As many as 500,000 school-aged #Children in the UK are battling #ADHD. On that account, 2 out of 3 children diagnosed with ADHD will continue to experience symptoms during their adulthood. If we were to walk right now into a school of 300 pupils, at least 3 of them would be dealing with severe ADHD symptoms, while many more with less severe symptoms.

The controversy of ADHD

Nevertheless, many (parents as well as specialists) fail to understand the depths of this disorder. Medical misdiagnosis often occur and there are various reasons for this, one of the most important being the subjectivity of the official definition of the condition. ADHD is written off as being “a pattern of behavior, present in multiple settings (e.g., school and home), that can result in performance issues in social, educational, or work settings” where “symptoms will be divided into two categories of inattention and hyperactivity and impulsivity that include behaviors like failure to pay close attention to details, difficulty organizing tasks and activities, excessive talking, fidgeting, or an inability to remain seated in appropriate situations”, according to the latest edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5).

But who sets all of these standards that kids must live up to in ordered to be considered normal? Living in a fast-paced technology driven society, the new generation is experiencing cliff-like differences. Parents are also a big part of a clearly unclear diagnosis process where they have to indicate their child’s symptoms (children must have at least 6 symptoms), how long have they been occurring and how are they impacting the child’s and family’s social life. Of course, an empathically hypochondriasis is bound to happen here at one point or another: a tired mother being handled a list of words like “wild”, “hyper”, “daydreamer”, or “impulsive” is surely going to find 6 symptoms matching her child.

Medicating childhood

Adderall and Ritalin are the first-line treatment options for ADHD. They are both psychostimulants and both can be harmful in their own ways. Adderall is considered to be more addictive (since it is basically amphetamines) and it eases the symptoms by increasing the dopamine amount between the synapses of the brain. Besides neurological damage, the most common side effects are abdominal pain, nausea, migraines and headaches, muscle pain, anxiety, increased heart rate, nervousness or weight loss. Additionally, when withdrawing from the medication, the patient might just experience extreme fatigue and mental depression.

Ritalin is no second best either. This drug “cures”, by stimulating the part of the brain in charge of mental and behavioral actions. Ritalin can cause psychosis with long-term use or with withdrawing from the drug. Another “fun fact” would be that some partygoers take a different meaning in the word “drug”. A continuously growing number of teens and young adults are abusing their prescriptions, then crushing and snorting pills right before the DJ’s about to drop it. But hey, parents are deliberately giving them to their offsprings, so they must be pretty safe.

To go a non-pharmaceutical route, parents must be given alternatives. The good news is that there are, the bad news is that they’re more demanding than swallowing a pill. Earlier this year, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention publicly stated that behavior therapy not only should be the first step towards managing the disorder, but can actually be the best treatment.

In this battle, just one combat line is not enough. Neuroscientists and #Health specialists consider an integrated treatment plan the best way to tackle ADHD: exercising and a special diet; yoga; chiropractic or neurofeedback training(still being tested, the child focuses on specific tasks while using a machine that shows brain wave patterns).

Don't make your kid feel like he's not "normal" because "normal" is always shifting.