August 13th, 2010
02:25 PM ET

Your thoughts on ADHD

Many CNN.com readers had strong views on the subject of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in response to my article. We received nearly 1,100 comments.

Our most "liked" comment (as chosen by readers) comes from JoelSP who wonders whether ADHD is a condition created for pharmaceuticals to treat:

At the risk of invoking the wrath of parents nationwide...When I was a kid in the 70's there was no such thing as ADHD and ADD. Or if there was, it got straightened out with a good smack on the butt. It blows my mind that after thousands of years of existence, all of a sudden humanity has evolved these new conditions in the past twenty years that, lo and behold, the pharmaceutical companies have a solution for. Which came first...the drug or the disease?

It is true that these developmental disorders were not as widely recognized some 30 or 40 years ago. Psychologists say that there is now much greater awareness of what attention deficit disorders are, which is why we see more of them among children. Cheryl Rode, director of clinical operations at the San Diego Center for Children, says there's probably not more ADHD now among children than ever before - it's just that there's a lot more education about it.

There's also evidence of a biological basis for ADHD that seems to throw a wrench in the argument that the pharmaceutical industry invented it. In youth with ADHD, brain maturation is delayed three years in some brain regions, on average, compared with youth without the disorder, according to a 2007 study from the National Institutes of Health. The condition may also be genetic. But there is no test, such as a blood test, to diagnose ADHD - only evaluation and assessment tools such as questionnaires, points out Garry Earles, a clinical social worker in Turner Falls, Massachusetts.

But the flip side of widespread awareness is the prevalence of misdiagnosis, which is what the experts in my story are concerned about. Just because ADHD is a real, biologically based phenomenon does not mean that every child who can't listen in class has it. There are plenty of reasons why children have problems in school. Teachers, parents, and mental health professionals alike should take care to explore all of those possibilities before assuming that a drug designed for ADHD is the best solution, even if medication seems like a quick fix, says pediatrician Dr. Claudia Gold.

Another problem, Earles writes in a letter to CNN.com, is that teachers typically do not have enough training in basic child and adolescent mental health conditions.

While they are dedicated, concerned and caring people, they have, in essence, been set up to educate these kids without any training in the issues that confront their students. In a nutshell, school systems throughout the country have become mental health clinic annexes.

Oksunny, who identifies herself as a 32-year-old woman with ADD, says culture is also to blame. "Society is less patience and tolerant of 'wild' children. We want them to grow up too fast and start thinking about getting into college before they are out of diapers. Too much pressure–our children are suffering," she writes.

A Consumer Reports Health survey found that switching schools and using drug therapy were the most effective treatments for children with the condition.

soundoff (982 Responses)
  1. PapaSmurf

    ADD drugs are pretty cool to take. I may have ADD, don't know. What i do know is that wheni take those meds i'm superman and get $hit done. Concentrate better, wide awake, heart jacked up to pump at full speed! Its gnarly fun. Wonder why kids like it. Its pretty much legal speed and i wouldn't give it to my kid. Parents, take one of your kids ADD pills and then see how you feel about giving it to them daily. You may change your mind about dosing your kids. You also may dig it and think, "With this medication i could perform and concentrate much better... i must have ADD too. Doctor!".

    August 13, 2010 at 17:15 | Report abuse | Reply
    • S

      Actually, ADHD has been shown to be heriditary. Also, due to the differences in the brain wiring of an ADHD and non-ADHDer, the effect of stimulant ADHD medications will vary. It is NOT recommended for somebody to ever take somebody else's prescription medication, so please check what you are advising people because it is dangerous advice.

      August 24, 2010 at 18:31 | Report abuse |
  2. dwight huth

    Maybe the reason why some children seem to have ADHD is because of the way they learn. They may not be slow minded but might be training theirself to be perfect in what every they do. ADHD may also come from parental influences from home like parents that fight all of the time(could lead to aggressive learning habits where the child will fight with everything that they cannot understand), parents who are always on the go (could lead to withdrawal from social settings where the child will draw theirself into their work to keep the fear of being alone at bay). The there is big brother or sister who has been put in cahrge of taking care of their sibling while their parents were at work or had to run to the store. I can remember being put in charge of taking care of my little sister while my mom made super or did other things around the house. This measure of responsibility and purpose carriered over into the first grade. My little sister would play popple where she would stand in front of one of the windows that faced the school, the school was right across the street from out house. I would glance over at her starring out of the window making a funny face which would make her hide behind the wall. This would go on for maybe a half hour or so until our mom put her down for a nap or fed her or when the teacher realized I wasn't paying attention. Needless to say I didn't pass first grade because of my wanting to be in the house making certain that she okay. But the next year I passed and went on with school. This could be one form of ADHD but over time would go away after being moved away from the window or to other parts of the school where being able to see the house would make me pay attention. ADHD can be classified as a learned trait or a probable cause due to environmental conditions. The best way to counter ADHD is too allow the child to learn how they choose to learn and do not force a standardized set of rules for learning such as discriminating against those who are left handed or those who may be shy. Try to get kids the kids involved with group activies where each session a different child would be in charge of the activity that way the children can all learn to be leaders to make decisions and to understand each other's faults and weaknesses where the group can help the ADHD child and theirself overcome their weaknesses in group setting instead of just picking and chosing the best children based on their parents status or financial circumstance.

    Basically don't kick someone uncessarily as it reveals your incomptence.

    HEY! That's right the regressive psychological tricks are done with you are making yourself to be completely monkified and people do not like monkies being in charge of them showing off by presenting theirselfs as the bull because the bull will eventually lead itself to it's own slaughter.

    August 13, 2010 at 17:16 | Report abuse | Reply
  3. rob

    I'm not 30 and for the past 6yrs have known I've had ADD. Its actually IAADD (inattentive adult attention deficit disorder). I've never been hyper growing up but totally mellow. There are different types do this disorder and most people associate it with the hyperactive kids. I was apparently examined by school officals back in second grade who decided to pull me out of 3rd grade half way in the year and put me in second grade again. My "reading" was not where it should be was the excuse. This was back in 1988. The only reason I improved my reading because I found fantasy novels which stimulate the imagination. It wasn't the before and after school sessions. College was a total failure and I almost dropped out. I graduated with "C" average and can't use the degree to get back into school because of the grades. I've tried 3 different professions, kept to myself growing up ,and as an adult now, so I wouldn't seem/feel stupid around other people. I dated someone going through gradschool in social work and for the longest time was telling me I had ADD. Sure I did the online tests and found the symptoms to all line up. I didn't really believe it and did nothing about it.

    I was talking about my desire to go back to school and how much difficulty I'm having because of my previous grades. I mentioned how I was going to look into medication for ADD and she immediately agreed and pointed out everything I was telling her and how it fit into classic ADD. The depressions, hating myself and feeling stupid when I know its not laziness, the changing of careers because they can't hold my interest, academic performances, insecurities in life, it just all finally clicked. Put out my accomplishments on paper and I was amazed at what I've done. From running a pastry kitchen, working in health care, to simply graduating from a university (even if the performance was horrible). Many people develop coping abilities for the ADD to get them by in life. Mine where not healthy but I still did a lot.

    She backed me up when I went to my doctor and have been on adderall for the past 3 months. It really does make a difference. I can't explain how but concentration in my work and ability to focus out the nonsense in my head is so much easier. I can only wonder what my life would have been like had I been examined by real professionals in 2nd grade and not school officials. Where my degree could have gotten me to where I would be in a profession. They can see when something isn't right but let professionals actually test the kids.

    August 13, 2010 at 17:23 | Report abuse | Reply
  4. Nola lady

    I have had ADHD since I was too young to remember. I drove everyone crazy and was even put into a home. My son has it plus Tourette and Asperger syndromes .... I have been fighting for him since day one and have been treated rudely by the school system I pay via my taxes. What I have noticed is that there is no support for the teachers. Principals expect miracles without training. Whenever I suggested (and even located) training to help, they would snub their noses at me. Maybe if there was better training, we wouldn't have to shove medication down our children's throats every morning and pray the side effects don't cause seizures and loss of muscle control. ADHD is real people .... and I won't say people "suffer" with it but I will say they "struggle" with it .....

    August 13, 2010 at 17:31 | Report abuse | Reply
  5. Kevin

    I can see there are a lot of ignorant people here. You have no idea what it's like to have a child with ADHD. My daughter has ADHD. I could tell the day she was born that she was going to be a though one to deal with. She has no self control. She doesn't understand why she gets in trouble all the time. You can tell her to pay attention to what she's doing and how she's behaving to get herself in trouble and to understand and control it but she is not able to do so. She'll say to us with tears in her eyes, "I don't know what I'm doing wrong to get in trouble, mommy and daddy" and she really doesn't understand.

    My son is 18 months younger and I could tell from the day he was born that he didn't have the same problems as my daughter. He always listened, always stopped doing something when we told him to, always goes to bed without 4 hours of getting out of bed, coming downstairs, singing and talking, etc.

    Both have been raised exactly the same way but my daughter was just so hard to deal with. My wife always said "All kids are like that" but I kept telling her that wasn't true, she has no impulse control, something's wrong.

    She kept getting in trouble in kindergarten. She's have to sit at a table by herself because she kept touching other kids, kicking them, talking in clase, not paying attention to her work, etc. The policy is the teachers can't tell you they think they have ADHD. They can only tell you what's happening and hope you figure it out yourself.

    We took our daughter to the doctor, did a series of tests, filled out forms, etc. She had every sympton of ADHD with Hyperactivity-impulsivity control issues. There was medication and there was counseling. No amount of counseling and behavior modification was going to help my daughter. Her brain lacked the impulse control. Concerta was prescribed and immediately, we saw the difference. She listened, could concentrate, could play with others without causing trouble. She stopped kicking kids under the table, she stopped touching other kids, etc. He teacher always felt she was a leader with great potential but the ADHD was keeping her from excelling. A few days later, we saw her teacher and she was literally in tears. Tears of Joy. She couldn't believe the difference in our daughter. She went from lacking in most areas to excelling in everything.

    I know one of my brothers and I had ADHD but back they they just called us hyperactive. While we weren't as bad as my daughter was, I know if I had concerta, I would have excelled in everything. I had trouble concentrating, got bored easily, etc.

    To those who think it doesn't exist and a some good beatings will stop the behaviour, you are dead wrong. All you're doing is making your child hate you. They don't know what they are doing wrong and just think they are being mean to them from no reason. Spankings, timeout, standing in the corner and going to her room did nothing to help my daughter understand what she was doing wrong and to help her correct it. There's something in ADHD kids brains that just not formed properly and no amount of beatings are going to fix it.

    August 13, 2010 at 17:33 | Report abuse | Reply
  6. brent

    My son was diagnosed as ADD by a pediatrician after extensive testing, we were certain he was but wanted confirmation. so the solution of course was drugs, the improvement at school was miraculous. but not worth it as the side effects outwieghed the positive. We felt we were medicating our child for the convenience of the public school system, and that my friends is just not a good enough reason to drug your child.

    August 13, 2010 at 17:35 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Jen

      For "for the convenience of the public school system"? Seriously? Comments like that blow my mind. If you choose not to medicate your son, that is your business. However,the medication wasn't to make life easier for his teacher, it was to make life easier for HIM. He will still have to learn how to be successful. What is your plan now that you have decided not to medicate? Or do you even have a plan?

      August 13, 2010 at 18:29 | Report abuse |
  7. mother of four

    This condition has been around for a very long time. The name and our approach to treating it has simply changed. Back in the seventies, they called ADHd "Hyperactive disorder". I should know. I was diagnosed with it. However, after a brief stint with meds, my mother decided that she didn't like the side effects, and took me off them. From first through fifth grade, I sat in the back, in a chair by the window, away from the other students as one teacher after another tried her best to go on teaching a classroom full of largely "normal" kids who all learned more or less the same way. Occasionally, I was joined by another child, usually a boy. It did a huge amount of damage to my self esteem.

    During those years, I was spanked a lot for being lazy (by my stepfather), sat over school books for hours and hours after school. I had few friends, most of my teachers didn't like me (with the exception of two truly shining examples), and it seemed like my parents did either. I hated school and saw myself as stupid (I remember crying a lot). To this day I have no idea why they continued to pass me through from grade to grade–except that every single IQ test revealed that I was at least exceptionally bright and that I was (some how) attaining the skills I needed to move on. What they didn't realize was that I had discovered books and that this probably saved me. I was reading years and years ahead of my age-level and no one seemed to notice. My mother was highly literate and kept a good library on hand at home so what I wasn't getting from the school library, I was getting from hers. I read Barry Kaufman's "Giant Steps" at eleven and soaked up his lessons on love and acceptance like a starving man does bread.

    At some point in junior high, after everyone had backed off (given up, I think), my grades became important to me. I made friends with high achievers (bless them both for their examples). I discovered that I could write–won a couple of contests, etc. I also graduated near the top of my class in high school and went on to college. I have a degree in psychology and am going back to get another in education this fall now that I've finished homeschooling my own sons.

    My parents were super strict and absolutely meant well. They really thought they could whip me into conforming. The teachers really believed that all I had to do was do things their way and I'd be fine. What none of them grasped (because of the era) was that they were pushing when they should have been pulling. I was a soft kid–though I couldn't sit still and focus, I was never rude, never ever spoke back (this was in the deep south, after all), or challenged authority figures. I was just busy and massively disorganized in my habits and thinking. Add to that the immaturity that goes with this condition and you have a recipe for disaster if those closest to the child don't understand what they're dealing with.

    Kids who have been diagnosed with this condition need more than meds–and often don't need those. They need coaching on how to compensate, extra tutoring, and lessons in life skills.

    August 13, 2010 at 18:03 | Report abuse | Reply
    • trying2cope

      mother of four, I'm pleased to read about someone who is older than I am but whose story is similar to mine. I'm a 25 yr old college student who was on the verge of flunking out of college until I was newly diagnosed after my Psychology professor intervened. I wish that where was a "universal anitidote" that would quite those who doubt the existence of thie condition. But since there isn't I will take a bit of time to give my two cents.

      1.) ADD/ADHD is s real disorder, and it does affect your concentration.

      2.) Not only does it affect concentration, but it also causes those affected to be "emotionally irregular" (ex. when someone else would normally get upset about something, the ADDer won't process those emotions as normal, but when they hit...THEY HIT!

      3.) However, even though this condition does have these effects, it eliminates the "gray area of success". In other words, either you'll either be successful or you won't. Which explains why ADDers either are sucessful or end up incarcerated.

      4.) That being said, even though ADD/ADHD is a real disorder, there sadly is a population of people who are plainly unfocused out of sheer laziness and use it as an excuse.

      5.) ...and Finally, those who are so quick to "depreciate" the value of this condition to the medical community, or over-/under- rationalize this condition, should ask themselves this question... What if I had something that I was purely interested in, that wasn't recreational ( videogames, television, etc. ) or inspired by some material gain( money, fame, competition. etc.), but couldn't focus long enough to fully grasp every concept of it?

      ...- That is the plight of every "true" ADD/ADHD individual.

      August 13, 2010 at 18:59 | Report abuse |
  8. Jeff

    I think it's important to make an effort to try and understand what ADHD is, in the first place. Sensitivity to smells was not big in the 70's either, but it's here now. Did it not exist in the 70's? Of course it did. If you want to understand what ADHD is and what it isn't, listen to people who know it firsthand, and who have children with it. ADHD is as real as the computer screen you are reading this from. It no more unusual or phony, than having red hair or being left handed. It is a difference, and it's been around for a long time, a lot longer than back in the 70's. Wouldn't it be nice if every kid was wired exactly the same? There would be less people winding up in the prison system and dropping out of our cookie cutter schools. There would also be a lot less invention, discovery, and progress. Kids with ADHD need support and encouragement, not cynicism. As for the pharmaceutical companies, they are working on ways to manage something that society calls a disorder. It is not even a disorder, ir is just a cognitive difference. Non-ADHD people have a cogntive difference from ADHD, who happen to be the majority. Luckily, national socialism is not the ruling party and these bright, talented, creative kids are not being rounded up and secreted away to create a more homogenous, docile society.


    August 13, 2010 at 18:10 | Report abuse | Reply
  9. Jenny

    I used to be a girl scout leader and had some kids with this disorder. If not taking their meds (sometimes not telling their moms the pills went in the trash), they acted crazy when indoors (like monkeys trying to escape a cage almost), but once they got outdoors (things like camping trips), they were the best and most enjoyable kids around. Modern society might be part of the problem, expecting everyone to be fine with the indoor-world of desk-sitting, living apart from nature.

    August 13, 2010 at 18:20 | Report abuse | Reply
  10. Mike Ries

    I ' m a male 46yrs old that has had ADHD since fourth grade . Not sure about all school systems but the schools I attended had a teacher that was spelized in learning disibilities if it wasn't for these teachers I know I wouldn't has finished school. The other point I'd like to make is that you just focused on school kids. There are alot of people like myself who still struggle with this problem in our daliy lives.

    August 13, 2010 at 18:21 | Report abuse | Reply
  11. Chad


    August 13, 2010 at 18:31 | Report abuse | Reply
  12. someoneElse

    I'm sure some cases should be medicated and some shouldn't.

    August 13, 2010 at 18:42 | Report abuse | Reply
  13. josh

    ADHD is a farce. It is a made up idea so the pharmeceutical companies can make a bigger profit. Riddiln (sp?) is derived from the same narcotic that we make speed with. Ivy league college students have been using speed for decades, ask them how their focus is. Its the same crap we fed to our housewives in the 1950's to enslave them to men. The fed wants their sheep drugged up and stupid so that they are easier to control. I have ADHD and take no medication. I don't know about you, but I always felt school was pretty F-ing boring. That's my fault? How about we work on our school system first, and figure out how to drug our CHILDREN later.

    August 13, 2010 at 18:48 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Juju

      Josh, how can you say you have ADD and yet at the same time call it a farce?

      You're sort of spouting a lot of the ignorant, uninformed opinions that you hear about from people who don't know what ADD even is.
      Yes, Ritalin is similar to speed. What is wrong with that? Long term studies have shown no adverse effects. We can't use that argument anymore. I was on it from third grade through twenty eight, and it had zero effect on me except to make me focus. I only switched meds because of the difficulty of obtaining Ritalin, even with a prescription.
      "The feds" and "Their sheep" are all just conspiracy theory nonsense. The government is a bureaucracy staffed with normal people that lead normal lives. There's some political schilling and corruption at the top, but it's more about their personal bank accounts and marital affairs than it is about turning people into Sheep. If you think about it, there aren't enough people on ADD medications to create a world of zombies as you seem to imply. Just use your common sense. The world is less exciting that way, but it won't lead you to embarrass yourself on a message board.

      August 14, 2010 at 06:27 | Report abuse |
  14. trying2cope

    1.) ADD/ADHD is s real disorder, and it does affect your concentration.

    2.) Not only does it affect concentration, but it also causes those affected to be "emotionally irregular" (ex. when someone else would normally get upset about something, the ADDer won't process those emotions as normal, but when they hit...THEY HIT!

    3.) However, even though this condition does have these effects, it eliminates the "gray area of success". In other words, either you'll either be successful or you won't. Which explains why ADDers either are sucessful or end up incarcerated.

    4.) That being said, even though ADD/ADHD is a real disorder, there sadly is a population of people who are plainly unfocused out of sheer laziness and use it as an excuse.

    5.) ...and Finally, those who are so quick to "depreciate" the value of this condition to the medical community, or over-/under- rationalize this condition, should ask themselves this question... What if I had something that I was purely interested in, that wasn't recreational ( videogames, television, etc. ) or inspired by some material gain( money, fame, competition. etc.), but couldn't focus long enough to fully grasp every concept of it?

    ...- That is the plight of every "true" ADD/ADHD individual.

    August 13, 2010 at 19:05 | Report abuse | Reply
  15. Craigb

    ADD/ADHD in my mind is a symptom rather than a problem. Our school systems are designed to teach the bell curve and any that fall out of the curve pay a heavy price. It's a basic case of economics (return on investment). Take a look at the work of Carl Jung and Myers Briggs, and you will see that certain personality types fit well within the scope of our school systems and others don't. ADD/ADHD can be a great attribute in environments that are "interrupt-driven," but not so great for serial learning.

    August 13, 2010 at 19:20 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Juju

      Actually, as a teacher and sufferer, I agree with you fully. I always used to say, "My brain is not disordered, it's just wired for a different survival environment!" I always understood everything that I learned in school almost immediately. Problem was, the method of proving it meant sitting in one spot doing the same task for hours at a time. Not so easy.

      Alas, as teachers, our hands are utterly tied when it comes to how we teach, most of us.

      August 14, 2010 at 06:31 | Report abuse |
  16. jhenz

    i believe adhd is diagnosed too often.

    my son started kindergarten last year. about 4 months into the year his teacher started to complain about his performance and behavior at school, she suggested i have him evaluated for adhd. i took him to see his pediatrician and he said there was absolutely nothing wrong with my child. the dr. stated the problems are that these kids are under too much pressure in kindergarten, have no unstructured playtime at school to learn social consequences, and they do not get enough activity at school. all of these problems contribute to undesirable behaviors and lack of ability to focus in class. as the school year progressed the teacher would pull me to the side in the hallway every day to complain about my child, suggest he needs to be medicated, and that we need to find another doctor that will prescribe my child the meds. at first i was outraged. then i thought i would give this lady the benefit of the doubt and i took him to see a psychologist. lo and behold, the psychologist said there was nothing wrong with my child. even if my son was diagnosed with adhd i would not medicate him. these medications do not seem to be as benign as everyone who uses them suggest. i am hoping the problem was just the teacher (she boasted about having 11 other children in the class medicated for adhd), but we'll have to see. my son did seem to lack interest in reading, but after attending summer school and reading religiously at home he seems to be doing somewhat better. his attention span isn't the greatest either, but hey! he's 6 years old! when i was 6 years old my attention span wasn't all that great either- heck it still isn't sometimes. as for dietary problems, he is allergic to eggs and peanuts which means he can't eat a lot of the junk food out there. he loves veggies more than any other child i have seen. he also has asthma- i'm wondering if the medications he takes for that could be culprits. i am a stay at home mom and i spend tons of time with him, so i know he's not being neglected. maybe i'm just not mean enough, i refuse to spank him- i tried that and it just ruins my day as i am torn up inside with guilt. now i take away privileges and do time outs. i don't know...i just know that i do not want him on those nasty meds.

    August 13, 2010 at 19:40 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Juju

      Jehnz, it is not your teacher's job to suggest meds. She is NOT a doctor. What your doctor said is absolutely true. You should report your teacher to her principal. I would get FIRED if I said that to a parent, and so should she.

      August 14, 2010 at 06:52 | Report abuse |
  17. Raven

    I blame not only the pharmaceutical companies but also the parents that want a "quick fix" for a problem. My son was diagnosed with ADHD at the age of 7, we finally had a "label" for what "ailed" our child. Doctors and teachers alike taught we were being horrible parents because we wouldn't medicate right away. A friend of ours (our lifesaver) talked to us about the connection between metabolism and artificial (read junk) foods. We decided to give the "diet" a try. For a solid 6 weeks our son eat nothing but fresh fruits and vegetables. Guess what? Lo, and behold his "ADHD" disappeared. He could focus on his school work, was more attentive. Since then our family has made the switch to an all natural diet, nothing artificial, no hormone-laden meats or animal by-products. Our son is now a senionr in high school, an honor roll student, plays football and is on the wrestling team at his school. Well liked by his teachers and his peers. No magic pill, only responsible parenting.

    August 13, 2010 at 20:02 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Juju

      That's fantastic that it worked for you and for your son!

      Please understand that it doesn't work for everyone. My parents have been health freaks since the sixites. By the time I was born in the seventies, they had no processed sugars, no artifical colors, flavors, or preservatives in their house. All organic produce and milk. That's how I grew up from infancy on.

      Guess what? I still have ADD.

      Sounds like your son has food allergies that manifest themselves with ADD like symptoms. I think that there are possibly many like him that get misdiagnosed every year.

      Believe me, if it was fixed with just food, it wasn't what the doctors said it was.

      August 14, 2010 at 06:35 | Report abuse |
  18. TruthSeeker

    I think ADHD/ADD has something to do with human evolution. Example: Hunters and Farmers.

    The hunters are more energetic than the farmers. They also don't like to stay in one place for long periods of time.

    Farmers are the average Joes who prefer to do only one thing: farming.

    Got this from Wikipedia.org, but it does make sense.

    August 13, 2010 at 20:08 | Report abuse | Reply
  19. Nicole

    I personally have ADHD and I grew up in a household where the treatment for ADHD was a smack across the bottom. Even though I eventually learned to minimize a few of my visible behaviors and curb my hyperactivity, all that did was make me turn it inward and I would become very lost in my own world and show the inattentive side, day dreaming to no end. Once I was diagnosed, I watched all my grades go from C's to A's and B's. It was a world of difference, and medication is one of the few things that made this possible.

    It isn't parenting, it isn't culture. It is real

    August 13, 2010 at 20:20 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Shauna Wells

      Hi Nicole,

      I teach ADHD students. Thank you for sharing.

      August 14, 2010 at 11:55 | Report abuse |
  20. Jerry

    ADHD is simply an excuse for bad parenting. Society gets more permissive, parents abrogate their responsibilities in favor of nannies, daycares, and preschools, kids are given fewer – if any – responsibilities of their own, mommy & daddy pay for everything the kids want or "have to have!", kids have few rules and play video games instead of taking out the trash or helping do the dishes. Irresponsible and excessively permissive parenting have become almost the norm these days and THAT is why "ADHD" diagnoses are up several hundred percent in the last few decades.

    August 13, 2010 at 22:02 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Martha


      August 14, 2010 at 00:10 | Report abuse |
    • mother of four

      Generalizations are not becoming to intelligent people. In fact, they leave the speaker (or writer) looking arrogant and ill-informed. While I'm sure that the diagnosis is being abused (so many are), it does not mean that it is never accurate or that the condition doesn't exist.

      Ex–Occasionally someone suffers from such severe depression and they need help in the form of medication and therapy to crawl back out of its depths. For a handful of people, this depression is caused by something missing in their brain chemistry. More often than not it's been brought on by a long, difficult stretch in someone's life and they've been down for so long they don't know how to get back up. In situations like these, meds can be life saving.

      However antidepressants are being prescribed like candy to everyone who is in the least bit blue. Does this mean that those who suffer from severe depression don't need help or that their problem isn't real? Of course not. It means that it's become too easy to medicate rather than encourage people to think of the typical ups and downs of life as normal.

      The abuse of the ADHd diagnosis and treatment does not mean that there are no children out there suffering from this condition and that they don't need extra help.

      August 14, 2010 at 01:48 | Report abuse |
    • Juju

      Jerry, please educate yourself. Listen to some of the testimonials on this board. Although you can assume that millions of people are lying, you can also assume that while a few exaggerate, most of them are telling true stories of what their lives were like dealing with this.

      In other words, stop judging, start learning.

      August 14, 2010 at 06:39 | Report abuse |
    • Juju

      And as for the "excessively permissive parenting" schtick–

      My dad was a naval officer and my mom was a teacher. PERMISSIVE?! I had to call my PARENTS "Sir" and "Ma'am" or face the consequences!
      And guess what? ADD was still there, no matter how many consequences I got for not focusing. This is one of the biggest myths families dealing with ADD face. "It's diet" and "It's discipline."
      Sometimes, it is.
      Kids that find those methods effective probably don't have ADD.

      August 14, 2010 at 06:42 | Report abuse |
    • W. CURRY



      November 2, 2010 at 20:16 | Report abuse |
    • Mark

      ADHD is a wonderful thing, and it's a poor reflection of society that some of our most creative and sensitive kids are doubly hurt and stigmatized by the corporate drug pushers who say there's something wrong with them, and the "realist skeptic" know-nothings who say they're just bad kids who need to be disciplined. Lose the trite apocalyptic American loss of family values shtick and learn a thing or two about how people are different for you, and how the system makes it harder for them.

      October 26, 2014 at 04:04 | Report abuse |
  21. glena

    Most of the children with ADHD are BOYS ! And what are little boys but trouble ?? I have 2 sons. One was quiet and
    always good. The other was hyper and always bad. I had to deal with them on different levels, and it was hard work.
    But they are now both married with children of their own, good jobs, a house, and quite happy...So am I.
    And I did NOT give them medication to make them behave !! That is just ludicrous.

    August 14, 2010 at 00:22 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Juju

      ADD is not just behavior. I was always extremely well behaved. I just could not focus on school, or tv, or a conversation for more than a few moments at a time.

      August 14, 2010 at 06:50 | Report abuse |
    • Susan Abrams

      It's totally untrue that only boys have this disorder. It has come to light only recently that just as many females have this disorder but were undiagnosed – They do not have the hyperactive behavior -and disruptive behavior that most boys have. When I was young and having many problems in school and difficulties making friends – nobody heard of this disorder. I am almost 65 and was diagnosed only 2 years ago – having lost many many nursing jobs due to difficulties with focus and concentration – I've had to retire with no pension – I continue to work as a nurse 3 days a week even though I have constant problems with my neck and back – If I didnt work I would be on the street – The retirement check and the work check are not enough – (I support 3 adults) – I went to many therapists over the years who misdiagnosed me with depression. I cant help but think how differently my life would have turned out if I had been given a correct diagnosis. I now know my mother had this disorder and probably my grandmother. SA

      August 14, 2010 at 09:48 | Report abuse |
    • W. CURRY


      November 2, 2010 at 20:07 | Report abuse |
  22. adhdmom

    I'm 52 and I have adhd. My son also has adhd. We decided not to medicate because ever since he was 8 years old he has wanted to be a pilot and you cannot be a pilot if you have taken ADHD medication. I searched the internet for other solutions and there was an interesting study out of England. This study tied ADHD to a sleep disorder. You know how when some gets get tired the get whiney while others run around like crazy – they're hyper. Anyway, in the study they gave the kids melatonin. The results were AMAZING and immediate. When my son was in 5th grade, I took the study to his pediatrician and asked if I could try it. He said go for it. I gave him 1/2 gram of Melatonin. For the first night in his life he went to bed at 8, actually fell asleep and did not wake up in the middle of the night. Slept straight through. The next day, his behavior was amazing. We have been doing it ever since (he's now 16) It's an interesting study...not enough sleep caused hyper behavior. I'd be interested to know if anybody out there has tried this or has heard of this. All I can say is that it worked for us...

    August 14, 2010 at 01:26 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Juju

      This has also been studied in children with really bad allergies and constantly swollen tonsils. They can't sleep well at night, because their air passages are swollen. The hyperactive behavior is a result. I had a student with this issue, poor kid snored while awake trying to breathe. Mom took him in to get his tonsils out, and BAM, from failing to steady C's.

      Thanks for sharing this, it's very interesting!

      August 14, 2010 at 06:46 | Report abuse |

    One of the dumbest, ( among many) that psychology has pushed on this nation, is that all babies should be standardized, or are in fact standard. They are not, not all three year olds are willing to sit in a place for any length of time. Thus they are considered ADHD. Many poor and black families are sold on the idea of a crazy check and everyone makes money, the family, the school, the psychologist. The same psychologist that are convinced that humans are not capable of monogamy (no matter the cost to society. cannot comprehend that some kids my be predisposed to being out in the fields chasing butter flies at three, or five or six) and may not be willing to believe till later. there is much more

    August 14, 2010 at 02:35 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Juju

      Again, from a teacher–agree wholeheartedly. Some kids will learn to read when they're two. Some will learn when they're seven. End result? Both people learn to read. Difference in modern society? One is labeled gifted and given opportunities, the other is labeled slow and has opportunities taken away.

      August 14, 2010 at 06:48 | Report abuse |
  24. Travlon

    I was a trouble maker......At least that's how I was labeled and viewed. I needed to be straightened out. Yet, I remember struggling with school, feeling like there must be something wrong with me. I drifted in and out of so many different schools.

    I've struggled most of my adult life wondering what was wrong with me. I was finally diagnosed this year, at 38. I will tell you this. Weather people think this problem is invented or not doesn't matter to me. Because I know for the first time in my life I finally have clarity and stability in my life. I finally have control over my emotions. Say what you will, but I wish someone would have given me help when I was a kid.

    Is it over diagnosed, yes. Does the pace and rigor of our lifestyle contribute to changes in kids behavior today, sure. Does that mean ADD and ADHD do not exsist, That's absolutely rediculous. If you think your kid has a problem, don't ignore it. Talk to as many people as you can. Be an educated parent and learn about everything that could be wrong. Then find the best people, doctors, other parents, and get the best help.

    But don't let your disbief handicap your kids. In the end, they're going to be the one who suffer. It's taken me a lifetime to finally get my life on track. No one should have to go through that if it can be prevented.

    August 14, 2010 at 10:15 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Shauna Wells

      Congrats! Thanks for sharing. I posted a few under yours. 🙂

      August 14, 2010 at 11:52 | Report abuse |
  25. ama

    it's bullshit.

    August 14, 2010 at 10:43 | Report abuse | Reply
  26. Mom of three teens

    One of my three children has ADHD. For those who do not believe it exists, I invite you to spend a few days with my family and see the enormous difference between the one who has it and the two who don't. Thank goodness for medications like Adderall, which allows my son to lead a typical life filled with decent grades, friends, and invitations from his peers to social events. The decision to medicate him wasn't taken lightly - my husband and I spent two years trying alternatives to meds (dietary changes, a more structured routine, reward charts, etc.) along with visits to psychiatrists and counselors before we put him on Adderall. What many people posting on this forum don't seem to understand is that parents with ADD/ADHD kids don't give their children medication as a "cure." My son doesn't pop a pill in the morning and then act perfect all day. He's still a rowdy teenager who makes some poor choices at times and yet shows an amazing amount of wisdom and compassion at others. The Adderall is a means of helping him make it through life without getting in trouble every two minutes, flunking out of school, picking fights with his siblings and friends, etc. He is now a 16-year-old high school junior who is looking forward to getting his driver's license, attending the prom, and eventually going to college. As he's gotten older, he's definitely matured, and my hope is that one day he will not need the Adderall. But if that doesn't happen, it's OK.

    August 14, 2010 at 11:28 | Report abuse | Reply
  27. Shauna Wells

    I am a 43 yr old elementary teacher. I agree that we did not see ADHD when I was a child. It is a MUCH discussed topic among teachers.

    However, there seem to be many people who think its a parenting issue or non-patience with the child, or just kids-being-kids??? I assure you that ADHD is very real. Unless you have been in the presence of an ADHD child, then please don't sound off. Those children are NOT able to sit or balance or keep themselves from talking. They move CONTINUALLY. They interrupt learning CONTINUALLY. They are also usually VERY intelligent. But their thought process moves so fast in their brains that they can't concentrate to express themselves.

    It has nothing to do with patience. It has to do with the OTHER 20 students in the room. They spend their day listening to a few students being disciplined every minute. Takes time away from learning, listening, reading, thinking, comprehension, etc.

    And its very stressful to teachers. I have from 1-5 students each year that are affected. It HAS to be something in our food! (my opinion) Preservatives, dyes, I don't know. ADHD parents have cried in my room many times, thanking me for loving their child. And for suggesting they get an evaluation. The parents that choose medication then go through a process of getting to know their child all over again. Suddenly the child wants to express feelings, and minds his parents, and gets good grades, and makes friends. The siblings also have to deal with a "new" family member. It is beautiful and life-changing when they see a solution.

    Also....ADD is different than ADHD, but classified in that umbrella. Not hyper, just can't hold attention. In the 1 minute range, if that.

    I am not suggesting that medication is for every child. But as an experienced ADHD teacher, I would 100% not hesitate to put my ADHD child on meds. Unmedicated ADHD kids have a hard time learning to make rational decisions. If your chlld had diabetes, you would give insuluin.

    The societal problem with educating the public about ADHD is that TOO MANY PEOPLE give judgemental OPINIONS when they have NEVER BEEN AROUND AN ADHD child.

    Teacher schools still don't educate new teachers about ADHD. They should, because its in almost every classroom.

    I don't know the solution, I only know that it's a very real problem. One ADHD student can disrupt a classroom considerably. Any teacher who comes back, day after day, with several unmedicated ADHD's students in the room...is a hero,

    August 14, 2010 at 11:48 | Report abuse | Reply
  28. CMil

    i was treated for this as a child and would not have been able to read had i not been medicated. i spent the remainder of my life un treated and i am at the end of my rope. i finally landed a good job, but i am in danger of losing it because i cant stay focused long enough to do my work. i usually have to work a 12 hour day to get 8 hours of work done. i want to get treated again, but i honestly cant remember to make the appointment. not a joke, its true!

    August 14, 2010 at 12:03 | Report abuse | Reply
  29. SL

    My sisters two sons grew up on a diet of hot dogs and soda and both had ADHD as children. My sister refused to even try to change their diet because the boys were so unruly when they didn't get what they wanted – more hotdogs, McDonalds french fries, – more fat, more sugar, more preservatives and chemicals in their bodies. How can a brain develop normally when it doesn't have the nutrition it needs? Take kids off of ALL fast food and soda and see how many "outgrow" AHDH. Instead, feed them organic un-processed foods, i.e., foods that have real nutrients and aren't filled with salt, chemicals and preservatives. Fresh fruits and vegetables, grass-fed pasture raised beef, chicken and pork. And no soda – ever.

    August 14, 2010 at 12:32 | Report abuse | Reply
  30. Drach

    there is no denying that Add and Adhd are real issues. HOWEVER, I would argue that it is the 'go to diagnosis' for a kid that doesn't behave or do well in school anymore. I was told I had add in school by the counseler and by a doctor. too bad none of the medications they tried helped, managed to give me OCD while taking them though. so i quit, didnt do any better in school while on them either. maybe i just hated school. Dad was always upset with me, I'd be able to identify hundreds of cars, planes and other things that i was interested in but did terrible in school. clearly what they were attempting to teach wasn't interesting to me. i did pretty good in my automotive classes though. aced tests and good grades.

    some of us just aren't built to sit at a desk and not be permitted to physically do things is my opinion. i get antsy at my current job because i sit at a desk all day and am not supposed to leave it unless on break. currently looking for a different job with less 'sit here do this' type atmosphere.

    August 14, 2010 at 13:48 | Report abuse | Reply
  31. Terrie

    Ehhh...it's real...I had it in the 70's but nobody knew what was wrong with me. Mom took me to audiologists, but my hearing was fine, I just couldn't listen. I can't sit down and read a book, but....I'm a highly functioning person WITHOUT medication. I took Librium once for about a month when I was 25 – hated it. I do not choose medication, but it took me over 10 years to learn how to manage my "spazziness". My 8 year old son didn't get that option, however, it manifested in him MUCH differently...his behavior was out of control. He literally could not stop talking and his impulsivity got him into trouble daily. We've tried one medication – VyvanseXR and although his behavior is in line, he has lost 13 lbs and complains of stomach pains regularly....It's only been 6 months and I may end up removing him once he gets his confidence up to where he KNOWS HE CAN control himself, it just takes so much darn effort compared to "regular" folks.

    August 14, 2010 at 13:55 | Report abuse | Reply
    • tam68

      As a parent of a adhd child who has had difficulty with medications, I would talk to your physician or psychologist and see about other medications or adjusting the dosage. My son has been on different medications to determine the right one for him. All meds are not equal and some work better than others depending on the individual.

      August 16, 2010 at 04:41 | Report abuse |
  32. sunnnygirl

    i'm not a strong believer in this. i think the children are too resricted in their behavior at schools and not allowed to release the energy that they have during the day. boys especially play hard and roughouse, but they are prevented from releasing this energy. let them play hard and see if there isn't a turn around in their behavior.

    August 14, 2010 at 15:33 | Report abuse | Reply
    • nonovyerbeezwax

      Quite frequently, children who have ADHD are disliked by their classmates because of their tendency toward impulsivity and because their behavior disrupts the classroom. Their classmates don't want to play with some of them.

      August 15, 2010 at 14:42 | Report abuse |
  33. Kristi

    I am an elementary teacher and have a 4 year old with ADHD. Yes, she is medicated, and yes she has been diagnosed. She is in speech therapy and occupational therapy due to her development lagging. My husband also has ADD and is in the army and on medication so I'm confused about how medication stops a person from being accepted into the military as one stated early on in a comment. I have many different types of children in my classroom and traditional classroom learning is part of the problem. Students are expected to sit and work on worksheets and other types of work that do not allow them movement. The school I teach at is perfect for a child who suffers from ADD/ADHD because we are inquiry based, and students are encouraged to not sit in their seats. Some who have come into my room and in our school have truly questioned whether or not this works, but our tests scores have proven that it does.

    Too many people expect students in elementary school to act like students in college. Very few have the mental capacity to sit for that long and not become restless.

    I also think it is horrible that people who aren't exposed to those with ADD/ADHD to ever say that it is not real. My daughter truly needs medication and without it she is unable to focus on her therapies as well as her PREK program.

    August 15, 2010 at 08:24 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Hello

      Again, ask for an audiology exam. Maybe your child has a hearing loss and that is why she has speech problems too.

      August 15, 2010 at 15:43 | Report abuse |
  34. VBD

    When I was a child in school back in the 1960's, I always had issues with concentration in school. How many times my parents were called into school to discuss my "hyperactivity" and failure to concentrate. Although my test scores were good, my performance was terrible. Somehow, I managed to graduate from high school and even more amazing I was able to beg my way into college. From that point on, I earned 3 degrees and have been teaching school for over 30 years with great success since I don't have to sit at a desk and do work quietly. I tried medications a couple of times and lost all my mojo and felt like a zombie.

    While I believe ADHD is real, I also feel many parent's use it as a crutch to push their lack of parental responsibilities onto the schools. Even one student who is disrupting a class is unfair to the others and can quickly cause the entire class to fall behind. Now, it is not uncommon to have 1/4 – 1/2 of a class with ADD and/or ADHD label. In the past teachers tried to work around this but with the NCLB standards and extensive high stakes testing, teachers no longer have the leeway to allow disruptions as this puts their jobs on the line. Students who disrupt and cause other not to learn can no longer be tolerated so it is medicate, or remove them. Sorry it has to be this way but you need only to look to your congressional representatives and politicians for recourse.

    August 15, 2010 at 09:07 | Report abuse | Reply
  35. A Modest Proposal of the Final Solutions

    I can't belie noone has suggested the obvious answer to the ADHD/ADD problem that is plauging our society. Our society needs to merely find the proper place within its self which will allow ADHD/ADD sufferers to flourish and allow them to finally provide a meaningful contribution to the betterment of our society as a whole. The challenge of the solution needs to be reasonably easy to institute while also equally benifitting both society and the ADHD/ADD subset so as to not cause undue discrimination of ADHD/ADD sufferes as currently exists. Under the current system of either ignoring the problem or diet and medication both society and the ADHD/ADD sufferers lose out. The ADHD/ADD sufferers either must under go undue struggle to fit into and be successful in modern society or they must turn themselves into a lesser version of themselves through the use of medication. ADHD/ADD sufferes often complain about being held back in society and that the merits of their crippling disorder are largely manufactured by the way modern society now operates, but obviously the rest of society is not going to completely change to merely suit the needs of a weaker, tiny subset of the population, so plans which better the live of ADHD/ADD sufferers must be devised to deal with the problem in a manner that will show clear benifit to society as a whole if society is to more efficiently function. I humbly submit a few common-sense approaches to the problem which would be of great benifit to society as a whole and also to the people suffering greatly from this crippling condition.

    As we all know, people suffering from ADHD/ADD do not do well under the confined and boring conditions of the modern education system and a large portion of the modern work environment, therefore society is obligated by the need to become more efficient and also obligated by the morality of compassion to find a new place within society for them which will fufill these two obligations. As common-sense dictates, people do well with people similar to themselves and also that people suffering from ADHD/ADD thrive in ever changing and exciting environments, particularly when working in the out of doors. The clear result of these facts gives us a course of action that is easily implementable and more than acceptable to both parties. ADHD/ADD sufferers could be organized into a series of national labor groups which would provide society with a source of free manual labor. While participation in these groups would be compulsory, ADHD/ADD sufferers would obviously view this as liberation from their current painful status in society and would be happy to get a chance work in the out-of-doors free of the cruel and unfair competition from normal people. These work groups would be a great boon to the currently deteriorating infrastructure of the nation and could also provide the much needed labor we need to work on a variety of other project which could help pull us out of the current economic downturn. Housing for the groups would not be an issue. The Federal Government, with its vast supply of land, should have no problem finding many out of the way locations for the groups to live, such as the scenic Nevada desert. The burden to the taxpayers to maintain these groups should also be virtually nothing as we all know how much more creative most ADHD/ADD sufferers are. As such, the ADHD/ADD people in the groups should be largely abe to fend for themselves to supply their groups with food and shelter. A further benifit f the work groups could also be found in the separation of male and female ADHD/ADD sufferers. By doing so, the degree of ADHD/ADD prevalence within the population would be greatly lowered in merely a few short generations. The ADHD/ADD sufferers would also be spared the guilt of causing future generations to suffer as they do. This soltion to the problem, while not perfect, provides a much more humane alternative to our current oppressive system.

    As we all unfortunately know, living with ADHD/ADD can at times be not much af a way at living at all, just as how a previous poster compared it to having crippling depression. Under this solution society would choose the most humane and noble decision to end ADHD/ADD people's suffering, permanately. Some of you might wonder why the decision to mercifully put ADHD/ADD people out of their misery should be made for them as many of you assume they are just capable of accomplishing this task themselves. Unfortunately they lack the attention spans to even accomplish a task such as this that thousand of less afflicted people accomplish everyday. This solution would not just benifit the people suffering from ADHD/ADD as society would beable to put them to use even in death. For example, another tragedy that we are all aware of is the starvation of millions of loyal dogs through out the nation. The remains of the ADHD/ADD sufferers could be put to good use to also end this tragedy as well. I'm sure that they would have no qualms to end their suffering in such a noble and helpful manner.

    In conclusions, as any reasonable person can discern, my two proposed solution would be of great benifit to not only society as a whole, but also to the people who suffer from the crippling effects of living with ADHD/ADD in modern society every day. It is time for us to implement either of these solutions, as the suffering has gone on too long, and I fear that, if allowed to continue, the plauge of ADHD/ADD will become too horrible for us to handle, thus tearing the entirety of modern society assunder. We must act NOW to avert this crisis before its too late. After all, think of the children.

    August 15, 2010 at 12:25 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Jim

      Wow, I had never though about it that way. It seems so simple and so humane. If only Washington had the courage to implement such common sense approachs, but sadly all they are interested in is maintaining their evil capitalist empire.

      August 15, 2010 at 13:55 | Report abuse |
  36. Kling

    ANYONE studies better on amphetamines. If you give your kid meds to get "a fair chance" dont be surprised when their meth addiction ends them homeless and criminal. ADHD is a result of people not disciplining their kids, poor family structure, poor diet, lack of exercise, and too much stimulation at home (video games and TV over play and exercise).
    Parents need to take the ownus on this. I was told by a doc when I was a kid i may have ADHD and should be put on meds, IQ testing showed i was intelligent and bored. Other kids were oppressed with meds. Maybe a little structure would help... and turn off the TV once in a while and have them read a book. ADHD is a band-aid, it is OUR fault the kids are like this. We should own it.

    August 15, 2010 at 14:10 | Report abuse | Reply
    • nonovyerbeezwax


      August 15, 2010 at 14:38 | Report abuse |
    • A Modest Proposal of the Final Solutions

      Both of you need to open your minds about how to truely help people. If you had read my post you would have realized how ADHD was real and how we need to go about solving the problem.

      August 15, 2010 at 15:05 | Report abuse |
    • Jim

      Kling, you obviously need to consider the needs of the children like 'A Modest Proposal of the Final Solutions' does. Next time you post you should be more sensitive to other people's feelings. ADHD is real and it is terrible.

      August 15, 2010 at 15:12 | Report abuse |
    • poconopam

      In response to your comment... ADHD is a result of people not disciplining their kids, poor family structure, poor diet, lack of exercise, and too much stimulation at home (video games and TV over play and exercise).

      My daughter has ADHD. she is disciplined and has a good family environment. She eats well and if it was up to her, would be outside playing from morning until night. She is a wrestler and is very athletic.

      She is medicated and I see a HUGE difference in her self esteem. She doesn't feel "different" around other children because she can now focus on things. She doesn't make poor choices for no reason. She is still my little "firecracker". Meds have not changed that part of her. She went through kindergarten and first grade unmedicated (until she was officially diagnosed). She lost those two years of learning because she couldn't focus. She is now in 4th grade. At the end of 3rd grade, she was on a first grade level in math and reading. We opted to hold her back after 3rd grade and she is now proficient in math and closer to her grade level in reading.

      I thank those pharmaceutical companies and researchers for creating meds so children like my daughter can improve the quality of their lives.

      September 29, 2010 at 20:46 | Report abuse |
  37. Hello

    My son displayed ADD-like behavior at school but not at home. We got an audiology exam and found that he is almost deaf in one ear. We got him a good, digital hearing aid (cost = $3000) and the school got him an FM system (their cost $1000). Those ADD behaviors went away.
    I really wonder how many kids with ADD/ADHD really have a hearing loss that is undiagnosed.

    August 15, 2010 at 15:42 | Report abuse | Reply
  38. twin49

    I wonder how it is we understand a diabetic needs insuline but somehow ADHD is in everyone's head. Not providing insulin to a diabetic child would be considered criminal, but giving medication that allows a person to function, communicate and participate in social relationships is suspect. If you have ADHD you know that the right medication improves the quality of your life. And why is it so easy for all to judge people with ADHD chemical imbalance but not the diabetic?

    August 15, 2010 at 15:53 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Claire

      @ twin49, I just think it's overused and too often seen as a quick-fix. I think it probably helps a segment of the population, but what about situations where a teacher has 30-35 kids in classes, some with learning issues, and barely time to race through material they are directed to cover and making sure they are ready for standardized tests? Never mind trying to hold kids' attention with effective learning tools.

      August 16, 2010 at 01:16 | Report abuse |
  39. onwisconson

    I am a 44 year-old woman and I rely on ritalin to maintain my standing in my profession. I was diagnosed early in my childhood but my mother refused to have me medicated. My childhood was lonely, isolating and I grew up with an incredibly low self esteem.

    I wish I had been able to take meds earlier. Knowing what they do for me now, I wouldn't have had to fight so hard to become the confident woman I am now.

    August 15, 2010 at 16:05 | Report abuse | Reply
  40. Charles

    Child Abuse and Adhd have some correlation too. There are just a few studies, here is one link from the National Institute of Health; http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1934403/ that prove that abused girls have a much higher rate of ADHD symptoms than non abused girls. I have a wife (soon to be exwife) who abused her son his whole life so far (age 10) and I can see his actions mimmicking ADHD symptoms. There are more lousy parents out there than in the past and more doctors who love money than in the past and more teachers who have limited patience than in the past. I'm certain these factors have created an increase in ADHD diagnosis in kids. I do feel for teachers with the wild kids, and the parents too, but not the lazy greedy doctors. Hey, what do you call the dumbest kids that graduates med school last in his class.....Doctor!

    August 15, 2010 at 21:34 | Report abuse | Reply
  41. Claire

    I'm concerned that we over-medicate because it's easy. And perhaps poor parent quality contributes to a lot of children's behaviors. I also think most parents do the best they can with what they've got. A lot of parents were themselves neglected, abandoned, abused, etc., and although they love their children, they don't have the tools to handle their own behavior and emotions–never mind teaching children to do so. Parents tend to listen to the church or whichever doctor presents a seemingly-plausible child-rearing theory that's in vogue. I'll be we'll eventually find that some of these behaviors are learned, some have a genetic or congenital basis, etc. For now, the only proven way to improve children's performance in school is smaller class size. But that's not affordable. I'll bet only a small fraction of children receiving drugs really should be taking them, especially since all drugs have side effects (effects we choose to ignore).

    August 16, 2010 at 01:02 | Report abuse | Reply
  42. Claire

    Something I find troublesome is how kids are training themselves to be distracted these days by cell phones. Adults, too. I've seen people out with their families talking on the phone the entire time to someone else. And it's common for someone by himself to be wearing a blue-tooth set and talking on the phone just about everywhere. It's as if we are addicted to distraction. I don't think day-dreaming is a side of ADD or ADHD. I think it's usually a sign of boredom, and if handled properly, it can be reduced when it's inappropriate. Then again, a lot of our most successful scientists and writers operate best by day-dreaming.

    August 16, 2010 at 01:07 | Report abuse | Reply

    I obviously did not read all the comments..
    Read a good few and I say this is a waste of
    Of HTML real estate.
    The condition is very serious look at Wikipedia you will see scans clearly.
    Almost everything in life is predictable, you know the options and wish the best.
    Few things like brain problems cannot be understood, because that is
    Where understanding is made.

    It's so horrible if it's severe and few have it
    Severe. It's one of the ugliest most demeaning things
    That can happen to a Human along with other deseases like Bipolar etc.. It's so much hell the average person does not know what
    Hell can be like in the first place. In adults it's worse. They say gift , it's total
    Bull. Do you know that about 40% of heavy drug addicts, incl coke
    are ADHD and about the same of chronic gamblers. Lives are shattered daily and we
    Are debating if they are shattered.
    Humans have to understand that we have reached a level
    Of knowledge about the human body that the average human
    Cannot understand.
    I have lost so many jobs without knowing why until I found out
    Humiliated and fired due to stupidity. It turns out I am sick, my RAM
    is half dead.when I leave a meeting I have no clue what happened. Until my pen reaches the paper for notes I will have forgotten. Live with that and see how far you go in life.

    August 17, 2010 at 21:52 | Report abuse | Reply
  44. Denim

    ADHD/ADD wasn't called that in the 1970s when I was diagnosed. It was called "hyperkinesia". Before that, it had other names, see Wikipedia at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_attention-deficit_hyperactivity_disorder for details.

    August 24, 2010 at 17:53 | Report abuse | Reply
  45. Ann

    Aspartame ( NuraSweet/Equal) is correlated with ADHD. Before you give your child a diet soda, think what the soda may do to his or her brain in the long run. Dr. Olney warned of the damage that this product would do to the unborn and to children. He said that the FDA acknowledged "aspartame had been shown to induce brain damage in neonatal animals” but FDA dismissed the neurotoxicity as irrelevant on grounds that the approved uses of aspartame don’t include feeding it to newborn humans. Yet aspartame can be found in prescription and over-the-counter pediatric drugs and in pediatric vitamins. Nursing babies receive this poison from mothers who breastfeed. The recent plague of Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD), Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), autism, and birth defects manifest the neurologic devastations of aspartame. Supporting this view, Dr. Louis Elsas, Emory Professor of Pediatrics and Genetics, testified in a congressional hearing that aspartame is a teratogen (causes birth defects) and a neurotoxin.

    September 5, 2010 at 00:24 | Report abuse | Reply
  46. S. Carr

    According to a new ADHD study on Hemispheric Brain Based programs, 81% of child participants demonstrated no ADHD behaviors after the 12 week program (without medication). Check out the study here: http://networkedblogs.com/7dXmg

    Published in the current issue of International Journal of Adolescent Medicine and Health.

    September 7, 2010 at 11:31 | Report abuse | Reply
  47. W. CURRY


    November 2, 2010 at 19:54 | Report abuse | Reply
  48. W. CURRY


    November 2, 2010 at 20:01 | Report abuse | Reply
  49. diagmaProomma

    I'm new here so I apologize if this is posted in the wrong forum.
    I've read that google is spying on us and tracks all our searches and activities on the internet and maybe sell this information to marketing companies.
    check this out http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20090314073002AAlyt2m

    what should I do?
    Use other search engines such as :

    September 20, 2011 at 08:34 | Report abuse | Reply
  50. Alicia

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    April 26, 2017 at 08:17 | Report abuse | Reply
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Get a behind-the-scenes look at the latest stories from CNN Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen and the CNN Medical Unit producers. They'll share news and views on health and medical trends - info that will help you take better care of yourself and the people you love.

August 2010
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