Saturday, July 23, 2005

Pills

I realize I am going to get hate comments for this one, but you are really wasting your typing. I feel this way, and I'm saying it.

I have made fun of the Tom Cruise/Brooke Shields drug dispute. And don't get me wrong -- Cruise deserves it while advocating his pseudo-religion.

But Cruise, Kelly Preston and the rest of them are crusading for one good cause, even if they are doing it because of Scientology.

There are too many kids on drugs today. We have psychologists giving babies - not kids - babies and toddlers, adult anti-depressents. We have entire school systems that think pressuring parents into drugging their kids is the way to handle discipline. We put these kids on cocaine like drugs and wonder why they shoot up their school and then themselves.

Kids need many things, but they need these two things: discipline and outlets of expression. The drugs are killing both. We frown on drugs as mood alterers for adult recreation. Yet, all too many applaud it and accept it for their kids.

If your kid is on Ritlin or some other ADD or psychological mood drug, you are an abusive parent. I don't want to be misunderstood, so let me keep it simple: I think ADD is as real as the religion fighting these drugs. There is no valid reason to give a kid these drugs. Quit drugging your kid and start parenting him. Turn off the TV, teach some discipline and make him or her exercise his excess energy away.

And I really don't want to hear about how your kid is different. No one was on these drugs when I was a kid, and no one thought there was a crisis. At risk of insensitivity, your kid is not different (maybe a .00001 % chance he or she is different).

Now go on to your anti-depressants and TV and forget you read this, if you even made it this far.

39 Comments:

At 1:05 PM, Blogger a former european said...

I totally agree, KJ. Whenever I see some kid with "ADD", there's almost always a crappy parent who couldn't raise a hampster properly, much less a child.

Our society, however, has been trained to accept psychobabble such as the idea that no one is ever to blame or at fault for anything.

The corollary principle to "it's never your fault" is that no one needs to accept responsibility for anything in our blameless new world.

Much easier to blame an imaginary "disease" and drug your kid to the gills rather than take the time to turn off Oprah and Dr. Phil and actually train/discipline your child.

 
At 1:24 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

What are your thoughts on adults taking medication for such cases as you state? Things like ADD, depression, anxiety, etc? *Back in the day* I know these weren't used for (what could be called) common problems everyone faces at some point in life.

It seems to me that as meds came on the scene for these things that the discipline or *ability to work through* vanished/wasn't taught to the younger generations.

How would you handle a situation where an adult was not taught how to handle stress, etc., as a child and who now has to battle it alone without parents to tell him/her what to do?

I do agree that the children today are drugged too much and not taught **by their parents!** how to behave/learn. What I don't know is how to combat the problem in order to fix the millions of people out there who would float out into space without their drugs.

Lisa

 
At 2:19 PM, Blogger tee bee said...

I had a kid who was through-the-roof rambunctious. He was many megawats of bundled energy, coupled with a learning disability that went long undiscovered (key side-effects: easily frustrated & impulsive behavior). The teachers soon learned not to even talk to me about meds. But we were always behind the curve with him; we turned to homeschooling during highschool, which was the best thing we ever did, both for him and for his "gifted" brother. My trouble boy had a verbal IQ of about 130, but a performance IQ of 90. Rough days. I know I couldn't bear the changed kid I would have had on my hands under Ritalin, but I've wondered from time to time if he didn't suffer because of my stiff resolve.

Then again, I come up against an "anti-med" establishment for adult treatment. They teach nursing students to be wary of "med-seekers." The result is that one should pray never to be in pain as an adult, because the medical community is happy to help heal you, they just don't want to get caught up in dealing with pain, convinced that everyone treated for pain will become a junkie. What an undeserved and pointless problem they add by doing this so hypervigilantly. I cringe at the thought of growing old if things don't change.

 
At 2:52 PM, Blogger KJ said...

lisa,

I don't have the same concern for adults on mood drugs. I think doctors are too quick to prescribe them, and I think we are becoming a nation of wussies, and the psychology and pharmacology communities are behind that movement pushing every step of the way. Why do we send counselors into schools every time some kid drives into a tree? Ridiculous.

tee bee,

I was not talking about pain. My experience (as a defender of PI claims brought by people) is that there are plenty of doctors willing to give you meds whether you need them or not. But I also know there are the "everyone is a malinger" doctors out there too.

 
At 4:59 PM, Blogger spd rdr said...

No. Hell no. And No Hell No.
When I lived in Georgia in the early 1980's, the teachers were only too quick to term my son and other boys as qualified for Ritalin. It was a mind-bending experience to convince them otherwise.
What has he done?
Well, he wasn't paying attention.
And? What have you got say about that?
He should be paying attention.
Was he disruptive?
No. He was talking in class and running around in the playground...against the rules.
And how old is he?
Six.
So he needs drugs?
Yes. It makes it easier for him to pay attention.
Easier for who?
Us.
Screw you.

Anytime you need to medicate your audience in order to carry your curriculum you are either a late night comedian or a "world music" professor.
This crap is nuts. I said no then. I say no now.
Stop drugging our children.

 
At 1:20 AM, Blogger tee bee said...

KJ, I know you weren't talking about the broader subject. But I think too much is put in the hands of people because they have med degrees. The system has a lot of problems, and approaches to medication at both ends of the life spectrum need to be revamped.

Mr. Speedy - couldn't have said it better myself.

 
At 9:20 AM, Blogger Jehane said...

My favorite was my oldest son's 1st grade teacher. Remember those Calvin & Hobbes cartoons where he was sitting in class imagining his teacher as this huge Martian monster?

His teacher used to call me at the end of the day and say, "Mrs. Cassandra, did you by any chance read Calvin & Hobbes today?"

I still have a lot of his 1st grade papers where he was told to write about Cinderella and he killed her off in the first sentence and then the rest of the story was about Blor and his tornado remote control that took over the universe...

Heh...

 
At 9:26 AM, Blogger tee bee said...

I hope that kid is working on high-tech defense weaponry somewhere...

 
At 11:48 AM, Blogger Jehane said...

It's far, far worse.

He's a cop :) But a nice one. I'm very proud of him.

 
At 1:02 AM, Anonymous Dr. Harden Stuhl said...

Sorry - but calling a parent "abusive" is far from the correct terminology. Anymore than calling somone not familar with torts a "githead". Nobody asks for ADD/or similar. It thrusts many parents and their children into a world that is very unfamilar and scary. Many family/HMO Doctors who are emotionaly involved [although we try not to be]are maybe one or two steps above that but just as scared and confused. While I may agree with the gist of your arguments. [We are an over medicated society and schools should be totally uninvolved]. I have also seen many medical cases, where it is a situation that may bring physical harm to a patient/child. Whether it is self afflicted or otherwise. It then becomes an extremely difficult call for many physicians and especially parents. I think labeling everyone in that category just isn't applicable or fair. I never liked generic medical terms - or for that matter generic labels - unless it pertains to the French or Democrats - then it is okay.;) Anyway,each patients case is different.Any good Doctor will tell you that. You would be amazed how different. Some of ytou should be ashamed of yourselves hehe..

I believe each child that suffers from ADD/or similar should be treated the same way as different medical conditions. Some are physical(genetic.. etc,), some definitely pertain to diet and social stimuli.Whatever the call I find that more and more medical professionals don't want to just throw medicine at until they have a good understanding of the whole situation. I do realise that there are exceptions.Just like good lawyers...hehehe


For someone that does have questions regarding above and ADD - I would suggest that you contact any of the places below. A well educated parent/and child is what should be the inevitable outcome and it is okay not to know everything.Nobody does. That is why we have organizations like these below. The pool of information has become enormous and it is there for the taking. In closing - prayer helps, Wild Turkey and I might also recommend a good Doctor. Preferably a conservative...


American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry
3615 Wisconsin Avenue, N.W.
Washington, DC 20016-3007
Phone: (202) 966-7300
www.aacap.org

American Academy of Pediatrics
141 Northwest Point Blvd.
Elk Grove Village, IL 60007-1098
Phone: (847) 434-4000
www.aap.org

American Psychological Association
750 First Street, N.E.
Washington, DC 20002-4242
Phone: (202) 336-5510
Toll-free: 1-800-374-2721
www.apa.org

Center for Healthier Children, Families, and Communities
1100 Glendon Ave., Suite 850
Los Angeles, CA 90024
Phone: (310) 794-2583
healthychild.ucla.edu

National Institute of Mental Health: Treatment of Children with Mental Disorders
6001 Executive Blvd.
Room 8184, MSC 9663
Bethesda, MD 20892-9663
Phone: (301) 443-4513
www.nimh.nih.gov/publicat/childqa.cfm
Report from NIMH on the treatment of children with mental/emotional disorders; includes sections on medications and other treatments; info on commonly-prescribed psychotropic medications, side effects, and the approved ages for prescriptions.

 
At 10:01 AM, Blogger KJ said...

Dr.,

Just as I am a little kinder to the Imperial Judges than you, I expect you to be a little kinder to the shrinks:-)

"I think labeling everyone in that category just isn't applicable or fair."

Yeah, but generalizations are so much easier than a bunch of caveats. :-P

Like I said, .00001% may have an actual problem. But of course, the millions doing this to their kids think they are that small percentage, and they aren't. The symtoms of this "disease" are all consistent with being a child.

I have never heard an anecdotal from someone who said "no" to the drugs (see, Cass and spd above) who didn't think it turned out just fine the old fashioned way. And my point is not to lump in kids who are OCD, schitzophrenic or bipolar. I'm talking about ADD and its other numerous letter abreviations.

I am also shocked frankly at the lack of hate comments from this post. No one is as defensive about his or her conduct as a parent drugging his or her child.

 
At 11:44 AM, Blogger Masked Menace© said...

The symtoms of this "disease" are all consistent with being a child.

More properly, the symptoms of this "disease" are all consistent with being a male child.

 
At 12:28 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Masked menace, I think I would agree with you. Although, I do know I had a very hard time focusing as a child (still do some days). Once my first question was met I was off on some other tangent.
I don't have children, so I can't argue on that point, but I am on anti-depressants. Have been off and on for about two years. Stress at work and other complications brought me to this point. I've had some major life-altering events occur in the last two years which have kept me on my meds (cause who knows where I'd be without them).
The reason I take these meds is the same reason I take IB when I need it, the meds help me take care of a problem so I can go on with my life.
Granted, I am 25 and not under my parents watch, so this hardly fits the topic. But it is important. Sooner or later the whole country will be on meds because the French (or whatever stimuli ticks you off) have been screaming in our ears too long. Since *some members* of our government can't/won't stand up and tell them to shove it (because this is our country) and the liberals want us to be sheep, this trend will continue. Leadership starts at the top, and if the parents of this country only see their leaders *pass the buck* who will stop them (the parents) from doing the same (with their children).
Lisa

 
At 12:31 PM, Anonymous Hummer said...

True, MM, which is why so many more boys than girls are put on these drugs. Of course, some say that is b/c girls with the disorder may exhibit the "quiet" symptoms, and thus go unnoticed. I actually read at "pro-ADHD" sites that the Nat. Ins. Mental Health that ADHD is the most common mental disorder of kids, with 3-5% of all kids having it. Yeah, 3-5%. Give me a break.

One site I went to suggests that girls are underdiagnosed. They all tald about drugs first, other treatment second. None can identify a "test" -- only a bunch of people subjective answering to a list of factors, like:

Does your child daydream more than others her age?

Is he more forgetful or disorganized than his peers?

Does she seem to have more uncontrolled energy than her friends?

Is he always losing things?

Has the teacher complained that your child is struggling academically, or that she pays more attention to the birds outside the window than to her schoolwork?

With my on board, wireless computer, I found stats like this, which ought to make you pause:

From 1990-1995 there is a 250% increase in Ritalin (methylphenidate) use in the US.

By 1997, there is a 700% increase in Ritalin use.

The production of Adderall and Dexedrine, also used to treat ADHD, has risen 2,000 percent in nine years.

Spending on ADHD drugs has increased 122% over the past two years.

The U.S. produces and consumes about 85 percent of the world's production of methylphenidate.

The last one is whopper. Other countries have free health care and drugs but don't prescribe the meds like here in the US. Why?

I think the answer lies in the American psychological associations and the teacher's unions. But that's just one car's opinion.

 
At 1:55 PM, Blogger Masked Menace© said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

 
At 2:18 PM, Blogger Masked Menace© said...

Lisa,
I had (have) the same problem focusing. Up until about the 3rd grade I was a C student. I now have a BS in Math (Cum Laude) and an MS in Statistics. My problem wasn't a disease (although today would have probably qual'd as ADD) I was friggin' bored out of my mind.

Little boys tend to be active, as a general rule they don't like sitting patiently in their chairs quietly staring at nothing for very long. For some reason completely beyond me, it seems that the girls have an easier time with that.

Instead of adapting our classrooms to handle both type of reactions we've insisted that the boys behave like the girls and punish them when they don't. (Because there's absolutely no difference between the sexes, and naturally we can't have the girls acting like the hegemonic oppressors of the world.)

As for anti-depressents, my take is a mixed review. In my immediate family (6 people) 3 are on them and one would need to be if he hadn't discovered that abstention of caffiene went a LONG way to solving the problem. The family correlation suggests a genetic cause, and thus, a chemical imbalance issue. There has been a dramatic (positive) change in one family member after taking the drugs. I won't say that it's saved a life, but it's probably fairly close.

On the other hand, the LG has also been diagnosed with depression, but refuses to be medicated for it and I support that decision with every ounce of my being. Without going into details, her feelings of worthlessness are not due to a chemical imbalance, it was taught to her repeatedly by people who were very effective teachers. She no more has a disease than a beaten dog who's learned to cower does. Medicating her and declaring her "cured" would be an injustice. Sure it would give the appearance of normalcy, but it would only be sweeping the dirt under the carpet. There would be a nice clean new exterior while the interior that is the bride I love would be allowed to rot away. The years of therapy (both singly and together) have done much to overcome much of her depression. She still struggles with it on occasion, but they are much more rare now (and getting more rare) and we both have a better idea how to handle it when it does happen.

I'm a big believer in the drugs when they are warranted, and a big opponent of them when they are used just because it's easier. There are a lot of incompetent therapists and outright quacks, but the good ones can really help tremendously.

 
At 2:28 PM, Blogger Jehane said...

Oh dear.

I deleted a long comment early this morning, but I suppose indiscretion will overcome my better judgement this time.

Do I think ADD is real? Yes.

Do I think overmedication is real? Yes.

What do *you* think is the problem, Cass, you foolishly ask? Kids don't play outside much anymore. They are tethered to an Xbox or a TV set 24/7. Boys need to MOVE. They need sunlight. Fresh air. Big muscle activity. They are like horses - they need to run until they're so tired they can't see straight. If you ask me, so do little girls, but they need it less. But when I was a little girl my Mom took me to the DR. and said "why is she driving me apeshit?". The doctor said, "keep her mind and body occupied and she'll be fine". Good advice - I never forgot it with my kids. Bi-weekly trips to the library, 8 hours (at least) a day out of doors in all weather.

Dammitall, we have it backwards these days. Kids do NOT need TVs and phones in their rooms, pocket money (that they have not earned by the sweat of their own brows), fancy sneakers, computers, etc. They need books, bikes, time outdoors, LOTS of love, healthy food, and lots of sleep. And rules. Kids need to learn to live by rules. And they need to learn to accept consequences - even negative ones. It doesn't kill the little darlings. It calms them right down.

I used to watch hyper kids in strollers when I did home day care. Want to hear something really mean? I had up to 6 kids that I took to the commissary with me. The baby was always - ALWAYS - strapped into the stroller or shopping cart with a harness. Because if I took my eye off her for one second, she'd fall and break her neck. And I never saw a baby who didn't relax and enjoy herself once she learned she couldn't escape. It's parental indecision and dithering that makes hyper kids - that and too many choices. Give them lots of exercise, age-appropriate decisions to make (*this or that*, not a smorgaasbord of bewildering options that would make an adult neurotic), and the odd swat on the tuckus when the merit it and most kids are as right as rain. And if they aren't, get help.

But *only* after eliminating the obvious causes first - like is he just being a little boy?

/rant.

 
At 3:10 PM, Blogger Pile On® said...

KJ you ignorant slut. Comparing Ritalin and anti-depressants to Cocaine use does nothing to lend credibility to your blanket generalizations that as a rule always have credibility with me.

If I didn't know better I would say you don't have enough experience taking drugs.

For the record I just completed a public school teacher certification program and I was taught that if hyper kids were becoming a problem than you probably needed to adjust your method of instruction and many of these kids are likely quite gifted they just need to be taught in the right way. In other words, it is normal. I was also instructed to never, ever under any curcumstances to recommend ritalin. We were not being trained to be doctors but educators. It was also intimated this might be a good way to lose a job if that is what you wanted.

 
At 3:32 PM, Blogger Jehane said...

KJ you ignorant slut.

Exactly. You know I have always thought that this was the root of KJ's 'issues'.

I think we all need to psychoanalyze KJ now.

*running away*

 
At 4:05 PM, Blogger KJ said...

Pile On,

While I don't doubt that an ignornat slut if the best kind, my comparison to cocaine was proper. I was not suggesting it was a street drug, just that the active ingredient is in fact very similar to cocaine. Which is true, as I understand it. Ritilin and its ilk are all "uppers" - not "downers."

Cass,

Psychoanalyze away. As I've said before, I don't need to pay lots of psych bills to know I'm an asshole. I get unsolicited diagnoses every day.

 
At 4:49 PM, Blogger Masked Menace© said...

Ritalin is a stimulant, but then again, so is caffiene.

Most current anti-depressents are in a class called S.S.R.I.s (Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors). Despite the name they are not uppers (they aren't downers either). In practice, what they do is to turn down the volume on your emotions. Your lows aren't as low and your highs aren't as high. It's one of the reasons the LG refused the drugs. She didn't want to lose those joyful peaks. For those who live life from -8 to +2, then living -4 to +1 is not a sacrifice.

 
At 4:55 PM, Blogger KJ said...

MM,

I meant to imply more than just an "upper." Ritalin has the same pharmacological profile.

http://www.mercola.com/2001/sep/26/ritalin.htm

 
At 5:22 PM, Anonymous Dr. Harden Stuhl said...

KJ said, "im also shocked frankly at the lack of hate comments from this post."

Whoever would hate KJ would need to take drugs.
I find you very intelligent,funny, kind and much less slutty than Pile On.

Of course in a very generic and calumnious way . :)

[Just kidding] - PileOn - You are less of a reprobate.

Anyway, I think Cass said it best:

"Is it real?" = Yes.

"Do I think overmedication is real?" = Yes.

And their is nothing better than " the odd swat on the tuckus"...Whoo Hoo...;)

 
At 5:44 PM, Blogger Masked Menace© said...

Interesting, I'll have to ask the LG about it.

A quick google seems to support your assetion on method of action. The only difference is speed of absorbtion. The pills are absorbed at a much slower rate than cocaine (possibly due to having to be digested in the stomach instead of the quick access to the bloodstream when snorted or inhaled)

It's the difference between throwing back 10 beers at once and having one every hour for 10 hours.

 
At 5:54 PM, Blogger Jehane said...

Yeah, but when do I get to swat Harden on the tuckus???

*pouting and running away at the same time, which is difficult to do with any credibility*

And KJ, I never said you were an asshole. Just that you were easy.

We all know that. Just like we know that Pile is even EASIER...

 
At 5:55 PM, Blogger KJ said...

MM,

Or, applying Cassandra's spanking theory, one smack on the ass every hour is prefered to 10 smacks on the ass all at once?

 
At 6:24 PM, Blogger Pile On® said...

Well maybe so, but at least I am not as big a reprobate.

That is something I just have not yet mastered.

 
At 6:41 PM, Blogger Masked Menace© said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

 
At 6:43 PM, Blogger Masked Menace© said...

KJ,
That depends on whether you have the entire day off, or just half an hour.

 
At 6:54 PM, Blogger Jehane said...

You know, it is *really* annoying when *posts are removed by the author* on a thread that is going on about spanking...

I'm just saying....

KJ, that all depends on whether you're into quality or quantity. I can't comment....and anyways, who says I even *have* a spanking theory?

I thought that was spd?

 
At 7:12 PM, Blogger Pile On® said...

Seriously though KJ, unless you have ground up some Ritalin and snorted it and can tell me different, I don't put any stock in your cocaine comparison.

The main ingredient in crystal-meth is the active ingredient in Sudafed, which I could not survive in Texas without.

Now, do I strike you as a meth head?

Wait.....

 
At 8:02 PM, Blogger Jehane said...

This thread is starting to give me a headache...

Oh no.

 
At 8:02 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Pile On - "The Lesser Reprobate" is so right - Sudafed gets a bad wrap.Mainly, because of the speed/drug addict references. It is a shame really because if you have allergies {Severe sinus blockage/or if you prefer the medical term "Mucousastuckupdahonkiteus") - nothing else comes even close to cleaning out the thick, sticky, stringy mucus secreted by the mucous membrane. Not even cocaine would do that. The only possible exception I can think of is a saline nasal irrigation, which would include a six foot plastic tube powered by a very large air compressor and ran by a maniacal twisted Doctor who is on cocaine.

Three things that I would also like to share with you about "Sinus Blockage",

The only major side effect to Sudafed - is that if you take it on a irregular basis - your nose will want to stay up for days.

Never stand to close to someone and offer to hold the drain bucket when they are is having a saline nasal irrigation.

It is really hard to hold your tongue and say "thick, sticky, stringy mucus secreted by the mucous membrane"

 
At 8:04 PM, Anonymous Dr. Harden Stuhl said...

Of course you can appreceiate - why I would prefer to remain anonymous because of my comments above.

 
At 10:57 PM, Blogger KJ said...

Pile,

Let it go.

What is with all the deleted comments?

Cass,

Quantity, Quality, Cost. Pick two.

 
At 11:17 PM, Blogger Pile On® said...

Why is everyone always telling me that?

**twitch**

 
At 1:00 AM, Blogger Jehane said...

Leave it to you to make a Librarian argument about spanking.

Sheesh. You Livid Terriers can take the fun out of *anything*...

And now I must really run away before I say something horrid. I'm tired again and I have to work all night. I don't want to start having lurid fantasies involving Brad again...

 
At 7:42 AM, Blogger KJ said...

Oh, Cass. I didn't mean to ruin the fun. It's just people need to realize that "there are no free spankings." --Rose Friedman

 
At 9:58 AM, Blogger Masked Menace© said...

sorry, the deleted comments are mine that I botched and had to rewrite.

huked on fonix didn't werk four mi.

 

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