Drugging kids is the answer?

I personally think not. ADHD seems now to be some normal part of the American culture. I beg to differ. Apparently, even the psychs can’t seem to agree on what the symptoms are – although it doesn’t stop anyone from parents to school nurses diagnosing this ‘illness’.

A couple of videos I think illustrate my views nicely:

Interesting note: In 1985 apparently there were a few thousand diagnosed with this illness – currently it is estimated that as many as 4 million children are on medication for this disorder. So what? Is there something in the water or is it just the drug companies are working overtime on their marketing campaigns? Something tells me that once this enforced healthcare kicks in that there will be an awful lot more of our children, grandchildren, nephews, nieces, brothers and sisters diagnosed and put on ADHD (brain altering) drugs to ‘fix’ what ails them. Remember a good citizen is an obedient one, right? Something to think about.

WC

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7 thoughts on “Drugging kids is the answer?

  1. One of the greatest lines I have ever heard about ADHD was from a parent whose child was diagnosed with ADHD.

    “I relieved his symptoms by getting his attention”.

    I will not declare ADHD as bogus. However I will say that most kids today are diagnosed with the problem because of irresponsible parents. FACT: Children misbehave. We live in a culture that believes their problems can be fixed with a pill rahter than interacting with their child much less applying the board of education to the seat of knowledge. Child misbehaves? Take the me to psych and get a pill. Child misbehaves, institutionalize them for behavior disorders.

    I realize that all I can provide as anecdotal evidence (I am not a doctor but I have slept at a Holiday Inn years ago), but it seems to me that we live in a society that believes an undisciplined child has something organically wrong with them. Fix em with a pill. We live in a society that refuses to believe that evil exists, therefore we must seek to understand why the bad guys do what they do. Suffering the syndrome or the disorder du-jour today calls for a trip to the doctor rather than simple behavior modification. Wanna turn someone off when discussing their “problem”? Tell them they need to discipline themselves to do something or simple “disciplining” their children may go a long way in relieving their child’s “disorder”.

    I think I suffer from ABLD (Adult Bone Lazy Disorder). Symptoms include but are not limited to grass that needs mowing, dishes that need washing, propensity to eat out rather than cooking at home, purposely laying over on the couch to sleep rather than going to bed, the list goes on. I will be filing for disability payments in the form of welfare if I can get the gumption to get up off the couch and go file. 😉

    Luv ya Annie
    Squawk

    Hey Squawky!
    I think I have to agree with you. While I do acknowledge there are certainly children with problems – real ones that require treatment (although I’m still very hinky about heavy drugs being the solution) much of what seems to be the problem may not have its source in the child. I too, have seen parents both people I know and complete strangers being held captive by their small children.

    I remember many years (too many) back when people talked about how great it would be to have a magic pill that would solve all our problems. Well congrats folks, cuz the future is here. Personally I’m thinking that perhaps they should change t hings up a little and make the parents test drive the drugs for a week or so before they give it to their children. That might change the view a little.

    Like anything, whenever you contribute to a problem and insist that the problem lies elsewhere you are in for a buttload of trouble. The thing that worries me the most is that these children will someday be looked upon to lead our society. What can we expect for the future from that scenario?

    I’m sure you do have ABLD but at least you blame no one but yourself. 😆

    Love ya back and hey to BSue!
    Annie

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  2. Great videos. ADHD…like you I have issues with it. I have worked with preschool children for over 25 years and here is what I think …attention span, attention span, attention span!!~!

    -here is my theory…we are actually doing much to shorten young children’s attention spans. What their eyes focus on ..these days is…with TV, computer and video games…is fast moving and noisy …which requires eyes to move quickly and observe and hear even faster. It is difficult to believe that small, growing brains are not affected by all of this stimulus.

    How can you expect a child to sit for 15 minutes at a meal table or listen to a story for any length of time when their little brains don’t know how to focus on just one thing???

    I have heard many a parent, concerned about their child’s negative behaviors…telling me they are hyper or maybe have ADHD…only to hear of the problems the parent is having in parenting…setting limits…being consistant…following through on what they have said…such as…5 more minutes till bedtime..only to allow the child to stay up another hour after the child has tested the parent to the point that the parent gives up.

    Parents love to hear that it is the food their child is eating that is causing the behavior cause it gives them an out…a reason NOT to look at their own behavior and work on changing it

    ADHD has become the excuse for parents not to parent. Big generalization I know…but some days that is how I feel about it all.

    Hey Sally,
    Yup attention span, attention span, attention span. I love your theory, in fact I really love it. And I think you make some very interesting points. Not to sound like some ol’ dinosaur but when I was a kid we had to go outside to play. We had to rely greatly on imagination and innovation to entertain ourselves – and yup, I spent many a night under the covers with a flashlight reading after ‘lights out’. Something tells me that a lot of kids don’t do that sort of thing anymore.

    In fact, entertainment is so available to anyone, it makes me wonder how anyone gets anything done – myself included.

    Like you, I strongly suspect that some parents are opting to drug their children rather than discipline, interact and rear them. I suppose there is a school of thought that might postulate that those parents may also have ADHD – could be…however I doubt it.

    I know 100 years ago that mental disease/disorders were believed to be hereditary. Then sometime in the 20th century that ‘myth’ was disspelled. Sadly, based on the reading I’ve done on ADHD, seems like the psych community is returning to the hereditary view – claiming that adults with ADHD often have children with the same malady. Is that true or is it just an attempt to get us all on the happy pills so we won’t give a damn about what’s going on around us?

    All that being said – if you spend any time reading psych literature you’ll notice that few if any speak to ‘cures’ for any disorders (they claim to exist) instead the goal seems to be controlling the disorder. Makes me a might uncomforatable that those who are charged with providing mental health have control as a central focus in treatment.

    Annie

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    1. I just remembered something a mom of 4 children…who homeschools once said to me….”I have come to realize that …if something is harder for me to do …then for my kids….it is probably the right thing to do” Think about it.

      Hey Sally,
      Sounds like a very smart lady. The truth is, just about anything of any value entails work – sometimes hard work.

      Annie

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  3. Powerful.
    Many of the other Youtube videos linked to these really make the point too.
    The fact that many are being put on drugs really does speak to the fact that parenting is becoming a lost art. Something so natural. So much fun. Does anyone know how to let them be, anymore?
    Give kids activities. Plenty of them. They’ll get involved and explore the fun that life is. Let ’em. That’s the way they discover what they want to do with their life. Yes, kids may be annoying and hard to manage sometimes. But all you have to do is admire their quirks and see how those quirks will grow into amazing qualities when they grow up.
    Kids are our future.
    But, no. Let’s just drug them and make our own lives easier today. Because our lives are so much more important. Let’s just drug our future.

    Sorry, just had to rant there.

    Hey Girl!
    Well said from a super-mom (did you know you’re one of my heroes?). Make no apologies for the rant – that’s the point, I want people to say what they think. Maybe if we rant enough, somebody will change their mind. Sadly, I think this particular problem speaks to an even larger problem – which is allowing the state to raise our children. In many school districts if someone as unqualified as a nurse or teacher says your child ADHD parents must take their children to psychs for a diagnosis. If parents refuse, then the child will not be allowed back in school. If parents keep children out of school, social services can remove the children from their homes.

    Smacks a bit of 1984 or worse, don’t you think?

    Love,
    A

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  4. I worry deeply about what we’re doing to the next generation, the kids in whose hands the fate of the nation will rest. We drug them into stupors or hypnotize them with electronics, not because it’s good for them but because it’s easier for us. We make sure they’re all treated alike and graded alike at school, ensuring the graduation of the poor students but killing the ambition and achievements of the serious students. We might as well just clone a couple of them and crank out copies, because we’re certainly doing our damnedest to make sure they don’t develop into responsible individuals. And of course we’re teaching them to raise their kids the same way …

    Hey 30,
    Me too! I worry greatly about this and similar issues. What people don’t seem to realize, especially in the most cosmopolitan areas is that their children are being absconded – little by little, inch by inch. In defense of the parents I have to say it’s not necessarily their fault. They probably work and can’t track 24/7 what their children do and are subjected to. It used to be a parent didn’t have to be concerned what teachers and school nurses were doing to their children – today, not so much.

    Private school is an option but many parents can’t afford it – so they are captives of the public school system having to get with the program or face consequences.

    The other issues you mention are valid too – I marvel sometimes at what children do, have and get away with these days. All of them have cell phones, vid games, personal computers and it seems largely without supervision. In fact, I almost hit a teenager in the grocery store parking lot yesterday because she was walking, while on her cell phone and not paying attention to what was going on around her. When I slammed on my brakes she sneered at me as though I had done something wrong. Something has to give – what that is…I seriously don’t know.

    Annie

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  5. This kind of thing, these kinds of comments about discipline and parenting skills make me really angry.

    My brothers have ADHD. So does my father and my uncles. I suspect, so does my husband. This is not a new thing, it is an old thing made more prominent by our changing society. In my father’s time, even in my time, kids who found school difficult in terms of their ability to sit still and concentrate weren’t expected to stay at school forever and a day, and be shining academic stars the way ALL children are today. There has been a fundamental change in the way we parent our children where they have to be good at everything and we set them up in fail safe environments where their diversity of abilities is not catered for or appreciated. We make them stay in school, they do not have the options for skill based training that they once had, and are expected to all be similarly abled.

    Do I think ADHD is being overdiagnosed? Absolutely. We should be taking a careful look at our education systems that no longer cater for children who would be better doing physical work than book work, we should examine our expectations of our children. We should be looking at all the chemicals we bring into our homes and feed our children. And yes, some parent’s are unskilled.

    BUT. We need to be careful not to tar all diagnosis of ADHD with the same brush. No amount of extra discipline could or did make any difference to my brothers behaviour. No amount of extra parenting classes would have prepared my parents for the demands of their sons. No amount of extra activity (sports, scouts, after school job, etc) prevented the behavioural problems that developed.

    Could earlier diagnosis have prevented one of my brothers from self medicating with illicit drugs and his current mental health problems? Could it have kept him out of jail? Could it have stopped him from hurting himself and those around him? Could it have helped him to have a better life? Quite probably, but being born in my father’s time would have served him much better when he would have been pulled out of school early and settled into a trade instead of being kicked out of school with a bad reputation around town.

    Please be careful when you pass comment or judgement on ADHD and the parents who have to deal with it because over-diagnosed or not, generalised comments about how parents should have disciplined, trained, parented, or occupied their children better are devastating to those who did try everything and whose every effort was foiled by what is a very real and problematic condition.

    For futher information on the long history of ADHD – http://getoveritidid.blogspot.com/2010/05/adhd-wasnt-discovered-yesterday.html

    Hey B,
    First of all let me say that this post was not intended to upset you or anyone or as an attack on parents. As I said to an earlier commenter, I do believe there are children (as well as adults) who have legitimate problems for which they should seek and receive treatment.

    However, the purpose of this post to discuss the possibility that children were being wrongfully diagnosed with this disorder and being prescribed heavy brain chemical altering drugs to ‘cure’ the disease. The stats I quoted are only from the United States and I could not find any world stats on ADHD – although I suppose they are there somewhere.

    What I found disconcerting in the stats that I was able to find was that in the U.S. the largest demographic that is diagnosed and treated for the disorder are caucasian and insured children, the next highest is black and insured and the smallest group are hispanics. I find this odd. Why is there such a division? Moreover, even the psychiactrict community seems at odds as to what constitutes ADHD. Again, I find this a disquieting situation – if you are going to put a child on a heavy drug shouldn’t there be a consensus on what the illness actually is?

    Aside from that I have anecdotal info just in my own experience of friends and friends of friends being forced to put their children on these drugs or face criminal charges. Again I find this scary – if the idea is to help children how does threatening parents with jail accomplish that? And why doesn’t a parent have the choice of putting the child on the drug or not? This attitude that the state can overrule a parent is highly troubling to me.

    In terms of your own situation, I know you and your family have suffered and gone through a lot on this issue and I feel for you. However, I am assuming that you were in agreement with the diagnosis and treatment. That is a horse of a different color – in terms of what I’m saying here.

    Although, I have to note that you made some interesting comments – particularly about previous times solving this problem by taking the child out of school and the child being ‘settled into a trade’ I don’t know if that was actually an alternate treatment or you meant that specifically when you made the statement – but I think I’d rather see a child go in that route than to give them drugs.

    As I said, I don’t know what is happening in your part of the world with this issue but in America it is a problem. Parents are being forced to drug their children when they are deadset against it. And the drug prescribed for ADHD by and large is Ritalin – which is highly addictive and has hundreds of side effects. In fact, children have to be taken off the drug once puberty kicks in because the affect on the body changes. Some years back there was quite a bit of press of children formerly diagnosed put on ritalin and then in their teens years going to Canada and hooking to feed their Ritalin habit.

    So my issues with this situation are still there. The first one being, if this is a bona fide disorder, then have a consensus on what it is exactly. Do not force parents to drug their children to solve the problem if they don’t want to and allow them to make the decision on what treatment they want to pursue. And last but not least, find a cure not just a chemical to control the situation.

    Perhaps my views are unreasonable – I don’t know. But at the very least, we in America are a highly over-medicated society and that is not a good thing. And it seems that that situation has extended largely to the children in our society, which I find alarming and wrong.

    Anyway, as always lovely to see you. Take care.

    Annie

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    1. Sorry, I know you weren’t attacking anyone. I just get very frustrated by generalised comments about ‘these kids’ needing better discipline or being kept more occupied etc. I know how devastating those kinds of comments can be to people who have tried everything. Sure there are many kids who are misdiagnosed and could benefit from those things but for the genuine cases those kinds of comments can make the families of genuine cases feel even more inadequate than they already do and I just wanted to make people aware of that.

      I’ll whole heartedly agree with you that the government has NO RIGHT in telling parents to medicate their children. I haven’t heard of that happening over here and frankly would be horrified by it if I did. Many parents that I know agonise over the decision to medicate, it’s not something to be taken lightly. The diagnosis generally comes from a paediatrician, psychologist or fully qualified school counsellor here using standardised criteria and assessment tools.

      Yes, some kids will find ways to abuse the medications. My brother used to save his up and take them all at once for a high or he’d sell them to his mates. *shakes head* but then he wasn’t diagnosed till 17 and had already been self medicating for four years by that stage so I don’t think any other outcome could realistically be expected.

      I wasn’t suggesting that these kids in years gone by were shipped off into trades as a form of treatment, but it’s a viable idea. My point was that fifty years ago or even 20 years ago the kids who had problems sitting still and concentrating, and were performing poorly in class were pulled out of school early and went to work or into trades or something. They weren’t forced to stay in school and struggle on in a system that is ill suited to their needs.

      Hey B,
      Honey you don’t have to apologize for having an opinion – at least not on my blog. I’m more than happy to let you opine, rant, joke, prattle, gallop or do the boogaloo whenever you come by. 😉

      Though I think the general comments (at least my take on them) were more about a trend in apathetic parenting than anything else. This post just seemed to spark that topic. American culture has become so pc that parents seem almost afraid to be parents. Anyway, I suppose that is really a topic for another post…

      Thanks for the clarification on the bygone days approach… Yes, I had the same experience or lived in ‘those days’ I guess you’d say. Kids who were too antsy for school were given some sort of physical activity to offset it.

      And too, I think that today there is probably too much mental stimulation available to children (as one of my other readers pointed out). When you and I were kids we didn’t have cell phones, internet access, iPods, cable television, non-stop stimuli to get us going. Speaking for myself I pretty much had books and my imagination to rely on for mental stimulus.

      Today’s society seems to be able to bypass conceptual learning in favor of technology – not sure it was the best tradeoff. Couple that with this utterly maniacal insistence on leveling the playing field (discouraging personal excellence under the guise of ‘fairness’) so everyone is the same and you have what I think is a dangerous combo.

      And once again, children or anyone for that matter who have an illness most definitely should seek and recieve treatment. However, in America, I’m afraid that misdiagnosis of this particular illness is rampant.

      As always thanks for your candid thoughts and comments.

      Love,
      Annie

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