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Today I share more news on Aj, my six year old son who I had always thought may have a mood disorder or something since he was born. I won’t get into all the long drawn out stories of Aj, but you can catch up on past blog posts about my son Aj by clicking here.
Recently, meaning about one week ago there was a significant difference in how Aj was behaving, sleeping and reacting to various things in his world. Once he was on Risperidone about a year ago, he became the “normal” four year old boy who would still test limits and do things that kids that age do within normal limitations. Without medication, Aj does not do anything within normal limitations for his age and tends to be irritable as well as easily placed into a fit of rage. Risperidone was helping. Risperidone had to be increased in dosage about six months ago, but it was working. Until about a week ago.
I noticed that Aj was starting to be psychotically hungry, climbing the walls as if he was starving and he is a boy who isn’t starved. Aj is 4’3″ and now weighs 96 lbs. Risperidone was putting weight on and it was only getting worse as time went on. Then Aj started to have issues falling asleep, something that he barely does when on proper medication. Put it this way, if Aj was on zero medication he would seriously not sleep at all, well maybe a few hours a night, but never really getting into that deep sleep state.
Once we met with his psychiatrist this past Monday, it was agreed that Aj is not only having these symptoms at my house but also at his Dads. As much as his Dad and I hate to admit it, we had no choice but to change medications. Due to the significant weight gain, a side effect from Risperidone, his psychiatrist wasn’t comfortable increasing that dose and in all honesty it wasn’t working as great as it was a year ago anyways. There really was only one other choice that isn’t known to have children put on weight with it, but it may increase activity levels. That choice was Abilify.
Any medication that Aj is going to be on, due to his loose bipolar diagnosis, is dangerous. Each medication that he has for a choice is an anti-psychotic drug which carries huge health risks and require annual blood work to ensure his body and health is doing okay. Abilify is what we went with. Abilify started on June 6 and there will be a follow up in one month to ensure this medication at the dose given is working well.
Aj’s Dad and I are just frustrated because we just wish he wouldn’t need medication. It’s such a risk, however, the benefits outweigh the risks and watching him grow from baby to now, we have seen the really amazing benefits from having him on the proper medication. The good news is that his brain is still developing which means he could possibly outgrow this as his brain matures. With adults who have this condition, they cannot outgrow it because there brains are already fully matured.