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08 Jan 2008

ADD Sister causing Stress in Family
Good Morning Cyber Doc

I wonder if you could offer any advice. I have a 7 year old sister that lives with my mother in Cape Town; she has been diagnosed with ADD. I never realized the extent of her condition till I was with them over the Christmas period; she is extremely demanding and at times overwhelming. She screams and shouts at my mother and would swear that my mother never disciplines the child but she does, I mean I even couldn't handle it any more when I tried to take her off her hands for a day. She is so destructive that she can destroy somebody with her words.

My little sister is currently seeing a shrink but, she is completely destroying my mother. I barely hear my mother laugh any more, and I have only once heard my sister laugh (really stomach laugh). My mother is concerned that my little sister will hurt herself, as she is already pulling chunks of her hair out when she is angry or bored. She really gives my parents a hard time and they are really trying. The sad thing is my little sister is left with no friends as no one wants to send their daughter to play with her and none of the other parents want my little sister over as they can not handle her.

I'm must be honest though I'm concerned that she could be bi-polar or have split personality, as one moment she is a loving angel that really tries but 5 minutes later she is then the a destructive monster and next she's crying cause she's sad and lonely.

It is a whirl wind emotion with her and unfortunately my mother and step father are caught in the middle. They have got her on Ritalin but that barely last and if they can not handle her and give her Ritalin then they battle the whole night to get her to sleep.

Every time they give her Ritalin she can not sleep and then is even worse in the next day as she hasn't slept properly. It really hurts to see my mother battle like this, my mother has once already gone off the wall were she couldn't handle it anymore and stormed out the house just to get away from my sister for 3 hours.

I guess I'm trying to ask if there is no other medicine on the market that they can give to my sister to keep her calm during the day but, at the same time won't keep her up all night.

Please help me come up with a better solution for my mother as I can see she really is going to land up in hospital from the stress that my little sister induces on the family.

Many Thanks

Liam Blakeway
Answer 497 views
Expert
CyberDoc
cyberdoc

01 Jan 0001

Dear Liam
Diet sometimes play a huge role in the condition: Try to eliminate dairy products and other animal products because these contain hormones, pesticides, antibiotics and the diseases of the animal itself. Eliminate caffeine, sugar and other sweets, processed food, MSG, aspartame (Nutrasweet) and other sugar substitutes and any foods that contain preservatives, food dyes or other chemicals. Give her omega 3 supplements.

Stimulant medications prescribed for ADHD include:
Methylphenidate: most commonly used medication for ADHD; effective in 75% to 80% of patients; not recommended for children under 6 years of age
Dextroamphetamine: effective in 70% to 75% of patients; not recommended for children under 3 years of age
Pemoline: effective in 65% to 70% of children; not recommended for children under 6 years of age; should not be considered the first-choice medication for ADHD because its use has been associated with liver failure
The following medications are recommended for those who do not improve from stimulants:
Alpha 2 -agonists (such as clonidine, guanfacine): helpful in individuals who are particularly aggressive or oppositional; may cause low blood pressure in some individuals
Antidepressants: bupropion for children who also have mood disorders such as depression; tricyclics (such as imipramine) for individuals who also have tic disorders or significant symptoms of anxiety and depression

See this article for more info: http://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/publications/adhd/complete-publication.shtml

Dr Bets
The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical examination, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.
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