I bet you have heard people who say that ADHD is not a real disease or even a mental disorder! These people are convinced it is all a plot to help Big Pharma make more money. If the UK figures are anything to go by (a 56% increase in about 6 years), then ADHD drugs are being over-prescribed.
But are they really effective? Why did the Care Quality Commission warn health workers to make sure that the drugs are not being misused and also on the threat that they may lead to using them to study better and to focus before examinations? The answer is that there is real concern that things are getting out of hand and that ADHD existence is exaggerated.
Kids with ADHD get into trouble at school when they forget or deliberately do not take the drug (Ritalin being the most popular) in the morning. They hate taking them because they feel drained and lethargic.
The downside is of course that they lose control of their impulses which results in bad behavior and they are suspended or given some sort of punishment. One boy remarked that when he forgets the drug, then he thinks about what he has done afterward rather than before!
ADHD Is Not A Real Disease?
Many doctors, neurologists, and others have added to the controversial debate on ADHD saying that it is not a ‘real disease’. Bruce Perry is a world-renowned neuroscientist at the Child Trauma Academy in Houston and takes the view that because ADHD has such a wide range of symptoms that everybody, at some point or other, may be suffering from this condition!
In addition, Perry has pointed out:
- ADHD is really a mental condition which involves a wide spectrum of psychological problems. The disorder may well be something else entirely and there are over 50 childhood conditions which mimic ADHD to an alarming extent.
- ADHD diagnosis procedures are not nearly sufficient
- Drugs do not seem to have any long-term effect. Studies show that effects wear off after 3 years!
- Neurological studies show that potential damage could be done to the developing brain although research has only been done on animals so far. The reward systems seem to change after the drugs are given. The results are causing some concern.
- ADHD is merely a description of some symptoms.
Dr. Perry is at pains to point out that there are lots of other ways of treating this condition or disorder. These are not only much more effective in the long term but they do not have any alarming side effects and the child is drug-free.
Activities for kids with ADHD
The key to ADHD treatment is the home environment and parenting. It is crucial to observe and then help the adults who are dealing with children who may have ADHD. Teachers, parents and other caregivers get sucked into a sort of downward spiral which focuses on negative academic results and unrealistic expectations.
Therapeutic treatments could consist of doing some somatosensory work through yoga. Others concentrate on physical movement such as sports, exercise, and drumming.
These approaches can be used in conjunction with:
- Behavior therapy or parenting skills
- ADHD friendly home
- ADHD friendly learning environments
- Setting realistic goals
A whole new approach is needed which gets away from relying too much on psychostimulant drugs and that ADHD is really a disease. Natural treatments such as herbal and homeopathic remedies also have had remarkable success, especially when combined with the above approaches which can give much more beneficial long-term results.