ADHD is a chronic condition marked by persistent inattention, hyperactivity, and sometimes impulsivity. ADHD begins in childhood and often lasts into adulthood. As many as 2 out of every 3 children with ADHD continue to have symptoms as adults.
ADHD is a very real condition. It is, however, a condition that is also misdiagnosed all too often. Very often kids are diagnosed with ADHD incorrectly, their exuberance or enthusiasm being mistaken for the illness. A child thought to have ADHD can be difficult to deal with because of his inability to focus or his high energy levels.
In America, the percentage of children thought to struggle with ADHD is very high. The American Psychiatric Association, APA, have said that around 5 % of all children suffer from the disorder but the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention have put the figure at 11 %. Either way, a number of children diagnosed are high.
ADHD is a worldwide problem. Nobody yet knows if it is genetic, diet or environment related and studies are undertaken all the time. What is clear that more children in American are given medication for ADHD and not treated naturally or holistically? If we compare the treatment given in the USA to France, who has an incredibly successful rate of treating ADHD, the results are staggering. American kids are overdiagnosed and overmedicated
First, we need to look at ADHD and what it means. In France, for example, they say that the disorder is not biological but rather a result of social or situational factors. This makes sense. The world we live in is a difficult world and kids are more prone to having emotional problems. ADHD should, therefore, be treated in the way that social anxiety or mental health is treated. Not with medication but with communication, counseling, therapy and any kind of therapy that is required – art therapy, music therapy, drama therapy or psychotherapy. Through therapy, the French are able to ascertain what the child’s problem may stem from (abuse, loneliness, anxiety, low self-esteem, bullying) and treat this problem.
France, therefore, treat kids with ADHD holistically and a number of kids struggling with ADHD in France – 0.5 %.
France does not medicate unless the situation is extreme and nothing else has worked.
Compare 0.5 % in France to 11 % in America. American look at ADHD differently. They look at it as a biological condition. They do not treat ADHD with words, therapy or counseling. They treat it with pills.
Nobody should want their children on pills unless there is no choice. But it is pretty clear why American kids are treated this way. Three words. The American Pharmaceuticals. The large pharmaceuticals in America play a big role in defining ADHD and the way it is treated. They say the root cause is biological, genetic, and pills are necessary.
In America, they do not look beyond the ADHD. They do not look, like France do, for the underlying problems in the child’s behavior. They rarely supply therapists or counselors to work with the children and find out what social problems, or emotional problems, they may have. They diagnose and they medicate.
I will say they also over diagnose and over medicate.
Of course, they do. There is huge money in pharmaceuticals. And if 11 % of kids are being diagnosed with ADHD and treated with medication, that is huge money for the pharmaceuticals.
ADHD needs to be looked at holistically. Why is the child behaving like this? Are there problems at home, or with friends at school? Is somebody bullying him? Could there be abuse? Does he have low self-esteem? Did something happen that you do not know about? In France, they get to the root of the problems, gently with the children, and treat accordingly. Chemical free. Pill free.
In France, they also look at the child’s diet and see if it is healthy or if there is perhaps too much sugar. They look at changing imbalances and getting the child to have enough fruit, vegetables, dairy, protein, and fiber. They try and encourage no sugar.
There are many people in America who are unaware that Pharmaceuticals are behind the trend to medicating for ADHD. They think it is medical researchers who have said ‘take your daily pill.’ But it is a bit of a con. Americans are brainwashed into thinking kids with ADHD must medicate. There is a growing trend amongst American doctors who do prefer to treat with therapy or counseling but they meet a lot of resistance.
Putting a child on pills should always be a last resort. ADHD needs to be looked at for what it is. Sometimes children are highly energetic for no reason. A parent or teacher need to find alternate ways of keeping them calmer or quieter. Sometimes they do not focus on school because the subject does not interest them. They may actually have a heightened sense of creativity and need to do more visual work than anything else. They need to be treated like normal children and not made to feel different. They need to learn to use their gifts.
In France, they see the gift. They see the child needs to or prefers to do things differently. They help the child, boosting him at the same time. They very rarely take out pills, it is seen as unethical and damaging to a child’s self-esteem. America takes out pills
This has got to change. American need to adapt the same system that the French use. They need to look at the kids, assess them by a therapist, look at their social situation, get to the root cause of the problem of the behavior and offer help.
Help needs to be offered and not pharmaceuticals.