Ritalin vs Discipline


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Maryland. usa. FINALLY! LOL
now, I dont know what you think of me and I dont really care, but Im gonna share this with you and honestly I DO welcome your responses, both positive and negative.
My sister and I were brought up in the same household........ no one was favoured over the other. We both had children out of wedlock... me first. I was the youngest (at 19) her a little later........ both had boys.... I thought the way I brought my first child up was the same way I was brought up........ she had her first 6 months after me.... Her philosophy is........ dont smack "bob" dont tell him no....etc...... mine was the opposite.... a light smack on the hand etc if he touch something he wasnt suppposedto.( a breakable etc). Now, subsequently all her boys(3_ ) are ADHD or ADD and mine are not. All her boys are similar in age to mine and similar upbringing....... We were both single mums for approx the same time......... My question to you is.......is medication better than discipline..???this is a shortened version of the similiaritites and the differences between us but Im sure you get my drift.. ..... I wanted my secondchild (tyson) to be diagnosed with something............. however the peaditrician said he was clearly above average with his intellligence ...just not his emotions.......... what do you think?
There is a so called disease called Munchausens disease by proxy. The clinicians state that this is a disease in an adult that deliberately inflicts injury on their child as a way of seeking attention. I think there is a bit of this phenomena in the vast bulk of those parents that seem to revel in having their children diagnosed ADHT. I have always thought this ADHT thing to be a lot of nonsense and recently several studies have come to support that view. Yet the drug companies have made fortunes from bribing doctors into prescribing Ritalin and related compounds.

It is clear to me that the societal trend to treat kids as though they are all born super intelligent liberal pacifists is crazy. Here in the UK we are said to have the worst behaved children in Europe. Speaking from personal experience I would say that they are the most selfish and unthoughtful generation to date. I do not think it is because they do not receive physical punishment,in fact I think the worst behaved actually probably receive the most physical chastisement from their parent(s). I think it has a lot more to do with the time spent or ability of a parent to show what love is and the rewards it brings. The family unit is rarely that. A child needs a disciplined environment, boundaries and rules in which to thrive as a peaceable member of society that can understand and appreciate the needs and rights of others. But if a child is essentially allowed to bring itself up, with parents who are either unknown, absent or more interested in TV than their kids then they grow up not knowing anyone else has feelings too. They are then dumped into an education system that has no ability to work with such indiscipline. Most kids who suffer what they call ADHT are to my mind brats that have been allowed to develop that way through neglect. ADHT is a way for the parents to shift personal responsibility and to drug their kids into stop demanding some attention. The drug companies have deliberately exploited this to cash in yet again.

ritalin, aka, methyphenidate, aka, kiddie speed, is a stimulant, which excites the CNS. Its specific action on the brain is unknown. Scientists cannot actually tell us how it works, but supposedly it must- as millions of children worldwide recieve it, and stuff just like it, every day...

it, and many other psychoactive substances, are prescribed to children in the western world simply because drug companies one day in the 1990's decided to exploit a previously untapped market...

As the drug companies discovered a brave new world, so too has the world of child and adolescent psychiatry, and over the past 20 or so years there has been a whole host of new diagnostic catagories to place naughty, troubled, emotionally, behaviourally and/or intellectually impaired children into.

No longer is Bert a brat, or Timmy a timid soul, or Ian an idiot... now they all have psychiatric conditions which will benefit from treatment...

currently, in the UK, there are children as young as eight years old recieving regular antipsychotic medications, uppers, downers, and everything in between...yet there is often no real proof that the agents work, even in adults, and such drugs, prescribed long term, may actually hinder normal brain development and might even cause various important neurotransmitting areas of the brain to wither or become enlarged, which obviously is a problem for the future.

Neuroadaptation happens quite quickly in children- studies have shown that, for instance, for a boy who is severely neglected and treated harshly, and is always stressed, eventually his amagdalae wither, his neural connections become spindly and sparse, and this is supposedly the reason why, as an adult, he will have difficulties processing emotions... this is the result of the stress he experiences as a small child, which has caused some brain abnormalities. Or at least, this is the theory...

Studies have also shown that for adults who are prescribed long-term anti-psychotic medication, their brains differ from those who do not- there is evidence of atrophy of the cerebral cortex, and some abnormalities in the frontal and temporal lobes- all of which are then said to be evidence of schizophrenia being a brain disease, but these signs might actually be iatrogenic deficits, and not a specific neurological feature of the condition itself...

If a child cannot concentrate, it seems silly to dampen his mental functioning even more in the hope this will somehow make things right- if he is hyperactive, then giving him speed seems equally illogical...

But hey, when's logic had anything to do with psychiatry?

as well as this, I do know first hand of a handful of parents who will deliberately try to get their normal children diagnosed with psychiatric conditions so they will be able to claim additional monies from welfare, and they will lie to doctors and feed their kids with additives all week to try and encourage their hyperactivity- not like in cases of Munchausens-by-proxy, but simply so they can play the system, and gain financially...

sheesh...what does that say about us, as a society...?

as well as this... a lot of parents would like their children to receive a daignosis, not so they can gain financially, but so they can receive some kind of assistance from the state in managing their childs' unruly behaviour and will happily grasp the notion that Bert isn't just a little brat, and has a condition to excuse his past behaviour and hope that there is treatment, and he can recover, instead of being a jailbird, or dead at 20...

I don't think we can lay the blame firmly at the door of anyone- especially parents... I think its a global problem- we equip kids to be faster and proccess information at a much higher rate than 50 years ago, they have high speed IT connections and mobile phones, 10 years olds are programing web pages, they are working things out quicker, the period of innocence and trust is shorter, young people are reaching puberty earlier, part of it is a natural evolution, part of it is due to how we now market products to children and treat them like adult consumers... we give children rights, and they learn how to exploit the system far quicker than we adults do... each successive generation says the same thing... ohh, it wasn't like that in my day...

and they're right, it wasn't...

its called progress...

I am pretty anti-prescription drugs for children, and not just because I was misdiagnosed and overmedicated for most of my teen years, doing much better now that I'm not taking anything. I think medications prescribed far too freely for children that don't need them. At the same time, in terms of discipline I think it depends largely on the child. I was physically disciplined and it was a traumatic experience for me, probably in part because of my hypersensitivities and difficulty recognizing unspoken rules.

I think that the main thing is discipline, not physical discipline. I don't think saying "No" will be enough with very many children, if any. There should be consequences for a child's actions.
full disclosure I am quite anti ritalin

I think the fact that the US consumes so much of it is evidence that it is our issue and not that of our children.

Both my kids were recommended to go on Ritalin and discussions/arguments ensued with me, my wife, the doctor and the school. No, won out, and they are well adjusted, smart kids with good discipline over all. (note, they are still kids, still fight with each other, still make mistakes, and they are only 15, plenty of chance to grow...ie votes aren't all in) Others I know who have kids on Ritalin deal with/complain about having two children, when they are drugged and when they are not, as some doctors are now recommending the kids don't take it during weekends, holidays. I also deal with these kids on camping trips with scouts, as some of them aren't being medicated while they are out with us....such fun the yo-yo trip they are on.

All that being said, I'm not willing to second guess any parent in this regard. I'd love it if they didn't, I'd love it if it went away, but I don't live in their shoes.
Study: Anti-psychotic drug use soars among U.S. and U.K. kids - CNN.com
In the U.K. study, anti-psychotics were prescribed for 595 children at a rate of less than four per 10,000 children in 1992. By 2005, 2,917 children were prescribed the drugs at a rate of seven per 10,000 -- a near-doubling, said lead author Fariz Rani, a researcher at the University of London's pharmacy school.

The study is being released Monday in the May edition of the journal Pediatrics.

By contrast, an earlier U.S. study found that nearly 45 American children out of 10,000 used the drugs in 2001 versus more than 23 per 10,000 in 1996.
Now the interesting thing is it only compares these two countries...when if we compared to the rest of the world I believe we'd be far removed from typical, here are some more quotes

Today, 90% of the Ritalin worldwide sales are based in the United States (Morning Edition, National Public Radio, September 18, 2000). In addition, last year U.S. doctors wrote 20 million prescriptions for amphetamines on a monthly basis (The New York Times, August 19, 2001).

Recently, concerns also have surfaced about children between the ages of two and four. The Journal of the American Medical Association (February 23, 2000) reported that the use of Ritalin to treat ADHD in this age group doubled between. 1991-1995. This trend is alarming because it may suggest an overuse of the medication to solve typical behavioral problems. Further, Ritalin is only approved for children six years of age and older (The New York Times, March 23,2000).

Novartis, the Swiss manufacturer of Ritalin, acknowledges that the drug has not been approved for use with children younger than six. However, Ritalin has been used safely and effectively in the treatment of millions of older children for 40 years, and few other medications can make this claim (The New York Times, March 21, 2000).

Equally alarming are recent print advertising campaigns by drug manufacturers of Ritalin and of other amphetamines. According to Terry Woodworth of the Drug Enforcement Administration, "We have had a 30-year agreement with the pharmaceutical industry not to advertise controlled substances" (The New York Times, August 19, 2001).

In another related matter, a Dallas law firm has filed a lawsuit alleging that Novartis fraudulently over-promoted Ritalin. The suit suggests that Novartis has failed to adequately disclose a wide range of side effects of Ritalin, including cardiovascular and central-nervous system problems (The Wall Street Journal, May 15, 2000).
Furthermore, some public schools are accusing parents of child abuse when they refuse to place their child on Ritalin and are taking parents to court. Psychology Professor William Frankenberger of the University of Wisconsin says of this trend, "It's disturbing to take a decision like that out of parents' hands" (USA Today, August 8, 2000).
I'll make it even more interesting. My mom was diagnosed with narcolepsy and they prescribed her methylphenidate which is ritalin like it was stated earlier in the thread. She turned into a junkie on them and on occasion she would give them to me to help me stay awake when I worked nights... let me tell you all something.. I tried crank (meth) about 10 years ago and Ritalin has the exact same effect as crank minus the nastiness.. Its basically a clean street drug. It was the EXACT same effect.... it completely takes all inhibitions away and turns you into a tweeker... I tell every parent I hear that has their kid on it to run FAR away... but they wont listen to me because it temporarily solves their problems with their children. Its horrible and EVIL... I cant believe what we let people do to our kids :mad:
There is a difference between kids who are acting out for lack of proper discipline and kids with ADD and ADHD. On one level children have to be trained like any household pet. If this sounds shocking you probably don't have kids. But physical punishment quickly becomes counter productive as soon as it becomes routine. I want my kids to understand that I'm human, and if you push me too far you'll be sorry. I'm not Buddha, and I'll spank your ass if I have to. But authority is always mostly a bluff. You can't push the bad cop routine too far without blowing what you're trying to accomplish. Kids need to have fun. They need to b active and intellectually simulated. Kids with attention deficit disorders especially need stimulating outdoor activities. Most discipline problems in children within otherwise healthy environments arise from boredom. Look at it this way: Ritalin has always been a kind of tree house substitute. Hyperactive kids need to run around in the woods, ride their bikes for miles, and do all the things urban and even suburban kids nowadays can't do.

thanks guys for sharing. There are some very interesting views on this topic. Another thing to add to the mix ...... is the idea of...... "im not doing to my kids what my parents did to me"........ That I can understand , to a degree. My mum used the ironing cord and the strap. and other stuff, ( i thought i was good when she broke the wooden spoon on my butt) unfortunately she had a back up spoon (LOL). ouch. My boys have had discipline from me.... a smack or two. I never used the strap etc........ i wouldnt on mine....... and thankfully, i never have had to consider it. They are good boys. . But i think some people fall into the trap of not disciplining their kids at all because they may have been over disciplined as a child and are subsequently trying to overcompensate. Of course, some people suffer greatly as childdren and then turn into horrible parents because they cant cope with the responsibility and things that are needed to raise kids. Im no expert, and Im still trying and learning and making mistakes,,,,, but so far the boys are doing ok, so far.........