Let Us Not Look Back In Anger, Or Forward In Fear, But Around In Awareness.*

As much as I understand the need to examine all the angles; and people’s right to express their opinions; and I have nothing against the article as such- but this is exactly the kind of thing that makes us parents so friggin’ nervous!!!
Ritalin Use Doubles After Divorce is SO not the kind of article you want to come across if your child has just been or is going through the AD/HD diagnosis process. And trust me bunnies- actually getting a diagnosis is no quick thing. It means reams and reams of paperwork and questionnaires, plenty of appointments with doctors and specialists of all sorts and lots and lots of frustration and tears for the child as well as the parents. In my experience- AD/HD medication use does indeed increase after divorce, often because one of the parents is completely anti-medication (something I learned in my support group- I’m not sucking it out of my thumb)… much to the child’s detriment. And the stress of dealing with an AD/HDer is often the cause of divorce, not divorce the cause of ADHD as is often assumed. Here are some snippets from the article…
“Results from a recent Canadian study show that children from broken marriages are twice as likely to be prescribed attention-deficit drugs as children whose parents stay together… Other studies have shown that children of single parents are more likely to get prescribed drugs such as Ritalin… On the other hand, there is also the very public perception that divorce is always bad for kids and so when children of divorce come to the attention of the health-care system- possibly because parents anticipate their child must be going through adjustment problems- doctors may be more likely to diagnose a problem and prescribe Ritalin… In March, a University of California, Berkeley study found that the use of drugs to treat ADHD has more than tripled worldwide since 1993. Strohschein said it is possible that some mental health problems pre-date the divorce…”
The article ended with this question: Ritalin use has a long and checkered history? What are your views on this drug? For what reason was your child prescribed the drug and have you noticed an improvement?
I’d love to hear your opinions…
*James Thurber

3 thoughts on “Let Us Not Look Back In Anger, Or Forward In Fear, But Around In Awareness.*

  1. When I was a kid, we ‘broken-homers’ had to save our lunch money so we could score drugs from the dealers in the parking lot- an activity that was discouraged by the authorities. Nowadays, they can’t seem to give kids enough dope, only now it’s called ‘medicine’.
    We took ritalin for kicks back then, it was like cheap speed- the hyper kids would trade it for pot, they said the pot worked better for calming them…

  2. i doubt that divorce and or single parents are the reason for attention deficit disorders. I was raised by a single mom and turned out just fine as have many of my friends. I also know kids that have ADHD and other disorders and they have 2 parents so thats bull. And you are right the disorder is often one of the reasons for divorce mainly because parents disagree on how to handle the kid and treat the disease.

    As for the drug itself just like other medications it has some serious side effects and one should weigh those against the benefit of taking the medication and then make the decision.

  3. I can really relate to your frustration at being a single parent and people assuming that is the cause of your problems.

    When I read articles such as these I get so annoyed at the damage and hostility towards successful diagnosis and treatment that they cause.

    Why is it that the general public CANNOT/WILL NOT see ADHD as a serious handicap ……

    I pray that the public becomes ‘educated’ and made aware so that families can have more support and understanding but more so –

    that the professionals involved can wake up & help educate us all!!

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