Hello, welcome to Tips on Teens. My name is Kent Toussaint, licensed marriage and family therapist,
coming to you live on Facebook as I do every Wednesday at 12 o 'clock to answer your parenting
questions. I'm the founder and clinical director of Teen Therapy Center and also the executive
director of the non -profit organization Child and Teen Counseling here in Woodland Hills.
Let's jump to today's question. My son's pediatrician wants to prescribe medication for ADD.
the therapist he works with thinks he it thinks it might be anxiety and not ADD how do I know what
to do it's a great question I hear this question a lot this question kind of mirrors a question
we answered for weeks ago but I think it bears repeating as it is has its own uniqueness to it so
ADD or was really now called ADHD it's a big umbrella diagnosis attention deficit hyperactivity
disorder. There's three components to that. There's the inattentive type, the kids who just
can't pay attention, just off in space all the
time. The hyper type, which is a kid who's just bouncing on the walls all the time and just can't
focus because they're just moving all the time. And there's the also combined, which combines
inattentive and hyperactive. So ADHD is an organic diagnosis. It's someone someone is born
with. It is how their brain is wired. So that's how that is. Now there are a lot of kids who are diagnosed
with ADHD, but I think and sometimes it's over diagnosed. A lot of times anxiety can mirror ADHD.
Now how do you know the difference? First I would try to do some experimentation on your own.
As I know a lot of parents are concerned about medication and I understand why. By the way, I am
NOT a medical doctor. I cannot give you direct medical advice. All I can say is, you know, if you
really want direct medical advice, talk to your doctor. But what what I can't say anecdotally
is, you know, medication, what a parent gets concerned about a lot is how it it kind of dampens
down a child's personality. They kind
of get like a zombie -like. They're just flat and kids don't like it, parents don't like it. The
The other concerns are the appetite suppression, where kids can't eat because food just seems
disgusting. And that creates kids, it lowers their blood sugar, makes them more irritable,
you know, they need to eat to grow, have energy. There's a lot of areas of concern around medication,
and I get that. What I would do in this situation is let's rule out other situations. Let's make
sure that this kid has, and again, I don't know how old this kid is. I don't know if this kid is eight
or 16, excuse me, but let's make sure this kid has a healthy sleep pattern? Is this kid getting
close to 10 hours of sleep at night? Is this kid eating healthy food on a regular basis? Is this
kid getting a moderate amount of exercise? Is this kid have too much screen time? Screen time
can really stimulate a brain and kind of amplify all the hyperactivity or inattentiveness.
So I would want to limit that as possible.
Also what's going on in the home? Is there a lot of family strife? Are parents not getting along?
Is there a lot of arguing and yelling and arguments in the house? Is there a lot of drama? Is there
an event of death in the family? Is there bullying going on? You know, that kind of stimulation,
that can be jarring, can rear itself up, and the symptomology can look like ADHD. So you wanna
make sure all those things are being taken care of. Now this therapist that this kid's working
with seems to think it's more anxiety. Now anxiety again can look like ADHD because they're
so worried it's hard to focus, it's hard to pay attention, they feel like they need to get up and
move around. So I would want to treat the anxiety and anxiety can be dealt with through therapy,
regular exercise, healthy food, so on and so forth. So I would want to go that route. If you're
still unsure and you want to be absolutely sure that you know before you do the medication round
go see a psychologist who does testing
and evaluation. You know, we have a psychologist on staff here named Catherine Barrett who
does testing and can figure out, you know, give a diagnosis of is ADHD the proper diagnosis?
And if you have that diagnosis, if your child has that diagnosis, perhaps medication is a good
way to go. And then you gotta work with your doctor or your child psychiatrist to find out what
the right combination of medication is. And be forewarned, it's an experimentation. Doctors
don't always know exactly which medication to give. There's a lot of ADHD medications a lot
of different types to prescribe and a lot of times. It's experimentation I've seen kids who've
gotten the right balance of medication and it's worked wonders I've also seen kids go through
medication after medication and not find that right balance So it's taking the time to go through
that to find the right solution. I've heard of other people trying alternative methods I've
heard of people trying acupuncture I've heard of people trying
neurofeedback and And, you know, sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't, just like medication.
So do your research, go find that out, keep talking to your doctor, talk to your therapist. If
you like your therapist, you trust your therapist, you know, collaborate with that therapist.
That therapist should have good referrals for you to find out exactly if this diagnosis is ADHD
or if it's anxiety or something else. So thanks for tuning in. We love your questions. Please
send your questions to tips on teens at teen Therapy center comm or you can direct messages right
here on Facebook. We love your questions I'll be right back here next Wednesday at noon to answer
the next question. Thanks a lot. Bye. Bye
Many families today are concerned with seeing if medication is the right treatment option for their child. This week’s Tips On Teens question comes from a parent torn between two choices regarding prescribed medication for ADD. Here’s the question:
“My son’s pediatrician wants to prescribe medication for ADD. The therapist he works with thinks it might be anxiety and not ADD. How do I know what to do?”
Tips On Teens is a vlog that our Clinical Director, Kent Toussaint, hosts every Wednesday at 12:00pm on Facebook Live. He will be answering parenting questions submitted to us by you to our email at TipsOnTeens@TeenTherapyCenter.com. Send us any questions you might have about parenting kids and teens and Kent will be answering them every week!
Head on over to our Facebook page every Wednesday at 12:00pm to watch LIVE! Check out our page here – https://www.facebook.com/TeenTherapyCenter/
If you have more questions or would like more information, please contact our Clinical Director, Kent Toussaint at 818.697.8555.