I have a son who when he was very young, was what we used to call ‘extremely hyper’. He would not sit still; always running, yelling, jumping, and even trying to fly! He tenaciously fought sleep, wanted constant attention, and thought the world was just a large toy made especially for his amusement! I had a few extremely strenuous years trying to keep up with him! But, he was an extremely intelligent child; always trying to discover new things, always wanting to know how things worked, learning very quickly, effortlessly and easily. So, I just ignored people telling me I should have him tested for ADHD. This was a good decision, as he soon outgrew his ‘hyper’ behaviour, and today he is a wonderful, intelligent, focused young man.
However, this is not always the case with all hyper children. If the child is hyperactive, inattentive and impulsive to the point where this behaviour interferes with his daily life, and he does not seem to outgrow it, chances are this child has ADHD.
When a child has an out of normal range problem with over-activity, impulsiveness, and inattentiveness, the child could be diagnosed with ADHD. ADHD is one of the most commonly diagnosed childhood behavioral problems. It is more common among boys than girls. ADHD could be genetic, but it is not yet known what causes this problem. It generally starts early in life while the brain is developing.
Although there are no specific medical tests for ADHD, your doctor or medical professional will evaluate the child in a number of different criteria to make the ADHD diagnosis.
Once your child has been diagnosed with ADHD, what are your medical treatment options?
There is no cure for ADHD; you can only control the symptoms so that there is an improvement in the child’s relationship with others, he can do better at school, and his self esteem increases. Generally, doctors prescribe Stimulants to improve ADHD symptoms. Common stimulants used are Methylphenidate Ritalin, Dextroamphetamine Dexedrine, Amphetamine Adderall, and others. Although these are stimulants, they seem to have a calming effect on the child. However, there is a major concern that stimulants become addictive, and add to the problem with long term use, so the non-stimulant treatment of choice for ADHD today is Atomoxetine Strattera.
Strattera Atomoxetine differs from stimulant medication used to treat the symptoms of ADHD. Unlike stimulants, it is not addictive, and so is not classified as a ‘controlled substance’. Strattera (Atomoxetine) takes a bit longer to show results, perhaps a couple of weeks or more, but once it starts working, one or at the most two doses a day are sufficient to control the symptoms for 24 hours.
Strattera Atomoxetine is classified a norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor, and is preferred over stimulant drugs for ADHD patients who have psychiatric disorders or a predisposition to substance abuse. Another benefit of this drug is that even if discontinued, there is no system rebound.
Stimulant drugs are not recommended for ADHD patients who suffer from nervous disorders like facial tics, spasms, etc. In such cases Strattera Atomoxetine is obviously the better choice.
Strattera (Atomoxetine) Side Effects.
Like all pharmaceuticals, Strattera (Atomoxetine) does have side effects. These include:
A possible side effect could be a slower growth rate in the child taking Atomoxetine, but it is not known whether this is permanent.
The patient must be observed very carefully for signs of depression, suicidal thoughts, or self-injury.
Strattera Atomoxetine can cause liver damage.
In conclusion, if your child has been diagnosed with ADHD, Strattera Atomoxetine seems to be a safer alternative to using Stimulants. But remember, that while stimulants start working within 20 minutes of taking them making them easier to abuse, Strattera Atomoxetine takes a couple of weeks to start showing results. This makes many parents feel frustrated, and return to giving their children stimulant drugs.
Along with ADHD medication, there is a lot that parents can do to help the child channel his energy in a positive manner. If you are the parent of a child with ADHD, first of all, keep things in perspective. Do not let the small things get to you, and try to avoid being a perfectionist. Expecting perfect results will just frustrate you as well as your child.
Show your child you love him, trust him, and believe in him. After all, love can move mountains. It can also give you the strength to deal with the problems you may encounter with having a child with ADHD.
As Lao Tzu said, “….. loving someone deeply gives you courage.”