Thursday, June 30, 2011
The Big Question
Ok, I’m getting ready for our appointment with our psychiatrist tomorrow and I have a big question that lingers in my mind. Can you help me with it?
In the beginning, a lot of us parents saw serious symptoms in our children that led to the use of medication. As the child grows, their brains and disorders change, possibly bringing on more symptoms. How do you determine what symptoms are caused by the meds and what symptoms are caused by the disorder?
What complicates it more, I ’ve been told that when you treat obvious symptoms like rages, once the meds reduce this symptom, underlining symptoms will come to the forefront. So how does one know if the depression seen in your child is a result of the rages being calmed, allowing this symptom to be seen, or a side effect from the current treatment or the mood disorder getting worse, bringing on new symptoms as they age?
Some may ask me, “Why does this matter, as long as you treat the symptoms, you help the child?”
I would answer that before I bring on the “big guns of antipsychotics”, as our pdoc refers to them, I want to make sure that we aren’t creating the symptoms we are now trying to treat.
Ultimately, this is why a diagnosis helps me, it lets me know we’re on the right track, but without one, how do we make the right decision? What if my son has depression and anxiety, but the current meds are making him have rapid cycling, thus keeping him away from an antidepressant? Or, what if this is early onset bipolar disorder, but the fact that he isn’t showing typical adult symptoms of bipolar disorder, he isn’t given the full cocktail of meds required to end his suffering?
Help! How does a Mom make sense of it all?