General Question

trailsillustrated's avatar

What do you think about ADD medication for a young teen-ager?

Asked by trailsillustrated (16789points) October 11th, 2010

I’ve written about some of the problems I’ve been having with my daughter on here. Anyway, today she told me she is having trouble concentrating. She says she can’t focus. She is doing poorly in school, I’ve seen the work and think with a bit of effort she would have no problems. She’s 14. She thinks she might be ADD. I’m really leery about any phsychiatric or other medications for someone that young. I’ve made an appointment with her paediatritian. Do you think medication for ADD in a young teen is dangerous?

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8 Answers

toaster's avatar

this & this
I think the sudden issue of add around that age reflects a newly aquired interest in the opposite sex, which can be distracting. Alternative options should be considered before dosing.

tranquilsea's avatar

I think it is important to get to the bottom of why she can’t concentrate. It could be ADD but it could also be a whole host of other things.

Fourteen is sucky age. Lots of peer pressure combined with raging hormones can equal a zoned out teenager.

WestRiverrat's avatar

I think drugs are over prescribed for ADD, ADHD and all the mutations. It is easier for parents, counselors, and teachers to deal with a teen that is drugged than to deal with the normal teen issues.

If you want professional help, I would advise a psychologist over a psychiatrist. Try it without the drugs first, if it doesn’t work, you can always bring the drugs in later.

HelpMeFluth's avatar

Get Adderall. I have a blast every time I take one. It gets me buzzing real good plus I can concentrate hard. That will cure any ADD

SundayKittens's avatar

^^yep to westriverrat!!^^
as someone who works with teenagers and was diagnosed with ADD at 14, I really think it’s over diagnosed and is a lot of the times just being a teenager in an era of instant gratification and constant stimulation. Crucial combo.
Only medicate as a last resort. You don’t want her to get used to meds solving problems that she can fix herself! Keep us updated!

skfinkel's avatar

I also would be very cautious about giving a young girl such drugs. These “conditions” seem to go along with new drugs they are discovering, and who even knows the long term effects on still developing brains? I would look carefully at the school itself, see how they are teaching (does it focus on the student or on some random curriculum), does she have other interests which show her intelligence that might indicate this is a school issue and not an issue of her brain. And certainly I would go to a therapist that is not interested in prescribing drugs quickly.

Cupcake's avatar

I would read this and talk to a well-respected physician.

My 14 year old is on ADHD medication and has been since 4th grade. He exhibited symptoms since he was months old. He has fairly severe ADHD which impacts every area of his life. I trust his pediatrician and her approach to treatment has seemed very reasonable to me.

I have two thoughts to share:
1. To meet diagnostic criteria, she must have had symptoms causing impairment before the age of 7. If this is new-onset distraction, I would severely doubt she has ADHD.
2. There are many things that can cause concentration/focus/school issues. Sleep, anxiety, depression, other psychological/psychiatric issues, peer pressure, other social issues, major life changes, etc. are just a short list of the possibilities.

I would suggest that you talk to her, a lot. Try to find out what is beneath it. Bring her to a pediatrician, psychiatrist or therapist (or all three!). Have her keep a journal of her daily events as well as any concerns she has (mood, distractability, irritability, anxiety, etc.).

You guys have been through a lot lately. If I were you, I would definitely NOT jump into medication for ADHD without thorough investigation and ruling out other likely possibilities.

viscaria1800's avatar

Im 14 and I think I have really bad ADD too, my grades are getting worse, but a lot of my friends have meds and it seems to help them improve their work and get organized a lot. I personally need it myself but don’t have any because my mom doesn’t want to give me the test. I don’t think it could do anything but good :)

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