ADHD And Its Treatments
ADHD stands for Attention Deficit and Hyperactivity Disorder. This is a common disorder affecting much of America’s youth. There are many ways to treat this disorder. In order to understand the proper way to treat ADHD you must know the side effects, user’s opinion, and advantages of the common medical treatments Concerta, Ritalin, and Adderall as well as examples, user’s opinions, and disadvantages of the natural treatments.
Concerta is a central nervous system stimulant. It affects chemicals in the brain and nerves that contribute to hyperactivity and impulse control. All drugs have their dangers and side effects however only some of the children taking Concerta complained about the mild side effects such as headache and abdominal pain. These side effects are only received by children on higher doses such as 54mg and 72mg. There is also some appetite loss even with the lower doses. (Concerta.net) Most people who use this drug as well as the people around them see an improvement in their behavior, schoolwork, and all around happiness. One mother says “My son is very active at home even while on this medication he seems happier overall and you can tell if he misses a day or two. I was a skeptic,
now I’m a believer.” A patient says “So I really like Concerta. It is easy to swallow and I didn’t have any really bad side effects when I first started using it. My mom and dad have seen huge results. And I can handle my mind much better. My grades have gone up too. I started using it when I was 11 and it has worked very well.” (webmd.com) There is research to back up the facts that kids who take Concerta to manage their ADHD score better on math exams as well as perform more math problems with accuracy each day. In teens studies have shown that Concerta increases attention in everyday activities such as homework, chores, and even driving. Concerta also helps manage social interactions such as talking to the opposite sex or to an authority figure. (concerta.net)
Ritalin is a brand name of Methylphenidate which is a stimulant used to treat ADHD. Headache, stomach pain, loss of appetite, trouble sleeping, dizziness, nausea, vomiting, lightheadedness, irritability, nervousness, blurred vision, dry mouth, constipation, and drowsiness may occur. However most symptoms are rare and only occur when the drug is used improperly. Despite the list of side effects many people find Ritalin to be an effective way to treat their ADHD. Overall the users of Ritalin that have ADHD rate the drug with four of five stars in all the three categories, effectiveness, ease of use, and satisfaction. A parent of a child using Ritalin says “My son took this drug for about 5 years, it really
Worked, and He was able to control himself in school and with the other kids. He was able to sit in class and do his work.” A teen using Ritalin says “I am who I am because of it and people around me can stay around me and want to be my friends.”(webmd.com) Some advantages of Ritalin are that Ritalin definitely stimulates the body to stay awake and focused, this awakened state lasts for some hours, and it does not interfere with depression drugs which are often prescribed to ADHD sufferers. (cja-jca.org)
Adderall is a pharmaceutical stimulant, which affects the central nervous system, composed of mixed amphetamine salts. The drug is used primarily to treat ADHD. Although side effects are mild and generally rare people taking this drug may experience loss of appetite, trouble sleeping, loss of sex drive, weight loss, and bad breath.(drugs.com) Adderall is one of the most popular drugs used to treat ADHD. A college student says “I wasn’t diagnosed with ADD until my sophomore year of college. I was finally able to concentrate, organize, and FINISH tasks. I could read w/o back tracking, and actually remember what I had read. I did notice that I would become easily aggravated (mostly in the afternoon) and somewhat OCD at times…However, I found that keeping an established routine of eating breakfast + snacks and getting a full 8 hours of sleep a night greatly diminished those side effects.” Some of the
advantages of Adderall are fewer side effects, longer duration of action, and greater relief with a smaller dose.
There is also a natural side to ADHD medications. These include herbs, nutritional substances, and a certain diet.
Herbal remedies can be drank in teas or bought in a capsule form. Some familiar herbs believed to help ADHD are alfalfa, catnip, ginger root, hops, kelp, lavender, rosemary, and ginseng. Unfortunately while these herbs do have a calming affect they are hard to control and can only help for a short time. (Natural treatments for ADHD, 251-256) Some people choose to use nutritional substances to manage their ADHD. Minerals are the most important part of nutritional supplements. They help all the vitamins, proteins, amino acids, and enzymes function properly which can lead to a less hyper child. Calcium, iron, magnesium, copper, lithium, potassium, and zinc are just a few minerals essential to this process. They can be mixed with other non-common substances like GABA which is shown to decrease hyper activity. (Natural treatments for ADHD, 259-272) There is also a diet for people who have ADHD. It consists of foods containing substances mentioned above. It stresses the point that kids with ADHD should stay away from foods that do make you hyper. Such foods that contain caffeine, sugar, and other energy supplements should be avoided. (The ADHD diet)
There are no facts to back up any of the natural treatments. Minimal studies have been made and this is blamed on medical people not taking the time to look over natural remedies. True most of these natural remedies will calm you down. However, none of them can control your central nervous system and keep you calm and focused throughout an entire day on just one dosage. (Natural treatments for ADHD) Natural remedies have many disadvantages. They can not control the body and therefore are only temporary. To become largely affective they must be used in large quantities. Also, if mixed with the wrong substances these natural remedies may even kill you.
The argument almost makes itself. ADHD pills are proven to work and have minimal side effects. They also have many advantages. Ease and satisfaction are only two of those many. However the Natural medications are not proven to work and do not have the advantages of the pills. Natural remedies are a dangerous and reckless way to attempt to manage ADHD. They can cost you your life if not used properly and they must be taken in large quantities. Why risk it? If you needed to use these natural herbs, diets, and supplements your doctor would prescribe them to you and there would be no pills. However it is between you and your physician to decide the proper way to most effectively treat your ADHD.
16 Mar. 2008
“Adderall.” 16 Mar. 2008
Bell, Rachel, and Dr. Howard Peiper. The ADHD Diet. East Canaan: New Century, 2000.
“Concerta Coments.” 16 Mar. 2008
Concerta.Net. 16 Mar. 2008
Weintraub, Skye. Natural Treatments for ADHD. Pleasant Grove: Woodland, 1997.