is adhd a behavioral or medical issue. – debate with pole

posted 5 years ago in Parenting
  • poll: is add or adhd a behavioral or medical
    behavioral - can be fixed with rules and discipline : (12 votes)
    17 %
    medical - something is not firing right in the child brain and should be medicated : (32 votes)
    44 %
    other - comment : (28 votes)
    39 %
  • Post # 16
    9546 posts
    Buzzing Beekeeper
    • Wedding: August 2013

    sweetpea3363:  The answer is, of course, both. But, more importantly, you comment reminded me of one of my favorite jokes:

    The chicken and the egg are sitting in bed. The chicken is happily lounging and smoking his cigarette, but the egg is pissed off and she says “Well, I guess we answered that question” 

    Post # 17
    1445 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: June 2014

    fortone:  The difference in resources available to upper and middle class children with any behavioral issues, whether they’re related to medical issues or not, compared to what’s available to working class or poverty level children, is just heart breaking. The boy I work with is incredibly lucky to have parents who a) can afford everything he needs and have time to support him and b)aren’t in denial about his issues. Compared to the boys in a group home that my best friend works with, and the working class special education students my mom and sister work with, he is so, so lucky. 

    Post # 18
    5189 posts
    Bee Keeper
    • Wedding: February 2013

    This is an issue I feel strongly about. It has been medically proven that ADHD is caused by a chemical malfunction in the brain. I don’t feel that all those who are diagnosed should be medicated. I think it should be an absolute last resort, when discipline or special Ed/ alternative learning styles are not effective. This can sometimes take several years, but it’s certainly safer than poisoning your kid’s liver from a young age. Too many children are medicated unnecessarily. I see them younger and younger every year. At 6 years old a kid hasn’t fully developed their concentration skills yet, whether they have ADHD or not. The fact that so many parents are quick to dope them up is horrifying. The reason I come in contact with these kids at my job is because I need to give them a cardiac work up before starting meds. Adderall and Ritalin can cause damage to the heart. Parents put their kids on these drugs for long term use voluntarily!!! (Do you feel sick to your stomach yet from reading this)? If a child really, really can’t function because of their affliction then I think it’s OK to try medication with caution at the lowest possible dosage, preferrably temporarily. If the child just happens to be hyper and it’s a mere annoyance to the parents I don’t think they should be medicated.

    Post # 19
    1073 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: August 2013

    fortone:  Ugh. I have worked with adolescents before and unfortunately ADHD has become IMO the catch-all category for kids with behavioral problems. It is way overly-diagnosed.

    Don’t get me wrong, there are many legitimate cases in children and adults who have chemical imbalances that require medication. However, there are also a lot of kids who I have worked with that I believe were misdiagnosed and given medication as sort of a bandage to a much bigger problem not being properly addressed. Many of the kids I worked with (diagnosed as ADHD)  came from backgrounds of abuse, abandonment, and neglect. They simply just needed someone to acknowledge them and talk with them about their feelings. They were acting out because they did not know how to deal with what had happened to them in the past and the adults in their lives weren’t helping them process it or connect them with a counselor. 

    Post # 20
    941 posts
    Busy bee

    I think it is both as well. Two different scenarios that I have run into

    For lack of better way of explaining it we will just call him my husbands cousin? Anyways, when he was 4 they put him on meds for ADHD, they stuck this little tiny child on so many medications and none did anything for him. He is now 8 and after 4 years they finally discovered that his issues all stem from behaivor issues. His mom and dad are not together, his mom a huge druggie and his dad is an heavy drinker. This child hasnt had any consistancy in his 8 years nor has he ever had any actualy parenting. So when the kid acts out (bad language, acts like a brat, wont listen) they shove him on medication and make it his problem not the parents. 

    Now my son, last year he was struggling in school (he was 6 at the time). He did not want to sit still and wanted to rush all his work so that he could go and play, his teacher called me in for a meeting and she said that she was putting it in his file that she was advising us to bring him to the clinic to be tested. So because my child was acting like a child they wanted him medicated so that he would sit down and act like a robot. Needless to say I did bring him in and was told that he was perfectly healthy. 2 months later I was called in again by the same teacher and principle  of the school who told me they would be advising child services to keep an eye on our household because my son hadnt received the medical help he needed so bad. I presented them with the proof of doctors visit and the clear bill of health. And advised that to leave diagnosing up to the doctors.

    The problem I believe today is people dont remember that these kids are just kids. They want to run around and be hyper and nuts and sometime get out of line. Our job as parents is to guide them when that is ok to act like that and when it isnt. If my son were to keep struggling through school then yes i would take him in and have him looked at again. But I hate that everyone’s first go to is to shove medication down their throats. 

    I see kids running around in stores and acting horrible and the first thought that comes to my mind is “where is their parents” not “geez someone give that kids some medication so he/she becomes a robot” some kids are just naughty kids because the parents havent taken the time to properly teach them. And some kids need medical help. 

    Post # 21
    233 posts
    Helper bee
    • Wedding: September 2015

    Aquaria:  +1

    I completely agree with this! What I have been seeing in my job is children that the medication isn’t having enough effect on, just get given stronger and stronger dosages until their behaviour is seen as being acceptable by parents/teacher. It’s horrific!

    Loveismagic & fortone:  I’m very lucky where I live and work because the support that is available to the middle/upper classes is also available for everyone without cost. In my job children from vulnerable backgrounds and children in care are prioritised because, as you have said, otherwise it tends to be solely more priviledged children and families that gain access to support.

    Ama14 Your examples show the massive problem that’s going on with ADHD and ADD right now. In the case of the teacher, it’s likely that the teacher was struggling to deal with your son’s behaviour and rather than looking at what is going on within her classroom and thinking about how that can be adapted to support your son and encourage more positive behaviour, she putting it all down to your son and basically saying, ‘it’s not me, it’s him’. My job has two aspects two it, one is working with children to support them in their learning, behaviour and development, the other is working with the teacher to support and encourage them to create a suitable learning environment for the child (I used to be a class teacher myself). What I’ve seen is a huge number of teachers pushing for children to be diagnosed because they think it might get the child out of their classroom and into special ed so basically they don’t have to deal with them, or get on medication so they are doped up and easier to deal with.



    • This reply was modified 4 years, 7 months ago by  catki.
    Post # 22
    1557 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: May 2014

    fortone:  As someone with an ADD diagnosis that I didn’t get until I was in my 30s, I do think that it’s something that is real and not a product of upbringing. Both medication and behavioral therapy are useful in living with it.

    However, I also think it’s overdiagnosed.

    Post # 23
    10651 posts
    Sugar Beekeeper
    • Wedding: January 2011

    It’s both – a medical and behavioural, but I disagree with the first option in your poll.  Discipline and rules aren’t a fix, they are strategies to deal with problems that come about due to it.

    Post # 24
    645 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: September 2015

    I think yes it is a medical condition but it is thrown around here there and everywhere by a lot of people to cover up a lack of parenting. I’ve spent my whole life around people with special needs through my parents jobs and i have met people with genuine ADHD and i have met children who’s parents say they have it as an excuse. Its very wrong for just anyone to be labled with it as it belittles the actual illness and makes it much harder for those with it. 


    Post # 25
    681 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: June 2015

    lovekiss:  It is so true that ADHD causes you to “think” differently. 

    I have ADHD, my parents knew I was diagnosed as a child and chose not to medicate me and work on behavioral modification (it didn’t work).  As an adult in college I started medication and it changed everything school-wise, work-wise, and even in my personal life (HUGE improvements).

    Now as an adult, I have become very aware of the fact I think differently (even on medication) in the workplace. Luckily, I found a career where my ability to perceive things differently is a huge asset.  The medication tempers it a lot, but my brain still fires a little bit differently.

    Hopefully your son is able to find a career that plays to his unique way of thinking.  In the meantime, if it’s making his life difficult I definitely encourage exploring medication.  Everything got SO much better for me when I was allowed to make that choice as an adult.

    Post # 26
    1312 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: A very pretty church.

    I think it is over and misdiagnosed because most people think ADD/ADHD = behavioural problems and poor school performance, but also under diagnosed for the same reason.

    I did well in school and was insufficiently difficult as a child to cause suspicion. 

    I was diagnosed at 19.

    I had never performed to my ‘potential’, it was assumed that I was lazy…it wasn’t a disaster because I was still well above average… “I’m worried she has ADD, she only gets 75% not 85%” isn’t something most parents say or that teachers lose sleep over.

    Medication has its benefits and its drawbacks. If I could do the things I wanted without it I wouldn’t take it.

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