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Let’s Reconsider ADHD

Definition of ADHD

        Web MD defines ADHD(Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder) as a chronic condition marked by persisting inattention, hyperactivity, and impulsiveness. Males are more likely to be diagnosed with ADHD, with a male to female ration of 4:1. ADHD starts in childhood and more often than not continue on to adulthood. ADHD patients are diagnosed as either inattentive, hyperactive or both.

Behavioral symptoms of ADHD include:

  • Lack of focus
  • Inattentiveness
  • Not following social norms and rules
  • Distracted by trivial noises that others wouldn’t notice
  • Fidgeting
  • Impulsive behavior
  • Distinct memory (only remembering specific things)
  • Excess energy
  • Quickly losing interest in things

The severity of ADHD symptoms vary in each child, some have extreme inattentiveness and some are slightly less attentive then normal children of their age group. Naturally these symptoms are stressful for child as he isolates him or herself from their peers. These symptoms are also scary for most parents because in the current educational system these personality traits severely hinder success and work output. Children with ADHD are also predisposed to have other mental health complication

Biological Basis of ADHD

        In a study conducted in 2016 Hoogman and colleagues analyzed MRI scans for more the 3200 children from nine different countries, half of the children tested had ADHD and the other half was normal. The studies confirmed previous belief that brain development is delayed in children with ADHD. Hoogman and his colleagues also found that there were five brain regions the in the brain of children with ADHD that are smaller than normal children. These brain regions are the caudate nucleus, putamen, nucleus accumbens, amygdala and the hippocampus.

Studies have also showed that children with severe ADHD symptoms have smaller frontal lobes and less temporal gray matter content in the brain. Biological studies have also gone on to show abnormalities with white matter and other essential parts of the brain and its connectivity system. These abnormalities cause deregulations of dopamine and norepinephrine which then cause mood changes.

 On the other hand, one might argue that these finding are insignificant considering the fact that in most cases these underdeveloped brains catch up and become normal by adulthood. It is not that their brain is smaller, it is simply that they need more time in the process of development.

Biological research has been able to conclude that deregulations of the levels of norepinephrine, dopamine and serotonin that modulate neural circuits in the prefrontal cortex and basil ganglia are the primary biological cause of ADHD. Most medications that are issued work on amplifying dopamine signals to the basil ganglia which in turn will make someone interested in paying attention to something they would normally find boring.

 Adderall and Ritalin are some of the most commonly used medication for ADHD patients, they are CNS stimulants. They work by increasing the availability of the neurotransmitters norepinephrine and dopamine in your CNS connections, speeding up brain activity making a child more aware and accepting of the usually stressful daily task they are responsible for


What we should consider

        While reading this next part one might think that I am disregarding ADHD or simply do not believe in it at all. That is not the case. The biological difference of children with ADHD is clear and it is without a doubt hindering and extremely stressful to the child. My argument is that children are simply born at different levels and should not be forced into speeding their process. Forcing these already challenged children to perform tasks they that bother and isolate them is not the answer.

        Who are we to decide that the deregulate brain formation of a child with ADHD is a negative thing? It is something natural like how our born with intelligence levels differ. Let us consider the fact that we all have different biological make that in turn creates our independence, when we alter the chemicals in children’s brains by giving them drugs we are in turn altering their personality. Society is basically playing god and shaping every child to fit into its norms. All children are born differently than one another; they develop differently and might need accommodations like extra time and more explanation rather that medication.

A large number of children with ADHD have talents that are not aligned with the requirements of today’s school systems, therefor often times they are out casted and discarded. Who decide that English and math was more important that art, music and dance? Some of the most successful artist in human history might have been diagnosed with ADHD if you stick them in a American class room today. How do you think Shakespeare, Picasso and Batavian would have performed in school? The disappointing factor of this issue is that there are countless of extremely creative minds today being nullified and therefor silenced by medication that resemble recreational drugs.



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