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Old 03-09-2004, 04:25 AM   #1
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Post The Risks of Untreated ADHD

I've read a few opinions posted that there is nothing inherently dangerous about ADHD and that people treat ADHD children merely to conform to societal norms. I felt the need to compile some statistics for you about the dangers of untreated ADHD.

According to the National Institute of Drug Abuse, 18 percent of adolescent males began abusing drugs and alcohol in the previous 4 years. The rate for unmedicated ADHD boys was 75 percent.. The rate drops to 25 percent in medicated ADHD boys.
[url]http://www.drugabuse.gov/NIDA_Notes/NNVol14N4/ADHD.html[/url]

80 percent of school dropouts are reported to have ADHD. Young untreated ADHD drivers have an increased risk of 300 percent of being involved in automobile accidents. They also have triple the risk for sexually transmitted diseases as their non-ADHD peers.

It is reported that almost 10% of people with ADHD have attempted suicide within the past 3 years. About 5% die from either suicide or accidental injury. The rate of suicide in the general population of the US is .01%.

Personally, I find these statistics alarming.

John

Please note that only the section that defines “treating” ADHD as medication is the one about drug abuse. Certainly, there are other methods of treating ADHD and, in fact, research has shown that a combined approach to be the most effective.

 
Old 03-09-2004, 08:25 AM   #2
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Re: The Risks of Untreated ADHD

Quote:
Originally Posted by html
I've read a few opinions posted that there is nothing inherently dangerous about ADHD and that people treat ADHD children merely to conform to societal norms. I felt the need to compile some statistics for you about the dangers of untreated ADHD.

According to the National Institute of Drug Abuse, 18 percent of adolescent males began abusing drugs and alcohol in the previous 4 years. The rate for unmedicated ADHD boys was 75 percent.. The rate drops to 25 percent in medicated ADHD boys.
[url]http://www.drugabuse.gov/NIDA_Notes/NNVol14N4/ADHD.html[/url]

80 percent of school dropouts are reported to have ADHD. Young untreated ADHD drivers have an increased risk of 300 percent of being involved in automobile accidents. They also have triple the risk for sexually transmitted diseases as their non-ADHD peers.

It is reported that almost 10% of people with ADHD have attempted suicide within the past 3 years. About 5% die from either suicide or accidental injury. The rate of suicide in the general population of the US is .01%.

Personally, I find these statistics alarming.

John

Please note that only the section that defines “treating” ADHD as medication is the one about drug abuse. Certainly, there are other methods of treating ADHD and, in fact, research has shown that a combined approach to be the most effective.
Unfortunitly I can relate with this situation all to well. I was diagnosed with ADD at 13 and put on ritalin, my life did a 180 at that point. I felt like for once I actually had control over myself. Unfortunitly when I was 15 my mom lost her job and we had no insurance. I stopped taking my meds at that point. about a year later I discovered crystal meth and realized that it gave me that same in control feeling. At first I only did enough to help my add but soon became very addicted. At age 17 I went to my doctor told him I had a problem and I needed help and he put me on a very low dose of adderall and was seeing me twice a week. From that day on I never used meth again, it was a scary realization that I was using drugs and actually justifying my addiction because they gave me that normal in control feeling that I so needed. All I can say is that stimulant medication saved my life, I don't know what would of happened to me if I wouldn't of had such a wonderful supportive doctor and family to help me through my addiction! I have been on Adderall ever since and it has been wonderful for me. I also use therapy and meditation to help as well. Thanks for posting this link, I agree it is very shocking to read and I just wanted to say that it is very true and very real.

 
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Old 03-09-2004, 02:35 PM   #3
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Re: The Risks of Untreated ADHD

I found the study very interesting. At age 11 I started taking "speed" that I bought off the street. It wasnt really a high I got off of it but rather a normal feeling. When I took the speed I finally felt more in control of my thoughts, actions, and feelings.

~ Missy

 
Old 03-09-2004, 04:32 PM   #4
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Re: The Risks of Untreated ADHD

Funny, I havent seen any posts say that the only reason for medicating ADD was because of society. I have said many times that many children are medicated because they are different and society wants to make everyone the same. This is very true! ADD is very overdiagnosed! Many times just because a child is different they are drugged for years on end. Its an awful thing but is happening more and more. This is totally different from saying that ADD doesnt exist at all (obviously I dont think that it doesnt exist at all, I have ADHD!!)

As for suicide rates, ADD symptoms go along with many issues. Just because someone has the symptoms doesnt mean that its truely ADD. Someone who is suicidal obviously has something else that they are dealing with.
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Old 03-09-2004, 06:13 PM   #5
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Re: The Risks of Untreated ADHD

FS~
Isn't saying that children are often medicated because they are different and society wants them to be like everyone else and that people treat ADHD children merely to conform to societal norms the same thing? I guess I am just a little confused about your post? It didn't really seem to make sense with the topic?

 
Old 03-09-2004, 06:41 PM   #6
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Re: The Risks of Untreated ADHD

Topic: "I've read a few opinions posted that there is nothing inherently dangerous about ADHD and that people treat ADHD children merely to conform to societal norms."

My response being: I have not seen anyone claim that the only reason people treat ADHD is because of society.

"children are often medicated because they are different and society wants them to be like everyone else" = Many Non-ADD children are misdiagnosed and put on medications for years on end because of pressure from teachers/or other people in society.

"people treat ADHD children merely to conform to societal norms" = This would mean that the only reason that children with TRUE ADD are treated is because of pressure from society.

I treat my ADHD, not with medication, but I do treat it, and I dont do it because society wants me to, I do it because I need to. Society does pressure many people into medication that dont need it though. Many
non-ADD kids are said to have ADD just because they are a little bit different than their peers. Many times they are put on medications for years on end.

I think some people have real problems "ADD", and can be helped with a variety of treatment, but I think most kids diagnosed and medicated are just different from the average child.
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Last edited by * Free ~ Spirit *; 03-09-2004 at 07:05 PM.

 
Old 03-09-2004, 06:58 PM   #7
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Re: The Risks of Untreated ADHD

Hmm - I tend to be suspect of anyone who wants to re-assert the 'reality' of ADD. I don't mean you by this HTML.

ADD is inherently created by humans. We give a name to it, we decide what does and does not fit into its categories, we create authoritative diagnostic tests that 'prove' it, etc. ADD is identified only by its *symptoms*. Even brain-mapping, which feels authoritative and seems to prove ADD - it's just a picture.

Most importantly, we have created a complex social world (aka society) full of common expectations, pollutants, institutions, etc. These things are the background against which we are able to recognize ADD. Yet there is absolutely no place outside of that social world, no way to ever fully stand outside of it and look at it, so I think it becomes just as real as what we call reality.

In other words, I think HTML is right that unrecognized ADD may lead to suicide, etc. However, this is likely due to shame and hopelessness - both of which are social by-products. But I also think FS is right - ADD is at its very simplest nothing more than a way of saying certain people are 'different.' I just want to be careful not underestimate how damaging the social results of that difference can be.

 
Old 03-09-2004, 10:54 PM   #8
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Re: The Risks of Untreated ADHD

Quote:
Originally Posted by sodawater
ADD is inherently created by humans. We give a name to it, we decide what does and does not fit into its categories, we create authoritative diagnostic tests that 'prove' it, etc. ADD is identified only by its *symptoms*. Even brain-mapping, which feels authoritative and seems to prove ADD - it's just a picture.

Most importantly, we have created a complex social world (aka society) full of common expectations, pollutants, institutions, etc. These things are the background against which we are able to recognize ADD. Yet there is absolutely no place outside of that social world, no way to ever fully stand outside of it and look at it, so I think it becomes just as real as what we call reality.

In other words, I think HTML is right that unrecognized ADD may lead to suicide, etc. However, this is likely due to shame and hopelessness - both of which are social by-products. But I also think FS is right - ADD is at its very simplest nothing more than a way of saying certain people are 'different.' I just want to be careful not underestimate how damaging the social results of that difference can be.

AD/HD is recognized and categorized by human diagnostics, but it isn't inherent, nor is it a condition "created" by humans.

AD/HD is a condition caused by the mutation and evolution of certain genes, which may have been essiental many years ago, but not in a modern day society.

AD/HD in itself really isn't a "difference", it's considered a disorder due to several reasons:

First, an individual with AD/HD does not have a brain that is functioning in equilibrium. Either one area(s) are under/over 'working' and this creates an inefficiency, which by definition is not the brain's intended outcome.

Second, almost all 'symptoms' that arise from this disorder are considered negative, relative to the way society operates and functions.

In order for an individual to be mentally healthy in this society, a person must understand the definition of "mental health", which is "dealing with society on society's terms".

Last edited by brainf0g; 03-09-2004 at 10:55 PM.

 
Old 03-10-2004, 02:43 AM   #9
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Re: The Risks of Untreated ADHD

Quote:
Originally Posted by brainf0g
AD/HD is recognized and categorized by human diagnostics, but it isn't inherent, nor is it a condition "created" by humans.

AD/HD is a condition caused by the mutation and evolution of certain genes, which may have been essiental many years ago, but not in a modern day society.

AD/HD in itself really isn't a "difference", it's considered a disorder due to several reasons:

First, an individual with AD/HD does not have a brain that is functioning in equilibrium. Either one area(s) are under/over 'working' and this creates an inefficiency, which by definition is not the brain's intended outcome.

Second, almost all 'symptoms' that arise from this disorder are considered negative, relative to the way society operates and functions.

In order for an individual to be mentally healthy in this society, a person must understand the definition of "mental health", which is "dealing with society on society's terms".
Quote:
Originally Posted by brainf0g
AD/HD is a condition caused by the mutation and evolution of certain genes, which may have been essiental many years ago, but not in a modern day society.
Brainfog, I appreciate that we have different opinions, but as far as I am aware yours is only one of many competing theories. If I am not mistaken, Gabor Mate has an entirely different theory based on psycho-social development. What you have described seems like the evolutionary biology theory of ADD, as put forth by Hartmann. I am struck by how you describe all 'symptoms' as negative relative to the 'way society operates and functions.' Hartmann has done a huge amount for publicizing the positive traits associated with ADD. I for one identify strongly with the creativity, intuition, and ability to make unusual intellectual connections that is often associated with ADD. In fact some of these traits seem to have aided my successes. What about these traits, are they genetic too, or do they develop in response to being ADD in the contemporary world. If I had been medicated throughout childhood/adolescence, I would probably be a completely different person.

I'm happy to try all kinds of things - seek medical help, etc - to take control over the parts of ADD which impact me negatively. but I refuse to let anyone else have have authority over my own sense of my self and my own figuring out what works for me just because they have a picture of a 'normal'-ly working brain to show me.

I am well aware that we live in an era where gene mapping and various forms of imaging seem to have a huge amount of authority, but the brain remains relatively less understood than the rest of the body. And regardless of our advances, we are scarcely 50 years since the nobel prize was awarded to a lobotomist. Very little is as malleable and culturally specific as mental illness. I actually support medicine, if people are comfortably with how it affects them and how it works for them. But suppose I was on Adderall and felt terrible and yet a neurologist could still demonstrate that my brain was in equilibrium? What would this mean? What would it mean if my brain now appeared normal and I felt miserable?

In my original post when I said ADD was created by humans, I meant to argue that ALL science is contingent on human faculties. It cannot exist without and therefore is a production of people. Science becomes truth when an outcome can be reliably repeated. Yet it is ALWAYS open to contestation.

Perhaps part of my brain works more than another. I'm not sure if I care if its inefficient - much of nature is asymmetrical and inefficiency can be very beautiful. For me it only become a problem if it gets in the way of my happiness.

 
Old 03-11-2004, 07:59 AM   #10
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Re: The Risks of Untreated ADHD

so, why do you-guys think that teenagers who don't take medicine for their ADHD are so much more likely to abuse drugs?

seems to me, if ritalin is so addictive, they would be more likely to abuse drugs. isn't that what they always say about things like pot - that your more likely to use other drugs once you use it?

 
Old 03-11-2004, 08:00 AM   #11
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Re: The Risks of Untreated ADHD

Quote:
Originally Posted by * Free ~ Spirit *
I treat my ADHD, not with medication, but I do treat it, and I dont do it because society wants me to, I do it because I need to. .
why do you need to, free?

 
Old 03-11-2004, 04:37 PM   #12
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Re: The Risks of Untreated ADHD

Why do I need to watch what I eat? Take supplements? Do meditation?

Well because I have Ring of Fire type ADD and without supplements and diet my symptoms are out of control. Thats why. Ring of Fire type ADD includes a lot more than just the average ADHD symptoms described in the DSM-IV.
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Old 03-11-2004, 05:43 PM   #13
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Re: The Risks of Untreated ADHD

Quote:
Originally Posted by soconfused
so, why do you-guys think that teenagers who don't take medicine for their ADHD are so much more likely to abuse drugs?

seems to me, if ritalin is so addictive, they would be more likely to abuse drugs. isn't that what they always say about things like pot - that your more likely to use other drugs once you use it?
This is just my opinion but the reason I self medicated and took illegal drugs was because it was the only time where my brain functioned normally and I was able to think clearly and organize my thoughts.

I took the drugs to alter my mind but not to "get high". I dont know if I am making any sence, I have never been very articulate with words.

~ Missy

 
Old 03-11-2004, 06:26 PM   #14
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Re: The Risks of Untreated ADHD

Quote:
Originally Posted by missyob
I dont know if I am making any sence, I have never been very articulate with words.
i think you make very good sence, missy!

 
Old 03-11-2004, 06:40 PM   #15
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Re: The Risks of Untreated ADHD

People need to realize its not those who dont take MEDICATION for their ADD that have problems. Its those who dont treat their ADD. Medication is not the only treatment option.
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