“To Medicate or Not to Medicate…How About Some Wine?”

As we struggle with the decision to medicate or not to medicate, I read way more than I probably should. At home, we can deal with Max’s curiosity and constant motion – in fact, we’ve come to find it an endearing (yet sometimes trying) part of his personality. At school, I completely understand how this can be a distraction to the rest of the class and a source of frustration to a teacher trying to herd kittens. For the past 2 years teachers have mentioned “retaining” him. He’s a SUPER bright kid (and I’m not just saying that because he’s mine!). I’m terrified that if we hold him back he’s going to feel defeated, lose confidence, and be incredibly bored (increasing distracted behavior). Again today I called his doctor to discuss possible options to help get him through the remainder of the school year. “Are you having him drink coffee every day?” Yes. “Are you still using the Rhodiola?” Well, we sorta didn’t notice a difference and gave that up. “Does he sit on a ball or a chair? Can they give him a desk he STANDS at?”


Bottom line, neither his doctor nor his Dad or I WANT to see him medicated for a myriad of reasons. For me, the primary reason is that I’m a total kook who Googles the hell out of everything. Like many of you (I suspect), I Google until I find the answer I’m looking for, then I feel a little better. With ADHD medication, that answer is elusive. I want to read that he can take meds only on school days, magically pay attention and not make his teacher insane, not be a zombie child, not become addicted, and not get the suicidal side effects. Is that so much to ask? Every year we go through this (I go into extreme panic mode) around this time.


I’ve talked to teachers, therapists, doctors, parents who medicate, parents who don’t, family members, friends, and perfect strangers. I don’t judge parents who are medicating their kids legitimately – I completely get it, and I don’t envy the nights they stayed awake trying to figure out what to do. We all want to do what’s best for our kids. We know we’re going to eff them up somehow straight out of the gate, it’s inevitable; but we definitely try to do the least fucky thing possible.

I’m off to email the teacher, schedule ANOTHER meeting, maybe get a ball and a stand up desk. And some wine. For me, not him.



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