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Different Strokes for Different Folks - What Parents and Children Say About Drugs for ADD

© Judyth Reichenberg-Ullman ND, MSW

A Matter of Mixed Reactions

As with any medications, some people are satisfied using Ritalin for ADD and some are not. Some laud the success of Ritalin, others complain of the side effects, and still others complain that their stimulant-medicated children are no longer themselves. The following reactions are of children medicated with Ritalin for ADD whom we have treated with homeopathic medicine, and of their parents. We have tried to include varying points of view, though most of the patients we have quoted are biased in the sense that they sought a more natural alternative to stimulant medication.

"I Still Have That Prescription in My Purse"

"When Michael started having problems in school and the teachers and counselors suggested ADD, we took him to his regular pediatrician. After a forty-five-minute examination, the doctor proclaimed that he was indeed hyperactive and wrote a prescription for twenty milligrams of Ritalin every morning. I can tell you that I still have that prescription in my purse because I just couldn't believe it. We asked about diet, about allergies, about a different form of discipline. Each time the response was the same: 'Ritalin.'

"For some reason it seems to me that our society has come to a point where everyone thinks that you just have to take a pill and whatever problem you have will get better. I just couldn't see giving my child a prescription that ultimately altered his personality. Michael has always been a kind, loving, generous, helpful child. He just doesn't sit still very well at times. I love Michael as he is and I didn't want a pill to change him."

"It Literally Saved Our Lives"

"If Rich had not been given Ritalin at age seven, I don't even care to imagine where or how bad off he would be today. It literally saved our lives! First of all, Rich's reaction to Ritalin gave us the confirmation we needed that there was indeed something physically different about him. Within fifteen minutes after receiving his first dose, we could actually witness him calming down. He could sit still, he could focus, he could carry on a real conversation He felt good about himself and about life-not high as some people are on speed, but just 'normal' for the first time ever. His social relationships and anger were also improved.

"However, after a few months the side effects of this drug also became difficult to handle. Ritalin did not stay in Rich's system for a predictable length of time. When it wore off, he crashed. We were then given Dexedrine to take along with the Ritalin. The Dexedrine is a time release capsule, so it was longer lasting. But, if he took it alone, it left Rich almost too calm. The Ritalin sort of gave him his life back. Together these medicines worked well for Rich for almost two years. Then he was diagnosed with Tourette's syndrome, which manifested itself in tics and twitches. These were made worse by the Ritalin and eventually he had to discontinue the Dexedrine as well."

None of the Conventional Medications Worked

"Jared is irritable, defensive, and highly offended. He is obsessive about all kinds of things and doesn't show a lot of common sense. He doesn't think before he does things. He has a very hard time in the classroom focusing if something else is going on. He is very intense and interrupts all the time. He is easily touched. Sentimentality and rage are both very close to the surface."

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About The Author
Judyth Reichenberg-Ullman, ND, DHANP, MSW is a licensed naturopathic physician board certified in homeopathic medicine. She graduated with a degree in ...more
 
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