To medicate or not to medicate…here we go again

To medicate or not to medicate…here we go again

After 9 long months of waiting, appointments, referrals, and more appointments, today was the day. Today Tommy got to see a child psychiatrist…

Before becoming a dad, they’re not two words I’d have naturally put together. But having gone through this process with Jude 5 years ago, it seems no less strange than any of the other many professional titles involved with the welfare of my two boys.

Our appointment today was as a result of some incredibly difficult months for Tommy, and some of the most trying times for us as a family. There’s been lots of violent outbursts, lots of destructive behaviour, and it’s been heartbreaking to watch how distressed he’s been.

All of the suggestions from the various teams involved, the sensory and behavioural strategies just haven’t touched the sides.

So today was the day to sit down and discuss medication. Not a decision you come to lightly, but when you’ve tried everything else, when you’re at the end of your rope, there’s not many alternatives.

We’ve been here before with Jude. That’s made the process a lot less emotional, a lot less scary. Having seen the huge benefits it’s brought to Jude’s life, it’s been a lot easier to make that decision for Tommy.

We were also lucky in that the psychiatrist we met today was fantastic. Knowledgable, friendly, polite, he understood what we’d been through, and how much this could benefit Tommy. How much difference it could make to his life.

He also picked up on some other factors and explained them in great detail too. Tourette’s might be another diagnosis he receives one day in the future.

For now, before we can start the medication, there’s the small matter of a blood test to negotiate, which really won’t be fun 🙁

But there’s progress. We feel comfortable with our decision, and hopeful that we’ll see some progress over the summer.

Tommy is an intelligent, inquisitive, cheeky young boy. Yet he clearly has difficulties processing all that goes on and functioning in the world. Therapies alone just aren’t doing enough.

It’s not a position as a parent you ever expect to be in, deciding whether you should medicate your child or not.

Yet, if it was any other organ in his body that needed medicating you’d do it. Because it’s his brain there’s a lot of stigma that surrounds it, a lot of guilt that comes with it.

Not that it should be an easy decision, it should be well thought out, alternatives explored. So if medication is all that’s left, if that’s the point you reach, it shouldn’t be something you automatically rule out.

I’m under no illusion that medication is a magic cure, that will fix everything. But it’s going to be part of a strategy to try and help Tommy be more relaxed and content.

We owe it to our kids to try everything to make their life better. That’s what we’re trying to do 🤞❤️

You can read more about our medication journey in the pieces below

To medicate or not to medicate, that is the question

To medicate or not to medicate: One year on