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ADHD Drugs Don’t Work?

ADHD Drugs Don't WorkADHD drugs don’t work? Controversial title, right? The topic of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) has received a lot of debate in recent years. The treatment is with drugs. Those who are for the treatment call it a breakthrough whilst many argue it is unnecessarily medicated. I’m no psychologist or medical professional, but I’m fairly sure at school, I’d have been diagnosed with ADHD. Teachers always reported I had the concentration span of a goldfish, that I disrupted the class and one teacher reported that I was so laid back about work I was almost horizontal. Whilst I found that hilarious, you can guess who didn’t.

You may remember my post on creativity last week with creativity expert, Sir Ken Robinson’s account of Gillian Lynn. In brief, her mother was advised to send her to a special school as she kept on disrupting the class and couldn’t concentrate. After seeing a psychologist, her mother sent her to a dance school and Gillian started to perform well in all of her subjects. It transpired she had to move, to be able to think and she went on to be phenomenally successful. We all have to move to be able to think actually, but some more than others.

Back to the drugs. Recent studies have found that they don’t work in the long term, and even in the short-term have limitations in kids actually achieving better results;

The most common medications used to treat ADHD are Ritalin and Adderall, two stimulants that have been proven to enhance cognitive function in the short term, including focus, memory, and attention. According to a number of studies testing for kids’ academic performance with and without the drugs, over a long timeline, the effectiveness of these benefits disappears.

Read more on MedicalDaily.com

On Monday you may have seen a post about exercise where I revealed what happens to our brain when we’re moving. I would not be surprised if ADHD drugs don’t work – after all, it’s a “band-aid” solution. Most Western medicines tend to treat the symptoms rather than address the cause. And I’m of the opinion that any drug is going to have a side effect at some stage. How about instead of putting kids (and adults for that matter) on medication, they are given the opportunity to move more, do more practical stuff – like dance, play sports, teach them a trade. Maybe you can’t teach primary school kids how to become a plumber, but you get the idea. I for one, can focus at 100% when I’m doing practical stuff like building work or whilst windsurfing or kitesurfing. Put me in front of a computer (like right now) and I struggle! Having said that, I can focus pretty well when writing on this blog. When are you most productive? After exercising? After a walk? Whilst walking / moving?

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