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ADHD Medication, necessary or unnecessary for a fulfilled life.

Ken Robinson speaks about Gillian Lynne a choreographer who was wildly successful might have had a very different life if given medication for what might have been ADHD. Does this single example of a life better without medication give credit to alternative education programs instead of attempting to treat the ADHD?

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    Feb 20 2014: Vincent, Since you give no location it is hard to give specifics.

    First, I agree with Fritzie. It is widely believed that children are unnecessarily medicated. That one person was provided a alternative and it was successful is great. However, there are also those who are in need of medications.

    I might suggest that prior to placing kids on strong medications that have a stigma and long range effects ... the parents should at a minumum get at least two other opinions from doctors. Additionally work with the school to find if there is a alternative placement to see if it is just behavior not a situation requiring medication.

    I did not like sitting for long periods of time either. The teachers told my father I was disruptive ... my dad whipped my butt and the disruptions stopped. Another alternative.

    Most teachers do a good job of evaluating the situation .. some do not. Administrators just shuffle the paperwork. In some places the student is the last consideration.

    This is a continuing issue that needs to have the full attention of the school, parents, and medical professionals. Each case is different and brings different facts to the table. I would also recommend a community member at large to be a part of the team ... at some point other parties become emotionally involved and the member at large should be more objective and consider all side of the issue much like a CASA does for child cases in court.

    My opinion is that medication should always be the very last resort.

    Be well. Bob.
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    Feb 20 2014: One cannot draw strong conclusions from single examples. That medication is over-prescribed for attention disorders is widely believed. That no one benefits from such medications is likely too strong a conclusion.
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    Feb 20 2014: No one who has a severely ADHD child asks if medication is necessary or not, Vincent. I assume you don't personally know anyone who's ADHD.
    • Feb 21 2014: My little brother is a schizophrenic with severe ADHD. It's disingenuous to assume in any circumstance. Even in that 100% of times medication is prescribed it is the best course of action.
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    Feb 27 2014: We only need to read the first sentence of this Wall St. Journal article t see that there is a concern that medication will not address.
    "In recent years, the number of children in the U.S. being treated with prescription medication for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder has grown dramatically."
    What is causing this dramatic increase is the question we need to be asking.

    "First, let's look at overdiagnosis. In a 2010 study in the Journal of Health Economics, researchers found that the youngest children among U.S. kindergartners (those born in August) were 40% more likely to be diagnosed with ADHD and twice as likely to take ADHD medications as the oldest kindergartners studied (those born in September). Similar results were found in a study of children ages 6 to 12 published this year in the Canadian Medical Association Journal.

    Simply put, this means that the people making the diagnoses aren't distinguishing, in many cases, between normal developmental immaturity and ADHD. The author of the U.S. study estimates that this mistake could account for 20% of the current ADHD diagnoses in the U.S., or about 900,000 children, by his count."
  • Feb 24 2014: One anecdotal example does not mean that it works for everyone. We need more controlled information. What level of ADHD was in the example? I do agree many times doctors misdiagnosis and over prescribe medication. Some teachers also try to push medication.
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    JB E

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    Feb 23 2014: It's ironic that I stumble across this question posed publicly as last night i was talking with my ADHD daughter about this very question. She said she wished they had an alternative school with specialized teachers and lessons made for ADHD kids and in the same conversation admitted that she needed the meds otherwise life would be hell in school. I am divorced and my x wife has no problems taking the psychiatrist's advice at face value and no reservations about giving strong medication to our daughter. I however, wanted for a time to try alternative methods to control the behavior issues like omega vitamins, exercise and dietary changes. Currently we have a sort of compromise in that she takes a medication other than the typical Adderall but does the same thing as the side effects are not as bad, she also doesn't take any medication when she is not in school.

    I have no doubt she would be different person without medication and I do sometimes think she could be more fulfilled without being medicated as it's a difficult life for her in school. I think the amphetamine medication is like a easy quick fix that can do more harm than good especially if used long term. Bathing the brain in these chemicals has side effects and long term use does cause permanent changes. The part of the brain that causes the issue is only a small part and the way we treat the issues is with a blunt instrument. Their needs to be more research into alternative treatments, i think TDCS has potential if not for treating the ADHD directly it could cut the time spent learning down to more manageable durations.
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    Feb 22 2014: In my opinion I agree this gives credit to alternative education programs. I don't think medication is necessary. As with the case of Gillian, people need a proper environment/outlet to be themselves. As far as I know, ADHD is a modern phenomenon. Sure there's probably been some instances clear back in the day, but nowadays it's rampant. We're constanty bombarded with stimuli and being in a "boring" environment won't suffice. The same goes with anti-depressants. Supposedly it's the third highest selling medication. What's the cause behind all of this? I'd say as a society tackle the root of the problem (poor environments that don't speak to people's inner-selves) instead of having people go through life every day on the drug cocktail du-jour.