Unless You're Really Busy Dont Call It ADHD

What I mean is - I wouldn't go putting a label on a child especially when it is a very broad diagnosis.

I recently came to the conclusion that I had been living with some type of ADD.  I'm 32 I did have a tough time through school but I managed and built a decent career with two kids and a great wife... now I am dealing with the problem but I have the advantage of learning to cope without drugs or labels for most of my life.

 I'm not saying that if I could go back in time and treat the problem as a kid I wouldn't.  I am saying that

1) Joe (lets call him/her Joe), Joe might just be a round peg and we need round pegs - cause all squares are boring.  Since most schools teach in just one way Joe might be frustrated as hell because he knows hes smart but he doesn't learn the same way the other kids do.

2) I've tried drugs and I can tell you from experience that drugs like adderall are a lot like speed - in fact it is speed.  I wouldn't give it my kids unless things were dire.

3) If you can afford it, spend as much time as you can with Joe.  Figure our for yourself how his mind works.  That way when you get called in to his teacher you'll see things from his perspective and maybe be able put him into an environment that will let him thrive.

4)Find out what he does really well and help him do it.  When I was a kid I'd kick balls through windows at school and basically run wild.  But put me in a painting class or on a BMX bike and I'd be calm and focused.  I was naturally good in those areas. I excelled, my friends knew it and that gave me confidence to deal with the other challenges.

5) what do doctors really know - they are still using electric shock "therapy" on depressed people.  We're like monkeys banging on a radio to make it play.
mrDread mrDread
31-35, M
3 Responses Jul 10, 2007

Dread -

I really appreciate your story here. I am not ready to discount all diagnoses and treatments of ADD/ADHD but I do believe we have become a society of overmedicalization of everything. This might be one of the more tragic ones.

My oldest cousin had a son who would very clearly be diagnosed today... but there was little/no awareness of any of this as anything but "normal variation". He needed a *lot* of attention to stay safe and despite that he managed to break bones and bust lips/chins/foreheads on a regular basis. Fortunately, he was living with 3 generations (his mother, his grandparents and his great grandfather) who all had the motivation to help him channel and burn off his extreme levels of energy and wild curiosity.

He grew up whole and complete and became a marine mechanic on a large recreational lake where he could burn off his energy with jet skis and other forms of high speed exertion. I'm glad he had the family to keep up with him and neither drug him down nor shut him down nor let him harm himself or others.

I've been around enough other examples to believe strongly that whether or not some kids *need* the drugs, that what most need are a combination of strong family support and attention, lots of physical and creative outlets and healthy diets. If you are already providing these things, then absolutely let the psych docs add their own juju, but if you are not, don't expect the drugs (or other invasive/diminishing therapies) to make up for it.

I don't mean this as blame to the parents, we live in a culture that no longer values the kind of time, attention and focus that is apparently required by children. Our "normal" kids suffer too, but they manage to "behave" in spite of it... and suffer later as adults. We *all* need to change our ways. I have a granddaughter now and my commitment to the complex and broad needs of our children is renewed by seeing how many her peers are raised. TV as babysitter, high sugar/additive foods to appease, constant "shoo fly" response by adults, etc. Fortunately her mother, my daughter, is giving her huge amounts of support and attention and demanding the same from everyone else in her life. Not "spoiling", attending.

I'm kind of the fence about it, but I agree meds cant fix it. Most ADD/ADHD meds are only in the process of being tested, and are still given to kids/adults. I spent many sick days in bed because of it. I tried Concerta and it worked but it has caused me major depression, and that is one of the side effects of this sort of medication.<br />
As well ADD/ADHD is not always diagnosed properly no matter how good a doctor. Mine was misdiagnosed.<br />
Would I ever put my children on meds? Maybe if it was guaranteed, FULLY tested and it would make them feel better.

You know, my son has ADHD and he has ODD (oppositional defiance disorder) and he has a lot of problems that we can't just "work through". He is violent, to the point of the drs calling him homicidal, AT 5! I DO trust the doctors as they are NOT using electric shock on my child. Not everyone can be handled the same way. Telling us to forget about the drs is like telling a diabetic to forget about their illness and eat lots of sugar. It will eventually kill someone.

there is nothing wrong with shock therapy used by the doctors. it is justed using then conditioning theary of Pavlov. You start to associate a bad stimulus with a bad result. It has the same effect as punishing your child.