Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder can be very difficult for parents to deal with. It is hard on the child, in that it makes it difficult to socialize, to do well in school, etc. It is hard on the parents as the child will often have behavioral and learning problems. It is hard on any and everyone who knows the child with ADHD. Because it is often such a difficult disorder to deal with, many parents seek ways to cope, and often this leads them to the door of ADHD drugs. There are several different drugs prescribed for ADHD, including Adderall, Ritalin, Concerta, Methylin and so on. ADHD drugs seems to be the first thing doctors recommend. However, with the rise of ADHD drug abuse, and the fact that ADHD drugs do not cure ADHD, rather treat the symptoms, many parents are asking the question: “Does my child need ADHD drugs?”
The answer is never easy. There are alternative treatment options for children with ADHD, all of which are therapy and counseling. In other words, you can teach your child through talk therapy and behavioral counseling how to better manage the symptoms of their ADHD. However, many parents do not have the time, discipline, or money to take this route, and thus medication is often the simplest fast-result solution.
Medications affect each individual differently, so the only way to really know if it will help your child is to put your child on it. In some cases the results are drastic, improving behavior, focus, concentration, etc. On other cases it offers only marginally different results. However, with the potential for improvement, there is also potential for risk. ADHD medications can cause side effects. Some of these side effects are severe such as headaches, fatigue, or sick to the stomach. Others are more mild, such as difficulty sleeping, lack of appetite and depressed personality. The point is, you never know which side effects will manifest themselves in your child, and whether or not those will be worth the improvement in concentration. They may be better at school, but at what cost? At loss of their esteem, loss of friends because they are no longer the same person, loss of appetite, resulting in illness from malnutrition.
Because of the inconsistency with medications on individual cases, it is important that if you do decide to try ADHD prescriptions for your child that you monitor them carefully to be able to note the side effects, and the improvements. Then weigh out the benefits with the drawbacks.
One of the most important things to consider as a parent is that most kids do not like the ADHD drugs. They feel like they can’t think as quickly. Yes, they have better concentration, but they feel they are not as witty. Most kids feel like they are a different person when they are on the medication, and they want to be themselves, poor concentration, bad behavior, and all.
This article is not meant to replace the advice of your family’s medical professional.