ADD/ADHD, Ritalin, and children?

What is your opinion on the use of Ritalin on children diagnosed with ADD/ADHD? I was a Ritalin child (I was put on it when I was... I guess between 5 - 7 years old?). I'd like to share my experiences with the drug firstly. These are the side effects I experienced: - I often felt light-headed/out of it.... show more What is your opinion on the use of Ritalin on children diagnosed with ADD/ADHD?

I was a Ritalin child (I was put on it when I was... I guess between 5 - 7 years old?). I'd like to share my experiences with the drug firstly. These are the side effects I experienced:

- I often felt light-headed/out of it. Like I was watching myself and everything else play out like a movie. I felt detached, basically. Spacey.

- I felt like a zombie. I was always tired/drowsy/out of it. I felt drained.

- I'd get heart palpitations and feel almost like I was having an anxiety/panic attack.

- Loss of appetite. At school, I'd often take a few bites of my food at most before throwing it away. I never told my mother that I threw the lunches she packed away as I knew she'd be angry. I simply had no appetite. I wasn't hungry. You could pretty much count my ribs despite my mother's efforts to get me to eat.


My opinion is that ADD/ADHD is wildly over-diagnosed and Ritalin is wildly over-prescribed. I sometimes wonder if ADD/ADHD is even a legitimate disorder or if we're just slapping a disorder on kids being kids as an excuse to medicate them so that they are easier to deal with. Children have energy. Children have short attention-spans. Some more than others.

It makes me sad to people put their children on what is essentially /speed/.

A lot of people don't realize how complex a child's thought processes are even at such a young age. I remember my mother bringing me in to the doctor. I remember being apprehensive about being put on a medication. I was scared. My parents explained it to me as best they could, but all I could make of it as a child was that they didn't like me the way I was and that they were going to put me on a medication that would make me not me. It made me very upset to think they wanted to change me. Of course, as a child, I couldn't put these feelings and thoughts into words properly. My parents never knew of these thoughts.

So, I ask, what is your opinion of ADD/ADHD and Ritalin in children?
Update: I'm not criticizing anyone, Des, just giving my opinion based on what I know/experienced. I'm positive that that was the intention of my parents as well. I certainly don't think they intended for me to have a negative experience with the drug! Though, I was on the drug up until my teens. Boy did I... show more I'm not criticizing anyone, Des, just giving my opinion based on what I know/experienced.

I'm positive that that was the intention of my parents as well. I certainly don't think they intended for me to have a negative experience with the drug! Though, I was on the drug up until my teens. Boy did I gain weight after I was taken off it!

... Could certainly use to lose some, now :P
Update 2: Bo, thank you for telling me that. I did not realize that there was actual, visual evidence of a difference in a person's brain via MRI.

It may not be fake, but it certainly is over-diagnosed. I don't see why they don't require an MRI for diagnosis if an MRI can detect it for sure.
Update 3: Ah, no problem Des :)
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