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Does anyone give meds to their kids for behavioral problems

518 Views 14 Replies 10 Participants Last post by  roseselene
Hi! I'm just wondering if there is anyone out there on this board that has children with serious behavioral problems that require medications. My DD who is 3yo is just out of control. If interested I will gladly expand on my experiences, but I didn't want to go lengthy on the first post as I've found not as many people reply to long posts.
Suffice it to say that she is just completely out of control....totally. She is causing major discord in my family, DH and I are having problems because of her. I can't even visit the gentle discipline section of this board without completely breaking down and feeling like I'm the absolute worst mother in the world.
I really literally think that there is something wrong with her. I know that she DOES NOT have attention deficit disorder and I am opposed to ritalin...she can sit for hours and hours and do one thing if she wants to..she can focus on certain things and has learned almost the entire alphabet already even though she only turned three a couple of months ago. I don't consider it to be an ADD thing. I'm talking something much different than that.
She strikes me as the type of person who would murder her parents one day. I hate to even say that, but she scares me at times...and she's only 3! I feel so horrible for even thinking of having her evaluted and asking for meds, but I am at my wits end. Is there anyone out there that has had to medicate their child for something like this?

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oh dear mama I am so sorry!

first of all honestly ask yourself these questions:
does she get enough attention from you and dh? :My dd starts acting wild and crabby if I don't give her one on one,like playing dolls with her,or doing art stuff,going for walks to the park whatever-she needs one on one to act 'balanced'.
is she getting her needs met?: When she is hungry is good food available and can she count on regular meals and snacks? does she have plenty of clean clothes? take regular baths?have a clean house to play in?
Is she eating healthy meals without artificial ingrediants?:both my older girls sow symptoms of irritability and unsettled behaviour after they have eaten foods with artificial ingredients.
does she feel protected by you and dh and sibling(s)?: Do you protect her? co-sleep,stick up for her etc, prevent her from being exposed to scary elements (tv/media,rude intrusive relatives or friends), limit other care takers?
limit loud overstimulating media? how much tv does she watch?
If you feel that you are meeting all of her needs, i definatley would take her in to be evaluated. not necessarily by a psychologist at first but I'd go the natural route first. Any D.O.'s or homepaths in your area?
good luck mama
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My little brother was like your DD when he was little. Well, I don't really know, but some things you say really sound familiar--like being the kind of kid who seems they would kill people someday, creating massive family discord.

My brother was never put on medications, but medications weren't as good twenty-plus years ago. I dunno if he would've done better with them or not, but I want to reassure you that despite a *very* rocky childhood and adolescence, he is turning out to be a pretty ok adult.

Still a bit strange and intense in some ways, but that is at least partly because the family didn't always handle it very well, but mostly a good guy.
to you mama! I don't have personal experience with these issues, but do hear a lot of information from my sister, who is a nurse practitioner in child/adolescent psychiatry at a major teaching hospital. Believe me, you are not alone in this, and you are NOT NOT NOT a terrible mom! Just the fact that you are posting here speaks volumes about how much you care about DD. Before you get worried about medications and such, check into getting an evaluation for her to see what's going on and what the best ways to approach it are. I know it's a scary, scary thing to worry that something is wrong with DC and to approach someone for help about it. But the fact that you're acknowledging that something's not quite right is a big step. I don't know what kind of practitioner you are interested in seeing, but perhaps her ped could make a recommendation. More hugs to you and hope your family gets the help and support that you need.
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Hi! Sorry its taken me a while to get back to they replies. In regards to paying enough attention to DD, I am acutely aware of this being a huge issue for her. However, lately she has made it difficult to give her attention. She is so exquisitely defiant that literally anything I ask her to do/not to do she does/not does anyway. I know that its best to try to create an environment where you're not going to have to say no, but she seems to have a knack for figuring out a way to do something undesirable with every given activity. Literally. I know that alot of what I mention here will seem like normal 3 y.o. behavior...its not that part that i'm talking about....its the extent to which she does things....very extreme.
She is exquisitely mean to ds, i just really can't go into all the things that she does, but she has injured him, she has injured me, and she hurts dh.
Her current thing is to strip down, pee (or even poo) on the floor and then put her clothes back on. i cannot get her to stop doing it because she just takes off whatever clothing/diaper i put on her.
i've heard of living day by day, but i think i live hour by hour. i feel tremendously bad for my 18 month old ds because he gets a lot of her nonsense and i just feel bad for him.
She is literally just so intense that i think i'm going to snap on a regular basis.
i know 3 is a hard age but this is just out of control.
in regards to her ped, her ped is a scientologist and they don't "believe" in psychiatry so she is EXTREMELY resistant to a referral.
oh, i might also add that dd has EXTREME separation anxiety so we have been unable to even so much as leave her with a babysiitter for a couple of hours so we can have a break. DH and i desparately need a break from her , but we can't leave her with ANYONE. she even went through a period where she was afraid to leave the house.
i want so much to just leave her with someone and let her cry the whole time just because I NEED A BREAK!!!! but i feel like that would just make things worse for her.
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My DS gets like this when his digestion is particularly bad. I truly feel for you mama

What's your DD's poop like?
What does she eat?

There is a lot of knowledge in this area with food and gut problems effecting behavior in the ASD community.

Search on "Oppositional Defiance Disorder" too.

I really believe this is nutritionally related based on all the reading I have done. The neurotransmitters are manufactured in the gut. Also if there is gut problems ... bacteria and yeast produce toxins which effect the brain. I know first hand b/c I had digestive problems and also anxiety, depression, anger and insomnia.

Cod liver oil is a must for our types of kids.
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Don't have a whole lot of time to type right now..
but can I briefly ask what does cod liver oil do?
and it difficult to get into the child who is a major fussy eater, who doesn't eat anything at all...
and can actually go for 36 hours without eating a single bit of food instead of eating something that we've provided for her that she doesn't like?
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nak: will she take juice? my 4yo gets her fish oil in juice. when she'd just turned three and I had a 16mo, I was ready to pull my hair out. it's gotten a little better now
She actually doesn't take anything reliably. She will like something one day and then swear she can't stand it the next...then like it for a couple days after that, and then hate it again. There is no food that I can reliably buy for her (or drink for that matter) that I can confidently say "wow, emily will eat/drink this". We waste so much food/drink on her attempting to get her to eat something. Her blood sugar was actually 42 one time which for those who know diabetics know that that is exceptionally low -- because she won't eat anything. She is not diabetic by the was just low because she won't eat ANYTHING. So...consequently she eats alot of junk that she shouldn't because we have gotten to where we are giving her things that are not ideal just because she needs to eat SOMETHING. When she goes for 36 hours without eating (which she has done on numerous occasions) she becomes a hideous bear to deal with. I would much rather deal with her behavior that she displays from having eaten junk, then the hideous creature she becomes when she hasn't had a thing to eat.
So basically, i can have a wild behaving junk food child, or a crazy hideous wild i'm not going to eat anything and you can't make me behaving child.

Sorry for the rant...I didn't answer your question...
no, i doubt she would take CLO in juice...maybe once...
then the next day she would say no.
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Based on what you have posted, I agree she needs an evaluation by a child psychologist. Something seems to be going on with her. A few different things come to mind, such as oppositional defiant disorder, sensory integration issues or autistic spectrum issues, or possibly reactive attachment disorder.

The evaluation should then help point you in the right direction - whether to consult a neurologist or a psychiatrist, or some other specialty.

You sound like a great mom to a child with some incredibly challenging behaviors.
please talk with a developmental psychologist. I agree with the above poster that it could be an ASD, ODD, or something else. It may not be that she needs medication, but she may need treatment.

Just so you know, most of the children in my high-functioning autism class had toddlerhoods that sounded very similar. that doesn't mean she has autism, but it does sound as though there is something physiological going on.
Hi Roseselene!

My ds is 12 and has oppositional defiant disorder. Its been a struggle to say the least. We knew something wasnt *right* when he was about 3, but no one would listen and just told to be "better parents". Blech. Anyhow, we've cut out food dyes; preservatives; heavily processed foods. We've loosely followed the Feingold Diet.

It helped a bit, but when he started to become verbally and physically violent it was obvious he needed more. His psychiatrist put him on risperidone. Wow. What a difference. Nite and day. I no longer feared for my safety or the safety of my other children. He was on it for about a year then we got a new psych. She took him off. He's been off for about 5 months now and its getting real bad again. Sigh.

Its hard. We're in therapy and parent support groups and trying everything but sometimes you just have to medicate.

Sorry to make this about me.

I agree with pp to take her in for evaluation. We went thru our dr first then a waiting list for a psych. While waiting, we saw a neurologist to eliminate any other problems. Then in the meantime, the school called (problems there) and they helped us get the support we needed.

Sorry, must leave, dinner is calling me!
I'll be back..
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at that young of an age I'd say a pediatric psychiartist as they aren't very verbal to describe how, why etc.

I had a child like yours, we did behavioral therapy it did wonders.
Drugs well yes ativan a tranq for emergencies as she was violent used it three times. After therapy no.

Nex time she looses it take her to emerg post haste if you have a children's hospital or not, they can get you instant referrals and rapidly see if there's anything else (tumour) that is causing this. Don't waste any time and don't mess around with the small things, if she is that big of a problem she might have a big problem.

PM me if you ever need to talk, I know how isolating, demoralizing it can be when your child runs things like dd was a self harmer, violent, would fly into rages that would last for hours - girl it will only get worse.

in regards to her ped, her ped is a scientologist and they don't "believe" in psychiatry so she is EXTREMELY resistant to a referral.
well I don't believe in them treating 'tell me about your childhood' with drugs but psychaitrist are trained in brain chemistry and the larger disorders. Ask for a neurologist then she might be having seizures, sleep disorder, etc.

I'd also suggest two books easy reads, one what to do when your children push your buttons (great for learning how to relax and deal, not internalize the chaos, and how to behave so your children will too) I also have a raising a bipolar child which was helpful. Its so hard as many things that might work with a child with normal programming won't... dd is bipolar.

We got her into an amazing grade 1 programme for behavioral nondrug therapy through the local school system 3 months every day with only other kids with issues, a safe room when they couldn't be in the group, and the teachers had psychologists, psychatrists right there. My child is a different person, the other kids helped so much for her to understand its not just her who gets that angry, that violent and she regained much of her self esteem funny enough by knowing there's kids like her. She's now in school, no special programme, she has friends who aren't scared shitless of her..

do it now, I wasted so much time myself thinking iI could fix this...
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Thanks for all the replies. I really appreciate this. I really was just thinking that I've been doing something tremendously wrong. Not to say anything bad about the gentle discipline folks, but reading those posts to get some ideas on how to deal with things can make you feel really small. There is just absolutely no way to initiate some of the suggestions that you find on that section. ya know?
So, not that I would wish this on another human being, but it is nice to know that there is someone else out there who understands and has been through/or is going through it.
In regards to diet, we really really really have tried diet modifications, I promise we have, and they do actually work *some* but she is just such a freaking picky eater that diet modifications are extraordinarily difficult when the child only has like 4 foods she will eat.
I'm intrigued by that oppositional defiance disorder or whatever it was...I'm going to have to look into that.
Some people have mentioned the autism spectral disorders to me. She was an extremely late talker -- like we had an appointment with a speech therapist and then all of a sudden she just started talking in sentences...went from uttering 1 word "mamma" to speaking in full sentences in the course of a we never went to the speech therapist.
She's extremely intelligent and can remember things from like 8 or 9 months ago..she will just bring things up that happened to her or that she did a really long time ago....which I find quite amazing for a child her age.
So, I really think there is something that needs to be checked.
We are definitely going to get her checked out. I'll have to post back an update.
Thanks for all your support!
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Just wanted to update everyone and say that we are getting started with a developmental/behavioral specialist at the local children's hospital. I think its going to take us a couple weeks to actually get in, but at least we're in contact and the process is started. Thanks for all the feedback. By the way, I looked up opposition defiant really sounds a lot like Emily. We shall see.
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