Home > ADHD & Gifted, Daddy's Girl > I think we have some balance again

I think we have some balance again

March 28, 2006 – Tuesday 9:30 PM 

Current mood:  lethargic  

Thanks so much for your words of encouragement, here and in your emails. There is so much going on all at once that I feel dizzy. And tired. Friday night I spoke with Tyler about what is leading up to his feelings, which was a terribly scary thing for me.  K’s name came up often, as did a couple others I’ve heard before.  Tyler is also troubled about his friendship with A, which seems to have hit the rocks.  I asked Tyler specific questions about his feelings, and he indicated that he thinks the other kids would stop acting the way they do if he were to kill himself.  I asked him if he just wanted to teach them a lesson, or if he really did not want to live, and he said that he wants them to learn a lesson, but he also does not want to live the way he’s been living.  I asked too, if he feels like he wants to kill himself when he’s in trouble at home or if he feels like we (his family) also need a lesson… he said no, and that I already knew everything I needed to know. I can’t even begin to tell you the weight that lifted off me… because the night before I was in the bubble bath, crying to Ro on the phone that I feel like all I do is yell at him or tell him what he’s doing wrong, and it’s my fault he’s so unhappy. After that conversation, I felt a little less like having a nervous breakdown.  As far as I can tell right now, these feelings are primarily stemming from his peer relationships at school… although I’m sure that the negative feedback he gets at home doesn’t help a ton, nor does Ro’s continued mentality that Tyler’s behavior is chosen.  He’s still in the mindset that Tyler is smart enough that he could behave “if he wanted to.”   

LaTonya also asked about the possibility of a connection between the ADHD and the meds.  I think there is as much a correlation to the time of year than whether he’s on medication.  Another thing I have to take into consideration is that this isn’t the first time Tyler has expressed the idea of killing himself.  He was having some kind of argument with a tablemate in Kinder, and announced that he was going to go home and kill himself with a knife.  That was long before he was diagnosed ADHD or started Adderall, probably two years before Adderall, but if I remember right, it was during the ‘winter’ months.  From what Tyler told me tonight, the instance he relayed to Theresa happened between winter and spring break, and is the only time he can remember feeling so bad he wanted to die.  I do know that during the first part of second grade, he was expressing feelings of worthlessness so often that I was very concerned about something like this being on the horizon.  I am considering alternatives, but I’m worried if I take him off meds completely and he goes back to being unable to function in the classroom.  Not only will he still have the peer trouble, but he’ll also start having feelings of stupidity and worthlessness on top of that… and (re)develop a troublemaker reputation to boot, at this school where he has had a reputation of being a smart, focused, dedicated student.  Not to mention, I think he would adamently be opposed to being taken of meds.  He was resistant to trying Strattera, until he realized he could continue taking the Adderall during the trial.  

Tyler and I met with a therapist on Saturday, have I mentioned that?  Most of the session was me giving historical information.  I liked the therapist, and I feel she understands ADHD better than the first therapist we tried (the one who told me Tyler needed more consistency) or even the therapist who referred me to my current psychiatrist.  Mamta works with a psychiatrist she really likes, and wants Tyler to see him as well.  Balbir and Tyler kept each other occupied while I was in with Mamta, and they liked each other.  Mamta assured me that she has a 100% success rate… I assume that means she hasn’t had a patient commit suicide.  Mebbe I should clarify that point.  Anyway, she spoke with Tyler about coming back to see her, and then pulled me aside.  She indicated that it appeared he would be very receptive to counseling, and she was really looking forward to working with him.  His next appointment, is next Tuesday.  Oh, and last Friday I went to my onsite employee relations representative… Whatever I need to do as far as therapy or doctor appointments for Tyler are covered under FMLA, I just have to have some paperwork completed.  Apparently, I can even take leave if he needs me to be with him on a 24-7 basis.  As tempting as it was to grab that opportunity, I think that would be more for my benefit than his.  He just needs normal right now… whatever normal is.  

I emailed LaTonya today… some of you know her as the subject of my abject hero worship.  She was Tyler’s 2nd grade teacher, and I kid you not that she is what kept me from having a nervous breakdown from the time school started in August, till Tyler’s ADHD was diagnosed in late November.  She and I have kept in touch and I consider her a dear friend, an ally, and invaluable source of support… she also happens to be Halle’s Big Sister through BB/BS.  She was also diagnosed ADHD as a child, which gave her a feel for Tyler that I can hardly describe.  She, like many others, have expressed disbelief that Tyler would contemplate suicide.  But she said in her email, even as she typed, she vividly remembered entertaining thoughts of dying as a child, because she was ALWAYS in trouble.  Like me, she never planned to actually go through with it, and hadn’t really thought of those feelings in years.  I was also always in trouble, and struggled terribly with peer relationships.  I entertained suicidal thoughts in vivid detail and at times concocted elaborate suicide plans, and it’s hard for me to say how I really felt then… but in hindsight, I would say I did not plan to ever actually carry any of them out.  Which is the thin thread by which I’m holding onto sanity knowing Tyler is having these thoughts… is that I continued to live, and had also pushed those suicidal thoughts into the back of my mind, so it’s reasonable to expect that he will too, since he’s certainly going to have more support than I did.



Baby Steps are still steps in the right direction! Tyler, You and the Family have such wonderful support – it is so good to hear that everything is begining to balance again.  I say this only because it was a comment made recently, and your mention of seasonal issues is relavent – apparently, with seasonal affective disorder, the ‘patient’ can take medication just through those months and it has significantly helped the feelings of helplessness/hopelessness.  The medication that was discussed was Wellbutrin. Hugs to you all!        

Posted by Heidi on March 28, 2006 – Tuesday – 11:14 PM
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Wellbutrin is actually one of the meds on my potential alternatives list… It’s a ‘second tier’ drug for treating ADHD… i.e., that’s not what it was made to treat, but it’s still been found effective.
Posted by CURLYGURL on March 29, 2006 – Wednesday – 6:28 AM
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Belle Godfrey

Cyn…I too am glad that you are feeling somewhat better and so is Tyler!  My heart is so heavy for that little boy! When my doc wanted me to be placed on Wellbuterin…I did alot of research and there were tons of sites devoted to that drug causing seizures and SUICIDAL thoughts….thoughts that people never had until they got on the drug.  Just a thought and you are 100% better at research than I am….but I refused to take it due to those two reasons. I know you will make the right choices and decisions for him…I love you!        

Posted by Belle on March 29, 2006 – Wednesday – 6:46 AM
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Thanks, Bella… the thing is, ALL psychiatric and neurological meds have some suicide risk.  Adderall has a (rare) side effect of exacerbating depression, and in some (rare) cases has triggered mania.  Many of the stimulant medications list seizures as a possible side effect (although for most, the ‘chances’ are 1/1000 I think). Anytime you start messing with the body’s chemical make-up, there are going to be side effects.  It just depends on whether the risk of a really bad side effect from meds, is greater than the risks associated with having an untreated condition.  So when I think about the risks associated with any med, I have to take into consideration that gifted kids, and kids with ADHD, both have a much higher rate of suicide than the general population, and a much higher risk of depression.  They have higher substance abuse rates, because they often try to self medicate with alcohol or recreational drugs.  Kids with ADHD engage in riskier sexual behaviors and are more likely to contract STD’s, which is a scary thought these days.  People with ADHD also get in more car accidents.  So when I take into consideration the chance Tyler might develop high blood pressure as a result of Adderall, compared to his risk of suicide without it, or the risk of him dying as a result of some other risky behavior… the possibility of high blood pressure is the least likely to develop, and with careful medical care, possibly the one that would be easiest to catch/treat.        

Posted by CURLYGURL on March 29, 2006 – Wednesday – 7:06 PM
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Belle Godfrey
See my doll…you are much more knowledgable then myself…I love you and will keep sending ya positive thoughts!
Posted by Belle on March 30, 2006 – Thursday – 12:16 PM
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Cyndi, I’m sorry I thought I responded to this yesterday. As everyday, you are in my thoughts and in my heart.  I’m so glad you all are finding your way through this rough time.  Give them all some smooches from the Eiball.        

Posted by Ei on March 30, 2006 – Thursday – 7:08 AM
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