Need Advice on Adhd/anxiety

Updated on April 29, 2009
N. asks from Royal Oak, MI
53 answers

I HAVE A WONDERFUL 11 YEAR OLD BOY WHO WAS DIAGNOSED ABOUT 5 YEARS AGO WITH ADHD. WE HAVE GONE THE FULL ROUND WITH ALL THE MED (CONCERTA, ADDERALL, STRATTERA, ETC, ETC....) CHANGING DOSES, DIFFERENT COMBINATIONS. HE HAS SHOWN SIGNS OF DEPRESSION AND IS TERRIBLY FRUSTRATED. HE IS VERY "COMPLEX" PER HIS PSYCIATRIST AND VERY CHALLENGING FOR HIS TEACHERS (HE'S LIKE A KID WITH ADHD WHO'S NOT ON MEDS). LAST SUMMER HE TOLD HIS DOCTOR HE WAS HEARING VOICES. THE DOCTOR SAID THAT IF IT WAS AUDITORY HALLUCINATIONS THAT HIS ADHD MED WOULD MAKE IT WORSE. SO WE STOPPED THEM ALL AND STARTED A VERY LOW DOSE ANTIPSYCOTIC (I CRIED ALL THE WAY HOME FROM THE PHARMACY). tHESE MEDS AFTER ONE DOSE COMPLETELY SEDATED HIM. WE THEN SPENT 2 WEEKS AT HAVENWICK IN THE OUTPATIENT TREATMENT PROGRAM. THAT DOCTOR SAID HE WAS NOT HAVING HALLUCINATIONS, THE VOICES WERE HIS "SELF TALK", THAT HE HAD A TERRIBLE NEGATIVE SELF IMAGE AND POOR SELF ESTEEM. MY GOD IS IT ANY WONDER. AS OF THE END OF JULY HE WAS ON 4 MED - ADDERALL, DEPAKOTE, SEROQUEL AND TENEX. STILL HE WAS HAVING GREAT DIFFICULTY. lAST TIME AT THE DOCOTRS HE WANTED TO INCREASE THE TENEX. I SAID LET'S JUST STOP. TAKE HIM OFF EVERYTHING AND GIVE HIS POOR LITTLE BODY A REST FOR 2 WEEKS AND START OVER. WEEK 1 IS DONE. IT IS VERY CLEAR THAT HE DOES NEED SOMETHING BUT NOTHING SEEMS TO HELP, EVEN THE DOCTOR SEEMS STUMPED. DOES ANYONE KNOW OF AN "ADHD SPECIALIST" OR HAVE ANY ADVICE. I HAVE ALSO TRIED ALL THE NON-MEDICINAL STUFF TOO. REWARDS, CHARTS, CONSISTENCY, FIRM LIMITS, ABUNDANT PRAISE - IT ALL WORKS FOR A VERY SHORT TIME BUT NEVER FOR LONG. I'M FEELING VERY FRUSTRATED. HE'S MUCH TOO WONDERFUL A KID FOR THIS TO CAUSE HIM SO MUCH STRIFE , HE'S TOO YOUNG FOR ALL OF THIS!!!!!!

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So What Happened?

Not much has happened yet. We're still on our "Med holiday". I just wanted to say how overwhelmed I am with the amount of support and advice that I recieved. It was truely wonderful.. I really want to be able to sit down and respond to alot of my responses, but I just haven't been able to yet. I just knew, though, that I had to take a minute to say a huge "Thank you" to everyone trying to help!!!!

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N.W.

answers from Detroit on

N.,

Have you tried Children's Hospital in Ann Arbor? I hear they are wonderful...

Good luck--

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C.H.

answers from Cincinnati on

Dont feel alone i have three kids with adhd and i know how you feel. We've been through all the meds, rewards, charts, med vacations, and to tell you the truth the only one i've really gotten help and understanding from is my oldest daughter's psyciatris. If you let me know where you are from i can help you find a place for more help. I know of a few places, and one of them comes to you and sees the real problem at home. E- mail me or post a message and i will get back with you asap. C.

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J.F.

answers from Detroit on

My son has some issues too, he's 6 and has ADHD, sensory integration problems, and some "non-verbal learning disorders." He's doing well on meds, but I really like his doctor - Dr. Rick Solomon, who has an office on State Street and runs a Play Project for autistic kids. He was one of the few in the area that I found that knew anything about the sensory issues. Good luck!

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K.R.

answers from Youngstown on

Hi N.-
I know what you are going through is not easy- I just started seeing a psychatrist with my oldest (8) and I know that in itself is not an esay thing to do. Someone already mentioned bi-polar disorder but I thought I would share with you what I know too. My husband is bi-polar and spent much of his childhood taking adhd medications- which did him no good- they in fact made most of his problems worse. He had alot of trouble in school and from a young age remembers being very anxious, depressed and even having sucicidal thoughts. All they did was keep upping his dose (his mother however wasn't near as concerned as you and I think just wanted to not be bothered) eventually he stopped taking the meds and just lived his life with severe ups and downs (including the first 4 years of our marriage) until he was finally diagnosed. It has taken about 3 years to get his "cocktail" right (including several bouts with the antipsychotics- I feel you there- its not a fun word to hear) but now he is stable and doing better than ever.
So anyway my point.... a little research into bi-polar may be very useful. I have read in more than one place that in children in particular it is often misdiagnosed as add/adhd and those meds only serve to make the problem worse. Besides meds exercise, regular sleeping and eating times effect bi-polar. There is alot of info available online. I think it maybe what I am dealing with too- we've yet to find out. But alot of what you described sounds all too familiar. - worth a try at least.
I'll stop soon I promise :) but another thing you might consider- although I realize working full time it may not be possible. If school is a huge problem there is a great cyber school here in ohio. Their site is www.go2boss.com . It is a homeschooling program but alot of it can be done online in a virtual classroom. So the child still has a teacher they are just not in a classroom setting. They are also done in about 3 hours instead of sitting all day. It has done wonders for my son who's anxiety made getting ready for school world war 3 every morning. Just an option. I know alot of parents who's childre with add, bi-polar, dyslexia etc have really benefited.
I hope my rambling was somewhat helpful. I hope it all works out for you. Good luck. ~~ K.

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T.

answers from Cleveland on

I have a son who the dr's thought was ADHD but id BIPOLAR which the ADHD meds don't work I theink you need to get a 2nd opion i was told the two are very similar and its hard to figure out which the child has i don't know where you are but i recommend Dr.William Fikter in Bainbridge Oh

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C.B.

answers from Detroit on

I don't personally have experience with ADHD but a friend of mine at work does with her 7yr old daughter. She highly recommends the program at Beaumont Hospital in Royal Oak. They have a whole staff of doctors,nurses,psychiatrists and teachers that can maybe help you with your son. It's a complete program with meds and behavior management. I don't know the number but the main ph# for Beaumont is ###-###-#### and just ask for the behavior management center. I hope that this is helpful. If you need anymore info you can email me at [email protected]____.com
Good luck,
C.

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K.A.

answers from Detroit on

Hi N.,
Probably sounds far-fetched, but I'm a firm believer in the "healers", Chinese herbal medicine - no drugs! Not sure what area you're in, but your son may need to learn what it feels like to be calm & peaceful, but not with drugs. I see Dr. Cheung in Windsor, probably about 1 or 2 miles away from the bridge. Everything is natural & he can look at your son's eyes and tongue and tell you what his needs are. You can look him up on the [email protected]____.com can email him and ask him questions also. Also in www.phenomenews.com is a publication that does have adds where they have helped children with ADHD/Anxiety issues. I've had positive results. Good Luck.
K.

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D.

answers from Cleveland on

N.
Depends on where you live? There is a Doctor in Elyria, Dr. Parikh who is very good. He did treat my son for ADD and Epilepsy. The next thing I would suggest is a Dr. Kotagal at the Cleveland Clinic. ADD is horrible. My son no longer takes meds for ADD. I did not like what they did to him. So I stopped and when they diagnosed him with Epilepsy, he is on so many meds now. Just be patient. It is hard, believe me I know. I went through so many drugs with my son, when they said he had ADD. Hopefully you will find a doc, who can help!! My prayers are with you!!

Debbie
Single mother of two.

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J.R.

answers from Cleveland on

N.,
I don't have any ADHD advice for you, but I read your request and I just want to say that my heart goes out to you. Being a single mom is tough enough without the extra challenges. Hang in there.

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K.P.

answers from Canton on

Hi N.,
My heart goes out to you and your son! I wish I had medical advice for you but I don't.
I do believe in prayer and that with God all things are possible. I will be praying for you and him. That you will find the right person with answers and he will find relief.
God Bless you and keep you both! K.

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M.

answers from Youngstown on

Hi N.!!

Though I am no expert, I do have a almost 13 year old w/ ADHD and panic disorder....and at 1 time they said ODD also. It took many years to get her on the right meds..she has a violent reaction to all stimulants ie: ritalin,concerta,ect. We had almost 4 years before they released Strattera..which has truly helped.By far Ritalin worked the best (If only she wouldn't have become so violent on it) I think you are doing the right thing by removing all meds...Then you must start with 1 MED AT A TIME!!!! I have been through 2 doctors and at least 6 therapists...If not more.She now takes strattera @25mg a day, Prozac @ 20 mg a day, and 1/2 tab xanax when panic attack happens. Paxil made her suicidal after 3 years of being on it.. I have a few questions for you..

1) Who diagnosed him and how??
2) which meds have you tried & have they always been more than 1 at a time?
3)What is his Clinical diagnosis?
4) He is extremely Smart?? High IQ?
5) Do you have any charter school's in your area??? Are any for Children with ADHD?
6)Has it worsened since your seperation?

I kind of need some info on these to help..I have had to fight schools, teachers, doctors, friends, other parents and just about everyone to get my daughter what she needed...She was labled a "bad" kid in 2nd grade..she is now a 7th grade honor student..that teachers love!!...But if you would have told me years ago that was possible...I would have said NO WAY!!!

I hope I can help!!!

A LITTEL ABOUT ME :

SAHM of 3 kids...ages 12,6 and 3

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L.C.

answers from Dayton on

Hi N.,

This might sound a little strange but try giving him a cup of black coffee each morning. Most of my family are ADHD. My mom had alot of problems with me and my brother when we were little. The doc put us on coffee, caffienated, not decaf. Every morning we sat at the table and had coffee with her. It helped a great deal. We never ever took medication. I have a nephew that sounds like the same situation with your son. My sister finally said no more. She now has him on coffee and he is much better. He was "seeing" ppl and having conversations. We couldnt see anybody though. Very scary situation and I will sure keep you in my thoughts and prayers. Try the coffee for a couple weeks and see if that helps without the meds. No promises, but it has worked for alot of ppl in my family.

Good luck,
L.

P.S. I can remember her starting us out with black coffee poured over lightly sugared toast for breakfast :-/
P.S.S. Check him for bi-polar first. I dont know anything about being bi-polar, all I know is the coffee helped with ADHD.

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K.O.

answers from Kalamazoo on

Hi N.,

I was very compelled by your message. I dont have all the answers for you. I have for several years worked with children who are ADHD and have other disabilities with in my family day care. My suggestion to you is. You need to call your doctor. Make and appointment and request a referal to the Neuro Psyshoology Associates. There number is ###-###-####. They will evaluate your young man and from there will direct you to the very best ADHD and ODD specialiest and counseling. I am not sure where you are located at. They have done wonders with so many young people I have had personal experience with. Many of them worse than your son. You are not alone so never fee like you are so. There are so many parents in your situtation that are reaching out to try to get better resources for their children. If you need someone to talk with our vent to you feel free to give me a call. I can be reached at ###-###-####.

Kind Regards,

K.

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M.M.

answers from Detroit on

N., I read your e-mail this morning and my heart goes out to you. I can relate to many of your worries as I have two children both with special needs. My son, Kyle is 9 1/2 and has been diagnosed with ADD, ADHD, Depression, Anxiety, PTSD, Psycosis, Bi-Polar, Learning Disabled and more.... In addition he also underwent Open-Heart Surgery at the age of 7 1/2 weeks for repair of an AP-Window and an ASD murmor. I've truly been blessed and dealt a special hand. So much is going through my mind that I would like to share but don't know where to start! Good news is always an easy way to get started so ........I'll let you know Kyle's current diagnosis is Learning Disabled, he's appx. 2 years delayed, and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. He is currently under the care of a Psychiatrist, Dr. Jeffrey London whom has two offices. One is out of Havenwyck Hospital (where your son was) and the other out of Birmingham Maple Clinic in Birmingham (15 mile & Woodward). Dr. London began seeing Kyle three years ago and I'm very pleased with his inutitive yet conservative means of medicating children. He always leans on the side of caution which avoids over medicating and if possible he tries to prescribe one medication change at a time so he and the parent can better decifer what medication is causing which changes in our children. I've found that in general Psychiatrists over prescribe medication and then have no idea what the real problem is. Kyle has taken many medications: Zyprexa, Zoloft, Catapress, Straterra, Adderall, Remerom, etc.... I'm told constantly by school staff that his attention span is awful and they would feel ADD medication should be tried again. However, Kyle is also in therapy with a terrific Psychologist, Dr. Thomas Mervak and between myself, Dr. London and Dr. Mervak we are quite sure (as much as we can be) that Kyle's inattentiveness stems from his Anxiety. Medications for the ADD/ADHD caused mood swings, manic behavior and even suicdial thoughts. He currently takes Zoloft and Remeron. This combination has stopped the nightmares for me and my son. But it hasn't been medicaiton alone. A lot of therapy, behavior modification, patience and time. I'd be glad to share more information with you. Please let me know if your interested before I keep going on.... If I can leave you with some advice it would be: Be certain the Physician prescribing the medication knows you and your son well, Find a Child Psychologist that is experienced in some of the areas your son needs help (Like Dr. Mervak for instance), take into consideration the separation you are going through and it's effect's on your son. I am divorced single mother and have two children with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder along with some other issues. I know how frustrating and hurtful it is to watch our children suffer. You are doing the right thing by reaching out for help. I hope I can help further.
M.

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A.S.

answers from Columbus on

Hi N.,

Hi N.,

First of all, your son is very lucky to have a mom like you who is so dedicated to helping him have a better life.

I don't have expertise on the medications, but I do have a degree in education so I have a few ideas about how you might help him build up some self confidence and even have some fun in the meantime. Does your son have any subject or activity he's particularly interested in? Drawing, making clay models, computers, horses, space, dinosaurs, animals, baseball cards,...? Whatever it is, try to help him get more into it. They have educational programs at museums, and zoos. Sign him up for art classes or get him supplies to learn on his own etc. He can learn more about something he's really interested in and maybe meet other kids like him. If a kid can find something he's really interested in and get himself absorbed in that, it can help distract him from his problems and without even realizing it, build his self confidence. Another idea is to volunteer somewhere like an animal shelter, youth program working with kids younger than himself, mow an elderly neighbor's grass or just go visit. It all goes along with distracting himself from his own issues and helping him feel good about himself. These certainly aren't cures, but maybe you and he can find something he enjoys that will help his life be a little better.

Best of Luck!

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N.

answers from Detroit on

I don't have much to offer but have you considered working with his diet? A friend of my husband's had a son that sounds very similar to your son and they did some major dietary changes and he improved and was able to be off all medication. It had something to do with wheat and artificial preservatives and hormones. I'm not positive but maybe it would be worth checking out.

I feel for you going through all of this and also for your son. I hope you can find some relief and help with all of this.

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S.

answers from Cincinnati on

N.,
My heart goes out to you and to your son. I expect you feel at the end of your rope (a rope with no knot) and are about ready to give up. A few years ago, no doubt I would have done many of the same things you have tried but after much study and learning what success others have had dealing with a child's nutrition that is where I would turn today. I would be thrilled to share with you what I have learned and see if we can't help that special little man overcome these very difficult challenges. Don't give up - there is hope.
S.

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M.M.

answers from Cincinnati on

Hi N.,
Hang in there!! I have a wonderful doctor at Suburban Pediatrics whose name is Dr. Heyman - he is a behavioral specialist and is on CIncinnati's top 50 Pediatricians list. First and formost, he LISTENS to your concerns and works step by step with you to help dignose, develop a WORKING plan and adjust as necessary.

With your amount of frustratio nwith your doctors, I would start over with someone fresh as he may think of something the others may not be seeing because of your son's histroy. Sometimes history can be negative.

I agree with the person who wrote that it sounds more like bipolar disprder, and that with that type of diagnosis, the ADHD meds would definitely not work. Dr. Heyman is taking new patients ###-###-####) - he's terrific, dedicated, patient, and like I said - he is going to LISTEN to your concerns and strat from scratch; I would meet with him alone first and write down (rationally if you can) all your concerns and history. Give it a try - and I hope that things get better for you soon. I can relate to your frustration level - there is nothing worse than seeing your son have low self-esteem.

Best of luck - please keep us posted on how things turn out!!

mj

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A.M.

answers from Cincinnati on

Hi,
My brother is 21 years old and he has adhd his entire life. My mother and father divorced when I was about two or three and my mom has taken care of us ever since. My brother was on ritalin for many years and it helped during school but it made him without an appetite at home, sleepy and not a very fun brother. I am the oldest of three, 21,22 and me 23, so I know this must make your other son wonder even worry about his brother even if he doesn't say anything. (My sister, 22, used to cry about my brother)
I have a home-based business and I have been doing a small amount of research on adhd because my brother has it. I've found that in my business we have a vitamin called Brainiums that help children with concentration. They are the child form of Omega-3 fatty acids. DHA, which is found in omega-3, helps support optimal memory, learning, and concentration. I've noticed that the main thing children with adhd have is a lack of concentration, they are smart individuals but they can't seem to focus like people without adhd.
I'm not saying that they are a cure but I do believe they may help him focus more. I know this may sound crazy but I can also talk to my brother and see if he would become sort of a mentor to your son. Some children don't need clinical studies or doctors, they need someone who can relate to them.

I will be praying for you and your boys.
A.

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P.S.

answers from Cincinnati on

There may be homeopathic / herbal substitutes that could work. The hard paart is getting the cost OKed for insurance. A friend o mine paid it all out of pocket, but the results are well worth it...Less of other bills and co-pays since her kid, now 22, responds so well to the meds and is very good about taking them properly. You may need to consult a Homeopathic doctor. If your regular physician / pediatrician poo-poo's the idea, try an appointment anyway..You've got nuthin' to lose! P.

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J.N.

answers from Dayton on

Hi, Have you every considered taking your son to a chiropractor? They can help without using drugs. Sometimes it is food that can cause alot of problems. Alot of times they will offer a consultation free. My insurance pays for most of it. Also there is a web site iahp.org. I have heard really good things from people with kids whom have use their program.

jo

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D.

answers from Cincinnati on

Hi N.
My heart goes out to you. I do know a bit about ADHD since many of my family members suffer from it too. First of all find a second of opinion. Very good doctors in Children's Hosp. Have you thought about alternative meds. So many times these children are deficience in nutrients and minerals. Sounds crazy but before I would start him back up on all those meds again, I would find a holistic doc in town. I believe there is one in Blue Ash. MY prayers are with you and your boys. God Bless You.
D.

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M.H.

answers from Cleveland on

Hi N.,

I'm not in the medical field but it sounds like a lot of medication for a little boy! Being a nurse is there any doctors that you work with and trust to give you a referral to a behavioral therapist or some other type of professional? Also, how is your son's diet? Does he react differently after certain snacks or meals? Lastly, does he have a positive, physical outlet for his energy? He definitely needs to know you're on his side with your positive praise and love but he needs something to help channel his energy and focus. I have a friend that put her nephew into Karate class because it requires self discipline. I haven't talked with her lately though to see if she's noticed a difference. Keep trying, I know you'll find something to help him. I could tell how heart breaking this is for you from your posting.

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J.B.

answers from Cincinnati on

Dear Mom,

First of all I want to let you know that I can ralate to your frustration as a parent and feeling helpless as a mother I too have two sons that are ADHD. My sons are 20 and 19 now and still struggle with this. They have been on the standard medications on and off for years. I did the various rewards as well that only lasted for a little while. I have read that for some children that the lack of certain nutrients such as fish oil can have a positive affect with ADHD. I tried this with one of my sons years ago and because of his not wanting to take the nutrient anymore because of the bad after taste he stopped. I know that they have come up with better tasting suppliments now but the only thing is that it takes up to 6 months of taking them that it should pay off but then again time is on our hands ha. Im really sorry and my heart goes out to you and your son's. It just seems so unfair to have this rob a precious child of a "normal" lifestyle and as a parent not being able to fix this in the time that we want for our child. Its all an emotional rollercoaster. I can see that the medications he's taking are intense you have to wonder if even a horse can survive those poisons day and day out. I guess all I can suggest is try and look for a more natural way and of course talk to your doctor first before trying a more natural approach. My heart and prayers go out to your family.

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S.

answers from Columbus on

I know that OSU has an ADHD clinic with a few trial medications, but I"m assuming you know that since you seem pretty plugged in. How about ADHD support groups for the two of you? It sounds like you're both going through a lot right now and could use some extra support.

Have they diagnosed him with bipolar also? I'm assuming so with the meds and the possible halluciations. The Seroquel is going to knock him out -- but there are other anti-psychotics out there that might help.

It also sounds like he could use a good counselor to talk to if he isn't already (you didn't mention it in your post). If he's feeling that negatively about himself, that might help.

Good luck.

S.

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P.B.

answers from Cincinnati on

My advice to you is to go to this site and find out for yourself what is really going on. http://www.cchr.org/
Your son for sure needs vitamins, a calm environment, good food and tools to help him with study. I instruct Life Improvement courses and have helped MANY children who have been falsely diagnosed with "ADHD" and put on medication. NONE of those children are on medication and their "ADHD" is gone. You can e-mail me [email protected]____.com are not alone and there are real solutions. You are a wise woman to know that something is not right.

Kindest Regards,

P.

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A.M.

answers from Lansing on

Well I have some adive, since i am ADHA myself. When i was growing up my mother tried alot of things. But i think that some of the meds were too much for me. My aunt who sells Shaklee ( i sell it too) got me to used some things that helped. And it helped me in other ways (skin)
Some of my teachers knew that i had it and helped me with more one on one time. Since my mother was a single mother she worked a lot and the time she did spend with me was great. I also played a lot of sports that help a great deal too.

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M.Z.

answers from Cincinnati on

You poor thing!! My 10 1/2 y.o.daughter was diagnosed with borderline ADD and received this diagnosis at a wonderful place in Montgomery called The Affinity Center. We were referred there by our pediatrician. It is a place that specializes in treating people w/ADD, ADHD, etc. While we haven't gone through an experience as awful as yours, we have had our share of troubles with Amanda's, our daughter, behavior: multiple medicines, outrageous behavior, discipline that seems to work for awhile then fails, etc. I highly recommend you giving them a call. Their phone number is ###-###-####. Their address is 7826 Cooper Rd. I am assuming you live in Cincinnati, OH since Mamasource advertises that this is a local connection with other moms. Please forgive me if you live faraway (-: . Oh, I just thought of another thing that can make the type of troubles your son and my daughter have worse: growth spurts. My daughter was doing so much better until that started to be an issue. Her medicine constantly needs to be titrated since she just keeps going through spurts. My guess is that puberty is around the corner. Great, even MORE fun (-: ! But good luck with your son, and I will say a prayer for you (-: !

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M.H.

answers from Detroit on

I went through exact same thing. My son is now 28. He is paranoid schiophrenic (SP?). He too was diagnosed ADD and heard voices, but they don`t like to label them at a young age so they suffer until adulthood usually when it will fully manifest. Find another doc asap! My son was at the same private hospital and they did squat for him. They said they didn`t know what was wrong with him, but maybe in the future technology would improve..........and then pushed all of the wrong drugs on him. They need to improve!Find a doc who will listen and not pooh pooh the voices. They are serious symptoms!!!!!!!!!

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J.C.

answers from Detroit on

N.,
Have you tried "non traditional" treatments? I am a Registered Nurse, so I know what comes to mind when you hear that term:-) But, I have a 4 years old that we could tell was ADHD by age 2, with some other problems like language processing (both receptive and expressive)and I didn't want to put him on medication so young. So, I began to explore the CAUSE of his issues, and what we could do to help him. I belong to a list serve called "apraxia-kids.org" and we talk about all kinds of issues with our kids and give advice about what has worked and what hasn't. I found a couple of ideas that REALLY help.
First, fish oil. Omega 3 and 6 fatty acids have been PROVEN in the medical world to reduce cholesterol and help the neurons connect in the brain to reduce hyperactivity. So, we put Craig on Coromega at 2 years old. It is specially made for children and orange flavored. Nordic Naturals (see their web site) make a lot of really good ones for older children who can swallow pills. Do a google search on it, and read the proven research. Plus, my mind set has always been...if it can't HURT him, then why not try it! We have taken him off it from time to time, and within 2 weeks, he is bouncing off the walls and his mood swings are unbelievable.

Second, please look at his diet. Try reading the book "The Feingold Diet", you can order it on Amazon.com. Specific colors and foods can trigger emotional instability in children. We do trials all the time with Craig by reintoducing foods that have been taken out of his diet, and we can REALLY see a difference.

Third, PLEASE, PEEASE, PLEASE get the book "The Out of-Sync Child"! It tells how most kids like ours have sensory issues that mimic a lot of other conditions. It is also available on Amazon.com for about 10.00.

You will not be sorry if you look into these options. They DO help, and give you some treatment options that are drug free. This isn't to say that you might not need any meds at all, but if you can reduce the meds and make your son feel better, you owe it to your son to explore them.

I can email you some articles I have saved from medical journals if you would like to read some research. Please feel free to contact me by email if you want further information and articles.

Good luck!
J.

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S.W.

answers from Detroit on

Well, the separation could also be playing a part in everything else that is going on. It sounds like you've tried everything you know how naturally, so now I'm here to tell you to try God. God can change and turn everything around if you just believe in him. Easy to do!!!No not by a long shot. But I do know if you take your hands out of the situation God can and will move. I don't know if you've ever accepted Him as your personal savior and/or have a relationship with HIM, but if you haven't then maybe it's time. If you have, then maybe it's time to reconnect. Whatever the situation is I'm here to help pray with you and for you guys. If you like you can personally email me at [email protected]____.com

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J.E.

answers from Pittsburgh on

Have you tried changing his diet and using a more holistic approach. Foremost, what is his activity level, social skills and do you pray with your child? As a nurse, you know that change doesn't happen overnight. Good luck and if you need support i.e. someone to talk to etc.. you can e-mail using my personal ([email protected]____.com) and we'll exchange phone numbers.

J.

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M.

answers from Columbus on

First, let me say that I am very sorry to hear about your situation. I do not know a lot about ADHD. I have many things about peoples diets and how changing them can help people mentally and physically. I would suggest possibly going to a nutrionist if you have not already. There might be some different vitamins he can take to help calm down his moods and anxiety. There is a great nutrionist/evangelist called Ted Broer I have a lot of his cd's here is his website www.healthmasters.com. He might be able shed some light on your situation. He talks about how to be healthy, mentally and physically fit. He tells what foods you should definitely not eat and he also talks about vitamins. My husband was diagnosed with ADHD when he was younger and they ended up putting him on ritalin and other drugs. It lead to abusing those drugs and others at a young age. I don't mean to alarm you my husband is now a normal functioning adult who I love. There is a lot to think about when putting kids on medications like those. Is this going to hurt him and is this really solving the problem at hand. I think that your son has some very complex problems that might take a while to fix. In this situation baby steps is the key any progress is good progress. Don't give up hope. I will be praying for you. M.

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T.

answers from Columbus on

Hi N.,

First let me say I am sorry for what you and your son are going through. I have been though a similar situation with my daughter and I'm still dealing with it and she just turned 23.

I will try to tell you our story first without making it a novel. I can only hope that it will help you in some way.

My daughter was a high level competitive gymnast and honor roll student. I divorced her father when she was 12. She kept telling me that she was okay with the divorce and I believed her. (first mistake) We moved to be closer to her gym but we also had to switch school districts. (second mistake) She started becoming a nasty person to be with and I chalked it up just being a teenage girl. At 14 she broke her hand and decided to quit qymnastics. She basically lost her identity by that point. She started smoking and using drugs. I knew about the smoking but not the drugs for a while. (third mistake) She became extremely depressed and started cutting herself. Then she became suicidal. For the next 3 years we made many trips to mental hospitals, doctors, counselors and too many prescription drugs to name. First they diagnosed her as Borderline Personality disorder, then Bi-Polar. Her psychiatrist had me shoveling a palm full of pills down her throat at bedtime. (fourth mistake)She was a walking zombie. The depakote made her gain 75 pounds. She too said she heard voices. She then and now to this day hates herself. The self loathing is so upsetting. She was also on anti-psychotic drugs that she had been over prescribed which made me rush her to the hosptial with convulsions. Her suicidal thoughts and attempts were getting worse. I thought the nightmare was never going to end. To top it off she quit high school.

Finally when she was almost 18, she decided she was going to quit taking all her medicine and see how she felt. She kept telling me the meds were making her feel worse. I said lets give it a try. She lost the 75 pounds almost as fast as she gained it. She felt clear minded again but was still very depressed and angry. Her family doctor ended up putting her on one anti-depressant that she took up until this past month.

My daughter cannot handle stress and she had one thing after another happen to her since December along with planning her wedding. She finally had a major breakdown 3 weeks before her wedding. She started hurting herself again and so on. Her fiance was beside himself because he had never seen this drastic side of mental illness. They went though with the wedding and it has been rough going so far. Her family doctor has been wonderful in treating her along with a counselor. She has been diagnosed again as Borderline Personality disorder with OCD. She is an adult now and is much more willing to work on getting better than she ever was in high school. She is now on a mood stablizer with no anti-depressants at this time. It has worked wonders so far. Her counselor specializes with Borderline patients. She is going through Dialectical Behavior Therapy....sometime I wished she would have done DBT when this all started years ago. DBT is not just for Borderline patients.

I'm sorry if this seems so long but I want you to understand how messy treatment can be and what you may be in for these next few years. The mental health world is very complex. I beat myself up all the time that if I could do it over again that I would not let them over medicate my daughter. There are chunks of two years that she does not remember things due to being so drugged.

I would suggest doing a lot of research on the internet and reading books. Your son is so young and for years I heard that you cannot correctly diagnose a child with mental illness until they are an adult. It's also strange how it came out in the news shortly after my daughter decided to give up all the anti-depressants, that in children it actually can increase the suicidal thoughts!

I know our situations are different in a lot of ways but if you need someone to talk to about any of this, I'm available. I really am not trying to sound like miss gloom and doom or a know it all. Really I'm not. I just know what I went though was pure hell and if anything I told you can help you, that would make me happy. I'm a realist now. All of this made me become one.

Sincerely,
T.

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M.J.

answers from Detroit on

I personally would now try the holisitic approach with herbs and such. I belong to a great Mom's group. Please contact Chris for she is the leader of out group. [email protected]____.com

You can also visit Holistic Moms Network website. Tell Chris Michelle sent you!

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M.

answers from Detroit on

Hi N.,
I am really sorry to hear about all of the diffuculties with your little boy. Sounds like you have been through the ringer. I was just curious who your sons psychiatrist was while he was at Havenwyck. Some of the Dr.s there use alot more meds than others. There is one in particular that uses a bunch. Maybe if your son saw one of the Dr.s who was more conservative they could start him out slowly. I have a friend who still works as a nurse there and would be willing to talk to her about possible referrals if you are interested. Also, I was wondering if you looked into a couple of other things such as Christian counseling or alternative medicine. I have a friend who sees and alternative medicine Dr. She and her whole family swear by him. My friend's dad is a dentist so he is a smart guy and they have been seeing him for years. If you are interested in that also just let me know.
M.

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S.B.

answers from Detroit on

My son's Neurologist is an expert in ADHD and specializes in pediatrics. His name is : Dr. Al-Zouhayli. He may have suggestions for you. He is through Beaumont. He has helped my son with his developmental delay and I have heard he is wonderful with ADHD kids.

Dr. Al-Zouhayli
43700 Woodward Ave, Suite 202
Bloomfield Hills, Mi 48302
phone: ###-###-####
fax: ###-###-####

You are in my thoughts,

S. B.

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S.B.

answers from Dayton on

I have a son who is obviously ADHD, but also has other developmental issues. Up until recently, every doctor I brought him to said they couldn't help. I was getting so frustrated. Then I found Audiblox. It is an educational suppliment that enhances their ability to learn. It has already done wonders for my son and promises to do much more. It also allows the students to taste immediate success so it builds their self esteem right away. It's designed so you never tell them it's wrong. You let them self-correct. It's a bit expensive (about $250) but is all inclusive and WELL worth the money for the benefits you get. I've put it in the resource section for other educational stuff, I think, but the contact information is www.audiblox2000.com Check them out and read the website and see what you think. I viewed them as a life-saver for my son! Good luck!!

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S.

answers from Cincinnati on

Hi N.,

I just saw a spot on the local news about the benefits of Taekwondo and they featured a young boy (9 or 11) who was diagnosed with ADHD. His parents were saying what a positive affect it had on his behavior and that he was able to go off his meds. I wish I could remember which station I saw it on but it was just a couple of months ago.

My two sons just started taking lessons almost a year ago and I highly recommend it. It's really not about self-defense. They are taught about self-control, courtesy and respect toward others, and confidence in themselves. Plus it's great excercise. You could even take classes with him and get your exercise in at the same time.

I'm not sure where you live but I could recommend a school if you're interested. I know two REALLY good ones, one in Kenwood and one in Alexandria, KY.

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K.U.

answers from Cleveland on

Hello- Dr. Michael Manus at the Cleveland Clinic is excellent. He runs an ADHD clinic in the summer. Dr. Jay Berk in Woodmere, OH has great groups to assist kids in an ongoing manner.....Hope this helps, I am a school social worker and a clinical social worker...K

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S.P.

answers from Joplin on

N.,
I have a son who has been diagnosed with ADD, OCD and Aspergers. We have been all over the board with doctors and medication as well. He is currently having success with Abilify r/t his Aspergers. I had forgotten about the caffeine that another mom wrote about. We used to give my son about 4 oz of Mountain Dew with breakfast. It was very effective! If you think about it, it makes sense. The ADHD meds are stimulants as is caffeine.
We pulled our son out of public schools and started homeschooling him in 6th grade. We have used other online charter schools in the past, but we are going with BOSS this year. (10th grade)
Also, give diet/allergies/sensitivities a good look. We went to a good allergist in Norwalk a few years back. It was very benefical. He was used to treating kids. It's amazing how an offending food makes a child act. Maybe someone out there has a favorite allergist a little closer to this area?
Through all of this, just know that you have a lot of support out here! Remember, the Lord takes care of all of the birds and animals... he can take care of this too!
S.

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E.G.

answers from Cleveland on

Hello. It sounds like you really have your hands full. I am no doctor but I do have a background in children and family and special needs. It sounds to me like your son is going through a ton of change and nothing is consistent right now. I think on top of a true medical issue there are also some behavioral issues that could probably be dealt with. Perhaps you could get him involved with some sort of sport that he enjoys. If he does not do well in team sports maybe karate... this also teaches discipline. This would help him to exert energy and also hopefully boost his confidence. It is really scary to hear that an 11 yr has low self esteem and on top of that he is on all of those medications. There have been reports of drugs causing children to feel suicidal. Perhaps it is time for a new doctor and a new diagnosis. I also think it is necessary to develop a routine and stick to it whether or not it works for a while then fades resulting in you getting frustrated. A routine that keeps changing was never really a routine at all. I see that you are just recently seperated and I am sure that is having an effect on his behavior as well. My final suggestion would be for you to get involved with some sort of support group because you are most definately not alone. Best of luck to you.

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S.

answers from Columbus on

I have to say you must be a truly remarkable mother to be going through what you are. Also your little boy, the same. Every child handles stress and changes in their life differently. I knew of someone who had a much younger child that kept getting kicked out of schools and the doctors felt there was nothing wrong with him, just that he needed discipline at home. As soon as they enrolled him in a karate program (something he enjoyed) things changed for the good. I think that recommendation was made but do feel it is worth a try. You've tried everything else. Good Luck!

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A.A.

answers from Benton Harbor on

N.,
I read your story and it was like my own all over again. My son is fourteen and has been on every med. that you described and heard the voices, the whole works. I have been taking him to doctors, counselers,(sorry if I misspell any thing.) ect....since he was four years old. I have always known he had a problem and that it was more than just ADHD. Doctors around here just want to throw meds. at our kids instead of trying to get to the real problems of our kids. This is my assumption anyways. So my daughter and I got on the computer and started doing some research for somewere to get some answers. My daughter whom is sixteen, found a place and so I contacted them is desperation for the sake of my son. We ended up at the Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo. It is the colledge of arts and science department of Psychology. I called and was able to set up an appointment for my son. We started going there back in Feb. or March of 2006. The cost is little to nothing, whatever you can afford. So they are not in it for the money thats for sure. The clinic there did a series of IQ testing on my son and last week I finally got what I believe is the real honest diagnosis. My son was diagnosed with Asperger's Syndrome and depression. I really recommend this clinic if you want answers and not pills. Don't wait because your son sounds just like mine from what little you described and it only gets worse as they get older. Hope this comes to help for you and your son.

I am a working mother also and divorced with two children.

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J.

answers from Detroit on

Hi, N. ~

I have a 10-year-old nephew with the exact same symptoms and apparent treatment course. (He has been on every single medication you list above and has spent time as both an inpatient and an outpatient in various programs.) You don't need an ADHD specialist, you need a neurologist. As you probably already know, your son has been given some medications more commonly used for bipolar disorder than ADHD, medications that can have very serious side effects if the blood levels are not managed precisely. It would seem that, like with my nephew, the problem is more far-reaching than that of ADHD. In your line of work, I am sure you could get the name of a good neurologist, preferably a pediatric neurologist. Don't listen to those who will tell you that he doesn't need any medication. They aren't trying to give bad advice, but they just aren't educated in this area of brain chemistry. This is a serious condition that needs medical management just like diabetes or seizure disorder, but you need a good psychiatrist (for management of medications for mood disorder, depression, and anxiety), a counselor/therapist to help him learn strategies for coping and processing what is happening to him and how to deal with it without allowing anger to build up (a huge problem with my nephew), and a pediatric neurologist to help manage the more complex medications to correct his brain chemistry problems. Please put ADHD in the back of your mind as the least of his worries and focus on getting a good neurologist to work with him.

As a former teacher, I cannot stress this enough. Meet your son's teacher the year before he starts a grade. Observe in all the classrooms. Then meet with the principal and tell them which teacher your son needs for the next year. Do this before the summer begins for the next school year. For this year, if your son's teacher does not know how to successfully work with and love a child with these kind of problems, insist upon him being moved to another classroom. The squeaky wheel gets the grease, so squeak loudly. You need a teacher who will work with your son's issues while still maintaining high expectations, but without trying to pound a square peg into a round hole. Email me directly if you need any more advice about what to look for in a teacher. I had dozens of children moved from other teachers into my classroom over the years because I specialized in children like your son, so I can tell you what to look for.

At home, a schedule is key. He will buck against you because he must be so afraid and confused to be smart enough to know something is wrong with him, smart enough to know he's different from the other children, but he won't know why. (My nephew is VERY intelligent but has trouble in school and few friends because of his behaviors. If I could get him away from my sister, I could probably help him enormously. But that's another story.) Keep his world at home consistent. If you're recently separated, you must never badmouth his father or argue in front of him. You know this, I'm sure. His father must set up a schedule of visitation and calls and stick to it like your son's life depends on it. Bedtime should have a routine and a set time allowing him plenty of sleep. Homework time should be scheduled. He should be in a sport if he has the aptitude and desire, another outside activity like Scouting or something else if he doesn't. He needs structure and to know what to expect practically every minute of the day. Inside his mind is a whirlwhind of a place to be. His outer environment needs to be a safe haven of consistency. It will not be easy for you, but it's worth it. Write it down if you have to and post it in his room for him to see. School at this time. Homework done from this time to this time. One hour (maximum) of television/video games from this time to this time. Chores (he needs them!) from this time to this time. Educational computing or gaming from this time to this time. Soccer from this time to this time. Bath at this time, reading with Mom at this time, bed at this time. Church at this time on Sundays. Stick to it. You will reap the rewards, I promise.

Limit video games, especially ones with any violence. Get him educational games like Tetris and others. (If he has trouble with multiplication facts, get him Timez Attack. It's free, it's very cool, and it's educational. Email me for more info. My nephew and my son -- age 10 -- love it.) Studies have shown that video games affect the ADHD brain negatively and can actually encourage more ADHD behavior. Don't take them away completely, as that will only stress to him that he is different, but limit it and limit it consistently. Limit any violent television. A Tivo or DVR is your friend!

He will buck the system at first. You say that things like this never work for long. This isn't a strategy, it's a lifestyle. Implement it and then that's it. That's the way things are. He doesn't need a chart or a reward unless you want to give it to him. This is life, this is his schedule, this is how it is. He doesn't need to be rewarded for living according to a set of rules and a schedule. He will have to live according to rules and a schedule in college, in his job, in his marriage, and Lord knows we don't go around getting rewarded all the time in those areas, right? He will get used to it eventually and it will become his life, not a thing you tried that didn't work.

Email me directly if you have any questions or anything. This has gotten too long!

Good luck and God bless,

J..mcintosh(at)gmail(dot)com

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J.F.

answers from Dayton on

N.,
I am sorry I don't have any concrete answers for you; However, I would suggest that you send an email to family.org. They may not have the answers you are looking for either, but I am guessing they will direct you to someone who does. I am praying you get some answers soon for your son.

J. Franz

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A.S.

answers from Columbus on

im not sure what to say about it i have 2 boys thats on meds for the same thing adhd their 11 and 10.i have tryed everything to .sometimes i just want to say the drs dont know what they are doing.i think they just want to treat them like a gunie pig try them on new meds ....im sorry i couldnt help...if u would like to chat at any time u can add me on yahoo messenger if u have it here is my name [email protected]____.com

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C.C.

answers from Cincinnati on

N.,

I have a set of twins that were just diagnosed with ADHD/ADD and I am too a single parent, I know that it is tough and I have been told that it will only get better with POSITIVE REINFORCEMENT. sometimes it is harder on us as a parent. but I know that if we hang in there, our reinforcements will help us out.

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M.J.

answers from Cleveland on

Hi N.,

Your situation sounds much like mine. My 9 yr. old son was diagnosed with ADHD about 3 years ago. Then he was diagnosed with having anxiety, then ODD. Recently he had to be hospitalized and the diagnosis changed to Bipolar in combination with ADHD. He is currently on Concerta, Depakote, Seroquel, and Celexa and takes a small dosage of Ritalin in the afternoon to carry him to the evening. So far, this combination has worked. However, we changed the dosage of Seroquel due to it making him sleep all day.

Please, feel free to email me if you'd like. [email protected]____.com

Sincerely,
M.

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A.T.

answers from Dayton on

I don't know if you've tried any homeopathic remedies yet, but my friend had really good luck with it. She ended up removing all red food and drinks from his diet and everything with preservatives in them. It is a lot of extra work on her part, but he seems to be doing much better. She also removed the color red from her entire family's wardrobe. The color red for some reason appearantly had a very negative effect on his personality. He's also taking a couple of herbal supplements. I know it sounds weird, but its really working for her son. Your son may have different triggers. A homeopathic doctor or an herbal specialist may be able to help some. It sounds like you're ready to try anything, so maybe this is an option. Best of luck to you.

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C.M.

answers from Detroit on

Have you had him checked for allergies.

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B.R.

answers from Columbus on

N.,

I feel your pain. It seems like when we are stuck in a situation like this, we dont have much patience after we have done so much! My son is 12. He was diagnosed with ADHD about 4 years ago. We did as well, try a few different meds and they either sedated him or he quit eating. He woudl get very depressed, tell me how "stupid" he was. It broke my heart! I noticed you are just recently divorced. I believe this could be somewhat in part to your sons depression. My 9 year old doesnt seem as affected as my 12 year old, he doesnt have ADHD either. In addition, their father hs been in denial for a very long time about the ADHD and tells our son he is just lazy.
About 5 months ago, I took him to Childrens to see Dr Coury in the behavioral health center. He teamed with Dr.Alioto and they did extensive testing and it came back again that he was ADHD AND he has Executuve Function Disorder. You should look that up, its very interesting. I didnt know anything about it and it nails him right in the head. I would also encourage you to get in touch with these doctors and see what they can do for you as they have helped me tremendously. You are not alone in your struggles with your son, there areparents like me who also go through the same things everyday!!! Feel free to get in touch with me agian if you need someone to listen. We can share [email protected]____.com.

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K.B.

answers from Albany on

Hi N. just let you know I've been there. My son is now 8 and was diagnost with adhd at the age of 5. I noticed it when he was 2. To be honest it wasn't his hyperactivity that bothered me. He was angry, nothing made him happy. He was Hyper and happy until I moved. I took him away from home. Where he was comfortable. HIm and his dad are a like both in personality and looks. I quickly found out you can take him away from his dad but you cant take the dad out of him.lol. At his young age he became angry at an uncontrolable situation. His dad moved on with someone else, and I moved on to better my life. Now My little one would do anything for you. He is a great helper and has a big big heart. I noticed his heart was broken from us arguing and not wanting to be around eachother. I had to put in him in childcare and now all of a sudden he could no longer go. He was outlashing in anger. He ripped out a little girls hair and bit off a tip of a childs finger. Grewsome huh? I was single young and very much alone. I didnt understand what was going on. He uses the bathroom on himself atleast once a day...If he was in trouble you could count on him messing in his clothes. Very much fustrating.

I finaly took him to the Dr. at the age of 5 cause he was starting school. first stratera worked for 2 months then flunked. It was first made for depression and it made him gitty about everything you couldnt talk serious to him...he would just laugh. Then I tried adderal, that just him quite, but he was still distructive and angry.
I was getting called to his school everyday, to pick him up. He had soiled his pants everyday he got into trouble.

So right now he is with his dad. He is loving it. He is happy Finally. I love talking to him and him being excited. He still gets into trouble here and there, but isnt on any medication. With him there he is feeling loved and supported from both of us not just me. he still soils himself when in trouble. We know he will grow out of it. The diet does work as well, and have him see the school psych. That is so he knows there is someone he can trust always in reach. It does help to know you got people there to talk too.Good luck! I know its difficult, but the both of you can make it through. - K.

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