Tuesday, May 12, 2015

ADHD or Diversity

First, let me preface this by saying that I don't believe in evolution on a general (millions and billions of years away from single-cell living). However, I do believe in natural selection (to some extent) and humans being able to effect their own environment. I also do not see myself as a "crunchy" mom, or a medical expert in any way. These are just my own thoughts on a difficult subject.

Have you ever wondered whether we could bottle up the energy of a 5 year old boy? Guess what, this magical elixir does exist! For people with ADHD, every day they deal with this over-abundance of energy.

So, why exactly is that a problem? I understand that it does cause difficulty when it comes to sitting still and listening to a lecture or working an "office job", but people with ADHD are often very intelligent. Our world full of billions of people has so much diversity and beauty, so why do we feel the need to medicate such a huge percentage of that diversity?

What causes one person to treat a mental "condition" and others to embrace it?

I can absolutely understand parents and teachers not having the energy or patience to deal with their children, whether from ADHD, autism or other special needs. However, just because a medication does exist for a condition, doesn't mean that your child needs it.

There are a ton of resources for ADHD other than medication. Lifestyle and diet changes, coping techniques, and educational changes. If we can bottle this energy from childhood and give our children the ability to handle things better as they grow, why wouldn't we want to? Maybe that energy will be what inspires an adult to stay up all night and discover the cure for cancer one day. Maybe that energy fuels the overnight mechanical operator at a local utility or plant. Maybe that energy will calm or keep up with future 3 and 4 year old boys. Not every deviation from normal is a bad thing. We should value the diversity of our population and not necessarily treat all mental conditions as "problems".

Now, any condition that causes potential harm to oneself or others (such as depression, bi-polar, paranoid schizophrenia) does need some combination of either medication or close supervision. But in most mild cases, medication isn't necessary and can even exacerbate some symptoms. People with some of these conditions are also the creative, free-thinkers of our world. Why do we want to limit their potential.

For instance, my husband is an outgoing introvert, and I'm a reserved extrovert. We balance each other out and make each other more well-rounded. He is a spender and I am a saver. He's helped me be more giving and I've helped him spend more wisely. If we lived in closer community with larger families (3 generations, more than 1 or 2 kids per generation) we would have less need to medicate and more opportunity to help them cope by providing one-on-one assistance.

Just because something is "not normal" doesn't mean that it's always going to be "wrong". Just my opinion...
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