On Tuesday, we give up with the year’s experiment of keeping our ADHD son unmedicated, and head for the pharmacy. Despite the promises of the NHS with their NICE guidelines suggesting Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, Social Skills training, group and individual therapy and parenting classes – it’s clear that NONE of it is available. There is only medication on the NHS, and the rest is down to you the parents to sort. Mental health is appalling in the UK, we just don’t get it.
Of course medication is no silver bullet, I have read too many chat room posts and message boards where adult ADDers talk Ritalin, Strattera, Concerta, Medikenet, dosages, availability – like drug addicts swapping tips. It may or may not work, but the alternative (nothing) doesn’t work either.
The ideal may be to do both (medicate and therapise) or to channel that hamster-wheel energy and persistence into something positive, like @therunningdan pictured here, with my son next to him, beating the world record by running 80 miles a day for a week for charity.
In the meantime, until my ADDer can focus beyond the fast world of the internet, facebook, instagram and online games, finding that special “gift” can be hard. And there are plenty of out-of-the-box individuals from Olympic swimmer Michael Phelps to Impersonator Rory Bremner who prove that ADD doesn’t have to be a curse.
So when school can no longer cope, and the calls of exclusion from lessons and detentions become daily; when home becomes a battleground of turning rooms upside down to find the missing mobile or ipod touch that’ll be fiddled with until the early hours if not removed, when there is no energy left to attend to anyone else in the family because of the constant chivvying to dress, feed, water and function – then medication has to be given a whirl.
It spares the rod, but will it save the child? Only time will tell.