Author Topic: ADHD and Overprescription  (Read 2631 times)

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Offline Ziel

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ADHD and Overprescription
« on: October 09, 2012, 10:58:17 pm »
I came across an article today that really kinda bothered me. Article is here, if you want to see it.

Apparently, kids who don't actually need the medicine for ADHD are getting it anyhow. These could be kids who are simply under-performing in school, or kids who's parents want to give them an academic edge. The article even talks to a family with 4 kids, all on some medication for ADHD. The parents basically admit that two of the kids are using it and don't really need it. The kids just do better in school and are easier to deal with at home when they're taking the medicine. They continue with this even after one of the kids had a negative side-effect (hearing voices), leading to trouble in school. And to top it off, they had to get prescription sleep aids for all the kids to bring them down so they can sleep at night.

My thought on reading it was that it reminds me of all those 'performance-enhancing drugs' they ban from sports, only these are for academics instead, which makes them okay?

I understand that some students truly do need this stuff to focus on tasks. SOME students. But I can't imagine that nearly 10% of middle-high school-aged kids truly need it. A lot of the problem is how subjective the diagnosis is. Just about any parent with a kid with 'average' grades can claim that their kid exhibits the issues that go along with ADHD, and many doctors will just prescribe it. At least that's how the article makes it sound. The whole thing just sounds rather corrupt and disgusting to me.

Whatever happened to kids learning how to learn and behave in school on their own?

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Offline Mylo

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Re: ADHD and Overprescription
« Reply #1 on: October 09, 2012, 11:52:19 pm »
Whatever happened to kids learning how to learn and behave in school on their own?

Beats me.  

But think about it.  You have a bunch of kids sitting in a dry classroom reading some dry book about some dry subject.  That's what you're supposed to do, because it's school after all, but most kids (given the choice between that and something else), would rather do something else.  Then, the teachers notice that some kids aren't paying attention and that leads down the path of ADHD diagnosis, simply because one of the symptoms of ADHD is having difficulty concentrating.  Everyone has had difficulty concentrating at some point.  From the standpoint of the articles I've been reading, ADHD is rather over-diagnosed...

Or we can think of this like a conspiracy theory, where ADHD Meds, Inc. pays doctors bathtubs of money to prescribe this medicine to children at an increasingly high rate...  :o

Aside, mental health diagnoses are among the most difficult simply because of the subjectivity and vagueness of the tests.  And when you tell someone that they might have this disease or that they have it, then they tend to start exhibiting more of the symptoms...
« Last Edit: October 09, 2012, 11:54:09 pm by Mylo »

Offline Shim

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Re: ADHD and Overprescription
« Reply #2 on: October 10, 2012, 12:23:27 am »
I was diagnosed with A.D.H.D at age 4. Over the course of the past year or so, I've found a bunch of articles like this and I'm now doubting whether or not I actually have it. I've never been comfortable with being told I have it, nor have I ever been comfortable in the "special education you're dumb so you get easier homework" classes all throughout elementary and middle school.


Offline Kael

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Re: ADHD and Overprescription
« Reply #3 on: October 10, 2012, 08:42:31 am »
I have it. I am certain I have ADD, I have been diagnosed and for years had displayed the symptoms. Believe me, it actually has benefits and drawbacks. ADD, when properly harnessed, has helped me focus in school by focusing on what I enjoy. I have taken tests, discussed with multiple doctors, and have had many different types of meds. So frankly, I am certain I have it, based on these different reasons.

However, to answer the over-diagnosis of ADD/ADHD, yes, I have seen it multiple times.
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Offline Narei Mooncatt

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Re: ADHD and Overprescription
« Reply #4 on: October 10, 2012, 09:20:11 am »
I've heard of cases as extreme as school nurses essentially handing out ADHD meds to kids and then the school threatening to kick the kids out if the parents don't allow them to take it, all without any actual clinical diagnosis. So yeah, I think it's way over-diagnosed. On the other hand, I do think it's not so much a mental, but an enviromental disorder. Before the days of T.V. (and increasing commercials), video games, and 3 minute "Pop" music tracks, I think kids had no choice but to stay focused on whatever they were doing because it's the only thing they had to do! And there were fewer distractions to draw their attention away. I have a 3 year old, and of course she's going to be spastic and hyper. But I know it's going to be a challenge with my kids, trying to push back against all the short term attention grabbers in the media and other areas as they grow older.
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Offline Acton

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Re: ADHD and Overprescription
« Reply #5 on: October 10, 2012, 02:06:23 pm »
I have to agree with  Dr. Anderson  assumptions of over diagnosing of  ADHD around 1968, the  the really did not know what to do with me and was place  in special education for  mental retardation, as a result I really did not lean to read until early adolescence and  to this day have problem with wanting to learn and concepts of grammar and  spelling. letter I  discovered I am very intelligent, for example quickly understand and ability to analyze math, mechanical and electrical, electronics problems in my head. Missing out of the import early education in language,  I learned  certain important  concepts. Many words have throws me off; I can understand the meaning but no clue  how to pronounce or spell. Reading things out loud is very difficult for me. I was hastily homed schooled form 1971-72

As the article state I fee many diagnoses of ADHD is lazy way to treat behavioral problem.  I was Ritalin until I had to rebel, it worked for a while  then came the exhausting crash. Drugs should only be uses as a last result.

Offline Ziel

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Re: ADHD and Overprescription
« Reply #6 on: October 11, 2012, 07:29:48 pm »
Can they even diagnose something like that at age 4? Reading a list of symptoms sounds an awful lot like it could just be a description of a typical 4 year old.

Acton: I'm sorry you had to go through an experience like that. Perhaps in your case, a diagnosis may have helped make things a bit more smooth for you. Oh well, it sounds like you've come away from it all and found your real interests anyhow. Sometimes the schooling system just doesn't work for everybody (that's a whole other can of worms, though).

I've heard of cases as extreme as school nurses essentially handing out ADHD meds to kids and then the school threatening to kick the kids out if the parents don't allow them to take it, all without any actual clinical diagnosis.
ADHD meds are controlled substances because of their addictive nature. That's not even remotely legal O.O
« Last Edit: October 11, 2012, 07:32:55 pm by Ziel »

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Offline Narei Mooncatt

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Re: ADHD and Overprescription
« Reply #7 on: October 11, 2012, 08:48:27 pm »
I've heard of cases as extreme as school nurses essentially handing out ADHD meds to kids and then the school threatening to kick the kids out if the parents don't allow them to take it, all without any actual clinical diagnosis.
ADHD meds are controlled substances because of their addictive nature. That's not even remotely legal O.O
Yeah, I got to thinking more about that and you're right. I think it was more like the school nurse "diagnosing" kids and the school making the expulsion threats if the parents didn't go get a prescription.
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Offline Alsek

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Re: ADHD and Overprescription
« Reply #8 on: October 12, 2012, 12:50:16 pm »
Every male in my second grade class was "diagnosed" with either ADD or ADHD.  We were all told seperately by the school that we had to tke the medicatio or find a different school.  I guess they didn't figure the parents would talk to one another.  >.>

This is what happens when you have teachers trying to make a medical diagnosis.  They convince the parents who find an apathetic family doctor and say,  "the school says my kid has add."

I do NOT have ADD.  I was a male second grader.

I know a child development specialist who says a lot of the problem has todo with children being forced into schools too early,  and being forced to sit and listen to a boring teacher who doesn't know how to keep their attention.   Growig kids at that age /have/ to move and release energy or they will be in pain.  It's a part of how the body deals with the stress of growing.  They need frequent breaks with large ammounts of physical activity or they'll sit around in extreme discomfort.  Unfortunately they're just not getting that anymore.  This is why when i was in kindergarten you only stayed for half a day.
« Last Edit: October 12, 2012, 12:52:11 pm by Alsek »

Offline Ziel

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Re: ADHD and Overprescription
« Reply #9 on: October 12, 2012, 04:19:36 pm »
Every male in my second grade class was "diagnosed" with either ADD or ADHD.  We were all told seperately by the school that we had to tke the medicatio or find a different school.  I guess they didn't figure the parents would talk to one another.  >.>

This is what happens when you have teachers trying to make a medical diagnosis.  They convince the parents who find an apathetic family doctor and say,  "the school says my kid has add."

I do NOT have ADD.  I was a male second grader.

I know a child development specialist who says a lot of the problem has todo with children being forced into schools too early,  and being forced to sit and listen to a boring teacher who doesn't know how to keep their attention.   Growig kids at that age /have/ to move and release energy or they will be in pain.  It's a part of how the body deals with the stress of growing.  They need frequent breaks with large ammounts of physical activity or they'll sit around in extreme discomfort.  Unfortunately they're just not getting that anymore.  This is why when i was in kindergarten you only stayed for half a day.

Agreed on the half-day kindergarten thing. That's what I went to as well. And frankly, I could barely handle it at that age. And not because of having to sit for the whole day. I missed my mommy ;.;

I think the pressure on teachers comes from a lot of angles. Some of them that have been assigned to the youngest students simply don't have the knack for childcare that others do. I was fortunate, and feel like my elementary school had a great staff of teachers, especially in the younger grades. They were all very good with kids, and were able to keep us engaged during classwork, and they knew when breaks were needed. The teacher realizes how big a difference the medication makes for the true problem students, and thinks "how nice would it be if they all could become that well behaved".

Beyond that, there's also the school's interest to keep in mind. Standardized testing is becoming more and more frequent at even younger ages, and schools are judged by the performance of the students on these kinds of tests. Since the medicine helps kids be able to focus in school, they're supposedly learning more and going to do better on tests, which will make the school look even better.

It's like steroids in professional sports. If the top players or teams are using performance enhancers, the competition will feel like it has to just join in, in order to even have a fighting chance.


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Offline animagusurreal

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Re: ADHD and Overprescription
« Reply #10 on: November 13, 2012, 09:37:20 am »
What I find deeply ironic is that kids are told to sit still all day in school (and/or medicated to keep them that way), and then when they come home tired, and want to play video games, they're told that sitting still is bad and to "get active."

In fact, I believe one of the reasons school is so boring is that many people belive "boring = good for you, fun = bad".

Personally, I never had the kind of bouncing off the walls energy that other kids had. I have a mild form of anemia and was more than happy with the sitting still part of school. But I was still bored out of my mind. I loved learning too, just not in school. I missed several homework assignments because I was busy drawing theme park designs and magnetic flying car concepts on the paper. I was very happy when I switched to home-schooling in 5th Grade.

My mother also worked as a teacher's aide and was very upset when she saw a teacher call the office and say "(boy's name) needs his meds!!!" just because the kid was sitting in his chair in a slightly incorrect manner. (This teacher had a mean streak anyway - tearing up kids' drawing because they wrote their name on the front instead of the back, etc. - and she would win awards. Luckily, my mom later switched to working with a much nicer teacher.)

On the flip side, I was one of the only kids in my class with the attention span to sit through a movie.  The teacher would almost always turn it off before the end because of kids acting up. Years later, when I worked for an after-school program, the kids were the same way. They were super-exited when the movie began, but by the halfway-mark, they got so unruly, the teacher gave them the option to do something else, and only three kids out of 30 chose to stay to the end. As a lifelong "movie person," this surprises me.

But bottom line, medication should only be used as a last resort, not an easy fix for teachers and schools.

(By the way, in 2nd Grade I started getting headaches, and the school tried to convince Mom I needed reading glasses...but they were really sinus headaches. Years later, I had an eye test and was told I had 20-20 vision.)
« Last Edit: November 13, 2012, 09:49:21 am by animagusurreal »


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