ADHD Medication – You can’t win
ADHD medication – Ritalin, Adderall, Concerta, Dextroamphetamine – the list continues.
It seems to be the buzz word with ADHD and that little pill, whatever it may be has the power to put SO much pressure on a parent, it is ridiculous!
However, think about this. Is it the medication that puts the pressure on or is it doctors, parents with or without children living with ADHD, schools and anyone else that feels they have a say that does it?
Well, I think whether you choose to medicate your child or not for whatever reason, you are damned if you do and you are damned if you don’t.
Last week, I was featured in an article about the long term affects of Ritalin used on children living with ADHD (you can see the link to my article on the website). After I was interviewed for this I spent the next 36 hours worrying about how the reporter was going to quote me about medication.
I was terrified that she was going to say I was against it and I thought it was a load of rubbish (which I did NOT say by the way, but you don’t know how reporters say things to get a response) and is she did this it would ruin everything I am trying to do to support parents of children living with ADHD.
Luckily, she didn’t and the article (in my opinion) was great and said nothing but positive things about me and the study.
However, once again I gave into the medication power and the worry about what other people would think about it and how they would view me because we don’t medicate at the moment (and yes I did get some comments about that!).
You see, I have found that you just can’t win.
If you do medicate your child, people feel the need to tell you things like:
- Medicating is a lazy way to parent
- Medicating is bad
- Medicating is just for the school so they can handle your child
- Medicating will do bad things to your child
- The side effects are terrible, just read about them (and that we do, while freaking ourselves out)
- Doctors don’t know what else to do, so they just write a script.
If you don’t medicate your child, then you will hear this:
- Have you chosen not to medicate for your needs or your child’s needs?
- You are not being fair to your child by not giving them a chance to ‘fit in’
- Side effects only happen to the minority
- Have you made an informed decision by not medicating?
- How do you expect your child to ‘conform’ to society if you don’t medicate
- Your child will always be behind in school and always be in trouble.
Of course there is more. So you see, you won’t win either way and for some reason EVERYONE seems to have an opinion on whether you choose to medicate or not.
For full disclosure, we currently do not medicate our child and yes, we have tried it (plenty of previous blogs about our disastrous attempt), but it is not right for us right now. To be honest I am also not comfortable with the type of medication that it is and I have been one of these mums that have done a bit too much research which has probably affected my opinion way to much.
However, we have many other strategies in place where we are ‘managing’ the symptoms of ADHD right now and feel we can get away with not medicating right now. That said my husband and I have both agreed if we see the need for it later down the track, I will put my own feelings aside and we will address it again if we feel it is the best decision for my son.
I have no problems at all about other people using medication and I have friends with children living with ADHD that do medicate. It is their decision and they are doing what is right for them. No-one has the right to tell them otherwise. I support whatever decision they make.
I would like you to think about this, whether you medicate or not?
Are you comfortable 100% with what you have decided? Forget about what friends, family, specialists say, are you as a parent 100% comfortable in your own gut that you are doing the right thing. YES – well then what does it matter what everyone else thinks? Do what you know is right within yourself!
It is tough to listen to people ‘judging’ you (especially from the people that don’t live your life each day) but try to ignore what they say and listen to your instinct and do what you know is right for your family. Sometimes this is hard, especially when you are going against what people say (trust me, I know!).
Until next time…….enjoy this path! You wouldn’t have been sent your child if you couldn’t handle them, you are the best parent for them right now, no matter how hard the path can get.
Paula Burgess is a parent support advocate, speaker and the owner of Beyond the Maze Pty Ltd, she has a son and a step-son living with ADHD and is passionate about supporting other parents on this ADHD journey with their children.
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