ADD/ADHA : Are Human Behaviors Being Medicalized?

Nowadays everybody has heard of ADD (attention deficit disorder) and ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder); and most people know someone who is being medicated for this condition!$! The current diagnostic criteria of ADD/ADHD is based on a subjective list of behaviors. This is a problem because many non-health professionals label children with ADD/ADHD, and many doctors are often quick to medicate when these unqualified diagnosticians observe these behaviors.

In fact many of the behaviors listed under the diagnostic criteria are considered ‘normal’ during certain ages. So does being a kid now equal being a disease? (See diagnostic criteria for ADHD below). Moreover, such symptoms could represent an energetic child, a child with stress or problems at home, a child with allergies or other nutritional inadequacies, or a child with a different medical disorder all together.

Diagnosis should only be made by a Doctor when the problem persists for at least six months, causes serious problem for the child (NOT the people that have to deal with a ‘difficult’ child), and would not be considered appropriate for the developmental stage. ADD/ADHD needs to be a diagnosis of exclusion!

Due to the abuse of this diagnosis many now feel that the best way to recognize ADHD is by scanning the brain. Studies show that in a healthy brain, blood flow and activity patterns are symmetrical, while in a brain diagnosed with ADHD the frontal activity is lower. Perhaps this is a better standard for more accurate diagnosis.

In some instances the symptoms often associated with ADD/ADHD do not negatively impact the child and therefore may simply represent an extremely vital child. In this case, seeking an outlet for the child’s heightened energy and creativity as well as strategies for coping in educational settings is all that is needed. But there are many cases in which these symptoms can negatively affect the child’s everyday life. In these circumstances alternatives to drugging and labeling such has homeopathy can be advantageous.

Homeopathy is a great natural and gentle alternative to psychotropic medications as homeopathic remedies offer a side-effect free solution in which balance can be restored while the child’s vitality and individual nature is not suppressed. Moreover, homeopathy is advantageous in dealing with behavioral issues in that the mental, emotional and physical levels are simultaneously addressed in determining the root cause of the imbalance and selecting individualized treatment.

The Facts

- Between 1995-2000, prescriptions of psychotropic drugs for kids more than doubled!

- Lead exposure damages the attention and self control mechanism in the brain and therefore produces symptoms similar to ADHD.

- 10% of males between the ages of 6-12 years are on psychotropic Meds. - Many children are diagnosed by teachers or other school officials! (Is it a diagnosis to refine classroom behavior?)

- Diagnosis stigmatizes children for life because it labels them.

- Every drug is a chemical and therefore a possible poison.

- Treatment consists of mind-altering drugs (ex. Ritalin) with very real side effects (ex. Ticks, depression, insomnia, anxiety), which in turn usually need to be further medicated.

- Pharmaceutical companies spend around $16 billion per year on producing and advertising ADHD medications to doctors.

- Brain abnormalities have been found in many children with long drug history.

- One treatment does not fit every child. Treatment needs to be individual in order to maximally benefit the child’s unique needs!

- Many cases have been treated by nutrition alone! (See ‘The Feingold Diet, 1970 RE: the elimination of food additives, preservative and coloring)

 

Recommended Viewing: The Tragic Consequences of Drugging our Children by Gary Null (Video available for viewing at video.google.com)

Recommended Reading: Non Drug Treatment of ADHD by Lendon Smith

 

Diagnostic Criteria for ADHD from DSMIV: Diagnostic Criteria

*Must have 6 symptoms to diagnose

1. Often fidgets with hands and feet or squirms in his seat

2. Leaves seat when not supposed to

3. Runs about or climbs excessively

4. Had difficulty playing quietly

5. Always on the “go” or acts as if “driven by a motor”

6. Talks excessively

7. Blurts out the answer before question is completed

8. Difficulty waiting in line/his turn

9. Often interrupts or intrudes on others

ADHD or the Vital / Bored / Creative etc. Child?





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