Ok here is my rant. I am exhausted. I am my 15 year old sons alarm clock, secretary, schedual keeper, hygiene manager ( boys are gross lol) food manager and more. Morning routines, nigjt time, homework etc....all need me monitoring amd reminding and cueing, and keeping him on task amd this alone is not easy. He fights it. I have tried it all. Stepping out completely....using Alexa, reminders on phone, writing it down, notes. None of it works. I have stepped out completely but because he doesn't seem to learn from his mistakes .....he fails Over amd over and over....I no longer make his lunches ..haven't since grade 8 so he goes all day with no food. He couldn't be bothered to make his lunch but then panicks because he's losing weight......but refuses to make a lunch. How is this kid ever going to function on his own????? He does not put any effort into beimg responsible for himself but wants us to back off..Not to mention, the emotional moody out bursts, staying up way to late and being tired amd miserable next day amd super argumentative. He's almost 16! He took himself off of medication in gr 9 due to massive amounts of weight he lost. Please tell me I am not alone 🙏 we have had so many chats with him. We created small goals..one thing at a time to work on. This past month has been just him getting up on his own for school. I take his phone if he can't and misses the bus .....but still a fight. I am so ready for him to be more independent with these things but he doesn't seem to be able to handle it.
Feeling overwhelmed: Ok here is my rant... - CHADD's ADHD Pare...
CHADD's ADHD Parents Together
It’s a lot for sure! Have you worked with a child psych at all? We’ve been going through his pediatrician mostly but just started seeing a child psych and I’m am feeling much better about it. We don’t love what we’ve seen with ADHD meds either and the new psych thinks anxiety is mostly the concern. He wants him to stop adhd meds once school is over in the next few days and he wants to treat the anxiety first. You are not alone! I hope this helps you think about some different options.
You are not alone. I am going through the same thing. I feel like my 16 year old son’s body double and it is frustrating.We are thinking of having put him on medication, but finding an available psychiatrist who accepts insurance is very daunting. I am a bit skeptical about it though given the adverse side effects.
I am also thinking of him doing CBT and biofeedback therapy. Have you tried these?
This could be me for sure. I had (have) such a hard time understanding why my kid didn’t “want” to do obvious stuff. I would wonder if your son is experiencing depression, anxiety or anything else in addition to the ADHD. If he’s as defended as you describe, he might have a hard time accepting help for those issues. Have you thought about family therapy? Or at least therapy for yourself? I am right in the middle of the issues you’re talking about with my 13 yo and I am making so much more progress with the therapist’s advice than I was on my own. I am definitely in the same boat as you - I think a lot of parents with ADHD teens are.
Hey I see a therapist too for my own struggles with it , he refuses to do any therapy and I don't blame him. When he was in grade 8 we saw an adhd specialist. Thought it would really help. But specialists only goal was to hit optimal medication level. Meanwhile, my son had dropped to 70 pounds amd was barely eating. When he tried to bring uo his feelings about his body, and how awful he felt, he was dismissed. That has done a number on him so he no longer has any interest in therapy or help. My husband is a social worker so we do our best here but he struggles wiru body image issues now ams spends 6 days a week in the gym building muscle.
Are there some quick tips from your therapist that you can share? I am in the same boat with my 12 yr old.
For me, what's been the most helpful is being mindful of where I need to set better boundaries. It's so hard when our kids need additional support to take a step back and let them do it their way - and experience the consequences. The therapist is good at telling me where I need to be tougher. She's very nice about it, though
Could you work with a child psychiatrist & try non-stimulant meds? Both my boys are doing well on those. Actually Zoloft helped my older son the most & improved his eating because he wasn’t so anxious. I was totally apprehensive about meds but my kids are functioning much better with them.
You are not alone and I could have written your post. One of the most helpful reminders that the psychologists have explained is that ADHD is very much a physiological neurological condition that needs to be constantly managed (similar to diabetes. or another underlying health condition). But it is so difficult because the behaviors often manifest as motivation and relatability challenges that we think could be different if only their attitude would change (but that’s just not what we’re dealing with).
The neurological differences make learning the routine daily parts of life much more difficult. My son’s therapist said to think of it in terms of it taking 10x more experiences to learn the behaviors vs. a neuro normative child, due to the neurological pathway differences. It is exhausting!
While certainly not perfect, medication has helped a lot! Encourage revisiting that aspect with a child psychiatrist, in conjunction with his own therapist for behavior work. A full neuro psychological evaluation from an educational psychologist would likely be very valuable for him and the whole family! Parts of the evaluation can be shared with teachers to give them a better picture of how he learns and what accommodations are needed and where the specific challenges are. And the insights will likely help support areas that would help you too (at least that is my experience) on the home front. It can also help identify any other issues that might be at play, such as depression or anxiety. Hang in there! It’s not easy.
Oh, I should add: my son is very small for his age (2-3 percentile for height & weight). Slow growth and delayed puberty. Strattera (non-stimulant) has less affect on appetite and has worked well for him for many years. But now at age 15 his growth is improving and we are going to try a stimulant because the Strattera is not helping him enough anymore. Having my son hear directly from the endocrinologist the importance of eating more fat and planning his meals and snacks seemed to help a little more than only hearing it from me.
As the mom of a now-27 year old son, I can tell you that medication is biggest help at this age. Their brains are just not ready for serious therapy - my son's therapist told me this when he was 16! I don't think that your son should be the one deciding if he takes meds or not - would you allow him to stop taking meds or diabetes or another illness? His brain won't be fully "cooked" until about age 25. In the meantime, there will be a lot of highs and even more lows. I am curious as to how he does in school?
Regarding the medication: he may not have been on the right med for him or a high enough dose. As someone on this thread pointed out, it's really a constant balancing act with ADHD to get the best effect. And yes, there are always side effects, but the pros outweighed the cons for us. To use the diabetes example again: there are some people who have diabetes and do well with diet control - they don't need the medication because they can manage their food intake themselves. And then there are some who cannot (or choose not) to manage it and must take meds to regulate it. Or some who have too severe disease and must take medication to stay healthy. This is how I see ADHD - some kids have a more mild case and can manage with assistance from school and home. And then there are those who just need the meds along with all the other help they get. That was my son! He took medication until recently when his insurance refused to pay for the Vyvanse (which he liked the best), but he is returning to college this semester (on his dime and with a full-time job) and he has asked his doctor to prescribe Ritalin because that will be covered. The take-away here is that he does realize that he really does better in school with a stimulant medication. ADHD does not ever seem to go away, but it seems more manageable when their brains are finally mature.
Aw I'm so glad your son is doing well We tried many different meds and doses. Took us a year to find one that worked the best. Unfortunately the weight loss and being teased for being skin amd bones was something he couldn't handle anymore. He has spent the last year and a bit at the gym and has made huge progress there amd his Co fidemce is much better. Thats a plus !
Just wanted to add.. only with a child psychartist was: dose, type and timing considered. Everyday we also work on protein intake so that our son continues to grow in a healthly manner.
Our son understands that his medication make him not feel very hungry at times. But I tell you now that he is growing he could eat a horse! When it is his favoriate foods.
Our son uses a stimulant and non stimulant together and it has been the best for him.
Your insight has been very helpful to me thank you! (Thank you all for taking your time to share!) What is your sons diagnosis and what is the mix of stimulants and non-stimulants that he takes? Thank you!