November 12, 2007

Ritalin and other drugs used to treat ADHD work in the short term, but after a year or two they cease to have any beneficial effect. They may, however, stunt the growth of children when used long-term. New research is to be reported on the BBC Panorama programme at 8.30 GMT today - some time after that, you'll be able to watch the whole programme online here.
  • Fish oil instead of Ritalin. I confess that I have difficulty distinguishing the symptoms of ADHD from childish boisterousness.
  • My ADHD was cured through liberal applications of mattenklopper.
  • I have a tendency to be a bit too dismissive of certain psychological conditions. As my sister has her PhD in psychology, I make efforts to be more open-minded. ADHD is something that I have a real difficult time with. It seems to me that you limit your child to fast action things like television and video games. Remember -- television is nothing like it was in the seventies for kids. Watch some seventies era cartoons vs. today. You will see so many more rapid-fire cuts in today's cartoons that it will blow your mind. When you have kids watch tv, try to make sure it is something that moves a little slower. Diet. Exercise. Read. Activities that require time. I just think that kids are being raised in a very destructive environment which is based in speed and instant gratification. Then we treat it with drugs. It's fucking crazy. From Day One, watch your child's sugar intake. Monitor and limit television, video games, etc. that are super fast paced. I have shared my advice. Continue on.
  • I watched the documentary and found it interesting. My impression is that a lot of the symptoms that go into a diagnosis of ADHD could be dealt with by equipping kids with behavioural and cognitive skills that help them deal with their urges. Plus cod liver oil; several tablespoons a day for the little feckers. As a society, I fear we've developed a tendency to medicate ourselves to deal with uncomfortable emotions.
  • My brother was diagnosed with ADD -- minus the H, which he never was -- when he was 18 or so. (He's 38 now, so he was raised on 1970s cartoons.) What I remember reading about ADD-minus-the-H back then was very different from the common perception of an over-boisterous kid with under-disciplining parents. I think there's a legitimate difference in the way his brain functions, but I've never been convinced that he has as little control over it as he would like us to believe. Of course, that's probably just my inner bitter little sister talking.
  • My 15-year-old son, who never voluntarily excercises, has strong, wiry muscles and a six-pack belly I envy and admire. This is due to his ADHD, the H portion, which results in wiggles. I did not watch the show. I welcome news about ADD adn ADHD research. I am also very glad for drugs that help get him through school.
  • Of course, that's probably just my inner bitter little sister talking. No, I'd like to state for the record that I only see the dude a few days out of each year, have nothing invested in a verdict either way, and I am goddamn positive her assessment is spot-on.
  • I have two out of three granddaughters with ADHD. On a summer day outdoors, the oldest is great fun and has a good time. She loves to run and be active, and while she's not overly coordinated for her age, does well at sports. Indoors on a rainy day, or at school, it can be unbearable--both to us, and to herself. She loves to read and can't concentrate, can't paint or color, isn't able to follow directions to make cookies, and cannot focus enough to follow a movie or allow anyone else uninterrupted viewing. The ex-husband said, "My kid doesn't need drugs." In addition to being a classroom disrupter, she was a grade 1 reading level at the beginning of grade 3. Since kindergarten, she used to come home crying because she wanted to be good, and she has always wanted to sit and read and was frustrated beyond words. Now that the JerkFace is out of the picture, this year, she's 4 for 4 and will most likely be measuring at an advanced level on her next set of tests. The middle grandchild is no more active than any other first grader, and her teacher says she is quiet, listens, and tries to cooperate and follow instructions. The problem is a glitch in the processing, and even though she tries to complete a project by following directions sequentially, or attempts to read sentences without reversing words, it just doesn't happen. She too, was coming home in tears. After an evaluation for hearing, sight, and yes, ADHD, she's now on drugs and doing well scholastically and is a much happier child, knowing that she's not "bad" because she doesn't (can't) do what she's asked. Additionally, mom's working with a psychologist to teach them coping and processing skills. The expectation (and hope) is that they will be able to learn ways to help them process, control their behavior, and eventually get off the drugs. She also joined the YMCA with all three girls, and they swim several times a week as well as do gymnastics. The park is across the street from the house, and they're encouraged outside every chance they get. All this helps as well as the drugs. I'm a big believer that kids need more activity--just like a tired dog is a good doggy, a physically tired kid is healthier, more well-behaved, and happier. I never was a big believer in ADHD or drugs, but now I think that every kid that needs them should have the opportunity to have them in order not to be left behind at the elementary level. Once they get into middle school, they hopefully will have coping skills and study skills to be able to function. Meanwhile, get the little buggers out and run them around the block again!!
  • One of the more troubling reactions of Ritalin, etc. is that it blunts the sweating response. I teach wilderness medicine, and I spend a lot of time outside with people of all ages. Kids on ritalin can't sweat, and are thus far more at risk for heat stroke. This is made even worse when parents give these kids "drug holidays" from the ritalin. The withdrawal makes it worse, and you end up with a lot of superheated kids who can't pay attention for anything. Bad situation.
  • Cite, ladyknight? I've never heard anything related to that at all. The only mention of sweating linked to Ritalin is this: Symptoms of a Ritalin overdose may include vomiting, agitation, tremors, muscle twitching, seizure (convulsions), confusion, hallucinations, sweating,... All sites indicate increased sweating is an overdose symptom. None mention anhydrosis as a side effect. Googling on "Ritalin and sweating" or "Ritalin and anhydrosis" brings up nothing about this. Not saying it's not true, but would like substantiation, please.