ADHD Management in America
Since the enlightenment period of the 18th century and the scientific revolution of the 19th century humanity has quickly adopted a policy of using drugs to medicate, manipulate and heal. The 21st century has transformed yesteryear's quaint alchemist remedies into a massive multi-billion dollar industry. This has stifled many superior treatment methods from being adopted into the mainstream medical field for the treating of ADHD in children; neglecting patient safety, health and other methods of treatment for corporate advancement. The harm caused by this chimera industry, especially in children, cannot be understated -- the peddling of psycho-stimulant medication exemplifies the corporation’s propensity for revenue over patient care. Scientists are not sure what causes ADHD. Many scientists believe our genetics play a large roll along with other possibilities such as brain injuries, and sugar. Some scientists are even looking at environmental factors and they way the work with each other. This had made ADHD a highly debatable and controversial topic amongst health care professionals because there is no tangible distinction from every day childhood behavior to state what is normal to what is abnormal. Thus far, there has not been a proven biological medical marker to define ADHD. Often the children that are diagnosed with ADHD and prescribed these drugs are also diagnosed with two or three different disorders. The use of psychotropic drugs in children over the past 10 years has skyrocketed despite these medications being available prior to this period. Are we seeing more children with these mental disorders or has the threshold for diagnosis been lowered and redefined? The history of compiling these symptoms into formal diagnoses represents an increasing drive to medicalize unconventional childhood behavior. The violation of certain institutional frameworks— the school, the family, the economy, and so on—are invariably implied in such diagnoses. Though the moralistic symptoms of thievery and violence no longer have utility for the contemporary diagnosis of ADHD, the current symptomatology of the disorder retains many of the themes that were present when ADHD was being diagnosed in the early part of the 20th century. According to the American Psychiatric Association’s (APA) Diagnostic and Statistical Manual, fourth edition (APA, 1994) some of today’s ADHD symptoms include having difficulty organizing tasks, being easily distracted by outside stimuli, getting fidgety with hands or squirming in one’s seat, excessive talking, failing to finish schoolwork, and feelings of restlessness (see DSM-IV [APA 1994]: 78–85 for a complete listing of the symptoms and requirements for diagnosing ADHD). ADHD is treated with a variety of drugs such as Amphetamine, Methylphenidate, and Desoxyn (otherwise known as methamphetamine hydrochloride). Though medication can help reduce the symptoms of hyperactivity, inattentiveness, and impulsivity in children with ADHD, medications come with side effects and risks—and they’re not the only treatment option available. While the efficacy of these stimulants lack evidence for long term safety and effectiveness, doctors often overlook something that has a strong tradition in proven efficacy, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, CBT has been around for centuries. Despite its success, it has been constantly overlooked. Cognitive Behavioral Theory was developed in the early twentieth century; some say it can be traced all the way back to the Stoic philosophers, though it did not gain its popularity in America until the 1960’s. CBT works primarily by creating a relationship between the client and therapist to create a new and positive way of thinking. The therapist works with the child to identify dysfunctional ways of thinking and acting out then focuses on correcting these behaviors through praise and recognition. Though CBT is not an overnight solution to cure these disorders it...
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