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There are many links to educational pages at the bottom of this brief summary of Ritalin and Attention Deficit Disorder, by doctors, psychiatrists and other professionals.
Ritalin is given to millions of children every year, with the amount growing. Psychiatry has convinced a majority of the public that up to 20% of our children are "mentally ill" and need these drugs to correct their "brain imbalances". Strangely, the behaviors the psychiatrists cite as evidence of the disease have been around as long as children have been getting into cookie jars and running out in front of cars (or should I say "running out in front of horses").
Children are often interested in many things, easily distracted, prone to jump up in sudden interest, or refuse to stop what they are doing. These natural tendencies, which have existed in children as long as there have been children, have been packaged into groups of symptoms, and called Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) or Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). Mainly, it's a group of behaviors that certain parents, teachers and authoritarians don't like or can't deal with effectively. So they have given it a fancy name, called this a "mental disorder", and set loose an avalanche of child drugging. The drug companies, who profit greatly by the drugging of children, are often quietly directing advertising and "objective studies" in the background.
It's not that some children aren't incredibly hard to control, disruptive, impulsive and distractible. The situations do exist. The error lies in believing these behaviors to be due to some "mental disorder", which resolve with the modern magical panacea known as drugs. There is much evidence that the true source of the undesirable behaviors are more due to boring classrooms, natural child tendencies and energy, alternate inherent natural learning methods in some children, poor parenting, poor home environment, faulty diet, allergies, environmental toxins, and even poor "matching" between children and parents.
The point is that there is much that can be done in the way of addressing life and taking responsibility for various aspects of life, which often resolves the apparent problems that have been incorrectly called ADHD, ADD or LD (learning disabled). Again, it's not these these "bundles of behaviors" don't exist, but that the existence of them as a "disease", like cancer or arthritis, is a falsehood and an invalid assumption. This is discussed in detail in the articles and chapters below.
We try to tell our children to "Say No To Drugs", and then force them to take Ritalin, a Class II narcotic, very similar in chemical composition and function to both amphetamines ("speed") and cocaine. Ritalin is addictive and subject to severe withdrawal symptoms. It has numerous undesirable side-effects, some of which may be permanent.
Labeling a child with a psychiatric illness has devastating effects on how other people view and treat him or her and how they view themselves. It is also degrading because the child is often told there is "nothing he can do about it". This robs him of responsibility, because it's "not his fault his brain is bad", and the most he can do is 1) accept his disability, and 2) take his drugs (or shock treatments). A child should and can learn to be in control of their behavior. The approach of labeling them with a psychiatric illness tends to deny control, and also the drugging acts to cover and submerge whatever actual problems exist that could be addressed by other, more therapeutic, methods.
The proof that Ritalin and other type drugs don't "cure" any underlying "disease" is that both people with and without the "mental illness" respond the same to the drugs. They both get "off" and "high" in the same way. If there were actually some "brain imbalance" or "disorder", which were being corrected in the "unhealthy" patient by the drug, it wouldn't be expected to have a similar result in a healthy person - but it does. Whatever the drugs do, and the psychiatrists know very little of how or why they work as they do, the drugs do it the same on the "healthy" and "mentally ill" alike. Whatever is occurring, it is not a "cure" for an "illness".
The pages in this section of the web site supply much information on the history, use, abuse, problems and controversy surrounding Ritalin, other child drugging, and the behaviors described by ADD, ADHD and LD.
Click on the links below to open and view the material.
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Don't drug a child and . . .
Say NO To Psychiatry!
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