Maybe I'm buggin, but I babysit for children who are currently on Ritalin. All they do is watch tv now...I think that besides the fact that the pharmaceutical companies are now taking over the world with the insurance companies, and that some parents jus don't wanna parent anymore, that children can now just sit in front of the damn tv and be subjected to the propaganda of the media. Sorry if I'm buggin, Darrell understands
A lot of us grew up before Ritalin was so readily available, and hey, most of us made it just fine!
One of my good friends was having major problems paying attention in elementary school and they had a psychologist come in and test him because he was in the back of the class and went to the special ed class for an hour every day.
They find out he wasn't being challenged and pushed him up a grade.
People are just too lazy to deal with a child who wants to be stimulated at all times. It pisses me off to no end when I meet little zombie children because they're on drugs.
I agree, it's WAY overused. -TC
"How U ever gonna win if U let 'em all see your hand? Playin' the queen don't work on your knees as if U understand." -Prince
Ritalin is nothing more than a copout for lazy parents and even lazier kids. Very few people actually have ADD to the point that Ritalin is needed, for the rest it's just an easy way to get the kids to calm down. In college, some of my friends were hooked on it to the point that they were asking me if I had ADD so that they could get some Ritalin before class so they could take notes. What happened to responsibility? ADD is a frikkin joke.
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I work in childcare and to see this children in a zone breaks my heart. What's even worse is it is addictive. They have no desire to have fun and they do not neccessarily "learn better". It is pretty bad when you do not need to even take the child into the doctor anymore, you pretty much just have to ask for it. The doctor's are even saying now that ADD and ADHD are more frequently diagnosed than any other childhood "disorder". THere they go with labeling...
When my younger brother was in 1st grade, his school suggested that he take Ritalin because he was a bit of an overactive 6 year old. My father is a pharamcist and strongly opposed it. He removed my brother from the school immediately afterwards.
When he told me (I was 10 at the time), I was insulted. Was my brother THAT much of a problem that he had to be put on medication?? I saw it as a phase that he would eventually grow out of. You are never the same person all your life. That whole idea was ridiculous to me. My parents had seen the effect of drugs with young children b4, the had seen it with me. It was a different situation, but I took Tegatrol for seizures at 2 years old. My dosage was too high and it caused behavioral side effects like irritability, quick tempers, unruliness, and some violent tendencies. After I got a lower dosage, I was a totally different person. So I knew that taking the medicine would change my brother and I didn't want that. My father, with his medical knowledge knew also that my brother would not be the same, he would be a zombie and perhaps be too sedated. I still, to this day, cannot believe that they suggested a drug like that for my brother. Altough I think that it had just hit the market, it wasn't an answer. Drugs do not always help a child with a problem, patience and time are maybe the best to do so. And that's all he needed. He is now a normal 11 year old with an okay head on his shoulders. I can't imagine hime any other way.
I see now more than ever that drugs (legal and illegal) are the answer for people these days. With the least bit of ache or pain, there goes the Tylenol, Aleve, Motrin, Ibuprofen, Aspirin and many others. I know 13 year olds that have tried them all. Granted that some people need medication to ease pain, there are exceptions, but we don't need medicine EVERY time. That's what our immune system is for.
....that sometimes the children do not have a real psychological problem, but display "telltale signs" of one that people believe have to be treated. Some of the drugs they give these kids are unnecessary. Misdiognosis is probably common and changes the child's life and parents' life for no reason.
7. "they are killing our children with this" In response to Reply # 0
I'm sorry but why is like every young black boy on ritalin. It makes me so sad to see my cousin and so many others on this. I get mad because all these kids are "problem children" when the real issue is teachers (and parents) don't want to do their jobs. A lot of kids are put on once they enter school. I think it has to do with teachers unable to handle large inner city classrooms so they blame it on the kids. So now we will have a generation of children with asthma and ADD.
******************** This life is temporary but the soul is eternal, separate the real from the lie, let me learn you. --Mos Def
10. "RE: they are killing our children with this" In response to Reply # 9
>I think it is all >the parents fault. The >teacher is not a babysitter. > The teacher is only >there for one reason, to >teach.
I feel you on that, but teachers should have a certain level of concern for students as teachers and role models for the youth. Some teachers need to care MORE about their students and their education. But you can't blame everything on parents, cuz I believe that most of them do the best they can. If I turn out to be someone that my mother would not respect, I can't blame her. Sometimes it's the child who really has the problem. But not all of them do, so we have to pay attention to all of them and make efforts to. Parents need to stop seeking help so soon and try to handle the problem by themselves, cuz in most cases, the answer is simple and easy to get at.
>if the kid is acting up >in class, the parents need >to hanolit (handle it).
Also true. It's not the teacher's place to disciplime a child and the parents need to handle their business. Both the school and the parents need to work together to find what is best for a child and AVOID diagnosis and medication unless necessary.
11. "that's not what i was saying" In response to Reply # 9
i don't think teachers are supposed to babysit. First, most recommendations for psychological evaluations and ritalin come from teachers and schools. This is because this is where children interact the most so it is often the teachers who go and decide whether the child has a "problem." This is fine if children are really being helped in school and the teacher actually knows how to handle kids. But what tends to happen is because of the large sized classrooms, the teachers have a hard time teaching (and yes, controlling kids) Most recommendations for evaluation are from children the teachers can't control. This means that in inner city schools wher the classroom size tends to be bigger there is more of a chance for recommendation. My problem is that I think teachers see this is an easy solution to children problems. Our children should not be strung out on drugs. Yeah, its the parents responsibility to make sure their kids behave but what about all those little boys you see thrown in the back of the class and ignored throughout their school careers? I just feel very uncomfortable with the idea of putting kids on drugs. Especially when you see this tends to happen more in the inner city for "problem" kids. The kids being prescribed this drug in the suburbs tend to be kids that have trouble learning, they can't focus. This is entirely different from a child that a teacher deems unruly and therefore needs psychic evaluation. The problem kids in the cities tend to be Black males. So when people blame parents, I tend to disagree. Why is it that Black girls aren't being targetted in the same way? It is because teachers have problems with certain students and they tend to be boys. This means that a significant number of children being prescribed ritalin in our cities are black boys. This is the problem for me.
This life is temporary but the soul is eternal, separate the real from the lie, let me learn you. --Mos Def
>My problem is that I >think teachers see this is >an easy solution to children >problems. Our children should >not be strung out on >drugs.
Too much time, money and resources would be lost if people actually took responsibility in diagonosing what the problem is. The decision to give a child ritalin is just a "quick fix". It's a sad state of affairs that have been going on for much too long.
Yeah, its the >parents responsibility to make sure >their kids behave but what >about all those little boys >you see thrown in the >back of the class and >ignored throughout their school careers?
A lot of teachers arent prepared to handle crisis situations. In fact a lot of parents aren't prepared either. Lots of times children have different needs and the school system/home environment doesn't provide for them.
It could by a numerous factors that cause attention defecit. Thing is, this culture is essentially a drug culture. Everything can be "fixed" with a pill.
It's a never ending cycle of addiction that has begun with these children. It's sad because most of us are hocked up on some kind of drug no matter how you look at it, from steaks and coke to heroin and er....coke!
13. "Toxic Psychiatry..." In response to Reply # 0
by Dr. Peter Breggan, is a book written by a psychiatrist in the MD/DC area (at least 8 years ago, but it should be available somewhere -- i'll check amazon).
I heard a speech by the guy on WPFW back then when I was living there (moved down to NC in '93).
* Ritalin, like Prozac and some other popular pharmaceuticals is seratogenic (it suppresses production of seratonin, a naturally occurring chemical, in the human brain).
* Ritalin's chemical composition is like speed (methamphetamine), and it functions by blocking the receptors in the brain where the seratonin would go.
* Somehow, the speed-like chemical has the effect of calming down (zombifying -- my word) children taking it.
* Although, like a lot of situations, I feel this has a genocidal component to it, its way beyond being just something affecting black kids -- I've run into a lot of white folks who have their kids on that shit. One woman told me that Ritalin wasn't strong enough for her child, Prozac wasn't strong enough, and so she asked the doctor for something stronger and now the kid is on diet pills and he's just as calm. The whole time I'm lookin at her like, "bitch, What The Fuck???!!"
If you look at the so-called symptoms for ADD/ADHD, it sounds a whole like what was just called being a little boy when I was coming up. A fellow writer at the newspaper where I have a column down here did a story on a kid who'd gotten in trouble with the law. During the course of reserching the story, she spent a good amount of time in a local high school. While she was there, she told me that twice a day, there'd be long lines of dozens of students, with cups in their hands, stretching down the hall from the nurse's office, waiting to get their "medication" -- Ritalin. If that's not fucked up...
Yeah, the parents have to understand whats going on (I wish some teacher *would* try to suggest some shit like that for my kids), but there are so many forces pushing this, they need some additional help.
Big drug companies get from the deal guinea pigs, and more importantly, a captive market for their chemicals (you can imagine those kids will think nothing about popping prozac or whatever else is out 15 years from now). The schools get subdued puppets in the classroom, which helps them conveniently cope with the real issues of overcrowding and discipline.
Politicians get campaign contributions. Its sweet.
I've been planning on doing an article on this for some time now, just waiting for the right time -- plus I know I'll have to have all my facts and research together since the aforementioned benefactors of doping our children will fight hard to protect this state of affairs.
Any Okaydoctors (bananaman?) or teachers have an opinion on this??
**Note: I'm not saying that there are no children who actually do have a problem and can benefit from Ritalin, but such a number has to be a much smaller percentage than the amount of kids being hooked on this daily.
========================================= I'm an advocate for working smarter, not harder. If you just focus on working hard you end up making someone else rich and not having much to show for it. (c) mad
Well, first of all, I agree with the sentiments expressed by most everyone here. There are some real problems related to the diagnosis and treatment of ADHD. I agree that the disorder is overdiagnosed (a lot of times psychiatrists will overlook other possible causes of behavioral problems, which is just sick). Also, treatment with Ritalin and other stimulant drugs IS used as a cop-out by parents, psychiatrists, and educators who don't want to dig for a better solution. Behavioral therapies and diet changes are two solutions that I'd recommend for people to try first. A lot of times, Ritalin is actually prescribed as a way of diagnosing ADHD - if a child responds positively to the drug, that means they have the disorder, and everyone figures they've got the problem solved. This is the wrong way to go about treatment, and it sucks for kids.
However, I wanted to give people some facts about Ritalin, because I think some of what has been said here has mischaracterized the drug and how it works.
First of all, ADHD does exist. There are children out there with a chemical imbalance in their brain and they need help. They are unable to function effectively in classrooms and social situations with peers. If psychiatrists are thorough about it, and really do their job, they can figure out who needs help, and work with parents to provide a treatment that makes sense. Not treating the problem at all seems like a pretty bad idea if ADHD is really present.
When taken in appropriate doses as prescribed, Ritalin is not addictive. If any studies have demonstrated it to be addictive in this context, I couldn't find them. When taken at high doses, Ritalin has a stimulant effect (like cocaine or crystal meth), and can be very addictive and dangerous. This is why some people take it recreationally without a prescription. I wouldn't recommend doing so. It is a bad idea.
Also, it seems that taking Ritalin does not cause kids to grow up to take drugs recreationally. In fact, I just read about a study that found people who were given Ritalin (for ADHD) as kids were LESS LIKELY to become drug addicts as adults than kids who had ADHD and were not treated!
One post talked about the prevalence of Ritalin among African American children. I can't find any evidence that black kids are being prescribed Ritalin more than white kids. In fact, I read some statistics that suggested the opposite - drug treatments are more prevalent among "caucasian" children. Interestingly, the same study suggested that there were differences between African American children and white children in the severity and longevity of the disorder. They said that African American kids tended to have less severe cases of ADHD. But that was just one study, so it may not mean that much.
Anyway, that's all I have for now. I don't mean to defend drug treatments, because they really aren't my preferred approach, but I did want to share some scientific facts about Ritalin.