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Advice & tips please! My 17 yr old son was diagnosed with ADHD
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flutterbyz3 posted:
I have taken my son to receive the mental health that I believe he desperately needed over the past 5 years. Always was told, "it's a growth spurt", "he's being a boy" ..those kind of answers. Finally found a Dr. that actually took time to listen to my son and so thankful that my son recogonizes that he needs help and told the truth instead of "sugar coating". His temper was bad at 12 but now in the past year and a half it has been explosive! Over the smallest of incidents. He has not done well in school at all, it seems the harder he tries the more frustrated he becomes then anger. He doesn't sleep well at all. One minute he is smiling and happy and the next all hell breaks loose! I am not familiar with ADHD nor meds to treat this although I have done research I would really appreciate any advice from someone who has a child that suffers from this or anyone who lives with someone that has been diagnosed. He has a Dr. appt in August to discuss medication. I am to the point that I am afraid for him because he has these outbursts that just terrify me to the point of I am scared he is going to hurt himself. In the past and now, he hits walls, trees, but lately he hits himself. When he finally calms down, he tells me how sorry he is and that he gets so angry that he hits himself to try to calm down by feeling physical pain. He tells me that he feels dead on the inside and tired of life. He is such a good person and I'm so proud he is my son, he goes out of his way to help any and everyone if they have a problem, He is precious to me and I pray that he will follow through with getting help because he deserves to have joy in his life. I didn't realize at the time (and neither did he) that the father of my children has ADHD and I divorced him 10 years ago because I just could not handle the outburst and the abuse. I do not want my son to follow in his father's footsteps. Any info, advice or tips would be greatly appreciated!
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Boyzmomee responded:
Kudos to you for being persistent in getting your son help!

I have two sons, one with ADD and one with ADHD. Neither of them are explosive, hit walls, hit themselves or express that they feel "dead inside" or are "tired of life." These sound like symptoms of depression rather than ADHD but that does not mean your son cannot have both. ADHD can co-exist with other disorders and both can be treated. Your son may be depressed because of his struggles and frustrations or he may be depressed for other reasons. Both ADHD and depression (along with other mental illnesses can run in families.)

I hope you are taking your son to a psychiatrist. He/she is the physician best able to accurately diagnose and treat your son.

Keep supporting your son and encouraging the evaluation and any recommended treatment. He may need counseling as well. Tell him he can feel so much better.

It is so hard to see our children suffer. Hang in there and let us know how things are going. Others may have some advice as well.

(My husband has ADHD. "Abuse" is not a symptom of ADHD.)
 
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ImpactADHDCoach responded:
You have already overcome the biggest obstacle in helping your child manage his ADHD -- you recognize that he is not lazy or "bad." As you so clearly explained, your son has a problem and needs support, and you are on your way to helping him with that. WAY TO GO, Mom!
A few thoughts. First, as the boysmomee said, definitely seek the input of a psychiatrist. Mood regulation is complex and can be complicated by other conditions such as depression or anxiety. Next, you might consider checking into ADHD coaching for your son -- the Edge Foundation is a great resource for ADHD coaching for students at edgefoundation.org .
Third, pay attention to nutrition and exercise. The data is clear that managing health can do a lot to help people manage their ADHD. Protein is critical for the brain, and exercise is critical for mood management!
For you, we are starting a new site for parents of kids with ADHD called ImpactADHD, and I suggest you join us (trial period is free). It's a great place to get some coaching and focus on yourself, and find a community of other parents who can relate to your struggles.
Finally, keep reinforcing the positive messages you're sending your son -- he needs to be reminded daily that he is not bad and that he can overcome these challenges, and that you'll be there to help him. ADHD will not likely go away, but it is manageable once it is understood. Help him to learn about how ADHD shows up for him, and empower him to learn to take care of himself. Sometimes this means "putting the stick down" and learning to forgive ourselves for minor mistakes. Other times this means identifying his strengths and learning to enhance them (a coach would help with that).
Keep on talking and reaching out -- you're on a great track to success!!
 
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flutterbyz3 replied to Boyzmomee's response:
Since posting this, I have learned much about ADHD as well as ADD and you're right ..self abuse is not a symptom. Thank you so much for taking your time to reply. I have been taking him to a psychiatrist as well as a doctor and he was diagnosed with depression as well. It does run in families (you're right again) and the fact that he reminds me so much of his father when he has (had) these 'meltdowns' led me to believe that it was ADHD. My youngest daughter has autism and requires much of my attention that I'm now finding out that alot has slid right by me without my noticing concerning my other 2 children, for that I can not change but am very unhappy with my parenting skills over the years. I have raised my children with no help from their father at all and at times felt spread so thin that you could probably see straight through me. I've always seen it as my responsibility (and blessed) to make decisions concerning their physical, emotional and spiritual well being with their best interest in mind and heart, I failed miserably . However, I'm happy to say that my son is doing very well on medication (Adderall) and more than anything I'm so very thankful to see his smile once again:) I don't know if this will be a long term treatment plan. Counceling and the guidance from our youth pastor has also made a huge difference. Thank you once again!
 
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flutterbyz3 replied to ImpactADHDCoach's response:
Thank you so much for your reply! I will definately check out ImpactADHD. I have done quite a bit of research on ADHD and ADD since I asked for help. He was diagnosed as being depressed as well. I take him to counceling and also our youth pastor has been a great help. The medicine has really taken his appetite away and the only good meal he eats a day is breakfast (before med) after that his appetite is gone and when he does try to eat, it makes him sick to his tummy. So that issue will be brought up at his next Dr. appt. I can already see such a difference in him and it is so beautiful to see him smiling again, words just can't explain! It helps immensely to talk to other parents for whom which are watching their child go through this struggle. I will also check out the Edge Foundation. Thank you for the tips and I do agree that diet and exercise play a role in how you feel both mentally as well as physically. On top of all else, I have enrolled him into a gym with an older gentleman as his coach. Trying to put positives in his life so he doesn't focus so much on negatives. Since my 1st post, he has had 4 car accidents (before medication, before youth pastor, before gym) I'm grateful to God my son is still alive because the last accident he had, he slid on wet grass and hit a house traveling 60 mph. He has really been down on himself about that but with all the encouragement he realizes that it was not his fault. I've wondered if perhaps he had these accidents because his mind would not allow him to concentrate and be aware of his surroundings. He is not yet allowed to drive, not for punishment but for the safety of others as well as his own. He did not speed, nor was careless. All 4 accidents happened within a week. 3 minor, the last one was a doozie. I can buy another truck but I can not buy another son. His anger seems to have diminshed greatly, he seems to take every day tasks more in stride and is able to focus. I don't know if this medication is long term but counceling, church and the gym are. It has broken my heart to watch his struggles but I'm so very proud of him that he is not 'fighting' me to get the help he needs. He has the sweetest heart and always goes out of his way to make others laugh even when he is sad. He is beautiful, I'm so blessed to be his mom. Thank you once again for telling me about these other sites and for your reply


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