I have asked myself this question many times with my children. When is it okay to medicate? I’m not talking about Tylenol or something like that. I am talking about children that have been diagnosed with behavioral problems. When are they too young to put them on a medication to help manage the behavior?
When my oldest was in Kindergarten he had a hard time sitting still and we were urged to have him tested for ADHD. I wanted him to be successful in school, so I asked his pediatrician. We filled out form after form and he was diagnosed and put on meds. They did calm him down and he did better in school, but they started to make him to where he couldn’t sleep. Eventually we took him off the meds and he did fine.
I don’t think he should have been medicated at all.
I think he was put on medication when it was really that he just wasn’t mature yet. It was an easy way out. The teachers didn’t have to deal with him when he was medicated. I couldn’t be happier to have taken him off the meds.
My daughter has been having so many issues lately. If you have been reading my blog, you would know a little about that. You can read about that here and here. We have tried so many different things. Time out, taking away things, writing sentences, ignoring the fits, trying to talk to her about it……all of this on top of counseling. I had one counselor who said she didn’t know what else to have us try. REALLY? She’s 8 years old and you are out of ideas.
What am I supposed to do then?
We were taking her to counseling, a psychiatrist and had in-home counseling. Nothing they were telling me to do was working. While her fits were quite as bad as they had been (no kicking or anything anymore), there were still fits all day, every day about the smallest things.
The psychiatrist finally recommended we try a medication to help calm her down. He didn’t want to do it, and neither did I…but at this point, I needed something to work.
So we did it.
We put her on Zoloft. The day we started the medication, I had to go to work and left while she was screaming at the top of her lungs. She was being mean to everyone, especially my husband and was just uncontrollable. Two hours after taking her little pill she was calmed down and laying on the couch with my husband watching a movie.
Is this the same child?
She has been on the medication now for six days. There have been no fits. She gets a little annoyed with her brothers, but her fits don’t ever get out of control. Woah! Why didn’t we start this sooner? She actually wants to take the pill each morning and is so much happier.
Her overall attitude is different and she is loving and amazing. She needed the medication. I know not everyone will agree with me, but it is working for her. She is happy and is able to play with the kids in the neighborhood and her own brothers without fights.
I hope that she grows out of her need for the meds, but for right now, I’m very happy we have them!