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Parenting In A Pill

As a Licensed Therapist, this news makes my blood boil!

As an author, this news reaffirms what I have been saying for years.  One “Diagnosis De Jour” is Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, or better known as ADHD by too many people and doctors these days.

The steady increase of children (mostly boys) being diagnosed with this disorder continues to explode at the rate of 41 percent in the United States over the past decade (Center for Disease Control).

Those numbers translate into more than one in ten school-age children and nearly one in five high school-age boys!  This is absolutely astonishing, ridiculous and unnecessary to me and Pediatrician William Graf from the Yale School of Medicine agrees!

Consider this.  The basis for diagnosing this disorder relies only on what parents or patients report to their doctors!  In other words, there is no known biological or physical proof that one has ADHD, other than perhaps mild problems concentrating or mild behavioral problems!  Years ago, these kids were considered “a little hyper”.  There were no medications or treatment for this other than strong parenting, schooling and discipline.  Today, parents are rushing for medications to fix their children.  And medications are being prescribed by the millions!

Medications such as Adderall and Ritalin, which are nothing less than legal amphetamines or “speed.”  These are the same drugs that are commonly abused as study drugs for college and high school students since they keep you wide-awake for hours at a time, and appear to produce attentiveness and interest.  Additionally, research says that as many as 30 percent of “prescribed speed” is given or sold to to friends who are not diagnosed with ADHD.  Additionally….studies are indicating that these drugs can be addictive!  No kidding.

As a Therapist, I do not buy the diagnosis as a condition treatable by out-of-pocket payment, and certainly not via insurance (though I am no fan of insurance companies).  It’s more of a home-grown issue with kids that requires home-grown care!  With single parent homes, and two working parents the norm these days, it’s become much more convenient to medicate our children who are simply a bit hyper, and/or hard to engage, and throw them into a therapist’s office.  It does not work that way.

Why does this information confirm what I have been observing an an Author?  Well, because as the years drift by, society is changing and not always for the better.  The foundations that once held family as a solid institution are falling fast.  Parents are failing their children and relying more and more upon outside resources such as schools, doctors, therapists and the government to parent for them rather than with them.

Children are desperate for parenting!  What would one expect if one or both parents are working around the clock trying to fit their kids in?  This is insanity, pure and simple!  Is it okay because 2 incomes are necessary?  Is it because that’s what everyone does these days?  You cannot merely fit children into your life!  There is no more important commitment in life than bringing children into this world!

Yet, some feel it’s expected, pressured by family, pressured by society or some biological need to do so!  Then, when these innocent little beings become too hard to handle, we reach for quick fixes to make our lives easier.

This certainly explains a part of the rise of “Parenting in a Pill,” and it calls for immediate attention.

Look at the issues children face and are becoming responsible for now.  Bullying, suicide, murder, abuse, pregnancy, drug abuse, failing grades and intelligence, the list unfortunately goes on and on!  It requires remedy.  It requires parents to parent.  Plain and simple.

The multitude of diagnoses for children today has become astronomical and more frightening are the medications that are being pumped into them!  When does this end?  What will the world look like 50…60 years from now?

Child psychiatrist, Ned Hallowell stated, “We have kids using these drugs as mental steroids…that’s dangerous.”  Indeed, it is.


NY Times: “Ritalin Gone Wrong”

Dr. Hallowell’s Response to NY Times Piece “Ritalin Gone Wrong”

Read more posts by Leo Battenhausen, MSW, addiction and mental health counselor.  Leo is a blogger for JenningsWire.