But what I wasn’t prepared for was the inevitable next step... more medication.
I’m sure some would assume that once you’ve open that door, it would be easy to add more medication when the doctors advised it. But honestly, I think this step was even harder.
You’d think I would’ve been ready for this step since I’ve read enough forums to see that many parents of mood disorder children achieve stability with multiple medications. But it still terrified me, even to this day. I don’t want my child on a grocery list of meds. But I can see how it happens. One medication treats one symptom, another treats another symptom. Then if your child gets a side effects, another medication may be introduced for treating that. The list can go on and on. Also, as another medication is added and you finally reach the utopia of stability, nobody wants to mess with the cocktail of meds, what if the house of cards falls when you remove just one of the medications. The entire treatment process is overwhelming, stressful and pretty much sucks!
About a year ago, my son was going through some very violent rages, psychosis and suicidal thoughts. I remember many followers suggesting that my son needed more medication. One in particular, advised me that his rages didn’t have to be like this and that we could get it under control if we would just add another medication. Being scared of this next step, I didn’t do anything, but endure more rages and let my son suffer. What was my reasoning? I was scared that the side effects would be worse than the symptoms. I was worried that he would end up more sick. As it turned out, I was wrong.
Since that time, we’ve added another medication and for the first time we’ve experienced what true stability is. Things are not perfect, but from where we came, it’s close enough. His symptoms are much better under control. He hasn’t seen any monsters or had suicidal thoughts. His rages are very rare and never as bad as they use to be. For the first time, we’re able to put therapy into practice and as a family, we’re slowly healing from all we’ve been through. Now looking back, I regret not helping him sooner. I regret that I let my fear hold us back.
But you know the ironic thing, adding medication doesn’t get any easier. If our doctor would suggest another medication today, I would research, evaluate the risks verses the benefits and pray. I would still have that nervous feeling in my stomach and take the decision very seriously. However, I’m confident that I would no longer let the judgements of others persuade my decisions, I’ve learned long ago that there are many “haters” that have no idea what your child is going through and are in no position to judge, but will do so anyway. I wish I was prepared for that in the beginning.
This is a long journey and unfortunately there are no right answers, just many paths and in the end, you have to trust your instincts. You know your child best!