Suffer the Children

The case against labeling and medicating children, and effective alternatives for treating them

Rich Kid, Poor Kid

ADHD medications to help kids do better at school are like athletes using steroids to enhance their performance in sports. So say the authors of a new book on ADHD. Read More

God Almighty…when will this end?!

I may be posting as "Anonymous" but I'm putting my email with this post so you'll know I'm not some corporate shill.

I was first diagnosed with ADD (inattentive-type) at 24 years old, twelve years ago. After a lifetime of sleep-issues, social problems, lifetime disorganizational problems, memory problems, and executive functional problems. My brain doesn't have much RAM, ok?

When the "typical" person takes a stimulant drug, they stop sleeping—sometimes for days. They become manic, their perception "speeds up" (hence the nickname).
When you give me my daily dose of stimulant drug, my perception

    slows way, way down

. We do not become manic. We do not become speed-freaks We don't like taking the damn stuff! The letdown when we come off is pure hell! It's like swiching from 65mph to 165mph without any breaking thrusters!
I grew up in a good home, with good-enough parents who loved and supported me very much. And I still need perscription stimulants to help me sleep at night, to help me remember to lock my car every day, and help me do all of the other hundreds of everyday & mundane tasks you nuerotypicals take for granted.
For those of us who have ADD/ADHD, stimulants are not a performance-enhancer. Would you call a prosthetic a "performance enhancer" for the person who needs it? Is the anticonvulsant drug a "performance enhancer" for the epileptic who needs it?
Is lithium a "performance enhancer" for a manic-depressive?
I'm all for stopping abuse. But ADHD has existed long before drug companies. Stimulants are extremely safe for those who actually have ADHD/ADD, but not for those who don't. And there's a lot of people just like me, all over the world.
I am so sick of this nonsense.

Stimulants are SAVING my son

The tone of this articles (and hundreds of others) makes my blood boil. Yes. . . I get it . . . College kids abuse them. Weird . . . they also do beer bongs (in their rectums) and dare each other to perform reckless acts. They are stupid and "invincible". My 6-year, on the other hand. He could NOT sit still. He could NOT listen. HE hated it. He told me so. "I want to listen" . . . "I want to sit still". He was revved-up and could not slow down. Starting school was HELL for all involved; including his poor classmates who had a teacher totally focused on coddling my son all.day.long. And then came our psych appointment. And stimulant medication. On Day 2, he came home with a prize from the prize box. On Day 7, he was voted class MVP. He beams with pride when we say to him: "Great job sitting through dinner!"

You can't tell me that these meds aren't needed. He needs them. And I will fight for him to have them.

The problem is simple

This is not complicated. Stimulant medication improves the focus of normal people if you take the right dose. This is what it was designed to do. So moralists are outraged that there is a possibility a normal person will take this for a short term boost.

HELP ADHD / ADD

HELP ADHD / ADD CHILDREN!
Over 7 million in the United States! No more medication! A change needs to be made in our schools.
Because of the increasing number of children being diagnosed with ADHD or ADD I think it is time to develop a special education program for them.
I just don’t think it is fair to our children; having to medicate them so that they can do good in school and make it easier for educational institutions. ADHD kids are smart and have so much potential, they just learn in a different way. They would do great in smaller class groups with qualified teachers that can teach them in a way they learn and use other methods as well to test them.
I also think their behavioral problems may stem from frustration; because they think they can’t do good in school... that they are stupid... that they do everything wrong... and only receive constant reproaches…
It is not the children that need to be medicated to change, why can’t the schools change? All of them!
This is why I created a petition and posted it in two places hoping for “someone” to take action and wanted to ask you to help me by signing it, as it is the only way a petition will be considered.
These are the links:
http://wh.gov/lEMYx
http://chn.ge/1lpTPBq
Please feel free to forward these links to anyone you think might want a change in schools for ADHD/ADD children.
Thank you

You'll pry my stimulant perscription from my cold, dead hand!

I am an ADULT, who was diagnosed ADD as an ADULT and started taking a stimulant perscription as an ADULT. This issue is not just about children, but also about some seriously disabled adults who are very willing to rise up and defend our ability to have a normal life. And you'd better believe we WILL bring some definite litigative firepower into the courts to defend that right. We do not represent drug companies. We are the millions of adults struggling everyday with ADD/ADHD, and we WILL be heard.

HELP ADHD / ADD

HELP ADHD / ADD CHILDREN!
Over 7 million in the United States! No more medication! A change needs to be made in our schools.
Because of the increasing number of children being diagnosed with ADHD or ADD I think it is time to develop a special education program for them.
I just don’t think it is fair to our children; having to medicate them so that they can do good in school and make it easier for educational institutions. ADHD kids are smart and have so much potential, they just learn in a different way. They would do great in smaller class groups with qualified teachers that can teach them in a way they learn and use other methods as well to test them.
I also think their behavioral problems may stem from frustration; because they think they can’t do good in school... that they are stupid... that they do everything wrong... and only receive constant reproaches…
It is not the children that need to be medicated to change, why can’t the schools change? All of them!
This is why I created a petition and posted it in two places hoping for “someone” to take action and wanted to ask you to help me by signing it, as it is the only way a petition will be considered.
These are the links:
http://wh.gov/lEMYx
http://chn.ge/1lpTPBq
Please feel free to forward these links to anyone you think might want a change in schools for ADHD/ADD children.
Thank you

What's her problem with

What's her problem with adhd?? Why does she keep writing about something she clearly knows nothing about?

Adhd did a number on my childhood and the hyper tendencies made my undiagnosed dad a person he did not want to be. And without a diagnosis or even awareness, you're completely at its mercy.

You have no idea what it's like to have it. You think depression is bad? At least you've got a diagnosis that idiots like this chick aren't publicly announcing are bogus.

If you lie to your doctor to get Adderall, that's on YOU. Who freakin cares? If you want to lie about something and then take it 'illegally' knock yourself out. You can get a diagnosis simply by saying you have symptoms? You can get Prozac that way too. But Prozac isn't fun to take. Legal speed? Again, what's your point?

There is nothing else for me to take. I only have the treatments that are currently available. And no, walking to school is not going to help me. When I was a kid I was always outside. My severely adhd son is the same way. He was never one of those kids to sit in front of a video game all day. He's grown now and he's still like that. Always out somewhere, always on the move. Hmm, maybe it's because he's hyper.

Please google white matter and grey matter and the neuroscience behind this condition. Please also read thru some forums. You will find thousands of people who have had severely altered lives because they are functioning in a different way than mainstream society.

You will find people in their 60s and older who received a diagnosis, got on meds and found that a whole new world opened up for them. They are able to think more clearly and make better decisions. They are able to follow thru on tasks for the first time in their lives. They are able to feel more 'normal' and like more a part of society.

And if you're really diligent and willing to think outside the box... oh yea, that's something *we're* good at and you may not be... you may just find that people can be very very different. The way they think, their intentions. You think you have it all figured out? Maybe. But I'd reconsider if I was you.

I don't think Marilyn Wedge has anything figured out. She's either writing these articles to bring attention to her book or she's just a complete lunatic. Either way, she's got a screw loose.

Walking to cure adhd? Really? It makes my heart sink to the floor to think of all the parents who will be reading this and believe it.

I didn't believe it at first either. When my son's preschool teacher suggested he might have adhd I really don't know anything about it and because of my own undiagnosed adhd, I was utterly unable to follow thru on what I needed to do to help him. And I read stuff like this and thought, well maybe it's not such a big deal then??

Yea, it's a big deal. And if you're not getting some kind of treatment for you or your child then you are doing the biggest disservice there is. You don't understand how important it is.

It has nothing to do with being lazy or eating foods with dye.

And a lot of people who are just finding out they have adhd are going on to discover they have Aspergers traits. I did. And then I realized that all the issues I had with my own mother all my life... she has Aspergers. I was wondering why she would tell me she loved me so much but rarely ask how I was doing or not show random concern. She didn't keep in touch with me after I was grown. I would hear from her every few months at most. I ended up thinking she was narcissistic.

She's also always been hard of hearing. Interesting that hearing aids never helped. She even got a cochlear implant and guess what? She still asks us to repeat ourselves just like we have our entire lives.

But the most amazing thing... sometimes she'll hear us in a situation she usually can't. Like her hearing works really really randomly. And another thing? If you don't repeat yourself and just let it go, she'll figure out what you said.

That's not a hearing disorder, that's an auditory processing disorder. Which is interesting because I have a touch of that myself. It's not unusual for it to take me a split second longer than others for me to understand something that was said. And it's not unusual for me to miss something altogether. But oh yea, I'm also diagnosed adhd combined. Which means I'm inattentive as well. Sounds about right. I miss things that people say because, just for a split second, I zone out. I can be following and laughing along with others and boom, I totally miss what someone says. I don't know if it's a misfire in my brain or something else has my attention for a minute but there it is.

So no Marilyn, walking to school isn't going to help. And if college kids want to take Adderall illegally then so be it. But just because a stimulant has a completely different effect on me and just because you think you're all that and a bag of chips doesn't mean that it isn't real.

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Marilyn Wedge, Ph.D., is a family therapist and the author of Suffer the Children: The Case Against Labeling and Medicating and an Effective Alternative.

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