Pass the Ritalin Please

Methylphenidate.  Ritalin.  Concerta.  Etc...  THE MOST PRESCRIBED MEDICATION FOR KIDS AGES 12-17. What in the world?

I guess I'm kind of shocked and then again, maybe I'm not as shocked.  ADHD is on the rise.  There's no doubt about it.  I worry about it in my own children, and I also worry that I'll dismiss any possible behavior ADHD-like to just being a kid.  I waver between the parents that over react to those that don't.

I remember when I was in pharmacy school, we would joke around that Sesame Street caused ADHD.  If Sesame Street caused it, you know that crazy shows like Yo Gabba Gabba with seizure-like strobes and constant music in your face jumping from topic to topic will cause it!  There are links to video games and ADHD.  There are links to TV and ADHD.  Scary considering even my vehicle has a TV in it helping to ease the kids on the way to visit the grandparents.

But, then there's the argument of what ADHD even is.  I know in retail pharmacy, a pharmacist has GOT to be able to juggle several different things at once.  I remember having a telephone in my ear, writing something down, and answering someone at the register all simultaneously.  I am a multitasking extraordinary gal.  But even on webmd, look at these signs of adult ADHD:

1.  Adult ADHD Problem No. 1: Difficulty Getting Organized

For people with ADHD, the increased responsibilities of adulthood -- bills, jobs, and children, to name a few -- can make problems with organization more obvious and more harmful than in childhood. While some ADHD symptoms are more annoying to other people than to the person with the condition, disorganization is often identified by adults struggling with ADHD as a major detractor that affects their quality of life.

SERIOUSLY?  There are not enough hours in the day to be organized with two small children and a full-time job.  I bet that the majority of all parents fall into this category.

2.  Adult ADHD Problem No. 2: Reckless Driving and Traffic Accidents

Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder makes it hard to keep your attention on a task, so spending time behind the wheel of a car can be difficult. ADHD symptoms can make some people more likely to speed, have traffic accidents, and lose their driver’s licenses.

Speeding?  Ok, yes I may find myself rushing to work because there was an epic meltdown at the daycare and I am late for work.  Especially since I clock in to work.  Seriously?  Let's not even mention most of the moms out there or a lot of them that text and drive.  Ok, so maybe I haven't had a traffic accident or lost my license, but maybe I was just lucky.

3.  Adult ADHD Problem No. 3: Marital Difficulties

Many people without ADHD have marital problems, of course, so a troubled marriage shouldn’t be seen as a red flag for adult ADHD. But there are some marriage problems that are particularly likely to affect the relationships of those with ADHD. Often, the partners of people with undiagnosed ADHD take poor listening skills and an inability to honor commitments as a sign that their partner doesn’t care. If you’re the person suffering from ADHD, you may not understand why you’re partner is upset, and you may feel you’re being nagged or blamed for something that’s not your fault.

Marital problems?  This again is vague.  You are going to have marital problems trying to juggle all that is life.

4.  Adult ADHD Problem No. 4: Extreme Distractibility

Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder is a problem with attention regulation, so adult ADHD can make it difficult to succeed in today’s fast-paced, hustle-bustle world. Many people find that distractibility can lead to a history of career underperformance, especially in noisy or busy offices. If you have adult ADHD, you might find that phone calls or email derail your attention, making it hard for you to finish tasks.

Uh... yeah.  This is me.  But isn't this everyone????

5.  Adult ADHD Problem No. 5: Poor Listening Skills

Do you zone out during long business meetings? Did your husband forget to pick up little Jimmy at baseball practice, even though you called to remind him on his way home? Problems with attention result in poor listening skills in many adults with ADHD, leading to a lot of missed appointments and misunderstandings.

Ok, so maybe hubby forgot because he was up all night with a teething toddler?  Maybe I zone out during meetings because I'm just TIRED.  Ever think of that one?

6.  Adult ADHD Problem No. 6: Restlessness, Difficulty Relaxing

While many children with ADHD are “hyperactive,” this ADHD symptom often appears differently in adults. Rather than bouncing off the walls, adults with ADHD are more likely to show restlessness or find they can’t relax. If you have adult ADHD, others might describe you as edgy or tense.

Who has time to relax?  I'm still trying to organize as in #1!!!

7.  Adult ADHD Problem No. 7: Difficulty Starting a Task

Just as children with ADHD often put off doing homework, people with adult ADHD often drag their feet when starting tasks that need a lot of attention. This procrastination often adds to existing problems, including marital disagreements, workplace issues, and problems with friends.

I can start a task... it's finishing!!!

THE LIST GOES ON.

So basically I'm just trying to point out that life with small children and working is going to make any adult seem to be suffering from these symptoms.  Children?  I believe that so much more is expected of them at school and they are fighting within themselves to listen and be still during school.

We are RUSHING to use medications as a quick fix.  How about find out WHY little Johnny is having trouble at school?  How about some behavioral therapy?  How about having a good school?  How about not just turning to medications that have some pretty bad side effects?  You don't want to stunt your kids' growth right?  Methylphenidate may slow children's growth or weight gain. Your child's doctor will watch his or her growth carefully.  Along with other side effects listed on the link above.

We need to take this study seriously.

Too Stupid to Be Free?

Memorization, the Power of Mnemonics