Thursday, 31 January 2008

An Alternative To Ritalin For ADHD

by Tess Thompson

With the incidence of attention deficit disorder increasing many people resort to various drugs the ADD treatment. The irony of the situation is that there is no fool-proof method of diagnosing ADD, and many a times there are normal children who have been diagnosed and stamped as ADD and being given child ADHD treatment while they may be normal children with maybe a slightly higher need for attention or slightly hyperactive.

With such children and those that genuinely suffer from an attention deficit disorder, most physicians use drugs like Ritalin and Prozac or Zoloft. These medicines only serve to reduce the symptoms of ADD for a certain period of time and have numerous side effects that are harmful in the short and the long term. The dangerous side effects of Ritalin that have been observed include possible seizures, suppression of growth, angina, blood pressure fluctuations, insomnia, loss of appetite, headaches and much more.

Studies have actually shown that ADD children whose treatment includes stimulant drugs like Ritalin are at a higher risk to get into vandalism, crime, alcoholism and abusive substances. To add to it, the fact that it does not seem to have been proved that drugs like Ritalin can actually cure ADD. Dr. Robert Mendelsohn once said “No one has ever been able to demonstrate that drugs such as Cylert and Ritalin® improve the academic performance of the children who take them.... The pupil is drugged to make life easier for his teacher, not to make it better and more productive for the child."

There are many lawsuits that have been filed against various parties like the American Psychiatric Association, CHADD and Ciba/Novartis Pharmaceuticals. The Ritalin manufacturers are being charged with conspiring to promote the diagnosis of ADD to promote their drug. And since the diagnosis is not totally objective, the case has been a complicated one.

Parents come under the pressure of school psychologists, medical practitioners, teachers and social workers to use these drugs without any detailed understanding of the process of diagnosing the condition, effects of the drugs, alternate therapies possible and the role of nutrition and diet.

It may be a good time to mention that parents should take things in their own hands and try and obtain a greater understanding of the problem before blindly administering drugs to alleviate symptoms. An herbal remedy for ADD, homeopathic treatment, diet control and nutrition, supplements are among the various options that you can consider and evaluate.


No comments: