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Parents of ADHD Teens and Young Adults

Teen refuses to take meds


14 yo won’t take meds
Posted by ADHDMom+Wife to Parents of ADHD Teens and Young Adults on Nov 20, 2013 at 2:53pm

My 14 yr old daughter was diagnosed with ADHD/Subtype Ring of Fire by the Amen Clinic in Va.  She was on Prozac with good success for most of last year.  But my ADD husband made a deal with her that she could stop her meds if she finished a series of neurotherapy (which also helped her).  She has been off the meds for nearly 6 months and it is driving me crazy!  She refuses to go back on meds (of any kind), cannot give me a reason, just NO. She is regularly irritable, overreacts, doesn’t communicate and is missing assignments at school.  She is very smart - easily accomplishing A’s and B’s when she likes her teacher and subject, but is regularly getting an F or D for late or missed assignments at school.  Her 504 requires some participation on her part (i.e., asking the teacher to initial her planner) but she won’t do it.  We are on her case daily trying to keep her up on her assignments, but this is exhausting for us and demoralizing for her. What can we do?


“On her case daily…”
How is that working for you?
How would she react if you were to turn that completely around?
While we accept responsibility for our children’s actions and decisions they won’t. You could try distancing yourself from total engagement with these issues, allowing her to rise to the occasion, or stumble a little, whatever, meeting her on a higher plane of gracious affection.
Assume she successfully navigates the terrible teens and is enrolled in a vibrant postsecondary program away from home where she is the delight of her instructors and her friends while being a huge source of never ending pride for you.  If you can imagine that and also imagine how you would treat her when she stops by with her delightful young man for dinner, you have imagined a way you can treat her today.
This can work wonders for all of you but it takes courage and patience. You won’t see any positive results for at least 4 or 5 days.

Posted by John Tucker, PhD, ACG. ADHD Coach on Nov 21, 2013 at 7:18pm

I can appreciate your experience because my 14 year old son rejects the ADHD diagnosis due to stigma, doesn’t want to be on meds (he was in the past - I don’t push it), and is failing in school. I understand it is extremely stressful and anxiety-provoking. I’m afraid that my fear will be something he can pick up on and be negatively affected by. Also, it’s hard to imagine how a “gee honey, you’re really impaired - what can we do to fix you?” kind of message could be received in a positive light. For now, I’m trying to put those feelings aside as I do my best to inform myself about how to get the most out of our IEP. I find that I can’t talk to him about getting support at school without making him angry - and I actually do empathize with his feelings about that. He says he would rather not try at all than try and fail. Anyway, just wanted to say you are not alone.

Posted by sdsea on Dec 04, 2013 at 4:34am

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