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Should I allow my 10yr old daughter to be put on psychotropic meds

My daughter turned 10 years old as of last week. Ever since I can remember she has always been off. There is no happy medium with her, she is either extremely happy or extremely angry and upset. Things that would bring most children her age happiness and joy do not for her. She always tends to find something wrong or a downside. She is very set in her ways and does not like structure,function,or discipline. She also becomes very aggressive with her older sister and little brother when she is in these mindsets. To top it all off about 3 years ago her dad was murdered. As I don't believe this is the ultimate cause of her issues I do believe it affected whatever she already had going on in a dramatic way. She has been in counseling since the incident occurred and has a tremendous support system. Over the past eight months her condition has increasing gotten worse. Over the past few weeks she has become suicidal and claims to be hearing voices. Today was her first appointment with the psychiatrist. After a 2 1/2 hour session of going over all the issues, problems, concerns, family history along with speaking to myself alone, my daughter alone, and us both together. Her psychiatrist feels as if her psychosis is real and not the affects of something she watched or heard from someone else a movie or television. She feels that the best course of action is to start her on medication sooner rather than later since her symptoms are so severe at this point. Along with the fact she believes she is also depressed and suffering from anxiety. She gave me one of two options. One being to get blood work and as long as her levels are good starting her on a psychotropic medication being either the lowest form of Risperdal or Abilify. The second option would be to place her on a antidepressant,  which she recommended Prozac or Zoloft. Both options A and B terrify me. As she is only 10 years old and I'm severely afraid of the side effects and or damage any of these four medications could do to her body or her brain at such a young age. But I also don't want my daughter to be suffering with in her self on a daily basis either.  I am extremely conflicted and don't know what is right or what is wrong or what is best or what is worse at this point all I know is that my daughter myself and our family cannot continue on living like this. Has anyone out there lived through this  or went through a similar situation. Has anyone had a child at this age who has been on any of these medications by them self or in a combination. Will the risk be worth the reward. Any answers or feedback are welcome thanks in advance a scared and concerned mother!
3 Responses
Avatar universal
Even if I had been through this with someone other than myself, it wouldn't matter to you because individuals react to medication very differently.  What works splendidly for one person can ruin another's life.  Our brains are extremely variable, we metabolize medications differently, and our levels of illness are different.  Our motivation for getting better differs.  I think your concern about medication is appropriate -- none of them were ever tested or approved for children (this is mostly because testing drugs on children is generally prohibited) and because children's brains are not yet fully formed.  Doctors are allowed to use them, however, because once a drug is approved for any purpose, doctors are allowed to use them for any other purpose unless specifically proscribed.  Now, abilify is an antidepressant -- it was approved only when every other antidepressant had already been tried and failed to work.  It is most often used in conjunction with an antidepressant that is working but not well enough.  If your daughter is psychotic, we have no treatments for this other than drugs -- therapy doesn't treat this, though it can make the person better able to function while on medication.  Nobody here can make this diagnosis for you.  I also would say having a Dad murdered might have a much larger impact than you give it credit for.  Kids that young especially have a hard time processing that information.  So you have to follow a practical course here.  The first thing I'd do is get a thorough work-up with the best doctor you can find -- it could be lots of things, including nutrient deficiencies, autism, hormonal problems, blood sugar problems, thyroid problems, hidden viruses, a host of things that are not easy to find and that the average doctor does not look for or know how to find.  After that, I'd get a second opinion from the best psychiatrist you can get referred to see.  If the diagnosis comes out as psychosis, I don't know what alternative you have to medication.  If it doesn't, you do.  
Avatar universal
Great response above.  I know from adult experience that risperodol, the smallest dose, has been very helpful for me. Hearing voices, hallucinations and delusions all went away. I pray your daughter finds relief soon.
Avatar universal
Medicine right away! Don't let it get worse! The medicine will not destroy her.
And you know this how?
I think we have to be cautious about medicating children and can't blanketly say a child should be medicated and it won't destroy them.  Each person is different. We just simply do not know over the internet.  Careful medical evaluation is important and with a psychiatrist and psychotherapist that specializes in children.  Sometimes medication is a choice made and under the right circumstances can help a child.  But a psychiatrist well versed in this treatment choice needs to be on board.  good luck to the original poster. that's so hard to be in that situation with our beloved kids
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