Anda di halaman 1dari 8

Kelzy Brimhall

English 1010
ADHD is it real?

What is Attention Deficit Disorder (ADHD)? There are people out there that do not
believe that this condition exists, however " The CDC says that 11 percent of American

children, ages 4 to 17, have the attention disorder. Thats an increase of 42 percent in just
eight years"(Holland et al). This is a tremendous amount of diagnoses that are happening
every year. There are many ways to handle ADHD and many suspected causes. The
question is how do we determine what is best for our children in today's society with this
condition and how do we make sure that our options are safe. It must also be questioned
if there is preventive action that could be taken.
Children as young as two years old can be diagnosed with this syndrome. Some of
these young children have barley become toddlers and already have a script for an ADHD
stimulant medication. Are the parents just throwing their hands in the air giving up on a child
that just wants to act like the age they are? Or are the parents justified in needing help and
medicating their children at a young age? Keep in mind that there are also other alternatives
to medications for those who struggle with ADHD. Such as behavioral therapy,which could
teach children from a young age to control ADHD behaviors instead of becoming dependent
on medication.

Some research has provided a link to children living in poverty conditions and
ADHD. The research suggests that the poorer the environment, the higher the risk of
developing ADHD. In the article Medicaid ADHD Treatment Under Scrutiny, Christine
Vestal addresses :But children covered by Medicaid, the joint federal-state health-care
program for the poor, are at least 50 percent more likely to be diagnosed with the disorder

(Vestal)". This may offer some insight how children in poverty conditions need to more
structurally sound environments and not stimulant medications that cannot provide structure
that the child may need. It has been shown that places that have more people who live in

poverty conditions are more likely to have children that have ADHD. Vestal states that
"Georgia alone spends $28 million to $33 million annually on these treatments out of its
$2.5 billion Medicaid budget, according to the Barton Child Law and Policy Center at
Emory University". This is a monumental amount to treat only ADHD individuals. She
also suggests that there may be a lack of structure and security when it comes to the
children living in homes that struggle with poverty. Teachers schools in areas where there
is more poverty may not be able to handle rambunctious children and are acting out or
perhaps the schools may not have funding to help the teacher with developmental skills.
The prefrontal cortex is the part of the brain that controls specific behaviors such
as planning, making decisions, personality traits, and the social nature of a person.
Studies have shown that ADHD is a disorder that is considered to affect the prefrontal cortex
of the brain. Although there are no tests for diagnosing this disorder, researchers have found
that in people with ADHD the prefrontal cortex has a three year delay in growth.

http://www.nimh.nih.gov/news/science-news/2007/brain-matures-a-few-years-late-in-adhd-but-followsnormal-pattern.shtml
The picture above shows how the brain development differs between ADHD children and controls.

This means that the gray matter in the brain in this area is thinner than a developing brain.
There are also suggestions that even though there is a distinct connection between ADHD and
brain development that it is not a condition linked back to birth or gestation.Scanning
children's brains to see what developmental stage they are at is not on the check list when it
comes to diagnosing them with ADHD. The check list consist of questions that address if the
child is fidgety or interrupts people in mid sentence.

http://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/adhd/documents/adhd-symptom-checklist.pdf

In recent years there has been an incline when it comes to looking at ADHD
diagnoses: 7.8 percent in 2003 to 9.5 percent in 2007 to 11 percent in 2011
(Hanscom et al),. When looking at this rapid increase the question that comes to
mind is : Are the children actually ADHD or are they just children? In the article
"An Alternative Diagnosis to ADHD: Schoolchildren Need More Time to
Move"(Hascom), the authors suggest that physical activity would benefit children
more by allowing them to get the movement needed by their bodies to properly build
balance. It is also suggests that fidgeting could be linked to children's lack of
movement; that their bodies are trying to get any movement they can resulting in
what looks like restless behavior.
Stimulant medication is a big ticket deal. Revenue alone could persuade
pharmaceutical companies to put an extra buck in a prescribing physicians
pockets ."In 2010 alone brought in $7,420,000,000--an increase of 83% from the
$4,050,000,000 sold in 2006"(Sroufe). L. Alan. "The "Other" Drug Dilemma." With
this information is it safe to say that prescribing physicians always have their patients
best interest? If so is this the only way to treat and individual who has ADHD?
There are other options to treating ADHD besides stimulant medications. Behavioral
therapy is an example it gives children a positive structure that can help correct
frowned upon behaviors. Also to teach parents how to properly handle situations
that can help themselves and their children better respond to everyday actives that
can be affected by this condition.
In her article called " We Are Overmedicating America's Poorest Kids" Nancy
Rappaport proposes that when children are put in households where there is threatening

or stressful situation on a day to day basis " This "toxic stress" also leads the body to
release increased cortisol, which impacts the pre-frontal cortex" (Rappaport). This stress
could be related to the delay of development in the prefrontal cortex. Rappaport also
breaches the subject of how there has been more success with programs that nurses visit
the homes of these children and work with them and their parents. Should there be a
standard that is demanded to be put in place for medication to become the last option for
children?
As a person who has sat in the doctors office many times filling out the same
questionnaire that always yields the same results, I have to wonder is this the best
way to address my issue with ADHD. I have tried most if not all of the medication
out there for this condition and every time without fail it just doesn't work for me. I
have been on medications that make me feel like my mind is trapped in a box, or it
has made my heart feel like it was going to beat out of my chest and even made me
sharp and hard to handle. I do not feel like these medications are the best option to
treat ADHD. My insight to the ADHD debacle is that medication is not the answer. I
cannot see the justification to put my body through more unnatural feeling or
compulsion then I already do. I believe that this condition is more behavioral and can
be corrected when there is an optimal environment that supplies positive
reinforcement. I do not think that insurance agencies or pharmaceutical companies
are really trying to help those who present symptoms of ADHD. It is a money game;
if it was not a money game insurance companies would offer more reasonable
treatment options for patients with this condition. As for the pharmaceutical
companies it has been suggested that they line the medical professionals pockets

with extra dollars to prescribe their medication. Why else would it be okay to give
stimulant medication to a two year old that literally has the word Amphetamine as
the name of the medication. This could make it so the child may have addictive
attributes. In turn that also make me question the integrity of our healthcare
professionals, our insurance companies and pharmaceutical companies that we so
blindly trust .

Bibliography
"Brain Matures a Few Years Late in ADHD, But Follows Normal Pattern." NIMH RSS.
National Institute of Health, 12 Nov. 2007. Web. 03 Aug. 2015.

Hanscom, Angela, and Valerie Strauss. "An Alternative Diagnosis to ADHD:


Schoolchildren Need More Time..." Washington Post. 10 Jul. 2014: A.18. SIRS Issues
Researcher. Web. 30 Jul. 2015.

Holland, Kimberly, and Elsbeth Riley. "ADHD by the Numbers: Facts, Statistics, and
You." Healthline. N.p., 04 Sept. 2014. Web. 05 Aug. 2015.
Rappaport, Nancy. "We Are Overmedicating America's Poorest Kids." Washington Post Blogs. 04 Jun. 2014: n.p. SIRS Issues Researcher. Web. 30 Jul. 2015.

Sroufe, L. Alan. "The "Other" Drug Dilemma." USA Today (Farmingdale). May 2012:
21. SIRS Issues Researcher. Web. 30 Jul. 2015

Vestal, Christine. "Medicaid ADHD Treatment Under Scrutiny." stateline.org. 13 Oct.


2014: n.p. SIRS Issues Researcher. Web. 30 Jul. 2015.