Are you saying medication is never a worthwhile solution?
Do you think you can beat an ADHD kid down until they give up and suddenly become "normal?"
I believe all three of those points are wrong, outdated and maybe even dangerous.
I accept your right to believe ADHD is fiction. I accept your right to believe that ADHD can be punished away. I accept your right to believe that you are helping people when you post all of those links. I think people should be aware of these opinions and fully understand the message. Everyone should know about the stuff you're posting. Thanks for sharing what you believe.
I happen to believe you're wrong.
My own personal experience is a textbook case of ADHD. I'm always amazed at how many people have similar experiences. I'm also amazed at how many people who have never lived through it are willing to cast off all logic and let themselves be misled and attempt to mislead others by pushing their own beliefs on people who just want to do the best they can for their kids or loved ones.
I'm amazed at how many people's lives have been mangled by people they trusted. People who care and think that ADHD is just a little bad behavior that can be "cured" by discipline and tough love.
Here are a few actual facts to chew on.
It's true that ADHD traits are present in most people at one point or another. There are many reasons for a person to experience a higher frequency of these "symptoms" at any point in their lives. The difference is the chronic nature of the problem. People with ADHD have lifelong "symptoms." ADHD traits must be present in childhood. They also have to be chronic enough to cause real problems in a person's life. The traits themselves are well defined. The causes are not all that clearly understood.
Every day researchers understand more and more about how the brain works. These days scientists can get real time images of the brain in action. There are indisputable physical differences between "normal" brains and ADHD brains. There are also measurable differences in brain chemistry present in people who exhibit chronic ADHD traits.
Clearly there is SOMETHING going on. A rose by any other name would smell as sweet. No matter what you call it, the condition described as ADHD is real. It's a medical fact.
There are medications that are proven to help people with ADHD symptoms. They are NOT the cure. They are part of a comprehensive solution that must include life skills and behavioral modification. The nature of the treatment plan is an individual choice that may or may not include medication.
It's not fair to put the problem on the shoulders of the ADHD person alone. The behavior of the parents and caregivers must be considered. "Traditional" punitive methods are not the answer. You can't beat the ADHD out of a person. You can't feed it away either. Vitamins, exercise and a balanced diet are good for anyone with a pulse. By all means the ADHD person can benefit from those things, but it won't make ADHD go away.
I advocate an anything that works treatment plan with an emphasis on kindness and understanding. ADHD people have enough problems on their own. Our traits can be more frustrating to us that they are to the people who care about us. Don't fight the ADHD, work with it. Recognize it as a permanent part of your kids' life and help them find a way to cope and get by in the real world. Don't lock any door. Medication may not be the answer, but it's not a tool to ignore.
My description of ADHD in my other post isn't scientific fact. I was using metaphor to share my experience with my 6 year old daughter. How do you describe the color blue to someone who hasn't seen it? I tried to describe it using a common frame of reference that she could understand.
I live with ADHD every day. Medication and therapy has improved my life. That's a fact. If my daughter has ADHD, I'll do what it takes to help her and teach her how to live well.View Thread
I have ADHD. I grew up with parents who tried the "traditional" approach to solve what appears to be a discipline or behavioral problem.
ADHD is NOT voluntary.
ADHD is a medical condition. It's a permanent part of how our brains are wired. You can't punish it out of us anymore than you can punish a kid with glasses into 20/20 vision.
You're setting your kids up to hate you and resent all forms of authority.
They cannot help it. No matter how much you think it's a problem with self control, it's not. When you punish them, they don't really understand why. All they know is you get mad and stand them in the corner. It will not make them "behave" or "listen better." It will teach them to avoid you like the plague and fight you on every thing you EVER say. I know what I'm talking about.
Please understand I'm not saying this to make you feel bad. I'm trying to tell you what it's like when someone tries to punish a kid's brain into doing something it's not wired to do. You will fail and your kid will hate you for it.
Time out works with ADHD kids only as a means to get them to slow down long enough to understand what you're saying. I'd say no more than 1 or 2 minutes. Just long enough to get their attention to focus on you. Then be polite. Yelling is stupid. Polite freindly reminders will work wonders. You catch more flies with honey, right? Well positive reinforcment is MUCH more powerful than negative. Remember the goal of raising a kid isn't to make them obedient for the sake of obedience. The point is to teach a human being how to live a long healthy and happy life wihtout you.
Don't push them. Pull them.
You should learn more about ADHD and go to family councelling to learn how to deal with it.
Maybe this will help you a little. This is how I explained it to my daughter.
Think of the brain as a car. When the car is driving it's hard to see what's in the grass on the side of the road. There could be a $100.00 bill and you'd never see it. The closer something is the harder it is to see. Like how the grass and trees are hard to make out, but the moon doesn't even seem to move at all.
My brain is a race car with a stuck gas pedal. My memory is another race car, with the emergency brake stuck. You and everyone else in the world is a fan in the stands. I can hear you collectively but I can't separate a single voice from the rest. It's all just background noise. The tiny details of life like bills or homework are the grass. The moon is the future. Like graduation day or tax season or whatever. It never seems to get any closer until it lands right on top of me.
You physically cannot put that car in the corner. When you put the kid in timeout, you didn't stop the car. You just moved the race to the desert or the tundra where there isn't much to see. You didn't slow it down at all, you just made the trip less interesting. The car never slows down and when they get back to the track, you are still just another fan in the stands.
This is how the medicine works. I take two types of medicine. Adderall is a stimulant. Think of it like Nitrous Oxide for the car with the memories in it. The other one is Zoloft. It unlocks the emergency brake. Together, they give that second car with the memory a big boost so it can catch up with the rest of my brain and turns on the high speed camera so its' a lot easier to see faces of the fans in the stands and understand what they're saying a bit better.
Nothing will EVER slow that first car down. All you can do is make it more bored than normal and that's one thing it will remember. It will also remember you as the bringer of boredom that's all.
Read Driven to Distract and Delivered From Distraction to understand ADHD better. Get councelling.
I was hesitant to post a reply here because I asked a similar question a while back. I wanted to get people thinking about what's good in their lives. I wasn't sure if I'd have anything interesting to contribute. Maybe I do.
For me ADHD is the wrong acronym for my condition. I don't have an Attention Deficit. I have Attention Overload. The only "Disorder" in my life is the way I organize (or not) the stuff in my home and in my head. ADHD has taken me places most people wouldn't want to go and wouldn't appreciate anyway.
ADHD people make lots of mistakes. The actions we take to correct those mistakes are just as likely to lead to more mistakes as they are solutions.
In school, I was disciplined a lot. I met some very interesting people that weren't in my normal classes.
As an adult, I may find myself in the wrong building or arriving on the wrong day only to run into someone I haven't seen in years or discover the incredible statue in the fountain in the lobby of some company I'd never even heard of before.
Sometimes I might take the wrong exit in the middle of the night and find myself sitting at the bar in a Waffle House in the middle of nowhere at 3:00am deep into conversation with an 87 year old man about life and the nature of the universe while I'm waiting for the tire place to open.
Once I met a homeless man at the gas station where I worked and gave him my clean laundry basket and all just so he'd have some decent clothes to wear. He turned out to have some kind of mental problem because he would occasionally march around and salute the gas pumps. He NEVER asked for anything and when I did give him money, he'd buy food. I smiled at him and talked with him every day while I watched my favorite jeans deteriorate into rags. I can say my life wouldn't be the same if I hadn't met him. He was crazy in a nice way and knew some amazing stuff. His view of the world made me think differently.
If I was a "Normal" person who thought things through, I might have snubbed him or been too busy with a "real job" to even notice him. That seems like an empty life to me.
I can't say how many interesting conversations I have had during my years standing in line to pay the electric bill before they shut it off.
I once dialed a wrong number 3 times in a row. The lady who answered thought I was hilarious and we wound up going on a few dates.
Have you ever gotten lost in a conversation and found yourself staring at something on the ground that turned out to be a $20.00 bill that 100 people missed? I have.
Ever think it would be a good idea to jump over the stopped train instead of waiting for it to move then find yourself trying to figure out how to jump from a moving train without breaking anything vital before it gets too fast? I have.
Ever find yourself in the St. Johns river paddling a piece of Styrofoam shaped like a boat motor that you got from the dumpster at a marina after the cheap inflatable pool raft you started out on deflated? I have.
The best part of ADHD to me is the part of me that never really grows up. I'm a 38 year old boy. I watch cartoons because they're more interesting than the news. I draw comics and read them and still like to put Batman stickers on my stuff. I have a good job and a nice house and all of that. I'm a responsible citizen and a good father. I just happen to like the same stuff my 6 year old likes. So we spend lots of time together and I love every minute of it. She's a lot like me. She's smart, funny and has her own unique style and sense of humor. She talks a mile a minute and so do I and we keep each other entertained.
My life hasn't all been easy, but it hasn't been boring and I have a million stories that nobody would ever believe could happen in real life. Well, you can have real life. I'll stay in my ADHD world. I can't wait to see what happens next.
ADHD is a permanent condition. He's not broken. He's just different. Embrace it. It's part of his life and it always will be.
Relax a bit. Kids are smarter than you think. Keeping it from him is going to back fire in the future.
You need to come to peace with who he is and how his brain works. Make sure he understands the he's not broken. He can do anything he wants to do, but maybe not the same way most people do. It's OK to be different.
I have a 6 yo daughter. She probably has ADHD too.
It's hard for me to hide anything. I'm just not very good at being stealthy full time. My daughter is very smart. She was bound to notice I take meds that no one else does.
When she asked me why I take them. I just explained it to her in a way she can understand.
I take Memory Medicine (Adderall XR) and Happy Pills (Zoloft).
When she asked me why I can't remember things I told her my brain is too fast and doesn't see what's going on. Just like the car. It's hard to see things when the car is going fast. Same thing. My brain is a race car.
When she asked what the "Happy Pills" are for I explained that I my brain gets grumpy when it has to slow down and wait for the rest of the world to catch up. The medicine reminds my brain to be nice and use good manners.
That's it. I explained that medicine can be poison if we take the wrong kind. The doctor is the only one who can help us find out what we need. If we take other people's meds we could get sick or die.
She's like me. She hates to take medicine unless she must. And even then it's a last resort. She's very careful and reminds me how much cough medicine or kids Motrin she's supposed to get when she's sick. She also helps me remember if I forgot to take my meds.
Remember kids are people not pets. Your job is to raise the kid to live a long happy life on their own. Think of the future and make sure your kid is ready for what life brings.
Relax ADHD can be a lot of fun if you have the right mindset.
Sounds like his dose is too high. I take 40mg a day in 2 doses and I'm a big guy. That seems like a lot for a little kid.
Get to the doc. When the dose is right he'll be normal, just calmer and more polite.
He may be quiet anyway. If he's interested in something but used to get distracted, he'll be able to concentrate on it better when he's taking his meds. But he shouldn't be sad.
I was like that and didn't realize it. My doc has me on anxiety meds along with the Adderall. The difference is huge. I've posted many times that I'd avoid taking my meds every chance I get because it made me feel boxed in. Now I don't feel that way. Adderall makes me feel kind of stuck, like a rusty pair of pliers. Now I take Zoloft too and it's a lot better. I don't feel stuck anymore. I can concentrate but I'm still myself.
Anyway, sorry to babble. Get to the doc and let them know how your son is doing. They need that feedback to get things right.
Listen. I'm nearly twice your age. I wasn't diagnosed until 2 years ago. Go to the doctor.
You're talking about "symptoms" that are right out of the ADHD list. If you do have it, you want to get it under control as soon as you can. If you don't you need to find out what's making you that way and get some help.
First go to your PCP and get a physical to make sure there's nothing else going on and to make sure your blood pressure is OK. Once you've finished that, make an appointment with a psychiatrist who has experience with ADHD.
Your PCP may not be the best choice for a mental health diagnosis. They have a lot to deal with and don't specialize. A psychiatrist is a medical doctor who specializes in the brain. ADHD is a complex condition and you're better off getting the best help you can find.
Don't worry too much. You can get by with ADHD. I'm living proof. I just wish I'd been able to do things on purpose instead of making the best of the situations I'd find myself in.
I wouldn't trade my life for anything, but I wish I'd known about ADHD sooner. I wasted years and years. My life could have been very different if I'd been diagnosed when I was a lot younger. If I were you I'd get on the phone and make an appointment right now.
You have your whole life ahead of you. Make the best of it.
I just read your post again. I think you need to relax.
I know you're worried and you're under stress because of the tension between you and your son, but try to let that go and see what he does in a different light. He's obviously got personality. ADHD people have a different sense of humor sometimes. I know I do. When he's more mature, he'll be able to make you laugh because he'll understand what "normal" people think is funny.
This is just is just a personal theory because of something I noticed in my own extended family.
I recently spent time with my brother and sisters (plural) kids. Most of them have ADHD just like the rest of us (parents aunts, uncles). We were yelled at as kids a lot. We have a tendency to yell first and think later. It's an ADHD thing. Just like your son. The good thing is we have a thick skin about it. It's not easy to push any of us around. Sometimes that's a good thing as an adult.
The thing is I spend a lot of time with my own kid who most likely has ADHD. I watch the same shows she watches.... voluntarily. I admit it. I still watch cartoons as an adult. There I said it. I'm basically a grown up kid in a lot of ways. Everybody says I'm funny. They also say that about my daughter.
Anyway, I noticed that most of the time my dad or my sisters got mad at the kids for being mouthy or rude when the kid was just being funny. I asked niece to do something and she responded with a line from a cartoon. I answered her the same way they do in the show and we both had a great laugh, but my dad was ready to get all worked up until I explained the joke. To him she was being a smart mouth, but she thought she was being funny. I got the joke and we both had a great laugh.
It's the same thing adults do only most adults get the reference if it's from Seinfeld or Eddie Murphy whatever sitcom is funny these days. Like how Steve Martin used to say "Excuuuse meee" or Billy Crystal "You look Mavalous!"
Same thing only kids and cartoons are pretty obnoxious these days.
The reason I'm saying this is you said he "hisses at his enemies." I bet that's hilarious to watch. Can you imagine a bully or school jerk talking trash, then you hiss at him like a cat. That would crack me up.
The day the stock market crashed back in uh... 1986 I think, I almost got beat up by a school bully who didn't like something I'd said. This was 8th grade. Anyway, he started off by talking trash. About 15 minutes later, he was literally crying because I'm really good at talking trash back and most of the kids who had gathered to watch me get turned into hamburger were laughing and pointing at Cecil not me for a change.
Fast forward a lot of years... I'm at work. I'm a tech. One of my fellow techs is this guy who knows everything. Really he does. He's very intelligent and knowledgeable, but he's also obnoxious about it. At this point in our life, my wife also had an evil cat that hated my guts. The cat would hiss at me all the time. I hissed back as a joke. Later when my wife would bother me, I'd hiss at her as a joke. I did that for so long it was instinct. One day at work, Bill was being himself and I'd had enough of it. He started on me about something stupid. I turned around and hissed at him like a cat. You should have seen the look on his face. When I realized what I'd done, I tried to recover by being macho "Yeah! That's right! I said it!" He was in shock. Then we both busted out laughing.
I swear that's true.
I wish I'd been there to see the look on the face of whomever your kid hissed at. That had to be something else.
I'm kind of proud of your kid.
The point is ADHD people don't see things the way other people do. We have a lot to deal with and we're often just as confused about our own behavior as you are. I didn't know I had ADHD until 2 years ago. I learned a long time ago to make lemonade from life's little lemons. When every day is a bad day, you have to laugh about it or you'll cry. lol
So, relax and laugh a little. Having an ADHD kid is fun.View Thread
I was 37 when I was diagnosed. I took the eval, then the doc asked me lots of questions. We talked. I wasn't as open and thorough with my answers as I should have been, so it took a while to figure out if I was ADHD or bipolar.
That was 2 years ago. We had to adjust the meds a lot. I took some other evals and tests. It turns out I have ADHD, Anxiety and ODD with OCD tendencies. I grew up with undiagnosed ADHD. I went through a lot of crap. Apparently it messed me up more than I realized. My therapist kept saying I had OCD, but I didn't believe her. lol She's pretty smart. She tricked me into answering some questions I'd been avoiding. That's how we found out I have Anxiety.
We finally hit on a combination of meds that works great for me. I take Adderall XR twice a day and Zoloft twice a day. I'm a new man. I feel better now than I ever have before.
It turns out the school was right. I am a smart guy. These days I can do literally anything I try. It's weird. I normally can't do basic math beyond what it takes to make change. Now it's no problem. I'm not afraid to try new things anymore. I'm a curious person. I have lots of hobbies and unfinished projects. They're getting finished. lol
If your doc isn't equipped to deal with Adult ADHD, move on. You should see a psychiatrist with Adult ADHD experience. Plenty of Pediatric Psychiatrists will see adult ADHD patients too. They're the best bet. The have a lot more experience with ADHD than your regular PCP. They'll help you figure out if meds will help you or not. Maybe you can get by without them if you learn how to manage your condition. A therapist or psychiatrist can help with that or recommend a place where you can get life skills training.
Don't wait. Make an appointment and get started. Maybe you don't need the meds you take now if your Anxiety is caused by ADHD the ADHD meds might take care of both. I think Adderall kind of made my Anxiety worse. I was avoiding Adderall because of the way it made me feel boxed in. That turned out to be Anxiety. I don't feel boxed in and afraid anymore.