One mother’s frightening odyssey into the world of ADHD and multiple drug treatments for her children highlights the unhealthy relationship between big drug companies and child psychiatry, and the effectiveness of following half-finished studies.
“When a major study said kids with ADHD could benefit from drugs, we gave my son Ritalin. Then he became manic and delusional—and now the study’s researchers say they might have been wrong all along.”
The article “How Science Screwed My Kids”, published on The Daily Beast under the pseudonym “Grace Poole”, relates one family’s experience with child psychiatry that has left them skeptical and cautious about the effectiveness of medications versus behavioral therapy. The piece is a must read for any parent struggling with the question of “to Ritalin or not to Ritalin.”
“ was the very year pediatric psychiatry went giddy with excitement over the initial findings of the National Institute of Mental Health Multimodal Treatment Study of Children with ADHD, better known as the MTA. The MTA was a study to listen to. It was an ambitious, multiyear longitudinal study of 579 children diagnosed with ADHD, conducted by a team of first-class researchers and funded by the federal government.”
The author goes on to tell the story of her son’s first prescription of Ritalin and the seesaw effect of the medication on him. He went from “merely hyperactive and tantrum-prone to manic and delusional” and was then prescribed antipsychotics, anticonvulsants, and antidepressants, ultimately going through 20 medication trials and 12 hospitalizations before manage his emotions and behavior.
And now, the results of a follow-up on the MTA study in the Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry show no significant advantages to medication-inclusive interventions over medication-exclusive interventions. “It’s enough to make you crazy.” says the mother.
She goes on to point out the unholy alliance of big medicine and pediatric psychiatry, and gives plenty of reasons to question the risks vs. the benefits of ADHD medication (including the possibility of permanent effects on children). She doesn’t come out totally against it (one of her children is still on meds), but stresses the need to really study and assess the pros and cons.
It’s well worth a read, and should be passed on to any parents who are dealing with child behavioral issues and considering medication. Read the entire article: How Science Screwed My Kids and email it to your circle of friends.
Image: PburghStever at Flickr under CC License
Gina Pera says
I’m sorry, but the facts have been ill-reported by the media, thanks to one renegade researcher who apparently seeks his own moment in the sun rather than what’s been shown by the science — and what we’ve long known works for these children.
No one does the ADHD community a favor by jumping uncritically on these fear-mongering stories. It takes compassion and critical thinking to understand what’s really going on here. Unfortunately, too many people are looking for the quick thrill — the information that fits their cognitive dissonance. And truth goes out the window.
The comments to Ms. Poole’s story on The Daily Beast are very telling — she blames everyone but herself. Too bad for her children.
Gina Pera, author
Is It You, Me, or Adult A.D.D.?
leia sobre ritalin
Ray Hanson says
Where are the scientific facts that Ritalins helps every frickin’ person, Gina. You refuse to admit that ADHD. like every other medical condition, can be treated in different ways. You continue to stalk Internet sites with your rabble rousing BS without offering one piece of scientific evidence.
Even the moron who runs CHADD admits that the existence of ADHD is “a belief.”
You must take powder woman, unless you want the whole medicine chest to blow your career to the sky.
Ray Hanson says
Give yoyur children Schedule II stimulants because Gina OPera and the government says so. And you wonder why children and adolescents today appear brain damaged.
DRUG YOUR CHILDREN!