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Has anyone here had success using CBD with their children with adhd, anxiety, asd, or depression? DH wants to consider it. He is also ASD with adhd/anxiety/depression, and has been feeling better with it, though he doesn't find it improves his attention significantly. But he's only been using it for two weeks. Just curious to hear what others have tried or think. It's too easy to find websites saying anything I search for ("Changed my life!" right next to "No evidence for it!") I'm at the point of wanting to medicate for adhd and anxiety in two of my children, one of whom is also showing signs of depression. I've heard so much about medicine being a complete game-changer. We've already addressed diet and supplements and exercise. I wondered if CBD would help without having quite as many side effects as standard adhd/anxiety/depression medicine.

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I think it’s too soon to say for CBD.  I also think it’s hard to know exactly what you are getting.  
 

I think studies just haven’t been done and it’s hard to do the studies because of it not being regulated in a way that makes it easy to do studies.

That’s my impression but I could be out of date.  A few years ago there only seemed to be anything solid for epilepsy. 

 

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We have not tried it, though we have had some discussion, because my niece was selling it and wanted to give us a free sample. We declined. DS is medicated for ADHD, and we felt most comfortable with sticking with standard meds that have had years/decades of research, which CBD products have not yet had. We didn't want to add things to his med regime without a doctor's oversight. I have read things about the industry being non regulated, so that the products cannot be assured to have the ingredients that are advertised. Those things all give me pause.

I have also seen anecdotal things about it being effective for anxiety, so some people believe it works.

My niece's sales pitch was suggesting that it is a wonder drug (she did not use the word "drug") that cures all kinds of ails, from digestive to emotional to behavioral, and my instinctive response to that kind of spiel is skepticism. I'd like to see a history of solid research first before trying it with my children.

I'm going to throw one more consideration out there, which may not apply to many families but is a concern for mine. I have concern about DS taking a hemp product, because I don't want to send him the message that marijuana is okay.  Perhaps most teens have the logic and maturity to be able to understand why CBD oil may be okay but weed is not, but I know that DS does not.

I'd be curious to hear from anyone who has tried it, though. DH finds the idea a little more intriguing than I do. I feel cautious.

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23 hours ago, 4KookieKids said:

He is also ASD with adhd/anxiety/depression,

I see this kind of experimentalism locally too. It's not that I'm like no, don't use something that would help (I'm all for helping our kids), but we have known genetic defects that we could treat directly. Then you could see what's left for symptoms, kwim? The anxiety and depression are probably directly related to things like D, 5HTP (which is a precursor for serotonin and melatonin), B12, etc. and they're known issues, easy to test for, easy to treat. There isn't a CBD deficiency, kwim? But you could have low D, 5HTP, or B12 levels due to genetic defects.

VDR

TPH2

MTHFR

Easy stuff to test for.

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17 hours ago, Storygirl said:

I'd like to see a history of solid research

Yes, there are a lot of issues I think right now with the safety studies not being there, meaning it's more a form of experimentalism. And I get the desperation, and I even know people who's issues (untreatable seizures due to rare genetic defects) were so severe that they really warranted taking those risks. But for kids with run of the mill autism, stuff that is genetic, stuff that has a long list of known genetic things often comorbid, I don't see the rush. Treat the things we KNOW are going on, then see what's left and whether it warrants experimenting.

It's kinda like that fad with essential oils. You'd go places and people would be sprinkling their kids with oils, like oh I know he's acting up, let me dot him and he'll do better. I'm like good night, at some point it works better to address what we already know is going on.

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CBD basically reduces the 'firing rate of the synapses'.
Which is why it is helpful to prevent seizures.
Their have been a wide range of studies, into CBD and Anxiety.  Which is referred to as its 'Anxiolytic Effect'.
Which is mainly looking at mechanisms of how it actually effects anxiety? 
Though a major benefit of its use, is that it has very minor side effects.
 

With ADHD, the 'reduction in synapse firing rate'.  Would be more helpful to reduce Hyperactivity.
Its effect on Attention, would be more indirect.  With a reduction in Anxiety.

Also with buying CBD, it is important for a company to provide a 'Certificate of Analysis'.  From an independent laboratory.  Which validates the quality and amount of CBD in their products.

Here's a link to some articles:
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6319597/

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6856203/

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One of my best friends uses it for her anxiety and sleep.  She takes a very, very small amount, and has really researched the right kind to take and spoken with a lot of people including doctors about it.  She absolutely believes it helps her.

Both my dd and dh have tried it for health reasons (both have chronic migraines which seem to share similar brain activity with epilepsy, plus my dh has other health concerns), but didn't find any relief with it.

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On 1/5/2020 at 6:53 AM, PeterPan said:

I see this kind of experimentalism locally too. It's not that I'm like no, don't use something that would help (I'm all for helping our kids), but we have known genetic defects that we could treat directly. Then you could see what's left for symptoms, kwim? The anxiety and depression are probably directly related to things like D, 5HTP (which is a precursor for serotonin and melatonin), B12, etc. and they're known issues, easy to test for, easy to treat. There isn't a CBD deficiency, kwim? But you could have low D, 5HTP, or B12 levels due to genetic defects.

VDR

TPH2

MTHFR

Easy stuff to test for.

 

There is a Cannabinoid system, and parts of cannabis may fit its receptors or activate it somehow?

But a cold shower (or ending with water cold) can apparently also activate the Cannabinoid system, and other possibilities exist too in terms of foods or things done afaik, which could be safer for dc than cbd 

 

We have found INositol, NAC, fish oil/omega 3’s, GABA, glycine, B vitamins, 5htp helpful with anxiety.   Also avoiding sugar.  Sugar spikes and troughs can have symptoms that are similar to emotional anxiety

lemon balm tea

 

not sure about specific to anxiety for us, but keeping up vitamin D3 certainly important

turmeric supposed to possibly help but my son dislikes it

flower essences — May be “just” placebo; I acknowledge that and read aloud what it’s supposed to help with, and I think whether placebo or not, it often does help short term and faster acting than vitamins and supplements (or pharmaceuticals) can.   If something placebo and with zero side effects works, I am all for it as long as underlying issues are Also being addressed.  

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On 1/4/2020 at 9:13 AM, 4KookieKids said:

Has anyone here had success using CBD with their children with adhd, anxiety, asd, or depression? DH wants to consider it. He is also ASD with adhd/anxiety/depression, and has been feeling better with it, though he doesn't find it improves his attention significantly. But he's only been using it for two weeks. Just curious to hear what others have tried or think. It's too easy to find websites saying anything I search for ("Changed my life!" right next to "No evidence for it!") I'm at the point of wanting to medicate for adhd and anxiety in two of my children, one of whom is also showing signs of depression. I've heard so much about medicine being a complete game-changer. We've already addressed diet and supplements and exercise. I wondered if CBD would help without having quite as many side effects as standard adhd/anxiety/depression medicine.



We've chosen to use Concerta for our two that are ADHD inattentive with learning disabilities due to low working memory.  Concerta has been a game changer.  I was told when DS was younger that ADHD meds would be beneficial.  I fought it for three and a half years - approximately.   I wish I had done it from the get go.  We really hurt our relationship with frustration, upset, difficulties.  My advice is to try whatever you want/need, but if you end up using ADHD meds, ignore the stigma in the homeschooling groups.  I am *very* vocal about our challenges and use of methylphenidate when someone is struggling because I'd hate for them to struggle unnecessarily.  My psych said, "Try it.  If neither of you like it or you don't see a change for the positive, don't take it the next day."  It wears off at about 4-4:30 - trust me.  We know when it's no longer in effect.  So much so that we have an additional 10mg for times when he really must function and not drive everyone nuts at night - Trail Life, campouts, etc.    My kids that tend to be ADHD typical (hyper and crazy busy) do fine with heavy activity.  This is not the case with the two we use medicate. 

That said, *I* use a very high quality CBD for my own spasticity.  I was really quite skeptical of it.  I had to have Botox injections up and down both legs and my right arm to relieve spasticity.  They needed to be reinjected every 3-4 months.  They're expensive.  I tried both the state's CBD (Aliviar) and Charlotte's Web.  Charlotte's Web was superior for spasticity.  I've heard good things about anxiety relief but I have no personal story to give you.  I do like their CBD + melatonin for night.

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1 hour ago, BlsdMama said:



We've chosen to use Concerta for our two that are ADHD inattentive with learning disabilities due to low working memory.  Concerta has been a game changer.  I was told when DS was younger that ADHD meds would be beneficial.  I fought it for three and a half years - approximately.   I wish I had done it from the get go.  We really hurt our relationship with frustration, upset, difficulties.  My advice is to try whatever you want/need, but if you end up using ADHD meds, ignore the stigma in the homeschooling groups.  I am *very* vocal about our challenges and use of methylphenidate when someone is struggling because I'd hate for them to struggle unnecessarily.  My psych said, "Try it.  If neither of you like it or you don't see a change for the positive, don't take it the next day."  It wears off at about 4-4:30 - trust me.  We know when it's no longer in effect.  So much so that we have an additional 10mg for times when he really must function and not drive everyone nuts at night - Trail Life, campouts, etc.    My kids that tend to be ADHD typical (hyper and crazy busy) do fine with heavy activity.  This is not the case with the two we use medicate. 

That said, *I* use a very high quality CBD for my own spasticity.  I was really quite skeptical of it.  I had to have Botox injections up and down both legs and my right arm to relieve spasticity.  They needed to be reinjected every 3-4 months.  They're expensive.  I tried both the state's CBD (Aliviar) and Charlotte's Web.  Charlotte's Web was superior for spasticity.  I've heard good things about anxiety relief but I have no personal story to give you.  I do like their CBD + melatonin for night.

Do you think the Concerta helps the inattention or the working memory?  Or both?  My youngest was diagnosed by the neuropsych at 7.5 with mild ADHD.  She definitely has almost no working memory.  We have never seen evidence of inattention in daily life.  We tried ritalin once to see if it would help with academic learning by boosting working memory, and it might have, but the side effects/ personality change/ basically being on speed was awful, so we never gave a second dose.  But now going into high school and looking at getting her learner's permit makes me think it MIGHT be prudent to try again, since I am worried about the effects of working memory and processing speed on driving safely, even if attention isn't an issue.  But I have no idea if that would be effective, and she was discharged from psychiatry.  Her pediatrician is prescribing the anxiety meds, and he'd probably write us an ADHD prescription, but I have concerns about side effects, especially since I'm not 100% sure she actually has ADHD.  

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1 hour ago, Terabith said:

Do you think the Concerta helps the inattention or the working memory?  Or both?  My youngest was diagnosed by the neuropsych at 7.5 with mild ADHD.  She definitely has almost no working memory.  We have never seen evidence of inattention in daily life.  We tried ritalin once to see if it would help with academic learning by boosting working memory, and it might have, but the side effects/ personality change/ basically being on speed was awful, so we never gave a second dose.  But now going into high school and looking at getting her learner's permit makes me think it MIGHT be prudent to try again, since I am worried about the effects of working memory and processing speed on driving safely, even if attention isn't an issue.  But I have no idea if that would be effective, and she was discharged from psychiatry.  Her pediatrician is prescribing the anxiety meds, and he'd probably write us an ADHD prescription, but I have concerns about side effects, especially since I'm not 100% sure she actually has ADHD.  

I believe both.  His ability to "hold" information is markedly different with methylphenidate than without.  But, without it on board, he's resistant to me speaking and every word out of my mouth, so the fact that we can sit, together, and I speak and he takes it in? That definitely helps learning ability too.  Honestly, we would not be homeschooling him without the magic of Concerta.  That said, I am thinking of cutting his dose in half (you can't actually cut the pills in half - they're time released and the coating is important) because they suspect a low dose is effective and I'm curious. I think his doctor would go along with it.  Would it be possible to see a neuropsych again? I like DS' pediatrician and the psychiatrist we saw, but the neuropsych was truly my best resource to understand his brain.

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On 1/5/2020 at 8:53 AM, PeterPan said:

I see this kind of experimentalism locally too. It's not that I'm like no, don't use something that would help (I'm all for helping our kids), but we have known genetic defects that we could treat directly. Then you could see what's left for symptoms, kwim? The anxiety and depression are probably directly related to things like D, 5HTP (which is a precursor for serotonin and melatonin), B12, etc. and they're known issues, easy to test for, easy to treat. There isn't a CBD deficiency, kwim? But you could have low D, 5HTP, or B12 levels due to genetic defects.

VDR

TPH2

MTHFR

Easy stuff to test for.

I agree that CBD is hitting a fad market.  Much of it is nothing but snake oil.  Ironically, I have a slightly more subjective measure than, "How happy do I feel today?"  The spasticity in my legs release more with CBD - and tighten up without, so much so that Mayo sticks me in the legs to the tune of some very pricey botulism toxin. :P CBD makes a noticeable difference.  But, ironically, I have used the state brand (Aliviar) and Charlotte's Web.  CW works better for loosening me up and I've switched a couple times as some kind of weird little self experiment.

While it is true that no one can pinpoint some sort of "shortage" like low B12 or D, we can't just dismiss effectiveness or "need" out of hand because it's a little more complex than that.  Our bodies, as amazing as they are, often go awry from ideal. When that happens, external application of medicines or therapies, etc., can work towards the goal of correcting that which isn't working well.

It's interesting stuff... but a lot to chew on.
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5877694/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Endocannabinoid_system#:~:text=The endocannabinoid system (ECS) is,system (including the brain) and

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59 minutes ago, BlsdMama said:

I believe both.  His ability to "hold" information is markedly different with methylphenidate than without.  But, without it on board, he's resistant to me speaking and every word out of my mouth, so the fact that we can sit, together, and I speak and he takes it in? That definitely helps learning ability too.  Honestly, we would not be homeschooling him without the magic of Concerta.  That said, I am thinking of cutting his dose in half (you can't actually cut the pills in half - they're time released and the coating is important) because they suspect a low dose is effective and I'm curious. I think his doctor would go along with it.  Would it be possible to see a neuropsych again? I like DS' pediatrician and the psychiatrist we saw, but the neuropsych was truly my best resource to understand his brain.

She's super compliant.  Technically, we could see neuropsych again, but ouch, the expense!  We may just try getting the permit and seeing how it goes and revisiting plans if driving is an issue.  It's possible it won't be, maybe?  (It's been an issue for her older sibling, but their issue is just straight up anxiety.)

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4 hours ago, Terabith said:

Do you think the Concerta helps the inattention or the working memory?  Or both?  My youngest was diagnosed by the neuropsych at 7.5 with mild ADHD.  She definitely has almost no working memory.  We have never seen evidence of inattention in daily life.  We tried ritalin once to see if it would help with academic learning by boosting working memory, and it might have, but the side effects/ personality change/ basically being on speed was awful, so we never gave a second dose.  But now going into high school and looking at getting her learner's permit makes me think it MIGHT be prudent to try again, since I am worried about the effects of working memory and processing speed on driving safely, even if attention isn't an issue.  But I have no idea if that would be effective, and she was discharged from psychiatry.  Her pediatrician is prescribing the anxiety meds, and he'd probably write us an ADHD prescription, but I have concerns about side effects, especially since I'm not 100% sure she actually has ADHD.  

Fwiw, what they're not teasing apart there is that not everyone being labeled with ADHD with the DSM has low dopamine. Or it's low but they have COMT defects not balanced out by MTHFR or other opposite type defects and go really irritable/aggressive on dopamine agonists and stimulants.

The DSM is how they're diagnosing the ADHD and the DSM doesn't look at biology, chemistry, genetics, or medical reality AT ALL. I've ranted plenty here, but it's just an obvious distinction. The DSM is psychologists looking at you externally. They don't tease apart or actually identify the chemistry. So of course it's possible to be diagnosed (rightly) ADHD per the DSM and not react well to stimulant meds.

If you want really funky literature, look for the studies on them asking whether you can put someone on dopamine blockers and stimulant meds at the same time. I mean, there's just everything out there. The mind can go in circles.

My ds, unfortunately, has those COMT type defects where he doesn't tolerate methyl donors (becomes very aggressive) and yet is diagnosed ADHD. NO doctor will put my ds on a stimulant med. Now if someone has both some MTHFR defects *and* the COMT, I guess give it a whirl, see how it goes. But if it's only the defects for not tolerating methyls and you've done methyl donor meds in the past and had problems (benadryl, orange juice, hydroxyzine, caffeine, etc.), then yeah be cautious. But it doesn't mean he's incorrect in the diagnosis. I *think* and this is just me, that if you dug in and looked at the numbers enough most of the type 3 combined type ADHD diagnoses are probably chemically that more complex presentation. And your ADHD-inattentive straight (not combined type) are going to be your MTHFR kids or at least not COMT defect, kids who tolerate stimulant meds just fine. That's my *suspicion*.

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2 hours ago, BlsdMama said:

While it is true that no one can pinpoint some sort of "shortage" like low B12 or D, we can't just dismiss effectiveness or "need" out of hand because it's a little more complex than that. 

I think I missed part of your sentence or something. That's exactly what concerns me about what is going on. Docs are NOT identifying and treating (as a mainstream thing) the genetically driven chemical issues that would stabilize mood and are then saying fine jump to this extra measure. That's fine, do extra measures. To me that's like any other med, just a choice. But there is no CBD deficiency, whereas there is the ability to say these other things were low. But our system very seldom treats root problems.

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15 minutes ago, PeterPan said:

Fwiw, what they're not teasing apart there is that not everyone being labeled with ADHD with the DSM has low dopamine. Or it's low but they have COMT defects not balanced out by MTHFR or other opposite type defects and go really irritable/aggressive on dopamine agonists and stimulants.

The DSM is how they're diagnosing the ADHD and the DSM doesn't look at biology, chemistry, genetics, or medical reality AT ALL. I've ranted plenty here, but it's just an obvious distinction. The DSM is psychologists looking at you externally. They don't tease apart or actually identify the chemistry. So of course it's possible to be diagnosed (rightly) ADHD per the DSM and not react well to stimulant meds.

If you want really funky literature, look for the studies on them asking whether you can put someone on dopamine blockers and stimulant meds at the same time. I mean, there's just everything out there. The mind can go in circles.

My ds, unfortunately, has those COMT type defects where he doesn't tolerate methyl donors (becomes very aggressive) and yet is diagnosed ADHD. NO doctor will put my ds on a stimulant med. Now if someone has both some MTHFR defects *and* the COMT, I guess give it a whirl, see how it goes. But if it's only the defects for not tolerating methyls and you've done methyl donor meds in the past and had problems (benadryl, orange juice, hydroxyzine, caffeine, etc.), then yeah be cautious. But it doesn't mean he's incorrect in the diagnosis. I *think* and this is just me, that if you dug in and looked at the numbers enough most of the type 3 combined type ADHD diagnoses are probably chemically that more complex presentation. And your ADHD-inattentive straight (not combined type) are going to be your MTHFR kids or at least not COMT defect, kids who tolerate stimulant meds just fine. That's my *suspicion*.

Yeah, she tolerates most donors fine....no issues with benadryl or orange juice or caffeine.  We gave her one dose of ritalin once, when she was 7.5 and weighed about 45 lbs, and she acted like she was on speed.  Which, she kinds was.   But it makes me suspicious that typical ADHD meds may not make sense for her, despite real struggles with working memory.  And that makes sense, because I'm genuinely not sure that she actually HAS ADHD.  We've never seen hyperactivity or inattention.  She has never had issues in school with attention.  There have been issues with caring enough to behave in a conventional manner, but that's more of an autism issue than an attention issue.

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11 minutes ago, Terabith said:

dose

Is this dc taking buspar? It hits dopamine a bit. Maybe you don't need more? It's an agonist, not a stimulant, so a bit different. I don't actually know how, lol, but I'm just saying they're different. But yeah, she may be getting enough bump on her dopamine with the buspar, hence you not seeing it. You could, in that case, consider a nonstimulant med. Wouldn't aggravate the anxiety and would hit some of the other chemicals. But even then, I think the buspar hits some, doesn't it? 

You can take up working memory with therapy.

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Oh, yeah, I always forget buspar works that way.  Yes, she's taking buspar.  

We have tried all the things to work on working memory, without a lot of success.  I mean, we're up to a digit span of FOUR, but we can't do even two reversed.  

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8 hours ago, Terabith said:

I mean, we're up to a digit span of FOUR, but we can't do even two reversed.  

On days like that I feel really bad I let my kid roll off the bed so much.

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9 hours ago, Terabith said:

Oh, yeah, I always forget buspar works that way.  Yes, she's taking buspar.  

We have tried all the things to work on working memory, without a lot of success.  I mean, we're up to a digit span of FOUR, but we can't do even two reversed.  

My daughter is on Strattera, which helps her working memory A LOT.  However it has a black box warning for those under like 18 or 20 for suicidal ideation.  And I don't know anything about Buspar -- she is on Strattera and Vyvanse and had to lower a dose because I guess they are both norepinephrine boosters? Something like that.  But the combo works GREAT.  Vyvanse is a game changer for her -- all the good of the stimulants with none of the bad side effects and the taper off every evening is so light. (unless the Strattera is helping to mitigate the effects - but Ritalin wear off at night was horrible). 

Working memory and driving combo is not good.  My daughter was undiagnosed and unmedicated in high school and hit three cars (thankfully slowly in parking lots).  She stopped driving when she literally did not see people in a cross walk and Freaked Out.  

Now on Strattera and Vyvanse she has driven two hours from here and parked in Las Angeles.  But she will never drive without medicine.  Her working memory is 40 points lower than her IQ.  

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On 8/27/2020 at 10:05 AM, ScoutTN said:

OP, did you end up trying CBD? 

 We tried a few doses, and I didn't see any noticeable difference, but I was too on the fence about it to continue (despite being told that it takes a while to build up in your system).

21 hours ago, BlsdMama said:



We've chosen to use Concerta for our two that are ADHD inattentive with learning disabilities due to low working memory.  Concerta has been a game changer.  I was told when DS was younger that ADHD meds would be beneficial.  I fought it for three and a half years - approximately.   I wish I had done it from the get go.  We really hurt our relationship with frustration, upset, difficulties.  My advice is to try whatever you want/need, but if you end up using ADHD meds, ignore the stigma in the homeschooling groups.  I am *very* vocal about our challenges and use of methylphenidate when someone is struggling because I'd hate for them to struggle unnecessarily.  My psych said, "Try it.  If neither of you like it or you don't see a change for the positive, don't take it the next day."  It wears off at about 4-4:30 - trust me.  We know when it's no longer in effect.  So much so that we have an additional 10mg for times when he really must function and not drive everyone nuts at night - Trail Life, campouts, etc.    My kids that tend to be ADHD typical (hyper and crazy busy) do fine with heavy activity.  This is not the case with the two we use medicate. 

I'm interested in looking into this more.  One of my children, in particular, suffers from inattentive ADHD and also low working memory as well. Meds have been a difficult one for us to figure out, because I'm not generally averse to trying some meds, but it's been suggested that this one child may be predisposed to bipolar disorder, and they psychiatrist we were working with has concerns about "classic" ADHD medicines triggering a bipolar episode. I'm not sure I quite understand, but I know that when I asked how long it would take to get those meds out of her system if we noticed negative side effects, the psych looked me dead in the face and said that they meds won't cause dd to be bipolar, but if they trigger a bipolar episode in her (because she's already predisposed and lots of folks in my family are bipolar), that that is not something that can be un-done. She will be bipolar from then on. So I have been relatively scared of trying even "innocuous" ADHD meds for fear of triggering something in her. I wonder if Concerta has the same risks for bipolar.

5 hours ago, SanDiegoMom said:

My daughter is on Strattera, which helps her working memory A LOT.  However it has a black box warning for those under like 18 or 20 for suicidal ideation.  And I don't know anything about Buspar -- she is on Strattera and Vyvanse and had to lower a dose because I guess they are both norepinephrine boosters? Something like that.  But the combo works GREAT.  Vyvanse is a game changer for her -- all the good of the stimulants with none of the bad side effects and the taper off every evening is so light. (unless the Strattera is helping to mitigate the effects - but Ritalin wear off at night was horrible). 

Working memory and driving combo is not good.  My daughter was undiagnosed and unmedicated in high school and hit three cars (thankfully slowly in parking lots).  She stopped driving when she literally did not see people in a cross walk and Freaked Out.  

Now on Strattera and Vyvanse she has driven two hours from here and parked in Las Angeles.  But she will never drive without medicine.  Her working memory is 40 points lower than her IQ.  

Dang, so much of this made me hopeful, because my dd has a working memory that is >3 standard deviations lower than her IQ. But I would not be willing to try anything that has that black box warning, because we've already had some scare/danger moments with this child.

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