I think the drugging of kids in this way is very dangerous to their natural developement and wellbeing. ADHD has never been proven scientifically to exist. There are no biological tests available and diagnosis comes from a short checklist of symptoms which could apply to almost any child ie Clumsiness and fidgeting. If a child fails to pay attention he may just not be interested or there may be 100 other reasons. Every child is different and also very special and forcing kids to take such dangerous addictive substances is similar to child abuse. The best cure is old fashioned unconditional love,patience and understanding and also a healthy diet and plenty of sleep. Remember You know your child better than any psychiatrist who will just prescribe drugs and more drugs. Childhood is precious and so is health
19 May 2010
in my case i have "adult adhd" and i know more times than not people are mis diagnosed. i dont think a child should be forced to take a medication just as a babysitting method, ya know. i was just recently diagnosed and the med im on is a stimulant but as with EVERYONE medication affects each person differently and u can set your watch by it... i take meds in the morning and within 45mins im asleep for hrs on in. so... no children shouldnt be forced to take meds that can simply be taken care of with showing children love and attention.im not happy with my med and told my dr and he not only didnt and wouldnt change it... he upped the dosage and milligrams and i feel like a walking zombie WHEN im actually awake.i would hate to know any child had to be feeling as i do without the understanding of why they feel as they do... and stimulants r very addictive, im with ya all the way on this one!
26 Sep 2010
I saw signs of my daughter's ADD as early as kindergarden. In first grade she was unable to get her work done in class, always daydreaming and watching the other kids. Her teacher felt it was a maturity issue and that she would outgrow it. We started a behavorial reinforcement program to help her learn to get her work done during class. We started with a book that she she brought back and fourth each day and the teacher would give her a happy face when she did well. When she did not she would send the work home. She was able to get the work done at home because I now understand that I sat with her and kept her on task. As she progressed into second grade about mid year it became apparent that she could no longer keep up with the class work requirements. This teacher would not allow her to bring the work home where I would keep her on task. We started to use some behavorial programs to help her stay on task in class.
We used a bottle caps program that they had had some sucess with in the past. She would receive 3 in the morning and 3 in the afternoon. If she stayed on task she would keep all 3 bottle caps and that would be added to the daily chart. She would get a treat at the end of the week. I know this one can be a bit negative but at this age they love to get on the chart and I tried to make so that she wasn't loosing bottle caps when she was off task but keeping them when she was on task. We did this forever and she was not able to keep all 6 bottle caps for one day. The school added a shield around her desk to help her not see what the other kids where doing while she was working. I was balistic. This type of labeling to me was very negative. That is when I decided to have her tested outside of the school. I bit expensive but I wanted an independent decison made after their last move to help her. She was diagnosed ADD and I learned the differences between ADD and ADHD. At my wit's end I agreed to try using the medicine in a small dose. The Focalin XR allows her to take only on school days and I work with her pediatric neurologist to provide the smallest amount of medicine required to get the positive result. From the first day she took the medicine she was able to keep all 6 bottle caps every day for 2 months. She was so happy with herself that I knew it was the right decision.
So while I agree with you that medicating a child is not something anyone should rush into. It is important to have the behavorial measurements in place in order to measure the benefit of the medicine. For my child it is the right decision to keep her self esteem healthy!
19 May 2010
The medication has a reverse effect for children that run like they are a motor. Their minds are racing so fast chemically that it is almost impossible for them to concentrate on school work, directions, tv shows, etc... our child has become a model student thanks to medication. Without his medication his teacher notices a huge difference. His doctor says that he is at a disadvantage compared to the other students who's brains are functioning normally. I respect that you have your opinion on the matter but you are preaching it when us mothers that have to take care of a child that has the condition hurts and cry's almost all the time because he has been held back in school and doesnt have any friends cause of his actions and non-actions. Please before you have an opinion on the matter consider the fact that for one his doctor did not feel he needed this I did because I was tired of watching my son go nowhere in school fast.
So many people see the difference in him and appreciate his intelligence more because he is using it in the right places instead of randomly. My son felt so out of place and not like the other kids at all now he feels like he is just like everyone else. Do not dis the medication it has its perks for many reasons and many people. Having too much energy is not always a good thing it could be the childs biggest downfall my child has gotten hurt having all of his energy now that he slows down and can think before his actions his outcome is greater and better.
13 Jan 2011
Hi, I don't know why I felt the need to say the same things I already have, but just rereading this really upsets me. I hardly think any doctor would be so irresponsible as to give a child a medication judging from a "short checklist of symptoms" I also think that doctors for the most part know what they are doing. They are human though, they make mistakes usually in an effort to improve and/or save a person's life. Yes, there are those who aren't practicing as they should. To say love and patience wll cure an attention deficit disorder, reminds me of the people who pray that their children will not die, and from that they refuse to take their own child to a pediatrition for life saving medications. Now that is not to say I don't belive in GOD, and of course I would pray, I also believe that there are many, many doctors who have improved a child's life, an adult's life and even a beloved pets life. Of course we are all here to try to help by sharing knowledge and/or experiences. Fall Queen
7 Jul 2010
I used to feel as you do until my son entered school. I can telll you that a child who had ADHD have such a hard time. The easiest way to explain is picture a tv that constantly changes channels that is how their brains are going. And kids that go untested because the parents dont want their child medicated... That is child abuse my son now is 16 and he was put on it two months ago as a trial only basis. when we went in for his check up he honestly hugged his doctor and thanked her .
Give the poor child a chance to be able to concentrate and feel in more control. It doesnt mean it will be forever and if you have a good doctor they will monitor your child and there are other meds similar.
Or you can watch your child go thru special ed-because they cant concentrate long enough to learn.Low self esteem and always in trouble. It isnt their fault. There isnt anything i have ever heard of "forcing" drugs on kids.That is where responsible parenting comes in. Just dont limit your childs ability to be able to learn and love. You would be amazed.
18 May 2010
ADHD does not have "a short check list", I mean, yeah, theres only 3 MAIN symptoms, but theres still other details to ADHD then just that. Medication is only prescribed to help with those symptoms so children can preform better while taking it, not to cause "child abused". Its impossiable to FORCE a child to take any medication, It all comes down to what the child wants to do. Because, a child isnt going to take a pill if he/she doesnt want to take. An some children these days arent able to witness or have "old fashioned unconditional love, patience and understanding" from anyone. So the only alternative for them are medication, witch works great for them most of the time. And yes, parents usually do know there child better then there psychiatrist, but the psychiatrist most likely knows more about diseases, disorders and medications then the parents do. So dont you sit there and try to accuse the children and docters of problams that you feel isnt right! And the docters only want to help, not "abuse"!
25 May 2010
On the "existence" of ADHD.
There are many disorders, both mental and physical, which have no surefire test -- our body of knowledge on the science of the human body and mind is far from complete, and if scientists only explored what can only be proved to the layperson we'd have no science at all.
That being said, it behooves us not to condemn that which we do not understand. I didn't initially understand my husband's disease (bipolar disorder), which progressed quickly in his last years here on the earth, ultimately resulting in his suicide (this was without medication -- he resisted meds, not out of disbelief but just his sheer, heartbreaking, stubbornness, and despite that it really helped him for the 4 months in 1999 when he did take them). There's no test for bipolar disorder either, no scientific proof at all. But as much as I came to know about it in my attempts to support him, I could now write a book. I could easily devote 500 pages to the very existence of the disease.
And now that I understand what ADHD is, as a result of being diagnosed myself, I finally have an explanation for the nature of my unusual ways of thinking -- ways which prevented the brightest child in her class from accomplishing the simplest of tasks. I'd skip a grade one year and be held back the next. They couldn't decide whether to put me in honors class or remedial. But I wasn't "naughty" -- I was sick. The more I was told how naughty and lazy I was, the more negatively I perceived the most central part of myself -- the way that my mind inherently works -- and it's a miracle I didn't off myself any number of times growing up, when I often considered it. Had there been better knowledge of the disorder at the time, and/or even one concerned educator, I may have had an entirely different -- and satisfying -- life. As it stands I have the opportunity now, at least, to commence new thinking and new life. And the medication really helps, by the way. It's like a puzzle piece finally completing what was always an incomplete set of tools.
I won't have anyone saying it doesn't exist. If it doesn't exist, I don't exist. (And I do cast a shadow.) General ignorance of its existence cost me my entire childhood and deeply affected another 20 years of adulthood after that. Please -- if you don't know it and understand it, be happy that you don't. It's not a picnic. But don't condemn what you don't understand. You could easily hurt people in this way, whether directly or indirectly, and to further injure someone already in suffering.. well, you could easily knock someone off the edge that way. I know, I've spent some time there.
20 May 2010
I am an adult that believes... no... KNOWS that I have had ADHD all my life although had never before seeked treatment for it until recently. After an eight hour test at the University of Michigan Health Care Center, I was told that I had symptoms of adult ADHD but could not be diagnosed because none of my symptoms had been documented as a child. (Odd, since you contend that all the Docs are overdiagnosing and just thrilled to write another script). I have since gotten treatment through behavior modification and a very light dosage of adderral (15mgs). It has completely changed my life for the better in many ways. There certainly are side effects to the meds but they are small challenges compared to what I had been battling all my life. These symptoms were not "Clumsiness" and "Fidgeting" as you believe but much more persistant and serious.
Oh, but the way, I was raised in a very loving and supporting environment, got plenty of sleep, and ate fresh veggies everyday of my life, my mom saw to that.
I think it is dangerous to state that a disorder does not exist, especially one with which you don't seem very familiar. Everyone is certainly entitled to their own opinion and I am sure there are some out there that may benefit from your advice given above (as well as the three other replies you have posted on this site which are very similarly themed) but you are grossly understating the effect that this disorder can have on an individual, even one that had received your "best cure" of unconditional love, patience, as I have. ADHD is recognized by the National Institute of Health, the National Institute of Mental Health, the World Health Organization, the American Academy of Pediatrics, the International Society for Mental Health, the National Association for Child Development, etc. Surely, not every one of these and the countless other Governmental, public, and private institutions that research or treat ADHD and every single one of their employees are just trying to get a kick back from Pfizer or GlaxoSmithKline. You are correct that this mental disorder has never been "Proven" to exist because brain functions are difficult to measure, but new research is ongoing. Check out an article by Krain called "Brain Development and ADHD" in Clinical Psychology Review #26 that states that the frontal lobe and the cerebellum are both shown to be different in ADHD patients. The National Institute of Mental Health has also shown that the brain in ADHD children follows the normal patterns of development but lag behind an average of three years. Also, SPECT scans have found reduced blood circulation, usually indicating lower neural activity, in ADHD patients. The Brookhaven National Laboratory and MT Sinai School of Medicine are studying the brains production of Dopamine, or lack thereof, in ADHD patients. What are you criterion for a mental disorder being "proven" anyways? Do you believe that any mental disorders exist? Alzheimer's? Depression? OCD? Narcolepsy? Anxiety Disorders?
I hope my tone is not too argumentative, it is not meant to be read as such. I was, however, shocked that on my very first visit to this website and this particular support group for patients with ADHD that this is one of the very first posts I came across. I was surprised.
I too, like yourself, believe that childhood is precious and that health is too. It is because of this that I hope that everyone battling with this disorder that reads your advice above perseveres in their treatment despite your posts.
24 Jun 2011
Seriously, you have no idea what you're talking about, "stopdruggingkids." Why don't you spend your time raising your children instead of attacking other parents who are making agonizing decisions? You've obviously never had a child with ADHD (or ADHD yourself) so you have no clue. Get a life.
1 Jun 2010
lol ! I wish my psych also overdiagnosed . I have been battling inattentive ADHD all my life but came to know its a disorder only a yr ago . Still I didn't to go to the psych for a yr till now when I couldn't focus on anything at all.
Before I used to think I'm inattentive coz of the atmosphere at home what with dad being an alcoholic and mom taking out her frustrations on me as I never lived up to my own ,my parents' ,my friends' or teachers' expectations
But dad has been sober for a yr now. Mom cheerful all the time but my mind is still racing. I was supposed to be preparing for an exam but I could finish 1 single book in 4 months and then not a single chapter in the next 8. Finally I had to see the psych. But he refused to believe I had ADHD.
So in desperation I went ahead and bought strattera on my own. And I could feel the difference on the very day I took it. That day I went out with my parents and realised I was actually remembering the turns we took on the way. Normally the fact that I dont remember roads is a joke in the family.Now I could actually read the whole newspaper without jumping pages and paragraphs. ( even reading the wikipedia article on ADHD before had taken me days coz one paragraph was enough to bore me). Since strattera has anxiety as a possible side effect , for last couple of days I have stopped taking strattera to see if the lexapro I'm taking for panic disorder is working or not. And I am back to 'normal'. Haven't been able to go through the newspapers since yesterday.
1 Jun 2010
4 yrs ago at the age of 23 I moved back with my parents to prepare for an exam. Within months, in Jan 07 I had my first panic attack in a mall. I didn't realise what was happening and was confined to my house for a year .When my parents asked me to go out with them I'd make excuses that i'm studying. But I did try. I'd get dressed but by the time I got into the car I would be pale, short of breath, shaking, dizzy etc etc. I read somewhere that attacks passed after 10-15mins. Well not in my case. Every social occasion was torture.
Now, my mom is into nutritional supplements. So she would make me have Multi mineral-vitamin tabs, Vit B,C,E, Salmon omega,Calcium magnesium, iron, protein,ginseng and fibre (for general health not for my panic disorder- she didn't know about it). But they did absolutely nothing for me. Also I'm quite weight conscious. So I totally stay away from junk food and exercise half an hour daily and also do breathing exercises. The food cooked at my home is also healthy.
But all these did nothing. Then in Jan 08 my mom brought a book on nutritional supplements which had sections denouncing pharmaceutical drugs like anti depressants etc. But thanks to the book I realised that something like social anxiety actually existed and that people other than me suffered from it. The same day I went to a psych who gave me sertraline and later inderal. They saved my life. I felt like a normal human being.
But thanks to my mom's nagging about me being "the first mad person in the family who had to go the psych" I didn't go back for my next appt. Till Jan 09 I survived on beta blockers. Again thanks to mom I gave up beta blockers for 3 months or so last yr. And the attacks came back. I am perfectly fine at home but stepping out brought on severe attacks. So I started with the beta blockers again but took them only when I had to go out.
This yr I went to my psych actually for ADHD meds but he gave me meds for panic attacks. I am doing fine on them though I feel the dosage needs to be upped. Anyway through my 2 posts I simply want to say that at least in my case only pharmaceutical drugs worked both for ADHD and Panic attacks. Nothing else worked - healthy home cooked food, food supplements, exercise, calm environment, breathing exercises, keeping off junk food, watching only 4 hours TV a week... nothing.
Instead of calling psychiatrists pill pushers (I really wish my psych had ODD-Over diagnosing disorder)I feel instead its the food supplements manufacturers who are ripping off gullible people like my parents. My nutritional supplements cost nearly equivalent of $300 a month while the prescription drugs cost me equivalent of something like $10. So 'stopdruggingkids' I am not trying to fight but you are oversimplifying matters with your prescription of vitamin B complex ,ginseng and fish oil for all mental problems. I take all these and some more.
And yes fear, panic, depression, inattentiveness are part of being human. But when these things escalate to the point where you become a vegetable then being a half alive zombie on prescription meds is a better option.
1 Jun 2010
Now that Ive finally somehow gone through the other answers even I want to say a few things about my childhood. Although my dad was an alcoholic he has always been quite a loving person. And its not like mom nagged me day and night. She scolded me when my results came out because she couldn't understand why I always underperformed. Throughout my school and college life my teachers,family and friends felt I'd be really successful. I have an IQ of 140 so I'm not dumb.
I had a great childhood. We had an orchard where I'd run around with around 10 friends all my age climbing trees and eating fruits. My dad would take us out on drives.My maternal grandparents lived with us.
I believe ADHD is a hereditary problem. My paternal grandfather who was highly intelligent and belonged to a renowned family spent all his life in a comparatively low ranking official position while all his brothers were highly successful. When people describe his idiosyncrasies I can recognise ADHD symptoms.
My own father inspite of being the most intelligent & charismatic among his siblings and childhood friends couldn't hold a single job for more than a few months. Today he's unemployed while his brothers and friends are all in high ranking positions. Because of his frustrations he turned into an alcoholic.
I don't see how not getting any treatment for ADHD has helped my father in any way other than turning him into an alcoholic loser.
4 Jun 2013
I agree with some of what you say, however my daughter is 10 years old. She does not fidgit and was never hyper (above a normal child) she didn't get into trouble in school and could sit in her seat. However she struggled in school every year, at first (kdg) the teachers would say "just study every night" which we did, we went over the words, did flash cards etc. by 2nd grade still same thing. She was way behind other children and wasn't able to attain the information we would go over the night before it would take her 4 hours to complete her homework, she would get of the bus at 4 PM, have a snack and we would start at the dinner table. Dinner would be served, we'd clear the table and start homework again.
What kind of life is it for a child to come home from being at school all day to doing 4 more hours worth of school work and then going to bed? And I sat with her these 4 hours every single night, she received tutoring at school and I paid for additional tutoring so she was also doing 2 hours of school on the weekends plus any homework or studying for a test. This continued her through every grade, finally in 3rd grade I made the school test her for learning disabilities.. I mean what else could it be, we are doing all this work, she had a great attitude and wanted to do better, it broke my heart to see her face when she would study so hard and come home with an F. I didn't want her to loose her love for school and become discouraged. Which is what will eventually happen. She did 2 years of testing and she did not have a learning disability. Finally by 5th grade when she spent ALL weekend studying and came home with an F and said to me " what's the point in trying" is when I talked to the Dr. she takes 5 mg of Aderall. She gets A & B's, she has friends again (because she also couldn't tell a story in a complete sentence, which would frustrate and annoy her friends and no one wanted to play with her at recess) She had her friends back and her self confindence. And I did everything to not have her on the meds. When I read up on ADHD and Adult ADHD depression, no friends etc are side effects, among other side effects for ADHD adults and children. It goes a lot deeper than just what you say above and I hope one day you will never have to deal with a child who needs extra help. I tried everything and I even didn't work for 4 years so I could help her with school more. I take a little offense by people who say we put our children on meds so we don't have to deal with them. I'd like to see you put in as much work as my daughter and myself. It was very hard.
3 Dec 2011
I agree that unconditional love, patience, and all listed are very important and I can also say I agreed that ADHD might not really exist until I developed it. Tests are rarely available to give 100% accurate answers, even for other health issues. I have Crohn's disease (a promised legit health issue) and a set of blood tests do exist, but they are not 100% and are rarely the only thing used to diagnose the disease. It took many months of monitering and other stuff to actually find evidence that Crohn's was actually causing my condition (which is apparent quicker when damage is extensive). Just because a 100% test doesn't exist doesnt mean it is not there. Levels of neurochemicals have been found in the disease.
A biological basis is also considered to exist as studies (even on identical twins or twins who lived seperately to control for environment) show a higher rate in families My family was hesitant in having me diagnosed when my downward spiral began (despite the fact that both my brothers had it) and I know am 18 and have been struggling a lot more with it now. I don't use it as an exuse, as many people say is why people say they have it. In fact, I was reluctant to let any of my teachers know (until my psych teacher asked me after a few hard weeks due to my physical signs and behaviors) and my boss and father still don't know (I am embarrassed - largely because of the stereotype).
And a very short list of criteria is not at all what is necessary. They must experience 6 or more (out of 9) symptoms to be diagnosed according to the DSM IV (which is what all doctors in the United States are suppose to follow for mental illness). In addition to this, they must have experienced symptoms (to some degree) before the age of seven, in at least two different settings, clear evidence that it is impairing their function (academically, socially, or occupationally). All these must have been present for 6 months. Also, any good health professional would be expected to take age into consideration, which means they wouldn't count normal childhood inattention as ADHD. When stimulants are taken with proper precautions then it should not be dangerous. When on a stimulant you are required to go to the doctor every six months (at minimum) for a check up to check that height and weight remain normal and other side effects that may be negative can be controlled. When properly taken, it is only as dangerous as 75% of the medications in the world. Yes, you do know your child better than any other person will and that is why you should be the final decider in whether it is really beneficial, and if you decide it is then you should also be attentive to possible side effects. Sometimes stimulants are necessary for those with ADHD because they work on the levels of dopamine in the brain, which have been shown to be abnormal in many with ADHD, and therefore allow those on stimulants to function as others would. If you do not need stimulants than the negative effects and excessive energy are associated more often.
- Amphetamine Information for Consumers
- Amphetamine Information for Healthcare Professionals (includes dosage details)
- Side Effects of Amphetamine (detailed)
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