“It scares me that I am telling my child ‘something is wrong with you’ by giving ADHD medication.”
Hi, I’m Doctor James Wiley with Focus MD. Parents often tell us that they are afraid to use stimulant medication because they’re afraid that by giving their child medication, they’re communicating that something’s wrong with the child to the child. And while this may be true, it gets back to the question of labeling.
Very often parents say, “I just don’t want my child labeled,” and to that I always reply, oh, he or she is already labeled, the problem is that he or she is probably mislabeled. In other words, they’re labeled as disruptive, or they’re labeled as a behavior problem, or they’re labeled, if they’re adolescents, as lazy or disinterested. So they carry a lot of labeling already. They may be labeled as not being as bright as they really are, or as gifted as they really are.
When the ADHD diagnosis is made, things open up, and things become quite clear, and the medication is, for the child, very helpful. A recent study actually, for the first time, surveyed elementary school kids about their medication, and the vast majority of them reported that the medication was positive for them, and that they liked their medication. We can be reassured that the kids get it; they know that they are having problems, and for almost always they can tell you that they’re having trouble. And it’s when you identify what the trouble is that they begin to thrive.
This information should not be relied upon as a substitute for personal medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Use the information provided on this site solely at your own risk. If you have any concerns about your health, please consult with a physician.
James Wiley is the founder of Focus-MD. Focus-MD is devoted to the diagnosis and treatment of ADHD and related problem patients. They provide objective testing, medical treatment as well as behavior modification strategies to help or patients transform from frustration to focus. To find a Focus-MD clinic, click here.
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