Daughter with ADHD and Mood Disorder

Updated on March 30, 2009
K.D. asks from Oak Grove, MO
15 answers

Hi, my 8 year old daughter has been diagnosed with a mood disorder and ADHD, they put her on 2 medications, for the mood disorder she is on Risperdal and for the ADHD she is Vyvanse, I'm wondering if anyone has any experiences with these meds or the problem with a child this age. She is a very hyper child, who talks consstantly no matter what and can't concentrate on anything, she can't even watch a movie or a tv show, she is just constantly on the go and on top of that she has severe mood swings and get mad and then acts out, sometimes violently, breaking things, hitting me or her sister, threatening people. It was so bad that she actually had to be put in the hospital( a psychiatric hospital for children) she was there for 4 days, and all they did was put her on meds. She does see a counselor I just feel like she's not getting the help she needs, he counselor doesn't really do much except color with her. I'm at a loss as to what to do for her. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks for listening

What can I do next?

  • Add yourAnswer own comment
  • Ask your own question Add Question
  • Join the Mamapedia community Mamapedia
  • as inappropriate
  • this with your friends

Featured Answers



answers from Kansas City on

There is a doctor in Olathe who has a new machine which eliminates allergies non-invasively and they have been getting results with ADHD as well as autistic children. His name is Dr.Rockers and phone is ###-###-####.

More Answers



answers from Kansas City on

I agree with Jacque on persuing issues related to diet, food allergies, etc. I also know from working with kids labeled ADHD that there is often a biomechanical component. My favorite kids /family health magazine is pathways, and the latest issue addresses biomechanical issues for ADHD kids... you can read an excerpt here:


PM me, and I will be happy to mail you a copy of the articles.

If you are looking into adding alternative health practitioners into the mix, I have some recommendations:

Naturopath- Dr. Alicia Johnson (www.maryzhang.com)- a fantastic practitioner, all of the patients I refer to her rave about her. She would be someone to talk to about diet, food allergies, etc. She also works with a great traditional acupuncturist.

For the biomechanical component, I recommend chiropractic and/or craniosacral therapy- I've seen this do amazing things for ADHD kids. You can find a chiropractor at http://www.icpa4kids.org/locator/index.php. I am in Overland Park, though I think you may be able to find someone closer to you. For craniosacral therapy, I recomend Nancy Lankston (www.heartofhealing.com). She's in Lenexa; personally, I would travel from any distance to see her.

While I recommend alternative health practitioners, I whole heartedly believe that you need to continue to work with your doctors and counselors, especially with the emotional/behavioral issues you've mentioned. Most parents of ADHD kids want to get to a point where they don't need meds (that's what I find), but it needs to be a gradual process monitored by the prescribing doctor.

I hope this info helps. PM me if you would like to talk more.

Yours in health,
Dr. Alyssa

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Wichita on

Hi K.,

I am a firm believer that food and the added "stuff" in it has a direct link to many behavior issues along with diseases.

Go online and search "food links to ADHD" or some variety of that and see what you get. I personally would check into food allergies, preservatives and food additives. Look into speaking with a dietician. They may have some great information too.

One other option is to find a naturapath or alternative medicine doctor. They are increasing in numbers thankfully!

Best Wishes,

J. H.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from St. Louis on

Coloring? Believe me that is not all that is going on. As she colors she reveals the things that are on her mine. She is involved in an activity that takes her mind off of the conversation, allowing for an easy flow. To her it may just be coloring, but there is probably a lot more to it that your daughter is not even aware of.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Topeka on

K....I would suggest that you ask your daughters counselor for some guidance. It is possible that there is someone that you can go to for some advice on how to help your daughter to help herself. I don't know anything specific about ADHD or mood disorder but my stepson (who is now a grown man) had a lot of emotional issues when he was younger. I found that he needed a very structured, reliable environment. He didn't do well with "surprises". There may be some techniques that you can learn from her counselor that would help you to keep her more focused and calm.
As to the medication...talk to you pharmacist ( I suggest this a lot!!! I work for a pharmacy and I know how well informed these men and women are!!They can give you some print outs on each medication and tell you from their experience what to expect.
Good luck to you and your daughters!!!
R. Ann

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Kansas City on

Hey K.! I work with a wellness company that has recently found that household toxins are a link to the cause of ADHD. I'm very blessed that my children don't have this disorder, however my son did have respiratory issues that have disappeared since converting my home over to non-toxic, healthy, safer products. In fact, none of my kids (14, 4 and 2) have been sick one time this winter, nor has my husband or myself. With all the stuff going around, who can say that? I'm not some crazy tree hugger and I wouldn't have believed it myself if you would have told me this a year ago, but after a winter free of breathing treatments, doctors visits, etc. I'm a believer!

Indoor air pollution is a huge concern that people are just beginning to learn about. A recent EPA study shows that people who work from their home, stay at home moms, etc. are 3 to 5 times more likely to get cancer than people who work outside the home, just from the "out gassing" that is going on in the toxic wasteland beneath your sink!

I would love to share the company with you. Feel free to email me at ____@____.com if you'd like more information. all the info is free and there's no obligation. Isn't your family's health worth just asking? You may not like what you hear (but I doubt that), but what if you do?

Hope to hear from you soon!

D. S.



answers from Wichita on

Hello K.,

Looks like you've gotten tons of great advice and websites that can help. Let me add one more...

My daughter has ADHD as well. Though she's not as serious as some, there were still some issues that needed to be dealt with. We were unsure of how to do that until I found this in the newspaper. www.totaltransformation.com

I encourage you to take a look at it. This program really works!! I tell everyone about it, especially those with disorderly, abusive, or violent kids and also those with kids with ADD/ADHD.

Check it out! Good luck... I feel for you. ls



answers from St. Louis on

I whole-heartedly agree with Allysa-Rae's response. These types of medications, however necessary they may be for immediate control of violent behaviors, are often the neurological equivalent of putting a child in a harness. Many people do not know there are alternatives. These medications do not cure the causes of these disorders or reorganize brain functions that will allow a child to learn and develop naturally. But, as you look into the natural alternatives, be prepared to take it one step at a time. You will learn much, but you won't become an expert over night. I find that faith and patience are a parent's strongest allies!! And keep in mind that these alternatives are not contrary to true science. They are at least as scientifically based as medical practices. They are not unscientific. Anyone who tells you otherwise is simply misinformed.

Many parents feel intimidated by the prospect of having to learn how to find the best natural therapies and to learn about diet control and allergies. Sadly, schools and the health insurance industry often will not provide the help that produces the most consistently positive results and many MDs, out of ignorance on the subject, often warn parents against these alternatives. In the long run, these natural therapies are far more effective and far less expensive, but many parents feel overwhelmed by the immediate responsibility, mentally, emotionally, and financially. Presently, there is little support available, but misinformation about these 'alternative' therapies seem to abound. As I work with these kids, I see the loving dedication of so many parents and the burdens they carry. They face so much misunderstanding and deal with stresses other parents cannot imagine. My heart goes out to them and I pray for them every day. These are the unsung heroes of our age! I know one woman who has spent a significant amount of money searching for truly effective help for her developmentally delayed son. She could afford to experiment with many alternatives, but is torn by the realization that she can afford to give her son what so many parents struggle to afford. She is in the process of trying to develop a non-profit program that will allow parents of special needs children to get the effective therapies their children need but that schools and insurance companies do not yet provide. It will take a few years to get this program off the ground, but I am so grateful to her for making this effort. It is one of the most important and critical issues our generation has before us. It is hard for me to understand a generation that spends what we do on luxuries like sports and entertainment while parents of children with critical needs sigh and pray through sleepless nights searching for ways to help their children! (To say nothing of the outrageous expenses on mismanaged wars!!!)

I have seen chiropractic, cranial sacral, and nutritional therapies have very positive effects, as Dr. Allysa suggests. You might also want a book by Dr. Doris Rapp called, Is This My Child?. She explains how to recognize the allergies and environmental or food sensitivities can cause mood swings and behavioral problems. Her research in this area is extensive. Another book I highly recommend is Nutrition for the Brain, by Dr. Charles T. Krebs. You may have to find it online. My favorite way to search books on line for best bargains is at www.dealoz.com.

I have been trained in a variety of therapies. The one I find most commonly effective for ADD, ADHD, dyslexia, etc, is the Brain Integration Technique. You can learn more about it at www.Crossinology.com. This therapy uses principles of kinesiology and gentle acupressure. The child is assessed to find the learning and processing pathways in the brain which are stressed. Then acupressure is used to gently increase blood flows to the brain. This allows the brain to find more efficient processing pathways. With these subtle challenges and gentle influences, the brain naturally reorganizes itself for more efficient and far less stressful function. I have seen this technique have the most profound and lasting effects. Combining BIT with an appropriate diet, and often some cranial sacral therapies is the best combination of therapies I have ever seen work for these children.

But, as Dr. Allysa suggests, do not leave the MD out of this. If the child is prone to uncontrollable violence, you are wise to keep this under control while seeking the alternatives that may provide a more permanent solution. I know of many MDs who are recognizing the results of these alternative methods and are beginning to recommend them. It is important to not make any changes in your child's meds without consulting the doctor. If you have any doubts about which meds are best, do a bit of research. There is a lot of info available on credible websites, but you can also consult other MDs. I often recommend talking to the pharmacist and gathering as much info as possible before discussing meds with your MD. This will help you know what the alternatives are and what questions you want to ask your doctor.

I am grateful to Mama Source for providing a way for mothers to gather ideas, support, and to benefit from the experience of other mothers. This wasn't available when my son was young. He was grown before I found the answers that helped him the most. Your daughter is blessed to have a mother who wants to know more and is willing to ask. May you be lovingly directed and supported by the invisible forces of divine guidance and assistance!



answers from Kansas City on

My granddaughter's councilor played Monopoly with her, it gave her something to concentrate on while she talked. She also usually won, giving her a confidence boost. I don't think anything big ever came up in these sessions, but after a year we are now going less often and will probably stop soon. She went from having what I termed as panic attacks to a normal 8 year old with lots of friends.
Maybe she feels things are out of control and lashes out. Have you tried relaxation exercises, maybe you can find a Yoga class that both of you can go to for a while. Add her sister in a while after you've had time to yourselves. I can't imagine what she feels like after being hospitalized. When she feels things calm down, she will probably calm down too. When my granddaughter was having her problem, there were a lot of things going on in her mothers life, things that she had no control over. Put some thought into it and you M. be able to put your finger on what is going on.



answers from Columbia on

Hi K.,

So how do you like the Risperdal?? I have tried it and i was not too impressed with it..it made my son more sleepy than anything and I don't like that its mainly for schizophrenia and bi-polar...I have tried strattera and i think that would work if i could get my 6 yr old son to swallow a pill :). I really don't want him on a stimulant, you know what I mean. His major issues are hyperactivity and talking alot he is not aggressive or anything like that..I have looked up Concerta and Adderall?? but don't know much about them?? Anyone had positive or negative issues with any of these drugs. Right now i am not giving him anything and watching his diet in regards to dyes, sugars, etc. I just think there are other ways to help our little ones without medicating them...good luck,



answers from St. Louis on

I agree with the others that food could be an issue for her. While we don't deal with ADHD, our daughter's behavior/mood/sleep is definitely affected by food, but we've been aware of it since she was a baby and have always been trying to keep it under control, so no telling what she would be like on a "normal" diet. Dairy and wheat (or gluten) are the two main things that are usually pulled out of the diet for ADHD I think, but some kids react violently to artificial colors and preservatives or other things you might not even know are in food. My daughter is allergic to corn (as well as dairy and beef), which is in virtually everything. You should be able to find lots of info online if you look up "ADHD diet." You might try an elimination diet (you can look that up too...there are several variations) which will get her down to a basic diet, and then you can add things in one at a time to see if she's reacting. It may not be a cure for her, but it may offer you a some welcome relief. There are some holistic treatments that help or eliminate food allergies, so that might be something to look into. One is called AAT (http://www.allergytx.com), and it's a fast and effective way of eliminating problem substances...she would be tested before treatment to determine if she's reacting to anything, and the testing and treatments are totally noninvasive and easy. Good luck.



answers from Kansas City on

Dear K.: Hello; I understand what you are going through; my son has, as a part of his Dx, ADD/ADHD. It can be difficult, because the world is hard for her to interpret, and frustration comes very easily when you are young. My son is now 22, and living independently, but I still remember the difficult times. Please remember that there are others who have been in shoes similar to yours; you are not alone in your experience. Aside from my role as an "experienced" parent of a young adult with developmental isssues, I also work as the information and outreach specialist for the Missouri Developmental Disabilities Resource Center/Family to Family Health Information Center. Here, we have resources for families that are dealing with different developmental issues, including packets of materials, a mentoring program, and friendly, listening staff that have expereinces with children or family members with developmental disabilities. If you would like, please feel free to call at ###-###-#### or 800-444-0821, and we can help you with information and resources. All of these sevrices are provided, free of charge. I hope to hear from you soon. Sincerely, J. Hatfield-Callen.



answers from Kansas City on

My son is 9, and is also ADHD. We have tried a few meds. Vyvanse hurt is sleeping and his appetite quite a bit.
We even tried the "patch" one the orange kind, but he has an latex allergy, and just couldn't take the raw rashes, where it was applied. YOU may want to ask about that one, it was the easiest to administer, once you get the package open that is. After a few others, we finally found Adderall XR?, it is not in generic yet, but it is one that seems to last all day, and not effect his appetite or sleep as long as he takes it before 9:30 or so in the morning. (after about a week on it)
There also is normal Adderall, my husband is on that one, and it does come in a generic, he just has to take 3 pills throughout the day to maintain his calmness.
Our son is a different child if he does not have his medicine. Mean, and sometimes almost totally uncontrollable, That was before we found Adderall XR
We have 5 children, with the 9 yr old being the oldest. We did find that giving him his own room and own space, helped a lot too. It was hard to rearrange all of my little ones beds-rooms-closets, but we have such a happier home, because of it now. I do it again in a heartbeat.
Good Luck, and don't stop asking her questions, let her decide what she wants to act/be like, that will help the DR determine her med level. I have found that my kids can't really tell you they have anxiety or actual symptoms are until you explain what it is to them. "jumping out if skin" or "wanting to burst" "wanting to scream until everyone stops everything" these helped Ethan tell us what he was feeling. oh, and don't forget about the other child, (I am sure she is a wonderful child, but she could be "getting under her sister's skin" because she may know how to "push her buttons"... we have a 7 yr old that we have to watch, because he can get his brother SO upset, just by a few sly actions...Just a thought!! OK I know our situation is different from yours, but in the end, it came down to our oldest just wanting more attention, personal, POSITIVE attention. We have tried to award the positive, it has been very hard to over look all the anger, but because we don't yell back or point it out all the time, he is so much better now, a very caring big brother. There are so many councilors out there she will have to find one she likes. GOOD LUCK!



answers from Kansas City on

I have a child with a mood disorder as well and I just don't buy all the holistic jargon for a child with severe issues. Sure, if Johnny is fidgeting- don't give him kool-aid but with really severe kids it doesn't make much difference.

How does she sleep? My son's psychiatrist addresses sleep before anything else.

Risperdal didn't help my son at all. He's on abilify and he's a new kid. I've heard mixed reviews of it but frankly- it's been a miracle for him. He also takes Clonidine- it helps with the fidgeting. If you saw him- you would never ever guess he was mediated.

Have you contacted Johnson County Mental Health? They can get some case management in place and help her directly while she's in school and help you figure out what works for her.



answers from Kansas City on

Have you considered asking some of your nurse professors? Being in and out of hospitals and clinics, some of my best information is from nurses. Also, alot of has come from my professors in the education field for my daughter who is in special education. Professors, instructors ect.many of them have extensive time spent in the field. It might be worth a try

For Updates and Special Promotions
Follow Us

Related Questions

Related Searches