Have you ever stopped medicating??? - CHADD's ADHD Pare...

CHADD's ADHD Parents Together

13,887 members4,417 posts

Have you ever stopped medicating???

HanDor profile image

After years of medication to help with ADHD and/or ASD, has anyone decided to stop medicating? My son is 14yo and has been on some form of a stimulant or non-stimulant with anxiety meds since he was 7. I have been having this nagging feeling that maybe he would be happier and more 'himself' if off the meds. Thoughts? Advice? Anything.

7 Replies

Our son, when he leaves our house can make that choice if he wants, but the medication is required to function and do well in school. In reading many posts on the group site it never sounds like it works out to stop the medication becuase if it fails you can't get them back on it.

Good luck!

No we haven’t ever stopped medicating but my college student with adhd stopped at college and had a terrible semester. He had never realized how much his medication helped him while living at home (I always made sure he took it) so the next semester he became motivated to take it and did great in school.

Through high school I always made sure he took it so he never saw what it was like without it (except weekends when he didn't take it).

So now going into adulthood he sees that he needs it and actually wants to take it because he feels so much calmer and in control. He actually wants to take it on weekends too now even when he’s not doing schoolwork just because he feels so much better on it. I feel like he will be a successful adult just being disciplined about taking his medication independently.

Also, our psychiatrist said he has seen time and time again where people think they’re doing better so they stop taking their meds and everything falls apart. Sometimes a small vacation from meds helps one see how much they really do benefit from them.

That is our experience! 😊

I once read a very nice way to describe having ADHD. They said " it's like living in a fog.. the medication is like a fan blowing it all clear".

ADHD is not my son; my son has ADHD. Without medications, my son struggles to break through and usually does not succeed. One could argue that a paralyzed child is more "himself" without his (pesky) wheelchair, but I'd never deprive a child his wheelchair. Similarly, I do not withhold needed medication from my son. ADHD would take over and my son would cease to be the person he feels good about being.

I would also add that if your son seems unhappy, or not like himself, the meds might need to be adjusted or changed.

One medication we tried caused my son to be more emotional, so we switched it and he was back to his happy self.

My 16 year old grandson is doing well in the collegiate program at Namaan. He would never have gotten there without help from his medication. It has had to be adjusted several times as he grew.

My about-to-be 17yo son, diagnosed with ADHD when he was 8, gave up meds when the pandemic started, then recently tried them again when his grades slipped. After seven doses, he started to feel sick and get headaches and ditched them again. We're meeting with a meds doc soon to get an idea of options he has including new medications, but I have to admit that he's doing extremely well in terms of organizing and handing in homework (his grades are As & Bs this quarter), being punctual, not rushing to anger, calming down quickly, driving, maintaining a very healthy social life and doing laundry/cleaning up his room before going out with friends. He's still struggling to focus on virtual classes, he's cursing a bunch and has bouts of disrespectfulness with his sister & parents, but he's keeping it together weeks after re-stopping meds. Setting rules, following through with them and being consistent have helped so much. I think we're kinda lucky here but it's some evidence that ADHD kids can function just fine after medication.

You may also like...