Medication to control ADHD, bipolar disorder and other mental illnesses can be both a benefit and a bane to the children who take them. Our son, born addicted to illicit drugs, has had zero chance to function without medications modifying his affect.
What does this mean?
Simply put, without medications, he has little hope of being a functional member of society. Even with medications, his chances are at best fifty percent.
Without meds, there is no self-control. He has a difficult time sitting still for more than a couple of minutes with his meds, without them, there is no sitting still. He sleeps three to four hours a night without his meds, sometimes less. With his meds, he averages about 6 though they are restless hours. On some occasions, usually every couple of weeks he can go two to two and a half days without sleep. We have no idea what causes these bursts.
We have done blood work like you can’t imagine. We have had a genetic make-up done of him. He has undergone an MRI, EEG and EKG. All show little in the way of damage. However, his complete and utter lack of empathy, shows that there is damage in the frontal lobe.
Currently, if someone is upset, if you look at him, you can see that he is analysing the emotion that he sees. Sometimes you can even see him attempt to emulate that emotion.
One of the more frustrating things is that given his birth history of prenatal drug use, his body adapts quickly to new medications. His body is quick to metabolise and adapt to new medications. So we are constantly working to keep ahead of his body.