before they had the labels) now a days kids come home from school, rush through their homework and then sit on the computer. Very few children play outside any more which is why not only do we see so many more cases of ADHD being diagnosed we also see so many obese children.



In my sons class this year alone there are 17 children on ADHD medications and out of them probably only 5 really truly need it (and yes I can say that because I have worked in the school and also dealt with the same children outside of school). I have talked to parents who give their children their medication during the school year but say they don't need it during summer holidays. How does a truly ADHD child need meds during the school year but not in the summer?  Medication does serve a valuable purpose when used in the right situation, however it should be used as a last resort not a first resort which many people I know do. Frankly there are a lot of moms that are looking for an easy fix and the medication gives them that. That may not be you or the others who have posted here but the fact is there are people like that in this world and it doesn't make it right.



My point is what justifies the medications? Many have said the anger started after the meds and it seems to me that if the side effects out weigh the benefits then maybe we as parents should be asking the doctors and pharmacutical companies to do more research into medication with less serious side effects.



Lets look at the side effects of Ritalin (one of the most perscribe ADHD drugs on the market) and ask ourselves if our child were to be able to focus perfectly and do well in school would it be worth every side effect that it is known to cause because when we medicate our children that is what we need to know. I mean if you know a drug is going to stop a headache but there is a high risk it will give you brain cancer would you still take it? Our children can't decide for themselves if they want the side effects so its up to us to make the best choice.



Here is the side effects known to be caused by Ritalin:



(First off here's the warning that comes with it and keep in mind how many children under six here are already being treated for ADHD even though scientific research has shown a child cannot be properly diagnosed before age 6)



Ritalin should not be used in children under six years, since safety and efficacy in this age group have not been established. Sufficient data on safety and efficacy of long-term use of Ritalin in children are not yet available. Although a causal relationship has not been established, suppression of growth (ie, weight gain, and/or height) has been reported with the long-term use of stimulants in children. Therefore, patients requiring long-term therapy should be carefully monitored.



Now the Side Effects:



Nervousness and insomnia are the most common adverse reactions but are usually controlled by reducing dosage and omitting the drug in the afternoon or evening. Other reactions include hypersensitivity (including skin rash, urticaria, fever, arthralgia, exfoliative dermatitis, erythema multiforme with histopathological findings of necrotizing vasculitis, and thrombocytopenic purpura); anorexia; nausea; dizzines; palpitations; headache; dyskinesia; drowsiness; blood pressure and pulse changes, both up and down; tachycardia; angina; cardiac arrhythmia; abdominal pain; weight loss during prolonged therapy. There have been rare reports of Tourette's syndrome. Toxic psychosis has been reported. Although a definite causal relationship has not been established, the following have been reported in patients taking this drug: leukopenia and/or anemia; a few instances of scalp hair loss. In children, loss of appetite, abdominal pain, weight loss during prolonged therapy, insomnia, and tachycardia may occur more frequently; however, any of the other adverse reactions listed above may also occur.



And then theres the dependancy warning that comes with it as well:



Ritalin should be given cautiously to emotionally unstable patients, such as those with a history of drug dependence or alcoholism, because such patients may increase dosage on their own initiative. Chronically abusive use can lead to marked tolerance and psychic dependence with varying degrees of abnormal behavior. Frank psychotic episodes can occur, especially with parental abuse. Careful supervision is required during drug withdrawal, since severe depression as well as the effects of chronic over activity can be unmasked. Long-term follow-up may be required because of the patient's basic personality disturbances.



So after reading all the literature then make a decision as to whether you want to medicate or not. Thats the point I was trying to make. And as I said in my original post, I recommend councilling to deal with the issues as wel, but medication should not be a first response.

[deleted account]

As I said it was only opinion and from what I have personal experienced with the medications they didn't work, as a matter of fact they caused more problems then they solved. I am not putting "moms" in general down who are trying to help their children, I am putting down the moms who would rather stick a pill on their childs tongue then actually deal with their children. Lets face it 30 years ago when I was a child I would play outside all day long and come home worn out (and I was an ADHD child long before they had the labels) now a days kids come home from school, rush through their homework and then sit on the computer. Very few children play outside any more which is why not only do we see so many more cases of ADHD being diagnosed we also see so many obese children.



In my sons class this year alone there are 17 children on ADHD medications and out of them probably only 5 really truly need it (and yes I can say that because I have worked in the school and also dealt with the same children outside of school). I have talked to parents who give their children their medication during the school year but say they don't need it during summer holidays. How does a truly ADHD child need meds during the school year but not in the summer?  Medication does serve a valuable purpose when used in the right situation, however it should be used as a last resort not a first resort which many people I know do. Frankly there are a lot of moms that are looking for an easy fix and the medication gives them that. That may not be you or the others who have posted here but the fact is there are people like that in this world and it doesn't make it right.



My point is what justifies the medications? Many have said the anger started after the meds and it seems to me that if the side effects out weigh the benefits then maybe we as parents should be asking the doctors and pharmacutical companies to do more research into medication with less serious side effects.



Lets look at the side effects of Ritalin (one of the most perscribe ADHD drugs on the market) and ask ourselves if our child were to be able to focus perfectly and do well in school would it be worth every side effect that it is known to cause because when we medicate our children that is what we need to know. I mean if you know a drug is going to stop a headache but there is a high risk it will give you brain cancer would you still take it? Our children can't decide for themselves if they want the side effects so its up to us to make the best choice.



Here is the side effects known to be caused by Ritalin:



(First off here's the warning that comes with it and keep in mind how many children under six here are already being treated for ADHD even though scientific research has shown a child cannot be properly diagnosed before age 6)



Ritalin should not be used in children under six years, since safety and efficacy in this age group have not been established. Sufficient data on safety and efficacy of long-term use of Ritalin in children are not yet available. Although a causal relationship has not been established, suppression of growth (ie, weight gain, and/or height) has been reported with the long-term use of stimulants in children. Therefore, patients requiring long-term therapy should be carefully monitored.



Now the Side Effects:



Nervousness and insomnia are the most common adverse reactions but are usually controlled by reducing dosage and omitting the drug in the afternoon or evening. Other reactions include hypersensitivity (including skin rash, urticaria, fever, arthralgia, exfoliative dermatitis, erythema multiforme with histopathological findings of necrotizing vasculitis, and thrombocytopenic purpura); anorexia; nausea; dizzines; palpitations; headache; dyskinesia; drowsiness; blood pressure and pulse changes, both up and down; tachycardia; angina; cardiac arrhythmia; abdominal pain; weight loss during prolonged therapy. There have been rare reports of Tourette's syndrome. Toxic psychosis has been reported. Although a definite causal relationship has not been established, the following have been reported in patients taking this drug: leukopenia and/or anemia; a few instances of scalp hair loss. In children, loss of appetite, abdominal pain, weight loss during prolonged therapy, insomnia, and tachycardia may occur more frequently; however, any of the other adverse reactions listed above may also occur.



And then theres the dependancy warning that comes with it as well:



Ritalin should be given cautiously to emotionally unstable patients, such as those with a history of drug dependence or alcoholism, because such patients may increase dosage on their own initiative. Chronically abusive use can lead to marked tolerance and psychic dependence with varying degrees of abnormal behavior. Frank psychotic episodes can occur, especially with parental abuse. Careful supervision is required during drug withdrawal, since severe depression as well as the effects of chronic over activity can be unmasked. Long-term follow-up may be required because of the patient's basic personality disturbances.



So after reading all the literature then make a decision as to whether you want to medicate or not. Thats the point I was trying to make. And as I said in my original post, I recommend councilling to deal with the issues as wel, but medication should not be a first response.

Rene - posted on 02/27/2009

5

14

0

I am not offended by amanda's opinion, but I think it does warrent response. My son was angry long before he was medicated. And we have also tried alternative ways to deal with his adhd. I have a fantastic pedi who checks in with us often, even going so far as to call me on my cell before vacations to make sure everything is going well. If you go the med route you have to be an advocate for your child, and aware of what is going on with them. My son has NEVER been a robot - he can focus, but he is still a very active little boy ..... the anger is a seperate issue that needs to be dealt with seperatly. This is why we go to therapy.

While meds are not right for everyone, they are right for some, and to make a broad generalization that "the meds aren't working" is not only incorrect, but it puts down moms who are working hard to help their children to get a sense of control over their own bodies. Moms need not to feel like they are "bad" or "looking for an easy fix" because they turn to medication - they need support, people to say, "here's what we are going thru" - or "I have seen/been thru that before, here's my advice"



If not medicating your child works for you - great! but if it does, then just have open communication with your pedi, and that can be great too.

[deleted account]

Does anyone but notice a trend in these responses?



"My son is on meds for ADHD, and he is so angry all the time"



Maybe we should be asking why it is so many kids now are being diagnosed with ADHD, why they are being medicated, and why the heck they are so angry. Maybe we should also ask why it seems to be more boys diagnosed than girls.



Frankly I cringe when I hear a parent say my child is on meds, and now he's angry, depressed or suffering from some other side affect. Then they are given a different medication to combat the anger and suffer from other side effects from that med as well.



Its time we as parents start researching alternative treatments because its obvious from the amount of angry medicated children we have, the drugs aren't working.



My son had HEART ATTACK symptoms and was talking about suicide at 8 years old and my family doctor said its just a side effect. I'M SORRY BUT A HEART ATTACK AND SUICIDE IS NOT A SIDE EFFECT ITS A SERIOUS PROBLEM and obviously the medication wasn't working.



Ya for a while he had great grades in school but he was a friggin robot. Some may be willing to sacrifice their childrens happiness and childhood for good grades, but I'd rather have a child who acts like a child, then what I had when my son was on medication.



Teachers don't want to deal with a child that is overly active, and some parents just don't have the time to find other outlets for their childs energy (its soooo much easier to stick them in front of a video game system than it is to go outside and play with them) but at what cost???



Sorry if my opinion offends anyone but its jmho.

Rene - posted on 02/27/2009

5

14

0

I have 2 sons with adhd. My older one (7) also has some sensory issues. He is such a kind hearted boy, but you only get glimpses of it because he carries a lot of anger and frustration. He has been on meds for 1 and a half years now, before that we spent a year doing therapy for the sensory, brushing (you literally brush the child) and joint compression. both of tose things worked for about 3 months, then we were back on the angry train. His meds have been adjusted quite a bit in the last year, but he has been on Vyvanse for the last 4 months, which seems to allow him to focus well without the zombie affect. I have also had him in therapy for a year and a half. I let him spend the first year developing a relationship with his therapist - he goes once every other week. They basically play together, but she will tailor the games to issues he has problems with - like the need to be in control. For the past 6 months I have taken a more active part in discussing issues with the therapist, and she gives us things to try out at home, and goals for my son to meet. I think that it was important for me to allow him time to develop a relationship with his therapist because he trusts her and when she has an idea on how to change his behavior he is more willing to try it out than when I have an idea.

It is a tough road, but we are getting there. There is a light at the end of the tunnel, and we are going to find it. I think the biggest thing you need to do is give yourself a time out every now and then - just walk away, take some deep breaths, and know that you are a good mom - it isn't your fault that your child has problems, in fact the fact that you see there is a problem and want to help him makes you a great mom who loves her child ..... good luck, and sometimes just knowing there are other moms out here that are going through the same thing you are helps a lot - I know it gives me some comfort!

Tracy - posted on 02/27/2009

1

8

0

I agree with Amanda. Do not be too quick to medicate your child. My son was diagnosed when he was 2. He is now 13 years old and is currently in an RTF placement for not being able to control his emotions or severe anger issues. He has been hospitalized numerous times for drug interaction problems and being too over medicated. He too is better with the ADHD when he is off medication but he has never been able to learn to control his anger because we still have not got to the root of it. Medication will not make his anger go away nor will it teach him to control it for himself. It requires a ton of patients and lots of weighing out the pros and cons. Definitely get him into some counseling and most importantly, keep the communication channel open.

Michelle - posted on 02/27/2009

1

0

0

You sound just as desperate as i was at one time in my life. Our home was a total wreck with our son. He was always causing havoc. I know that sounds terrible of me as a mother, but I was on my knees every day asking God what was wrong with me as a mother, what was wrong with my son? I asked doctors, counselors, I searched the internet endlessly trying to find answers. I did not want my son on the ADHD medicine, simply because I was not fully educated on them, I was afraid they would make him a zombie or something. However, we ended up placing him on the meds but the anger was still there-even more it seemed. My husband being in the medical field, I knew that God had created our bodies to heal themselves, so I continued to search for something natural. I have found that product! It is amazing and has helped my son's attitude tremendously. I would be happy to share more with you if you are interested. There is hope and there are moms who understand what you are going through! God Bless

Angela - posted on 02/26/2009

3

17

0

my son is on meds for adhd/ bipolar and can get in angry episodes which can last hours and sometimes even days.  He just recently started taking zoloft and it has improved his angry spouts about 98%. 

Kelli - posted on 02/26/2009

1

0

0

Quoting Jennifer:

does anyone have any ideas for me to help with a child who has adhd bad and carries so much anger with him all the time??




Yes, have you tried karate/twaekwondo? I enrolled my now 12 years old son at the age of 4 for that reason along with many other reasons. It has helped but it is LONG road . It takes patience and lots of love which I know the latter one you have. My son still has rage and anger but we have outlets now. I am not saying this works all of the time but it's worth a shot. any questions let me know.  Thanks, Kelli Mother of ADHD 12 y.o. son diagnosed at age 4

Michelle - posted on 02/26/2009

2

2

0

I feel for you, I am also dealing with a son (age 12) and anger issues. I noticed that when I stay calm (which can be VERY difficult during his rage) it helps the most. Last night he had a tantrum because I wouldn't let him play World of warcraft. It took alomost an hour to calm him down. I've decided since this was his 3rd meltdown in a week to not let him play it for awhile. It just isn't worth the upset to my family. But now I might have to face a few more anger bouts because of my decision. I hope and pray that someday this gets better. I am glad to read some of these posts because at least I don't feel alone in this situation. Also, it helps to have empathy for your child, this is really a sickness!

[deleted account]

We have been treating the ADHD and the anger separately.



Although they are related, both require different survival skills.



Our son was in counseling for 3 years for the anger, but I can see that he will need to practice anger management for the rest of his life.



It's important to seek family therapy or else your anger will feed on his and vice-versa.

[deleted account]

My son was diagnosed with ADHD when he was 7 (he is now 12). He was put on Ritalin, and then the doctor tinkered with the dosage for a year before he put him on Dexadrin, and then tinkered with the dose for a year as well.



 



After two years of my son being on meds and being serverely depressed and always angry, and complaining of heart attack like symptoms I made the decision to take him off the meds.



 



I spoke with his teacher first about the decision because he was doing really well in school on the meds but he was soooo sooo angry all the time at me, and was so depressed he even talked about suicide. I told his teacher what I was going to do and let her know that it was big thing I was asking her to do. Taking on a child who is wired for sound in a class of 30 would try the most patient person, but this teacher had about 9 kids in her class that were ADHD and all were on meds.



 



After I took my son off the meds I noticed a remarkable difference in his personality. He was happier and more energetic, and more human. Yes he is still very hyper and has trouble focusing in class and sometimes his work is not completed as neatly or as quickly as the teacher would like, but I have a son again.



 



I think with behaviour modification training, and patience and time you too will find that his anger will go away, but first you need to find out what is triggering his anger. It could be anything from bullying at school, it could be things are not going the way he expects them to go and his expectations that he has for himself or you are too high, or it could even be a sign of autism.



 



I recommend councilling, and reading. One book I recommend to any parent of an ADHD child is called The Indigo Children: The New Kids Have Arrived by Lee Carroll. Its a book about childrens personalities and how some children are destined from before birth for certain things. It talks about how to deal with the different personalities of children.



 



I would also recommend some Reiki treatments for him to help him relax and let go of his negative energy.



 



I thought Reiki was a quack process until a friend of mine offered it to my son, and being at my wits end and willing to try anything I said alright. Literally right after the treatment my son seemed more relaxed and calmer.

Anna - posted on 02/24/2009

2

6

0

I agree with Marion.  It is hard to give any suggestions without having a full picture of the situation.  Meds, Counseling and Consistency are a good start for controlling the ADHD.  The anger could be part frustration for the lack of control he feels.  You have to be patient with yourself and your son.  In our situation, we got the meds under control then we found a behavior counselor that helped my son find ways to express his feelings. One of the biggest problems he was having was communicating his frustrations to us. Now we are working on finding consistency in our life.  This seems to be the hardest with such crazy schedules.



 



Good luck to you both.



 

Marion - posted on 02/24/2009

16

9

2

Is he on meds? Does he go to counseling?  Is he in any sports?  How old is he?  What does dad say?  I ask these question because my youngest has had to have her meds adjusted many times and when that happends she claims down and then we can talk.  I also have had her in counseling and she has a dance class that seems to help.  Along with a lot of talking from myself and her step dad and on rare times her real father.

Join Circle of Moms

Sign up for Circle of Moms and be a part of this community! Membership is just one click away.

Join Circle of Moms