Treating ADHD with drug therapy versus non-drug therapy is a hotly debated topic. Some people believe that ADHD is a made up illness and that parents that treat their children with ADHD medications are poisoning them. Other people believe that not treating ADHD with medication is irresponsible. The debate in the lay community for and against ADHD drug treatment can be contentious and divisive. At its best, adhd Milwaukee these debates are enlightening and helpful but at their worst they are mean spirited and ugly.
As with most opinions, both sides have good points to make but getting one camp to objectively look at the other camp’s point of view is not easy. There is a good reason for this. Flexible thinking is an executive function skill and it does not come easily to people with ADHD. Some believe that you either believe in treating ADHD with drugs or you don’t and there is no room for shades of gray in this debate.
I once challenged someone to consider thinking of ADHD treatment in a more nuanced way and the response that I got was this. “Shades of gray advice is irresponsible because it confuses parents of kids with ADHD into thinking that they can treat their kids with homeopathy and Health Food Store remedies and other treatments that don’t work.” I believe this attitude to be patronizing. It assumes that parents of kids with ADHD cannot understand a message that is not black and white.
I am a health care worker. I know for a fact that patients and parents can understand “shades of gray” health care advice. Medicine is an art as much as a science and there are many health conditions where the advice given depends on individual factors and where a “one size fits all” treatment plan is not helpful. Medical treatment advice must be clearly explained, the treatment response must be monitored, file transfer free you must be available to answer questions regarding the treatment and most importantly, you need to avoid patronize the people that you are advising.
It is my belief that many patients benefit from ADHD drug therapy and that the majority of patients will get the most ADHD symptom relief from a combination of treatments. Drug therapy is not right, non-drug treatment is not wrong. They are both right and wrong depending on every individual’s symptoms and circumstances.
The saddest ADHD statistic is this. The majority of patients with a diagnosis of ADHD are not on any treatment. Of the patients prescribed medication, two thirds of them, despite debilitating ADHD symptoms, will no longer be taking their prescription medication a year after it is prescribed. Some will stop because of side effects, for some, the medicine will not help their symptoms, and others will stop for other reasons. For patients who cannot or will not take prescription medication, other treatments must be tried. Fortunately, other ADHD treatments exist that compliment or sometimes can even replace drug therapy. Many non-drug therapies better prepare people with ADHD with specific daily challenges such as organization deficits, social problems and emotional control. Parents are encouraged to educate themselves regarding these other treatments.