For as far back as one could remember, using medicine to ‘fix’ an ailment has always been the right thing to do. Runny nose? Take something for it. Scratchy throat? Take something for it. If what’s being taken doesn’t help, take something stronger! It is never implied to let a cold run its course. The exact same thing happens when a child is diagnosed with ADHD. Medication is one of the first things that is suggested to control the symptoms of ADHD. Children who have been labeled as having ADHD are almost uncontrollable and it causes a strain on the parents, teachers and doctors who are already overworked and exhausted.
However, medication brings on a plethora of other issues. When attempting to treat a child for ADHD, medicine, especially stimulants, shouldn’t be the first option. A child who is given stimulant medicines to combat the symptoms of ADHD can look forward to heart related issues, additional health problems and the possibility of the medicine regimen not being successful.
Stimulant drugs are almost always used to treat the symptoms that a child is experiencing after being diagnosed as having ADHD. Stimulants are designed to increase the attention span of a person while decreasing their impulsiveness. With all of this, stimulants potentially affect the heart. These medications cause sudden death in children and adults that mostly have existing heart issues. One side effect of stimulants relative to heart issues is racing heartbeat. Stimulants cause the heart to race and will eventually cause death if it isn’t controlled in a timely manner. In addition, stimulants also cause the blood pressure to become elevated. Elevated blood pressure weakens the heart. Using stimulants in a child that may have ADHD has been proven to not be as safe as it was initially thought.
Now, because of the stimulant medicines, the child has the potential to experience other health issues. Some of the more common health issues that occur as a result of using stimulant medicines are headaches, upset stomach, nausea, depression and difficulty sleeping. All of these other additional health issues will need to be addressed. The child will have to take something for the nausea and the headache and the insomnia that they are now experiencing. So the initial stimulant medication is tweaked to try to rule out side effects and then they’re on three or four medications. Is it ever considered that these stimulant medications can do more harm than good? None of these things seem to be considered when deciding to just ‘medicate’ the symptoms. This doesn’t help the situation at all. Potentially you have a child who’s been misdiagnosed, is now on medication for it and now he’s on medication for the side effects.
At the end of all of this you have a parent who is now overwhelmed. What could possibly happen now? According to Christian Science Monitor, ADHD is Problematic. “After generations of research, there is still no test for ADHD, nor is there a standard diagnostic measure within the profession’ (Christian Science Monitor, 2013). When the parents and the doctors of a child who has symptoms of ADHD have tried stimulant medicines and nothing has works, what can be done? Having a medicine regime that is unsuccessful is definitely a very strong possibility.
What happens when the medication route becomes unsuccessful? All medicines don’t work for everybody. What does a parent do when they’ve taken the doctor’s advice to medicate their child and end up doing more harm than good? Medicating a child is not necessarily a guaranteed solution. This is one of the main reasons that medicine should not be the first choice when attempting to treat the symptoms of ADHD. Medicating a child is not a guaranteed fix for dealing with ADHD.
When making the decision to address ADHD and children, don’t rush to do so. “Sometimes other medical conditions – or even normal childhood behaviors – can be mistaken for ADD/ADHD symptoms, so be sure to eliminate all other possible causes before considering medication for your child” (Help Guide, 2013). Is medicating the symptoms of ADHD really the answer? Unfortunately, medication will not cure this disorder. Medication is designed to control the symptoms of the disorder. Medicating a child should be a last ditch effort when dealing with ADHD.
Choosing to medicate a child brings on several different, complex issues. Heart related issues, additional health problems as well as an unsuccessful medicine regimen are all real issues when choosing to deal with medicating the symptoms of ADHD. Considering the use of medication is very risky. There should be other avenues that are considered when attempting to address dealing with ADHD in a child. Giving a child love, affection and mostly attention, should always be one of the first things to try when dealing with a child that could possibly have ADHD. It’s not the child’s fault that his parents are overwhelmed with life.