But I would encourage you to re-double your efforts in optimizing her medication. So many kids and adults with ADHD are not receiving the best medical care -- either they are on older medications that have more side effects or they aren't on the best class or choice of stimulant for their neurochemistry, etc.
Also, I would encourage you to learn more about ADHD. Perhaps you do know a lot. But when you say she also has a "processing disorder," that indicates that you might not understand that there is no legitimate condition called a "processing disorder." It's a made-up name, perhaps coined by some educational specialists or psychologist but not having any scientific validity.
ADHD itself, in the most basic of ways, is a "processing disorder" -- in the sense that brain signals are often not traveling fast enough or reaching the correct destination in the brain.
As for helping your daughter get organized in order to make transitions throughout the school that, optimizing the medication might help there, too. But also there are strategies for kids with ADHD. One good book is "Organizing the Disorganized Child."
Finally, you don't mention your own medical treatment for ADHD. Yet, we know that parents with untreated ADHD have a harder time giving their children the structure and discipline they need, not to mention an organized household that helps to "hardwire" a child towards organization. And support their day-to-day function.
So, I do encourage you to consider maximizing your own medical treatment. The lack of it might be affecting your children in ways that you are just not seeing.
You know, there is a thread on this topic somewhere. I bet you could find it with the search.
A few observations:
1. You say you're taking Adderall but you don't think it's working anymore.
I hear this a lot. Perhaps it has stopped working, but more often what's happened is that the person has forgotten the changes brought by the medication. Just takes them for granted.
One woman I spoke to last week said she didn't think the stimulant was doing anything, until she failed to get the refill.
Then she woke up the next morning not having taken the Rx the day before, and she said, "My body was alive, but my brain wasn't! I had no idea the medication was having the effect on me that it was!"
2. For some people, Adderall is just too much. It pushes them into anxiety and the kind of "picking" behavior you describe.
Even some people on the "milder" stimulant class (methylphenidate, as opposed to the amphetamines such as Adderall) experience this side effect.
It's thought that the stimulant can exacerbate existing "serotonin" issues, or create new ones. In other words, taking only a stimulant (without another Rx to address serotonin-spectrum issues such as depression and anxiety) can be a bad idea for some people with ADHD.
I'd encourage you to look into other stimulant types (especially if you haven't tried the methylphenidate class options) and talk to your doc about addressing the anxiety that perhaps underlies the picking.
Poohbaby, that is certainly your prerogative as the children's mother.
I would encourage you, though, to keep an open mind. You say "the docs" would like to put your other two children on medication. Which docs would that be? The children's pediatricians? Why don't you trust your children's doctors?
What do you mean that the "side effects are too risky?"
It's important not to "scare yourself silly" with random information on the Internet.
No one wants to give a child unnecessary medication. But it's also important to understand that there are risks to untreated ADHD, and the medications are very well studied. Used properly, they are considered safe.
Sometimes what happens is that a parent with untreated ADHD fails to see the implications of ADHD going untreated in a child. They deny and minimize the problems the problems of their child in the same way they deny and minimize their own problems.
ADHD can impair judgment and an appreciation of long-term consequences. It can also impair the ability to make decisions rationally rather than overly emotionally.
Sometimes it's best for the parents to treat their own ADHD before attempting to help a child -- similar to being on an airplane and "putting on your own oxygen mask first before helping a child."
"Diet changes" will help a child with poor nutrition. But there's no evidence that "diet changes" will treat ADHD. Especially unspecified diet changes that are not guided by quantifiable data.
I notice that when you write, there is no space after the period at the end of the sentence. While not symptomatic of ADHD itself, I have seen this to be a "red flag" for people with ADHD. When I point it out to them, they might not even notice that there is no space. But if you look closely, you'll see that there is not.
Thank you for the explanation. I found more good information on Phentermine at Wikipedia, including this:
Phentermine works on the hypothalamus portion of the brain to stimulate the adrenal glands to release norepinephrine , a neurotransmitter or chemical messenger that signals a fight-or-flight response , reducing hunger. Phentermine works outside the brain, as well, to release epinephrine or adrenaline, causing fat cells to break down stored fat, but the principal basis of efficacy is hunger-reduction. At clinically relevant doses, phentermine also releases serotonin and dopamine , but to a much lesser extent than that of norepinephrine.[4>View Thread
First, I'm so sorry to hear of your distress. One of the reasons I have volunteered so heavily in the area of Adult ADHD is because it has such very real and demoralizing effects on the lives of millions of Americans.
Second, I will be very clear about what you must do next.
You must put aside all other activities, interests, and distractions right now and focus on finding treatment for your condition. It sounds like ADHD, but it might be something else or in addition to ADHD.
Ask as many of your "organized friends" as you can for their help until you find one who will help you chase down a free clinic or sliding-scale physician. The pharmaceutical companies make discounted or free medications available to people who qualify. The doctor does the paperwork.
Once you start getting treatment, you should be better able to handle a job and organize your life. Until you do this, you might keep feeling like you're drowning.
Please do this right now. Don't procrastinate. Don't think the problem will go away on its own. Don't drown your sorrow in a stimulating video game. Focus on TREATMENT right now. And recruit someone to help you stay on track.
1. You have two children, and you are a full-time student and have a full-time job? Is that what you mean? Or is it your husband who is the full-time student, etc.? If it is you, that is a big load to carry. No medication will take the place of sleep, rest, and exercise.
2. Strattera is helpful for some people with ADHD, but I know very few who gain optimal relief from ADHD symptoms from taking Strattera alone.
3. Stimulants are the first-line medication for ADHD. Did you try a stimulant?
4. Without the stimulant in your system, the Zoloft could actually be exacerbating your ADHD symptoms
Of course I cannot prescribe or advise you medically. I can just tell you the general principles.
The sad truth is that many physicians aren't particularly knowledgeable about treating ADHD. It behooves you to educate yourself on this topic, ask questions, and give your physician a full report on what is/is not working.
Good luck sorting this out.
Gina Pera, author Is it You, Me, or Adult A.D.D.?View Thread
It's great that you are interested in learning more. Some people just dismiss the idea when it is suggested to them. But if you have ADHD, it's important to know because it will help you to target your challenges more effectively.