Reason’s We Medicate our ADHD Child

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*I am not a doctor and I only write about my experiences and my opinions. Please contact and talk to a doctor before making any decisions.

To medicate or not to medicate? That is the question.

When you have a child diagnosed with ADHD or ADD this is a BIG question.

This was the question my family was asking as well.

What is the best option? Should we try all natural home remedies? Just change his diet? Therapy? Or medicate and see what happens?

Personally, I’m from the perspective of doing everything and anything that will help my child thrive and succeed.

You can read my post on alternative treatments for ADHD. We had implemented all of those before we decided that medication was the next step for my sons well being. You can read more about our story here.

reasons I medicate my adhd child

C has now been on ADHD medication for 4 years. 

It has been an amazing help with his attention and calming his hyperactivity. 

But before I talk more about the benefit my son experienced from medication, I would like to talk about what is ADHD and what ADHD medication is all about.

According to psychiatry.org ADHD is defined as:

“Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is one of the most common mental disorders affecting children. ADHD also affects many adults. Symptoms of ADHD include inattention (not being able to keep focus), hyperactivity (excess movement that is not fitting to the setting) and impulsivity (hasty acts that occur in the moment without thought).

An estimated 8.4 percent of children and 2.5 percent of adults have ADHD.1,2 ADHD is often first identified in school-aged children when it leads to disruption in the classroom or problems with schoolwork. It can also affect adults. It is more common among boys than girls.”

ADHD is real!

I love this article from kaiserpermanente.org on ADHD myths.

Now lets talk about ADHD medication.

Type of ADHD medication

Stimulant Medication

  • Amphetamines, such as Adderall and Dexedrine.
  • Methylphenidate, such as Concerta, Metadate CD, and Ritalin.

attitudemag.com has a good explanation of the medications.

“The key neurotransmitters deficient in ADHD brains are norepinephrine and dopamine. The primary medications used to treat ADHD stimulate specific cells within the brain to produce more of these deficient neurotransmitters — thus the descriptive label “stimulants.””

Non-Stimulate Medication

  • Atomoxetine (Strattera).
  • Clonidine (Kapvay).
  • Guanfacine (Intuniv).

These medications work the opposite way that stimulant medication does.

understood.org says this:

“Targets the brain chemical norepinephrine. Can improve attention and reduce impulsivity and hyperactivity.”

This website also has a great comparison sheet between the stimulant and non stimulant medications.

Side Affects of ADHD Medications

Your child can experience all, some or none of these. You may need to try different medications to find the right one that will not affect your child negatively.

  • Loss of appetite.
  • Headaches.
  • Upset stomach.
  • Sleep problems or drowsiness.

Reasons I medicate my son

-It was the right next step

We already altered his diet. He is already in ABA therapy. We have already altered the way we discipline and structure our home life.

-It is a proven method to treat ADHD

I trust the method that has been around for years and that has worked for many people.

reasons I medicate my adhd child

-I don’t want my son to struggle so much

With medication it is easier for him to focus and to make the right decisions. My most favorite thing C said to me after starting on the medication is how “my brain is working now”. And that is to the contrast when he isn’t on his medication, such as early morning he would say “my brain isn not working right now!” Whenever he would get frustrated.

-It is what is right for my son and our family

WE don’t make decisions lightly. We talked to doctors, read about medication, went to parenting classes and prayed on this for a while. Once my son tried it we knew this is what is right for him.

He became calm, but not a zombie. He was able to make good decisions, and differentiated right from wrong.

The sweet loving boy I knew was in there somewhere came out!

My favorite part is he started speaking. He was always verbal to some extent. He wasn’t silent and was able to communicate through individual words and sign language. But once he was on medication his speech and language took off! It was like a miracle.

After reading all this information, I want you to remember this, mama:

You know your family best. You know your child best. You and your family will make the best decision. Medication may be the best for your child, or maybe other alternative treatments will work just as well. It is up to you.

You got this, mama!

“Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these” – Luke 18:16

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