I told the Dr. there was no way I was taking my kid OFF all her meds…

photo credit: ashley rose, via photopin cc

photo credit: ashley rose, via photopin cc

My jaw drops to floor as I hear the words coming out of the psychiatrist’s mouth.

“At this point I think it would be a good idea to take her off everything.  We will have a fresh start and be able to tell if it is chemical or behavioral.” 

I immediately felt sick to my stomach.  We’ve gone without any meds before and it was pure hell.  The violence increases, the mood swings go out of control.  I don’t know if I could handle it again.

My head is shaking no as I look over to her BMS (Behavior Management Services) and he is shaking his head yes.  I felt a state of panic come over my body, but what am I supposed to do.  Shouldn’t he be on MY side.  Shouldn’t he understand what this will do to my family?

When I’m asked what I think, I tell them that I’ve tried it before and had really bad experiences.  I am reassured I have a new team I’m working with and I’ll have more support than I did back then.

I get that….BUT……can my family handle this right now?

Earlier this week we had an outburst that caused us to keep her in a safety hold for over an hour.  We had the therapist on the phone, walking us through everything we should/shouldn’t be doing.  It was exhausting.  My family was holding on by a very thin thread.  We are tired, we are frustrated and just want a peaceful home.

I didn’t know what to do.  I felt like a little puppy, scared and shaking in the corner not knowing which way to run.  I didn’t want to do this but everyone else says this is what to do.  What do I do?!?

I agree, okay.  Fine.  You win.  How can I tell the professionals I think they’ve lost their minds?  Do they know what they are doing to our family?  Do they realized they are basically throwing us out to the wolves?  Do they even care?

Feeling defeated and my heart racing, I leave and call my husband.

“So, they are taking her off of all of her meds.”

“WHAT?!?!  Why would they do that?  I can’t believe they would do that!  I can’t believe YOU agreed to that!” 

It got much more colorful from there.  He was mad, and rightfully so.  Okay, so maybe I agreed and shouldn’t have.  What do you do when you’re backed into a corner though?

I called her therapist and told her what had happened.  She was surprised and said she’d talk it over with her boss.

A few hours later I get a call back and she wants to come talk to us.  Great……she’s no longer on our side.  

We have a meeting and she explains why it’s a good idea but says it is ultimately our choice.  We are the parents and we can disagree with the doctor.

In the end, we decide it’s best to keep her on her meds.  I called the doctor back this morning and told her that I need a prescription.  We can’t handle her without anything right now.  Maybe later, but I don’t care what the “professionals” have to say, this our family and we’re the ones that have to live with their “recommendations”.

What would you have done if this was your daughter?  Would you have accepted their recommendation and dealt with the out of control behavior or would you have spoke up and said there was no way in hell?



  1. Stephanie Franklin Crisp says

    I don’t feel like it is my “right” to tell you anything because I don’t deal with the same kinds of things. I want you to know I will be praying for you and the whole family as you try and find the right balance and for peace for the whole household. God bless you and I’m sorry you are dealing with this. Hopefully they can help you more than hurt you!!

  2. Miles says

    Amber I think you and your husband are in a tough spot. I am praying for you both and hope things move in a positive direction. As a parent I know this situation would be tough to cope with. The fact that you and your husband are doing as well as you are is fantastic. I can see the doctors position but I also see yours and know what it’s like to have to live with a family member who puts an enormous strain on the everyday family life. So, yes it was definitely a tough decision. I hope that you and your husband are able to step back and see how much you need each other to make it through this. From the little interaction I’ve seen between the two of you I know there’s lots of love between you both. My prayers and best wishes for you all.

  3. says

    We’ve been there, done that. If I had a new team come in and suggest that with Brandon, I would probably go off on them and ask for a new team, or try and find another doctor/service/referral that we could go to. Brandon isn’t quite as bad as your daughter, but he’s still bad. With meds, it’s better. Not perfect, but still better. There is no way I would want to take him off right now. Good luck and hang in there. You guys can come together as a family and make this work. You and your husband have to be strong and make sure you’re on the same page. That’s what will pull you guys through this.

  4. Kristi D says

    Sounds crazy for you and and it would be tough for me to advise you without being in your shoes. Whether you take your child off meds or not, I would make sure you do a whole foods, organic and as vegan as you can get away with, diet for her. Take a look at all the chemicals in your home (from shampoos and nailpolish, to detergents and cleaning products). Go natural and try to minimize chemicals as much as possible, so you can rule out all those things nasty things as contributing factors. Best of luck to you!

  5. Christina says

    What ever came of the EEG? I think that you have to do what is best for you and your family. We have made the choice to stop my daughters meds but she was suicidal (at six years old) and we weren’t sure which meds it was. We ended up having to go impatient due to the behaviors and severe seizures she has. What was the reasoning for them wanting to stop the mess? Do you feel they are helping? Only you and your family live with her daily and know what is best for her.

    • says

      The EEG came back normal, so nothing there. They only want to stop the meds because it seems that nothing is really working. She is sensitive to everything, so we have lots of side effects and still violent behavior. I don’t think the meds are the right ones, but they do help some…and some is better than none at this point and time.

      • Christina says

        Its hard, my daughters seizure meds have caused violent outbursts (but sometimes she has them leading up to major seizures too). Yet, the risks are worse without them or even at lower doses.. she’s never come out of a grand mal seizure on her own (and is usually out of it for about 24 hours after one). Even on the meds she has severely abnormal EEG’s. They are better now, but not good. Its hard when you have to weigh the pros and cons. With the meds we had to take her off and ended up inpatient, on the way to the hospital (hubby was out of town at the time, my mom had to keep the other kids so I had no choice but to go on my own) she got herself out of her carseat (we bought a new seat with a higher weight limit & 5 point harness thinking she was safer) in seconds and was trying jump out of the moving van (so thankful for the child safety locks on doors!). Hugs and prayers for you & your family, hope you can find the right plan of action soon.

  6. Amanda Green says

    My best friend adopted a young girl that had MULTIPLE issues coming into foster care at age 2. At age 2 she was on 1 med… age 3 she was on 2 meds… age 4 -4 meds and now she’s age 9 and on 5! Two months ago her physician recommend that they stop ALL drugs for 2 weeks! And same as you she had done this 2 yrs ago (but for a different reason) and had a HORRIBLE time! Temper tantrums, outbursts, drama, flailing of limbs, hitting walls, breaking toys, safety holds….it was bad! So she said the same thing…. I don’t think this is good…can’t we keep her on 2 or 3? Their family had grown too! They adopted 2 other children. And school was in…. so she had to take care of 5 children AND cope with a distressed child. They wanted to take her off all meds and re evaluate what meds she needed and adjust dosing accordingly. So with that in mind (she didn’t want her girl getting meds she didn’t NEED) so she endured 2.5 weeks…of hell. I even watched the girl for a few hrs one evening to give my friend a break. Anyway it’s now a month later. Shes on a new med and only 1 other! So from 5 meds to 2! And she’s slowly showing improvement! The meds have had to take a week or so to get in her system. Now she’s more loving already! Which before seemed like a mission or a great task to show love! So from her experience (and somewhat mine) it’s a very very good thing to stop meds completely every now and then and if you have a great doc she really does have your best interests at heart. They understand the hardships that are set before you ..but do you really really think they recommend such a thing if it wasn’t necessary? :) Whatever you choose, I hope it works best for your family! And maybe, just maybe she’s now taking something she doesn’t need or maybe there’s now something out there that better suited to help her ;)

    • says

      I think that her going med-free is something we may try down the road..but at the moment the entire family is very….fragile. We’re so tired already that having to deal with 2 weeks of no meds would probably drive one of us over the edge. I don’t know that we could handle it…right now. We’re starting a parenting program called Circle of Security, once we get some of that in the works, then I think it will be worth a shot…but for now….even if the meds aren’t perfect, they help with the violence…some.

  7. Lee Ann Kaplan says

    Look into Genesis pure! People and children with beahvioral disorders including severe PTSD have been able to be completely med free naturally.

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