Sunday, December 07, 2008

Communication is SO important./ dangers of ritalin

About a year ago, Ben told his Daddy and me that he was seeing/hearing a "friend" who told him to do things. Because I freaked when I heard "autism", I was adamant that I would not freak at the idea of "schizophrenia". I would just accept it, and keep an eye out for "delusions". After all, schizophrenia is the one thing psychiatry can't enigma that cognitive therapy or medication can't cure.

Now, the reason I am writing today is because of a conversation we had last night. At the time Ben went through this, I noticed that delusions were a part of the side-effects of Ritalin. I initially tried to remedy it by decreasing his dose. Things got tougher at school, because of the lack of behavioral constraints that "vitamin r" gave Ben. But I felt it was the first line of defense, just to be sure, to decrease the dose.

So I have been holding it in my heart that Ben was possibly schizophrenic. When he stayed up late at night and talked out loud to the t.v., I tried to wake up enough to listen to what he was saying, presumably to "her". My weak little mind was looking for answers, wondering why Ben seemed so sensible all the time. I thought he was hiding it really well...

So last night, he has me read a story he is writing about a boy and a girl caught up in a train simulation exercise, looking for clues and answers to escape. He warns me it has taken on a sexual tone, and not to read it. I think I might read it in the morning while he is sleeping...but I promised him I would not, and try to hornswaggle him into letting me read it, which, to my surprise, he allows.

" I don't really care for the sexual stuff." I tell him, as it is my duty being raised a catholic.

I bring up the episode of a year back.

"That only happened for about two weeks. I've never seen or heard things since then!"

And I know he is telling the truth.

Can you imagine if I had freaked out of fear? He would have been put on new meds...who knows how he would have reacted, and the downward spiral could have desended us into a hell of who knows what.

Fear sucks. Communication rocks!

Forgive me Ben, but sometimes when we go through things, it is so others can be helped.


Maddy said...

Oh dear. I know that feeling all to well when something new 'arrives.' My brain goes into overdrive on 'fix it' mode but as often as not whilst I'm spinning my wheels wondering what on earth I should do now, a little time passes and things turn out completely different than I thought. Well done you.
BEst wishes

r.b. said...

Thanks, Maddy! It makes me feel better that I'm not the "only" one!

Mrs. C said...


Glad that's over for you. Poor Ben. But good for you for not overly freaking out!!

Dr Chun Wong said...

I think our job as parents is to be "unshockable" and to keep the lines of communication as open as possible, that way our kids can talk to us. It sounds like you're doing a great job.

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