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Dangers of ADHD Drugs and Anti-Depressants: Child Suicide

14 Jun

June14, 2010 – Harry Hucknall was 10 years old when he took his own life. Diagnosed as having ADHD and prescribed both Ritalin and Prozac, Harry had mentioned feelings of unwell and did not appear to be happy. Tests have revealed he had higher doses than a normal adult would have had for the same problems. Harry was not alone, hundreds of children have died from drug-related deaths, ADHD drugs that is.

What ADHD or ADD Is and Why It Needs Treatment

ADHD or ADD is a condition that stands for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. The main difference between ADHD and ADD is the hyperactivity component. For the sake of simplicity, we will refer to the condition as ADHD.

Children with ADHD have trouble focusing and concentrating. They don’t always follow instructions, forget things quickly, have a hard time socially with peers and often can’t sit still for long periods of time. It is hard to make an ADHD diagnosis until the child is school-age, that is, one he is in a structured classroom setting. Drug guidelines are set to not be administered to any child under the age of six, because before then, it is quite impossible to tell if the child has ADHD or not.

Many pharmaceutical drugs have been created to treat ADHD, though the safety and effectiveness of these drugs is really not yet proven. The only drug that has been around long enough to understand long-term effects is Ritalin and it has been proven to be dangerous and lead to addiction tendencies. However, most doctors and educators push to treat these children with mind-altering drugs so they fit into the norm. Often, more than one drug is prescribed and children end up on a “cocktail” of drugs.

Don’t get me wrong, I believe ADHD does need treatment – but not with mind-altering drugs that have known side effects and unknown long-term health hazards. I am a mother of an ADHD child and have been though it all. I understand the frustrations and trials. I know parents want their children to behave and to do well in school, but pharmaceutical medications, especially ONLY pharmaceutical medications, are not the answer. You need behavioral techniques to be applied and must understand how your child thinks to help her discover the tools she’ll need to succeed in life.

Children Dying From ADHD Drug Treatments

Doctors often don’t disclose the dangers of ADHD drugs. They may mention some “common” side effects such as problems sleeping, loss of weight, loss of appetite and irritability but rarely do they mention the “other” side effects.

Did you know – many ADHD drugs can cause:

  • Depression
  • Suicidal Thoughts and Tendencies
  • Heart Attacks

Doctors rarely make sure parents know about these side effects and understand the risks their children are taking when they go with this ADHD treatment. In my personal opinion, I think all parents should have to sign a waiver of sort, that outlines the drug(s) their children will take and ALL the side effects (common or not). It needs to be 100% certain that parents realize how serious these drugs are – they are not vitamins and just because millions of kids take them each day, does not mean they are safe.

Diagnosing ADHD in Children

So how is ADHD diagnosed? It is a term that was invented 50 years ago and covered a variety of symptoms. There is no concrete or absolute test for ADHD. Basically, to diagnose ADHD parents and educators will be asked to ‘evaluate’ the child on their behavior and especially compared to their peers. A psychiatrist will then evaluate the results, compare them to peer levels and decide whether or not your child is ‘up to par‘.

A study, done by Todd Elder, indicated that nearly one million children in the U.S may be misdiagnosed with ADHD based on this method of ADHD testing. The reasoning behind it deals with children who are the youngest of the classroom. In some cases, children who enter kindergarten when they are four (typically those that have birthdays at the end of year) will be almost one year younger than their peers. Developmentally, they will always be more immature than their peers and when evaluated in comparison to them, they will be seen as “not equal.” (Well no kidding! One year is a big difference when it comes to children.)

Dangers of ADHD Drug Treatments and Children That Have Died

The next couple of paragraphs will be sad and readers are warned of the fact.

Adrian David Wade - Suicide: Strattera

Taken from the page of National Alliance Against Mandated Mental Health Screening and Psychiatric Drugging of Children, the following children have died from being on ADHD drugs:

  • Stephanie Hall – 11 years old. Ritalin.
  • Louise Dunkle – 10 years old. Desipramine.
  • Matthew Smith – 14 years old. Ritalin.
  • Adrian David Wade – 12 years old. Strattera. (Suicide).
  • Leanne Bessner – 15 years old. Concerta.(Suicide).
  • Macauley Showalter – 7 years old. Ritalin and 3 other psychiatric drugs.
  • Randy Steel – 9 years old. Dexedrine and other drugs.
  • Cameron Pettus – 12 years old. Desipramine.
  • Travis Neal – 13 years old. Ritalin.
  • Harry Hucknall – 10. Ritalin. (Suicide).

These children, and many more died from side effects caused by the ADHD drugs: heart attacks, organ toxicity or suicide.

Seeing Through The Eyes of ADHD Children

For just one moment, let’s try to put ourselves in their shoes. The ones who are diagnoses with this very subjective disorder.

“I am a child, I like to play and have fun. It feels good when someone tells me I did something right, but that doesn’t  happen often. I don’t know why, but I find it hard to sit still like everyone else. I know I should sit and read the textbook like my teacher tells me too, but I am just not interested in in and my mind is so busy with other thoughts.

I like to figure out how things work. I love it when I have free time and I can do puzzles and draw and make things work. Often I don’t clean up right away but that’s just because there is SO much I want to do, so much I want to learn. My mind is full of ideas, and thoughts and it makes me happy and excited! I can’t wait to try all these things, build new things and put my ideas on paper! I like to act and sing and play music and wish I could just express myself all the time that way.

The teachers tell me to sit still, and write out the answers a certain way. I don’t see them like that. They show me a math problem and tell me to write out all the steps individually to show how I got the answer. But my mind doesn’t work that way. I know the answer, I SEE the answer. I also see the BIG picture and how everything fits together, but teachers don’t want to see that, they want to see the small version. How do you explain to someone how to feel happy? How do you explain the steps you would go through to feel that feeling?  You can’t, it’s just something that happens. That is how I think and learn. I can’t really explain it, it’s just what I know and if it’s right, why do they tell me I’m wrong?

I don’t follow instructions well all the time and have trouble expressing myself properly. People misunderstand me all time and it really hurts. I think I’m following instructions and feeling proud of myself for doing something, only to get in trouble for not doing something else that I was supposed to do. I’m always in trouble, I’m always grounded. I don’t think I’m very smart because I’m in trouble all the time and people yell and get angry with me, sometimes they call me stupid and tell me I will never succeed in life. They are probably right. Even though I know a lot, I can’t explain what I know and I can’t do it the way the teachers want me to do it, so I probably won’t succeed in this world because I just don’t fit in. They don’t understand.

I think my parents love me, they say they do, but they are angry and sad and feel frustrated. I think I failed them, I’m not who they wanted me to be. I try so hard, each day I promise I’ll do better and I’ll listen, but somehow, things don’t work out that way and I end up messing up again and again and again. I wish I wasn’t here sometimes, the sadness is so much for me, I feel horrible most of the time and I get tired of trying to make things work out. It seems no matter how hard I try, things still mess up and I get in trouble. I feel their anger, their disappointment and it makes me dark inside. I don’t feel that happiness or joy inside me, it’s hard to think of positive things when all I feel is dark and alone.

I don’t belong here, I don’t fit in. It’s sort of like how a blind person goes through life: ” They don’t see like you or I do, they don’t use their eyes. They see things differently and do things differently but they get the job done.”

I see things differently, this I can not explain.”

The above quotation was not written by an ADHD child, but it could have been. It was written by me, a mother of an ADHD child and researcher of ADHD children.  We need to see through their eyes to understand how they think. They do not think like we do and asking them to do so is like asking a foreigner to “just speak” our language without any training.

I am a mother, my son has been through many conventional and non-conventional ADHD treatments. He has suffered some of the worst side effects listed with pharmaceutical ADHD drugs and through our experiences we have come to learn more about him and how he thinks and learns.

There is no easy answer here, no quick-fix solution. The first step is understanding and committing to working with our children. Avoiding pharmaceutical drugs is a good choice, at least until all other avenues have been fully tried. Education and awareness are key to helping our ADHD children and it begins with you: The Parent, Caregiver and Educator.

About the Author

Tamara Laschinsky is the owner of Natural e GREEN and author of Helping Your ADHD/ADD Child: Simple Steps to Improvement. She is the the mother of an ADHD child who has tried the pharmaceutical route and now employs a herbal and behavioral approach to treating ADHD. She lives with her family in Alberta, Canada. You can find her books on Amazon.

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30 responses to “Dangers of ADHD Drugs and Anti-Depressants: Child Suicide

  1. Danielle Franco-Ada

    June 20, 2011 at 11:10 pm

    people should stop diagnosing these kids with problems, and stop using dangerous not necessary drugs to treat a problem that probably doesn’t exist!

     
    • tamaralaschinsky

      July 11, 2011 at 9:02 pm

      Hi Danielle,

      Agree! Although these drugs may work for some they don’t really “solve” the problem and it’s becoming such a blanket diagnosis that everyone is pointing fingers. Many teachers and adults are forgetting that kids generally are hyper and hard to stay focused and that’s just normal! In either way they need to learn how to focus, get organized and managed themselves and even drugs alone is not the answer. Drugs should be the very, very, last resort.

      Thanks for your feedback!

       
  2. Anna

    June 23, 2011 at 5:54 pm

    thank you for sharing, i haf a son who has sid , adhd and nvld, doctor want to prescribe him with ritalin but i am not willing to let my child try this drug. he closes seven in dec 2011. i am trying all other ways except for the drugs. Anna

     
    • tamaralaschinsky

      July 11, 2011 at 9:00 pm

      HI Anna,

      I am sorry you are going through all of that, I would suggest trying Native Remedies (Focus, Mindsoothe and/or Brightspark) as they worked really well for my son and have for the last two years. He tried a variety of ADHD drugs, none really worked and the Native Remedies did without side effects! Hope that helps, remember that Raspberries naturally boost dopamine and can be a good addition to your son’s diet. Some kids are hyper-sensitive to cow’s milk as well, so consider a different type of milk and see what happens! Best of luck!

       
      • proud mom

        July 31, 2012 at 6:21 pm

        i’am a parent of an adhd child who has NEVER given him the prescirbed meds. i immediately searched for an alternative. i have been giving my son, age six, Brightspark for adhd and focus factor. i have seen some improvment, his impulsiveness has eased, he isnt as excited/hyper and takes much punishments and consequences much better than before with much more understanding… i have never wanted to get him meds, but i do want to help as any other mother would their child. i also suggest Brightspark and focus lab. Native remedies has a great line of herbal remedies….

         
      • tamaralaschinsky

        September 11, 2012 at 9:13 pm

        Thanks for sharing and I totally agree! My son has used Native Remedies for over 3 years now and we’ve never looked back! He’s a B student and doing great. WE also incorporate behavioral approaches and diet to help him do the best he can. The Native Remedies really helps though, it’s why I brought their line into my store after I saw my son’s success and it’s certainly a great seller which means many parents are using the natural approach and I think that’s awesome!
        Brightspark – Control Impulsiveness and Extra Energy Mindsoothe – Controls mood swings and frustrations Focus – Helps refine focus
        that’s my summary! More info for anyone who is interested: http://www.shopnaturalegreenonline.ca/Natural-e-GREEN-ca-Store-Native-Remedies-Canada-Online-s/24.htm

         
  3. Justin Bradley

    July 14, 2011 at 4:44 pm

    Hey, thank you very much for this post. I was prescribed with ADHD when I was only 4! They had me taking a dangerous dosage of Concerta when I was about 5, and I was extremely different. My parents said that I would get in even more trouble in school, and I was very skinny, and you could see my ribs! My parents were horrified of how skinny I was and immediately lowered the dose. After about another 2 years, my doctor decided to have me take a medication called Adderall (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Adderall) Again, he gave me a dangerously high dosage, about 70 MG, and again, I was “David Bowie” skinny again and my parents were going mad with this doctor, so we finally got a new doctor and he decided to give me freaking ABILIFY! That stuff is for people with personality disorders! And what do you know? I start slicing open my arm in class and laugh about it and start going insane. They were just about done with these doctors, even though they continued to give me the drug. I was on Concerta, Adderall, Ritalin, Abilify, and god knows what else. I am thinking they use these drugs on children for nothing but their damned selves. All they get is money, money, money. The really sad thing is, is that I have almost no true memory since I was about 9. I’m 14 now and I’m off all of these medications, and I am doing much better, and I am homeschooled now. Actually I’m unschooled, which is similar to homeschooling, but it has minior differences. Anyway thank you so much for this post.

    Sincerely, Justin

    MESSAGE TO ALL PARENTS : DO NOT EVER! I REPEAT EVER! Give your child these medications! They really hurt me and I do not want any other kid out there to have to go through with what I did!

     
  4. tamaralaschinsky

    July 21, 2011 at 4:16 pm

    Thanks for sharing your story Justin,

    I am sorry you had to have all those bad experiences but I am glad you are safe now and off of those medications. It’s crazy they diagnosed you @ age 4 because you really can’t diagnose ADHD/ADD until kids are in a school setting. Plus, no child is supposed to receive pharmaceutical medications until they are at least 6 years of age. Depending on your birthday too, this may also give in to the ADHD/ADD diagnosis. Kids who are the youngest of their peers (born at the end of the year) are often diagnosed as ADHD/ADD because when compared to their peers they seem not as mature. There is a big difference between a 5 and 6 year old and that difference can make a younger child always try to be something they aren’t: a year older! You may want to look at Native Remedies, they have some great natural herbs that helps those with ADHD, I know they have worked great for my son with not bad effects. He’s a good weight, sleeps well, eats well etc. They just help take that edge off and keep him on track, but he still has to work really hard at keeping organized. He has his daily list of things to do which helps to remind him, he uses ‘post-it’ notes to remind himself of other things he has to do. Diet is a big thing for him and while he loves sugar, he knows that too much really messes with his head and often gets him in trouble, so he learns to not have too much of it and drinks LOTS of water to help flush it through his system!

    It is your generation that will start making changes in the medical world and experiences like yours that will slowly see people using ‘natural’ remedies to help ADHD/ADD children. It doesn’t even have to be herbal medications either, just different learning techniques and ways to remember. As all ADHD/ADD children are, I am sure you are very smart, creative and intelligent and think about many things all at once – like you have a mind that is full of so much to think about and learn. It is the older generation that needs to realize that you just think differently than they do, it’s the older generation that needs to adapt to your learning style and I’m glad home schooling is working for you. You will succeed and I’m sure with your creative mind you will invent many new things!

    Thanks again for sharing your story and all the best in your future Justin!

    Tamara

     
    • Justin Bradley

      July 21, 2011 at 11:12 pm

      I will take a look at Native Remedies. I don’t have much of a problem with ADHD anymore, ever since I got off the medications. I’m starting to see a very large amount of kids on these medications and it makes me sad. They all act the same. I really want everyone to see these dangers. And I also thank you for that post about how doctors don’t tell the parents ALL of the side effects. Your right, they should, and if they did, a lot of parents would not risk their child’s LIFE on these medications. It almost seems like they are paying to hurt their kids… 😥

      Anyway thanks for everything! 🙂

      P.S. The water systems nowadays have a lot of flouride in them, they claim it’s “Good for your teeth.” Actually, it is, but it is TERRIBLE to ingest. It can mess with your brain, and since it goes through your bloodflow, it will reach your brain. It is also bad for your liver, kidneys and a few other vital organs. Scientists also found that it can cause ADHD-Like symptoms. So a lot of these cases are simply mistreated because the amount of flouride in our water supply. Flouride is also the number one ingrediant in RAT POISON… So what I do to drink water is buy bottled water, and put it into a strong, triple filter pitcher and pour a glass from it. I always like to know for a fact what I put into my body nowadays.

       
      • tamaralaschinsky

        July 22, 2011 at 10:07 pm

        Thank for the feedback Justin and I’m very glad to hear that all is going well for you. More and more cities/towns are removing fluoride from their drinking water so hopefully one day it will be a thing of the past. It can also cause a variety of cancers, weak bones and teeth problems, so you are right, it isn’t healthy for us to ingest. Fluoride is found naturally in foods so we get quite a bit of it anyways without needing it in our water!

        Thanks again for the comments back and all the best!

        Tamara

         
  5. Chris Danders@yahoo.com

    August 17, 2011 at 10:05 pm

    My x wife is trying to put my 14 old son on adhd med’s. chemical dependency runs in his family! Anyone who can help me or have any info on this matter would be greatly appriciated. My son is 14 years old and is at high risc for dependency !! I have been talking with a attourney to stop this from happening ! My home # is 231-421-3945 my name is Chris Danders

     
    • tamaralaschinsky

      September 2, 2011 at 3:21 pm

      You should see if she’d consider Native Remedies first, they have had great success with many people and are non-addictive with no side effects. Good luck!

       
  6. Bernadette

    March 5, 2012 at 11:08 pm

    My son has ADHD (supposedly) but it was originally diagnosed as anxiety. they also think he might have a behaviour disorder but I see that is common with ADHD. Should I just try Focus first or should I get Brightspark as well. What is the difference between the two?

     
    • tamaralaschinsky

      March 24, 2012 at 10:08 pm

      Hi Bernadette,

      Sorry about the delay I don’t often check comments here! ADHD is hard to diagnose and yes behavior disorders often go hand in hand w/ADHD.

      I summarize like this:

      Focus Formula – helps refine focus & attention

      Brightspark – if your child had hyperactivity,
      impulsivity of any sort I HIGHLY recommend Brightspark. It helps minimize the disruptive energy that gets in the way. Then you can add Focus and/or Mindsoothe if you need to.

      MIndsoothe (or Mindsoothe Jr for kids under 12) – Promotes balanced mood and helps control mood swings, frustration, anger, sadness etc. Don’t use if already using anti-depressants. Great for ADHD and also any teenagers going through hormonal ups & downs! Hope that helps, if you need immediate assistance feel free to email me at info@naturalegreen.ca

      Side note – the Focus, Mindsoothe & Brightspark are all on sale on my store this weekend! http://www.shopNaturaleGreenonline.ca

       
      • proud mom

        September 12, 2012 at 2:02 pm

        i would very much appreciate any suggestions in regards to his diet.

         
      • tamaralaschinsky

        October 9, 2012 at 4:55 pm

        Hi there – I am in the process of updating and adding to the ARTICLES section on our main site http://www.ShopNaturaleGREENonline.ca

        I do have some articles on diet but some main things to look at are:

        Avoiding/Reducing: Cows Milk, Food colorings, sugars, artificial flavors, fatty and junky foods
        Increasing: Protein, raspberries, bananas, Omega oil foods

        Start the day with something healthy. I opt for Smoothie drinks with protein powder, vitamin powders, greek yogurt, fresh fruit and some coconut oil. Great start with good protein to get going!

         
  7. Brandi De Serio

    September 17, 2012 at 7:31 pm

    I am so glad I read everyones comments and the information above, makes me feel so much better about my decision. I have recently been having problems with my son since he started kindergarten. His teacher didnt like him and refused to work with him at all, because he wouldn’t be “normal”. My son is high energy all the time, and wants attention on him at all times. I was told by one doctor after having all of us fill out the vanderbilt testing sheets, that he was ADHD…. Well honestly those test are not black and white enough for me to even begin to believe. I decided to change doctors after she pushed for 2 hours about how I should put him on medication. New doctor said he needed behavior modification but she wanted more results that were alittle more black and white. So we took him to a counselor and had a 3 hour testing session done on him to see how he acts under pressure, how he handles simple tasks, and following directions. I havent yet received the results from this testing yet, but he is now in first grade and doing much better than he did last year. His teacher this year is not some 25 year old who has no experience with children his age….she is much older and has been teaching for more years than I have been alive. Positive reinforcement isnt a bad thing and more kids should see that instead of negative.

    What happened to teachers who were assertive and had backbones and didnt let a 5 or 6 year old walk all over them. I am so sick of society these days saying it isnt okay to be firm with your children, some kids need the assertiveness to have respect for others. Kids need direction from their parents most of all, you cannot expect the village to raise your kids anymore. Everyone has views nowadays that its ok to baby your kids and not make them responsible for themselves and just give them medication so we dont have to deal with it. If they do come at me with this medication crap again, I will be holding off on that until I see it affecting his schooling. He is sooooo smart and has no problem learning, but if it does I will definitely look at a more natural approach instead of heavly medicating him into zombie mode.

    Thanks so much everyone for your posts!!!

     
    • tamaralaschinsky

      October 9, 2012 at 4:52 pm

      Hi Brandi

      I am so glad you found this post helpful and the comments! It is true that ADHD is highly over-diagnosed but regardless, children need behavioral therapy even if they are on pharmaceutical drugs. The mindset that you just ‘give your child a pill and everything is ok’ is just silly and lazy. Many teachers see other kids on these drugs and feel it’s ok to just tell parents to do the same.

      On the teacher’s side of things, many have large classrooms and it’s hard to control such a large class BUT – it’s not fair to just play with our children’s developmental process by giving them long-term drugs that their body must process and with side effects that can be very bad as well.

      The natural approach is good, though not for everyone, but I find more and more parents at least trying it and adding in behavioral therapy (like schedules, reminders, etc) and the success stories I hear are great! Our children are smart and creative and those diagnosed as ADHD/ADD just process things differently. They are not dim or destined to fail, if we can help them find what works for them, they will succeed and use those tools in the future. I have worked with two successful gentlemen in the past – both ADD and both hugely successful. They found ways to stay on track, keep organized and get their thoughts out there.

      It starts with us – parents, teacher, caregivers, realizing the child does not think/process the way we do. It starts with us to change OUR ways to help them find out what works for them and then encouraging them to do the best they can. It is hard for sure, but raising children always is! My analogy is like this:

      “It’s like someone who is visually impaired (blind) – they don’t see like we do, but they do have heightened senses that allow them to do things in a different way than you and I do. They are not stupid or destined to fail, with encouragement and the right tools, they can totally succeed! But, they need the help to do this and realize their potential. This is how I view anyone with a learning disorder – they CAN succeed, we just have to help them figure out HOW!”

      I highly recommend Brightspark, Focus Formula and Mindsoothe from Native Remedies. You may or may not need all of them, but they are the most successful and popular ADHD/ADD remedies and I have personal experience with all of them. To show I am not biased, I did not put a link to my store where I sell the products! 🙂

      All the best and feel free to reach out anytime, it is hard raising an ADHD/ADD child but trust in your instincts and believe you can help your child be successful!

       
  8. crackerjack

    November 26, 2012 at 10:37 pm

    would you agree that in severe cases or with a severe ADD child who is hospitalized for having suicidal thoughts due to depression that is a secondary result of the ADD, and where dietary changes, home modifications, etc. have failed to improve symptoms that trying medicine in a very monitored fashion {EKG given before prescribing, frequent contact with doctor, etc) is ok. I agree that people should try many different things, mildest first as we did, but I think its important for people to understand that just b/c a parent trys the meds with their kid at a point such as described, it doesn’t mean they are bad parents. It just feels sometimes that the natural community, which i totally dig, can move into an almost judgemental, finger pointing position. Not that you feel that way but for example, the very first comment in the comment section. Its hard enough going through all this and to read an insensitive comment like that one kinda hurts when you’ve dedicated your whole adult life to doing what is best for this child of yours in need. There’s comes a point you just wish the world would be understanding and not project their life experience onto you in the form of negative talk and judgement. What works for some, or even most, may not work in every instance. Each child is different, both emotionally and physically. There are also extremes in every condition out there. If one happens to be handed an extreme situation, they may have to to turn to whatever methods will save their child. that comes before what others will think, what expectations of parenting you had, etc.

     
    • tamaralaschinsky

      December 4, 2012 at 5:20 pm

      I certainly agree with medical intervention when necessary and yes, when someone is in danger or is a danger to others then intervention is essential. I also agree that sometimes pharmaceutical medications are the only thing that may work, especially in these serious cases. While there may be natural remedies/practices that could treat as a whole body approach and help someone with serious mental and emotional problems, I don’t know of them and won’t say everyone should stick to natural.

      I feel that people should try natural solutions first as well as behavioral modification (not just popping a pill and hopping it works) and I think doctors and educators mention ‘drugs’ too casually especially for younger children whose brains and body’s are still developing. Many of the ADHD drugs and others are very serious psycotropic drugs with serious side effects and unknown long term effects. So just saying “put them on drug” to me, is much to casual and careless.

      However, if they child is in a serious state and especially in danger in ANY way, then intervention is totally necessary. Parents do what is best for their child and often depend on medical opinions etc. This is where I feel medical practitioners should be more responsible and explain ALL the risks and options and not just be one-sided.

      Many ADHD drugs cause mental and emotional problems than may become permanent. So they need to be used with caution and parents need to be aware of the potential dangers. I don’t agree with giving young kids especially 3,4,5 etc years old, these very potent drugs.

      There are extremists both on the natural and non-natural side of things and then there are those of us in-between. I may lean towards natural but I also understand the need for medicine as found in the Western World. I agree safety is first and if the child needs pharmaceutical drugs and nothing else is working then you have to do what you have to do to keep them alive and from hurting themselves or others.

      My main belief with all disease is we treat only the symptoms, but not the main problem. Why do the children have this disorder commonly called ADHD? Where does it stem from? Why depression and bad thoughts? What has gone wrong or what is the body missing that is causing this imbalance? I believe in the practices (like accupuncture) that aim to restore balance so that the body functions as it should. I believe in not bombarding the body with foreign things like drugs, which only makes it harder to filter out and de-toxify and also often presents the body with new illnesses it has to deal with. That being said, when all that has happened or for whatever reason, can’t happen at that time, we need to do what we have to do as parents to keep our children safe. If that means using a drug that is known to help and does appear to help then we go that route to keep our child(ren) safe.

      I don’t think anyone should pass extreme judgement on others for their choices, rather, they should pass along any useful information to help others make decisions that may help. Although I do pass judgement on doctors who are in a position of power and trust who do not educate parents on the drugs they prescribe or on any other possible courses of action, or supplementary actions (like behavioral modification, yoga etc.)

      I do wish you all the best with you child and hope things stay well for you. You are doing the best you can as a parent and that is all you can do. You love your child and that is one of the best medicines you can give.

       
  9. Dr Charles Parker

    December 2, 2012 at 4:59 pm

    The ADHD problem certainly does exist and is biologically based, not a belief system. Yet I agree with many of the concerns registered here on this posting… as we repeatedly see the same kinds of confused problems in our offices, and have for decades. The problems with ADHD meds circle around three essential themes touched upon in your report and in the reader comments following.

    The three main problems:
    1. ADHD Diagnosis is superficial at best, and not related to the many excellent peer reviewed findings in brain scans and brain research for more than 20 years. The DSM-4 is outdated and 5 looks like it will provide no significant improvement with the perpetuation of these oversights: http://www.corepsych.com/2010/02/psychiatric-diagnosis/
    2. Medication treatment strategies remain capricious, often whimsical, not based upon clear expectations or scientific data: http://www.corepsych.com/2011/05/adhd-medication-dosage/
    3. Far too often drug interactions and comorbid conditions remain misunderstood, not identified and ineffectively treated: http://www.corepsych.com/2012/10/adhd-insights-lets-change-the-rules/

    I personally don’t object to any supplements that work, as our team use supplements, neurofeedback and EMDR everyday. The problem arises when supplements or meds don’t work and the symptoms remain destructively in place – or when supplements themselves can cause problems because specific testing didn’t define the biomedical territory in the first place.

    Many fresh answers will be revealed with available, relatively inexpensive, data-driven tests that measure a multitude of comorbid biomedical conditions that interfere with treatment response. Dopamine can’t treat serotonin problems, and serotonin can’t treat dopamine [ADHD] problems – in fact each one used incorrectly will make the other comorbid condition regularly worse.

    All these matters are explained in my new book “New ADHD Medication Rules – Brain Science & Common Sense.” In “New Rules” I agree: thousands are treated without considering either brain science or common sense.

    cp
    Dr Charles Parker
    http://www.corepsych.com
    “New Rules” here: http://www.bit.ly/rulesbooks

     
    • tamaralaschinsky

      December 4, 2012 at 5:39 pm

      Thank you Dr Parker for your comments and feedback on this topic. It is good to hear from medical professionals and especially those who do see and encourage other treatment options for helping our children and any of use who are affected by mental and emotional disorders.

      I am sure one day we will understand ADHD as well as other mental disorders and find treatment options that work and do not cause harmful health hazards. Until then, it’s one step at at time and education, education, education!

      Cheers,

      Tamara

       
  10. jason

    December 4, 2012 at 2:45 pm

    My Wife and I are going through a tough time with my 12yr old son, he was on drugs and I had it stopped as I agree with what you and many others are saying about the drugs. I went through school without taking drugs and did fine so there’s no reason to have my son take drugs that we know can severly harm a child. We now have to deal with the teachers and Vice-Princepal who have pushed for us to put him back on the drugs and I will not let that happen, they say they don’t have the resources to sit with every child who has a problem with ADHD but it just seems like they don’t want to apply any extra effort. We are having a second meeting with the school and expect to hear the same routine. We know help starts at home and the problem we have is my wife and I work a lot and are involved with other things that use up a bunch of our time. I know we need to stop for a minute and figure out what we need to do but where do we start?

     
    • tamaralaschinsky

      December 4, 2012 at 5:06 pm

      Hi Jason,

      Sorry to here about your son and the tough times but you two are on the right path by asking the first question: “What do we do now?” At least you are willing to help and support him. So many other parents give up, as do educators and that’s a recipe for disaster!

      I do highly recommend Native Remedies and their 3 main remedies: Focus ADDult, Brightspark & Mindsoothe JR. Depending on what his symptoms are you may need all 3 or not. For my son, Brightpsark has always been the consistent one and the Mindsoothe. As well as sticking with a routine he also watches his diet (avoid’s cows milk or moderates it, reduces sugar intake, increase protein intake, drink LOTS of water to flush toxins etc.) We remind him of homework and work with his teachers so we know what’s due and when.

      Some educators aren’t happy until your child is on meds. I appeased one teacher years ago by saying my son was back on the drugs (he was on Native Remedies) and the next week she praised him for how well he was doing. She didn’t need to know he wasn’t on the pharmaceutical drugs and as you can tell, it didn’t matter – he was doing better and her perception changed so the learning was easier.

      Look at behavioral techniques to help your son focus, does he need a day planner? Set aside time each evening to go over his things and see what homework he has to do. Rule out any other issues/distractions and feed him TONS of positive feedback. For every negative thing we say we are supposed to say 5 more positive. That may seem hard, but the positive feedback is what they need to be motivated and push themselves. They are smart, they just process and relay things differently than we do. But they are fully capable of succeeding and the encouragement starts here. If they get discouraged now and fed tons of negative they will give up, turn to the easier life (which will result in failure) and that will be that. Feed them positive and give them the tools they need to succeed and they will take those lessons further in life to succeed and get done what needs to get done.

      Hope that helps, it’s not easy I know but you and your wife being strong and supportive right now for the next few years will be the most powerful medicine you can give your son. The Native Remedies can supplement and help him but without your encouragement it will be so much harder. Kudos to you both for trying so hard to help him, things will get better and I wish you all the best! Hope to hear things turn around soon and get easier for you all!

       
  11. crackerjack

    December 5, 2012 at 9:46 pm

    just wanted to volunteer that my son is doing much better right now, after a serious situation the psychiatrist decided that pharmaceuticals would be of good use right now. I stayed away from them for year, but for the first time in my sons entire life he is happy, he even says he ‘feels hopeful and happy”. He is now applying and practicing the “coping strategies” he is learning, whereas he couldn’t before, he would try but just couldn’t really process and use them. He is set up with a therapist now as well. I’ve also started sending his lunch to school in an effort to control the stuff he’s eating so that he will have a more natural and appropriate diet to support him as well. Though everyone may not agree with me, I do appreciate your supportive comments. Just thought I’d post a positive followup to the earlier comment. So happy to see a smile on my sons face, confidence in his voice, and the words hopeful and happy coming from his mouth. I love him so much and I feel like he is on a positive track for now. thanks!

     
    • tamaralaschinsky

      December 5, 2012 at 10:25 pm

      Thanks for sharing and glad to hear the good progress! It is good to hear and regardless of method used sometimes, a happy kid is success in itself! Glad he is able to work on his coping strategies and wish you both the very best going forward! Parenting isn’t easy and there’s no Q&A book to follow either – trust your gut, use lots of patience and tons of love – that’s my recipe! Cheers! 🙂

       
  12. daily recommended

    December 21, 2012 at 12:55 am

    I drop a comment whenever I appreciate a post on a website or
    if I have something to add to the discussion. It’s triggered by the passion communicated in the post I read. And after this article Dangers of ADHD Drugs and Anti-Depressants: Child Suicide « Tamara Laschinsky: Author. I was actually excited enough to write a thought 🙂 I do have a couple of questions for you if you tend not to mind. Could it be just me or do a few of these comments appear as if they are written by brain dead visitors? 😛 And, if you are writing on other places, I would like to keep up with you. Could you list all of all your communal pages like your Facebook page, twitter feed, or linkedin profile?

     
  13. Jennie

    February 14, 2013 at 7:47 pm

    My son was diagnosed with adhd when he was in 2nd grade. Before he was prescrided his first prescription he was sent to see counclers and physcirtis. He was evaluated extsensivly by them before the Dr. would prescribe the meds. He was put on ritlain at first and it did nothing to help him so the Dr. gave him Addrell which worked wonders. It by no means slowed him down but it did help in his concentration and sleeping problems. Even after he was given the meds he had to continue to see a councler. I at first was against him being put on the meds but in the long run i am glad I did and am very happy that we had a Dr. that monitored him so closely. He now has a very successful job in the Army and doing great. He has outgrown most of the problems he had when he was younger. I also know that we were lucky to have a Dr. who took the time to do all that was done before he gave him the meds. And I also realize not all Dr.s take the time or intrest in their patients to ensure that the meds are the best course of action. We need stricter guidelines on prescribing meds like ritalin and addreall

     
    • tamaralaschinsky

      March 12, 2013 at 5:24 pm

      Thanks for sharing your story Jennie and so glad to hear your son is doing well. It makes ALL the difference in the world when caregivers (educators, parents, doctors etc) take time with children to help them – no matter what the issue(s) is/are.

      Often behavioral therapy works great as does diet modification. Other practices like acupuncture and herbal supplements can work as well. Bottom line, the kids must learn to recognize and work with what they have. They are smart, brilliantly creative and capable of so much – they just have to learn how to harvest their potential and find a way to express it! There may be setbacks from time to time but even non-ADHD people have off days too! No one is perfect right?!

      All the best for you and your family and glad to hear things are doing well!

       
  14. Read More

    July 29, 2013 at 8:06 am

    You have the most impressive web sites.

     

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