- teenagers go off because they don’t like being told what to do, or it messes with appetite, or sleep, or the medication makes them too serious, not any fun any more
Going off medication just when high school is starting seems like such an obviously bad idea, but it happens all the time. Sometimes kids are simply asserting their indepenence or resent their parents nagging them about taking their medication.
Sometimes, though, the teenager has legitimate concerns. On medication they feel rather flat, losing their personality, sense of humour or spontaneity.
There are ways to fix this so it’s a pity that they don’t consult before going off. Usually we catch them again when they are struggling in grade 12, but not always. Sometimes they have to learn the hard way. If you are a teenager reading this, do you really love high school so much you want to take another year to complete it?
Fixing a lack of sense of humour might be a matter of a smaller dose that lasts longer, or adding a non stimulant to the current medication, or switching stimulants.
Occasionally what the student really means is that they miss being the class clown, disruptive and silly. They don’t always recognize the difference between being laughed at or laughed with. This can take some support and encouragement and education.