Your Questions About Adhd Medications For Teenagers

Daniel asks…

Do I really have schizophrenia? Psychiatrist want to hospitalize me immediately.?

Hello. I am 22 year old male. My father took me to psychiatrist because I had a lack of motivation in everything. After about 10 minutes of evaluation psychiatrist sent me to a psychiatric hospital as an emergency. She told my father I had some schizophrenia symptoms. I knew I had some symptoms that look like schizophrenia but nothing serious. I don’t have hallucinations or delusions, and I don’t hear voices. Here are some symptoms I experience:

– lack of motivation, apathy;
– inability to concentrate;
– social withdrawn;
– loss of interest in studies, work, and friends;
– social anxiety and fearfulness;
– no interest in making and keeping friends;
– lack of emotional expression;
– monotone speech;

I believe I have always had high dopamine levels. I inherited it from my mother. She has OCDs and high adrenaline. She inherited it from her father. When I was 5 i experienced facial ticks that later went away. I started to experience something that resembles depression since I was 11 years old. I experienced chronic stress at home and at school in my early adolescence. I remember that I already had the inability to concentrate when I was 15 (it may also be because I am ambidextrous (I do everything with both hands equally well) as I have read ambidextrous teenagers have 90 percent higher risk of developing ADHD). Because of stress I was always tired, unable to do my homework. After graduating school I entered the university. As I started living alone the stress went away. I then started having high adrenaline episodes with some intermittent depression episodes. This was when the grandiose thoughts began. Later depression almost went away and only high adrenaline episodes remained. I was doing things in random order, I tended to skip some words while reading, because I was reading very fast. Sometimes words totally disappeared from my thinking processes and I was thinking only visually, sometimes I had only verbal thinking, but most of the time visual and verbal thinking is co-occuring at the same time (I tend to express logic visually in my mind by drawing lines between the associated concepts since my early childhood). I was also extremely creative and had some low latent inhibition. Sometimes I had racing thoughts and restless legs syndrome. I developed social anxiety. I rarely left home. I avoided leaving home for as long as possible. I developed some OCDs, for example, I had to drink water in the number of sips divisible by seven, or always enter the room with my right foot first.
These went away a year ago. I liked learning new things very much, but I usually got bored if I stayed on one thing for too long. I started a lot of different projects but never finished even one of them because I lost motivation too quickly. I lost motivation to study so I quit university. I then found a job, but I was fired three weeks later, because I was unable to finish tasks on time, because I was unable to concentrate. This is when the loss of motivation to do anything appeared and have been continuing till now since then. The level of adrenaline dropped significantly. I didn’t have restless legs syndrome anymore however a paing in the legs started which I believe is called fibromyalgia and is associated with low dopamine. An extreme apathy appeared. I was just sitting and watching at one spot. I didn’t care about anything. There were clouds of dust in the corners. I collected all the
bags of trash in my balcony instead of bringing them out, etc. This is the state my father found me when he came to visit.

So, my questions are:

– I it really necessary for me to be hospitalized? (I will be hospitalized against my will anyway);
– How likely is that I really have some mild schizophrenia? I think my symptoms might as well have been caused by a few co-occurring syndromes that have started at different times in my lifetime and psychiatrist just misdiagnosed me.
– What medications for my symptoms I should expect to get if I were treated for mild form of schizophrenia?
– What are the side effects of this medication I should be worried about?

And most importantly:
– Is there any possible irreversible brain damage from these medications?

barry jennings answers:

I can answer the first question. No, it does not appear to be necessary for you to be hospitalized. The criteria for hospitalization is an imminent risk to self, others, or gravely disabled (so mentally ill that you cannot take care of yourself). You don’t describe that degree of illness in the vignette. Also, it don’t make sense to hospitalize you, as your symptoms are relatively mild. This can be managed on an outpatient basis. I wonder why the psychiatrist didn’t just write you a prescription for an anti-psychotic.

The rest of the questions are out of my league. When the psychiatrist eventually prescribes a medication to you, you have rights. You may ask questions about the medication, it’s side effects, how long it takes to be therapeutic (to help), and what you can expect if you cooperate with a medication regimen.

Back when I was a student, the literature indicated that 66% of the people who were identified with schizophrenia, and who cooperated in their own treatment, were able to lead mostly normal lives. At this point, you don’t appear to be in the “unfortunate 33%” category.

Take care, and if you want more information on your rights as a mental health patient, contact NAMI (National Association on Mental Illness).

Edit: I can see why some here think you are depressed instead of schizophrenic. Some of the symptoms on your list are what’s called “negative” symptoms of schizophrenia. I have attached a site with more information.

Charles asks…

Need Help With Teenager Blues…?

My son is almost 16. He has taken medication for ADHD since he was 8. His behavior has changed dramatically for the better and he has been off his meds for over 4 months. (very proud and happy).
The problem is with school. He has very easy courses, and only 3 classes a day. He has a fourth period spare. So really he is done school at 1:10 pm everyday. I get a letter in the mail yesterday saying that he has skipped about 70% of his classes since school started. So naturally I take away priviledges, aside from that and kicking him in the butt what else can I do to make him understand that now is the time to do it, while its easy and so achievable. I dont need smart alec remarks I need real opinions from people who can relate. Thanks in advance !

barry jennings answers:

Tell him his privileges will come back as he gets better. It will be on a reward basis, not a trust basis. Sorry if I phrased that wrong, it’s early and I haven’t eaten in 14 hours. Stupid fasting for Yom Kippur.

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