This blog is my place to vent and share resources with other parents of children of trauma. I try to be open and honest about my feelings in order to help others know they are not alone. Therapeutic parenting of adopted teenagers with RAD and other severe mental illnesses and issues (plus "neurotypical" teens) , is not easy, and there are time when I say what I feel... at the moment. We're all human!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Why does he think like that?

In the comments a lot of you have asked why Hubby thinks the way he does about meds. Of course I wish I knew the answer to that question (not just about meds). Here's some of my rambling guesses:

I think it's because unlike kidney stones, diabetes, or broken legs, most mental illness can not be diagnosed with x-rays or definitive tests. Plus there is a continuum (mild to wild)... in other words it's all very subjective. Subjective doesn't make much sense to my husband who is a concrete thinker. You have an ear infection? You take this antibiotic. Done. You have your wisdom teeth removed, here's an antibiotic and some pain meds (he took the antibiotic, but not the pain meds).

There are no exact diagnostic and treatment steps, meds work for some at one dosage, but it takes double that for someone else or it doesn't work at all, even though two people are genetically related with the same illness. In addition to being frustrating, this makes it seem like it's all fake somehow?

With most illnesses you don't have anywhere near the same amount of input as to what med(s) you will take and how much. Aren't doctors supposed to just "know" all this? It's scary to have that much control over diagnoses and treatment when we know how little we know.

Most of the time we're told there is no med that will help treat something the kids have, like the C-PTSD. I think that it's untreatable makes it feel a little less "real."

The kids' diagnoses are so complex that no one or two methods/meds will treat them, but at the same time how can two kids who look so "normal" need all of those meds?! As they get older and have been in therapy for so long, should we be reducing their meds? Which ones? By how much?

Which diagnoses can you "recover/heal" from and which are life long? What if a diagnosis is wrong? (Does Bear really have ADHD?) What about the childhood disorder, RAD, that they will spontaneously heal from when they turn 18 (isn't that a miracle?!)? What does it mean when the child's diagnosis changes?

I've never been "officially" diagnosed with bipolar disorder. Unlike the kids I get my meds from my regular doctor and he basically took my word for it (although my therapist believes I have it as well). Most of my family has it, and going over my history, I've probably have had it my whole life.

It frustrates him that it often feels like we're throwing more and more meds at the issues (which he obviously already has problems with), and they're just not helping - at least in any obvious way. Sometimes the kids just seem to spontaneously get better or worse. Therapy takes so long to show any differences that it's hard to remember that it is having an effect. Life (stress, PTSD flareups, academics, friends, illness...) has a major effect on their behavior and issues too. Meds sometimes have an instant effect (but often not in a good way). There's been times where we thought a med was working, but later when we took the child off of it we realize it wasn't.

I think he worries we're "hypochondriac parents" (Munchhausen syndrome?) or treating our kids like guinea pigs.

Abusing the drugs is not a concern as much as are they worth the side effects? - like turning Bear into a zombie or me into a robot, the joint pain (did it cause permanent damage?), the tics, the weight loss or gain, sleepiness or sleeplessness, thirst, the bed wetting... who gets to decide if it's worth it? At one point the kids were even taking one med to counteract the side effects of another med.

OK, enough rambling. Going to bed now.


Babetta said...

I totally understand both sides of this.
I'm not one for labels...never really have been.
My husband functions better WITH labels.
When I could call my daughter's symptoms 'aspberger' and show him the factual symptoms, he understood her better.
As I struggled with years of chronic pain, weird mood swings, skin disorders and seemingly unexplainable weight issues...each 'diagnosis' the doctors tried on that matched my symptoms, helped him understand that I'm dealing with a disorder of some sort, not just being difficult.

I tried meds
I didn't feel they were a good fit for me, that was my choice.
He's definitely a 'meds will fix it' kind of guy...but he's come to respect that it's just not my least not for first choice.

You're right, sometimes we have to chronic pain went away with meds...but I gained 20 lbs...which made me horribly I found another way to get rid of the pain and am now working on the weight.
It's such a horrible pros and cons game and each doctor tells me something different.

I started listening to my internal doc, and she's been right a lot :)

Jeri said...

My husband felt the way yours does for a long, long time. Without actually saying it, it made me feel weak for needing meds. However, there is a definite genetic history in my family of anxiety/depression. When we went to England in 2003 though, he got a "taste" of how strongly anxiety can impact you physically. (he was in the middle of building a house and had turned over the "go to guy" card to an employee...hmmm, a little bit of a control freak,huh?) I had a small amount of Xanax for the flights and fortunately didn't end up needing them.............but he did. I've heard no more quips since.

Jessi Hacker said...

I would like to ask the hubby to put a bag over his head and walk about the room, and see how well he did it. I'm imagining he busted his ass.

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