Sunday, June 15, 2008

Prepare for Awesomeness

So the kids and I went to see "Kung Fu Panda" this afternoon. I haven't said much about it here and probably won't, but I'm keeping them for all overnights now. They did get to spend some time with their dad this week--he had them over for dinner and then a few hours before bed, plus half the day Saturday--but for now, they're sleeping over here every night.

The Boy is also going through some potentially big changes. Part of it is probably just growing up, getting older and understanding things a little better. He's also taking a second round of a social skills class at the local university, and I think he really is getting some good from it. I've also got him back seeing his therapist a few times a month, so that he can hopefully build more skills for handling the stressful stuff in his life. I think all these things work together, little pieces of a bigger puzzle that makes a picture of a person handling life well or losing his or her shit. I would be remiss, though, if I didn't reveal this piece over here in the corner: He's on medication again.

We tried that back in kindergarten...and wow. That experience is in the archives somewhere. Well, this year, we decided to try again and see what happened. That decision was based on feedback and discussions from him, about how he was feeling in school, with other kids. He tried a typical ADHD medication, and it seemed to help with focus a bit, but not with his moodiness or low-frustration level. We tried a Tourette's medication, but it just made him tired, which made him more moody. Then a few things happened, and what I can say is that it brought up the possibility that we had a hyper-sensitive kid who was suffering from anxiety and stress and--yep--depression. So after much soul-searching and many discussions with his (truly excellent) psychiatrist, we broke out the Zoloft.

Now, this is the teeniest, tiniest amount of Zoloft ever. But interestingly, after 3 weeks, I'm seeing a change. At least I think I am. I'm a little reluctant to call it too quickly, but I swear that he's been less moody this week, and even more organized and agreeable.

I didn't make this decision because I want my kid to be perfect or benign or anything like that. But I remember what it felt like when I was suffering from acute depression. I remember what it felt like to get help for that. He's still an 8-year old boy, and he's still bouncing off the walls and arguing with his sister and getting into all sorts of mischief with his friends and trying to talk me into whatever he wants to talk me into. It's just that I'm starting to see a kid who isn't always on the verge of losing his shit. And that makes me happy.

And I don't know what this has to do with Kung Fu Panda, really, except that it WAS the most Awesome movie Ever. We were indeed blinded by its awesomeness. Plus, I sort of secretly love Jack Black.



Orange said...

My12-year-old niece has been taking Zoloft for about two years, plus occasional Xanax as needed. For her, it means the difference between spending half the day in the school nurse's office wanting to cry vs. thriving in the classroom. She's also got a light box for fall and winter, when the anxiety and blues seemed to be their worst.

No need to feel defensive, dear. You're doing what's best for your son.

Psycho Kitty said...

Thanks, O. I'm glad it's helping your niece.

It's funny--I don't actually feel defensive, as such. But it's a fact that this issue is very touchy.

One of the reasons I love the Boy's doctor so much is that he gets how complicated and touchy it all is. He said, "Do I think there are too many kids out there on medications they don't need? Yes. Do I wish I never had to prescribe another of these drugs to a kid? Yes. But sometimes, they're needed and they work, and that's just the fact." Also, the first round we saw him, he actually chose *not* to medicate. He gets that this is one component of a complex situation.

Clementine said...

I'm so glad that your son is feeling better. As always, we're thinking of you and hoping you're all well!

peripateticpolarbear said...

Sounds like a really good doctor.

Scrivener said...

I'm glad to hear that things are going better. (I just realized that you've been blogging again--sorry.)

Carol said...

I hope you are continuing to have good luck with the Zoloft. Some one once told me (when I was contemplating whether to take meds or not) - "Why wouldn't you want to help the most important organ in your body?" It kind of put things in perspective.

Flew through Denver today - thought of you.

B.E.C.K. said...

I get annoyed at people who habitually pooh-pooh psych meds. Sometimes they're just necessary. I'm so glad your son is doing better. :)

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