New here. ADD Mom with ADD & ADHD kids

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-14-2009
New here. ADD Mom with ADD & ADHD kids
7
Sat, 11-14-2009 - 10:41am

I'm new to the board and am basically looking to find others like us to talk to and to learn from.

I am mom to three kids. My oldest has ADD with some Bipolar tendencies and my middle child has tentatively been diagnosed as ADHD with some Bipolar tendencies. I say tentatively since his behavior(s) are all over the place on the ADHD/Bipolar spectrum, much to the curiosity and perplexity of his doctors. My third child does not demonstrate any of their behaviors (thankfully), although he has been given his own set of challenges (speech, motor skill and sensory integration delays).

Anyway, both my husband and I are the same as my oldest (ADD with Bipolar tendencies), so we have our own challenges to deal with, along with trying to do the best we can for our children. It can be very stressful at times, but also incredibly wonderful at others.

So I'm here to learn and also to listen or help in anyway I can.

Thanks!

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-14-2009
Mon, 11-16-2009 - 11:44pm

I have to say that I was REALLY nervous about starting the Abilify last year--especially in the first few days (kept benadryl at the ready for the first sign of trouble). I was actually very anti-medications when we first got the diagnosis, but once we started, it made me realize just how bad things were.

I guess another reason that we've been so happy with the Focalin/Abilify combo is that it's the first time in a long time we have meds w/o problems. Both my kids were on Concerta (different dosages) prior to that and had serious sleep and growth issues. At the time we were seeing an ADD 'expert' who just treated the side effects (high-fat foods for their weight issues, melatonin for the sleep and so on and so forth), much to the chagrin of our pediatrician. So we did our research and found our current psychiatrist. It was like we turned a corner--don't get me wrong, we still have our struggles, but it doesn't feel like we're dealing with "medicated" kids--know what I mean?

Anyway, like you said, meds are different for everyone--couldn't agree more. ANd someday, I'd like to see my kids med-free, if possible. :)

THanks again for all of your input and advice--it's why I'm here!

iVillage Member
Registered: 06-10-2007
Mon, 11-16-2009 - 10:03pm
That's great! Some people do experience side effects, and all meds have side effects. Some meds however should be monitored more closely due to the severity. Great that it is working for you!

A child may HAVE ADHD, but it is not what they ARE. Never tell a child they ARE ADHD.

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-14-2009
Mon, 11-16-2009 - 9:09pm
We knew about the possible side effects and take every precaution we can. They are closely monitored by us, their pediatrician and their psychiatrist. They've both been on Abilify for over a year, without any abnormal weight gain or otherwise negative side effects. And the positive results we've experienced with it, have made it more than worth it to us.
iVillage Member
Registered: 06-10-2007
Mon, 11-16-2009 - 7:47pm

I didn't think Abilify

A child may HAVE ADHD, but it is not what they ARE. Never tell a child they ARE ADHD.

Avatar for sabrtooth
iVillage Member
Registered: 12-03-1999
Mon, 11-16-2009 - 6:08pm

Abilify has SEVERE side effects, but is being promoted heavily as a treatment for depression and ADD, because the drug co never made enough money from sales for it's intended use, as an anti-psychotic, LAST DITCH med, for schizophrenia.

It was only after the drug maker decided it was not going to recover development costs from the 17% market share of the schizophrenics it had, that they petitioned the FDA to allow them to market it for other uses. Since the drug was already released for public usage, the FDA did NOT do any further studies, nor did they stop to consider that the original labled usage was a last-ditch measure, where the potential side effects, including CAUSING DIABETES, were considered more acceptable than full-blown, untreatable schizophrenia. As one kid told me, when I asked if the med was worth his 45lb weight gain, his now being a medication dependent diabetic, his rampant decay and periodontal disease from the sugar spilling into his saliva: "I still hear the voices, but I don't have to obey them anymore." His life was worth it. Are your kids' lives?

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-14-2009
Sun, 11-15-2009 - 10:26am

Thanks! I'm glad to be here, too.

It's been a struggle to find the right meds over the past 4 years, but right now what we're doing is working pretty well. Both my DS and DD take Focalin XR (him 10 mg and her 15mg) for the ADD/ADHD, along with 2 mg of Abilify twice a day for the BP (both kids).

We also see a social worker/counselor in addition to a child psychiatrist, which has helped tremendously in dealing with not only their ADD/ADHD/BP behaviors but also their typical age-related issues (my DD is 11, going on 30 and my DS is 9 and all-boy). It also helps us with our third child (DS, age 7) and making sure he gets the attention and understanding he needs.

Anyway, both my DH and I are on meds, too. I take trileptal and lamictal and he takes Citalopram. I wasn't diagnosed until my late 20's and him, his mid 30's. Looking back, all our behaviors/problems make sense. What's hard for me sometimes is seeing my kids having the same problems I did. Then again, I'm so very thankful that we're aware of it and that we have the resources and understanding to help them that my parents never had. Definitely a blessing.

Thanks again for welcoming us to the group!

iVillage Member
Registered: 06-10-2007
Sun, 11-15-2009 - 8:57am

Hi, and welcome! It sounds like you have your hands full with 3 kids with ADHD, and yourself and your husband, wow! How are you treating the BP? How are you treating the ADHD that doesn't interfere with their BP?


We are here if you have questions, we sometimes have answer.

A child may HAVE ADHD, but it is not what they ARE. Never tell a child they ARE ADHD.