Tuesday, February 5, 2013

ADHD Drugs and Mis-diagnosis Cause 24 Year Old to Hang Himself

I’ve always wondered about ADHD, and how easily doctors prescribe medication for it. I’ve never believed it’s a viable solution, any more than I believe anti-depressants work to solve the problem of depression. They don’t, they simply anaesthetize emotions – which people often believe is the core problem because they’re uncomfortable.  

They’re not, though, they’re only symptoms that something needs to be attended to. If a person is depressed, it’s got a whole lot to do with how they’re living, their relationship with themselves and those around them, their inability to know their own value and rights, their social skills, their inability to trust and receive love and walk away from people who aren’t treating them with love and respect. 

The depression has also got a whole lot to do with suppressing emotions – but it’s only because doing so means they can’t get to the cause of the problem. By the by, one of the results of repressed emotions and unmet needs is inability to concentrate. There are four choices: do nothing; seek therapeutic or counseling help so you can learn that you do have value and how to take a stand against people who don’t respect you and all the messages in your head that tell you you’re worthless; take anti-depressants; or commit suicide.

In life it seems to me that five things are guaranteed. We’re born, we die, we can’t alter the law of cause and effect, symptoms have a purpose and if they’re ignored the problem doesn’t get solved, and nothing stays the same so if it isn’t getting better it’s getting worse.  

Logic tells me that if the things I believe about myself, my self esteem and entitlement and my environment and the way I respond to it are the essential cause of my depression, unless I change them, nothing can get better. Taking anti-depressants makes it easy for me to stay where I am, because I can’t feel those uncomfortable emotions. So I continue being disempowered. And that means things can only get worse.

Of course I don’t see it because I’m drugged out of my mind, but it takes its toll nonetheless and one day even the drug can’t hide that toll. By then I’m addicted, either physically or psychologically and my body is damaged often irreparably. Getting back to ADHD, I think it’s most likely to be a symptom directly related to the quality of nurturing and understanding a child receives and the emotional health of its family environment.

It kills me when parents let doctors prescribe drugs for their children. Imagine the soul of a child frantic for some kind of nurturing input that it isn’t getting and desperately needs – but can’t articulate. Instead of getting what it needs it gets drugged down. Now there’s a real solution for you. 

One of the problems is that adults don’t realize how sensitive children really are and how easily they’re traumatized. How easily they’re conditioned to not speak out, to not articulate when something is wrong. Plus, we’re a society that’s been so conditioned by a prescription drug industry remorseless about exploiting how hard it is to really grapple with the things that bother us in life, and how scary emotions are if you don’t know what to do with them.   

On Feb. 03 2013 nytimes.com ran an article about Richard Fee, a 24-year old from Virginia Beach. His doctor, from Dominian Psychiatric Associates, diagnosed ADHD, despite that Richard had never had it in childhood. He prescribed Adderall, an amphetamine-based medication. Richard’s mother pleaded with her son to stop the medication when she was sure he was becoming addicted. She was also sure he didn’t have ADHD.  

Richard wasn’t able to hear her, and became violently delusional. He was put in a psychiatric hospital. As if that isn’t horrific enough, his doctor prescribed another 90 days of Adderall. Richard hanged himself two weeks after the prescription ended. We see stories like this in the movies and think it doesn’t really happen in real life. Yes it does.

ADHD – and depression – could be caused by underlying stress in the home that isn’t being acknowledged by parents who don’t know how to deal with it, or by all the things a child or an adult doesn’t know how to do, or all the misbegotten beliefs that control their actions and the way they relate to people and themselves, or the way they deal - or don’t - with emotions. Humans are complex and our needs are myriad. We’re so unconscious of most of them, which is why we have uncomfortable emotions; they wake us up. 

The thing is; whatever we don’t know can be learned at any age, and whatever we lack can be corrected. It doesn’t matter whether we’re a child or an adult. When that happens, the depression is resolved and the triumph is phenomenal. When people are disturbed about something they can’t concentrate. If it’s so in adults, why would it be any different in children? So instead of prescribing medication for the child, maybe the parents need to seek counseling.

Drugs don’t fix depression and I don’t believe they do anything for ADHD. They either procrastinate on the inevitable crisis that’s caused by living in a disempowered way, or they lead to addiction and getting trapped in a nightmare of psychiatric misdiagnoses. Are depression and ADHD purely a chemical imbalance? Or is the chemical imbalance caused by something that’s treatable and accessible and has nothing to do with science and pills but everything to do with the complexity of what human beings – adults and children - need to be able to live balanced, healthy lives? 

One thing I know; giving a person nurturing which includes unconditional love and really good, sane, guidance, for as long as they need it, never led to them being violently delusional and hanging themselves. Rest in peace, Richard Fee. My heart goes out to his family.