How Much Medication is Too Much?
(Before we get started, anyone who posts a comment saying to not medicate at all will have their comment sit in the dustbin. Also, I’m not asking this question to any of you. I’m making my statement and belief on what medication is for, period.)
A friend posted this to his Facebook page. It’s where this post comes from, but this is something I’ve wanted to say for a while.
Over a year ago now we decided to put Stephen on ADHD medication and tweaked it for several months until we found what I believe to be a perfect dose. We struggled for quite some time before deciding to put him on medication because we really wanted to try EVERYTHING before going that route.
Going into this, please know and understand the following facts:
- We do not make Stephen wear his patch on the weekends, but if he chooses to, that is OK.
- We do not make Stephen wear his patch during the summer, but if he chooses to, that is OK.
- We do have him put it on in the morning before he goes to school, and he is supposed to take it off when he gets home from school.
Why do we have him wear it at school? Well, those who have been following a while know that Stephen was struggling to control his impulses at school. He was also struggling to work while in school. Even now, with medication, he struggles with these things.
So why do we continue to medicate if he struggles with these things still? Because he now has the ability to manage himself. Prior to medication, he could not control himself for more than 5 minutes. Now, he has whole days that he does extremely well at school. They have a color system at the new Maryland school, and the past 4 days he’s had “Green” days. IE, no behavior problems at all.
He still has to be redirected to do tasks. He still has to turn his desk to the wall some days to get work done (his choice). But he can control himself.
A few weeks ago, we ran out of medication and had been struggling to find a doctor for him before we ran out. We prepared the school that this was coming and it would take 2 wks to get in to see a psychiatrist. Within an hour Stephen had dropped from Green, to Blue, to Yellow, to Orange, to Red. He was so upset and told my husband and his SpEd teacher that he wanted his patch while holding back tears. He was so distraught.
Story in mind: The answer to the question posed above…
How much medication is too much? Anything more than what is needed to help one control their own emotions or actions.
I take medications myself. I have been on the same stuff for 5 yrs? When we moved, I knew I needed to find a therapist. I looked in all the ‘normal’ places. I started having an anxiety attack at least once a day before finding a new therapist. The medication I had been taking for years hadn’t stopped working. I just need more than medication to function. Because I don’t take medication to function, I take medication as part of a whole plan to function. It’s so that I can seek help and control my anxiety myself.
So let me say again, TOO MUCH MEDICATION IS TAKING/GIVING ANY MORE THAN IS NEEDED TO CONTROL YOURSELF AND SEEK HELP. Medication should be part of an overall plan to help yourself/your child function. It should never be the only thing to help you function.