ADHD Means Big Choices
If you are here because a child in your life has ADHD and you are considering, or have already placed your child on psychotropic drugs, please read this carefully and we hope you will at least reconsider if drugs are appropriate. Most likely, the child is a boy, as they are the most frequent to get the diagnosis.
"Look at how the girls and the other boys are so quiet and behaving, and now look at Johnny, he just wont sit still! There must be something wrong with Johnny. Lets give Johnny some drugs and calm him down."
According to the CDC nearly 1 out of every 10 children have been diagnosed with ADHD, and every year there is a 3% increase. Boys get triple the diagnosis as girls. This represents millions of kids. Millions.
Psychotropic Drug Checklist: Do This First
If you are a parent with an ADHD child, all we ask at Theravive is the following course of action before resorting to drugs:
- Get a second opinion
- Consider, very carefully, the possibility that your child is just plain healthy! His abundance of energy may simply be that he needs regular exercise. Just because he doesn't act as "calm' as other children, makes him no less "normal.". Consider this option.
- Try non-drug based therapies from a licensed therapist. Behavioral therapy, sandplay, music therapy...these are all proven and well established methods of helping children. Try it, and try it a second time.
- Consider the possibility of environmental or food-based causes for the behavior.
- Is the child's home life chaotic? Is there chaos / fighting / arguing / bullying going on at home? Causes for ADHD may not be biological, they could be emotional.
- Have you considered homeschooling? Consider that the public school system itself might not be best for your child
- Is your child also gifted? Often children who have remarkable gifts may also have setbacks in other areas. If your child is a math genius, but has problems with attention, consider that drugging your child may actually crush his gifts. Have your child fully assessed by your school district psychologist for giftedness.
- Drugs are the last, and absolutely final resort.
Is Boy DNA Flawed?
With 6 million kids in the US diagnoses, the vast majority of them boys, we have to ask, is there a problem with Boy DNA? Why so many boys?
We at Theravive believe the rapid diagnosis of ADHD represents a lackadaisical and lazy approach to helping children and highlights a dire problem that plagues our public school system. . Lets face it, our public schools are overcrowded. We have a certain range of behavior that is defined as "normal". When little girls sit quietly at their desk, and little boys aren't sitting still, political correctness may jump to this following logical fallacy: "Boys and girls are all the same, but these boys aren't acting like the quiet little girls, there must be something wrong with the boys." Now, of course not all ADHD diagnoses are given to boys, some girls do get diagnosed, but the majority indeed are boys. Does this represent a problem with "boy DNA?"
Of course not, if a boy (or a girl, for that matter) has a lot of energy and wants to move his legs and let it out, why is he "abnormal?" The overcrowded school system doesn't have time or resources to always be patient with an active child. The over crowded school system lacks the resources to accommodate the differences in the child. An exhausted first grade teacher trying to manage a class of 25 children has very little ability to accommodate a child that wont sit still. The fastest, easiest solution is to drug the child, get the child calm, and now everything can be "normal" again.. The rise in ADHD in our opinion does not represent a rise in biological brain problems with our children, instead it represents a rise in problems in our society and culture, and in the home itself.
Maybe Your ADHD Child Is Actually "Normal" and Healthy!
Has it ever occurred to you that perhaps the "system" itself might have flaws and that perhaps there is nothing genuinely "wrong" with Johnny? Has it occurred to you that perhaps what our society deems as "normal" might be biased towards certain cultural or political "norms" and that maybe there is really nothing biologically wrong with the child at all? When a child doesn't "fit in" that is considered abnormal by some, and so rushing to drugs is an easy way out. How does pumping a tiny body full of extremely powerful mind altering drugs equate to "healthy for the child?"
Theravive does not deny the real existence of ADHD and we do recognize that there are indeed valid circumstances where medication is necessary. But what we DO want to emphasize here, however, is that we firmly believe that drug treatment for ADHD is vastly over prescribed, and far too many children are put on powerful medications before trying much better (and far more healthy) alternatives such as behavioral therapy. Drug companies make incredible profits by putting your child on these drugs. It is an "easy" solution for them, and it sure works wonders on the outside. But what is truly going on in the inside?
A parent may be tempted to drug up their child rather than go through the stress, time, and commitment of non-drug based therapy and counseling. After all, its so easy to just give your child a pill, it's like a magic solution. The child takes the pill, and before you know it they are calm and everything seems so good. But for all the outward sense of "healthy", damage is being done internally to your child. These drugs are powerful, and they have long term complications and negative effects and numerous contraindications.
There are many proven therapy treatments for children such as play therapy, sandplay, behavioral therapy, and music therapy that have been effective for countless children, avoiding completely the need for medical prescription mental stimulants. But a parent must be willing to give them a legitimate and real shot at working.
If you take away one thing from this article, please take away the following statement:
Psychotropic Drugs should always be the last resort, and never a first, second, or even third resort for your child.
If you need a therapist to help you with ADHD, you are in the right place. We have thousands of therapists and psychologists ready to help you. We have a large selection of online therapists who are professional and licensed counselors, able to help you right where you are over the phone, via email, or webcam/messenger. If you prefer face to face counseling, please use our therapist directory and find a city close to you with a therapist who can meet your needs.
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