Sunday, May 08, 2005

One Tab Over the Line

ADHD. Also known as "drug the damn kid because he's never been taught to behave." I came of age in an era when a large family was considered a blessing. My high school sweetheart was the oldest of 12 (good Catholic mother). Several aunts were blessed with 7, 8, 9 children. And miraculously, none had "ADHD." There were no such disorders in the dark ages of the '50s and '60s. If a child behaved poorly, it was a reflection of the parent. Imagine, holding parents responsible for the behavior of their offspring. Not for 2 or 3 kids, but half-dozen, a dozen.

My aunts and uncles could cut a tree switch, strip the leaves, and whip ass in under 3 minutes. Luckily my parents were much older and wiser and I never felt the willow or hickory switch but just witnessing the discipline my cousins received would uncurl my hair and make me behave. Although I managed to raise mine without the use of corporal punishment, my children have informed me there were times they would have preferred an ass kicking rather than sitting through my lectures on acceptable behavior. I have 6 children, 5 living, ages 21 through 35. They knew at a young age the definition of "obnoxious" and "unacceptable." It never occurred to me to drug them as we navigated childhood. My God, I thought they were normal.

Today's epidemic of "disorders" is the pharmaceutical companies giving the medical profession creative license to find acronyms for their products. Designer drugs, the guiding principle of drug development in the pharmaceutical industry. In the latter half of the last century we created more "disorders" than Doan's has liver pills. Excuses for a decaying society. Character deviance is a chemical imbalance, hormonal, glandular, or brain abnormality. The experts will assure us, we're not exhibiting more deviant behavior, simply "more aware" in our "informed" society. Here, take a pill to prevent bloodshed in the family room with American Idol or Jerry Springer caterwauling in the background.

When this, let's call it BAKWIPP (bad ass kids with intensely poor parenting) phenomenon began in the '70s early '80s, it was white, suburban, male children. Originally, there was stigma attached to having a kid so poorly behaved he needed to be drugged for the sake of society. Mommies (and daddies) wanted little boys to stop terrorizing the household and classroom and a pill could do it. Can't think straight, can't be put to bed, can't concentrate, anger management problems, disruptive. Daydreaming, can't focus, won't do chores, won't listen to mom/dad. We used to call it childhood and thought it a parent's job to teach Johnny he couldn't have life exclusively his way, at his whim, all the time, everywhere.

Through the 1980s "bad ass kid" syndrome was mostly contained in white suburbia but as teachers and parents noticed how pleasant it was to deal with, or even be in the vicinity of kids on dope, the demand for Ritalin hit a new high (pun unintended). Parents, usually mothers, took children as young as 2 years old begging doctors "he's just uncontrollable, he needs something." In the '90s female offspring, previously rarely diagnosed, began suffering "bad ass kid" syndrome in record numbers. The disorder was suddenly attacking little girls. And in the last few years the "disorder" has spread through the nonwhite communities and to the adult community. An unprecedented outbreak of…no self-discipline.

If you research the data carefully there is NONE that supports the theory that these disorders are a "chemical imbalance." Reliable studies will state ADHD "appears related to two neurotransmitters - dopamine and norepinephrine." And sentences such as "It is presumed that brain chemistry is out of balance and that specific chemicals called neurotransmitters may be lacking in individuals with Attention Deficit Disorder." Since most children "outgrow" the syndrome, how is it a chemical imbalance? It's not. Chemical imbalance is to assuage parental guilt for doping his own child. Now parents with adult ADHD are producing children with ADHD, is it genetic? No, just "presumably" it "appears" the acorn doesn't fall far from the tree.

Some causes of ADHD, or why the kid is inattentive, mean, bouncing off walls and unlovable:
* lack of sleep – put the damn kids to bed every night at the same time. Too many kids in front of an electronic toy, or allowed to run rabid through the house until they drop from exhaustion.
* poor nutrition – fast food, artificial dyes, caffeine, sugar, and grease are not brain food.
* immaturity and slow psychological development – teach your children to grow up, to think, to develop patience, kindness, self-respect. Give them boundaries and punishment when they cross the line.
* low motivation – give children goals, demand they attempt to reach them, praise them when they do, comfort when they don't.
* boredom – challenge the kid with a book and a bicycle.
* lazy parenting – time to grow up yourself. Stop watching Oprah and the feelie goody needy inner child babble, the inner kid grows up when you do.

But dope is so much easier. We have Ritalin, Desoxyn, Strattera, and Concerta. Focalin (dexmethylphenidate, a modified version of Ritalin, a CNS stimulant, addictive with longterm use). A meth head doesn't just live in the trailer park now. Adderall, an amphetamine, snorted, smoked or injected, produces a quick buzz. Dexedrine, aka Nazi crank, a German patent, taken by Luftwaffe pilots during WWII. Ritalin, not strictly an amphetamine, but very similar in chemical structure and effect was supposedly Hitler's drug of choice. But today in America the prescription quality pills taken as prescribed make a longer-lasting mellow little fellow. The PR agents of pharmaceutical companies disarm parents and the public by separating the image of street users from the clean, clinical, safe use of their prescription drugs. And they have other meds to counteract any side effects, i.e. hypertensive drugs when the little tot develops high blood pressure.

At least in the '60s we knew dope was dope. A pill head, pot head, acid head was a pill head, pot head, acid head. Dr. Leary taught all about therapeutic and spiritual benefits of drugs. "Turn on, tune in, drop out." These days the AMA and FDA teach the "benefits." How amazing that we are encouraged to fine tune a false sense of well-being in ourselves and our children, simply because it comes in a prescription rather than a pipe, bong, reefer, line or needle. Mother's little helpers because big daddy government says it okay to dope me, drug me, proves you love me.

1 comment:

Concerta Side Effects said...

My name is Irene Pak and i would like to show you my personal experience with Concerta.

I am 60 years old. I have been taking concerta for three days now. So far it is wonderful. I was previously on ritalin for 2 months, and felt like I was on rollercoaster. I would go from jittery to severly depressed and crying. After changing to concerta three days ago, I feel like myself again, only with much more energy focus and concentration. I am sure hoping this will continue. I am on 36mg.

I have experienced some of these side effects-
mild headache, dry mouth, some affect on sleep

I hope this information will be useful to others,
Irene Pak

Concerta Side Effects

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