Tuesday, May 13, 2008

discriminatory Ritalin

A very sobering observation from Dr. Bruce Woodall in Touchstone (hat tip to Dutch, Reformed for saving me some typing)...

Sixteen years out of residency and I am still waiting for the following scenario: A boy is brought into my office by two parents who are married and living together with their children—a family in which the father is an adult, is employed full time, and is the young patient's legal parent by either natural birth or adoption—and the parents together wish me to prescribe Ritalin for their son's Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder....

He continues by noting that the normal recipient is a young boy with a single mother or grandmother. In other words, Ritalin "discriminates" against girls and almost completely against the children of married parents.

It seems that requests for boys to be on Ritalin are escalating at the same rate as requests for adolescent girls to be placed on antidepressants. When will we, as a culture, face the fact that the empirical evidence is pointing at a particular root issue?

Reminds me of my recent post on the DSM-III on symptoms and criteria vs. causes and context...

After noting that, of course, there are exceptions to the rule, Woodall expands on the rule:

I think there's more to it than mothers needing husbands; I think children need fathers....We cannot measure a "daddy level" in the bloodstream of a child the way we can measure drug levels, but I wish we could. Maybe then we'd have hard data to support the anecdotal evidence I and other clinicians gather every day: Traditional families, like all human endeavors, have their challenges and shortcomings, yet when compared to single-parent families, they demonstrate that there is something magical about the presence of a stable and functional father in a child's life.

Actually, the social sciences literature is replete with evidences of this. Although not as direct as a blood test, the cause/effect here is quite clear.

Woodall's conclusion:

When Dad is not there-- "there" as in living there in the home-- something deep in a child's psyche perceives a critical deficit, a desperate and frightening imbalance that preys on the child's particular vulnerabilities, causing him to careen off into unhealthy extremes.


At December 9, 2008 at 7:22 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

My name is Lance Burnet and i would like to show you my personal experience with Ritalin.

I am 56 years old. I have taken Ritalin for 30 years. I have been diagnosed with a mild form of narcolepsy. I use 4 (10 MG ) pills per day. The drug ahs worked wonders and eliminated the drowsiness and sleep attacks. My concern now is the length of time I have been on it. When taking a "drug holiday" it seems like my symptoms are worse.

I have experienced some of these side effects-
rebound effect when dosage wears off.

I hope this information will be useful to others,
Lance Burnet

Ritalin Prescription Medication


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home