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Monday, May 5, 2014

Young Adults with ADHD and Autism

This morning I was watching the news and saw something on there that bothered me and I posted it on Facebook. This started a bit of a debate between a couple of folks. I now feel the need to explain my opinion on this issue.

I posted, "Young adults with Autism and ADHD have a higher risk of using alcohol and marijuana due to the social issues caused by their disabilities." ~Channel 40 News Reports :(

A couple comments under this post were " adhd is a made up disease"....."And its insinuating marijuana is bad for you and even comparable to health risks of alcohol."

I have to very specifically address those 2 statements. First of all, ADHD is very much a real disorder. I wont say its a disease because the definition doesn't quite fit. For those of you who disagree, here you go: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Attention_deficit_hyperactivity_disorder. Now, my son has a very severe case of ADHD which does not simply make him hyper, which most people think, but it forces him stay in motion even when he's exhausted. It raises his heart rate, his blood pressure and causes him to sweat profusely. He does things that most people wouldn't do, such as, jumping off furniture, throwing himself into walls and purposely falling on the floor. He also does things like running across the street without looking, talks to himself constantly, doesn't dry off after showering, inhales his food often choking and so on. All these things (and more) have proven to be very dangerous to him and therefore requires medication to insure his safety.

I do understand that there are lots of Doctors out there who spent many years 'shutting kids up with Ritalin', and I do know that unfortunately a lot of Doctors still do this, but I can assure you, my son's Doctor did everything he could to treat my son without medicine but eventually had no choice.

Another comment in the post was that if people fed their kids healthy foods they wouldn't have such rambunctious children. I agree to that very strongly, but if its to say that all kids with ADHD are simply rambunctious kids with bad diets, I again assure you, you're wrong. I know this because I live and thrive on a very healthy diet of organic produce and fresh meats. I always follow the food charts (except we can't eat nearly as much food as the chart says to in one day.) I grow my own gardens and pick my own fruits from orchards that I tend, personally. So I know there's no pesticides or chemicals other than is found in nature in my produce. The meats I purchase are typically from our local farms and or fresh from the butcher (sometimes I cheat and buy fresh meats from the grocery store cuz I'm not rich but its never frozen and does not contain a ton of preservatives). I always incorporate multigrain foods and nuts into our meals and I cook. I don't microwave our meals. So you bet your ass my son is not a victim of shit diets like most kids are these days, which is why that cannot be the cause of his ADHD.

As for the comment about marijuana not being comparable to alcohol, that's incorrect as well. I know more people that smoke marijuana than those who don't. I find that to be one of the saddest statements I've ever made, but it's true. Having said that, I think I need to enlighten you on the affects that marijuana has on you: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Effects_of_marijuana.

I have spent the majority of my life observing people under the influence of both marijuana and alcohol and I find them to be very comparable. Though they have their differences, they vary only slightly. Pot may calm most people down but it does so in a very unnatural way. It delays your reactions both physically and mentally and causes memory loss. These are the most obvious affects I've seen. It's also why they came up with the commercial with a man frying an egg: "This is your brain (egg in a shell), this is your brain on drugs" (egg in the frying pan). It's because when one smokes pot, they become slow and dumb, and not just when under the influence but also when not (over time and with excessive use). And it is addictive, both behaviorally and physically.

Alcohol is a quicker and more damaging way to harm yourself. It is faster to cause physical illnesses, faster to cause permanent damage and faster to cause addiction. But again, it causes you to slow down. You do so because your blood is being poisoned which causes your brain to malfunction. So you become clumsy, slow to react, slow to receive information, and it causes misinterpretations of communication causing all sorts of unnecessary  behavior. If you're reading this and really so stupid as not to believe me, here you go: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Effects_of_alcohol#Short-term_effects_of_alcohol.

Having said all this, I will say that I absolutely believe that kids who are being raised with a poor diet can and will have behavioral issues, hyperactive issues, health issues and so on. YES. This is true. You know what they say, "You are what you eat." This is true (which is why I eat so healthy). If you eat a ton of sugary foods every day, you will act out, be hyper, misbehave and so on because sugar is known for causing all these things to happen if over used. If kids eat food filled with fat and preservatives all the time and never see fresh foods, they are more likely to get heart disease, be victims of obesity, have high blood pressure and so on. The fats and salts in these foods if eaten in access are known to cause physical illnesses. So, you are what you eat. If your diet is unhealthy, so are you.

There are WAY too many people who are feeding their kids this kind of diet. Then when their kids act out they go to the Doctors and complain and manage to convince them to prescribe meds. They typically  like to blame money and the down economy and so forth for it but as a single mother who struggles every day, I can tell you first hand, laziness and a lack of education (agricultural and dietary) is the culprit.

I must admit, over the last year I've had a growing fear that my son may fall into the wrong crowd and choose to smoke pot. Why? A couple of reasons. First of all, the medication he's on (which is supposedly non habit forming) is becoming a bit of a dependency for my son. He is 13 now and has been on them since he was 5 (with minor changes annually). There have been times when we ran out of meds and my son would get upset about it. When asked what the problem was he responded, "I don't like the way I feel when I don't take my meds." I understand this in 2 ways, one is that the meds are really working, the other is that he may feel the need to take his meds to calm down enough to be around other people. See, when he's off the meds, he's so out of control that he doesn't even realize other people are around and he is a serious social butterfly. He loves people. Sometimes his hyperactive ways cause them to leave. He becomes a little dangerous in some ways that just makes other people uncomfortable. So all this makes me nervous.

As time goes by typically the signs and symptoms of ADHD kind of calm down. Unfortunately for my son, it hasn't done that yet. But I try to test him by taking his meds away during the summer (which I will try again this season) to see if I can take him off of them all together. The reason I want to take him off the meds is because of the inadvertent side affects it has on him.

Unfortunately the meds my son is on cause Insomnia, Lack of Appetite and Mood Swings. So now he's on 2 additional medications to counter act 2 of the 3 side affects. When will the madness end????This has truly been troubling for me as a single mom. I work 2/3 jobs and have NEVER taken a vacation and it's all to support my son and my home. My son is about 15 pounds underweight and about 4-5" shorter than he should be for his age. His growth patterns came to an immediately halt when he started taking the medication.  Ever since it's been an uphill battle with the Doctors and with my son to fix this.

The mood swings......oh lord! When he's off the meds he's the sweetest, funniest, goofiest young man you'd ever seen! So happy, always laughing and smiling, very agreeable and helpful, very easy to get along with. But when he's on the meds, he's mad, annoyed, snotty, sarcastic, even hateful. And lately he's been expressing a need to use violence on people. This is a serious cause for concern. His teachers are complaining about his attitude and complaining about him talking back and (if you can believe this) they are pushing me to give him MORE meds!

Don't panic! I'm not crazy and I never give into pressure. I will NOT be giving my son more meds. In fact, I'm working my way to getting rid of them all together. But I'm very worried. I'm hoping going without the meds this summer will help to wean him off of them so I can finally stop giving them to him. But if he can't control himself, he'll have to go back on or else the school will kick him out. Yup, you heard me. I was threatened with it more than once. This year has been no exception.

So I can see how the studies may be right. Then again, everyone these days is a likely candidate for substance abuse. There are many reasons other than ADHD and Autism that make people feel inadequate enough to 'self medicate'.

I apologize if any of you reading this takes offense to the things I've said but I speak from both a life time of experience and solid scientific facts.

If you're a hippie and reading this then PEACE.....and for god sake PUT DOWN THE BONG, PAY YOUR TAXES AND TAKE A SHOWER!!!!

If you are a pot head and/or an alcoholic and hotly contest all I've said here then it's only because you are an addict with a problem and you're in denial. Either that or you've smoked so much pot you've lost touch with reality all together. Either way, you're safe. America will give you Social Security Benefits for your disability. A disability that you wouldn't have if you hadn't taken up drugs/alcohol in the first damn place. And since I'm the one paying the taxes that pays for your Social Security Benefits then I have every right to say, "Fuck you. I hate you, and if I find you in a dark alley you better pray you're faster than me."

There, I've said my piece on this topic. Go ahead and scream all you like. I enjoy the read. LOL!!


6 comments:

  1. I take Showers,i don't smoke bongs(bowls,thank you),I'm on disability(paid my taxes tho),I eat healthy. Seriously tho,sugar,I agree totally,with your ADHD experience,me son is a Behavioral Analysis(spelled wrong prob) n I've learned a lot from him. People need ta research more if they've never been around kids with ADHD er Autism,Love ya,bebeh

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    1. Then you're not a real hippie Tina!! LOL!! But yes, I agree with that. Research is knowledge.

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  2. You're gonna need more than wikepidia to back up your opinions. I've had professors tell me they've gone on there and purposefully edited it incorrectly to prove its not a reliable source for factual information. If we walked around relying on the internet and peer edited websites for our information as 100% truths we'd believe all of the bullshit we read on the interwebs. Like the fact that Lady Gaga is a dude :/ I have formed my opinions based on my own personal experiences. I'm truly sorry that your son is going thru what he is, its got to be hard for him and you, as a mother to see but I still think adhd is bogus. I know bits and peices of your life from fb and I know adhd is not the only disorder he has. Like I said in your fb post, I was diagnosed with adhd when I was about 11. And as I said before my mother was told that medication was the only was to correct my "off the wall" behavior. I absolutely refused to be medicated. My sister on the other hand did not have my gumption. I worked hard and focused my energy in productive ways. In school I not only excelled grade wise but I was always on varsity teams, I held down summer jobs and was well liked by my peers. I joined the Marines and excelled at my mos. I was just trying to convey on your post that if given the right tools and not just sedated with adhd medications, young adults who are diagnosed to have adhd will make better decisions when it comes to alcohol and drugs. My sister was doing drugs I've never even heard of, before she had turned 20. She had also stooped to selling her medication. I'd like to think that says something.
    Have you tried marijuana? I'm guessing not considering your stance. I have. Am I dirty and dumb and a poster child for social security? Hell no! I smoked on a nightly basis for over three years. Am I a terrible person? I'd like to think not. I think of myself as a pretty well educated person. I am certainly a Nazi when it comes to spelling, grammar, and punctuation so I have yet to see how "stupid" I am. But maybe that's just me in denial. I shower on a daily basis so I am certainly not dirty. Have I not held down a full time job and paid my taxes? I certainly did and without assistance. I work my ass off and have an excellent work ethic. It was no different when I was actively smoking. It's not a gateway drug, I wasn't smoking one day and thought to myself, hmm I wonder what crack tastes like... Its not an addiction, and if it is that can be contributed to people who have addictive personalities. I didn't HAVE to have it, I absolutely could go without and did. I wasn't spending rent money on it. I wasn't spending my grocery money on it. I was a single mother who supported my children and they lacked for nothing. I NEVER smoked in the presence of my children or even when they have been awake. Never even smoked in the house and all my paraphernalia was kept up high out of reach in my bedroom. My judgment was never clouded and I was a responsible smoker. Its been a year since I've last smoked and I can certainly do without. I'm not feining for it nor did I have to go thru rehab to quit it. Misconceptions about marijuana are a funny thing when they come from total ignorance and lack of first hand experience. Don't buy into the hype.

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    1. I can see that you've taken offense to my blog and I can understand why as I've quoted you and kind of targeted your comments for my response. However, this blog was warranted as you're not the only one who's sparked my nerve with those types of comments. This blog was intended for everyone who feels that I'm medicating my son for no good reason.

      No one can ever put themselves in my shoes. No one can ever call me a bad parent for doing the only thing possible to help my child who absolutely has health issues. Anyone who attacks me in this respect can accept the wrath of a parent scorned. If you don't have kids with Autism or ADHD then don't you DARE make such ignorant comments about the subject.

      Now, I'm afraid you may have been one of those kids who had a Doctor who was a bit too quick with the prescription pad as I mentioned above. Its sad that so many Doctors did this for so long but it is true. Parents didn't want to deal with their hyper or misbehaving children and didn't want to take the blame on themselves so they searched for alternative's and found Doctors who were jerks enough to just give them a bogus diagnosis and hand them prescriptions to shut the kids up.

      In your own comment above, its very clear to me that you never had ADHD. Just because you had a crappy Doctor doesn't mean the disorder does not exist. If that's what you really believe then you're perfectly within your rights to believe whatever you want. Having said that, I highly suggest that you keep those kinds of comments to yourself since not only do you NOT have ADHD but you don't have children with it either. So you really have no idea what you're talking about. (FYI: about 90% of my FB followers are parents of children with Autism and ADHD, so if you start a shit storm, don't be mad when you get dirty.)

      You also seem to think that I was calling you names in the end of my blog......again, I was not focusing this blog on you, just your 2 statements.

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    2. I don't use Wikipedia to define everything, it was just the quickest site to grab the most basic of definitions, which is why I proceeded to explain all the 'extra stuff' that they left out of their ever so simple definitions. I don't need any kind of dictionary to define anything I feel strongly about. I have experience, the best teacher in the world.

      Do you seriously think that I never smoked pot or drank a drop or done anything else because of how anti-substance abuse I am?? Are you serious??? I've done more than I care to admit. It's because of my experiences and my choice to stay clean instead being an addict like everyone else I knew that I am so anti-substance abuse.

      I have to say Brandi, I'm shocked at your public admission of your substance abuse problems even as you're a mom. I absolutely expected you to make much better choices than that. Now that I know, I'm kind of happy that we've never actually met because I would never be friends with someone who parents their children under a cloak of drug use, even if you are naive enough to think they don't know or will never find out. I hope you were being honest when you said you haven't smoked in a year, and if so I commend you for that and hope you stay clean, if not for your own sake then that of your kids.

      You say your judgment was never clouded? You do drugs and you're a grown woman, a mother and a marine. It seems to me your judgment couldn't be anymore clouded. Perhaps if you weren't smoking pot you could think more clearly.

      Just for the record, you can NEVER know someone simply by reading their Facebook comments. You really have no idea who I am, what I've lived through, what I still live through and how educated I am on the things I so openly discuss. I'm sorry you think that you know me.

      Oh, and P.S. Spelling and grammar Nazi?? You should have proofed your comment a few more times.

      Now that I've responded to your ignorance, I will also add a thank you. Thank you for taking the time to read this blog. Thank you for speaking your mind as you seem to have a firm belief system and I respect that. Thank you for showing all my readers that there really are many covers to every book.

      I wish you the best.

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  3. Not once did I attack your parenting or your son, nor did I say anything personal about your situation, yet you came at me personally. Interesting. Smoking weed doesn't make me a bad person or parent, think whatever pleases you but that's the truth. I work hard to provide for my family and my children are well cared for, even when I was actively smoking. For every article you find saying marijuana is bad you'll find the same number stating differently.
    I didn't find anything your blog posted offensive, I just commented cus it was obviously aimed at my comments on fb. I don't get hurt feelings over what's said on the internet by people I've never met. If I say something to set someone off, its never my intention to personally attack individuals or a group of people but to give my personal opinion. I obviously didn't intend to offend you or insinuate you are over medicating your son or question your parenting. I've never personally attacked or gone out of my way to offend you. I'm sorry you got offended and felt the need to cry about it in a blog.
    I never said I had ADHD, I stated I was diagnosed with it and shared MY personal experience. How can I have something I don't believe exists??

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