Wednesday, December 03, 2003

Thanksgiving dirt

A friend has left a comment asking for more details about Thanksgiving dinner. Well, I don't want to diss too much on the family mainly because they are actually very kind at heart and were gracious hosts. The description in my previous post was mainly to get some smiles from readers :) In any case, though, it is all true...and as my man Homer J. Simpson so rightly pointed out, "It's funny because it's true"

As for ADD & ADHD, well, I'll admit that I'm very skeptical when it comes to behavioral problems, especially with children. That's not to say there isn't some valid biochemical imbalance in such children, but many times, I really wonder if the medical & psychiatric fields have not gone too far in defining diseases and conditions and looking for a drug to solve every little problem. Before I say anything else, I should mention that I don't have children myself and I haven't had to care for children with ADD (perhaps if I had such experience, my thoughts would be very different).

In the case of these two children, I suppose taking the ADD drugs helps the whole family's life (not to mention the childrens' teachers' lives) easier and a bit more calm, but this weekend was a prime example of one of the downsides. These children don't take the drugs on weekends (including the whole long weekend) and it really showed since these boys just couldn't stop running around, spitting while munching on food, etc.

I feel like many times doctors and patients are looking for quick outs and look for a way to treat the "problem". I can only imagine how tough it is to care for two growing boys who are very hyperactive and can't keep their attention on anything, but I really feel like call this a disorder and giving the children drugs to calm them down is the wrong way to go.

First of all, such diagnoses imply that this condition is out of the norm of society. Aren't most young boys hyperactive? Does the rest of the world rely on drugs to address such problems or do they think it's a normal part of growing up?

Second of all, using a drug to make the problem go away isn't really solving the problem, it's just masking it. As far as I know, these drugs don't help to alter chemical imbalances permanently, they just temporarily calm the children down, don't they?

One of the issues with this is that taking the drugs helps the children to focus on school work etc. That may be true, but at the same time, shouldn't parents & teachers work with the children to help them focus and learn? Like I said, I haven't really dealt too much with ADD/ADHD children so I don't know how difficult they are to handle.

Overall I feel ADD/ADHD is one of those things that modern science and society have unecessarily deemed to be nusuances. Who knows, if I have to care for children who are excessively hyperactive and can't focus, I may resort to calling it ADD/ADHD and giving them drugs. At this point, however, I can't really see the validity.

I'd love to hear everyone else thoughts on this, especially from anyone familiar with caring for anyone with ADD/ADHD.

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