Aug 17, 2016

Pills are Easier

A letter writer once irately wrote to a frum magazine, saying that of course, no parents want their children on ADD/ADHD medication unless it's absolutely warranted and all other options are explored.  She was quite adamant about that, though one could wonder how she knows that and whether she might just have projected her feelings onto others.

Mrs. B Grama writes a column for Hamodia's Inyan magazine.  She repudiated this view.  She writes:

"It has become quite common nowadays for us to open our weekly community magazines and find as many as a dozen ads for different therapy centers for children and adults, each one with a full staff of therapists ... Should we ooh and aah about it, or should we wonder why we are raising (or have ourselves become) a helpless, crippled generation that cannot seem to 'swim' on our own? Never before has there been such vast numbers of children who need outside help just to grow up (and vast numbers of parents who need assistance to raise them)."

She goes on to describe a woman who was diagnosed as suffering from "social anxiety" and thinks the woman is simply shy by nature.  Then she wrote about a man who was diagnosed with depression following his father's illness and watching his father suffer and fade away.  She wonders, isn't it normal to feel dejected under those circumstances? He needed support and encouragement from family and friends, not a medical diagnosis.

Worst example of all is about "Shaya's" mother who had a baby and whose father got a promotion so he came home later at night.  Shaya greatly missed all the times he used to speak to his parents after school every day.  "He became restless and unfocused in class and his behavior became problematic.  A psychologist was consulted and Shaya was put on medication to help improve his concentration and behavior."

When Mrs. Grama was consulted she asked the mother, "Wouldn't it be much simpler if you'd just make talking to and spending time with Shaya for about a half an hour at night your first priority?" To her shock, the mother said, "I know, but it's too hard; pills are easier."

So much for parents medicating their kids only as a last resort.

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