Medication sounds like something for the terminal ill or at least the terminally insane, I hope I’m neither although suspect the latter, but the stigma surrounding it is something I find difficult to understand, I personally have no pre conceptions, negative or otherwise, for me it was the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, the ‘magic’ pill that would make it all better.
That being said my only experience with it before diagnosis was my son, who went from being a hurricane ( an annoying hurricane) to a placid thoughtful child within minutes of taking it, he sat on the sofa and you could almost hear a gentle humming coming from his brain.
A friend of his however states he will never go on it again and at the end of his teenage years has made the statement that he no longer has ‘ADHD’. However he then procedes to tell you how he was the youngest person in the country to go on medication, then we take into account the difficulty his mother had even getting the school to allow him to take them when in their care and the obvious fact he almost definitey was made to feel ‘abnormal’ and ‘sub – human’ for having to take them and his desire to separate himself from the disorder is painfully clear.
I myself, remember his mother explaining to me his disorder and what the meds did, she always had a problem giving them to him, they are a controlled drug, he felt like a drug addict taking them, that is indisputable harsh for a child and as an adult he will possibly, no almost definitely go through hell before he realises that the chemical in his brain that ‘was’ missing is still missing, he actually now believes his mess ups are due to something else, but refuses to even consider his ‘former’ disorder, he won’t even look up adult ADD on the web, my heart goes out to him, I have a very big soft spot for this lad and all he’s been through as one of the first people in the country, certainly his diagnosis and treatment were the reason my son was diagnosed and treated, the first person I knew diagnosed with this disorder, it’s like he was a test subject and what ‘we’ learned from his diagnosis, we benefit from, but he has obviously been scarred, because he even aderes to the media’s labels telling me
“…it is just a label, just a status symbol, like ASBO…”
that’s so tragic, but for me its devastating he is highly intelligent, but has had such a bad experience he can’t see how diagnosis and medication is a God send, it reminds me of repentance, within the church some people use repentance as a way to ‘sin’ all the time cause they can repent, instead of seeing it as a way they can stay ‘sinless’ any mistake made can be wiped clean by repentance, its a freedom, for me the medication is a freedom, I can take it and it controls the bad things of ADHD without removing the benefits, such as blinding personality and personal excellence in interested area’s.
I wish he could see it and its through him I do understand the stigma, for him taking medication makes him ‘abnormal’ instead of it restoring him, it takes something away from him, I love this boy as thou he was my own son and feel desperately sad medication doesn’t set him free, but I do believe he is not a isolated case and maybe we need to think of repackaging the whole ‘medication’ stance, not just for ADHD but for all mental/psychological imbalances. I’ve known through out my life people with disorders such as schizophrenia/bi polars and they too felt having to take medication confirmed their illness, confirmed their mental instability instead of controlling it and we’ve all heard the tragic stories in the media, one in particular was extremely tragic of a mother who after not taking her meds murdered her own children, there is a stigma, a REAL stigma and its destroying lives, something needs to be done to educate the general populous on this subject because mental illness affects a large percent of the population at some time in their timeline and people like my sons friend are being robbed of ‘normality’ because they believe the thing that will make them ‘normal’ actually makes them abnormal, when I say normal, I mean a life of balance, lives free from problems their disorders cause, a life free from poverty.
People with unmedicated mental disorders are rarely wealthy, unable to gain the stability the drug offers they flit from job to job and nearly always stay below the poverty line.
Not to mention the children who’s untreated parents abuse or even kill them.
Social services are useless at the best of times but even they don’t realise the risk they are taking by not addressing these issues and if you approach them, they use it as an excuse to place an at risk order over a child instead of using it to open services up to the young person, so you keep your mouth shut, meanwhile persons involve are still involved and sit there like a ticking timebomb.
I would LOVE to have the marbles to be an MP or someone in a place of authority and address this issue but I’m not, I am attempting to take an access course into social services in October, but its still at idea’s/possibility stage rather than definite. Of course with the recession and MP’s expenses at the forefront of media coverage issues like this don’t get a look in, but a simple input of education, maybe a public service announcement wouldn’t be impossible to arrange (or all that expensive) The Stacy/ bi polars storyline in Eastenders may address a few issues, but it is just as likely to spread even more fear.
Do they not realise addressing these issues will half the crime in the country, reduce unemployment? They are told yet they completely ignore it, its worth mentioning it’d clear most of the accidents in A&E (impulsivity)
For me, personally, medication has allowed me a new lease of life I feel I can start again at 35 with 3 children and a grandchild under my belt but how many uneducated (in this area) people don’t get that chance or find out too late? Although one thing medication has opened up to me is it is NEVER too late!
A young boy diagnosed with ADD/ADHD will look at the world, look at the media and think, ‘it makes me that’? That needs addressing QUICKLY!
Just a thought!
A bloody long thought! 😛