Scouts-L Mail Archive for October of 1998: Re: Ritalin
Fri, 30 Oct 1998 10:32:24 -0500
>What gets me is
>that they are speed for adults, so I don't understand why they prescribe it
>to 13 year olds that have obviously gone through much of puberty(any one
>knows the answer to this one feel free to reply, but I don't mean to flame
>DR's in general, I just need to understand). Just like caffeine for the
>younger children to wind them down if they forget their pill, doesn't that
>same caffeine stimulate adults and teens?
I think what we see here is a misunderstanding of the nature of ADD/ADHD and
how medication effects it. Puberty has nothing to do with the condition
(indeed, many ADD adults take Ritalin to stay focused on the job) and
Ritalin and other stimulants do not, as it were, "calm the patient down."
Maybe one of our physicians on the list can supply a more detailed
explanation, but essentially, in ADD/ADHD, a difference in brain chemistry
causes the neurons to fire in a more random fashion, producing the lack of
attention and, in ADHD, extreme need for activity. Stimulants alter that
chemistry to focus the neurons and facilitate concentration. Dr. Thom
Hartman theorizes that ADD/ADHD patients are drawn to caffeine and other
stimulants in an attempt to self-medicate.
This is after reading some "self-help" books. Any doctors out there care to
Bob Morehead (well-caffeinated ADHD adult)
ASM, Troop 381