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
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"!
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
Do you have ADHD or know someone with it? It is a chemical imbalance, in part. Would you not take medication for asthma... for blood pressure? Just where are you getting all this info you report here as fact? Are you a physician? Have you cured bunches of kids with unconditional love? Have you ever had a child take a medication for anything? Have you ever had a 7 year old tell you he hated himself because he could not hear his teachers? Do you know the dangers of low self esteem in children? My child gets unconditional love and always has. I used to judge people who gave children meds (silently though, I would never post like you have). But a small dose of medication allowed him to hear: It cleared the path and things we no longer overwhelming. We are using the medication with a physicians guidance in conjunction with behavior modification techniques.
As soon as we can stop the medication we will, but not for any of the reasons you state. A child who really has ADHD does not become stimulated by the medication. It should not speed them up. That does happen, and it means it is not the right med, or that child cannot tolerate the medication. Implying that I abuse my child is very insulting. You wanted to make someone angry. That was the only point of your post. "Childhood is precious"... gee, that's so original. We child abusers would not know that. Okay stopdruggingkids... I will change my name to stopidiotsfromposting.
Science has been providing progressively more revealing answers, and at this point it's done, at least in terms of "does ADHD exist." So please, if you have resisted before the concept of ADHD being an actual disorder -- absorb the meaning of the current findings and open your mind so that you can be more supportive of our little claim to humanity going forward.
On September 30, 2010 the findings of a study which reveals DNA evidence of genetic manifestations of the disorder were announced. I've included some summarical excerpts from a general article about the study, "ADHD Is A Genetic Neurodevelopmental Disorder, Scientists Reveal," for which I've provided a link. There is also a decent abstract of the actual study, "Rare chromosomal deletions and duplications in attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder: a genome-wide analysis," available on PubMed at http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20888040. It's a bit heartwrenching to find out the exact nature of the defect, since I possess it, but the more we know the further we can intelligently progress, and one day learn how to best provide children with ADHD their best opportunity for developmental success, much as efforts to provide specialized educational environments are already in play for those with autism and Asperger's syndrome.
ADHD Is A Genetic Neurodevelopmental Disorder, Scientists Reveal
Article Date: 30 Sep 2010 - 2:00 PDT
Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, commonly known as ADHD, is a genetic condition, say scientists who have provided compelling evidence. The study, funded by the Wellcome Trust, is published in the latest issue of The Lancet. The researchers, from the Medical Research Council (MRC) Centre in Neuropsychiatric Genetics and Genomics and Department of Psychological Medicine and Neurology, Cardiff University, Wales, UK, conclude in their article that ADHD is a brain development disorder.
ADHD makes children fidgety, agitated, impulsive and easily distracted. Experts say approximately 1 in every 50 children is affected by ADHD. Although a number of factors have suggested genetics probably plays a major role, ADHD has frequently been attributed to a diet with too much sugar and poor upbringing. ADHD has no cure, but behavioural interventions and pharmacological therapy can help treat the symptoms.
In this latest study, researchers analysed the DNA of 366 children who had ADHD and 1,047 children who did not have the condition (controls).
The DNA analyses revealed that those with ADHD were more likely to have missing DNA segments, or segments of DNA that were duplicated compared to the controls. The authors explain that this kind of genetic variation is more widespread in brain disorders. Thus this new study provides the first direct evidence that ADHD is a neurodevelopmental disorder.
Significant overlap was also detected between the segments (copy number variations, or CNVs), as well as those associated with schizophrenia and autism.
These findings should help eliminate the stigma and misunderstanding that surrounds ADHD, the scientists say, and help people to see ADHD is a neurodevelopmental disorder, like autism, instead of a behavioural problem.
I do hope this part of the "debate" can be put to rest.
I have been taking meds for ADD for several months now. It came up in a visit with my therapist, that I have been ADD my whole life. My kindergarten teacher used to make me run around the school until I got tired, so I could focus. I did this many times a week. When that story came up, my Doctor stopped where we were, and started asking me more pointed questions. Turns out, ADD, life long. Here is why I wish i had been diagnosed, and treated early in life... ADD causes us to feel like losers, that we dont fit in, that we arent smart, makes us daydream, and lose interest quickly, causes boredom, which in my case often leads to bad behavior, then making me to look like a problem child... early childhood is where you start to develop social skills, self esteem, and a multitude of other things, but when you are ADD, all of that gets skewed...
instead of starting out like the "normal" kids, we are made fun of in some cases, and certainly feel like we dont belong, causing patterns of living to start developing in the direction that best suites making all that negative feel better. Thought patterns in adulthood, were developed in childhood, and I can tell you first hand, my adulthood thought patterns suck! They are getting better, and I am learning a new way to see things, and a new way to live, but I couldnt do it without the meds. I have historically been a substance abuser, on a professional level so to speak, and unfortunately, many untreated ADD's grow up to be addicts and many addicts are untreated ADD's. I have been through rehabs, and 12 stepped my ass off, and I do have to say, that the 12 step programs do work, for most people, there are some however... (me) who will need council from a doctor. I cleaned up for about a year, and life was going ok, but, I still had bad thought patterns, still made really wrong choices, and still felt like something was missing, and big surprise... went back to using... even heavier. I finally decided to go see someone for that very reason, to find out why I think the way I do, and how to change it. Thank God I did, I found out that I am ADD, and it is saving my life. The meds help me not crave and be so anxious, while giving me the ability to actually finish things that i start, and think things through before acting, and I have really noticed a new way of seeing things in life. It helps me to read many many chapters of a book, or, even write a lengthy response to a question... none of which would I have done before. I only wish I could have gotten an earlier start in my ADD life, because I truly believe that my whole life would have been better in so many ways. I used to not agree with it, just like you, but now that I know, I think EVERYONE should at least take an evaluation to see if they might be ADD... kids included.
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