Drug Treatment for Conditions Like ADHD
As individuals and as a society, we ask ourselves age-old parenting questions like, have we made the right choices, will our children turn out ok, what should we do differently, etc. And we also ask ourselves new questions like, should I get my pre-teen a smart phone, how do I talk to my child about internet porn, etc. One question which a growing number of parents needs an answer to, is how do I decide about the drugs suggested for my child’s behavioural problems, like ADD, ADHD, GAD, depression etc. As modern human beings, we want a quick fix, and medication often seems to offer the hope of that, even for behavioural difficulties. But is this necessarily the best approach? Opinions amongst medical and psychological professionals differ on this to varying degrees and for various reasons, and it is always best for parents to make sure they get information and make informed decisions for their own unique child. In today’s #ThursdayThoughts post, we give a short extract from Owen Connolly’s book for fathers, which highlights his opinion on this subject. Owen’s opinion is based on research and his decades of experience in helping families and children.
HAVE YOU AN OPINION ON DRUGS AS A TREATMENT FOR BEHAVIOURAL PROBLEMS OFTEN DESCRIBED AS ADD AND ADHD?
Pharmaceutical companies are trying to broaden their scope and increase the sale of their medications, especially to children who are neurologically developing. The idea of using SSRIs or medicines like it on the young is, in my opinion, an irresponsible way of approaching behavioural problems in children. I certainly believe we need medical interventions from time to time but there’s still not enough information known as to the full extent of the side effects of these drugs, particularly on a developing brain.
In my opinion, ADD and ADHD are heavily promoted by pharmaceutical companies, and the books they help finance engage in scare-mongering. Parents react to that, and it’s been tremendously damaging. Teachers who are not informed and only see disruptive behaviour in class assume there’s been a huge upsurge in ADD or ADHD children, whereas most of these children are actually traumatised and are acting from the defensive side of the brain. If we can get the children to stop acting from that side of the brain, it’ll drastically affect their acting out and there won’t be a need for this type of medical intervention, which is, in my opinion, just the easy fix solution.