Millions of American children have been labeled with ADHD because of their inattentive, impulsive and hyperactive behavior. Approximately twenty million children are taking mind-altering drugs like Ritalin. Has anyone stopped to wonder how so many kids could have the same “mental disorder?” Sure we all want what is best for our children, but drugging them for their behavior is not the answer. There are no benefits for children on ADHD drugs, only harm.
First of all, ADHD consists of a list of behaviors that are undesirable in a classroom. If a child fidgets, leaves his seat often or talks too much he is considered hyperactive. He is overly impulsive if he interrupts and blurts out answers. If he makes careless mistakes, is easily distracted and forgetful, he is supposedly inattentive. It would be impossible to find a child who doesn’t behave in this fashion. No one can expect a child to act like a mature composed adult. This behavior is not a “mental illness.”
If a child is labeled with ADHD, a parent may be told the child has a chemical brain imbalance. There are brain images, but the differences they show don’t prove that there are any deviations. Some will even try to show you a brain scan after drug treatment and point out a “defect.” Well unless they took a brain scan before starting drug treatment this is a waste of time. For all they know, the drug itself caused the “defect.”
There isn’t any other proven biological cause of ADHD either. There is no blood test, urine test, x-ray or any other test. There are only symptoms. Without a test, a child is basically being drugged to make him quieter and more manageable in the classroom or at home. He isn’t being given a drug to fix any organ, blood condition or broken bone. Without a medical test, there isn’t any benefit for the child, there are only benefits for those around him.
Certainly there are children that are constantly disruptive and out of control. That doesn’t mean they have ADHD. It means there is a physiological or other condition that is not being detected. The potential causes are endless: boredom, poor teaching, multiple types of allergies, toxins in the environment, food colorings, processed foods, vitamin deficiencies, too much sugar, too much TV, bullying, stress, abuse, poor living environment, etc. Perhaps even the child’s parents and his school have just not provided the guidance needed.
If that’s not convincing enough, the psychiatrist that helped “discover” ADHD, Leon Eisenberg, admitted months before his death that ADHD is fictitious! It was merely a theory that was never proven to exist as a verifiable disease. This should make anyone wonder why millions of children are still being prescribed mind-altering drugs. The answer to that is that ADHD was started to serve the interests of drug companies, with psychiatrists benefiting financially as well, including Mr. Eisenberg.
The drug companies dominate the field of psychiatry today and psychiatry depends on the drug companies for survival. Fifty-six percent of the DSM-IV (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual) panel had one or more financial ties to drug companies. Connections between panels and drug companies are even stronger where a drug is the first step in treatment. This is particularly applicable for mood disorders, schizophrenia and other psychoses.
There are two ways drug companies can make money. They either invent new drugs or invent new “diseases” to fit the drugs they already have. The psychiatrists will announce for example that antipsychotics are now effective in treating ADHD and the drug companies will spend a fortune to market this “discovery.” Together they will defend that “mental disorders” are on par with diabetes, cancer and heart disease but they have no tests or studies to prove it.
Clearly, putting a kid on Ritalin isn’t logical given the above information. Since the drug isn’t curing anything, one should be aware of what Ritalin and other ADHD drugs actually do. As mentioned earlier, any real physical disease goes undetected. The child may seem calm and better behaved, but that is because the drug is numbing his behavior. Consider it comparable to shooting a wild animal with a tranquilizer dart.
Ritalin is not a drug that should be taken lightly. It is a Schedule II controlled substance in the same class as heroin, cocaine and morphine, all which have high potential for addiction. This alone should alarm any parent. Further, the side effects make undesirable behavior sound preferable. No parent should want to take the chance that their child could experience seizures, brain shrinkage, drug-induced neurosis, addiction, depression, Tourette’s syndrome, high blood pressure or moodiness.
One of the worst potential side effects is tardive dyskinesia which is permanent involuntary muscle movements. Suicide is another. Emergency room visits have increased forty percent over a six year period due to adverse side effects of an ADHD drug. In addition, long-term use can cause exactly what is being treated…inattention, hyperactivity and impulsive behavior. So who benefits from this? It certainly isn’t the child.
Instead, there is a benefit for everyone involved except the child. Drug companies make billions of dollars. Psychiatrists profit handsomely. Teachers no longer need to be responsible for every child’s education when they can cry ADHD. Schools can get more money for special education via ADHD labels. Parents can just give their child a pill instead of spending time looking for real answers and solutions. However, how does a parent benefit by putting their child at risk for suicide?
The point is we all have been led astray into believing there is such a thing as ADHD. We have all become too busy with life when we need to take the time to educate children on what is acceptable healthy behavior. Drugging a child for disruptive behavior only teaches him that he needs drugs to be “normal.” That message isn’t going to produce a mature, responsible, independent adult.
The point is these children need a thorough medical exam and not the fifteen minute interview that comes with a prescription. These kids need someone to take the time and find out what is causing the “ADHD” behavior. Children need an environment where healthy behavior is supported, practiced and rewarded. Society doesn’t need a bunch of “wooden” personalities sitting quietly in class. Children need to be nurtured in their individuality. Now that would be a benefit!