ADHD Is a Real Disease

Discussion in 'Up to the Minute' started by tennessee, Aug 7, 2007.

  1. tennessee

    tennessee Blew out my flipflop. Stepped on a pop top . . .

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    http://health.msn.com/centers/adhd/articlepage.aspx?cp-documentid=100167402&gt1=10316


    "MONDAY, Aug. 6 (HealthDay News) -- Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a real disease linked to changes in production of the brain chemical dopamine, two new reports suggest.

    In the first report, researchers found that a variant of the dopamine receptor gene may help cause the behavioral condition but also improve its long-term outcome.

    "If you have a certain variant of this gene, you have a greatly increased risk of having ADHD," said lead researcher Dr. Philip Shaw, a researcher in the Child Psychiatry Branch at the U.S. National Institute of Mental Health. However, "what we found that was surprising was that having this variant was also associated with having a better outcome from ADHD," he said."

    Much more in this very interesting article.
     
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  3. ceeaura

    ceeaura Former Member

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    Very interesting article.Thanks for posting it tennessee :)

    This paragraph is so true.My husband and I got married in 1992.In 1994 we seperated.He couldn't stay focused, went from one project to another among other things.Needless to say it put a strain on our marriage.At the time our daughter started having issues the same way.Homework was a long stressfull time for us.What should have taken 20-30 minutes to do,took 2-4 hours.With fits of crying because she was so frustrated.

    One afternoon I was watching a talk show(don't remember which one)and they were talking about adult ADD.The bells and whistles went off.Everything they said fit my husband to a tee!!I told him about the show and what I thought.Well he scoffed at me.Guess later he talked to his mom and told her what I had said.Well she told him he did have ADD a doctor diagnosed him at 11 but she just didn't trust the meds ect at that time.He was stunned.He seems to do better now(we are still married) I have always thought that as he got older the better he seemed.Oh don't get me wrong.I can still see symptoms of the ADD just not as bad as at 22 (hes now 37)
    We have 3 children and all 3 have ADD(The doctors have said they don't have the hyper)It took forever to get the help for my daughter.To get her seen by the Navy doctors we had to have a report from the teacher and school nurse.Her second grade teacher said no she did not have ADD because girls didn't get ADD (this was in south carolina)The 3rd grade teacher referal we got but the school nurse said she would not give us a referal because she didn't Have ADD because girls didn't get it but she thought my daughters problem was due because she had been sexually abused :eek: :furious: I was so angry with that nurse that I was shaking and crying and I told her that she had just crossed the line and that she needed to go back to school because girls can have ADD that the symptoms are just not the same as boys.(this was in california)
    By this time I had enough and had decided that we would just deal with it on our own as we had been.
    In 4th grade (Washington state at this time) her teacher contacted us about my daughter having symptoms of ADD.I told him of the issues we had in the past and he was furious.With his help we finally were able to take her the Navy Docs (psychologist and family doctor)Who took 6 months before putting her on meds.He only wanted her on meds for a couple of years.Basically long enough for her to grow and mature and her brain to get use to how it should be working.

    The changes I saw in her after a week were amazing!!She had more confidence.She could hold a conversation now.The best part is the homework was being done and she wasn't crying in frustration anymore!She has been off her meds for 4 years now and she still has issues with her ADD(being unorganized mainly)

    My other two children have ADD also.My middle child just stoped taking his meds this summer.My youngest I haven't started on meds yet.I am going to wait until hes older (hes going into first grade this year)

    Sorry about my long post :blushing: I just know for a fact that ADD/ADHD is real.I do think it is over diagnosed though.
     
  4. Taximom

    Taximom Former Member

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    I'm glad they continue to do these studies. I wish it were easier for the world to accept "new" disorders instead of blaming it on bad parenting or behavior issues.

    ceeaura, I remember reading an article a long time ago about girls and add/adhd and how they are able to cover up the symptoms easier because of the way girls are in general. I will try to find it because it was very interesting! ETA: I think this is the article, but I'm not sure. It addresses what I was speaking about though regarding girls and ADD/ADHD.
    http://www.addvance.com/help/women/high_school.html

    I'm embarrassed to say I used to think ADD/ADHD was out-of-control behavior. :blushing: I have two out of four children on medication, which I resisted for years, that has helped them tremendously. The difference is positive and unbelievable.

    Thanks for the link, tennessee!
     
  5. calus_3

    calus_3 Former Member

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    I was one of the uneducated and judgemental people who thought that ADD/ADHD was either bad parents not wanting to deal with their kids or teachers wanting zombies.

    That was until I had a kid with ADD. I also have it but it is undiagnosed and I have been able to find workarounds....hey, what was I saying? :D

    Our son was having problems focusing...not hyper in any way, just couldn't focus.

    We tried everything a parent could try....all manners of discipline and change control. Nothing worked.

    Finally, as he was about to fail 2nd grade...we talked to his pediatrician and she suggested we try the medication. If he didn't have it, he would be hyper as hell. Not only was he not hyper, he was outstanding. Grades went to mostly A's and his happiness, confidence, and social skills improved.

    Kids with ADD/ADHD sometimes fail to get or understand body language and social cues from peers. I never understood why my son was going off when I was trying to show him how to improve his swing in baseball....he thought I was making fun of him. He would stomp off into the house leaving me in the yard wondering "how did he get that I was making fun of him?".

    He is off medications for the summer but we will be going on again soon for the school year.

    Yes, it is real.

    Cal
     
  6. ceeaura

    ceeaura Former Member

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    Thank you for that link Taximom!!!That was very informative and so true.I see so much of that in my daughter.She just read the article with me and she sees a lot of that in herself.

    Thanks for posting it.I am going to print that article so she can show her friends so they will have a better understanding of her :)
     
  7. Taximom

    Taximom Former Member

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    Aw, that's great, ceeaura! You made my day. :blowkiss: It's so hard for kids when they don't feel like they fit in with the rest.
     
  8. Buzz Mills

    Buzz Mills New Member

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    Brain chemical has key role in ADHD

    WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Two studies published on Monday showed the importance of a brain chemical in attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, with researchers saying it might help explain why people with ADHD often are substance abusers. Researchers at the U.S. National Institutes of Health focused on the role of dopamine, a chemical messenger in the brain involved in governing movement, emotional response and the ability to feel pleasure and pain.

    A team led by Dr. Nora Volkow, director of the NIH's National Institute on Drug Abuse, documented decreased dopamine activity in the brains of a group of adults with ADHD. Volkow said the decreased dopamine activity related to systems involved with attention and cognition, but also with reward.

    Researchers have known that people with ADHD are more likely than others to smoke cigarettes and abuse alcohol, marijuana, cocaine and other drugs. The decreased dopamine activity in the brains of people with ADHD pointed to an explanation, Volkow said. "If you take a drug of abuse, whether it's alcohol, nicotine or cocaine or methamphetamine -- it doesn't matter -- what you're going to be doing is temporarily increasing the concentration of dopamine in the brain," Volkow said in a telephone interview. "So a person then has a greater risk (of substance abuse) because it's not just that they are taking the drug because they want to get high, but by taking the drug, they may actually feel better and temporarily perform better."

    ADHD is a condition that often becomes apparent in preschool and early school years. Children with ADHD have a tougher time controlling their behavior and paying attention.

    http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20070806/sc_nm/adhd_brain_dc
     
  9. Malapoo

    Malapoo New Member

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    I'm so glad to see them "separated" because I know two females who claim to be ADHD. I absolutely believe the ADD part because they can't complete anything and make far more mistakes then anyone else and not because they're just stupid. But the hyperactive part - NO WAY - both take every chance they can to sit on their butts and when they do, they sit quietly. The people I know who truly are hyperactive cannot sit STILL - they're up and down or if they must sit, SOMETHING (foot, fingers, hand) is jiggling rapidly the whole time and that's even with medication.
     
  10. deanws

    deanws Former Member

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    Yes...they are two different things. Some people have both at the same time. Sounds like these women might have addlz! Add along with being lazy!!!

    :laugh: :laugh: :laugh: :laugh:
     
  11. Kim Ii

    Kim Ii New Member

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    Here is a link to a video re: ADHD. I have not viewed this clip, so I can't vouch for it one way or the other.

    Our son, now 14, was diagnosed as being ADHD when he was 7 years old. We were told that if we put Ryan on Ritalin, he would ONLY THEN, be a 'normal' boy (direct quote from the Psychiatrist who 'diagnosed' Ryan.)

    I did not want to put our son on a Schedule II drug. Then, after just one or two doses (.5 mg), Ryan would appear to be in a complete stupor -- it was really horrifying to watch our son turn into a complete zombie after just a small amount of this drug in his system. Eventually, after approximately one month on Ritalin, we pulled him off. His teachers readily admitted that the drug didn't do a thing for Ryan's academics. I would add that Ryan was not a behavioral issue at all -- the Ritalin, this Psychiatrist claimed, was to help Ryan solely with his academic learning issues.

    Well...after much frustration and no where else to turn, I called an organization called DREDF (Disability Rights Education Defense Fund). I spoke with a woman named Nancy, who eventually turned everything around for us.

    She told me the very first thing we needed to do was to have Ryan fully evaluated vis-a-vis a complete Neuro Psych Evaluation. Once we had an evaluation on Ryan, Nancy told me we could then work with our school district (via an IEP/Individualized Educational Program). But -- we needed that evaluation before working on an appropriate IEP for Ryan.

    We scheduled an appointment for Ryan at Oakland, California's Children's Hospital. I cannot tell you how important this evaluation was for Ryan! He was evaluated by the Neuro Psych Department Head and was found NOT to be ADHD whatsoever! It turns out, as she stated, he was a completely NORMAL LITTLE BOY, who simply had learning difference issues. Ryan was found to have profound Dysgraphia, a disorder regarding inability to grasp mathematical concepts and higher order speech/language issues.

    Once we had our evaluation in hand, we were able to proceed to work with our school district for an appropriate program for Ryan.

    It hasn't been easy -- we live in a school district which is notoriously late in giving assessments and services. Fortunately, my husband is an attorney and his expertise in navigating through the legal issues really helped in the long run.

    Further, in doing more research into the ADHD issue, I found one particular issue which really impacted me emotionally. NO ONE can diagnose a so-called brain disease (as 'they' are claiming ADHD is) with just a pad of paper, a pen and subjective analysis (as this particular Psychiatrist did with Ryan). NO LAB WORK WAS EVER DONE...no physical examination was ever performed. Yet, within just 40 minutes, our PERFECTLY NORMAL SON was diagnosed with a brain disorder/ADHD.

    I have been asked by our State Board of Medicine to file a complaint against this Psychiatrist. I have not, as I know how hard it is to navigate the legal waters over this issue and time just isn't on my side. But it just appalls me that this type of medical fraud happens all the time -- every day.

    I will continue to state that if a child is 'diagnosed' with a brain disorder by a Psychiatrist, the chances are that this is a true diagnosis are SLIM. If your child is experiencing difficulties in school because of learning issue differences, etc., I would urge you to have a full and complete Neuro Psych evaluation performed by a competent physician/psychologist.

    Dr. Carina Grandison performed our son's evaluation at Children's Oakland Hospital. We are forever in her debt for uncovering Ryan's true issues and thankfully, Ryan is doing extremely well because of this wonderful woman's evaluation and support throughout, and after, her evaluation. Ryan made the Honor Roll in school last year and although we are still struggling with math and writing issues somewhat, he is doing very well.

    I am a former Legal Assistant, and will totally acknowledge that I don't know everything about learning issues/ADHD. I can only go by our own experiences with Ryan's issues, etc.

    Oh...almost forgot this one. As a test of this Psychiatrist's abilities, and because I highly suspected he may be a complete fraud, I actually scheduled an appointment with him for MYSELF, AFTER HE HAD 'DIAGNOSED' Ryan. I had a mother who kept all of our report cards as kids and I actually brought one of my report cards from grade school with me on my appointment.

    I have always had difficulties with math -- this showed on my report card (even though I, too, was a good student overall.) Guess a big what -- I, TOO, was diagnosed as being ADHD and was given a prescription for Ritalin!

    OMG...it was the above story which led the State Board of California to strongly suggest I file a Complaint against this physician. I still may end up doing so, but in the end, as my hubby states, all the work put into that complaint will most likely garner NOTHING in response.

    Anyway, that's MY story. I don't mean to frighten anyone, but after what we've been through, I always think it a good idea to share my story when I see something like the above.

    Good luck to all of you who are struggling with the same issue! I know it isn't easy....
     
  12. Kim Ii

    Kim Ii New Member

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  13. Kim Ii

    Kim Ii New Member

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    Here is a link to an article re: ADHD by noted Medical Investigative Journalist, Evelyn Pringle: http://www.onlinejournal.com/artman/publish/article_672.shtml

    Just noting from our own personal experiences with psychiatry regarding our son's learning issues, I found this article to be very interesting.
     
  14. Kim Ii

    Kim Ii New Member

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  15. hollyjokers

    hollyjokers New Member

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    I've got ADD. Throughout elementary school I always got straight A's, scored high on standardized testing, was actually obnoxious about it looking back. I think I was successful because being a girl my desire for my teachers to like me & to think I was smart was my primary focus. It's not that I can't pay attention to anything, it's more like I get hyper-focused on one thing that makes it difficult for me to retrain my thoughts elsewhere when they need to be. Anyway middle school & high school my grades went into decline. Usually I would cram & make up a bunch of missed assignments the last week of the term to get by. Didn't go on to college because I genuinely felt I would not be able to pull off the end of term cramming, so I got married & had kids.

    Now my son has ADD. We've tried ritalin, concerta, adderall with varying results. Adderall was the worst - he could do his schoolwork all right, but he would be WIRED all night, had no appetite, no personality, he lost weight & actually was off the chart for height & weight for his age. He has been on Focalin for a little over a year now & we've not noticed any side effects whatsever. He has gained weight & grown several inches which was a big relief.

    I have since gone for meds for myself. I was started on Strattera. That made me nauseus, tired, achy, & had no effect whatsoever on my ability to focus. So now I am on Focalin and it works for me too.

    I'm lazy too: don't get me wrong, but there is definitely a difference in what I can do on meds & when I'm off them. It's just a matter of finding what drug works for you. Adderall or Strattera might work great for others.

    I am glad to see ADD/ADHD receive some validation. I hate when people say parents who medicate their kids are taking the easy way out. I'd like to see those critics spend 6 hours trying to get a kid to do 20 minutes worth of homework. Hell yeah its easier!
     
  16. txsvicki

    txsvicki Active Member

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    My grandsons both take metedate (ritalin) and abilify. It helped their behavior and grades at school, but their behavior at home is really not helped all the time.
     
  17. OneLostGrl

    OneLostGrl I'm going against the grain- I'm going sane

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    oh gosh, I have no doubt I may upset some people with this post but I felt the need to point something out..

    Let me start by saying although the ADD/ADHD, much like Bipolar, is overdiagnosed, I agree that ADD/ADHD are very real illnesses.

    OK, on to the point of my post- KimIi, I'm very sorry for the difficulties you had with your son when he was younger and am SO glad that you were one of the lucky ones who's child was MIS-diagnosed with ADD, or as you refered to it in another (older) thread (http://www.websleuths.com/forums/showthread.php?t=48383), an Autism spectrum disorder. I have seen what the medications for this disorder can do to a child (or adult) who does not have the disease and I agree, it isn't pretty.

    However, I am having a difficult time with your reasons behind posting the articles you choose to place here and on that older thread I refer to above. What I have found while reading at the links you provided and then my own fact checking on the doctors you quote as experts.

    I'll begin with Dr. Russell Blaylock.. Almost everything I have come across about Blaylock seems to point to him being either a member of or supporter of Scientology. Not that that in and of itself is bad but, OF COURSE he is going to say negative things regarding Psychiatry and the meds used to treat "brain disorders" if he is a Scientologist- that's their one major issue they involve themselves in (think Tom Cruise, John Travolta) and fight against tooth and nail.

    Blaylock used to claim he was faculity at the Medical School of Ole Miss, the school heard about his claims and made him change his website. On his website for Atavistik films he never even mentions the other things he does (like being a hot shot doctor), just another front group, I wonder.

    moving on- In the thread I mentioned earlier you posted articles written by Dr. Boyd Haley (http://www.websleuths.com/forums/showpost.php?p=1426105&postcount=29). Scroll down from that url and there are a couple of other posts by you about Haley, refering to him as "another hero".
    Haley is a Scientologist (http://www.kevinleitch.co.uk/wp/?cat=40), OF COURSE the articles he writes are against "psychiatric" illnesses!

    Here on this thread you posted articles written by Evelyn Pringle... Once again, a Scientologist! In one of her articles she even quotes the Citizens Commission on Human Rights director and the stats from their studies as fact, as if the CCHR could ever have an unbiased opinion- they are Scientology! Also in her articles (in the links you gave here) she is quoting HAPI as well and even writes about Haley. Anyone with a slight amount of info about Scientology could pick up that these writers are Scientologists.

    We are all aware of what Scientology thinks of Psych meds and how they feel about "mental" illness in general- Tom Cruise gave us a front seat when he told the world there is no such thing as a chemical imbalance and that by treating our children with meds, were killing them.

    Although I get your point, Kim, I have to admit, I'm still not buying anything Scientology is trying to sell. The articles they write have no FACTS in them and their studies are plenty of things but accurate and balanced they are not! As far as I'm concerned anything they write is trash.

    It's not that I disagree with everything they say.. wait, yes, it is because I disagree with everything they say. I'd love to see some articles posted on the subject that aren't written by a Scientologist.
     
  18. narlacat

    narlacat Former Member

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    Let me start by agreeing with you Lostgirl- lol

    Every kid and his dog is apparently ADD/AHAD! try not giving your kid sugar and processed food and see the difference, it's often as something as simple as that-

    And again, I will second what you said about anything written by Scientologists- they so haven't got a grip on reality- and that's saying something coming from me!- even by my standards that stuff is just plain wierd.
     
  19. calus_3

    calus_3 Former Member

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    What I think is that unless you have a child that has ADD/ADHD, you should really keep your opinions about whether it is diet or exercise or real or not real to yourself. The last thing that someone wants to hear is some armchair quarterback second guessing their decisions.

    Because until you go through this with a child, you really don't know what the hell it is you are talking about. It would be kind of like me commenting on whether PMS is real or not and what the remedy is. Now for those that have had success with nonconventional techniques, diet changes, etc. then let's talk. But someone sitting back who never faced this problem and preaching about how ever kid is ADD/ADHD doesn't help anyone....especially since you don't know what the hell you are talking about. But be careful because God or karma or whatever fate you believe has a funny way of coming back to roost.

    I know because I used to be an armchair quarterback on the topic! :D

    Cal
     
  20. ceeaura

    ceeaura Former Member

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    Cal your post brought tears to my eyes!Some of the struggles I have had with people about my own children *sigh*Not getting into that.I really hated having to put my child(ren) on meds.For my daughter I did the diet thing...still doing it today.It really doesn't help in my family.We as a family do other things as well along with the meds.Its not like I am giving my children a pill and say ok now you are all better.It takes more than just that.

    Kim I am going to have to agree with OneLostGrl.I am not buying what Scientology is trying to sell.I am so happy that your son was properly diagnosed and hes doing well :)

    Also I do agree that ADD/ADHD is over/wrongly diagnosed.I just know in my family...it was correct.
     
  21. tennessee

    tennessee Blew out my flipflop. Stepped on a pop top . . .

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    Both myself and my daughter are ADD. I take Adderall. She has chosen to take nothing at this point, as she doesn't even take tylenol for a headache.

    I always knew that there was something different about me and the way I process information. I mean from the time I was in 6th grade or so. The Adderall has only been a part of my life for a month and I am amazed at the difference it is making in my day to day living.

    Ditto on the Scientology . . . um, . . . pooh.
     

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