Problems after depression/anxiety attack

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FrustratedParent

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Hey guys, so it's now been some months after my son's depression/anxiety attack. Let me summarize his situation. He was diagnosed at age 4 with ADHD and "Mild" Autism, he had been doing fine until shortly before turning 15 mid last year when for the first time he started showing signs of depression and anxiety so we started taking him to a therapist but in september it became severe that I took him to the ER, they referred him to a Mental Hospital where he stayed 10 days to stabilize the suicidal thoughts and attempt and they put him on zyprexa. When discharged from that hospital, for the next month we saw signs of him getting back to normal then they recommend a Psychiatrist who switched the med to Zoloft and he has been on this ever since for a few months now. Problem is, since he started taking zoloft, no suicidal thoughts or issues BUT over time I am seeing new what may be side effects of the zoloft.

He used to be a very happy very active child prior to the attack and now he's the opposite. He was addicted to his computer and never watched much TV and he could not sit still for too long, he would keep running around the house and outside every so often whenever he needed a break from his computer. Now, he is the opposite, he's hardly on his computer anymore, watches more tv now not all day but more than he used to. He spends most of the time just lying down and staring into space and now he can't seem to focus on anything for more than a minute and when he's doing anything he will zone out lost in thought, you would think he's sleeping. I am also seeing more symptoms of full blown autism as time goes by.

His Psychiatrist says maybe the attack did more damage than we realize and now it's showing and taking over. I am thinking the zoloft might not be the med for him and thinking of going back to zyprexa but he says the zyprexa is only used to stabilize suicide issues and he needs the zoloft to battle the depression and anxiety so I am lost, I am thinking maybe instead of relying on a general psych maybe I should seek someone who specializes in Autism? Any ideas or leads at all which be so appreciated, anyone?
 
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Gajolene

Gajolene

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The only thing I can think of is to see a pediatric psychiatrist or ask to be referred to one. Has he seen a neurologist as well. May be worth looking into. The side effects of these meds can be tricky. Do keep a journal of his moods and activities so when you do go back in the p doc will have a better picture of his progress. As his is a comorbid condition he may go through a lot of med changes as he progresses into adulthood before they find the right combination for him. Don't be afraid to challange doctors if you know something needs to change even if you have to insist on changing doctors to get results. I relate as I have to advocate for my sons regularily and have had to fight too in the past when meds didn't work and conditions worsened rather than improved. Huge hugs to you being a primary caregiver is hugely stressfull and challenging
 
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FrustratedParent

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Thank you very much for your insight and help. I am thinking to tell his psych to take him off of zoloft and let him start taking zyprexa again which will prevent the suicidal issues then see what happens and if we see some semblance of him going back to his normal self them maybe we can experiment with different things?
 
Gajolene

Gajolene

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It could also be a matter of him just reducing the dosage by half if he is sleeping to much and too zoned out to communicate. With doctor,s authorization. These to me are red flags to be concerned about. If it's really bad a trip to [email protected] and a psych unit reevaluation may be your only option.
 
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FrustratedParent

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Could very well be because he started at 25mg zoloft then that has increased to 100mg now. I am thinking the zoloft is not the meds for him in the first place because it's only since he started with the zoloft that he started showing most of these symptoms. The psych had originally said that the zyprexa is only to keep him calm and the zoloft is for the depression and anxiety. Is zoloft the industry standard or the main med used for depression?
 
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FrustratedParent

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To complicate things even more, his new Psych says that the procedure when administering new meds is to start with a low dose [25mg] see how it reacts then increase slowly and test but his previous Psych saw that the 25mg wasn't working so he increased within 2 weeks to 50mg then seeing that my son is not doing well with symptoms getting worse he increased to 100mg again within 2 weeks. Now my son is almost non-responsive, it's like it takes a few minutes to hear that we are asking him a question and spends most of the day doing nothing, lost in thought and cannot concentrate on anything for more than a minute.

His new psych says we are going to take off zoloft in a safe way going from 100 to 50 to 25 then when he's completely off the effects of the zoloft we can try other options. Can anyone tell me please if what my son is experiencing might be the depression taking over or might it be the effects of the zoloft?
 
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