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Prozac Child

Why some people appear to be non-responders is unknown, though several theories have been proposed. Possibilities include an incorrect diagnoses of ADD/ADHD; a different form of attentional disorder; a neurological problem that does not involve norepinephrine; and that the problems are in the cortex rather than the brain. Group Three medications are designed to "calm" the cortex and include Thioridazine (Mellaril), Carbamazepine (Tegretol) and Lithium. My son was never treated with these drugs so I cannot speak for their effectiveness or lack thereof. Other drugs that WERE proposed to us, but never actually prescribed, were drugs designed for Taysachs, which is a disease that manifests as uncontrollable tics. This was because my son sometimes appeared to have a tic, though he by no means had Taysachs.

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Why some people appear to be non-responders is unknown, though several theories have been proposed. Possibilities include an incorrect diagnoses of ADD/ADHD; a different form of attentional disorder; a neurological problem that does not involve norepinephrine; and that the problems are in the cortex rather than the brain. Group Three medications are designed to "calm" the cortex and include Thioridazine (Mellaril), Carbamazepine (Tegretol) and Lithium. My son was never treated with these drugs so I cannot speak for their effectiveness or lack thereof. Other drugs that WERE proposed to us, but never actually prescribed, were drugs designed for Taysachs, which is a disease that manifests as uncontrollable tics. This was because my son sometimes appeared to have a tic, though he by no means had Taysachs.

The last drug my son used was Prozac. This was prescribed when he was 15-16yo during the period he was attending a school residentially, to cope with his manic depression. He took the drug for approximately 3-4 months. There was no obvious improvement, IMHO, though his counselors DID feel that his improved ability to face and verbalize difficult feelings was evidence to them that the drug was doing its job. Prozac, like most anti-depressants (including Doxepin), takes several months to show its benefits because one has to build up a baseline concentration in the body first. After giving Prozac the minimum three months to build up and one month or so of observation, we did not feel it was sufficiently effective to justify its continuance. Moreover, my son showed a strong reluctance to rely on any further medication and I was of the opinion, based on my ongoing researches at that point in time, that diet would be a more effective tool to affect his behavior. I was never, unfortunately, able to prove this out, as the school's dietary guidelines did not coincide with the diet I wished to employ and I was unable to institute and enforce it when he finally came home to stay.

I asked my son what he remembers of the drugs he took:

Ritalin: No appetite, slept a lot, no energy, very depressed. Was 57# when we removed him from the med.

Imipramine: Doesn't remember at all.

Doxepin: Tasted like shit.

Catepres: Very energetic, like a high almost.

Emergency while on Catapres & Doxepin: Right after my visit that day, he felt he suddenly couldn't move, too weak to move, sweating hot, tired, down (depressed), no appetite. Smiled throughout the ambulance trip, it was a thrilling adventure. Experience lasted about three days.

Prozac: Didn't help, lots of headaches.

Addendum: My son mentioned, and I can confirm, that throughout his years on medication he had very frequent, sometimes daily, headaches, bad enough to take pain relievers and go to bed. He also had very frequent nose bleeds for no apparent reason. These occurred out of the blue, like sometimes he'd just be sitting on the sofa watching TV and he'd leap up and dash to the bathroom or kitchen sinks. Sometimes they occurred at night and woke him up. He also said his headaches were so frequent, his teachers often did not approve pain relievers because they thought it was a manipulative fake out on his part and often gave him time outs and punishments instead. I can also confirm that most of his meds disrupted his appetite and sleep habits profoundly. Moreover, he was 17 years 3 months old before he entered "puberty", that two-year period of rapid growth and development of sexual characteristics.

Whether his delayed development is due to the drugs he took or to genetics is still in the air. An unemotional analysis of his height/weight development seems to indicate that his below average development began well before he was ever exposed to drugs and so his delayed puberty may have been in the cards from birth. However, it is also true that most of the drugs he took were designed to affect him neurologically, meaning in the brain, and this could have, in turn, affected when the brain triggered the pituitary gland to begin accelerated pubescent development.


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