With the advise of a therapist we were working with, I have taken my kids to see a psychiatrist. He and the therapist both suggested that some of them be on medication because they were SO disregulated SO often. Reluctantly, I put them on the medication to see if it would help. The potential side effects scare me and also I was afraid that they may become dependent on the medication.
I desperately want to find a way to help them regulate naturally, without the risks the anti-psychotic drugs have. Every time we get low on a prescription, I let it run out and decide that we can try to do our day to day things without the help of this medication. And after a few days of rages and kids who feel out of control (sometimes they tell me this themselves), I again, reluctantly, reorder the medicine and start over.
And their behaviors improve, dramatically.
Am I worring over something I shouldn't be? Am I wrong in not wanting to give them this medication when it obviously allows them to function so much better and it allows them to feel so much better about themselves? Do the benefits outweigh the risks?
We all take natural supplements but have not seen much improvement by the supplements alon. There are other supplements that I have not tried that I think I will. In the mean time though, I feel torn. I feel torn between letting my kids have a chance at feeling in control of their emotions with a medicine that is proven to help them, but poses so many risks, verses trying alternative options while they feel out of control of their emotions and actions. Is that fair to put them through that?
In the meantime, I still have a huge learning curve ahead of me in how I can help them deal with these extreme emotions. Just when I think I've got a handle on it and I'm really helping one child, another will start to rage then sometimes even another all at once. Then I think, "How in the world can I meet all of their needs at once? How do I be there for them, help them through this when I need to be so much more than one person who is still learning?" Usually, I end up having to send one or more of them into their rooms to rage (to keep the others safe), while I help another one to regulate. Is that fair? I don't think it is. I feel torn and overwhelmed at the tasks that lie in front of me sometimes. I want to be there for them every time they need me but sometimes, I am forced to make them wait.
I know that it won't be like this forever. I know that once we all have the tools to help things run more smoothly (beginning with me, so I can subsequently give them those tools) things will get better. In the mean time, I'm studying every second I get. I'm leaning about natural supplements that helped other kids like mine. I'm learing about parenting interventions that will help their brains to begin to function differently. I'm praying with all of my heart that my learning curve won't have to last too long and that the kids will be able to live up to their full potential.
I can see their potential. I see a great set of kids who have so much ability and who are learning to love and care for others with such tenderness it touches my heart everyday. I don't fear for their future, because I believe that they will grow to become great adults full of kindness, love and responsibility. Having said that, I know that much of their progress depends on the kind of parent I am to them now. That is a responsibility I take very seriously. Because I can see so clearly where I lack, I am constantly striving to learn more, do more, and to be more for them.
I can't thank these kids enough for the awesome opportunity having them has given me to become a better person, a person with more understanding, compassion and love. They have given me the opportunity to evaluate my life, my actions and my thoughts in a very deep way, everyday of my life as I strive to become more like Christ and to love them as He does. And more importantly to care for them as He would if he were here.
But still I'm left with the question: Do I medicate them or not? Have any of you been in a similar situation? What did you decide? What was most helpful for your family?