imagesAttention Deficit Disorder (ADD) and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) are among the most common mental disorders among children. ADHD also often continues into adolescence and adulthood.

ADHD is a diagnosis applied to children and adults who consistently display certain characteristic behaviors over a period of time. The most common behaviors include inattention, hyperactivity, and Impulsitivity.

Inattentive behavior is often characterized by difficulty focusing on one task and persisting until completion, failure to pay attention to details, and making careless mistakes in a variety of tasks. Individuals exhibiting inattentive behavior may appear as if their minds are elsewhere or they are not listening or did not hear what has just been said.

Hyperactive people always seem to be in motion and may suffer from feelings of restlessness and difficulty engaging in sedentary activities. Common signs of hyperactivity include excessive unproductive movement, such as fidgeting with hands or feet, excessive talking, and an inability to sit still. Hyperactive children often squirm in their seat, roam around the room, and feel compelled to touch everything.

Impatience and a failure to think before acting often characterize Impulsitivity. Impulsive young children may frequently interrupt others, fail to listen to directions, and have difficulty waiting their turn.

The most common treatment for ADD / ADHD is the use of a mild central nervous system stimulant drug, such as Ritalin, Cylert, and Dexedrine. However, there are several drawbacks to using these drugs. Frequent short-term side effects include loss of appetite, insomnia, headaches, stomachaches, drowsiness, hyperactivity, blood pressure and pulse changes, and cardiac arrhythmia. In addition, little is known about the possible consequences of long-term exposure to these drugs in children. The use of Ritalin in children under six years of age is particularly undesirable since safety and efficacy in this age group has not been established.

The following excerpt is taken from two sections out of a journal article called “The Hazards of Treating “Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder” with Methylphenidate (Ritalin). It can be found on the website

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