Are we over-medicating our children?

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posted on Oct, 20 2003 @ 10:46 AM
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I worked in a retail pharmacy for 5 years and in that time I saw an insane number of children on meds such as Ritalin, Prozac, Lithium, Adderall, Paxil, etc. In one case a doctor had actually prescribed Ritalin for a 3 year old boy! I asked the mom about it and she said she wasn't sure if he really needed it, but since the doctor prescribed it, it must be OK.

Most, not all, of the kids that were on anti-depressants and ADHD meds were from families that were seriously dysfunctional, and it was obvious that the kids' main problems were psychological issues. They needed some serious counseling and support, not drugs.

I realize that there are some kids who really do have ADHD or are chemically off-balance and need medication to regulate them. My cousin is one of them, he has the tendency to be violent and uncontrollable, and cannot focus in school. He is also a pathological liar and has been since he was a small child. But even in his case, these problems stem from a much deeper issue, dealing with his father leaving him when he was a toddler. I think that intensive therapy would be more helpful, even to him, in the long run.

Doping up children to control them, may help when they are young, but when they grow up, they will have no idea how to control themselves or deal with difficult situations. The medical field is having to come up with new drugs to switch them to when they're adults, because they can't take them off of medication without severe side-effects and withdrawals.

This is a portion of what is said on a psychological disorder site:
Thought to be ten times more common in boys than girls, approximately 3 to 10 percent of all children in America may be affected by ADHD. It is estimated that as many as three to six million children may suffer from depression at some point and may be at increased risk for suicide.

Doesn't that seem like a lot of kids? If nothing else, this should be a strong indicator of how badly we've screwed things up! Children as young as 4 are having psychological issues that require medication?! Something has got to change!

WHAT ARE THE SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS OF ADHD?
A child with ADHD behaves in the following ways:

Fidgets, squirms or seems restless--(I've always been squirmy)
Has difficulty remaining seated--(Legs have always fallen asleep if I sit still too long)
Is easily distracted--(yep, I was/am a constant daydreamer)
Blurts out answers in class--(fought strong urges to do this constantly)
Has difficulty following instructions--(only if I lose my train of thought)
Shifts from one uncompleted task to another--(a bad habit to this day)
Has difficulty playing quietly--(what kids are quiet?If they're quiet they're up to something)
Does not seem to listen--(I drift off to la-la land if someone talks to long.)
Talks excessively--(types excessively)
Interrupts or intrudes upon others, preventing cooperative play--(used to get a little ahead of myself when a thought struck me and someone else was talking)

Guess that proves it. I should have been on Ritalin this whole time. It's a wonder I graduated high school, and haven't been arrested!

WHAT CAUSES ADHD IN CHILDREN?
Genetic factors
ADHD appears to have a strong biological basis, which sometimes may be inherited.

Environmental influences.
The majority of researchers view family and other environmental factors as influencing the onset of this illness. Family discord, sibling harassment, physical, sexual or emotional abuse can contribute to the development of ADHD or intensify its symptoms. Ongoing stress resulting from a parent or family member's psychiatric or addictive illness may also make a child more vulnerable to the disorder.

Contributing conditions.
Many other physical, neurological or psychiatric conditions are associated with behaviors that resemble the symptoms of ADHD. In some cases an underlying condition can be causing or contributing to a child's attention difficulties.

Other theories.
ADHD has been linked to allergic reaction to foods, food additives, environmental toxins or inhaled substances...

And at the top of the list for treatment? You guessed it:

Medication. Treatment with stimulant medication is common. The drug methylphenidate hydrochloride (Ritalin) is prescribed most frequently, followed by pemoline (Cylert) and dextroamphetamine sulfate (Dexedrine). Researchers have recently found that some antidepressant medications are also effective in treating ADHD. Between 70 and 80 percent of children with ADHD respond to medication. Medication can improve the child's impulse control and ability to concentrate and significantly reduce distractibility.
www.pathwaysup.org...
But if "the majority of researchers view family and other environmental factors as influencing the onset of this illness." Is it really the best approach to treat 70-80% of these kids with antidepressants and amphetamines?

I'm of the opinion that maybe what these kids need is some discipline, time, and TLC from their parents, far more than they need to be drugged. Hasn't anybody seen the Siimpson's episode where Bart starts taking Focusin? It's not too far off base.




posted on Oct, 20 2003 @ 10:48 AM
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My Doctor Has told me sincie i was about 5 that i was adhd they tried medication and all that but around age 16 i stoped taking the pills. i dont have any problems with it and i do not take medication perscribed to me.



posted on Oct, 20 2003 @ 10:52 AM
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and it turned me into a zombie. I'll never put my kids on that crap, did more bad than good, for me anway.



posted on Oct, 20 2003 @ 11:06 AM
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Originally posted by 29MV29
and it turned me into a zombie. I'll never put my kids on that crap, did more bad than good, for me anway.


When they put you on the medication to begin with, did you feel like you had a problem that needed medication? Or did you feel like you were a normal energetic kid? Were there any enviromental problems you were dealing with at the time?

I don't mean to be nosey, and you don't need to answer with specifics. I'm just curious about how someone who's been on this medication feels before they start taking it.



posted on Oct, 20 2003 @ 11:15 AM
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we need proper parenting.

most of the times it are the parents who need medication...




posted on Oct, 20 2003 @ 11:29 AM
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Well, heck yes, we are over medicating kids. Put the kids outside, with bikes and marbles and skates and the like. Get them fired up on something besides TV and Nintendo. The little cretins are not in need of meds, they are in need of energy burning!



posted on Oct, 20 2003 @ 11:46 AM
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i quite agree. adhd add these could all be solved by puting the kids outside. kids today are to dependant on technology. if the kids were raised with a bike and marbles they would be used to it when they get older. if they are raised infront of a t.v and video games thats what they will want when they are older. they will get fat and there body will build up energy. then we stuff them full of chemicals.



posted on Oct, 20 2003 @ 01:39 PM
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I tend to agree we're overmedicating and that the answer is social and not drugs.



posted on Oct, 20 2003 @ 01:47 PM
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My son was diagnosed with ADD and once the school found out about it they refused to let him attend until we put him on Ritalin. We fought it but eventually gave in....big mistake! He took the medication a bit did not like what it did to him and ended up arrested for selling it when he stopped takin it....bad stuff! So I feel the school system puts a lot of pressure on parents so they have zombies instead of unruly kids in classes. Easier to handle them that way!



posted on Oct, 20 2003 @ 01:51 PM
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Spot hit it right on the head. If the kids had parents that actually acted like parents, those kids that do not truly have a problem would be a little more normal.

Thomas Crowne is also right, unplug those kids. Make them enjoy the world around them. I remember being mad when I was not allowed to go outside and had to stay inside, it sucked.

Teachers are meant to teach the kids the world. Parents are supposed to teach the kids how to act, what is right and wrong, etc....

Parents seem to think the Teachers are the ones responsible to teach their kids everything. Teachers don't get paid enough to do that.



posted on Oct, 20 2003 @ 02:02 PM
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Originally posted by jezebel

Originally posted by 29MV29
and it turned me into a zombie. I'll never put my kids on that crap, did more bad than good, for me anway.


When they put you on the medication to begin with, did you feel like you had a problem that needed medication?

according to the doctor, yes; me, no and not my parents either

Or did you feel like you were a normal energetic kid?

I was very energetic, I remember. However, my childhood really is a blur, I do remember people telling me I was hyper

Were there any enviromental problems you were dealing with at the time?

No, no environmental problems. I would say I had a lack of a social upbringing, not knowing how to make friends, stuff like that.


I don't mean to be nosey, and you don't need to answer with specifics. I'm just curious about how someone who's been on this medication feels before they start taking it.

Don't worry about it, I'm not ashamed of who I am or what i've become. I really think, for me at least, the reason I was considered hyper and needed medication was because I was not given much attention from my family and had no friends. I would seek negative attention and it made me happy, I think.
I welcome any and all of your questions.



posted on Oct, 20 2003 @ 02:04 PM
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i think in todays society we rely to much on chemicals to solve problems. many of these so called disorders could be solved right at home. it all goes back to how you were raised



posted on Oct, 20 2003 @ 02:04 PM
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I feel i might have needed it,
When i was in 3rd grade, I beat the # outta my friends for fun,
and didn't get why they didn't like fighting back.
then i shot my teacher in the ass with home made pen guns, and got sent to the special class.
there i jumped on desks.

maybe i needed ritalin.



posted on Oct, 20 2003 @ 02:13 PM
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Fury, did you ride the retard bus?



posted on Oct, 20 2003 @ 02:17 PM
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Originally posted by 29MV29
Fury, did you ride the retard bus?


no but i did go to anger managment classes as a kid.
i was one pissed off kid.

Their responce was these stupid, how are you supposed to act in situation A,B, or C

I always chose the wrong one, or wrote more creative answers. eventually they removed me from the class altogether.
too #ing stubborn and smart for mr. phd.



posted on Oct, 20 2003 @ 02:19 PM
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I would say yes. It is a social issue and a sign of the times. Parents are LAZY. When the TV babysitter does not keep the little ones sedated they immediately think something is "wrong" and haul the kid off to the doctor.
The doctor sees the wonderful perks from the drug companies pouring in and says "Ahh yes, little joey has GFSDFJMJBT give him two of these every morning and everything will be fine." The kid goes comatose and the parents can continue to be lazy and blame all of the ills of the world on someone else.
I (with my wife) opted against the drug route with ours and he graduates from High School this year with no problems at all. Go figure. Guess I should have been an M.D.


[Edited on 20-10-2003 by Fry2]



posted on Oct, 20 2003 @ 02:45 PM
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Originally posted by Fury

Originally posted by 29MV29
Fury, did you ride the retard bus?


no but i did go to anger managment classes as a kid.
i was one pissed off kid.

Their responce was these stupid, how are you supposed to act in situation A,B, or C

I always chose the wrong one, or wrote more creative answers. eventually they removed me from the class altogether.
too #ing stubborn and smart for mr. phd.


Hmmm, I see. I unfortunately did ride the retard bus. They put me in special education and sent me to a different school. Your post reminded me of the countless tests I was put through as a kid. I'm curious, how many other kids have taken those test and what are the real motives behind them? Do we have any teachers or school social workers here on ATS, i'd love to know why I was put through all those tests.



posted on Oct, 20 2003 @ 03:06 PM
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And my thoughts remain unchanged. Not only are we over medicating our kids, we are over medicating our parents and spouses and friends..The whole damn population is over diagnosed which results in "OVER MEDICATED"!

And that's about all I care to add as this is an extremely touchy subject with me..

Best advice though, don't let the men in lab coats talk you into giving a loved one some zombie pill

Mags



posted on Oct, 20 2003 @ 04:18 PM
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Originally posted by magestica
And my thoughts remain unchanged. Not only are we over medicating our kids, we are over medicating our parents and spouses and friends..The whole damn population is over diagnosed which results in "OVER MEDICATED"!


Totally agree. This world is too focussed on the 'Wonder Pill' search...if something isn't right in their lives, no worries, throw medication at it.

The thing with any disorder or issue is that they tend to really only temporarily debilitating in any way...periods of crisis with longer periods of relative stability/management/wellness. Yet medication is focussed too often on the suppression of the symptoms of crisis...when the crisis is averted/passed, well, you're still sitting there with a higher level of medication in your system than you otherwise require.

One of the simpliest ways I have found of helping those I work with regain a handle on their lives and gain some stability within their own Mental Health is to advocate a reduction in their medications. It is surprising just how many people are overmedicated and living within a cloud of chemical imbalance...chemical imbalance now induced by the very medication they were taking to first 'right' their initial imbalance.

Overmedication, I would argue, is for the benefit of the doctors and nurses rather than the consumer. Its a chemical neutering of the consumers true self...suppression...thus easier to control and generates less 'hassle' and 'work' for their respective 'carers'. Rather than invest the time, energy and patience into delving deeper under the surface of the immediate issues to find the actual CAUSE...its a lot easier to just medicate them into a stupor and forget about actually healing the inner rift. Quick fix. About all this world seems to be focussed on.



Peace,
ALIEN

[Edited on 20-10-2003 by alien]



posted on Oct, 20 2003 @ 04:25 PM
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originally by Alien
One of the simpliest ways I have found of helping those I work with regain a handle on their lives and gain some stability within their own Mebtal Health is to advocate a reduction in their medications. It is surprising just how many people are overmedicated and living within a cloud of chemical imbalance...chemical imbalance now induced by the very medication they were taking to first 'right' their initial imbalance.


Of course, we're overmedicated. How else could the pharmaceutical companies fund the " War on Drugs"?





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