Early this week, after Luke’s visit to the child psychiatrist, we decided to try medication. Luke has been restricting food all summer. He refuses to eat because he thinks he will gain weight and because he doesn’t feel like he deserves food. Luke doesn’t feel like he deserves to live, actually. His depression and anxiety are serious. He had 4 panic attacks in one day while we were on vacation. He’s quietly self harming. He quietly wants to die. He’s outwardly exuberant and silly – changing from topic to topic at light speed.
Luke also barely passed summer school. He squeaked by with a low C in English and Math. He just can’t focus. He tries. I try. Everyone tries so hard. He just can’t. Luke was held back in 2nd grade and we worried he would be held back again this year. He passed…barely.
We’ve been through a year of therapy, but Luke’s anxiety attacks prevent him from talking with the therapist, psychologist, and/or psychiatrist nearly 50% of the time. He freezes and stares, unable to respond. I’ve read books. I’ve researched techniques. I’ve been working with Luke on mediation and biofeedback and both helped slightly, but not enough.
After a year of trying our best to avoid putting Luke on meds, we decided to give meds a try. He’s on Strattera. I’m keeping a daily journal of his behavior and watching for side effects like a hawk. The child psychiatrist was impressed with how much I knew about mental health, meds, Luke, and Luke’s mental health. She was surprised my relationship with Luke is so good. Jonathan did not attend the appointment with the child psychiatrist. She was also deeply concerned about Luke’s self harm and restricting.
It’s a hard choice to try medication when your child is 13. It’s also hard to watch your child suffer from depression, anxiety, and ADD – their brain raging out of control and inadvertently ruining everything for them. Here we are. Luke’s Strattera sits beside my RA and fibro meds in the medicine cabinet and we take our meds together every morning.