The Upside of Medication
Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is just one of a number of behavioral and developmental disorders that can affect young children today. Some are too quick to jump to the use of medication. This controversial method of treatment for children has its pro’s and con’s, as do all medications. Physicians today over diagnose ADHD which leads to the over-prescription of a powerful and potentially harmful stimulant. However, this shouldn’t deny the need for medication for the children who truly suffer from this serious and rehabilitating problem. When properly diagnosed with ADHD, there are many advantages to taking medication.
There’s no doubt in my mind that the use of medication is a useful and effective treatment for ADHD. There’s a good body of research to back up. But the research doesn’t address the real issue—the over diagnosis of ADHD in children. Americans have the tendency to want to pathologize behavior in which they do not understand or have no patience for. If an older adult starts getting cranky or forgetful, many people are quick to assume that it’s either menopause or Alzheimer’s! The problem here is people’s first reaction isn’t to blame the problems to the general, normal signs of aging.
The same is true for the diagnosis of ADHD. Too many doctors nowadays are too quick to diagnose ADHD children based mainly on the parent’s description of the child’s behavior. Many professional in the field are very much aware of the biases associated and go to great lengths to ensure their diagnosis is based on as much information as possible or available, including an interview with the child in question, the child’s sibling’s, and often the child’s teacher. This is not going too far. With all the information at hand, only then can a fairly accurate and biased diagnosis be made.
With all the controversy surrounding ADHD medication, it is difficult for a parent to make an informed derision for their child. Some...