ok, i'm not actually that much of a monster. the real reason i don't address this is because i don't have kids, which makes me doubly unqualified to answer questions since, as i've tried to make clear, i'm not a trained professional and most people who know me don't take my opinions seriously on any topic, even ones i do [or should] know about. i'm arrogant enough to think that i can talk about adults treating their mental illnesses, but i stop short of telling you how to raise your kids.
well, sort of. many years ago i remember a classmate in juinior high school [grades 7-9, i can't be more specific than that] told me news that her cousin had been diagnosed with something called "attention deficit disorder" and that this diagnosis somehow made it ok for him to be a total shit-disturbing wacko at school. my classmate, a good, responsible student was disgusted that there was now a condition that gave people an excise for bad behaviour. i was all like "sign me up".
since the days when i first heard the term "add", which then became "adhd" [i love their first few albums], diagnoses of the disorder have skyrocketed. but as skeptics have long posited, there is credible evidence available that kids haven't changed all that much. of course, that doesn't really do anything to disprove the arguments of those who say their children are batshiat insane. it does mitigate against those who would argue that environmental factors like the internet, videogames, television and busier scheduling are worsening the epidemic of childhood adhd.
personally, i think that there are precious few places a parent can turn to in order to evaluate when their child's behaviour has become really problematic. standards of what constitutes "normal" behaviour depend a lot on your circumstances and your family's cultural background. my mother and her sister used to think it was hilarious to get their cousin to come look for them in the barn on their property and then spray him with ddt when he came through the door. apparently, the whole spraying people with banned chemical insecticides thing, which now gets your ass hauled in front of the world court, was considered normal play time in rural nova scotia back in the day. [oh and i have it on good authority that the cousin turned out fine. although that authority is actually my mother and her sister, who, now that i think of it, would have good reason to stick to that story. they are also quick to point out that ddt was totally not banned at the time, much like thalidomide.] the point is, if you're a parent, it can be really hard to know where to draw the line.
entirely off the mark when he referred to ritalin and adderall as "street drugs". they're dangerous enough that getting a second opinion from a professional in the field [not just your paediatrician] is pretty much a necessity. some doctors are a lot better than others, but there are those whose inclination is to start by prescribing pills and then addressing the problem [or not addressing it]. that is exactly the kind of medical advice you could do without.
i know enough parents to know that having kids is beyond tough, even when it's rewarding. raising a child that has a mental disorder... i don't even think there are words for that. even grumpy old cynics like me are pulling for you, if only because we'll need your kids to pay for our social services when we get older. godspeed.
so that's it. this is probably the only time you'll see me talk about childhood mental disorders.
by the way, if there are any topics [non-child related] that you would like to see covered in mental health mondays, please feel free to leave a comment or contact me.