In my last post I told you about all the different ways of treating ADHD.
Medication, therapy, dieting and even homeopathic remedies.
But what happens if you decide to leave it untreated or worse, to stop the treatment?
“I don’t exactly know when I started taking the medications. I think it was around first grade when the little mysterious pills began appearing next to my cup of apple juice at breakfast. I had what my parents called “ADHD.”
Man, was I wrong.” (20-year-old college student)
This extract is from a field report about the personal experiences of a ADHD kid growing up and her decision to quit the medication.
Everything she described really hit me, so I think her experience is the best way to illustrate the consequenzes of her beeing druged for almost her whole life. Maybe after reading this you will think twice before you let the doctor prescribe you or your kids any ADHD medication.
She gained more than 45 pounds in the first 2 semesters, even her psychiatrist was worried about what she had become.
Then at the beginning of this past semester she made the decision to go back on the meds. She lost weight and improved her grades.
Without the meds she was a ‘blob’ on the outside, but now back on it she feels like a ‘blob’ on the inside.
“With the weight loss and motivation come a huge question: who the hell am I? […]
I was medicated for 18 years and I became psychologically dependent on it. I can’t function in society without it now.”
She has to fight serious psychological disorders, like insomnia, anxiety, compulsive behaviors, mental breakdowns and serious depression.
She feels like she has a double identity.
One identity with drugs and another without them.
Symptoms like this are not a curiosity with ADHD patients off their medication.
Dr. Robert Pressman, Family Therapist & Pediatric Psychologist, admits that a discontinuation of medication may result in a period of emotional and physical discomfort that can last several weeks.
He basically describes a process found with drug detoxification. Sounds alarming, doesn’t it?
He found out that even if medication is restarted the patient may not have the full benefit of the drugs right from the first day.
Still a lot of parents or patients themselves don’t want to continue with the medication.
One reason are all the different side effects I discussed in my last post. What can they do?
Well, in his opinion it is really important that the medication is never changed without consulting a doctor.
Further he says that holidays are the best time to stop the medication, because the patient has enough time to recover from the detoxification process. Plus there is also enough time to start a new therapy, maybe even with some natural remedies, which we found out last week don’t have any side efefcts.
But besides all that the most shocking fact I discovered during my research was that kids actually deal with their ADHD drugs.
I was seriously shocked.
Digging deeper into this aspect of ADHD I found out that the massive overprescription of the amphetamine drugs for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder is the root of this problem. Actually America’s biggest unacknowledged drug problem!
Since ADHD diagnosis and the use of drugs to treat it increased rapidly, kids sell each other these kind of drugs, apparently to boost their grades!
The kids break open the pills and snort the drug. Just like junkies do with cocaine.
This problem has been ignored for years, maybe people were afraid or too comfortable to touch it, but recently the New York Times has finally woken up to this problem and published an article about it. It claims that, for children without ADHD, “just one pill can jolt them with the energy focus to push through all-night homework binges and stay awake during exams afterward”.
Damian Thompson, Editor of Telegraph Blogs and columnist for the Daily Telegraph, thinks instead that not all school pupils are doing these drugs to concentrate on work, but that “they’re doing it to get high“.
These drugs, which are a mixture of stimulants, can make you just as euphoric as cocaine. Especially if one takes it for the first time.
It does help you concentrate though, but “the effect wears off – and addiction often takes its place”.
During his research about this topic he got curious and made a self experiment. He snorted some Adderall (one of the most common medications for ADHD patients) and documented the effects.
At first he didn’t notice any change but after a few hours the amphetamine wave hit him for the first time.
“I’d become as high as a kite.” For me this was his most significant statement during this documentation.
He describes how he was able to work through the whole night thanks to this drug.
The blues didn’t hit him until the next day. It took him almost a week to recover from this trip.
“And this is what they give to nine-year-olds.”
When you think back now to how I told you last week what dangerous side-effects these medication has and how we found out today how badly it can effect someone who tries to stop the medication, this issue becomes even more serious.
His article is very extensive and definitely the most interesting article about this topic I have read until now!
You should check it out, if you are still interested about this topic after reading my post.
Here is the link: blogs.telegraph.co.uk
But don’t you dare to quit reading my posts about ADHD after reading his awesome article!
Because next week I will finally get to a somewhat business like aspect about ADHD and I can promise you that you don’t want to miss out on that one 😉
After discovering all that I can only say, that I am shocked how reckless doctors and parents handle the ADHD medication issue.
I even found various discussions in the internet about how it is “so ridiculously easy to get Ritalin prescriptions”.
Most of the comments were about how they usually take Ritalin to concentrate and how it lead them to harder drugs like speed.
For me this easygoing attitude towards Adderall, Ritalin and CO just turned dealing with drugs into a game for kids.
And will lead sooner or later result in a whole generation of drug addicts since childhood.
But how did it come that far? Why did the prescription of ADHD drugs increase so much and why is this issue handled so carelessly?
Well, you’ll find out in my next post.
Stay tuned for next week.
Over and out.
PS: I’m sorry for this aweful load of text,
but as I said right at the start,
this topic has been in my mind for too long and I just have to let it all out now.
Thanks for reading!