Sunday, November 25, 2012

Hearing the Music

Nothing can shoot primal fear into the soul a parent like me as a mental health med change in our teenage son can. Nothing.

We're in the middle of one right now. Well, that's not exactly true, because we've been working on something since July. Changing meds that can propel your kid into anxiety that pulls so strong against living well is excruciating to watch close up. But you do it because of the potential benefits. Those potential benefits speak to us, drawing us in because we have to try.

It goes a little like this:

A little less of that, no more this, back on that a little, then more, then on that and less of this one. Again. Repeat.

We've been in this dance for a long time. Nearly three year ago we signed our son over to a (mental) hospital to keep him safe. Luckily we've not faced a huge number of med changes for him - maybe 8-10 - and only a few that have been significant. Significant being a change required because something was making his day harder, not easier. If his depression, anxiety or impulsiveness got in the way of engaging in life then we consider a med change with our doctor.

In our special needs world waiting for test results, or meds to work or to watch closely while a med can improve life or make it harder is a lot like playing an instrument. I've always believed it's like using that instrument to play a song and when you do play, you hear nothing.

Maybe you hear nothing for days, weeks, months. When you do finally hear the music, it is when you learn if the music makes any sense. Did you hit wrong notes? Just a small mistake and recover so the end result is okay? Or when you heard it, was the music unrecognizable, not music at all and something that was ugly?

When the music we play is unrecognizable, we know what's going to happen. We always do. We will play it again and again until we recognize the song. And the happy, engaged boy we know is in there.

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Julia Roberts is on Twitter at @juliaroberts1 blogs at Kidneys and Eyes, is co-founder of Support for Special Needs, and writes for Aiming Low. She's a lover of Diet Coke and naps. She'd love to start a petition to get that actor Julia Roberts' twitter handle. 


  1. Stability is the goal. I pray you and Gage find it soon.

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