Wednesday, October 8, 2008

ADHD...Can anyone relate?

Does any one else have experience with this? What are your thoughts on this subject, and what are your thoughts on the treatment of it? If you have first hand experience, please share how you have chosen to work through the symptoms.

To Medicate or not to medicate??

I came across this below video, and it was quite interesting to me. I'm not saying I agree with all of it, but found some of it to be quite encouraging. Especially the part of allowing children to "feel" and express their feelings (something I was not permitted to do as a child-so I try my best to allow our children to feel)

We deal with ADHD in our home on many levels. Personally we have learned to cope through other positive methods, without the use of drugs. That does not mean we are in denial...nor does it mean that we condemn someone else for going that route of using medications.

I would appreciate your thoughts on the matter, and wondered if anyone else has dealt with it too. If you have the time to view this video, please let me know what your thoughts are on it.


Jenny said...

At seven years old, I was diagnosed with ADD (I think in the DSM it's listed as ADHD without hyperactivity, but ADD is the term used by the general public). They put me on ritalin and my mom swore she could tell a big difference, but I resented it. I still resent that they didn't take my feelings seriously; I shouldn't have had to think I was only good enough for them when I was medicated. It didn't get really bad until high school, when a doctor wrote me an Rx for dexedrine. I would especially caution you against that drug; if it's still on the market, it shouldn't be. I took it one afternoon and got the most amazing feeling of focus I'd ever had. I did all my homework and was so happy, but my mom thought I was acting weird so she hid the pills. When I went to take one the next day she told me she didn't want me on them, and I started screaming at her and called both my parents a**holes. That is really not like me! I ended up getting a different med that wasn't so strong, and yes, it helped me a ton. I got straight A's that year. However, people commented that it was hard to just spend time with me while I was medicated because it was like I had to be doing something constantly. Also, I was in Junior ROTC and was heartbroken when I learned I couldn't be in the military if I was taking a mood-altering drug. I had to get off of it then, and my grades suffered. Just in case your kids may ever want to be in the military, getting them on such a drug at an early age may be setting them up for a hardship later. Now I am off the meds with no problem. (You can't take them while pregnant!) And you know, somehow I've managed to hold down a job and take care of my baby without them. I agree that we are too quick to drug our kids rather than deal with their issues. I could go on and on, but I'll leave it at that for now. Actually, this may have inspired me to write a post of my own :-)

Jenn said...

Please do Jenny. I'm so thankful for you sharing your thoughts. Especially since you did not deal as much with the hyperactivity aspect...this is where we are coming from too. And I needed these words from you RIGHT this moment too! Thank you so much!

It is so prevalent in our home. Yet, I have always tried to focus on the positive aspects and characteristics of the person, and try to draw those things out in our home.

I was so hoping that I would hear from someone who has experienced this firsthand. Each person or child is so different. ADHD means something different for does so help to talk with someone who has experienced it.

It is my heart to try my best to understand more, and try not to go with drugs if possible.

Two of my best friends back home have sons (who are now teens), and they both chose to take them off the drugs. They both had the ADHD hyperactive kind (and you are right, it is all under ADHD now, even the term ADD is not being used...they are saying ADHD without hyperactivity, etc).

Anyway, Diets did NOT work for them either...lots of prayer, and learning how they deal and cope is what did. Keeping them in sports helped too. Guiding them in the things they love, to help with focus. These are things that worked for them. Not sure what will work for us yet...through the yrs some things have been working well, some haven't. It seems we have 1 or 2 good days, followed by a few days of struggles.

We have tried in the past yrs the no sugar diets and ADD/ADHD suggested diets yr ago. Did not work for the other issues.

We still try to be so conscious about monitoring sugar intake, and we DO believe this is important. We also steer away from dyes and try to buy more organics when we can afford to.

Yet, the hyperactivity was, and still is not the main issue for us.

It is the anger, self loathing, negative self talk, low self esteem, obsessive tendencies, there is so much to "ADHD" than what people know as the bigger issues. Usually, there are also underlying learning disabilities or auditory processing issues as well that "tag along". Was this true in your case?

Most think it is just kids who are hyper and can't concentrate. Those are not the only issues!

Most speak to be helpful, yet really do in fact speak out of ignorance to it. Even I, who have dealt with it regularly, daily...silently...for YEARS (people do not know what we go through and have been through) even I do not have the answers to this.

What I do know, is I want love to be felt in our home...patience, and understanding. Some days this is really really challenging...especially since we have more than one going through it here...some days it is a mountain of tension in our home, or a black hole of abyss!

I'd love to hear more about how you deal with it now on an adult level as a mother. In our home, we have one parent going through it and one child.

Also, I'd love to hear as a child how you perceived your world. I think this would be so helpful to me as a mother to a child going through it...and a wife to a husband going through it...

Thank you again for stopping by and for your comments. If you know of any helpful books in dealing with the emotional aspects, I'd sure appreciate your advise on it.

The main book that has been a tremendous help each day has been the Bible. Honestly, over the years, it has sustained me when nothing else could...BUT I also do not want to turn a blind eye to the issues, and thus cause more issues for them down the road. This is what happened with my husband...his family ignored it, and pretty much said "get over it". This did a LOT of damage...

Do you mind sharing your email with me? There are some things I would like to ask you about ADHD that I do not want posted on my blog. Or if you have facebook, I have this too.

Blessings to you,

Lis said...

I agree that we should not be quick to medicate, in fact I don't do anti-biotics or even tylenol for myself and Providence, I'd rather do something natural. If you are interested I'm sure there are diets that help...perhaps some vitamins or herbs. Maybe even chiropractic care and/or exercise.

I also agree with letting kids feel, and express those feelings but I also think there is a balance to that. Ever seen those adults that can only feel? Their mood is here and there, up and down. We have feelings, all of us but they are not necessarily good and right all the time. I am not saying not to acknowledge them but at times our feelings are really lies deceiving us and we need to rebuke them and move forward.

I did think the video was interesting. I have just seen the fruit of children who have always been allowed to feel everything, I've also seen what happens when children are forced to hold it all in. I don't believe that either is right.

Hope that makes sense, I too can go on and on, but I won't.

Jenny said...

My email is the_other_alice_(at) I don't think I've read any books on it. Once I was out of school, it wasn't so much of a problem anymore. I think it's often the school environment that's the problem and not the child, or that the school environment aggravates the situation.

Charlotte said...


My daughter has been diagnosed with ADHD and she is 4. We decided to wait about 5 months before we would start her on meds. She kept getting in trouble at school and we then decided to medicate her. She is on 10mg of Metadate CD and we only give it to her in the mornings to help her get through school. By the time she gets home she's wired again but that is alright with me. I would talk with the doctor and try and find a plan. Medicating was not an option at first but after Olivia kept getting into trouble everyday at school and so far it's helping out a lot. No more bad notes from home. Only Good notes now! If you'd like to ask me more about this let me know. I'm still pretty new at this whole ADHD but I've also have checked out books from the library to help me out.

Jenn said...

Hi Lis, I do agree there is a healthy and Biblical balance...and that being led by "feelings" can certainly deceive. We as christians cannot be totally "led" by feelings. So True!

About the adults that feel too much...I've been one of them.

I grew up in a home where we were NOT allowed to feel, nor did we hear ANY "I Love You's". If I laughed, I was beated, if I cried, I was beating...if I tried my hardest NOT to cry...beaten.

My father is deceased now, and to this day my mother does not say I love you. This may be difficult for others from a loving home to understand...but yes, this is what I lived in. Then divorce, then more abusive situations from the entering of a step parent. I'm not saying this to get sympathy; it is what it is.

Many other adults are products of this. Each person copes differently. Until they learn that with Jesus, they can overcome and establish a "NEW WAY"....I am 40 ys old now, and breaking bondages in Jesus name even still as God reveals them to me.

Not that I am suggesting at ALL that you feel this way...Only mentioning that I have noticed in some situations (my own upbringing) and even some christian churches/christian community, that people are not allowed to feel at all. They are not tolerate of those who struggle emotionally/mentally either.

And this is not Biblical I don't believe.

Telling someone to suck it up and get over it, no good can come from it with someone who is so young especially. Even with dealing with adults who have been through trauma ( I know as an adult walking with the Lord, we do need to move forward...I agree with you...some adults do not grasp that at all because they can't see or understand the concept, which seems so simple to others who perhaps have)

When a child gets hurt playing...telling that child "aw your OK, your not hurt" is basically saying to the child..."Um, what you are feeling isn't really happening to you, you are wrong". There is a balance of knowing when they are just trying to get attention. Lots of times that isn't found, and the child's feeling are not considered at all.

I've noticed if I just acknowledge the hurt, and say a prayer for Jesus to heal the hurt, it is better than saying "get over it". Otherwise if I don't even acknowledge it, they get worse with wanting that "negative attention" by screaming louder to get it or acting up more.

You know that old expression, "all extremes are dysfunctional". =) Your suggestion of healthy balance rings sooo true!

We have in fact tried the diet route. For us, the hyperactivity is really not the issue. (ironically Josh is my BEST healthy eater too)

Still, we are attentive to diet. If we can help it, we don't buy food with dyes, and monitor our sugar intake...and processed foods, white flour...try to eat organics. Right now, our budget has no room... organics are quite expensive...unfortunately...(when I say "we buy healthy if we can help it", I mean: when food is gifted to us due to cupboards being this week...because we have no groceries and God laid it on someones heart to give us some...we receive it, and are grateful and we eat it, because this is all that we have to eat for the moment. =) God's provision. Thank you Lord!

I'm excited about learning more about how to deal with the negative thought patterns...and learning better ways to redirect in to more positive thoughts. (believe me, I pray pray pray, and go to the word of God daily about it-always speaking what the word of God says)

We do keep a lot of christian music, and uplifting music in our home. I do allow our children to talk and share, and if they are angry, not force them to straighten up with it, unless they are harming themselves or others.

There is a healthy and constructive way to express our feelings...afterall, God did give us our feelings.

I don't agree totally with the extreme of the video I posted, but remember there were times I did have to just "be" with my young child because for HOURS of trying every other thing and discipline that DID not work but made it WORSE, it all boiled down to finally sitting with and holding prayerfully through it. I'm not talking about a typical tantrum here either.

I got to thinking as I prayed this morning...even Jesus had anger. He was angered at the money-changers...the key is, He was angry, but sinned not.
He vented his anger, and it was healthy and true.

Some may think of tearing down tables as quite destructive and unacceptable behavior, but our Lord and Saviour did not. I find this interesting...of course, a lot of things about the word of God is so very interesting.

This is the part that I need great discernment on dealing with the anger, temper and self loathing/negative self talk of the ones in our home struggling with this. It so breaks my heart to hear them speak these things about themselves...

So I am probably the OPPOSITE of being TOO tolerant of their feelings at times. I'm working on that balance though. =)

Please keep us in your prayers, and again, I so appreciate you stopping by and sharing.

Jenny, Thank you! I agree with you there too. They way ADHD is "labeled" on the child...and they push for meds...and I understand they do that because they have to control a room of kids is hard on the child though. Thank you for getting back with me.

Blessings and Love in Christ to you both. jenn

Jenn said...

Hi Charlotte,

I appreciate the knowledge you have shared about medication. Ours is not as much the hyperactivity part...although the Dr. said this can increase. She did suggest medication to help him with focus. I'm not sure what that will be yet, more tests...and I am not sure I will go that route...praying for God to show me what to do that will be best in our case.

It so helps to hear from other moms experiencing it too.

Our child was struggling in school yr before last, so we made the decision to pull out last yr. I can see a little improvement since being home and schooling one on one. In our case, can usually only take small segments of work at a time, or ends up going blank on me.

Our pediatrician is especially knowledgeable for us, because she too has ADHD.

It would be so helpful to know of some books you've read that have encouraged you.

Thank you so much for sharing.

love in Christ, jenn

Jenny said...

I finally got the time to watch that whole video, and while I agree with some of what he said, I don't agree that ADHD is 100% fraud. While it is CERTAINLY over-diagnosed and undoubtedly over-medicated, it is very real for some kids.

Rather than denying it exists, I think it would be more constructive to help a child deal with it as the challenge it is, and without the use of meds (if possible).

Jenn said...

I totally agree with you on that too Jenny.

Thank you so much!