November 6th, 2015 Homeopathic VS. Prescription Treatment for Children with ADHD
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder also known as ADHD, affects 8%-10% of school-aged children. (Dryden-Edwards,"Mental Illness in Children Symptoms, Causes, Treatment-What Are the Most Common Mental Illnesses in Children?-MedicineNet"). As the numbers of children diagnosed with ADHD continue to rise, so do the numbers of prescription medication prescribed as a treatment plan. Knowing how ADHD is diagnosed and how treatment is determined is crucially important to the child's overall well-being and success as a functioning part of society. Just as important, knowing that there are alternatives to the traditional pharmaceutical approach. Homeopathic treatment is the usage of all-natural plants and minerals that are diluted with double-distilled water. (Ullman,"Why Our Site Is Trustworthy AND Worthy of Your Business and Support!"). The usage of homeopathic remedies have shown to be successful when used as treatment for children diagnosed with ADHD.
Despite the research of homeopathic remedies as an effective treatment plan for children with ADHD, medical providers continue to prescribe stimulant prescription drugs to these children. This should be alarming to those who are providing care to the child with ADHD. If there is an alternative for treating ADHD besides administering stimulants to the child, why are medical providers not considering all possible treatment plans before determining which will be best for the child? One of the main reasons that healthcare providers should focus more on homeopathic treatment as to traditional prescription drugs is there are no side-effects to this all-natural treatment path. (De Schepper, "DrLuc"). Studies show the effectiveness of homeopathic treatment based on the child's specific medical needs. In one of the studies which was "A double blind, placebo-controlled study of 43 children with ADHD shows that homeopathy can be effective in treating the disorder" (Mehl-Madrona,"Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) in Children: Homeopathic Remedies & Treatments for ADHD/ADD"). The study was based off of the children receiving either a homeopathic treatment or placebo for the course of ten days. During the test phase, parents and caregivers would evaluate and report how often the child displayed any ADHD behavior. The children that were given the homeopathic treatment medicine reported to show less ADHD behavior than those children that were given the placebos.(Mehl-Madrona,"Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) in Children: Homeopathic Remedies & Treatments for ADHD/ADD"). The homeopathic researchers continued to follow-up with the 43 children that were given homeopathic remedies or the placebo. "When evaluated in a follow-up interview two months after the study's end, 57% of the children showing improvement with homeopathy had continued to improve, even though they had discontinued the homeopathic medicines; twenty-four percent relapsed by the time of the follow-up; and the remaining 19% continued to experience positive results, but only while taking the homeopathic medicines" (Mehl-Madrona, "Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) in Children: Homeopathic Remedies & Treatments for ADHD/ADD"). Just in this one study alone you can see that homeopathic remedies are a successful alternative to prescription drugs. The lack of tests and studies on homeopathy is the primary reason that it's not as well known as treating with stimulant medication. Homeopathy is a not funded by the government, which makes it difficult to have more supporting evidence that it actually works. The National Institute of Mental Health Board needs to contribute more to the research and studies of homeopathic remedies and it's effectiveness to reduce the significantly increasing rates of children who are diagnosed and prescribed stimulant drugs for ADHD.
Although the studies and research on homeopathic remedies isn't as well known, the process in how the child is diagnosed and treated differs from the process that is typically used by healthcare providers. The homeopathic doctor determines the best treatment plan by assessing each child as an individual and not grouping the child into one of the three subtype categories (combined, inattentive, and hyperactive-impulsive) that is used by healthcare providers who determine the child's medical treatment path. (Kratimenos, "The Hyperactive Child-British Homeopathic Association"). " Each child is assessed as the unique person they are. The remedy must reflect everything about the child. A detailed history is fundamental to the correct choice of remedy. The more information gathered, the easier it is to find that tailor-made remedy" (Kratimenos, "The Hyperactive Child-British Homeopathic Association"). The result of the homeopathic doctors treatment process has proven to be effective. By assessing the child as an individual and not grouping the child into one of the three subtypes, the child receives the proper treatment to assist them through their daily lives. The National Institute of Mental Health Board should require that all medical providers assess the child whom is being evaluated for ADHD as an individual and not have these three subtypes to place these children under.
Currently, prescribing stimulants to children diagnosed with ADHD is the leading treatment method. The study of ADHD is the number one study researched researched of all mental illnesses in children. (Conner, "Problems of Overdiagnosis and Overprescribing in ADHD"). The pharmaceutical industry is funded and supported by the Government, which makes the resources and information about the effectiveness of prescription drugs prescribed to children diagnosed with ADHD endless. Through many case studies, stimulant drugs have been reported to be the most effective treatment method in children with ADHD. "Stimulants are believed to work by increasing dopamine levels in the brain. Dopamine is a neurotransmitter associated with motivation, pleasure, attention, and movement" (Robinson, Smith, Segal, Ramsey, " ADD/ADHD Medications"). Based on the funding and support of prescription medication, the argument that stimulant drugs are effective and successful are strong. Just because studies have shown stimulants to be successful in the assistance of the child's behavior, doesn't mean that this is the right treatment plan. Parent's, caregivers and healthcare providers should thoroughly educate themselves on all aspects of administering stimulants to children with ADHD prior to selecting this as the preferred treatment plan.
Before the healthcare provider can determine which treatment plan will be the most beneficial when it comes to prescription medication, they must assess the child who is currently being evaluated for ADHD. The healthcare provider determines what the child will be prescribed by completing a full health exam. This exam includes vision and hearing screenings in addition to the complete well exam. ("Diagnosing ADD/ADHD: How Doctors Assess Children and Adults"). In addition to the physical exam the healthcare provider gathers information about the child from many sources such as the school the child attends, any caregiver that spends time with the child, and of course the parents of the child being evaluated. After these steps are completed, the child "will be diagnosed with one of the three subtypes of ADHD: Primarily Inattentive, Primarily Hyperactive or Combined subtype" ("Diagnosing ADD/ADHD: How Doctors Assess Children and Adults"). This is a problem because the child is being placed in a category based off the results of the full exam that most closely meets one of the three subtypes. We all know that not one person is the same, how can medical providers consciously categorize the 6.4 million children (as of 2011) ("Data & Statistics"), with ADHD into this small box? If the diagnosis process continues to remain the same, we will not only continue to have a rise in children diagnosed with ADHD in the United states, we will also continue to see a rise in the over prescribing of stimulants (Conner, "Problems of Overdiagnosis and Overprescribing in ADHD").
Equally important to stimulant drugs and homeopathic remedies, is the side effects that have been reported to the healthcare providers in both fields of treatment. Side effects are inevitable with any form of treatment, so we are told anyway. Based on studies of children that are receiving homeopathic treatment " There is no drugging effect, and there are no side-effects from homeopathic remedies" (De Schepper, "DrLuc"). Like with anything new to the human body, certain homeopathic remedies may cause irratation. "Unwanted effects are homeopathic aggravations, recognized by the well-trained homeopath and easily managed" (De Schepper, "DrLuc"). Based on the studies of side-effects in relation to homeopathic treatment, it's pretty clear that this method of treatment is overall the safest and healthiest treatment route for the child being treated for ADHD. Given the results of side-effects while using homeopathic remedies, The National Mental Health Department should see this treatment option as the greater beneficial course of treatment than the traditional administration of prescription drugs.
In all fairness, knowing the side-effects of using prescription drugs as the treatment plan for the child diagnosed with ADHD is equally important when determining the right plan of action. While there are numerous stimulant drugs that are used for treating ADHD in children, Ritalin is one of the top prescription drugs prescribed to children with ADHD. Ritalin has alarming side effects such as "Causes insomnia, a decreased appetite, and delayed growth, disturbing news considering that 50% of children derive no benefit whatsoever of Ritalin" (De Schepper, "DrLuc"). The following side effects are reported after the usage of other stimulant drugs taken by the child: Feeling restless, jittery, headaches, upset stomach, mood swings, irritability, depression and racing heart beat are just the few mentioned. (Robinson, Smith, Segal, Ramsey, "ADD/ADHD Medications"). Based on the side-effects reported to the healthcare provider, I would question anyone who didn't find the side-effects to be more than disturbing and torturous to these small children who are already having to learn to adapt this world a little bit differently. The children are developing addictive personalities and becoming dependent on the stimulant drugs to actively function through life. The number of children in the United States diagnosed with ADHD continues to grow, as more children are prescribed stimulants, then the more side-effects occur which will then result in yet another prescription drug to alleviate their side-effect from their ADHD prescription medication. The United States is on it's way to being a country of medicated, co-dependent citizens.
The most important aspect of treatment for children diagnosed with ADHD is that these children ultimately want to live life without the aid of medication. We visited how healthcare providers assess these children and determine which stimulant drug will be the most suitable, by placing them under a three category umbrella. The side-effects of stimulant drugs are alarming and concerning, they cause more harm than good to the child and only provide as a mask to assist in ADHD behavior. Homeopathic doctors create a treatment plan by assessing the child as an individual and treating them with an all-natural, no drugging effect remedy that contributes to curing not masking the ADHD behavior. In order for this crazed over diagnosing and over prescribing of prescription drugs, The National Mental Health board must redirect their focus to finding a healthier, safer and most effective treatment plan for the growing population of children diagnosed with ADHD in the United States. Homeopathic remedies have been proven to work and even cure ADHD behavior, this is where the focus should be currently. To prevent the further increase of children that are diagnosed and prescribed stimulants, it will require the health board to be cooperative and interested in the studies of homeopathic treatment. If homeopathy studies are funded and advertised like the pharmaceutical companies medications are, parents, caregivers and healthcare providers will have a solid list of options to help their child adapt and grow into a successful individual. Works Cited
Connor, Daniel. "Problems of Overdiagnosis and Overprescribing in ADHD." Problems of Overdiagnosis and Overprescribing in ADHD. 11 Aug. 2011. Web. 6 Nov. 2015.
De Schepper, Luc. "DrLuc." DrLuc. Web. 6 Nov. 2015.
"Data & Statistics." Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 8 July 2015. Web. 9 Nov. 2015.
Dryden-Edwards, Roxanne. "Mental Illness in Children Symptoms, Causes, Treatment - What Are the Most Common Mental Illnesses in Children? - MedicineNet." MedicineNet. Web. 9 Nov. 2015.
Ullman, Dana. "Why Our Site Is Trustworthy AND Worthy of Your Business and Support!" Why Homeopathy Makes Sense and Works. Web. 6 Nov. 2015.
Robinson, Lawrence, Melinda Smith, Jeanne Segal, and Damon Ramsey. "ADD / ADHD Medications." : Are ADHD Drugs Right for You or Your Child? 1 Sept. 2015. Web. 2 Nov. 2015.
"Diagnosing ADD / ADHD: How Doctors Assess Children and Adults." WebMD. WebMD. Web. 2 Nov. 2015.
Kratimenos, Marysia. "The Hyperactive Child - British Homeopathic Association." British Homeopathic Association. 28 May 2013. Web. 13 Oct. 2015.
Mehl-Madrona, Lewis. "Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) in Children: Homeopathic Remedies & Treatments for ADHD/ADD." Treatments for ADHD: Homeopathic Remedies for Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). Web.30 Oct. 2015.
Three categories in which I feel my essay could be stronger.
More information on homeopathic remedies
Elaborating more on each topic sentence.
find the statistics on how many children are currently using homeopathy with ADHD.