Mental Handcuffs – A Kid’s View of ADHD Medications

ADHD_meds_1Sigmund Fraud, Staff Writer
Waking Times

What is it like to be a ‘below average’ student in a culture that increasingly drugs children to induce conformity?

Minimum Max’, a short film created by high school student Josh Ovalle, presents the viewer with a modern day dilemma that many kids are faced with. In an educational system that demands conformity and uniformity, being labelled ‘below average’ exposes a child to increased time at school with tutors, a more rigorous daily schedule, and the stigma of being lesser than the other kids. In addition to the extra work involved, many ‘below average’ or unmanageable kids are diagnosed as having ADD or ADHD and are put on mind-altering medications as a means of correcting their behavior and inducing conformity.

“I don’t know how to explain them except for mental handcuffs. They take everything you like and make you hate them. And they don’t replace any of your likes with any other likes, you just end up hating everything.” – Minimum Max

Having already been prescribed Strattera, Vyvanse, Concerta and several forms of Ritalin, young Max is able to see through his situation with the clarity of an adult and understands that he has the choice of taking the medications or working overtime to conform to the rigors of a standardized educational system that would rather drug young children than offer them more freedom in their education.

Recently, a CDC study indicated that close to 11 percent of American children between the ages of 4 and 17 have been diagnosed with ADD or ADHD and over 3.5 million children are taking prescription medications for this ‘problem.’ Democracy Now and The New York Times recently exposed how the pharmaceutical industry oversells ADD and ADHD medical diagnoses through advertising and through promoting self-examinations that falsely lead people to believe they are suffering from a condition that requires perpetual medication.

In a climate like this, where children are beginning to speak out about the unbearable side effects, and adults are beginning to acknowledge the profit motive and fraudulent concerns involved with prescribing these drugs, parents should by now have enough evidence and reason to consider alternatives to drugging their children with psychotropic medication.

There are many natural ways to calm the overactive mind of a child, including simple things such as limiting a child’s exposure to media and electronics, improving their diet by eliminating processed foods and common neuro-toxins like MSG, Aspartame and High Fructose Corn Syrup. Meditation and participation in certain sports like swimming, martial arts and Yoga are excellent ways of developing a young person’s attention span and focus, while improving their physical health. Viable alternatives to public education in the forms of private schooling, homeschooling and even unschooling.

The over-drugging of the nation’s youth is becoming an epidemic that is sadly forcing too many budding minds into a conformist trap that harms their mental health in the long run. As young Minimum Max so plainly points out, the options we are offering our children contradict their natural inclination towards activity, creativity, and the need for play.

About the Author

Sigmund Fraud is a survivor of modern psychiatry and a dedicated mental activist. He is a staff writer for where he indulges in the possibility of a massive shift towards a more psychologically aware future for mankind.

Disclaimer: This article is not intended to provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Views expressed here do not necessarily reflect those of WakingTimes or its staff.

This article is offered under Creative Commons license. It’s okay to republish it anywhere as long as attribution bio is included and all links remain intact.

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  • Kristen E.

    I’m an 80’s kid with moderate-severe ADHD. So many people think that throwing medication at any mental or health “problem” is the only way to “solve the problem”. In actuality, with ADD/ADHD, this is where behavioral therapies bring the most help. I’ve always seen my ADHD as a programming issue: most people are born with certain base programs… I was not. I have had to manually install the “programs” I need in order to function within our society. In many cases, people with mild-moderate ADD/ADHD don’t need medication, just instruction & support in learning coping skills. I am one of the unfortunate souls who needs more than the adjustments to my diet & exercise… I do require a low dose of dextroamphetamines (Dexedrine) to level me out enough so I can fully utilize everything I’ve learned to the fullest extent.

    But when I was nine, & freshly diagnosed in 1982, my parents saw what was happening with kids on Ritalin, & said “hell no.” Instead, they tried Dr. Benjamin Feingold’s suggested dietary adjustments… and it HELPED. They stopped feeding me artificial colors, flavors & preservatives. My sugar intake was halved, & my parents cut out so much junk food & made more meals from scratch. Yes, it’s a huge change, & really uses up valuable time, but Mom had my brother & I help out in preparing meals, & we’ve carried what we’be learned through adulthood & are passing our cooking skills down to our children now.

    To this day I remain highly sensitive to red dye #40 & all artificial sweeteners. They literally short-circuit my brain. Anyone who truly has ADD/ADHD should try modifying their diet through the Feingold Diet. Basically what the premise is, is that neurologically challenged people are much more sensitive to the chemicals we put un all of pur foods, & Dr. Feingold’s theory is that by eating less pre-made foods, with less preservatives & additives, we’ll not only function better mentally, but physically as well.

    My son also has ADHD & is on the autism spectrum. While he & I both take medication, we also meet with a trusted psychologist who helps us to learn the skills we need so we aten’t dependent on the meds. For medicine to truly help us, it NEEDS to be combined with the right support- whether it be through a psychologist, a psychotherapist, or a support group filled with people who know exactly what you’re going through. We are all different in how ADD/ADHD affects us, so if one possible solution isn’t working, keep looking! We are NOT lazy, stupid & crazy.

    Okay, maybe a little crazy… 😉

  • Maxx

    “There will be, in the next generation or so, a pharmacological method of making people love their servitude, and producing dictatorship without tears, so to speak, producing a kind of painless concentration camp for entire societies, so that people will in fact have their liberties taken away from them, but will rather enjoy it, because they will be distracted from any desire to rebel by propaganda or brainwashing, or brainwashing enhanced by pharmacological methods. And this seems to be the final revolution.” — Aldous Huxley, Tavistock Group, California Medical School, 1961

    • bonnielou

      Brave New World!

  • mikael

    I will only speak for my self in this issue.

    The use of “scientificaly” acepted terms or some cataluge anyone in a axiom, of lesser abilitys to higher abilitys or “intelligence” is a downright fallacy of education.

    The problem is infact our school system and whats it is builded upon, learning by reproducing, the better you are able to reproduce, the better is your ” score”, witch is a patheticaly idiotic way of learning anything exept repeating text.
    Witch I was really good at Before I went to school.

    The issue is in problems of perseptions of education, witch is fundamentaly a f…up and will only produc people in the more spesific term a Itiot Savant, and without expirience forthem selfs, but feeded thure a PC.
    I consider them as dead meat.

    IQ tests, is and will never show anything else than the persons ability to handle the teachings that he/she have been reproducing since childhood. The IQ test is totaly useless if confronted with an perseption of reality that is opositt or different than ours.
    Its nothing more, tells me nothing.


  • Norma

    Those are the New Kids” that are being born worldwide, brilliant, geniuses that could change the trend of neo-feudalism.

    And the governments KNOW this, they have the Stats of the high IQs, but suppress them. In this, the governments, would never let their power be taken.

    But tptb today, is “the poer that WAS” very soon.

    So Be It!

  • Catherine

    Try Ireland which had a different approach in my son’s case = Electric Shock Therapy to normalize him??He was bored at how slow teachers were etc.

    I did not agree and home schooled him. he is now in USA with his own business etc.He had his own business at 15, but of course Irish society could not handle that concept.

  • chuck odonnell

    My oldest and youngest sons were put on these meds 20 something years ago for adhd. I ignorantly listened to the advice of doctors and their teachers and other experts. My oldest was burried 4 years ago from narcotic pill overdose and my youngest is a heroin addict. When they became adults their pediatricians stopped treating them and they started self medicating with whatever they could find. I saw dozens of others that were in special ed classes go the same route and many of them are dead too or in jail. You could not print what I want to say about the absolute criminality of it all…

    • omg!! can totally relate to this,, i was forced/blackmailed by school etc and now im on the bad H! i think it makes me feel much like normall. calm and helps to think thinks out instead of my brain being in constant overdrive!

  • Person with ADD

    ADHD is certainly over diagnosed. I think part of the problem in psychology today is when behaviors (i.e. external) is focused more than internal. This has also lead to inattentive ADD being missed because a teacher isn’t as inconvenienced by a student whose mind wanders as much as a student who can’t sit still.ADHD is shown by an underproduction of dopamine and/ or norepinephrine and there are more natural ways to increase those neurotransmitters. I don’t think a person should be treated for ADHD with medication unless they have a reasonable diet and exercise regularly. I think the structure of classes is better for certain kinds of people. School encourages rote memorization and obedience (often not rationalized). I think a lot have high kinesthetic intelligence and will benefit from a more hands on approach. ADHD is correlated with higher creative intelligence and wants something more stimulating than listening to facts and remembering them. There can also be interest and pace. High IQ kids may get bored and become unmotivated and uninterested then get diagnosed with ADHD.

    I was diagnosed with inattentive ADHD when I was younger. I think my higher IQ may have played a role in my mind wandering with lack of intellectual stimulation. I was given Ritalin but I didn’t take to it well. In hind sight, the dose was likely too high. I managed to do well enough through high school (although I was always reminded of my high potential that I was not meeting). In college my ADD became more of an issue. After fixing my diet and exercise habits with some improvement, I decided to try Adderall. It was very helpful for listening in class, staying on task with work and improving social confidence. I have seen improvement even when I am not on the drug. I take a low dose compared to most adults and am very cautious with it. I take days off from it so I don’t become dependent. Ultimately I want to be able to stop taking it all together, but for now I will still take it. Adderall is to ADHD as a calculator is to math. It is a tool that makes life easier, but there is a lot of value and benefit in learning to do things by hand.

    • Catherine

      I totally agree with you on this. Creative children want to create, not regurgitate old boring “facts”.Creative children know- feel the untruths etc. That is a threat of course to those in power and must be suppressed. If the children die in the process, so much the better is their belief. Control and profit, using children. Criminal but the work of psychopaths.These people are drug peddlers and ought to be in jail like other drug pushers. Just because one has a few letters after his/her name does not make them lawful. “legally” pushing drugs is allowed by those in power as both work hand in glove. No different to Hitler and how he used children with his “best interest of the child,{

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