Monday, February 13, 2006

Death by Ritalin?

I tried Ritalin once years ago when I was “diagnosed” with Adult ADD/ADHD. I had no job, neither did my husband, we’d just moved clear across the country, had six kids under our care, and my elderly mother needed daily care. And I decided that this was the moment to stop smoking once and for all. You’d have ADD too!

Then I got a grip and did a bunch of non-drug things to help my frantic brain. Did yoga, learned Brain Gym, mastered meditation, and discovered HeartMath. These things helped a lot. I stopped taking Ritalin in 2-3 weeks.

Meanwhile I’ve always worried about giving kids such high powered stimulants for ADD-like behavior. (I question that ADD is really a “disease” but that’s another subject.)  And the number of kids (and adults) in this country who are taking these drugs daily is staggering!

Now this practice is finally being questioned and not just by grandmothers writing blogs.  A few months ago, the “Wall Street Journal” (hardly noted for discouraging the drug companies or encouraging alternative therapies) suggested that Ritalin and other stimulant drugs might be causing some children to become depressed. It even suggested Brain Gym as a non-drug alternative.

Then just last week, the Food and Drug’s Administration advisory panel voted that Ritalin and other stimulant drugs should carry the strongest warning possible that these drugs may be linked to an increased risk of death and injury.

Need I say more?

P.S. Take a look at some books on non-drug alternatives to drugs for ADD at  I haven’t read any of these so can’t vouch for them personally.

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