Wednesday, October 12, 2011

My ADD/ADHD rant

First of all, I will agree that ADD/ADHD is overdiagnosed these days, and that there are children being given medications that they do not need. That said, I also know first hand that there are children...and adults...who most definitely DO need the medication, and who can not function as well without it as they do with it.

ADD/ADHD is not just about normal "hyperactivity" in a growing child. A child who is properly tested for this disorder will have physical, psychological and neurological exams...and you can see a HUGE difference in the brain activity of a person with the disorder vs. a person without it. Below are two pictures to demonstrate those differences..they are very real.

The first picture shows a PET scan of a "normal" brain vs. an ADHD brain, and the second picture shows a variety of EEGs.

In cases like those above, just changing their diet, or making sure they get more exercise, is not going to solve the problem. They have a chemical imbalance in the brain, and medication is required to correct that imbalance.

Yes, some children get diagnosed with the disorder, put on medication, and they turn into "zombies." In those cases, generally, one of two things is going on: either they don't have the disorder, or they are on the wrong dosage. A person with true ADD/ADHD will only function "normally" when they are on the proper dosage of the medication.

Many people with true ADD/ADHD will also NOT "grow out of it" when they reach adolescence, and will have to continue to take medication for their entire lives.

ADD/ADHD is not caused by a child having too much sugar in their diet, or watching too much television, or playing too many video games. It is something they are born with, in most cases, and in a great many cases it is hereditary. It is NOT, by any means, a sign of poor parenting.

There is more that I could say, but I'll leave it at that for now.....

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