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Would you give a 6 / 7 year old anti-depressants?

(107 Posts)
Piratejones Fri 06-Jun-14 17:39:19

I’ve never been on AD’s and neither has DH, I’m not completely sure how the effect you, but DH and myself were discussing our options with mini-pirates psychologist for his return to school in September and the big step up to year 2.

One of the things suggested was a 20 day course of Anti depressants to lead into the start of term, not because Mini pirate is depressed but to dull his emotions and help him control them. Even though he is academically in line with his age group, and is physically 6, he currently has the emotional control of a 2 year old, so it can bit like the incredible hulk at times.

It’s not really a route we want to go down right now, we are not dismissing it but we do feel at the moment there are other control techniques that may help (AKA far too early to medicate), but what are people’s opinions on this overall?

Piratejones Fri 06-Jun-14 18:31:10

It wasn't a recommendation, it was with an overview of other possible options and possiblility, but it leaped out as very extreme to me.

ChampagneAndCrisps Fri 06-Jun-14 18:44:26

Two of my kids have been on antidepressants for anxiety related to Tourettes.
One has had a fantastic response to a low dose of Fluoxetine, the other had awful side effects to a low dose of Sertraline and it had to stop.

So, perhaps it's the right thing to do, perhaps not.

20 days is a short time to use antidepressants for - they often take 2 weeks to start working, and my DD had withdrawals coming off Sertraline. She was only on a small dose for 6 weeks.
I think I would be cautious, and I would also ask for another opinion.

LettertoHerms Fri 06-Jun-14 18:44:51

Absolutely not, no, never ever. There are no circumstances by which I would.

The side effects are outrageous - particularly in children and young adults. Worse than an adult would experience, with a higher possibility of suicidal thoughts.

PolterGoose Fri 06-Jun-14 18:46:56

Letter I can only guess you've not parented a child with extreme anxiety.

LastTango Fri 06-Jun-14 18:49:02

Ritalin is a stimulant, certainly not the right medication for him

Then why does it calm down children with ADHD?.

Virgolia Fri 06-Jun-14 18:50:28

Absolutely not'

Are you in the US? They seem very heavy on medicating kids over there rather than dealing with other means.

Piratejones Fri 06-Jun-14 18:50:57

Then why does it calm down children with ADHD?.

It activates the section of their brain that is dormant most of the time.

Rather than calm them, it makes them concentrate and be able to focus, which is what they are unable to do.

mamalovesmojitos Fri 06-Jun-14 18:51:02

No way. I was prescribed ads, at the age of 13, nearly ruined my life. They made me 10 times worse and were the start of a hamster wheel of medication, on and off, for a decade. I deteriorated after taking them for some months, they were later linked to increased suicidal feelings in patients. I'm not a doctor obviously, but I believe they caused me a lot of unnecessary harm, as do some medical professionals I've spoken to since, including a psychiatrist.

See what other options are available. It sounds like you all are facing some major challenges, and I really feel for you. I hope you and your family are getting good support.

mamalovesmojitos Fri 06-Jun-14 18:51:33

No way. I was prescribed ads, at the age of 13, nearly ruined my life. They made me 10 times worse and were the start of a hamster wheel of medication, on and off, for a decade. I deteriorated after taking them for some months, they were later linked to increased suicidal feelings in patients. I'm not a doctor obviously, but I believe they caused me a lot of unnecessary harm, as do some medical professionals I've spoken to since, including a psychiatrist.

See what other options are available. It sounds like you all are facing some major challenges, and I really feel for you. I hope you and your family are getting good support.

ChampagneAndCrisps Fri 06-Jun-14 18:52:19

Letter, I don't want my DS to be on Prozac, but it gives him his life back. He hasn't had any side effects from it.

Life is not always as we want it to be.

JennyOnTheBlocks Fri 06-Jun-14 18:52:58

I think Ritalin works by stimulating the part of the brain that aids concentration and steady thoughts.

LettertoHerms Fri 06-Jun-14 18:54:57

I have a firm stance, that will not change. I did not comment on anyone else's choices. The OP asked would you, and my answer is that I would not.

anyoldnamewilldo Fri 06-Jun-14 18:55:12

I was put on antidepressants at that age because I suffered from terrible night terrors. I can only remember them helping me. No more being afraid to go asleep! Obviously, a different reason for being on them but they had no negative effects on me.

WooWooOwl Fri 06-Jun-14 18:56:02

It's impossible to say whether giving a child medication is the right or wrong thing to do, it's a decision that has to be taken on an individual basis weighing up the positives against the negatives and then ultimately taking a risk.

No medication is without side effects, but if people need it then they need it. That includes children.

It could be that this medication will have a negative effect physically somewhere, but I doubt it would be suggested unless it was deemed a reasonable course of action because of specific reasons.

All you can do is get information from as many professionals as possible,

LastTango Fri 06-Jun-14 18:56:10

I know what it does pirate - I just can't understand why you think it is not suitable for a child "and is physically 6, he currently has the emotional control of a 2 year old, so it can bit like the incredible hulk at times".

Wouldn't it help calm?

Piratejones Fri 06-Jun-14 18:59:19

*I know what it does pirate - I just can't understand why you think it is not suitable for a child
Wouldn't it help calm?.*

No because he hasn't got ADHD, as stated the medication doesn't "calm" children it "wakes them".

MyrtleDove Fri 06-Jun-14 19:03:19

Last ADHD is a neurological condition. If OP's DS does not have ADHD, ritalin won't do anything for him.

More generally - antidepressants are medication like any other. I'm saddened by some of the attitude of some posters towards medication which has been incredibly beneficial for myself and others, including children. Some children benefit from antidepressants, some don't. Antidepressants are widely-used and very safe drugs.

coffeetofunction Fri 06-Jun-14 19:05:28

First haven't read full thread...

My son has ADHD & is depressed. It's heartbreaking when he's low. As mentioned above Ritalin is regularly prescribed for ADHD, however my son takes methylphenidate. It was agreed that this form of medication would be most suitable as it's a stimulant. It's helped improve my DS mood massively, he's gone from being an angry/upset/uncontrollable little boy to being manageable, coherent & happy. Along with this school have been able to provide some weekly "counseling" with one of the teachers, which has help the whole family as we can address issues that we didn't realise where issues, if that makes sence.

I would give my DS AD if I knew that in the long term they would be beneficial but methylphenidate has been great for us.

Take your time, speak to as many professionals as you can, it's taken us 6 years, you'll get there thanks

Upandatem Fri 06-Jun-14 19:08:52

We agreed to Sertraline for DS1 at age 7. I was surprised when it was suggested but it seems to have to have helped although everyone thinks the fist is too low to actually do much.

Mostly though it just took the edge off him not being able to cope at school at all, although not by much. Now he's in a specialist school we have cut it even further back and will look to stop it. It felt worth a try at the time.

GiveTwoSheets Fri 06-Jun-14 19:08:57

If all avenues have been tried then yes I would my only concern would be the timing as I thought that they take a while to kick in (maybe different for children) and would ask about the weaning off faze as I didn't think you could just stop them.

I feel for you as its one of those decisions damed if you do, damed if you don't.

Upandatem Fri 06-Jun-14 19:09:28

Dose is too low, pesky phone.

Piratejones Fri 06-Jun-14 19:35:54

antidepressants are medication like any other. I'm saddened by some of the attitude of some posters towards medication which has been incredibly beneficial for myself and others, including children.

Sorry, you are right and i should not have felt the way i did at the mention of Ad's, but they are not normally perscribed to children.

magso Fri 06-Jun-14 20:08:03

I think the other thing to be aware of is that antidepressant medications have many actions on the nervous system. Some medications are used in different doses to have different effects. For instance a very low dose of a drug usually used as a tricyclic AD can be used to reduce neuropathic pain. I guess it just quietens down the nervous system. Ds was on a tiny dose of a blood pressure medication to help with compulsions and ticks, - at the very low dose it has a different action to the BP use it is best known for. I'm not a pharmacist or medical so can only explain in lay mans terms. I mention this just in case the AD medication is being considered for a different use to its usual use. I would want to know if that was the case.

Before I had DCs I would never have thought I would ever medicate a child (or myself for that matter) with anything used for mental health conditions and well being. Now I have a teenage Ds (who also had a very difficult start to life) with LD/ASD/ADHD and yes after trying everything else we have along the way had to consider many medications - not Ads so far but who knows?

lougle Fri 06-Jun-14 20:11:04

I think I'd be inclined to take a step back and look at the problem and see if this solves that problem.

If the return to school is the problem and he's otherwise OK, are you confident that this school (any school?) is right for him? It alarms me that a child may need medication to cope with attending school specifically (rather than medication to cope with life, of which school is a part). I confess my bias here, though, because I've just deregistered one of my 3 children from school to HE because her school anxiety was ruining her life.

If the start of term is a 'blip' for him, is there anything the school could do to ease his anxiety?

Piratejones Fri 06-Jun-14 20:28:27

If the start of term is a 'blip' for him, is there anything the school could do to ease his anxiety?

He has problems all the time not just school. it's just that the starting back at school will be a major thing for us to overcome

I've just deregistered one of my 3 children from school to HE because her school anxiety was ruining her life.

He only goes 4 days. we use the 5th to go swimming / playing in parks and things we can't normally do because of the noise, plus it's social / emotional education. it's something i asked for 2 year ago (when he needed time with me and the fmaily to bond and catch up with his age group) but they've only recently granted (thanks to a great social worker). but better late than never.

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