Mudcat Café message #3024851 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #133171   Message #3024851
Posted By: Kent Davis
05-Nov-10 - 10:42 PM
Thread Name: BS: The Drugging of our Children
Subject: RE: BS: The Drugging of our Children
There are many excellent points in this thread. However, some posters seem to think that ritalin and similar drugs SEDATE children. They do not. They are not, and indeed cannot, be used to sedate. Ritalin and similar drugs are stimulants. There is an idea that they work as stimulants in "normal" people, but sedate people with ADHD. This idea is false. They work as stimulants in everyone.

Why then do people THINK that they sedate? Because under-stimulated people behave a lot like over-stimulated people.

Here's a thought experiment for you:

Imagine that you are driving alone, late at night, through western Kansas. The road is straight. There are few other cars on the road. You are seriously under-stimulated. Your attention wavers. A couple of times, you weave across into the other lane. What do you do?

You fidget in your seat. You roll the car window up. You roll it back down. You turn the radio on. You change stations. You turn it the radio way up. You turn it off and start singing. You sing louder. You begin dancing in your seat. You are trying to relieve your under-stimulantion. If other people could see you, they would say that you were hyperactive. If they saw how you were weaving about, they would say you were inattentive. Up ahead, you see a truck stop. You pull in and buy a cup of stimulant (coffee). You drive away, not weaving, not fidgeting, no longer under-stimulated. What just happened?

You had been tired, bored, and sleepy to the point that you developed a (temporary) deficit of attention. You treated the deficit with a stimulant. That is what stimulants do for under-stimulated, inattentive people. That is how ritalin works.

It does not sedate.   



So why not treat ADHD with coffee or tea? I DO treat ADHD with coffee or tea. It is sometimes hard to get the dose right (too much of any stimualant increases anxiety, and increased anxiety decreases one's attention span), but caffeine often helps. So does good nutrition, a balanced diet, plenty of exercise, and an enriched (but not chaotic) environment. Avoiding toxins helps. Homeschooling, if done right, is practically curative. I have found, however, that sometimes I have to prescribe a stimulant.