Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) remains a controversial condition. Parents of children, so medically classified, would swear vociferously that it is a terrible affliction for all concerned. Some people, like myself, who do not have kids affected by anything more than the usual childlike lack of concentration, find it difficult to believe in. ADHD is a fairly recent addition to the medically diagnosed list of diseases and conditions. I am inclined to view it in light of our modern world, a time poor, materially obsessed, existence, which values home ownership above all other things. Parents are very busy with their jobs, earning the necessary funds to meet their mortgage payments. The mothers take time off to have kids and then gets back to work as soon as possible.
Kids with ADHD demand attention, their behaviour cries out for parental monitoring and caring. Tired parents dealing with their kids, after a day’s work, are not the best equipped to cope with these constant demands. Of course, it is not all as simple as that, but there are incremental degrees of a number of issues going into this situation. I am also aware of the prevalence of poor diets, with too much fast food feeding time poor parents and their children. Expediency around parenting and family households contributes to these things. In fact, these parents may have been fed nutritionally poor food themselves as children and may have suffered genetically over a generation or two.
ADHD medication, Ritalin or methylphenidate and dexamphetamine, is medical science’s stop gap solution to a very complex situation. Controlling the problem by drugging the kids, so that mum and dad can get on with their busy lives, unhindered by demanding problem children. It is conservatively estimated that 1 in every 100 Australian children are taking these kinds of medication to control their ADHD, which means that some 100 000 kids are on these drugs. I wonder what sort of future that this sets up for these people and for the rest of us within their communities.
Medical science sees any therapies related to diet or vitamins as dangerously controversial; the doctors and the pharmaceutical companies like to control the territory. Economics may have contributed to the creation of ADHD, with technology and gadgets funding economic growth and human behaviour blindly watching so many flickering screens at home, at work and for their pleasure. Children are placed in front of these screens at very young ages, so that mum and dad can get on with making money. Fast moving animation is the most popular fare showing on these children’s TV programs and computer games. The content jumps violently from thing to thing, very much like the attention ratio of these affected children; funny that cooincidence.