ADD Child Symptoms, Ritalin Long Term Effects, Homeopathy Alternatives
Healing With Homeopathy
Attention Deficit (ADD) and Hyperactivity (ADHD)
December, The Province newspaper's 4-part investigative report "Drugging Our Children" concluded that "children are a booming market for psychiatric medications such as stimulants, anti-depressants and anti-psychotic drugs."
Stimulant drugs such as Ritalin or Dexedrine, sedatives like Imipramine, and anti-depressant drugs including Prozac, Paxil, and Zoloft, are prescribed for toddlers, young children, and teens, to treat attention and hyperactivity problems, depression, anxiety, anger and aggression, obsessive-compulsive disorder, phobias, bed-wetting, and insomnia. According to the report, "babies still young enough to be in diapers are being prescribed powerful adult tranquilizers." Meanwhile, there is widespread debate about whether these drugs cause long-term side-effects, especially when used by young children. Clinical experience has found that neurological disorders such as facial and body tics may occur after the use of these drugs, and cardiac problems resulting in death have been associated with the use of sedatives in young children.
In B.C. in 1999 approximately 12,000 children aged six to fifteen were prescribed the stimulant drugs Ritalin (a chemical cousin of cocaine), or Dexedrine (an amphetamine formerly used as an adult diet drug) for Attention Deficit and Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). These drugs are intended to help children sit still and pay attention in class. Dexedrine or Ritalin were prescribed to 56 children under age three, although neither of these stimulant drugs is recommended for use in children under six.
The study also found that doctors are prescribing both uppers and downers to thousands of children and teens. If a stimulant such as Ritalin is used during the day, children may have trouble falling asleep, or may experience symptoms such as depression, crying, and moodiness, and anti-depressants are often used to counteract these side-effects.
To homeopathic practitioners, these statistics are frightening. Once children begin taking stimulants, they often need to continue the medication for five to ten years, sometimes for life. This sets up a habit of taking drugs, perhaps fostering addictive tendencies later in life. A recently identified drawback of Ritalin is its popularity as an illicit stimulant drug. The annual survey "Monitoring the Future", by the University of Michigan, warns of a trend concerning Ritalin abuse. From 1993 to 1994 in the United States, 350,000 high school seniors admitted to having abused Ritalin. The side-effects of Ritalin addiction include strokes, hypothermia, hypertension and seizures. Thousands of emergency room admissions and several deaths have been attributed to Ritalin abuse in teens. Drug addiction in North America is a huge problem, and the growing trend to abuse a drug, which is being legally prescribed for nearly two million children, is of great concern.
How effective is Ritalin in young children diagnosed with ADHD? Many children respond positively with varying degrees of success, but over 25% experience no significant improvements. Like many conventional drugs, Ritalin only suppresses the symptoms without changing the underlying condition. Some parents report side-effects including headaches, dizziness, stomach aches, increased heart rate or blood pressure, drowsiness, insomnia, nail-biting, appetite loss, social withdrawal, anxiety, irritability, moodiness, tics and other involuntary movements or sounds.
Homeopathy is safe and effective natural medicine with a high success rate in treating emotional and behavioral disorders in children and teens - including attention deficit, hyperactivity, depression, apathy, anxiety, anger, aggression, defiance, and obsessive-compulsive disorders. Rather than suppressing symptoms, homeopathy seeks to create deep, long-term behavioral changes. Homeopathic medicines are made from natural substances, and are so highly diluted that they do not produce side-effects when prescribed by a qualified homeopath.
Homeopathy recognizes that behavioral and learning problems vary from child to child, and no single remedy is suitable for all children. The homeopathic practitioner sees each child as an individual with unique gifts and problems rather than part of a stereotypical syndrome, and he or she will choose the most appropriate remedy for each child's combination of symptoms.
These may include:
- difficulty paying attention and following directions
- poor grades
- difficulty with reading and writing
- emotional intensity
- a need for constant stimulation and attention
- annoying or disruptive behavior
- defiance and tantrums
- violence and/or destructiveness
- difficulty in getting along with other children.
Quoting from Edward H. Chapman, M.D., Dht, President of the American Institute of Homeopathy, and Clinical Instructor at the Harvard University School of Medicine: "For those who need support in their struggle with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder … they can be assured from two hundred years experience using homeopathic medicines that they are safe. Your conventional doctor may be skeptical if you choose to use homeopathy. Don't let that stop you. Seek assistance from well-trained homeopathic providers who are willing to work with you and your doctors."
The Province, December 18, 19, 20, 21, 2000.
Ritalin-Free Kids, Judyth Reichenberg-Ullman and Robert Ullman, Prima Publishing, 1996.