General Question

seazen_'s avatar

Do any parents of teens here have experience with Ritalin and the like?

Asked by seazen_ (4801points) April 16th, 2011

Care to share your/their experience with it?

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8 Answers

filmfann's avatar

My nephew seemed to always be doing 3 things at once. You try to stop the damage he is doing here, and he is already damaging something in another room.
The doctors told her Ritalin would fix this, but she resisted. It wasn’t until he took too much of a cold medicine or something that she saw the potential effect.
Once he got on Ritalin, he was much more managable.
I often talk to parents who don’t want to “drug out” their kids, thinking they could good-parent the problem away. I assure them they cannot. I am a big believer in it.

marinelife's avatar

I know someone who takes Wellbutrin for ADD and has had marvelous results with it. I would say that it has changed his life.

Cupcake's avatar

My son (14) started out with Ritalin and then switched to Adderall and Strattera. He also takes a shorter acting Adderall in the afternoon at school (under the careful watch of the school nurse). Although he hates taking medicine (and has gotten in huge trouble for pretending to take it while throwing pills in the garbage), he acknowledges that he does so much better with medicine. Strattera helps his emotions be better regulated and Adderal helps with impulsiveness.

I would say he has severe ADHD. He fails school and can’t even get it together enough to brush his teeth or eat lunch at school without medicine. When he refuses to take his medicine, I foresee us heading down a path where I will not be able to live under the same roof as him. When he takes it, life is (mostly) great.

I’ve certainly had my moments of feeling like I push pills instead of “parent better”, whatever that might mean. But I do a good job providing structure and support and being in contact with school to help him do his best. We also often talk to his pediatrician about his medicine and how he’s doing. Nonetheless, medicating your child is a difficult thing to do.

He is a brilliant and insightful young man. With focus and emotional regulation, he can do amazing things.

cloudvertigo's avatar

There is some question about whether this behavior is normal – an experimental phase in development. Nutritionally, does your candidate drink soda? Does he/she eat a lot of processed foods? If you’re still quite reluctant it may be something dietary.

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keobooks's avatar

I am an adult who takes Adderall. It changed my life. I was so disorganized and came close to flunking out of school when I was a teen. I flunked out of college three times and got fired for insubordination from a few jobs.

I had an almost overnight change from the medication. I felt like Charlie in flowers for Algernon. Things suddenly started making sense to me. People seem less offended by my behavior. I didn’t feel any different at all, but for the first time in my life I could get stuff done. I have just started re-taking it after my daughter was born. I plan to go to a coach so I can learn to focus my energy even better. Before, all the training and coaching in the world would have been a waste. I just couldn’t concentrate enough to get anything out of it.

Many people don’t see ADHD as a physical problem, they see it as a moral problem. If you were just better parents or if you were just had more self discipline. If this were so, the medication wouldn’t work for me. But it does. And I don’t get super hyper focused. I just do what needs to be done. I can see what needs to be done very clearly, where before I would not notice very simple things or I couldn’t figure out how to complete tasks.

seazen_'s avatar

These answers have been very helpful. Please keep them coming. Especially about ADD without the H.

knitfroggy's avatar

Though my son is not a teen, he takes Vyvanse. I was very against giving my child medicine until he was so unmanageable we couldn’t hardly stand it anymore. I decided to try it and if he seemed like a zombie, we’d try something else. The medicine has been nothing but wonderful for us. He can control himself and thrives in school. We tried taking him off the medicine for a few days and I called his teacher to see how he was doing. He was crawling on the floor under the desks, yelling out, bouncing, not doing his work, just basically doing all the things the medicine helps him to not do.

The only drawback is that he has trouble sleeping, which the doctor tried to blame on the ADHD, but he had no trouble sleeping before he began taking medicine. So, he takes Clonodine and Melatonin to sleep. The Vyvanse also kills his appetite and we’ve had lots of trouble with constipation and weight loss. As he’s gotten older his eating has been better and he’s stopped losing weight. They were concerned for a few months because he didn’t grow, but then he shot up a little and they quit worrying.

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