tagline
WETA

Search LD OnLine

Get our free newsletter

advertisement

Forums
Parenting a Child with LD or ADHD

Feelings of Suicide and ADHD Medication


Author Message
Joined: Dec 09, 2007
Posts: 3
Other Topics
Posted Dec 12, 2007 at 6:44:48 PM
Subject: Feelings of Suicide and ADHD Medication

I recently took my 14 year old son off meds because they made him feel so bad, he didn't want to live. He told the pschyiatrist that they make him feel dead inside, and when he doesn't take them he feels happy. This a VERY SERIOUS side effect. For years we've tried different meds. My son always complained about how they made him feel like a zombie, but he functioned better in school. Now I feel sick over this! I'm done medicating my child to make the teachers job easier.

Back to top Profile Email
scifinut
Joined Jul 11, 2005
Posts: 550

Other Topics
Posted:Dec 12, 2007 7:37:50 PM

Neither of my kids can take ADHD meds. My oldest has ADD but doesn't tolerate the meds at all. They tend to make him more angry and he can't eat at all on them. We have found that adding some supplements from a naturopathic doctor has helped without the side effects. We've also worked on other ways for him to be organized and focus on his work.

For my dd we found out that she has bipolar and other issues that look like ADHD but aren't. Her hyperactive symptoms were caused by hypomania and mania, her inattetion is caused by a number of things. Getting her moods stabilized and her LDs properly therapied really helped her get back on track. I was just told by one of her teachers that she has a great work ethic. :)

There are many treatment options out there. I hope you find what works for your son.

scifinut mom to: ms 16, bp/adhd/anxiety/complex ld mr. 20, add/dyslexic I hear and I forget I see and I remember I do and I understand. -Anonymous

Back to top Profile Email
Faith5
Joined Dec 09, 2007
Posts: 3

Other Topics
Posted:Dec 13, 2007 5:14:56 PM

It scares me that these meds could have such a serious side effect. Parents need to know. I mean we're trying to help our children, and instead we could be making them suicidal.

Back to top Profile Email
scifinut
Joined Jul 11, 2005
Posts: 550

Other Topics
Posted:Dec 14, 2007 7:37:49 PM

Thats why we, as parents, need to be smart consumers. Do the research, ask questions and if you see symptoms that are concerning, talk to the doctor immediately.

When my dd was taking 7.5mg/day of Adderall she started hallucinating, having panic attacks, anorexia, severe depression and the ADHD "specialist" we were seeing didn't think it was anything unusual. I did the research and found out that all her symptoms were listed under OVERDOSE symptoms.

Its also important to get thorough evaluations. There are a LOT of things that have similar symptoms to ADHD but are not and treatment for those can be quite different.

scifinut mom to: ms 16, bp/adhd/anxiety/complex ld mr. 20, add/dyslexic I hear and I forget I see and I remember I do and I understand. -Anonymous

Back to top Profile Email
Steve
Joined Nov 05, 2003
Posts: 249

Other Topics
Posted:Dec 18, 2007 2:35:07 PM

Hi, all!

I have two "ADHD" kids and never used medication, partly for fear of this kind of reaction. They are both doing fine - the oldest is 24 and is a minister at a local church, the youngest is 12 and is doing very well in a charter school that we helped to create.

We mostly used a strong behavioral approach combined with homeschooling and/or alternative education. There are good studies from the 70s showing that "ADHD" kids are easy to pick out in standard classrooms but are almost indistinguishable from "normal" children in an open classroom environment where they have control over what they work on and when they stop and start their activites. So we found that kind of environment where we could, and when we could not, we made our own.

There ARE alternatives to medication and they DO work! In fact, I just read today a followup on the famous MTA study, which showed that kids on medication did better at one year out than kids who did not take medication, regardless of other treatments. What they have now found is that this advantage is less at two years, and by three years, ON THE AVERAGE, there is absolutley no advantage to medication over other treatments or over no treatment at all. This is consitent with years of studies showing that long-term (multi-year) outcomes like high school graduation rates, academic test scores, and college admission rates are unaffected by medication use.

This doesn't mean that every child will do better off medication or that three years is some magic number by which you have to wean your child off. But it does suggest that other variables are as or more important than medication, and that we need to always be looking at other ways to help our kids, as the medication's effectiveness may very well wear off. Not to mention the impact of side effects, which can make it impossible to sustain a child even for a short while on any medication at all.

Which means, as eloquently stated above, that we need to be very good consumers and not assume that the doctor or the pharmaceutical company or the teacher knows best. These are OUR kids, and they need us to be the ones going to bat for them and making sure their needs are met!

So good for you for listening to your son. Try not to feel bad about not seeing it sooner - you are working in an area that is not very well understood, and where there are lots of competing agendas that are not necessarily focused on your child's welfare. You did draw the right conclusion in the end, and your son knows that. Now comes the fun challenge of figuring out what else to do about it - but from the sounds of it, your son will be working with you on that, and that's what matters most!

----- Steve

---- Steve

Back to top Profile Email
Mermaid
Joined Oct 31, 2007
Posts: 16

Other Topics
Posted:Dec 22, 2007 11:41:16 AM

I have had some parents tell me that they took their kids off these meds, because their kids would rather DIE, than continue taking them. It is extremely scary! The drug companies and doctors don't seem to share this information. Students have told me the drugs make everything seem flat, drab, dreary, and also that they make them feel like ZOMBIES. That's too high a price to pay. Also in my experience, the meds seem to control disruptive behavior, but not have much impact on grades. I really think more testing needs to be done on the social/emotional side effect of these drugs.

I have seen too many child study teams and teachers pressure parents to medicate/over-medicate students, without even considering the longterm side effects.

Back to top Profile Email
Faith5
Joined Dec 09, 2007
Posts: 3

Other Topics
Posted:Dec 22, 2007 4:34:51 PM

I have never heard about this side effect, until my son said the drugs made him feel suicidal. I think the drug companies and doctors need to warn parents! I am very upset that I was not informed!!!!!

Back to top Profile Email
combsrael
Joined Dec 26, 2007
Posts: 5

Other Topics
Posted:Dec 26, 2007 4:52:42 PM

As it was stated before we must become the best advocates we can for our children, and that definitely means becoming cautious consumers. When it comes to medication you must do the research on each medication that your doctor wants to prescribe for your child. Each child reacts differently to medications and it may be you haven't found the right one. Some children cannot function properly without medication. My son, who is 12, was also diagnosed ADHD when he was 5, although I knew when he was 2 or 3. We have run the gammet of different medications and sometimes the true effects don't show for a year or so. He has been on Adderall (he couldn't sleep at all), Ritalin (which was great for the first year then he became explosive), Strattera (Which was also great for the first year, then it became ineffective due to growth spurts) and now we are onto Focalin (Which seems to be great) and Tenex. However, when the doctor first wanted to put him on Focalin I told her I did not know if I wanted to get it filled until I did some research on it. I looked at the drug information on WebMd.com as well as the manufacturer and other information I found useful on the internet before I decided to give it a try. The other thing we must consider is the diagnosis the doctor's give you. It may not always be correct. I had a psychiatrist attempt to diagnose my ADHD child as Bi-polar. I researched this diagnosis and symptoms in children and did not agree with this doctor. The psychiatrist then began prescribing bi-polar medications and removed him from the ADHD medications he had been taking. This only made things much worse for my son. Ultimately, my son had to be hospitalized because his ADHD was so far out of control that drastic measures had to be taken to regain control and I removed him from that doctor's care. As parents, we ABSOLUTELY cannot afford to rely 100% on doctors to give us the bigger picture. We MUST research and question them about medication and diagnosis. Simply put, these doctors do not know everything about every medication they issue. And sometimes we need to be a force to be recond with when it comes to the care of our children.

Back to top Profile Email
PT1
Joined Mar 07, 2005
Posts: 34

Other Topics
Posted:Dec 30, 2007 2:24:48 PM

Quote Faith5:

I recently took my 14 year old son off meds because they made him feel so bad, he didn't want to live. He told the pschyiatrist that they make him feel dead inside, and when he doesn't take them he feels happy. This a VERY SERIOUS side effect. For years we've tried different meds. My son always complained about how they made him feel like a zombie, but he functioned better in school. Now I feel sick over this! I'm done medicating my child to make the teachers job easier.

Faith,

I am an adult who is tapering off of what was initially a 4 med psych coctail due to concerns about long term side effects, including a hearing loss which fortunately is improving. One of my symptoms was also being numb to everything. It has improved but I suspect that until I am completely off the meds, it won't get completely better.

Please don't feel bad as I greatly applaud you for realizing that the meds weren't working and were making your son worse. Many parents in your position would not have done what you did.

I just hope people will read your post and listen to their kids.

Hugs to you and thank you seeing the light.

Back to top Profile Email
PT1
Joined Mar 07, 2005
Posts: 34

Other Topics
Posted:Dec 30, 2007 2:33:33 PM

CombIsrael,

Obviously, you know your son the best but generally, don't assume that adults and children can't function without meds. I know my psychiatrist felt that way when I decided to taper off of a 4 med coctail due to concerns about long term side effects. Well, I am down to two meds and functioning better than I ever did while on meds.

There are many stories of people recovering completely from so called mental illnesses who don't use meds, including a psychiatrist and a psychologist, Dan Fisher and Pat Deegan. And yes, their diagnoses were accurate.

As far as information on webmd, you might want to visit this blog by Dan Carlat, a psychiatrist and read his entry about diseases being for sale on the site:

But what you may not be aware of is that Medscape sells its disease-specific "resource centers" to the highest bidder. For example, the ADHD Resource Center is purchased by Shire, the Bipolar Disorder Resource Center is owned by GlaxoSmithKline, and the Pharmacological Management of Pain Resource Center is now the property of Cephalon.

http://carlatpsychiatry.blogspot.com/

Back to your son - I am not questioning your parenting as again, obviously, you know alot more about the situation than I do. I am trying to point out that many people were told my psychiatrists they would never be able to function without medication and ended up proving them wrong big time.

PT


uote=combsrael]As it was stated before we must become the best advocates we can for our children, and that definitely means becoming cautious consumers. When it comes to medication you must do the research on each medication that your doctor wants to prescribe for your child. Each child reacts differently to medications and it may be you haven't found the right one. Some children cannot function properly without medication. My son, who is 12, was also diagnosed ADHD when he was 5, although I knew when he was 2 or 3. We have run the gammet of different medications and sometimes the true effects don't show for a year or so. He has been on Adderall (he couldn't sleep at all), Ritalin (which was great for the first year then he became explosive), Strattera (Which was also great for the first year, then it became ineffective due to growth spurts) and now we are onto Focalin (Which seems to be great) and Tenex. However, when the doctor first wanted to put him on Focalin I told her I did not know if I wanted to get it filled until I did some research on it. I looked at the drug information on WebMd.com as well as the manufacturer and other information I found useful on the internet before I decided to give it a try. The other thing we must consider is the diagnosis the doctor's give you. It may not always be correct. I had a psychiatrist attempt to diagnose my ADHD child as Bi-polar. I researched this diagnosis and symptoms in children and did not agree with this doctor. The psychiatrist then began prescribing bi-polar medications and removed him from the ADHD medications he had been taking. This only made things much worse for my son. Ultimately, my son had to be hospitalized because his ADHD was so far out of control that drastic measures had to be taken to regain control and I removed him from that doctor's care. As parents, we ABSOLUTELY cannot afford to rely 100% on doctors to give us the bigger picture. We MUST research and question them about medication and diagnosis. Simply put, these doctors do not know everything about every medication they issue. And sometimes we need to be a force to be recond with when it comes to the care of our children.[/quote]

Back to top Profile Email
combsrael
Joined Dec 26, 2007
Posts: 5

Other Topics
Posted:Dec 31, 2007 9:11:27 AM

PT1:

Thanks for the reply to my post. And, I congratulate you that you are functioning well coming off the medications you were on. Please understand that my post was not meant to refer people to specific web sites or places to use as tools to gain information in order to become the most informed we can be. I do not rely on any one source of information as I do complete research in order to best protect my child and to make the best decisions I can when it comes to his care. Yes, I do go to webmd.com in order to obtain some information on medication side effects and symptoms. However, I do refer to other places like the library, pharmacy documentation and manufacturer studies. While I will admit that doctors can be incorrect and some people and children can function without medication, SOME people and children CANNOT do so successfully. It is truly dependent on the severity of their particular condition. In my son's case, his ADHD/ODD is so severe that functioning off medication for him is NOT an option and he is not the only one that is like that. It takes a lot of observation and listening to him for me to make sure that a mistake has not been made. Previously, when he was on Strattera, he was on additional medication which grew to 12 pills a day for him to "function". The things we had to go through for me to get him off of all that medication was distressing to say the least. However, he was over medicated and I finally had to draw the line with his psychiatrist and advised him that I was removing my son from all of the meds he was on and try to reset his body. During that period it became very clear that he could not function properly without some medication. Now we are on 3 meds and 3 pills a day. What a difference that has made and he is doing well. Keep in mind that what I am saying is that some do well off of medication at some point in their lifetime. However, there was a time when medication was neccessary to get you and others to the point where you could handle things without it. As a parent and cosumer, you can only do the best you can. And the best anyone can do is to become as informed as possible about what doctors tell you and sometimes that means questioning your doctor. If your doctor does not appreciate the questions and concerns then it is time to change to a doctor who does. Get information, information, information and use all tools available to gain that information to be the best consumer and advocate you can.

Back to top Profile Email
PT1
Joined Mar 07, 2005
Posts: 34

Other Topics
Posted:Dec 31, 2007 5:36:28 PM

Hi,

I understand what you're saying and I am glad your son is doing well.

I did forget to mention one important point in my previous post. When tapering off of psych meds, it is very important to taper very slowly. Just like your brain needs to adjust as you are put on meds, it needs to adjust to going off of meds. The recommendations on the Paxil Progress Boards run by a nurse who almost lost her son to a Paxil induced suicide is 10% of the current dose every 4 to 6 weeks.

Most doctors put their patients on a way too fast tapering schedule and unfortunately, people end up with withdrawal symptoms that look like a return of the illness. This can go on for months which doctors will blow off.

Anyway, people will be convinced they or their kids can't function without meds when really, it is an issue of suffering through intense withdrawal symtpoms. I am not saying this is true in your son's case but it can be an issue for many people.

Unfortunately, tapering by 10% of the current dose is very hard to do which is a whole other post. If you can't taper by 10%, make as small a cut as possible and wait a few months between cuts.

PT1

Back to top Profile Email
scifinut
Joined Jul 11, 2005
Posts: 550

Other Topics
Posted:Dec 31, 2007 9:18:57 PM

Its always good to hear both sides of any issue and make our own decisions. Whether to medicate or not is a personal choice and depends on many factors in the person's life.

My son chooses not to medicate his ADD symtpoms. He works hard to organize his life so that he doesn't have to. He also takes supplements that help him.

My dd has chosen to stay medicated because she knows she really can't function without them. She does not want to go back to the feelings and behaviors that caused us to first take her to a psychiatrist. She recently made the choice to change a med and had to work through some nasty times but decided it was worth it when she felt better.

All we can do is make the best choices for our kids, families and ourselves. Educate ourselves on all the options.

scifinut mom to: ms 16, bp/adhd/anxiety/complex ld mr. 20, add/dyslexic I hear and I forget I see and I remember I do and I understand. -Anonymous

Back to top Profile Email
xanesmom
Joined Feb 22, 2008
Posts: 7

Other Topics
Posted:Feb 22, 2008 10:29:21 AM

When my son was on Adderall he became more violent. He
tried to stab me with a knife. We took him off that and two years later we have him on Strattera. The Strattera makes him more aggressive, makes him feel like bugs are crawling on his skin, makes him nervous and scared of everything. He can't eat, he can't sleep, he wets the bed, and he's regressed back into baby talk. He's five! The doctor's won't let me take him off because if we do then he starts talking of killing others and dying. We are looking in to getting him assessed for bi-polar the only problem is where we live no one wants to diagnose him this young. I have a friend whose daughter committed suicide on medication that was suppose to help her bi-polar and now this friends son is being treated for ADHD with the same medication and is having thoughts of suicide. This is a very serious issue and the doctor's need to start treating it as such.

Back to top Profile Email
combsrael
Joined Dec 26, 2007
Posts: 5

Other Topics
Posted:Feb 22, 2008 12:40:16 PM

Quote xanesmom:

When my son was on Adderall he became more violent. He
tried to stab me with a knife. We took him off that and two years later we have him on Strattera. The Strattera makes him more aggressive, makes him feel like bugs are crawling on his skin, makes him nervous and scared of everything. He can't eat, he can't sleep, he wets the bed, and he's regressed back into baby talk. He's five! The doctor's won't let me take him off because if we do then he starts talking of killing others and dying. We are looking in to getting him assessed for bi-polar the only problem is where we live no one wants to diagnose him this young. I have a friend whose daughter committed suicide on medication that was suppose to help her bi-polar and now this friends son is being treated for ADHD with the same medication and is having thoughts of suicide. This is a very serious issue and the doctor's need to start treating it as such.

I am so sorry for all you are going through Xanesmom I know how difficult this must be for you and your son. The problems you are experiencing with your son's medication is fairly common. When Strattera first came out I asked my pediatrician about it and she refused to prescribe it to my son because she said it had a tendancy to make kids "psychotic". This of course terrified me and made me want to avoid it like the plague. Ultimately, my son ended up on it and it worked pretty well for about 3 years then became ineffective due to growth spurts. Now we are onto Focalin XR and he seems to be doing pretty well right now.

As far as having your child diagnosed Bipolar, please know that most children cannot be diagnosed that until they reach their later teens. Since your son is only 5 it is way to soon to even consider that type of diagnosis. Unfortunately, ADHD and Bipolar symptoms are VERY close in young children. They both display impulsivity issues, low frustration levels and rages that can be severe. What I have found out is that children with bipolar have a tendancy to rage for several hours where a child with ADHD don't rage that long. I urge you to be very cautious with seeking out a bipolar diagnosis at this age, because you could be putting your son into a classification that may not get him the correct treatment. You are your son's best hope right now so keep the faith. Unfortunately, for parents and children there is no clear answer in a situation like yours. Children like ours are difficult to raise and can put a lot of stress in the family because your son is not the only one suffering. The best thing for you to do is to maintain a VERY strict routine. That will give him the comfort of knowing whats coming and when. He can rely on it and find security in it. When changes are coming be sure to give him plenty of notice that things are changing and how much time he has left to adhere to those changes. Consistency is the key to success with your son. This is definitely not the total answer to your situation but keep plugging forward and know that IF your son is bipolar the best thing to do it to have him evaluated when he is 7 or 9 years old. In the meantime, your son may need to have Risperdal added to his medication to help with the mood swings and improve his eating as Risperdal can increase the appetite and change his ADHD medication. The Strattera is simply not working like it should. And, if he is not sleeping I may suggest that he be put on s low dose of Seroquel at night. This may help with the other symptoms you are experience during the day as it is an antipsychotic medication but is VERY effective is helping him sleep through the night in low doses. Good Luck Xanesmom and I hope this helps.

Back to top Profile Email
dawn2000k
Joined Apr 19, 2014
Posts: 41

Other Topics
Posted:Feb 22, 2008 8:51:20 PM

Everyone needs to understand that the FDA states on their website that they ARE NOT responsible for testing any medications or vaccinations whatsoever. They simply rely on the studies conducted by the drug manufacturer. Gardisal is a great example....1,200 girls were tested before the FDA approved it and the marketing campaign began. Now, parents are coming out of the woodwork claiming that it caused their daughter's facial paralysis and Guillain Barre Syndrome. These are life-long side effects.

**please refer to my other posting on how the Rotarix vaccine recently received approval by the FDA. Another great example.

Now, depending upon how many parents and doctors actually report these side effects (less than 10% do according to the CDC)to VAERS will determine how fast they will pull it from the market. The only problem with that is that you have up to 3 yrs. to file a report. Out of the thousands of parents that have reported it (Gardisil), an estimated 2% are currently "valid". So, how long do you think Gardisil will remain on the market despite the thousands of parents that have filed a report? At least 3 years I am estimating.

Again, the FDA does not test anything. It's not their job they say.

Now, the school tells me that I should medicate my child for his ADHD? I don't think so. I am not going to medicate him to temporarily fix the problem only to have him be suffering from something else 5 yrs. down the line.

Just an FYI too.....many LD's mimic ADHD-inattentive type I am learning. If no medications have been effective, you might want to seek another opinion as to whether or not the child even has ADHD.

Back to top Profile Email
PT1
Joined Mar 07, 2005
Posts: 34

Other Topics
Posted:Mar 06, 2008 8:11:16 PM

Hi,

Be very careful of getting your son caught in the psychiatric treadmill of meds that he might not never get off of. It sounds like from your post that he reacts violently to medications.

Let me tell you the story of Laurie Yorke, an RN who runs the Paxil Progress Boards. Her son was put on Paxil for panic attacks. To make a long story short, he got worse on Paxil and when an MD put him on a way too fast tapering schedule, he became psychotic. They tried to claim he was BP which fortunately, Laurie didn't buy. She got him off the med and he has been fine mentally just like he was befor being put on the drug. He still have some physical problems.

Your son needs to be tapered very slowly off of the strattera. Do not let the doctors taper him too fast because if you do, that is where the symptoms of killing others and dying come from. Remember that is what happened to Laurie Yorke's son, Ryan. Laurie feels very lucky that her son didn't kill people during his Paxil withdrawal.

The recommended tapering rate is 10% of the current dose every 3 to 5 weeks. Your son might need to taper even more slowly.

I apologize if I seem out of line. But I am very worried.

PT

PS - By the way, I am not scientologist so people are clear about that.

Quote xanesmom:

When my son was on Adderall he became more violent. He
tried to stab me with a knife. We took him off that and two years later we have him on Strattera. The Strattera makes him more aggressive, makes him feel like bugs are crawling on his skin, makes him nervous and scared of everything. He can't eat, he can't sleep, he wets the bed, and he's regressed back into baby talk. He's five! The doctor's won't let me take him off because if we do then he starts talking of killing others and dying. We are looking in to getting him assessed for bi-polar the only problem is where we live no one wants to diagnose him this young. I have a friend whose daughter committed suicide on medication that was suppose to help her bi-polar and now this friends son is being treated for ADHD with the same medication and is having thoughts of suicide. This is a very serious issue and the doctor's need to start treating it as such.

Back to top Profile Email
Parent21
Joined Mar 14, 2008
Posts: 2

Other Topics
Posted:Mar 14, 2008 11:13:03 AM

Not sure what area you are in, the ADD ADHD Child Treatment Center Dallas can help. You might give them a call at 972-943-0410

Back to top Profile Email