Another ADHD thread - why so many against drug therapy?


    I want discussion, but nothing bothers me more than when people respond without reading the whole "point".

    First, I am a person who is a very "granola" kind of person and I don't like using drugs unless absolutely necessary. I did natural childbirth with a midwife (in a hospital). I bake my own bread, cook all foods from scratch and buy organics. BUT... also know that while diet and behavioral work can HELP some things, sometimes drug therapy is warranted.

    If someone is diabetic, they should watch their diet and exercise, but they still may need to take insulin.

    If someone is bipolar, there are things they can do to help themselves, but they need the drugs to keep from cycling, so then why do SOOO many people feel that drug therapy is a waste with ADHD???

    My son is a CLASSIC case of ADHD - CLASSIC. I had him take Adderall XR today (it was the drug prescribed to him this past May by that lazy psychologist who diagnosed him in a ten minute interview with me). My son has a major timed test tomorrow in school and SO FAR no treatment plan from his pediatrician (waiting forever). So, to give my kid a shot at being able to do OK on that test, I decided putting him back on that drug was his only hope.

    His behavior is night and day - night and day. He's not trying to read while sitting on his head. He isn't squirming so much in his chair that he risks falling off, he actually listened to the FULL explanation my husband gave him about "checks and balances" when my son asked.... Normally, I would have had to get after him to pick up his homework and to stop fidgeting with the fork... not today. Today... he's a normal bright 11 year old.

    Do you know how much calmer our evening has been? He's still cracking jokes, still doing his "creations", but in a more concentrated way.

    If anyone could SEEEEEE what drug therapy can do for "some" kids who truly need it, they would understand and not be so quick to say it's diet or it's being undisciplined, etc.

    My son, like a diabetic, NEEDS a drug to regulate his body.

    Are people opposed to it because it's mood altering? Because it's incorrectly diagnosed so often? WHY this NEED to say, "no drugs"???
  2. I think most people feel it's over used. . . there was reserach that showed that some Docs prescribed for children who didn't really need it.
    They're very powerful drugs, unfortunately some Docs ruined the drugs' rep by defaulting to it for a few years.
    By easy on people, it's ignorance, not unkindness. Whomever is judging is doing so based on what they've heard on the news.
    Also, seeing on the news that soem children have committed suicide while on such drugs makes a big impression on people.
  3. Perhaps many people fear that the drugs could correct one problem and create another? Or there could be (yet undiscovered) side effects from taking them long term? The opposition probably stems from fear. I'm happy that the medication is helping your son.:flowers:
  4. I think a big factor is that drugs are not tested on children. They do test on adults, but then calculate dosages based on weight to scale it down. This in itself makes ME personally very reluctant to try something on my kid unless it's absolutely medically necessary.

    No-one actually diagnosed my son with ADHD, but he does everything you described above - he reads while sitting on his head like this:

    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    He squirms off his chair and occasionally falls off...he fidgets with his cutlery when he eats, he doesn't pay attention and I have to pick up his homework after him. I don't really mind what he does, really - but this thread honestly has me worried.
  5. I love those photos Merika!!!:love:
    Seems like most boys I know! LOL!
    One of my sons definitely has some serious attention span issues:sad:
    He's a baby though {3.5} I'm hoping he grows out of it or learns to manage it.
  6. Really? I don't know that many boys so sometimes some things have me worried. I spoke to his teacher and she says he's okay in class.
  7. I know more boys that squirm and have focus problems than not.
    :yes: honestly.
  8. I think all boys squirm and fidget and just have TOO MUCH energy for sitting quietly in a classroom... which is why it is overdiagnosed. I DO think that they are trying to make a boy be a sheep... and welll... most are not.

    My examples weren't "great", but these are things I noticed tonight. We are most worried about his inabiity to follow more than one step directions because he forgets. We worry about how he forgets to turn in completed assignments and so on. In class he gets up at random times, loses things everywhere, daydreams, etc. His tests are fine... everything else? SOOOOOOO bad.

    It is true that we don't know what long term some drugs may have, but these drugs are not new either and at some point, I'm willling to risk it. It's risking one thing or risking another and I think the risk of just trying to deal with this behaviorly is a greater risk.

    It is HEARTBREAKING to see a kid who is SOOOOOO smart, do so poorly because he just CAN'T focus properly or process information properly. The tests they gave him for testing processing information was computer based. If he "jumped the gun" (a sign of a problem) more than 15% of the time, it invalidated the test... he invalidated the test.

    Another sign of ADHD is comparing certain tests on an intelligence test. There are those that focus on processing and those on knowledge. He scores 96-99th percentile on one and 50-65th on the other... a clear discrepancy there.

    I still think teaching him coping skills is important - putting things away in teh SAME place. writing things down, and so on... but he wasn't able to do that either...

    I should have known since he was an infant, but I spent 11 years trying to help him cope (through research) and trying to explain it away as something else... but it's THIS.
  9. Also wanted to add. ADHD is like a kid is 3-4 years behind behaviorally where they should be (Can you tell I've done a lot of research?). So, for my 11 year old son to be sitting on his head reading is different from your 7 or 8 year old son to be doing it.

    Some of the questions on one rating scale asked me some things that I can now say he DOESN'T do, but three years ago he did.

    I do worry about the drugs and I won't just be like "Wow, now our problems are solved",but it gives us HOPE. Do you know how scary it is to think of your childs' future and not think they'll do well because you can foresee them self-sabbotaging? He can't maintain a backpack with my help in 6th grade. How will he deal with a locker without my help in 7th? next year instead of switching classes twice, he'll switch every period and have NO ONE to see if he wrote down his assignments.

    And college? OMG!!!! So... I'm willing to give drug therapy a shot.

    The whole suicide thing. You know. I had two brothers diagnosed with ADHD. For one, it was similar with my son. The drugs helped SOOOO Much and we all felt the diagnosis was correct. WIth the other brother? We always felt it was wrong. He became violent when he came down from Ritalin (like scary) and my mom finally stopped the treatment (despite the county saying he needed it and so on and he WAS better without it.

    And suicide??? I don't know... again, I'll tend to believe that it was diagnosing things wrong or it wasn't the ADHD drugs, but something else. There isn't much REAL info on this yet, but I'll keep reading!!!
  10. In your case it's better to keep with what you are comfortable with - which is medication. I mean, you don't come across as a mom who gives her kid medication because it makes life easier for her. You've done your research, weighed your options and then gone on from there after being well-informed of the potential pros and cons.

    In my mind, THERE'S where the difference lies. You are an informed mother, you do what you think is best for YOUR CHILD.

    Whether you give your child medication or not, it should be done for the right reason. And you made the right decision, for your family to the best of your knowledge. Don't worry about what other people say.
  11. I think that's what bothered me most about the 10 minute diagnosis at the first psychologist. HOW can you diagnose something like that? Yes, he was probably right, but not to CHECK for other things (other disorders, learning problems, etc)

    Then, when I asked him what could we do WITH the drug therapy to help him he said, "Well, research has basically proven that only the drugs seem to matter and while doing things behaviorally make parents feel like they are doing something... it really doesn't help". It just felt WRONG.

    So, we have the SAME diagnosis, but now we were also given ideas of how to help with behaviors. The drugs HELP, but he still has problems that can't be fixed with a pill.

    I'm actually quite nervous for my son today. This test he is taking today is timed - four sections. He needs to do well on this to get into algebra next year. I'm not trying to be pushy, but the kid on the intelligence and ability for age tests is in the 99.9th percentile for this stuff. He taught himself FOR FUN algebra 1 in 6 weeks last summer.... so he will be so disappointed if he doesn't get to take it and has to wait until 8th grade. HE is pressuring HIMSELF. He has to be in the 92nd percentile (or higher) which he should have no problem with but with it being timed??? that's like a recipe for disaster for an ADHD kid and he doesn't have an IEP yet as the @#(#$ doctors haven't called me back yet, so until he has the full treatment plan, the schools can't do anything!! I just got the go ahead to give him this drug until he can get in... SO UPSET ABOUT THAT!!!!
  12. ^^I hope he does well today. I was thinking of him this morning. Hugs from one mama to another!
  13. I agree with the reasons listed above; Over prescribed, the long term effects, etc.

    If you are noticing a change in your son after starting the medication that is excellent! Dont let anyone make you feel bad about your decision. Like everything else it is easy to say this or that but none of us are around your child to see what he is like.

    I suspect my daughter has ADHD. She is just about to turn 2. I know they say you cannot diagnose a child this young but I have known pretty much from the start. Very early on she was always flailing her arms & legs, she had amazing head control way before other kids, she never really wanted to be held, as soon as she started crawling she never stopped moving & was into everything. She nevers sits down. My daughter is always in motion running, jumping, climbing on everything. People will say that is what toddlers do until they actually see it in person. At a gathering I brought my daughter to a woman who works with childen who have all sorts of disibilities told me my girl shows very heavy signs of ADHD.

    I guess my suspicion will be confirmed when she starts school. One thing I was going to try using is Bach Rescue Remedy. I'm kind of nervous to give it to her even though it supposed to be safe.
  14. I think the point is that people who criticize ADHD diagnoses and drugs are making an OVERALL statement, and not specifically criticizing you or your choices.

    The problem, as has been stated, is that ADHD has been over-diagnosed and over-medicated. But the drugs are generally not tested on children, and there is little research into the effects that stimulant drugs can have long-term on a developing mind and body.

    A lot of teachers, doctors and even parents view drugs as an easy out without trying other methods. The fact is that eliminating artificial colors and flavors and testing for food sensitivities and allergies through an elimination diet is a very, very difficult thing to do. Most people cannot even do it for themselves, let alone for another person. Natural supplements like Omega-3 fatty acids also improve concentration and behavioral issues. I can see the difference in my own children when they haven't had them in a few days.

    Additionally, all the research indicates that kids are not getting enough physical activity. Obesity is on the rise. Many of these kids would be entirely different people if they were active enough. I know parents who had teachers alert them to the signs of ADD and started an exercise/activity program for their child, which worked wonders.

    You sound like a very conscientious parent who has tried every available avenue for your son and who has decided, after extensive research and consultation with dr.s, that medication is the best approach for your son. I applaud you for doing everything you have done and having your son's best interests in mind. I would NEVER presume to diagnose someone else's child, but I do think that you and your son are the exception and not the rule. I still believe that the majority of children medicated for ADD/ADHD could have been helped by other means.
  15. As someone who has studied this area of Psychology intently and has a husband that has been ADHD since he was a child I can tell you this: what everyone has said about the drugs not being liked is true. BUT...a lot of parents don't like the drugs because even though they do help the child at the beginning...the child changes. Sometimes drastically. It starts very "under the radar" and you think your child is doing so much better in school...and they are! But, their personality is different. They are now too complacent and they slowly turn into a different person. Some of them, when coming down off the drug, resemble someone who is "strung out". It changes the kids' personalities so much that it's very hard for parents to keep up with that because they feel that THEY have changed their child for the worse. And...the drug will help but it doesn't help FOREVER. It will come to a point where the child isn't getting anymore from the drug and the other side effects are getting worse. This is when they usually take them off the drugs.

    There are many other kinds of therapy that can be done with ADHD as well as drug therapy. A good behavior therapist can give tools to your child to help them deal with how they feel, provided the child is old enough to understand what ADHD is. A good cognitive therapist can help the child to understand why they feel that way and why their body is responding that way. Information is power and it's true with a child too.

    Most people think that the child doesn't realize something is different about them. But they do. And they have their own feelings about that. There is much more going on under the surface than just being able to do the school work or focus and that's why therapy treats the WHOLE child not just the symptoms.