Teenage diagnosis experience - CHADD's ADHD Pare...

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Teenage diagnosis experience

BRMOM profile image

I am new , My 15year old daughter was recently diagnosed with ADHD inattentive type . We started therapy and met with a psychiatrist who recommended medication. I feel unsure about it. Can anyone share their experiences with a teenage diagnosis and what worked for them?

10 Replies

How is affecting her daily routine - school, friendships, home life? My son takes meds for adhd and anxiety but was without them for many years. He found it very hard to keep it together at school, and it took a toll. What does she think about therapy and meds? We talk extensively everyday about how the meds make him feel and what’s working and what’s not. You've gotta get buy in from teenagers because at some point you want them to be responsible for their own health and well being. Good luck!

pkasenetz profile image
pkasenetz in reply to Maryca1974

Hi, my son was 13 when dx w/ ADHD combined type but he is more inattentive type. We attempted several meds that did not work and we work with a psychiatrist that only specializes in ADHD. I have moved on to natural supplements that I discuss with her, he is doing fine, but I've also observed him maturing over the last year. Th beginning was rough but now we are treading along. We continue to monitor his sx's and I talk to him all the time about sx's. Good luck

BRMOM profile image
BRMOM in reply to pkasenetz

Did you doctor recommend the supplements? How did you come to your decision on what to use? There's so much stuff out there I cant get a handle on them.

BRMOM profile image
BRMOM in reply to Maryca1974

Thanks for your input. Right now its hard to get a true gauge but before the summer her school work was suffering. She's always been a very agreeable if not lazy kid so home life is pretty typical dealing with a teen. She seems to be navigating her friendships well . I think she's open to meds. I'm more unsure of them. The psychiatrist made a great case for them but I keep thinking if I just get the right routine, coach, tutor, supplements, diet... She can be successful with out them. This is the only place where I hear about meds being a good choice. It's just very overwhelming.

Redpanda5 profile image
Redpanda5 in reply to BRMOM

If I may interject - please listen to the psychiatrist.

At the beginning many parents try to “fix” the adhd with the perfect routine, diet, supplements, tutors, coaches, etc. Sadly, that most often just prolongs the teen’s suffering. Ask me how I know. 🙈

Also, the psychiatrist is where you unload your hopes, fears, etc. Tell them what bothers you — what you are worried about. You are paying them to shoulder the burden and lead you with their expertise. Let them. Once you come to this realization they become so valuable to the process!

MaudQ profile image
MaudQ in reply to BRMOM

I do think this group is overall pretty pro med but I chalk that up to folks having been there and done that. Much like Red Panda, we started with diet, therapy, routine, etc - and it turned out that medication reduced my child's suffering the most. We still do the other things, too - my understanding is that most research indicates that both medication and therapy are most effective when used other for ADHD. One thing you could do, since your kid is 15, is let her participate in the decision process. Our psychiatrist includes our daughter in discussion. Obviously, my 13 yo doesn't have the final say so - but I do think it's good for a teenager to feel some agency in managing their own heath. Good luck!

Poppydean profile image
Poppydean in reply to Maryca1974

My 15 year old was diagnosed with adhd and social anxiety. She takes Adderall for her adhd and finds it helps her with focus in school. Does your son take an additional medication for his anxiety? I would like her to try a very small dose of something for her anxiety. It's so hard to see her struggle so much with the social aspect of returning to school.

Maryca1974 profile image
Maryca1974 in reply to Poppydean

Anxiety and depression were the first things he was diagnosed with. So he was on citalopram first, then abilify. Now he’s also on concerta (for attn) and guanfacine (so he can take criticism). We don’t love having all these drugs - and have tried to wean him off abilify a year or so ago, and he was very aggressive. It’s been the only way to keep him functional, and we’re all grateful.

Great point. Thank you!

My daughter was 14 when she was diagnosed with adhd. She started therapy and decided to try medication. After a few adjustments of dosage, she noticed a difference. She decided not to take the meds in the summer, but likes taking them during school because she notices a big improvement in her focus.

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