ADHD To Treat or Not To Treat?

My eyes have been opened wide by my recent stint in homeschooling my daughter.  She is diagnosed ADHD and bipolar. She’s eleven.  We give her a mood stabilizer for the bipolar and that has really made a world of difference in leveling her out and keeping her grounded to reality.  There were a couple manic episodes where she completely lost touch and that was really scary.  I have always thought of the ADHD as kind of secondary, I have no experience with it and she seems to be doing so much better.  But sitting down with her for several hours a day, working through the curriculum with her I can see where it is definitely effecting her.  She rushes through everything, causing right answers to the wrong problems.  Her handwriting is atrocious because she can’t stand to take the time to write it out.  Everything is rush, rush, rush.  She’ll stop midsentence on composition and tell me a random fact she picked up in science.  We sped through six hours of scheduled work today in two and a half hours!?

The thing is, I am scared of ADHD meds, I don’t know anything about them or their side effects.  I DON”T KNOW ANYTHING ABOUT ADHD!  I have seriously got to research this, I’ve made the mistake of blowing it off for too long.  She is obviously struggling with this.  I feel like I need to do something about this right now. Right NOW. At best it will be weeks, most likely months with the hoops you have to jump through and transferring records, referrals and all that jazz.  I really feel for her teachers, hopefully we will have it in check by the fall.  Right now I just need to be patient, despite my current manic status, and know that there is no quick fix.  Just like our shared bipolar, there is no cure, all we can do is educate ourselves and manage as best we can.

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7 thoughts on “ADHD To Treat or Not To Treat?

  1. I have both ADHD and bipolar disorder, and I’m on meds for both. If you have any questions for me I’d be more than happy to answer them. I have symptoms similar to your daughter (the ADHD/Bipolar combo seems to promote that ‘rush’ mentality even more than just having one or the other).

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  2. I have 2 kids with ADHD. My oldest is my daughter. She is now 22. Not only does she have ADHD but she also has anxiety. She was officially diagnosed with ADHD in the 2nd grade. When I tell people that, they just scoff at me and tell me what a horrible parent I am. But the truth of the matter is, she was diagnosed during her second time in second grade. And she was actually, clinically, psychologically tested. Of course this was after the first doctor I took her to just threw pills at us, without a proper diagnosis! I didn’t give her meds UNTIL she was properly diagnosed. She was on a couple different meds due to the meds making her sick. But we finally found something that worked. I think the final med she was on was Straterra. As she got older she didn’t like being on the meds anymore because she didn’t like how they made her feel. But this was when she was in her mid-late teens. The meds helped her focus. I noticed a huge difference when she was on meds and off meds. My youngest son who is 13, also has ADHD. His is not nearly as bad as my daughters. He seems to manage his ADHD just fine without meds. His main problem is the impulsivity of the disorder. He knows though, that if it gets to a point where he can’t concentrate or things get bad, we can take him to the doctors to get meds. And our doctor is great, she will treat the symptoms not drug the child. It is a tough road to go down, especially when you throw BP into the mix. I wish you the best in the patience department. I know how difficult it can be to parent a child with ADHD, no matter where they are on the spectrum, when you are also trying to deal with your own bipolar disorder.

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  3. Angel is going to see a new Dr. in 2 weeks because her last one kept dismissing anything we had to say. We believe she is also Bipolar and they kept saying kids her age can’t be Bipolar, it’s just a phase. So my husband and I went yesterday to talk to the new Dr. and he said that by what we were discribing he also believes she may be Bipolar too. Zane also has some sort of learning disability and is believed to also have ADHD.He also goes in 2 weeks for his intake, so hopefully we will find out. I am also Bipolar, I also have BPD, PTSD and an anxiety disorder. We also home school the kids, so I know how you feel. Some days it’s real hard to get them to do anything or to stay focused and that’s hard for me. I just want to help them and I don’t know how, it makes me feel like a failure or I just don’t have the patience and/or get angry so I have to walk away. That’s when my husband comes in and “saves me”. So if you ever need anything don’t hesitate to call me. I’ll always be there for you guys, (as much as I can be), we love our little Momo and miss her dearly. Love you guys!!

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