Pharmacological Treatment of ADHD
The issue of pharmacological treatment is rather controversial. On the one hand, it has many advantages; on the other hand, its consequences can have a long-term effect and make the ADHD child a drug-addict. The stimulants may be good for such children since they help them reduce their impulsivity and hyperactivity, as well as improve the ability to learn, work, and focus. Besides, medications may improve child’s physical coordination, which is essential to sports and handwriting, for instance.
Although the stimulants, if used under a competent medical supervision, are considered quite safe, higher doses of the medication may cause insomnia, decreased appetite, increased irritability and/or anxiety. What makes the matters worse is that the stimulants do not cure ADHD but only control its symptoms, as well as they do not improve children’s academic skills and increase knowledge. Further, the statistics prove that about 80% of children who took drugs still need them as teenagers, and over 50% need medication as adults.
Eschewing pharmacological treatment also has its risks and benefits. Parents who reject the idea that their child should take drugs in order to cope with the ADHD symptoms risk the child’s mental and physical health, since there are cases, when only drugs can help mitigate the symptoms of a definite illness or disorder. Nonetheless, taking into consideration the fact that medications do not cure ADHD, it seems that eschewing pharmacological treatment is a good practice. Instead, parents and therapists can use such alternative methods, as psychotherapy, behavioural therapy, and social skills trainings, which help the ADHD children accept and like themselves as they are, change their thinking and behavior, and cultivate appropriate behavioural patterns within a society. The main advantage of eschewing pharmacological treatment is that it gives children the possibility to learn to co-exist with their inner “self.”