Ask any medical authority or pediatric association about the limitations and side effects of stimulants for ADHD and they will all agree that they are not the complete answer to the ADHD problem. The reality, though, is very different. Doctors are still prescribing these stimulants such as Ritalin and Adderall as if they were the only answer to the problem. In effect, they are really only a very partial answer and they should be used sparingly, if at all.
The problems with psychostimulantsare many and varied. It is estimated that about 30% of children will be unable to tolerate the side effects. These include :-
weight loss due to loss of appetite
As these medications are stimulants, the whole nervous system, heart and brain are all very artificially stimulated and the effects are sometimes very far reaching. It is not surprising really but the strange thing is that the paradoxical effect they have on the child’s attention span and hyperactivity.
Parents have to be well informed before deciding on which type of medication they should use for their kids. A good handbook to help them with that decision is:-
Although they are stimulating the brain, the effects are a calming down and hyperactivity is certainly less noticeable. The alarming fact is that they may alleviate the effects of this mental condition but they never really cure or even treat it in any permanent way. The other factor is that their effects over the long term on a child’s brain are simply unknown. There is also another disturbing fact in that the effects of the drugs tend to wear off after three years.
It is at this point that many parents realize that the really effective treatment has escaped them or that they were not told. The answer to all their problems with psychostimulants can be solved by simply using behavior modification, green time and exercise plus watching diet carefully. More and more research is now pointing to the fact that ADHD alternative therapy such as ADHD homeopathic remedies are just so much safer, more effective and create no problems at all.
Robert Locke MBE is a health enthusiast specializing in children's health and has written extensively on ADHD, parenting and mental health issues.
He is a contributor to Quora, Lifehack, The Good Men Project, Liberal America and How to Learn.
He has written "Facts About ADHD Children - Tips for ADHD Parenting" on Amazon. He has also published children' s stories (Ziger The Tiger series) , also available on Amazon.
After a long career in Italy in teaching and management with the British Council, he was awarded an MBE by Queen Elizabeth II for outstanding achievement in December 2005. He still lives in Italy where he writes and teaches.