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Attention deficit disorder is not a new childhood diagnosis. ADD is the new catch phrase that describes similar disorders previously called hyperkinetic syndrome, hyperactive child syndrome, minimal brain damage and minor cerebral dysfunction. Currently there are three separate categories of ADD: with hyperactivity, without hyperactivity and one of the residual type. (It would be interesting to see if parents would resist to their child being labeled ADD if this disorder were called minimal brain damage.)


Characteristics of hyperactivity disorder include hyperactivity, perceptual motor problem, emotional disturbance, disorders of attention (not listening, failure to finish projects and poor concentration), impulsiveness, learning disabilities and EEG abnormalities. Most people display a wide variety of these traits on a daily basis. So, how do we know if it is ADD? The criteria recommended for diagnosing ADD is often NOT followed and doctors feel compelled to prescribe the drug of choice, Ritalin.


1.3 million kids are on the drug Ritalin. Sales for this drug last year alone topped 350 million dollars. This drug is also sold on playgrounds and campuses for $3 to $5 a pop, known as VITAMIN R. Ritalin will suppress the appetite, as it is a known stimulant. Ritalin's abuse does not start there; it begins when teachers are the first step on the road to Ritalin. The people who should be the first to notice if the child has an attention problem are the parents. Drugs and stimulants to control behavior should not be the first line of defense against what some are calling the Attention Deficit Disorder epidemic. Ritalin's real name is methylphenidate hydrochloride which is chemically related to amphetamine.


Millions of children have been "diagnosed" as "hyperactive" or having "attention deficit disorder" and millions are now taking brain-damaging Amphetamine-type medication, in many cases by order of school officials. Millions of other children have been labeled predelinquent, found to have "deviant" tendencies, or said to exhibit "maladaptive behavior." Not long ago, children who behaved in certain ways were called "daydreamers," "fireballs," or "bundles of energy." Now they are considered "hyperactive," "impulsive," and "distractible."


Some theorists are even speculating that ADD is a consequence of our fast evolving rate of information bombardament. What does that mean? We get information so fast these days via the Internet, television and advertisements that any slow paced activity tends to bore us. Television ads have gone from 53.1 seconds to 25.4 seconds; an average news bit has gone from 42.3 seconds to 8.3 seconds. We are processing information much faster, PERIOD. Is it any wonder that our kids are bored and cannot pay attention to the muuuch slooooower rate of the classroom curriculum?


Behavior modification and alternative therapies should be pursued before drugs are administered. The side effects of long term use of Ritalin are unknown. In fact, any parent should confront the physician who prescribed this drug about the long term side effects and listen intently to the answer. Also, Ritalin should not be used on children under the age of 6. Did you Know that the brain's neurons are extensively developing and patterning up to the age of ten? It is important that parents fight for their child's right to be drug free. If ADD is a by-product of our evolution as a culture, drugging the younger generation is not the answer. We have all seen the 20/20 episode where the elderly are sedated so that they are less trouble. I pray to God that we are not doing the same thing to our children.


For more information on Ritalin and other psychiatric SSRI drugs such as prozac, paxil, zoloft, luvox, effexor, serzone, anafranil, fenfluamine, fen-phen and redux - check out these books. A Dose of Sanity, by Sydney Walker III, M.D.; The Myth of the ADD Child by Thomas Armstrong, Ph.D.; The Myth of the Hyperactive Child & Other Means of Child Control, by Peter Schrag and Diane Divoky; Psychiatry - the Ultimate Betrayal, by Bruce Wiseman for the Citizens Commission on Human Rights and Toxic Psychiatry by Peter R. Breggin, M.D.

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**This web site's goal is to provide you with information that may be useful in attaining optimal health. Nothing in it is meant as a prescription or as medical advice. You should check with your physician before implementing any changes in your exercise or lifestyle habits, especially if you have physical problems or are taking medications of any kind.

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