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Ritalin Overuse.... Hoping to help other parents.

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posted on Jan, 28 2011 @ 10:25 AM
I’m posting this to maybe help some other parents out there not have to go through such a mess.
Of course hindsight is always 20/20……

My youngest son seemed to have anger problems, even when he was little.
When he started school, he seemed to do better, but he still managed to get into a little trouble, always with the same child. I asked that they not be in the same class, but they where put together anyway. So, in 5th grade, I moved him to the other elementary. His 5th grade teacher told me he needed to be on Ritalin. I was a bit freaked out so I made a doctors appointment with his family doctor. After being with us for 15 minutes, he wrote the prescription. I never filled it and found a new doctor. The new doctor actually referred us to a child psychologist who then scheduled a three hour test for him. He did not have ADD or ADHD. He did have anger issues. No drugs were recommended.
We had some rough patches during middle school and he even had to repeat the 7th grade, although this was my choice, as the school wanted me to just pay 150.00 per class for summer school.
As a freshman, he started out ok. He loved basketball and made the team. He did have some anger issues on the court, but made it through. That spring is when it got even worse. He skipped a lot, and was suspended. He got into some legal trouble over the summer and ended up on probation. I asked the judge to make an evaluation and counseling part of his probation. He did, after asking the probation officer repeated for 6 months for a referral, I just found another psychologist myself. The man had a couple of appointments with my son, then one with me. He then set up testing for my son. My son was diagnosed with Anti-Social behavior. That scared the hell out of me. I researched it and read everything I could get my hands on. There are no drugs for this, not that I’m a huge fan, but I was hoping something could at least help him control himself as this was actually hurting him too. He was let off probation without being monitored AT ALL! Never had to go to anger management or counseling.
He has been in more trouble, thankfully nothing major. Again I asked for conditions in his probation. Guess what I learned? At the age of 16, at least in my state, I CANNOT make my child do anything. How great is that? He was kicked out of regular school and attended the Alternative Ed in our town. That is a huge joke. They even let then have Cigarette breaks, even if they aren’t 18!!!!
Well, he is 18 now and a senior at an Alternative Ed in another town. They have a basketball program and he made the team and has not missed a day of school yet. The principle there is a lot more demanding, but seems to really care that the kids do what they need to and really lets parents know what is going on, even if the kid is 18. I am cautiously optimistic that he is learning a bit of control.
There are so many other details I haven’t listed about things that went on with his behavior, but this would be pages long.
I did actually write a letter about this to the opinion section of a newspaper, but after calling and verifying I wrote it, and telling me in would be in the next week’s paper, unsurprisingly, it never was printed.

My point to telling this story, is so that parents don’t just figure because the teacher recommended it, it must be ok. I actually found out that in our state, what she did was illegal. Don’t always trust your doctor either. If you think there may be a problem, make sure your child is fully evaluated and just continue to fight to get them the help they need while they are young enough that you can.

posted on Jan, 28 2011 @ 10:30 AM
My parents kept me doped up on Ritalin for about 3 years. I can honestly say I don't remember those days all that well, they are literally a blur. I remember being zombified. But the good thing was I got all my homework done on time and was the class salutatorian. The bad thing was, I wasn't who I really was. I am not as hyper as I used to be back in the day at all, but I can easily say that I don't miss those pills at all.

I too also have anger problems. I can get ticked off pretty easily here and there, and when I do the fire comes out. Some sadder times in my life I got really angry with some people I shouldn't have and lost friends. But what causes it? Not really sure, these days they are finding it can go back to when the baby was in the womb. Since babies learn from emotional feelings there first 18 months out of womb, its possible something could have happened when he was a baby? Did a family member die or someone leave? I don't know... This was the first post I saw this morning and just wanted to throw in my 2 cents...

Ritalin was the worst experience of my life....
edit on 28-1-2011 by Bonified Ween because: (no reason given)

posted on Jan, 28 2011 @ 10:46 AM
reply to post by Bonified Ween

It's so hard to watch your child go through it. I really feel for you.
One thing I was told, is that it can be hereditary as well, which in my son's case made sense since his father had really bad anger issues as well, which is why we divorced when he was young.

posted on Jan, 28 2011 @ 11:25 AM
I really don't like the sound of the first doctor you went to. Psychiatric medication should be a last resort not a first choice. A good doctor will listen and study the situation ruling out all other possibilities.

ADD and ADHD are real but drugging your kids is not always the best solution. It took until my daughter was eight before she was properly diagnosed (even though I suspected and the wife was in denial for the longest against my suspicions) with ADHD. She had gone through numerous school therapist and psychologist before being officially diagnosed. Her psychologist at the school she currently attends is also a parent of an ADHD child. And ya know what, she did not (thankfully) recommend medication. We are working through the issues by learning, patience, care, and love. I'm thankful that she has a therapist who actually cares about people.

It's been a long tough battle but we're working through it.


posted on Jan, 28 2011 @ 12:34 PM
reply to post by Terrormaster

Exactly! I know they are real, and I believe in SOME cases, medicine can help, but as you said, a last resort. I could not believe how many kids that are on Ritalin in our school system alone. Just the ones I heard about from parents or other kids. It's like the teachers just want little zombies that they can control completely.

posted on Feb, 24 2011 @ 01:13 PM
My oldest child was diagnosed ADHD. The process of her diagnosis was a long drawn out process and I was at the time confident with it and accepted the medication. There was improvement at school and she even behaved a better at home. I noticed a lot of things at home though that did not add up. For instance, she could not sit still at home. She cleaned, organized, and rearranged everything in her room all the time. I noticed right away this was not normal for a fourth grader. I asked her why she was doing this and she stated that she just couldn't stop. There was other behavior that made me realize that something was wrong. She was too "good". She also lost ten pounds in a month’s time. I took her off the medication immediately and MY daughter returned. Was she perfect? Yes, once I learned what perfect meant to me.

I began recognizing some of the same symptoms in my third child. I did things differently this time. I kept him occupied at all times, especially during commercials on TV. If anything my son was what you could call more rowdy, busy, and expressive then my oldest daughter. I coped and managed with art supplies. My fourth child has shown the same symptoms and I have done the same by keeping her busy with art supplies.

These things happened over many years and I viewed, grew, and now believe that this is something that possibly and just maybe commonly happens in children. I can say that in my situation that I believe my kids were going through a growing spurt of sorts. Once they reached high school they were different. My youngest will be attending high school next year and I can see the same ending of this growing spurt occurring in her as the school year is headed towards the end here.

I have termed it a growing spurt because it fits for me. I did not like the medication and I now fully believe there are better ways to handle these children. They are unique individuals and so the process of helping them cope will be individual. I really hope that some how the medical profession recognizes this and works at developing programs for children in these situations to cope such as, art, science, math, etc... You just don't know what amazing thing is residing inside of these children until you step back, watch them, define their interests, and plug them right into those interests. I believe that is better than any drug we could give.

posted on Feb, 24 2011 @ 01:41 PM
I wanted to thank you for sharing your story. There are so many families out there right now either in or on the verge of this battle...and I'm pretty sure I speak for the majority of us that we feel we are alone.

I too have a child with ADHD....this diagnosis is the only standing one right now, but we are in the process of examining the possibility of ODD either as a stand-alone diagnosis or co-morbid with the ADHD. After a very long tiring battle we eventually decided to try the medication.

Of course, Ritalin was first on the list. That drug did horrible things to my son..mentally, physically and emotionally. He all but stopped eating and/or sleeping, lost about 4 pounds in just the first month (and he's a skinny little guy to start), constantly cleaned and tidied things, and was extremely violent and oppositional when he had the "crash" of the drugs wearing off. There was a second, also useless, drug and then a third..which to my already guilt-ridden, exhausted, ashamed self was a miracle! We still have our "days" and "moments" but the third drug was, for whatever reason, the one that made the click for him. Behaviour, school work, attention span, happiness, social skills, everything is much more tolerable and he just seems like a happier kid.

I would never tell someone else to put their child on meds because it worked for me, because I've also heard the horror stories. I don't think that meds should ever be a first choice and it sometimes sickens me that it's rarely asked at the appointments "What have you done so far..." They could care less if you've tried therapy, changing disciplines, different reward systems etc. I believe that 9 times out of 10 you WILL leave that office with that little piece of paper..and I think some parents are just so exhausted and overwhelmed they choose that route without research.

We only approached the medication route after 3 years, routine medical testing (eyes, ears, allergies), close to 50 suspensions, one near expulsion, group therapy, and an out of school program that focused on behaviours. This road is not a short one unfortunately...nor is it a happy one. It almost tore our family apart and has caused a rift in our relationships with those outside our family that felt they "knew best"...I would never wish this upon anyone


posted on Feb, 24 2011 @ 02:09 PM
I would just like to thank everyone for sharing all the stories about themselves. Its really good to hear people discussing this. I always had trouble in school from a young age. never wanting to sit still, or listen, unless something was of interest to me. for years my mom ignored all the teachers, till finally I was in jr high, and I was really bad. suspended quite frequently, and after talking with a school guidance counselor or something like that, I had to go through a long drawn out process. Until i was finally diagnosed as having ADD. My mom was stubborn till the very end tho, and we tried the ritalin, it did help, but i mostly wouldnt take it it. then i got into highschool and began to get even worse drinking & such, and yelled at a teacher and well I had to go to the drs yet again and guess what?

I too had anger problems. mine was do to the drinking tho, and I was put on welbutrin for anger problems. my family dr told us RITALIN CAUSES ANGER ISSUES! of course i did not say i was not really taking my ritalin, and i was drinking, I was a kid, kids can be bad.

so if you do have a child and they try to put them on a combo of ritalin & welbutrin, say no to the second one, it really messed up and i had to deal with that for quite some time before i felt better.

I am an adult now, i dont drink or do anything bad. Yet here I am on ritalin again. This time for (its going to sound strange sorry) for biting inside of my lips/cheek. picking my cuticles, etc. which is sort of associated with OCD, but the ritalin has helped it to stop. so I am glad, I let it go on for years because I did not want to take it.

I do agree with the poster who said its not for everyone. some people can actually benefit from taking it. its just so wildly over prescribed. and no you most likely do not grow out of it. I have quit jobs because I just could not handle the work.

sorry such a long story! it's just that most people who have never dealt with these situations tend to just write off other's concerns

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