ADHD diagnosis comes too soon

By Eleni Antipas
November 10, 2010

Today, many children are prescribed potent medications for conditions that cannot be diagnosed objectively, and these medications have severe side effects that may be doing more harm than good.  I believe children should not be prescribed medication for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD).

Research proves that there is currently no technique for an indisputable diagnosis for ADHD. The National Institute of Mental Health found that the process of glucose metabolizing in the brain of ADHD children was the result of the condition. However, a second round of testing was conducted three years later, and the same results could not be replicated.

Although researchers have yet to find a direct correlation between biology and ADHD symptoms, many psychologists are convinced that there is a way to guarantee a diagnosis of ADHD as a mental disorder.

A commonly used type of diagnostic criteria for ADHD is a questionnaire that lists a number of different behaviors. However, these actions are not exclusively symptoms of ADHD. They are also indications that a child may have been abused, neglected or that a child is simply creative and outgoing. Doctors should not be giving children such strong medications when they cannot even pinpoint the exact problem.

We all know someone that has been prescribed Adderall or Ritalin. These stimulants are the most commonly prescribed medications for ADHD. Both of these drugs are comprised of chemicals, which produce the same pharmacological effect as cocaine. Some doctors feel that it is perfectly safe to pollute children’s bodies with these medications. These drugs are classified as Schedule II, which the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) uses to indicate the most dangerous and addictive drugs.

These medications may also cause abnormal body movements, anxiety, depression, insomnia and obsessive-compulsive disorder. ADHD medications can also affect a child’s personality because these drugs can cause children to become subdued, apathetic and lethargic. These drugs are stifling the wonderful aspects of youth.

Many of these side effects are extremely serious. For example, children may develop stomach aches, constipation, blurred vision, hair loss and liver dysfunction.

There are several alternatives to medication that have been proven effective in decreasing ADHD. For example, specific diet adjustments, such as the restriction of artificial food colors, flavorings, sweeteners, preservatives, and a strong focus on protein can reduce ADHD symptoms. Regular exercise has been proven to decrease ADHD symptoms in children. This is known as “The Green Therapy.” The key to this treatment is that the children spend time outdoors, in an unstructured setting, where they may feel free and in control of their own behavior.

Research shows that a child’s brain becomes used to their medications, causing the dosage to continuously be increased overtime, whereas, an individual does not become immune to natural treatments.

There is no reason that a child needs to be taking ADHD medications. In fact, it appears that for many parents it is simply more convenient to pick-up a prescription than spend time working on their children’s disruptive behaviors. Treatments for ADHD that do not involve medication are simple and effective.

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Eleni Antipas

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