Due to increased societal pressures and performance requirements, many kids are classified with ADHD, because these kids fall outside acceptable behavioural boundaries within the schooling system. Natural remedies to support more relaxed and calm behaviour does not always work and creates a situation where the energy that is not used builds up causing a jittery attention distracted child. Unfortunately this behaviour is not acceptable in a school setting causing classroom distraction and attention problems relating to poor academic performance.
Children having this so called disorder is then sent for several tests and then eventually prescribed a dopamine supportive drug such as Ritalin. In some cases this drug can create wonders as it calms the child down due to an increased level of dopamine supporting concentration and improved behaviour. Side effects of the drug includes: eating disorders, sleeping problems, depression and even suicidal thoughts in some cases, from personal observation I have seen how children seem to be switched off such as a personality change took place.
A personal experience with my own daughter age 7 years was the following. She was diagnosed with ADHD and did not perform well enough as she ought to for her age. She has been receiving neurofeedback brain training for a while and then we started to use Bellabee on a daily basis. Her marks improved, but the problem was she cannot use the Bellabee during school hours in a class as small children would not have the responsibility to use a device of this nature correctly on their own, and also kids would keep fiddling with the wires and phone causing disruption all day long. It is for this reason we used it in the mornings before school to help the brain prepare for the school day. Unfortunately this was not enough as Bellabee works while wearing the device, but with long term use the brain does “learn” new performance levels, but it does take time to lock in. So we were asked to consult a paediatrician who then prescribed Ritalin 10mg for her during school hours.
The effects were closely monitored by me and a neurofeedback specialist. After 1 week on the tablet her brain waves started to decline from positive levels and within normal bounds into negative territory. I then requested that we give the tablet some time and do another brain wave check on week 3. When we did the tests her brain wave levels dropped even further in very negative territory confirming that the tablet was the cause. When we just used Bellabee and did neurofeedback training sessions my daughter was within normal brain wave boundaries.
As a neuroscience signal processing pattern recognition computer science specialist I immediately stopped the Ritalin, due to the negative effect it has caused in just 3 weeks within my child. The reason is that in a developmental brain the brain needs to learn mechanisms during growth how to build its own performance measures and coping abilities which is required by a person in adulthood. By providing the brain with a chemical that interrupts this process, you actually switch off the learning path the brain needs to go through in order to without a chemical drug create the dopamine it needs to, when it needs to and in the right quantities it needs to. This is similar to a child first sitting, then crawling and then walking, the brain learns specific things at specific moments in time to enable it to perform as expected later in life. The use of Ritalin causes the dopamine levels to be enhanced, which in effect causes an imbalance inside the brain within its own neurological balancing structures, hence why so many kids experience negative side effects. In my own daughter I could see the drop in normal brain wave behaviour which will over a long period of time create brain structural changes causing issues such as depression and other disorders for which other drugs are required. In my view Ritalin is not the miracle drug it seems to be, not in every child’s case anyway, as I have personally experienced and tested its effects to ensure I do not cause irreparable damage to my own child’s brain. Please note I do not disregard the medicine and its effects in people that really do require it, but I am pointing out that it might not always be the best solution for the long term as the brains’ developmental stages is interrupted in such a manner that can cause many other problems including suicide if severe depression occurs.
To conclude, my daughter is her own self again, she regained her bubbly personality, we still use Bellabee for concentration, as the device is supporting the brains’ own internal clock to perform better, every day and she has played her first chess tournament this week using her brain without any Ritalin. Her brain levels has returned to more normal levels and I will not use Ritalin again on her as I do not 5 years from now want a teenager that is so depressed and just wants to lie the whole day on a couch wondering why her life is so dark and pointless not knowing that her brain has been structurally altered due to an interruption in its developmental stages caused by a drug which was supposed to actually support her.
»It always seems impossible until it is done.« (Nelson Mandela)