Attention Deficiency Hypersensitive Disorder
Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is characterized by an inability to focus, inability to control behavior, being overactive or all these altogether. If the above issues are diagnosed as being beyond the accepted range then the person is said to posses the hyperactivity disorder. The issue of ADHD has given rise to controversies questioning whether it is a fact or an imaginary disease, its method of diagnosis and treatment including the prescription of stimulant drugs in children, a likely over diagnosis, wrong diagnosis as ADHD prevents the treatment of the actual disease. Another source of controversy is the alleged hegemonic behavior of Psychiatric in the United States and the possible stereotyping held towards people diagnosed with the hyperactivity disorder. ADHD and ADD have become a common disease associated with schoolchildren who behave differently from other children considered normal according to the community expectations.
Usually, children considered to have the disorder are those who appear bored, uninterested, and those who do not take part in normal school activities or activities mostly enjoyed by other children. On many occasions, these children are able to enjoy and appear to love activities that interest them, but they appear disconnected and bored when they are forced to participate in routine and monotonous activities. This may sound as a disorder to many, since most of them, we enjoy doing things that we love or those that bring maximum happiness and satisfaction and we tend to fight or resist what we do not like. I once a victim of ADHD diagnosis when I was very young I think my feelings were mutual to any other kind diagnosed or put through ADHD medication. Sometime it appears as if people are avoiding to take time to understand what makes their children happy or else parents want their children to feel the same path they went through which has proved difficult with changes happening in the current world. Looking at children diagnosed with this disease leaves one wondering what is being treated since the child looks so perfect and normal. This raises the question of who is benefiting from all this between the parents, a child, psychiatrist or the pharmaceutical companies manufacturing drugs meant for ADHD treatment.
Some psychiatrist may at one time have mentioned that ADHD is a fictitious condition rather than a disease, meaning that there might be some aspect of exploitation in between the chain, where children are exposed severe stimulating drugs that may plant a seed of addiction even in their future life. ADHD condition is a real thing but the moral ethics of those concerned with its treatment is questionable and these people may be only concerned with profit making rather helping the young patients. Another question is whether ADHD is being overrated due to the rising number of diagnoses among schoolchildren while pharmaceutical companies entrusted with manufacture ADHD drugs continue to make huge profits. The number of Children diagnosed with the disorder has drastically gone up, according to various medical reports. A recent study revealed that almost one in every five high school teens is diagnosed with ADHD in the US and over 10 percent of all school children have at one time received a medication for the disease, this is according to statistics released by department for disease control and prevention at the federal level (Brimble, 2009).
The bad news is that approximately three quarter of the young patients diagnosed were put under medication that involved stimulating drugs in order to boost their concentration but the drugs carry along adverse side effects. This revelation is very worrying especially for the future of these young children whose future physical and mental health is in jeopardy, since ADHD medications such as use of Adderall and Ritalin have been associated with rapid weight loss and stunted growth. Use of behavior modifying drugs to control ADHD may disrupt children’s natural development areas of creative and social growth. Controversy continues to follow the disease as ADHD treatment is left in the hands of untrained pediatricians and family doctors who are somehow if not entirely uninformed about the prevalence of the disease. These doctors provide no deep examination of the children and take no caution when prescribing or administering some of ADHD drugs to young children (Brunk, 2007).
. Signs and symptoms of ADHD are not enough to label one as an ADHD victim. In fact experts says that the symptoms should spontaneously or regularly and should be persisted for a long duration, and most essentially, the signs to cause major disruption or harm in the life of the child either in a relationship or in academics. Some medical experts see the current increase in a diagnosis as a step toward recognizing and accepting the existence of the disease. Other people argue that many American children may be getting involved in ADHD medication purposely to perform well in academics and to relieve their behaviors. Some of these ADHD pills going round classrooms especially in well-known performing schools are specifically dangerous and students risk long-term addiction.
Who is profiting from ADHD diagnosis?
Initially, ADHD was considered as a disorder for many years, but in the year between 1991 and 1997 several transformations occurred which increased awareness of the disease among the members of the society. First change occurred when ADHD was listed not as just a disorder but was categorized among disabilities under the disability Act. This guaranteed people suffering from the disease protection and treatment in both the society and in American schools. In those days, a common person could know about the medication only if the doctor is aware, and treatments for ADHD were compulsory. Increased awareness of ADHD medication by both parents and teachers encouraged increase of children diagnosed with ADHD disorder. Immediately, teachers got full information existing for treatment of this disorder in children, it increased ADHD diagnosis. Generally, pharmaceutical firms were not wrong to give attractive offers to physicians who prescribed their products for medication. Diagnosis of ADHD leads to certain behaviors such as customized learning environment, accessibility to teachers and closeness to mental and sociological assistance, as well as treatments to regulate the behavior and assist the child concentrate (Whitely, 2010).
Treatment of ADHD
Medication has had severe side effects
Medication for ADHD can be classified into stimulant and non-stimulants groups. Ritalin Is a good example of the stimulant type and has the following side effects:
- Loss of appetite
- Cause mood swings
- Increased weight loss and
Research has also shown that some drugs especially stimulants may disrupt children’s sleeping behaviors therefore raising the need to undergo more medication to facilitate sleep in children. Non-stimulants on the hand may result to severe stomach ache to the user, such that at times the patient may end up abandoning the whole treatment process due to persistent side effects. For instance, at the age of around seven years I was put under ADHD medication. I could keep up with the medications especially one called stratella, because it gave me constant headaches and I never felt like feeding on anything. I had lost several pounds of my body weight within a short period of medication and sometimes I could not get even an hour sleep.
However, as patients and those concerned for their health continue to complain about the side effects of pharmaceutical products used in the treatment of ADHD, manufacturers of these drugs are in big business. Despite the clear side effects of stimulant drugs on children, manufacturers continue to produce them in large quantity at the expense of future productivity of victims and loss of finances as a lot is used for the purchase of these drugs. Taxpayers also continue to lose in the context of Medicaid since according to statistics over 10% of children benefiting from this program are those diagnosed with the disorder, which approximately 25 percent of the population. Another controversy associated with ADHD is that the United States is ranked at the top as the biggest user of this medication (Whitely, 2010).
One of the alternative methods of handling ADHD is both therapies. For both the family and the patient, therapy can help everyone to control and understand feelings related to ADHD are stressful. Behavioral therapy is a type of therapy that is commonly used for ADHD. It provides tips and techniques to parents on issues to do with managing and handling disruptive behaviors. Additionally, it teaches parents and children on healthy behavior. Alone, behavioral therapy sometimes can be used effectively for treatment of ADHD cases that are not severe. Families and patients can be helped by support groups to connect or unite with people having similar problems. There are other different tips that can assist children with ADHD, they include:
Holding regular talks with the teacher of the child can be very helpful. It helps monitor the progress of the child in the class. Children with ADHD have trouble following instructions, are attention seekers and forget to do homework or complete homework. Note taking is also a difficult task for children with ADHD; this is manifested by their poor handwriting because of lacking good motor skills. It is also hard for these kids to participate fully in-group work and require a lot of direct supervision in projects that are long term. Ensuring that parents hold regular talks with a teacher can help in monitoring the progress of a child with ADHD (Brunk, 2007).
Parental support and education
Educating parents and offering support is another essential step of treatment of children with ADHD. Children with ADHD disorder are likely to respond differently to parental guidance than normal children. Providing education to parent is highly recommended by psychiatrists as it offers additional and special parental skills when it comes to dealing with overactive children. This technique has been helpful in guiding parents on how to behave towards their children in different situations and guide their children towards better-coordinated life, establish problem-solving skills, and cope with the side effects or symptoms of ADHD. Parents can be educated as either a group or as individual families or experienced therapists in organized topics and in special environment should conduct the classes. People suffering with Attention Deficit present a special educational program to enable parents and guardians to go through difficult periods and through the problems of the disorder throughout the life cycle (Brimble, 2009).
This involves the elimination of some types of food from the diet of an ADHD patient especially on children’s diets. This is necessary only when parents or physicians believes that some certain types of food are the root cause of the disorder or the diet makes the condition more severe. Some types of foods are believed to influence peoples’ behavior negatively while some may have a beneficial effect to the user. However, this theory has been challenged by some researchers who argues that the behavior of a child may be due to the improved attention when dealing with the child when on a different or a special type of food. There is a popular believe that removal of a particular food from a child’s diet improves the child behavior based on behavioral changes and not because of the diet. In addition, too many restrictions on what an ADHD child take may deny the child some essential nutrients found in these foods hence lead to nutritional deficiencies. Parents or those entrusted with ADHD children should make sure to consult their child’s medical specialists before attempting to experiment on any ADHD medication. Experienced or registered nutritionist can assist you plan a healthy food plan for ADHD children (Singh, 2003).
Attention deficit hypersensitive disorder is real and not a fictitious disease as time people tend to think. However, the increasing diagnosis may be explained in two ways, either people have started to recognize and accept the fact that ADHD is real among people in the society or some people especially pharmaceuticals are overrating the disease in order to gain huge profits from concerned parents. Looking at children diagnosed with this disease leaves one wondering what is being treated since the child looks so perfect and normal. This raises the question of who is benefiting from all this between the parents, a child, psychiatrist or the pharmaceutical companies manufacturing drugs meant for ADHD treatment. Medication of ADHD patients using stimulant drugs have many side effects on children hence should only be used on strict instructions from the doctor. Alternative treatments for ADHD are also available and include educating and offering support to parents, elimination of some foods, and behavioral therapy.
Brimble, M. J. (2009). Diagnosis and management of ADHD: a new way forward?(PROFESSIONAL)(attention deficit hyperactivity disorder)(Report). Community Practitioner, 8, 26.
Brunk, D. (2007). Early Diagnosis Is Central To New ADHD Guidelines. Family Practice News , 37(6), 28-28.
Diagnosis and treatment of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). (2008). Bethesda, Md.?: National Institutes of Health/Foundation for Advanced Education in the Sciences :.
Singh, I. (2003). Boys Will Be Boys: Fathers’ Perspectives On ADHD Symptoms, Diagnosis, And Drug Treatment. Harvard Review of Psychiatry, 11(6), 308-316.
Whitely, M. (2010). Speed up & sit still: the controversies of ADHD diagnosis and treatment. Crawley, W.A.: UWA Publishing.