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frazzledparent,

A couple of points that occur to me in this discussion.

I went to an ADD presentation a couple of nights ago, and the subject of drugs came up (there were a lot of concerned parents in the audience). The people who presented this talk said that statistics indicate that ADD kids who grow up [U]without[/U] help for their condition tend to abuse drugs in an attempt to self medicate, "become known to the police", and in general fail to thrive in school and job situations. Drugs are certainly not the answer for every person who is having problems concentrating, but, when the right drug and dosage is found, they [U]can[/U] be a lifesaver.

Another thing to keep in mind is that ADD is not a condition that can be definitively diagnosed like diabetes, where there's a test that says that if your fasting sugar is above a certain number then you definitely should be working with a doctor to get things under control. The symptoms of ADD are similar to the symptoms that everyone has from time to time, just more magnified. The tests for ADD don't have any magic cut-off number, like for cholesterol or blood pressure or thyroid hormones. There is no test that measures any brain chemical or lack therof. It's a matter of degree. If these symptoms, as listed on the ADD tests given by doctors, are so bad that they're seriously interfering with your life, then they can say that you have ADD.

I think it is irrelevant in this case how many people are diagnosed with ADD who "should" simply need a bit of re-training instead of drugs. The issue here is your daughter, not any other child on this planet. If a diagnosis of ADD gives a name to her problems, and thereby gives her an opportunity to find a way to live with her brain wiring, then she at least has somewhere to start from. She is old enough to be able to evaluate whether a particular drug is helping or not. If one doesn't work or has too many side effects, then she can try another. It may vey well be that none of the drugs are appropriate, but no one knows that until they try them. Ads I said, there is no test for too much or too little of some particular brain chemical that would definitively diagnose ADD, so it's trial and error to find one that works.

Yes, she could wind up abusing the drugs or selling them instead of using them. But it is also possible that she really could benefit from a specific drug program along with ADD counseling. As ADDProgrammer said, there's a lot of learning of good habits and unlearning of bad ones that needs to happen. For some of us, it's a LOT easier when we've found a drug to put our brains back into focus.

I'm glad that you're giving your daughter this chance. Keep us posted on what comes out of the doctor's visit.

--Rheanna
Wow, this thread warrants a response on so many levels. I don't know where to start. I imagine that I'll speak for many with ADD/ADHD when I say that the tone of this thread triggered many emotions. The hypercritical description of this young woman along with the general assumptions resonates with the classic description of an ADHD'd kid.

I am hearing of many reasons why she SHOULDN'T be tested. Maybe it is ADHD, maybe it isn't; that is the purpose of an assessment ;)

However, if she has ADHD, I would like to think that her mother would you want her to have the opportunity to management it?? As far as the "damage being done," exactly what damage are you talking about? I [I]really [/I]hope that I am misunderstanding that statement because it sounds like you have said that there is no hope for her.

This is coming from somebody diagnosed with ADD (not ADHD) at 31. I coped well with an A-B average in elementary school. But, by junior high, I could no longer get by on natural ability bec my lack of focus and organization skills were affecting me. Also, add the hormonal and priorities with puberty. "Normal kids" also deal with the issues, but ADHD adds complexity. No two cases of ADD/ADHD are alike, so it is impossible to speculate that a child does not have ADHD bec they functioned well as a child.

While I had difficulties in HS, I regained focus in college. I had to compensate for lack of study skills, but I managed a M.S. degree (3.7). But, I was under so much stress because I was inefficient. My stress level could have been MUCH lower if diagnosed and managed earlier.

Have you done any research on ADHD? I suspect that you have not, but I could be wrong....

Most of the descriptions that you've given (all negative, of course) describe the classic ADHD'd person--pre-diagnosis. Don't think that she is not aware of her issues, especially if she hears the tone of criticism that I've read here.

Back to research, if you have not, there are many great resources. I'd like to suggest [I]"Driven to Distraction"[/I] (Hallowell and Ratey) and/or the author Daniel Amen. I suggest this for you AND your daughter. You may find that it has a healing affect for both of you. I'm aware of the stress that ADHD can cause to a family, but it also causes much pain to the affected person.

Regarding meds: it is a combinations of the meds AND therapy that is optimal. The meds level the playing field, so therapeutic intervention is more effective. Meds are an amoral substance, it's the regulation and attitude towards them that causes the issues. I'm against inappropriately perscribed meds as well, nor do I believe that meds are solely the answer. But, that does not change the legitimacy of them.

If a person has legitimate ADHD, stimulants do not have the same affect with ADHD'd people as the regular population. Believe me, we get no recreational affect. In fact, I get irritated by the idea of non-ADD'd students using them academically because the advantage is so unfair. To us, it adds a calm focus that others take for granted. Yes, stimulants have a calming effect. Curious, how does she respond to caffeine? Many are naturally drawn to caffeine, or worse, further up the line. So, a regulated dose of an Rx stimulant or let them wander into a way of medicating themselves?? Which is better?

Interesting, there seems to be a double standard. Any other organ dysfunction has their conventionally accepted medications. But, w/ the brain, many have their "opinions." about [I]mood altering drugs[/I] :eek: ..unmanaged psych conditons are also mood altering. And-- those neurotransmitters that are altered by the evil med also have other physiological functions as well! Plus, I could name you 10 other systemic drugs that alter moods...but, I digress

Also, as a group, NON-TREATED ADHD'd kids have one of the highest rate of substance abuse. ...[SIZE="2"]I'm sure at least one person in this thread will jump on that without a citation. I can retrieve the reference if needed.... [/SIZE] In addition to self medicating, perhaps a low self image from years of criticism will do it

This response was not intended to be an excuse list for ADHD. It is not my fault that I have ADHD, but I have a responsibility to manage it. Thankfully, I presently have a support system that is not predicting my downfall.

Giving your daughter the benefit of the doubt in regards to her intentions can be the first step.
I think that I will. I was diagnosed two years ago, so the experience is fresh. I get emotional towards the medicine debate.

I was considering doing this, but was thinking of how to do it in a way that wasn't imposing unsolicited advice. I may need a day or two...





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