Lucky Mom

May. 24, 2006

ADHD, ADD & BIPOLAR 'Disorders'

I’m no doctor, therapist, child-development ‘expert’ or anything else that requires a designation to dispense advice (so, now that I’ve got the necessary disclaimers out, I can comfortably give my humble opinion to those who are interested).

Frankly, I’m appalled at how many parents allow their children to be put on drugs due to some alleged ‘disorder’.

As a fairly intelligent mom, I’ve felt this country (can’t really talk for others) is over diagnosed with children’s alleged diseases and I CANNOT (yes, big ugly letters to make my point) believe how hip it seems to have a DIAGNOSIS for a child.

ADD, ADHD, BIPOLAR and so on.

If you read the newspaper or watch TV news for any time at all, you’ll be ‘advised’ on the latest diagnosis fad. I have been following the CDC and the FDA’s public information on this topic and today’s release on further problems with ADHD medications (it appears mainly Ritalin) has put me over the edge.

View the article.

Some interesting excerpts from this:

An estimated 3.3 million Americans who are 19 or younger and nearly 1.5 million ages 20 and older are taking ADHD medicines.

Accidental overdoses and side effects from attention deficit drugs likely send thousands of children and adults to emergency rooms, according to the first national estimates of the problem.

Other patients had side effects, including potential cardiac problems such as chest pain, stroke, high blood pressure and fast heart rate.

…studies show the drugs raise blood pressure and pulse rates a bit, but it's unknown whether that would harm children taking them for years…

("...unknown whether that would harm children...."? Why would ANYONE give their CHILD something that could potentially harm them?)

Dr. Steven Nissen, cardiology chief at the Cleveland Clinic, who had pressed for a black box warning at the FDA panel meeting, said ADHD drugs are powerful stimulants and inherently risky. Nissen and other doctors say the drugs are being prescribed to some who don't need them.

Who doesn’t personally know at least one child who has been ‘diagnosed’ with ADD or ADHD?

I have more than one mom friend who has complained that they were pressured into thinking their child might have a diagnosable problem because their son or daughter (usually son) didn’t sit motionless at school.

Fortunately these moms bucked the trend, did their own research and dismissed the idiocy of it. (MOST of these moms I have to say are not working moms that are too tired to spend real time with their children when they finally arrive home each day.)

Forgive me for saying, but I have to wonder (again, no expert here) who these drugs are really for and why.

Here is an interesting website by Dr. Thomas Armstrong:

I’m sure there are those with legitimate diagnoses and like anything else that is abused, exaggerated or otherwise become publicly hyped, those with the real problems don’t always get a fair shake. (Remind me to tell you all about my many years handling litigated negligence claims!).

Who is really benefiting from this trendy diagnosis craze?

4 Comments Posted (Add Yours)


I'm afraid of what these children on medication are going to be like when they are adults? Will they be on drugs forever? What are the long-term repercussions of being on these drugs as children? Does anyone really know yet? And it seems that the diagnosis of ADD, ADHD, HDTV (oh wait, that's a different problem!) or whatever really boils down to being "children." The things I hear parents complaining about sound like typical childhood behaviors. Maybe dealing with the children and their unique personalities is the answer rather than just passing out drugs like candy??? I know that sounds like a lot more work, but no one said having children wouldn't involve work!


Here's a male foreigner's view, for what it's worth:

It seems to me that Americans are over-medicated in general, so I'm not surprised this extends to kids.

One thing that concerns me is the limited amount of research that is actually done on children.

It is not enough to do research on adults and then extrapolate the results to kids. Their bodies are very different (not just in terms of size) and react to drugs very differently.

I do have to wonder how much of this supposed ADHD is due to nature or nurture. I wouldn't be surprised if the environment in which kids are brought up in these days has a lot to do with the prevalence of this diagnosis.


When my nephew was in 3rd and 4th grade he had some issues of daydreaming at times and not completing his school work in class. His teacher insisted that he was ADD and needed medication. The struggle between parent and teacher went on for quite sometime. He was finally tested and it turns out he's just your average kid. All his test scores were well above his grade level, the principal coulnd't figure out why the teacher suggested he was ADD in the first place. We did find out however, that the underlying problem was his class work was a little too easy and that he was embarassed about his penmanship, it's not the most legible. Funny how their little minds work.


Here's an interesting article and video about ADHD being misdiagnosed when the problem was infact sleep apnea and was fixed by the patient's tonsils being removed.