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Connecting Life With ADD

Posted 03-24-08 at 10:04 PM by SMSPirate
Four years ago, my 10 year old son was starting another school project. He had a month to complete it. That Saturday, I was encouraging him to get started, and he, of course, was adamant that he had plenty of time. Basically, he didn't want to use up his weekend working on a school project! He wanted to go back to his friend's to play more video games! What 10 year old wouldn't?

Sounds like a pretty typical scene, so far. Millions of parents struggle with millions of kids every day to finish homework. What makes this story a little different, and hopefully of some use to you, is that both me, and my son, like some 3-7 million others, have something called Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, or ADHD. What also makes it a little less typical is that he started working on the project that day, turned it in for the "early completion" extra-credit, and got a great grade, with never another argument about it after that first day. At almost 15, that project poster is still hanging on his wall, and it makes us both feel terrific when we see it there. You'll have to read the rest of this book to find out how we did it, and why, even though we still have our share of troubles, ADD hasn't really been the issue since about that time.

ADHD has an interesting history, and a remarkable reputation. Here, in the 21st century, you're as likely to hear that ADHD is the bane of existence, a chronic and impairing disorder, a disease, or a mental illness, as you are to hear it is the salvation of creativity and innovation in our world. How can two such different opinions and pictures exist about the same thing? How can we unravel the statements made by my friend, Dr. Stephen Hinshaw, and other prestigious members of the APA, that "ADD is 100% genetic and 100% environmental," and, "ADD started with our compulsory education system"?

While the battle rages on in our schools, our homes, and throughout society, many researchers, like Dr. Hinshaw, are trying to understand exactly what ADD is, what causes it, what its doing to the people who have it and what it means to the world at large. Unfortunately, most often, if you ask a researcher what their new study means, they'll tell you they don't know – it needs more research. Even conclusive, published, and accepted findings periodically get refuted and proven wrong. With apologies to my friends in the research world, even though research is hugely important and vital toward understanding what this thing is, while the studies continue, people, families, and other segments of society affected by it today, continue being devastated by ADD. Even though the empirical approach serves and stands for viable and important reasons, it leaves the rest of the world in an ongoing and concurrent dilemma about what it all means, and more important, what to do about it in the "real" world.


The Medical Approach


I have never needed to, and perhaps should have "disclosed" in the past, but here goes… I have, ADD! My second grade teacher didn't know what it was called, but she definitely knew what it meant when she told my mother at a school picnic that she didn't like me very much because of my rebellious and disruptive nature. Even though she confessed that I was very smart, she doubted I would be very successful in school because I would not sit still, pay attention, or conform. What made me that way? If you check with a doctor, I have ADD - Combined Type, Inattentive, Cingulate System Hyperactivity with Overfocus Issues, along with Basal Ganglia Hyperactivity and Temporal Lobe System symptoms. This means that if I were under a doctor's care for my "condition", I could be taking a "cocktail" of psycho-active and psycho-tropic drugs. What drugs are they? Here's a list of 2006 meds that are all being used to treat various things in the family of ADD:



Stimulants



Benzodiazepines



Nerve stabilizing medications:



Ritalin (methylphenidate)



Dexedrine (dextroamphetamine)



Cylert (magnesium pemoline)



Desoxyn (methamphetamine)



Adderal (combination amphetamine salts)




Valium



Xanax



Ativan



Serax


Tranxene


Lithium


Tegretol

Depakote



Neurontin



Anti-obsessive antidepressants



Standard antidepressants



Anti-psychotic medications (anxiety) and Panic disorder



Effexor (venlafaxine)



Prozac (fluoxetine) Wellbutrin (buprion)



Paxil (paroxetine)



Zoloft (sertraline)



Anafranil (clomipramine)



Desyrel (trazodone)



Serzone (nefazodone)



Celexa (citalopram)



Remeron (mirtazapine)



Luvox (fluvoxamine)



Tofranil (imipramine)



Norpramin (desipramine)



Pamelor (nortryptiline)



Nardil



Xanax



Risperdal



Mellaril



Haldol.



MAO inhibitor



The pharmaceutical world thinks they have the answer to ADD, and they (especially their stockholders and their chief distributors – the MDs), seem to want everyone else to think so too. Their solution? Medications. Stimulant medications, to be exact; or, in the case of Strattera, a norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor[1]. Whether you agree with the solutions or not, the fact is that the manufacturers of Ritalin, Adderall, Strattera and other drugs, have been enjoying record profits on the sales of these and other medications to "treat" ADD since the 1980's. Of course, anytime record profits are involved, controversy is right at it's side. Though doctors and researchers alike are reluctant to advise against the meds, there are real present and future dangers involved. Some of these meds alter your brain function so much that stopping the medication could prove fatal. None of them outside the stimulant category is approved for ADD treatment and, as of March, 2008, there are no research studies on any of them for long-term effects. There are also no studies on how these drugs affect women! Since most of the cases diagnosed are consistently in boys, there are no corresponding female studies. What are we doing to our future children?
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Comments

  1. Old
    Imnapl's Avatar
    All of these drugs are specifically prescribed for a diagnosis of ADHD/ADD alone?
    Posted 03-27-08 at 11:15 PM by Imnapl Imnapl is offline
  2. Old
    meadd823's Avatar
    Nardil, which is a MAO inhibitor, Risperdal, Mellaril, Haldol. – if some one prescribes any of these for simple ADD my personal advice is to run like hell because any doctor who would prescribe these and several more you have listed up there for ADD has obviously lost his/her mind.
    Posted 03-28-08 at 02:21 AM by meadd823 meadd823 is offline
  3. Old
    these drugs treat a wide variety of Phycological conditions..I am no Dr. but unless you have an underlying condition you wouldn't need all that. Geeze, even if you have 20 underlying conditions, I doubt you'd get all those!
    Posted 03-28-08 at 12:00 PM by MJwatson MJwatson is offline
  4. Old
    I'm sure the drug company is really rolling in my $10 per month Adderall profit....hahaha just trying to ne funny..sorry.
    Posted 03-28-08 at 12:02 PM by MJwatson MJwatson is offline
 
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