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Parents of ADHD Preteens

Daughter doesn't want to take meds anymore

My daughter, who just turned 10, has decided she doesn’t like taking meds and feels she is better off without them.  We happen to have run out of meds and have to wait for a dr’s appt to get a new prescription.  These past 3 days have been difficult.  it is very obvious to everyone else that without the meds, she is difficult to be around.  She seems to be enjoying the crazed, almost manic, behaviour - but no one else is. 

So, how do I explain to her that she needs the medication without making her feel bad about who she is?  She claims she doesn’t need it to do her schoolwork, and I believe she likely doesn’t.  She does, however, need it for social awareness and emotional control.  It feels wrong to me to tell her that it is hard for friends and family to be around her when she is talking constantly, continuously impeaching people’s personal space and crossing boundaries, and over reacting - whether positive or negative - to every stimulus.


Does she understand why she is taking them? I was diagnosed when I was six, given Ritalin but didn’t take it long. I was rediagnosed when I was 10, put on Adderall, after a while I quit taking them. All I knew is that I had to take a little pill, and my sister didn’t. Haven’t since. :( Looking back, it’s like I was in my own little world my whole life. No one ever explained to me that I was different. I mean, I knew I felt “different” and I had problems in school, but I never knew why. . Here I am at 24, finally realizing why I’ve struggled all my life, it’s crazy. I guess I would just recommend talking to her doc- but don’t let her go untreated, make sure she understands why she is taking them, and explain how they help her. Good luck smile

Posted by Runningw/shears on Jan 18, 2014 at 6:56am

I think you’re right.  I tend to talk about the issues of focus and memory and things that have to do with getting stuff done, and not about the emotional and social side of it.  But it is her lack of awareness of other people’s feelings (and inability to control her own emotions) that cause problems with friends and family and group situations.  That is the biggest help the medication is giving her right now - the social aspect.  Thanks for the reply!  I feel I have an idea of how to explain it to her now.  smile

Posted by 3crazygirls on Jan 19, 2014 at 2:59am

My son went through the same thing and it was mainly because he didn’t like the way he felt (and was a very difficult person to be around) when he was coming off the medication.  We decided to let him stop - after all, he is in middle school and the stakes are not incredibly high yet.  After a few weeks of struggling miserably at school he asked to take medication again.  We tried something different this time around and it is working well and his transition period is not as brutal.  For now all is good, but I think this is always an evolving process that has to be tweaked and that’s what we are trying to help him understand.

Posted by runningslowly on Feb 07, 2014 at 7:48pm

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