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Ignorance, apparently, is bliss

Posted Feb 10 2009 11:29am

A note: this is a rant. I hope that it is an intelligent rant, but it is a rant nonetheless.

You have been warned.

Some people really pull my chain. They walk around with a set view of the world, spewing their unintelligent and uninformed dogma to the world and in doing so thy continue to widen the rift between enlightenment and ignorance. In some cases these sometimes apparently educated individuals base their opinions on some of the most ridiculous “facts” that could ever be placed in evidence, but that’s not likely to stop them from opening their mouths or dusting off their keyboards to let the world know what’s on their minds at the moment.

These people fill me with ire. They are patently uninformed or worse, are otherwise intelligent individuals have bought into conspiracy theories concerning the medical establishment and drug companies to the point where a logical discourse is rendered an impossibility.

One such very vocal person runs a blog tiled “News Politics Celebrities Movies Current”. Through this rather unlikely venue he has made his opinion clear on the use of stimulant medications to treat ADHD in teens, with insights such as:

Adderall is an upper that you give your kids to help them with their attention deficit disorder. Hold on a minute while I laugh my [edit]f***ing[/edit] ass off…LMFAO!!!!! LMFAO!!!! OK now I feel better and I can continue. Adderall is [edit]bulls**t[/edit] people.

[From Adderall Weight Loss and ADHD | ]

Really? After years of dealing with a child with ADHD and reading literally thousands of pages of documentation from organizations like The National Institute of Mental Health, I was under the impression that Adderall and other similar medications had a very positive effect on many of the patients that it has been prescribed to over the years. I must have missed the memo that deemed it a bogus treatment at some point in my research.

I also find it interesting that his first choice in medications to bash is Adderall and not Ritalin, which is still far more widely prescribed, and has been shown to provide significant positive effects in most cases.

It has apparently also been missed by this person (who does not list his name at any point that I can find) that a child who is under the influence of stimulant medications when there is no indicated condition present will very quickly begin to display symptoms of amphetamine use, such as nervousness, restlessness, sleeplessness and agitation. Each and every one of these side-effects is discussed with the parent or caregiver when a regimen of stimulants is begun, so statements like the next one really get my hackles up:

…DONT DOPE UP YOUR [edit]F***ING[/edit] KIDS!!!!! It’s not ADHD that is the problem, it’s YOU.

If you don’t TEACH your kids to LISTEN to you and BEHAVE when YOU SAY SO then they will develop bad habits stemming from lack of discipline. A good smack or two at a young and formative age is all you need to do to TEACH your children to respect and listen to you. It’s not abuse!! DONT HIT YOUR KIDS BECAUSE YOU ARE ANGRY because that is abuse. Smack em out of love once in a while and love your kids. That’s how you get them to pay attention. Drug companies and Doctors and Lawyers OH MY! They are all in cahoots with each other at the top of the food chain making up disorders so they can make a ton of money peddling drugs to your kids through you.

[From Adderall Weight Loss and ADHD | ]

I doubt there are many parents of a child with ADHD who have not hear this argument, though it was probably stated more tactfully. The fact of the mater however, is that “a good smack” isn’t going to work when a child cannot control their impulsive behaviors. It is at that point that your mental health provider or physician prescribes medications. When behavioral modification does not work. (If a care provider wants to start with medication, please find a new provider. The behavioral road should almost always be taken before medication is prescribed.)

In the end, I don’t blame this one individual for his views. It isn’t any one individual that causes the larger problem of misinformation. Rather, this person is endemic of a much larger issue of misdiagnosis and complete lack of knowledge by a very large segment of the population who have simply never had to deal with the subject first hand, but yet feel qualified to give what they believe is “advice” on the subject.

You people just don’t get it.

Smacking a kid with full-blown ADHD around isn’t going to accomplish much more than making the child skittish around you or terrified of you. Within a half hour that kid will have forgotten what it was exactly that they were punished for. They will not however, forget that they were punished. It’s not the same thing.

The same theory applies to all you would be advice givers that suggest that I take my child to the park and allow him to “run it out”. I have a better suggestion for you, assuming of course you can keep from smacking him around while you’re at it. You take him to the park and see how long it takes him to run you out. My stepson has been known to run in circles nonstop for up to 8 hours without medication and then stay awake for the next 28 hours banging his head off the wall. Physical activity isn’t going to make him sleep, nor is it going to calm him down. It takes medication to do that. It’s that simple.

And yes, Mr. and Mrs. doubters, I did try a good swat or two. I’m not against corporal punishment applied judiciously, it worked for my sister and myself and for my parents and theirs. My ex and I did not resort to medication until it became painfully obvious that other methods simply were not working, nor were they going to work.

So please, before you spout your rhetoric to the world at large, remember this. There are those of us who do not choose to medicate our kids at the first sign of a problem. In fact, in the many years I have been running this venue I have found that the number of parents that head straight for a prescription is far outweighed by those of us who have looked at alternatives first, or who choose to use the lowest dosages possible.

And for the record, our children are medicated, not “DOPED UP.” It is so that they can fit into your closed minded society, attend schools with so called normal kids and not disrupt normal activities. They are medicated so that it is not painfully obvious that they think in a different manner from their peers and so that they can have friends. They are medicated in some cases because school systems run by closed minded fools tell us that they have to be.

And through all of this, the people who complain the most overlook the obvious. Most of these children are far more intelligent than their normal peers. They act out sometimes because they are bored to tears with an educational system that is not geared to challenge minds that process information at the speeds theirs do. They learn to be the class clown or the class bully simply to keep themselves occupied.

I don’t state this last lightly, I state it from experience. While you were in school living your normal little life, I was dealing with all of the issues that ADHD dishes out to a kid. At that time almost no one was getting diagnosed, so I suffered through my formidable years with no self esteem, living in complete boredom because with very few exceptions I had completed my class course material within the first two weeks of a new semester.

If you are offended by my opinion that most kids with ADHD walk around with advantages that normal kids do not, such as the ability to multitask, then I feel that you’ll get your apology when I get mine. Until that point I’m going to smile when I hear you tell me that these incredibly intelligent, creative and clever kids have issues because their parent’s don’t discipline them, or that it’s a conspiracy.

I’ll smile because four of my kids have ADHD. Three of those four stopped acting out at school the moment they were placed in gifted programs. Once their brains were busy they didn’t have a reason to act out any longer. I’ll smile because I know that you haven’t taken five minutes to gather any facts or study any of the research that has been done on the topic.

And then I’ll tell you you are a fool.

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