Some still maintain that there is never a beneficial use for psychotropic medication when the correct (tough) training in discipline and self control takes place (and vaccines are not administered). I’ll admit I don’t know. But here I will consider the possibility of the usefulness of these measures for some occasions.
First we will talk about diagnosis, then medication, then some precautions. If you’re familiar with my other work, you know I’m typically against diagnosing and medicating, but I can see how they may be useful in certain extreme situations.
Sometimes diagnosis and medication can be good.
Some therapies aren’t covered by insurance without a diagnosis.
Just because you get a diagnosis doesn’t mean you need to just straight to medicating, public schools, or other methods you may feel uncomfortable with.
Diagnosis can help a child understand why they have certain challenges, accept that, and make a good life for themselves, keeping in mind some potential areas where they may need extra assistance or caution. It can help you network with others on what they’ve found that works for these situations.
Some kids you can work with days months and years on end with minimal progress, and a small medication can help alleviate the situation extensively.
Doctors will always want to increase dosage. Take great caution, use as little as you can.
In some cases, the medication doesn’t need to be permanent.
Elder Holland spoke of medicating depression like medicating a broken leg. True, we can consider the possible need.
I heard of a case recently where a dedicated parent trained in herbal remedies tried for years to help a child with autism and extreme anxiety without success, and when they tried a minimal dose of an anti-anxiety medication, they were able to see dramatic change. They wept over the years of anguish which their child went through which could have been alleviated.
A friend of mine who is highly involved in foster care and adoption shared this with me about how medicating can be what’s best for some kids:
I am pro “whatever the heck will work best for our kids”. Their problems were caused by chemicals in their system early. I am FULLY ON BOARD with medication. I dispense meds for two kids, my wife and myself every morning and 6 kids at night…. Everyday. Most of my kids needed meds for a time. We have seen it helps their behaviors to mitigate so they can learn how to control what they’ve been given. It’s hard to learn how to control it when they’re always in fight fight or freeze mode.. the primitive brain doesn’t learn it only reacts. We have to be able to help them regulate so that they can get into the executive functioning portion of the brain and rewrite some of the things that can be rewritten.
You may be pleasantly surprised at the change in many of your kids. Meds don’t equal weakness. If I needed oxygen to survive I’d be hauling around a tank everywhere I went. Meeting their specific needs won’t be any different my friend. Speak to your medical doctor, they’ll be able to help initially.
Some are totally against meds, and I get that. But I am also against the abuse our children come to us having faced and the struggles they now face as a result. I will look at all options to help them.
It’s important to note too that it isn’t ever JUST meds… It’s meds, diet, structure, exercise, consistency, boundaries, holistic meds, vitamins, meditation, comfort tools, therapy, etc, etc, etc…. And sometimes the meds too! 🙂 I have kids who have taken meds for a time and not needed them after a bit.
As a final note, here are some cautionary notes against being too trigger happy with medicating:
Be aware that not every person needs medication. Ide say far too much is given, we are taught it as the first step rather than the last resort.
Be aware that pregnant women typically cannot be on psychotropic medication.
Be aware that medication won’t always be available, and prepare to use the next best thing for your situation.
Be aware that there is extreme danger whenever someone increases or decreases a dose of psychotropic medication. In these times is when serious behaviors occur which are untypical of their normal character. See drugawareness.org for thousands of documented cases in this situation.