How Different Medications for ADHD Effect On Patients Essay

How to Slowly Kill Your Child

Prescription medications are slowly killing our children; they are taking medication they don’t need for a condition that can be easily treated by other means. Children with ADD/ADHD use Adderall, Ritalin, or other prescription drugs to treat their condition. These drugs have harmful side effects and can destroy your kids mentally and physically. First, we must go over what ADD/ADHD really are, and the tell tale signs of it. In the article “Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder Is a Serious Problem for Many Children.” by Vidya Bhushan Gupta the author explains just what it’s like to grow up with this condition with detailed stories of real children’s struggles with the condition, and what the symptoms of this condition are. After that we can go over how most people currently treat the condition. In the article “Alternatives to Drug Treatment of ADHD Should Be Pursued.” by Farhang Khosh and Deena Beneda they talk about what the severe side effects of these drugs are and how they could be turning our children into walking corpses. Lastly we will go over some alternative treatments that some people use to alleviate ADHD symptoms. In the article “Caffeine May Be Beneficial for the Treatment of ADHD” by Jane Collingwood she gives some information on why it makes sense to use caffeine and the pros and cons versus that of prescription drugs. These children are often times experiencing worse symptoms from the pharmaceuticals than they are from their actual condition, but for some reason doctors act like everything is just fine. We need to put an end to the use of prescription medications for ADHD on children.

ADHD is a unbiased condition. It affects everyone of all races, gender, and even social class. Millions of children a year are diagnosed with this, whether it be actually serious or just an excuse for a child’s poor behavior, and it affects their attention, impulses, and even their social behavior (Gupta). Sometimes it can be difficult to diagnose this condition because it can be hard to determine what is considered “normal” or “abnormal” behavior in a child. It is often times the most persistent and most excessively disruptive children that are diagnosed with ADHD (Gupta). For example, I was diagnosed with ADHD when I was very little, my grandmother used to call me her “Little Trucker”. I would run up to people yelling at the top of my lungs, I was overly clingy always wanting to hug and kiss people, and I was constantly overstepping boundaries or acting out for attention. The major symptoms of ADHD are distractibility, impulsivity, and social behavior issues (Gupta). They will become distracted by every little thing, every sense almost as if it is on high alert looking for the next thing to draw them away from their current task. They’re impulsive in their actions, acting out or doing things without thinking about it, this can make them boisterous and clumsy. Lastly they do not quite grasp social cues as well as regular children, kids with ADHD often times find it difficult to learn from their past experiences. They don’t always listen to authority well and find themselves in trouble due to not listening to the rules and doing what they are told (Gupta). When to comes to social situations they can also misinterpret what others think very easily, they also find it very difficult to read others’ body language and tone (Gupta). Personally I find it very difficult to monitor my own behavior. I speak out of turn quite often and find my friends being upset at me for it. I also over think what people say and what they mean, it’s extremely difficult for me to read their emotions and it usually leads to thinking that people are perpetually upset with me. ADHD can be quite the road block, while it does not completely stop children, and even adults, from reaching their potential it often puts them into uncomfortable situations, and can make it more difficult to actually finish assignments or tasks.

The solution that the medical field has come up with is drugs. Drugs that slowly waste away the child until they are a shell of their former selves. Drugs that are in the same category as cocaine with nasty symptoms that no adult would ever try to put up with. Ritalin is the most common drug prescribed to children with ADHD (Khosh and Beneda). The reason they prescribe this is because they’ve found that people with ADHD have a dopamine deficiency, they think it is because they have too many molecules that use up all the dopamine. Ritalin binds to the molecules and allows dopamine to instead be used for more vital functions (Khosh and Beneda). This may sound good and well but when someone takes this medication it takes them from a state of obnoxiously hyper to a depressive one. The symptoms include, loss of appetite, stunted growth, emotional detachment. If they are on high doses of this medication can even acquire withdrawal symptoms such as anger, sleeplessness, and paranoia (Khosh and Beneda). These types of medications ruined my childhood. I flip flopped from Adderall the Ritalin quite often, and the symptoms were unbearable. I could never sleep, I never ate more than a few bites per meal, and I was emotionally on edge at all times. Not only will this cause emotional and physical stress on the child experiencing these symptoms it will also tear down the social structures around them as well. Kids on these medications often become social outcasts in their schools, and even cause stress in their family life. In a sense these symptoms are slowly killing the child on it, leaving them a shell of themselves with depressive mood swings and physical exhaustion.

So how can we treat ADHD? Is there an alternative to these horrible prescription medications? Many people have taken to self medicating themselves and their children with caffeine. While Overconsumption of caffeine can cause some pretty nasty side effects aswell, if used in moderation the pros clearly outweigh the cons (Collingwood). For regular people caffeine usually gives them a pep-talk, it gets them going and keeps them awake. From my personal experience, as well as many others who are affected by this condition, we find the experience to be the exact opposite. A cup of tea or even coffee will create a calming effect, it helps to focus in on what the person is doing and relax. For example, personally, I find tea works the best, before I went to take my driver’s test I drank a cup of tea to calm me and help with focusing on the road. Caffeine is not without it’s dangers either, after all, it is still a drug. Drinking too much caffeine too often can lead to irritability, anxiety, and insomnia (Collingwood). These side effects are short lived and can be easily corrected just by not drinking it as much and are not nearly as bad as the stresses, physical and mental, that Ritalin and Adderall put on people (Collingwood). Caffeine has even been proven to work on animals with ADHD. There was a study with a group of rats that had impulsivity and poor attention issues, they gave them a dose of caffeine about 30 minutes before a training activity to see if it would improve their performance. It was found that they were more successful in the tasks they were given after the dose of caffeine than they were before being given the caffeine (Collingwood). It was also shown that with a group of rats that did not have an attention issue there was little to no difference with their performance when given caffeine versus without it (Collingwood). This shows that even in animals caffeine can work against attention issues. Caffeine can be a great alternative to harsh medications prescribed by doctors, it just must be used in moderation to avoid negative symptoms. Parents should always be the ones giving the caffeine to the child, the child should never give it to themselves.

There are other means of naturally subduing ADHD symptoms but in my personal experience and many others’ caffeine seems to be the most effective. ADHD is not something that should be taken lightly and neither should the medications for it either. Sometimes it is difficult to get through school or have a social life with this condition, it can isolate you from your community, and affect your education. Some people still believe that ADHD is not a real condition, something made up by doctors so they can medicate our kids, this is not the truth. It has been proven that people who have ADHD don’t have the same amount of dopamine as regular people. Even brain scans show the activity in their brain to be different. Nothing is worse than the side effects the prescription medications create though, it will only further push your child into a downward spiral. Their peers will make fun of their strange behaviors, mood swings, and stunted growth. They will be lethargic and depressed. Going unmedicated is often times better than the symptoms that destroy the child. It doesn’t have to be this constant rotation of terrible symptoms and bad behavior though, there are alternatives and caffeine is one of the most effective. Not only does it help children and adults with ADHD calm down and focus on the task that is at hand but it is also cheap and easily accessible. There are hardly any negative side effects with caffeine as long as it is taken within moderation. People do have to be careful using it because if they do take it too much or too often the side effects can make you irritable and restless. Long term use can also diminish its effectiveness. If you want to slowly kill the child you know and love, feel free to go ahead and let the pediatrician prescribe a dose of Ritalin for you, but it’s absolutely unnecessary. No child should ever be put on these harsh medications when there are other, safer, options out there for them.

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