Last Thursday I posted a discussion of how we are trying to help our daughter through medication. The very next day, she got taken off her SSRI, and put on an ADHD medication. The consensus was that her complete and utter lack of any impulse control was just unacceptable, no matter how cheerful she may have been.

So, Friday was her first day on her new meds, and it was also the first day of Cub World. Cub World is a cub scout extravaganza, a three-day adventure in the woods, and my son’s first extended sleepout. Although parental participation is NOT required, it turns out that our son was the only kid in his group that didn’t have a parent already signed up.

My wife made it quite clear that she wanted me to step up and go on this campout. And this was quite possibly the last thing in the world I wanted to do. Don’t misunderstand me, I love camping, I love the outdoors, I love my son, but I have a deep dislike of sleeping with strangers and of other people’s children.

As time went on, the wife was suggesting more and more pointedly that I needed to accept this responsibility and get my act together, and I became more and more adamant that I did not want anything to do with it. Eventually, the wife bowed to the inevitable and signed up for the campout, but there is an unspoken understanding, a nonverbal guarantee that exists between us, that I owe her big time, and she will at some future point ask of me a favor that I will be unable to refuse.

Which is all a way of explaining that I was alone with the girl on Friday night, when her stomach started hurting and she started vomiting. This was one of the expected and fairly common side effects of her ADHD medication, and we could expect it to get better in a couple of days. However, the sobbing, shaking, and near-hysteria was not.

The stupidest thing someone who is taking an SSRI can do is to quit cold turkey. It messes with your system something fierce. The wife skipped a couple days of hers once, due to poor planning and a long holiday weekend during which the pharmacy was closed. I’ve never seen anything like it. She was freaking out until she could borrow a pill or two from a friend with the same prescription.

So I suspect the girl was going into SSRI withdrawal. She had already cut down to half doses, but it was nevertheless dramatic.

After laying in bed for a while, with her whole body racked with sobs, she asked if we could watch TV, or play video games, or anything to distract her. So, we watched some of Harry Potter IV, and then we both played ‘Castle Wolfenstein’ cooperatively on the Xbox. Yes, to calm my daughter down, we shot Nazis together.

Psychoactive drug withdrawal. Violent video games. Yeah, I’m pretty much shooting for Father of the Year.

She finally went back to bed at around 11:30, but didn’t get to sleep for another hour or so. I didn’t get to sleep until 1:30 am.

Today, she was good. Her stomach pain is much less, and there has been no sign of the hysteria of last night. We’ll just have to see how it goes.