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Son 16 and ADHD

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Old 10-24-2008, 12:41 PM   #1
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Default Son 16 and ADHD

I will try to keep this short and still give as much info as possible.

5 yrs old taken to therapy due to night terrors and anger issues told he has acute separation anxiety. Just do some therapy on and off told doing well move into family therapy until about 8. Not really changing much but this is my first child and I believe when they tell me he seems fine and to move on.

Back into therapy when a 3rd grade teacher asks me to have him checked for ADHD and basically he meets all the criteria according to teacher's paperwork. We do therapy, not a big fan of meds. This is sporadic, mostly for anger issues. Stopped approx. 2003.

Then in Dec. of 2004 child takes a knife from his collection to school and threatens a bully and a friend. Expelled. We start family therapy, him one on one, my one on one, and meds for both. His diagnosis is ADHD, Bipolar Disorder (they tell me but put II in the paperwork), Anger issues. He is given meds for ADHD, and Bipolar.

In the last four years he has been treated for ADHD and Bipolar and has never really been mentally stable. He has had good moments and I do mean moments.

He suffers from terrible anxiety and I can't seem to make this clear to his pdoc, he just keeps saying the Abilify is supposed to help that. His ADHD meds help to a point but only at first and only in school. He is still hyper and seriously irritating and picks until he pushes the right buttons lol.

Within the last few months I have been talking to John Hopkins University Hospital because I had put in for us to be part of a Bipolar study and after talking to them on and off for a couple of months they turned me down saying that my son sounds like he does not have Bipolar Disorder but more like Generalized Anxiety Disorder. This sets off bells and explains a lot of things because I have been wanting them to try an antidepressant and something just for anxiety for a long time and they won't.

Then after my son developing the beginnings of an ulcer in two areas we spoke to his pdoc and I told him what John Hopkins said and that the new Vyvanse was making him manic then we discontinued the Vyvanse, gave Klonopin, and halved his Abilify.

Now he is not exhibiting any signs of ADHD. Has no trouble concentrating on his school work, is very mellow, not that loud talkative, pacing, throwing himself around teenager that he was a few months ago. He still has the anxiety and depression but I am confused.

I am wondering if the ADHD could have been anxiety all along and triggered similar symptoms and now that the anxiety is being treated the symptoms are gone.

Even when he was on ADHD meds he was still hyper. I don't know, I am a mental head case myself and have been trying to keep this kids head above water for years and now after all of this time I hate to think that I let them, let him go this route for so long.

Does anyone have any ideas? Thoughts? Maybe ask in a different forum?

Thanks all

houghchrst is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-28-2008, 04:24 PM   #2
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Well obviously no one has any idea on this one.

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Old 12-15-2008, 05:34 PM   #3
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I posted on another thread and I have no answers for your issue, but wanted to say, we've been through something kind of similiar. We've struggled with my DD 18 since she was in pre-school. Everyone said ADD (she was not hyper at all). We are once again on ADD meds, hopefully they work this time. She didn't take ADD meds until she was 16, I was really against it for a long time and finally gave in and was willing to try anything that may help. But I think it's all a big guess and you have to do what you think is best for your child, even if it means getting several opinions.

Best of luck!
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Old 12-19-2008, 12:59 AM   #4
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i am 18 and have adhd it is true adhd is atention defficet hyperactivity disorder but what most of us dont reaise is that adhd is more common than we all think i know of several people who are adhd but dont seem like it at all. heres a little known fact did you know that albert einstine also had adhd??? what might have seemed as anxiety is if it was diagnosed corectly as ahdh is in fact adhd your son might have just outgrown it i have had to deal with mine till this last year and i am 18 now shortly after i turned 18 however i took myself off my adhd meds and quit cold turkey to devastating side effects for a couple of weeks i was to hyperactive but after a while i got use to not taking my meds and like your son i mellowed out some people outgrow it while they are still young. for others like me and your son it takes awhile longer hope this has been some help to you.
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Old 12-21-2008, 01:30 AM   #5
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My Mood: Son 16 and ADHD

hi ! houghchrst,

is your son drinking any diet sodas or absorbing anything else containing aspartame ? you might be interested in reading what BobbyB posted a few days ago:

“Sweet Poison” on the ALS forum, ALS News & Research

sorry i can't give you the direct link to it, as i currently have only 9 approved posts and i need to have 10 to be able to put a link... i'm sure you will be able to find it easily

take care and have a great winter SOLstice !


Monday, Feb. 9: FULL MOON - Tuesday, Feb. 24: New Moon - Tuesday, March 10: FULL MOON


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Old 11-14-2017, 06:32 PM   #6
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Hi houghchrst!!

My son was diagnosed with ADHD when he was 7. Immediately his dad was all gungho about getting him on medication. His stepmom (who is also a nurse like I am) and I.....not so much. We kind of ganged up on him and told him that until the ADHD started effecting his school work, classroom and grades negatively we won't be medicating him.

He is 15 now and in 10th grade and while the unmedicated ADHD is still not effecting school at all. He has always been a straight A student. He started taking 2 AP classes in 8th grade (math & Science) and is still in them and is also taking Anatomy and Physiology (He wants to be a DR.) as an elective.

When he was diagnosed, we had taken him to the DR because he was having these unexplained angry outbursts among a handful of other little weird quirks we were worried about. The last year I have noticed these angry outbursts happening more frequently and with more intensity than before. I started doing some research a few months ago and started coming across all these articles written about how in children, Bipolar Disorder and ADHD have some symptoms that overlap. This makes it hard to diagnose either or in a child and why a lot of children are misdiagnosed as one or the other or both.

Reading your post made me wonder if his dr was like "Screw it. I can't make up my mind on which I think it is, so we will treat both and see which medication works and take him off the med that doesn't. Boom, problem solved." I also started wondering if the Vyvanse wasn't exacerbating his Anxiety Disorder causing him to become so manic. If you take stimulant drugs and don't actually have ADHD it's really just medical grade speed. Could you imagine having a serious anxiety disorder and being all messed up on a potent stimulating drug. Poor kid, no wonder he became manic. I'm so glad that he was finally properly diagnosed.

It ****** me off that Dr's won't listen to their patients or patients caregivers more. I never realized just how awful the healthcare system really was until my husband was diagnosed with RSD 10 years ago.

They think that really expensive degree they have proves that they are smarter and more inferior to us little people. Here is the thing though, they might have fancy degrees and a pretty little title after their name but they have absolutely no idea what is really going on inside of us. Just because a couple of symptoms we are presenting doesn't fit the little cookie cutter diagnosis mold they are trying to stuff us in at the time, they tell us we are lying or drug seeking or they end up misdiagnosing.

OR if you try and make a suggestion about anything involving your diagnosis and treatment plan, some will shrug it off maybe laugh or make a sarcastic joke about it, but most get really mad or indignant or holier than thou. And then if they decide not to kick you out of their practice for questioning them, they treat you like garbage and give you subpar care, which is completely against their Hippocratic Oath.

Sorry, I kinda just went off there. I'm having a ridiculously horrible day today coupled with the fact I'm not really feeling all warm and fuzzy towards not only Dr's but the healthcare system as a whole today. Lol!!

AND the whole point of this long *** post is:::

You should really google: Bipolar Disorder presenting as ADHD in children and read some of those articles.
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Old 12-07-2017, 07:51 PM   #7
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This is one lapse in the mental health industry. They just slap the anxiety or depression or stress diagnosis early on without digging deeper. Or maybe because the science is not that vast at this time? It's only been a few years since mental health was considered a serious matter.
I so know how you feel. I feel the same way with my son, he has ASD/ADHD. He doesn't other kids but he self-harms. He's not on meds but from what I have seen with other kids in his OT center, meds are helping.
Have you brought your child to a different specialist?
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