adhd with odd

My husband was diagnosed with adhd in 2008, my daughter was recently diagnosed as having adhd as well. Last month she said she also has oppositional defiant disorder(ODD), and that this is probably being more damaging to her life than adhd itself. She prescribed SERTRALINE to treat it. But my husband´s doctor told me ODD is not usually treated with medicines. I read about this medicine and felt scared. I don´t know what to do. Please help! Is this prescription right? Is this medicine the right treatment for Odd? 

Mayo Clinic's website had

Mayo Clinic's website had some information on ODD and included was information about how effective medications can be if ODD comes with a co-morbidity such as ADHD. The medication you listed is an anti-depressant, also marketed as Zoloft. It is my understanding that these types of medications are not usually helpful, sometimes even make symptoms worse, for those with ADHD. My personal opinion is that I would think long and hard, and get a 2nd opinion, before I would give it to my child. Are you comfortable with the ODD diagnosis? Does it fit the situation? I thought that I remembered reading once that it was sometimes a secondary effect of ADHD because of the constant confusion and frustration the child feels and it is compounded by negative feedback their peers, teachers, family, etc...and it causes the anger and defiance. Medication is usually only used in the case of violence and aggression.

Good Luck! Keep us posted! If you're ever not comfortable with the diagnosis or treatment suggested, seek another opinion. My son's neurologist gave me a prescritpion for risperidal (anti-psychotic medication) for his aggression.  Before I filled it, as a last ditch effort, I tried changing his diet (he's autistic) and 18 months later he's a completely different child. No aggression and no medication. The doctors are not always right.

What if it is actually an allergy? I am lost.

I saw a psychiatrist who told me the medicine might work. But she also told me she is probably severely dislexic and that this and not ADD or ODD should be our major concern. Plus, this week we went to see an ear-nose-and-throat doctor, and she told us her ADHD, dislexia and ODD symptoms could all be simply consequences of not breathing and sleeping well due to her allergies. She told me that just by looking at her face´s bone structure, she can tell she is a heavy mouth breather and therefore does not sleep well, and this cam mimic ADHD. I´ve read some articles from the internet, and she is right abouth this. I am totally lost. I don´t know who to follow. My child is 11 and I think I have done it all wrong. I think I might have pushed the doctor towards an ADHD diagnosis as I wanted a rapid solution for her behaviours so much. I have ignored her allergy and let it affect her anatomically and psycologically. And now it is too late to reverse some of the consequences. I can´t tell if she has ADD or not, if she has ODD or not, and if she has Dislexia or not. I overlooked her allergy and now she might have to undergo a very intrusive surgery later to correct her face. Will she blame me? She probably should. Jesus! I hold a PhD, but I feel like an illiterate stupid mother who have done all the wrong parenting decisions one can do. I am so sad ...        

Are You Still There, Cristina?

Cristina, You are a good Mom!  Stop blaming yourself.  We all do the best we can with the information we have.  And regardless of the CAUSE of any of the problems (and I think it's very unlikely that any action or non-action on your part was the culprit!), you are where you are and you must go forward from here, doing the best you can for your daughter.

I am NO EXPERT, but I would find it very hard to believe that not breathing well could possibly cause ALL of your daughter's symptoms!?  Dyslexia often comes with ADHD, and you will need to treat them BOTH.  Everyone seems to be telling you to pick one thing and fix THAT.  But you don't know which one to choose and everyone has their own opinion about one thing being the most important!  I think you will HAVE to treat each of them simultaneously!  How old is your daughter?  

My daughter had some pretty big medical problems/symptoms when she was young and we did not know exactly which medical field to turn to...we had help from pediatrician, neurologist, urologist, gastroenterologist, physical therapist, etc.  The BIGGEST STRESS during all of it was not knowing exactly what was wrong (no clear diagnosis) and ME having to serve as the "case manager" when I had no clue what was happening or what to do!  I would try to communicate everything I could think of to each specialist since they were not collaborating together.  Some of them became very irritated with me because it took so much of their time for me to go through her history at each appointment.  I got so frustrated and upset that we were very close to taking her somewhere like the Mayo Clinic just so that I could get a team of doctors to sit down in a room TOGETHER and find an answer/diagnosis!  Then, a few of the things we were trying started to help, finally.  Her condition was medical, and I think psychological or mental/learning problems might even be MORE stressful.  I feel your pain!  

Sounds to me like you need a "case manager" to help you sort through all the swirling information and advice being thrown at you.  Is there one person who is treating your daughter who you trust the most, who seems to really LISTEN to you?  Maybe you could ask them to help you look at everything from the big picture and help you break things down into categories that can be dealt with simultaneously?


As odd as it sounds, which

As odd as it sounds, which (comorbidity) issue is most prevalent (if they are really there, you seem unsure), does not matter in so much that you need to address the most pressing problems in the best way you feel you should. I am not a physician, but I am a fairly educated mom like you. Having said that, I would suggest you use your gut instinct, and get informed as much as possible on each of these (not just the internet, at least not witbout precautions since, as you know, the info there could be skewed and inaccurate sometimes). I personally would start with the most conservative tactic, diet and exercise, since both seem to address issues of adhd, odd, cognitive function in general. If your daughter is overweight, that could also affect her breathing/sleep patterns as could the adhd. I would also address her dyslexia- is there a developmental optometrist or other specialist you could take her to for therapy? Apparently these types of comorbidities are not uncommon, but even if it was completely unrelated and given your childs age (time of big academic demands), I would address that sooner than later. She might also benefit from an in-class aide to assist her during school hours (part of her rights from the American Disabilities Act: to be allowed to bring someone in after formal diagnoses given?).. I would always, by the way, go for second and third opinions in cases of surgery and "significant" medications, if for nothing else, for peace of mind. Please stop beating yourself up, clearly you are a loving and caring parent.