ADHD or AD/HD (Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) didn’t exist while my brother, Bob, and I were growing up — A very good thing for my brother! Our mother never was sure where Bob was or what he was doing.
Children were known to be more active than adults… running all over the place wasn’t unusual. Kids do something for a while and then do something else — Changing from one activity to another was acceptable. And, it wasn’t called a disorder — It was NORMAL!
Looking at human history, it appears to me that if an adult wanted to change the behavior of a young person, it is possible to teach by example. Take the individual for a quiet walk in the woods, or a meadow, while trying not to disturb the animals and birds you encounter — Seems to have been a productive technique used by generations of hunters.
Or, you could do what I’ve done from youth to senior-citizen age — sit calmly while observing the various insects moving on the sidewalk or in the grass around me. If you were to try it, you just might be amazed at the effort expended by an ant trying to move something it wants from one place to another.
Maybe ADHD did exist — but we needed the drug manufacturers to help us identify it!
During the 1960s, the pharmaceutical companies began promoting a drug (Methylphenidate, widely known as Ritalin) to reduce “hyperactivity” in children and increase their attention span! The FDA (Food and Drug Administration) approved the use of the drug on children — which appealed to some school teachers, parents, and other adults who had to spend time in proximity of children.
Moving forward in time we see one result: Sales of drugs to treat ADHD since 2000 have nearly quadrupled — to more than $3.1 billion a year built on the back of what appears to the Alternative Healthcare practitioners to be a questionable disorder.
And make no mistake about it. These drugs are far from benign. They are stimulants whose effects on your kid’s brain are similar to cocaine. Potential side effects range from tics to psychosis to addiction. So anything that can get kids off of them should be given some real attention. Just don’t expect help from the FDA or conventional drug-prescribing doctors!