Alexi’s appointment at the psychiatrist today went very well. The first hour was spent going over family history without Alexi in the room. Fortunately, she is also Rian’s psychiatrist so she is familiar with the family dynamic so I didn’t have to go over the darkest stuff – what a blessing that was! Alexi’s counselor from OECYC was also in attendance, another blessing, so she was able to share her insights.
We identified Alexi’s three biggest issues as:
- losing himself in fantasy worlds – TV, movies, video games, books, card games (Pokemon, Digimon, etc.)
- not wanting to go to school
All of which really boil down to anxiety. The doctor opted, and I was in full agreement, to increase his anti-anxiety medications by 25mg/day. Alexi’s been on a very low dose for about a year and the doctor said there was lots of room to increase if needed. That’s one thing I really like about the pediatrician who has been in charge of his care for the past few years. He doesn’t believe in medicating children with a maximum dose. He believes that medication is only an aid that is meant to complement cognitive behaviour therapy. And he’s absolutely right.
I will never discount the importance of the right medication – trust me, it’s saved my life. However, medication without therapy and counseling is like a printer without ink – it’s not nearly as effective (this was my other simile; like chocolate without peanut butter – separately they’re good, but together it’s magic. I’ve been craving chocolate for weeks now, but pick whichever one works better for you).
Alexi spent some time alone with the pee-sychiatrist (if you’ve never watched Animaniacs you won’t get the “pee” part). He didn’t seem very happy when his counselor and I rejoined them in the doctor’s office. Alexi has a great deal of difficulty trusting people, which is understandable, so I’m pretty sure that was part of his displeasure. The other part was because he did not want his meds increased. Alexi hates taking medication. I can’t blame him, I hate taking medication too, however, it’s necessary so we do it (kinda like eating vegetables – “Hello, my name is Holly and I’m a dessert-etarian”.). I explained to him that the increase in meds was necessary because he’s grown so much (he sat up a little straighter) since he started on the current dose. This made sense to him and he agreed that the increase was “ok”.
To celebrate his successful visit we went to Marble Slab and indulged in some decadent, creamy goodness (this has become a tradition with Rian so I thought I better do the same thing for Alexi). It’s a good thing they only see the pee-sychiatrist every 6 to 8 weeks or I’d soon be needing a new wardrobe!
Here’s the Animaniacs ode to their pee-sychiatrist, Dr. Scratchandsniff. Enoy!