Has the Medicated chid thing gone too far?
Do you think that ADD, Hyperactivity disorder in children is too often a quick diagnosis to make the class room more manageable and a quick fix rather than the work that must go into behavior modification. Some call it a fad disease. What are your feelings about medicating children and the long term effects . DO you think this may cause them to be dependent on medication in their adulthood, rather than dealing with life?
I have long been an advocate of not medicating children unless it is absolutely necessarily. I got my undergraduate degree in human services, I'll be done with my master's degree in psychology with a concentration in child and adolescent development in the spring, and I have worked with children in all sorts of settings, including schools and behavioral health clinics. I guess you could say that I've seen it all, especially a lot of children who have been diagnosed with ADHD.
After taking psychopharmacology trainings and courses, I can definitely say that I think children are overmedicated. I think adults are forgetting that children are children and that means they are going to have a high level of energy. A five-year-old constantly asking questions and running around the house is normal behavior.
One of the biggest issues I have with these medications is the fact that they mess with the child's brain. The younger years are so important to development and some of these medications have serious side effects. Also, I've seen parents give extra meds when they don't think one dose is doing the job, so children often aren't getting even what the doctor prescribed.
There is definitely a possibility that children could become dependent on the medication. They may feel as though they have to have it in order to stay calm. All in all, it becomes part of their regular routine and when that gets thrown off, behaviors change.
Authentic, natural childhood behaviors are quickly becoming labeled "conditions", "disorders" and the such - things to be treated with meds, not tolerated and understood for what they are.. I think ADD probably is a true disorder, however I also feel it has been purposely overly-diagnosed. Kids that are misused like this for profit will inevitably grow up with dependence issues. And who will be there to offer them the latest doctor prescribed drug therapy for the dependence? The same people that created the problem in the first place.
Both of my younger siblings have been diagnosed with some type of ADD disorder. They were identified very early in their childhood but was it to quick to get them on medications. I believe it was. I think taking these types of medications should be reserved for the worst case scenario. I went to school with a kid who was on one of these drug and he did not even know what disorder he had or what the pills were for.
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