Ya’lls know that I’m not a doctor, nor do I play one on TV. I’m not necessarily pro-meds, or against them. You and your doctor will have to decide. As for me, I am on non-stimulant medication to treat my severe ADHD. Kevin and I decided NOT to put our daughter on medication. She tried Ritalin when she was in second grade, did not like it, and it made her weepy.
Instead, we opted for teaching her strategies for success, self-advocacy, and awareness of her symptoms, as well as the gifts of ADD!
Myth: Teachers can diagnose ADD. My son’s third grade teacher said that he had it.
ADHD/ADD is a medical diagnosis. Only psychiatrists, psychologists, family doctors, a nurse practitioner, a neurologist, and certain master level. A teacher can describe behaviors of what he sees in the classroom. However, is NOT AUTHORIZED to diagnose it at all.
Myth: Teachers prescribe ADHD medicine.
Last I checked, teachers are not allowed to write prescriptions nor pass out Ritalin like a Pez dispenser. It is a felony to forge a prescription.
Myth: Consuming caffeine with your stimulant medication is OK.
Wrong! Too much caffeine combined with your stimulant medication can create wacko synergy and decrease the effects of the medication. Bad plan.
Wrong again! (And the man doesn’t want to tell you this!). I know from personal experience that stimulant medication has a horrible rebound effect after it wears off, creating worse symptoms than if I had never taken it. It also stopped working as effectively. I developed a tolerance for it, so much so that I went from taking 10 mg of it daily to 60 mg. (My husband called me an Adderall toilet because it started wearing off so quickly). The only side effect I loved was that I lost a bunch of weight on it because I wasn’t as hungry!
Children and adults sometimes have trouble sleeping when they’re on stimulant medication, so then they end up needing sleeping pills to fall asleep at night. Hmmmm…
Other rare effects of stimulant medication is cardiac arrest, increased risk for stroke, increased blood pressure, and DEATH.
Are you willing to put your or your child’s life on the line just so they can focus better in class and homework time is less painful? How about looking at different factors, like sleep, sugar intake, allergies (like gluten or celiac disease)? Vitamin deficiencies? Are you getting enough exercise, etc.? Look at the WHOLE PICTURE, rather than putting all your trust in a little pill.
What the classroom is set up like? Your workplace? Is your house cluttered? Get help from a friend with OCD to re-organize and declutter! That can help your mind get clear.
If the classroom has all kinds of mobiles, crazy bulletin boards, distracting posters, and flickering fluorescent lights, that can exacerbate ADHD symptoms, as well. (I actually asked a coworker to take down and stop making posters because it was too distracting for me).
What’s your take on stimulant medication for ADHD?