So, shall we start with What AD(H)D is? AD(H)D stands for Attention Deficit (Hyperactive) Disorder. It comes in two flavors, with or without hyperactivity. The "disease' is characterized by being unable to concentrate on mundane and/or repetitive tasks. For those of you who want something more "Official" I to turn to webmd.com for something more official. But they don't have and ADHD is this.." paragraph on their ADHD page. They have plenty of other information though. That I will be referencing often. For now I have the google result of "What is ADHD?"
"A common developmental and behavioral disorder. It is characterized by poor concentration, distractibility, hyperactivity, and impulsiveness that are inappropriate for the child's age. Children and adults with ADHD are easily distracted by sights and sounds in their environment, cannot concentrate for long periods of time, are restless and impulsive, or have a tendency to daydream and be slow to complete tasks."
Google refers to the following URL: webcenter.health.webmd.netscape.com/content/article/45/1663_51211
How is it Diagnosed? The are specific guidelines for Diagnosing this disorder set out by the APA (American Psychiatric Association). First they have a thorough medical exam to rule out other conditions. These conditions include: Above average intelligence, Under Nutrition, Abuse/Neglect, Stressful Home, Poor Parenting, and a few other learning disorders, that's right, all these have the same symptoms of ADHD/ADD. So how can we be sure that it is even a real condition? We can't. There is no actual test that diagnoses it, just the APA guidelines.
So what would you do if a Doctor told you you have a condition they can't actually perform a test to see if you have it, he is just going by a few guidelines and thinks it is this particular disease? Wouldn't you do what everyone else apparently does? Ask what drug treats it!
But wait, if the disease only exists in theory, how do we have a drug that works on it?
Well let's talk about the most popular drug treatment, Ritalin. How does Ritalin work? In theory it hinders the brains ability to neutralize a chemical called Dopamine, which causes the brain to slow down and be less active. Why do I call this a theory? Because we don't have proof it works that way at all.
Quoth the WebMD
" 'The more we understand [about how Ritalin works] the more confidence we have that the treatment is appropriate,' says James M. Swanson, PhD, director of the Child Development Center at the University of California, Irvine."
Just so we have the score straight on this. We are treating a disease, that may not exist, with a drug we aren't sure that works on it if it does exist, and we don't fully understand what the drug does.
Also why is it classified as a disease? After all, it is Attention Deficit Hyperactive DISORDER. The answer to this is pretty simple, and it might leave a bad taste in your mouth. So you can only treat it with drugs
, that simple. The law states specifically that the only way to treat a disease is with a drug. You can only sell a treatment for it if you are licensed to sell drugs, after all, if it treats a disease, it must be a drug. This way pharmaceutical companies keep an iron grip on their market. It costs a fortune, and takes years to get a drug approved. they can't have someone out there offering a cheap "cure" or "treatment" for the disease. It is ILLEGAL to offer a remedy for anything labeled a disease, or to make claims a product treats or diagnoses any disease.
Down the road I became very depressed and suicidal. so they decided since my Ritalin wasn't helping as much, they had to constantly increase the dose, and I showed no real improvement despite the increase. They decided to move move me to and antidepressant/anti-ADHD combo pill called Paxil.
Paxil does not treat the core symptoms of ADHD, including inattention, distractibility, and over activity. Stimulant medications increase dopamine and norepinephrine, the neurotransmitters primarily involved with ADHD, while Paxil primarily increases serotonin, a neurotransmitter involved with depression and anxiety. If Paxil is helping, it's because it's treating depression and anxiety and not ADHD. Richard Sogn, MD
So why was I on Paxil? Cause back then they believed it helped the disease. Now bear in mind I was depressed and Suicidal at the time I was taking this drug. And recently the FDA put out a statement about Paxil, that frankly, pissed me off to no end.
"The FDA recommends that Paxil not be used in children and adolescents for the treatment of major depression because of an increased suicide risk. ...There is currently no evidence that Paxil is effective in children or adolescents with depression, according to the FDA, and the agency has not approved Paxil for use in children and adolescents.. However, doctors do prescribe the drug to children if they feel it might be helpful.....Investigators found that suicidal thoughts and attempts were roughly twice as high among children and adolescents taking Paxil than among those taking a placebo (3.2% vs. 1.5%)."
All in the name to treat my ADHD, the doctor prescribed me a medication, and probably dozens of other children that was NOT APPROVED FOR USE BY ADOLESCENTS. The other part that irked me was finding out that I was more likely to commit suicide while on the drug, than if I wasn't. A pill, to treat my depression and suicidal tendencies, that made them worse instead.
All in the name of treating this bogeyman, ADHD.
I realize i went into a bit of a rant here. But I also have first hand experience in this. All I want you to take away from this article really, is that We don't have a test that diagnoses this disease. We don't know how Ritalin works. We have made horrible mistakes in trying to treat this disease.
We are treating a disease that might exist, with a drug we don't understand.