better life through chemistry

Pharmaceutical companies are frequently criticized by doctors, consumers and insurance companies for the  high costs of their drugs.  I used to think that the minor reformulation of medications by drug companies in an effort to extend their  patents was just plain wrong.   I will no longer be critical of drug companies, because in my opinion they create miracles.

For many adopted children, the care that was withheld and/or the trauma inflicted on them during childhood can have lasting effects on their delicate and developing brains.  Brain structure including the pathways that assist children with regulation of emotions can be damaged.  Introduction of structure, consistent and  loving care and therapy can help to repair some of the damage.  For many children, psychiatric medication is an important component of treatment.  Medications to treat ADHD symptoms, depression, anxiety and in some cases symptoms of psychosis can make the difference in whether a child will be able to function within their family, school, social and community settings.

The last six months or so have been pretty miserable around our house.  Blow ups, verbal abuse, property destruction and chronic anger have been the norm.  Medication has  been a part of our son’s treatment plan since before he joined our family.  At a recent appointment, our son’s psychiatrist agreed that an increase in one of the medications was warranted.  Much of psychiatric pharmacology relies on trial and error.  It may take many tweaks before the right combination of medications is found to reach the desired effect.  I was hopeful that this higher dose would take the edge off of some of my son’s symptoms.

Three days into the change I can already see significant changes.  Our son is more animated and interactive with both Tom and I.  Only on two occasions in the past 3 days has he become upset.  In both situations, he was able to calm himself within just minutes.  Although he was clearly angry, the intensity of his anger was greatly diminished. Only during one episode did he use profanity and it was not directed at either of us which was happening daily prior to this change.  I sat down on his bed last night to say good night and he brought his hand to my face and squeezed my cheek.  This folks is our  miracle.

I hope that I am not  writing this post prematurely.  It could be coincidental that these great days just happen to occur directly after a medication increase, however, I am choosing to see the glass as half  full.  I would like to write the makers of Risperdal a letter thanking them for the hours of labor and millions of dollars that they invest to bring a medication to market.  Because through their dedication lives are changed.

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