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- Carol K, St Charles, IL, 18/11/2010 21:59                                                                                                                             My son is incredibly bright, in grade school he had trouble with his focus. His 1st grade teacher was incredible, she truly "got" how to work with kids like my son. She allowed him to double or tripple task, like get up and walk around, do math while listening and contributing to english lessons, etc. If she could've been his teacher all the way through school we'd have never put him on drugs. Some teachers wouldn't allow him to work at his level because he wouldn't pay attention during some of the regular work. Example in 2nd grade reading with 95 comprehension at 7th & 8th grade levels. So his 3rd grade teacher wouldn't allow him to read anything above a 3rd grade level because he wouldn't pay attention during reading. When I tried to suggest to the teacher that he might be bored out of his mind it fell on deaf ears. Anyway, his 4th grade was tough, teachers were frustrated as all teachers, except his 3rd grade teacher,felt he was talented and gifted so it was doubly frustrating for them that his lack of focus was so pronounced. He spent most of his 2nd through 4th grade life doing his school work at home at night with me sitting beside him helping him stay focused. 5th grade we broke down and tried drugs. They did help him focus during school and get more of his work done during class (and more quickly for homework). He hated it saying it took away his imagination. He was never officially diagnosed with ADD (isn't hyper), but doc said well if it's helping.Regrets? Many!



-James Paicopolos, Dartmouth,MA USA, 14/10/2013                                                                                                          At age 5, my son was the youngest first grader in the district at at his School .   His first grade teacher felt that he was very immature for his age, even though he was reading and doing math far above his classmates.  She wanted to have him repeat the first grade.  He was in second grade, when  the principal and school counselor told my ex-wife to take him to the Psychologist because the teacher felt he had ADHD.  The Psychologist conducted a neuro-psychological evaluation and promptly diagnosed my son with severe ADHD.   It became  a matter of life and death that he be put on the ADHD medication.  I refused to have my son medicated and with a broken hand in a sling, I went to see his neruo-pyschologist, to obtain his psychological report on my son and he promptly called the GAL saying that I was harrassing him,  to insure my son was put on the ADHD meds.  I lost my legal custody and I was ordered by the court to medicate my son on his visitation under the threat of losing visitation.  My was already very thin and he lost 20 percent of his body weight falling into the minus first percentile, along with developing tachycardia.  While he was on his visitation, with me,  I got a consult from a cardiologist and I took him to another pediatrician  which was illegal because I had lost legal custody in court.  A was report was written to his pediatrician, who promptly took my son off  Adderall XR.  My  ex-wife and the GAL promptly filed motion for contempt of the court order.  The judge sanctioned me by ordering that I bring my future concerns before the court, but granted me temporary legal custody, as I had acted in the best interest of my son.    After my son  was taken off his ADHD meds, his grades in school improved dramatically as well as his behavior.  He made the honor roll for the first time.  Presently, he is now attending the University of New Hampshire, and will attend UMASS- Dartmouth this comming school year.  He has been off  his ADHD meds for almost 10 years.  He was found to gifted in the second grade and he was outspoken in his second grade class.  For talking out and not staying in his seat, he was drugged with the ADHD drug  Adderall XR.    In addition to what I have already told you, he began to act psychotic, stayed up all hours of the night and got rashes all over his body.  It was a nightmare that I had to live with, knowing that the drug was hurting my son and I was court ordered not to interfere with his treatment.  I founded so that other children would have to go through what my son did, at the hands of an incompetent Psychologist, who still is in practice to this very day.  Today I provide Independent Education Evaluations, here in Massachusetts.  I do not turn down anyone because they cannot pay.  We only evaluate school age students, pertaining to school related issues.

- T. Armstrong, Salem, USA, 17/10/2010 18:40
Go to google, yahoo search or any other search engine. Try the National Institute of Drug Abuse website and search about the horror stories about what Ritalin can really do. You will find all kinds of crazy but true stories. If I am able to at some point, I will get an MRI and post the results online. If what the reports say are true, and based on what I have typed here on this website about my symptoms, then you will all see I am not a liar. Good luck to anyone else suffering needlessly like myself. I truly hope ther best for you, and feel for you. I pray everyday for a miracle or an answer!!!


- Brian, Rice, USA, 10/05/2010 02:10
I was put on Ritalin as a child. I had been to the school therapist many times for different learning tests and I knew that it was odd that I was being taken out of class while others were kept in class to go and take special tests. Before that I was held back a grade. My first year in grade school I was held back which made me hyper-aware of all social differences between me and the other children. My parents took me to psychologists outside of school to run more tests and it was suggested that I might have Attention Deficit Disorder. This is when I was put on Ritalin. Being on Ritalin was at first funny, but slowly became a constantly uncomfortable feeling. I am writing this because I hope that any parents out there that are debating the use of drugs for a learning difference will choose not to. Over time my anxiety increased and I would find myself having slight hallucinations of anxiety in classes. I became very self aware and started having panic attacks daily in school. I didn't know what was wrong with me, and because I was always dealing with being medicated it made all of the other issues that arose as a result, seem even harder to deal with. I didn't have myself to rely on. While I was just starting to understand who I was, I was being erased by this medication and forced to learn how to function on drugs. On Ritalin, life became an experiment of who I was on some drug and there was no clarity. Who I was before was a fog. I still have panic attacks in my 30s.


- David Foster, New York US, 24/02/2010 04:46
I have 3 children, 1 son who is 8 and 2 daughters 4 and 3 .My son who is 8 is extremely hyperactive , My husband and I are good people, My son has had more attention than ever from us and also his grandparents, At Preschool at only 3 years of age we were called in every other day about his behavior . He started Kindergarten and we called in regarding his behavior in the first week, My husband and I continually fought over him as we were literally at the end of our tether. In Year 2 , the Principal of his then school had a councillor talk to Ethan and myself and my husband, we filled out forms so that they could do a test , It came back that he was ADHD.
My husband and myself did not believe in that label and said that there is in way we are going to put our then son on medication. We then took him out of that school as he was always in trouble , had no friends and we thought he woulod be better off in a PRIVATE SCHOOL.
We met with the Principal of this new school and he said he would accept Ethan on a trial basis.

Only 2 weeks into this new school, we were called up to the office and spoke to his teacher who said Ethan was so distractible , Disruptive and was unable to concentrate - We knew all this so well.
We then took Ethan to a child psychologist who we spent 8 hours with and the findings came back ADHD . We then had Behavioral Intervention and also took Ethan off all Artificial colourings, preservatives which he hardly had before mind you.

- Renee, Sydney Australia, 24/01/2010 09:38
I took ritalin from age 7 to 16, i was expelled from schools and even went to a boarding school for EBD kids,
altho i dont really want to I am considering taking it again, i am now 21, the longest job i have had has been 6 months, i find jobs quick enough as verbally i could charm the queen but the job itself becomes so mundane after the first couple of weeks that i feel totally depressed, i need some motivation in my life, i dont even have life skills, i dont even want to learn them, i always have to have company or i am totally beside myself with anxiety.
in the next couple of months i have to leave the house that myself and a couple of friends are renting and find somewhere to live, i have been told the council may help me but i wouldnt have a clue of how to go about it,
i have mood swings and i am aware that the way i speak to people is not acceptable, has anyone else out there gone back on ritalin (concerta actually) are the doses high as i remember it is done on weight and i weigh approx 18 stone and 6ft 4, has anyone got a council home because of this condition, i was registered disabled when i was at school and recieved benefits but did not want to get them when i turned 16 as i have always hated the label, because i had teaching support at school i would act a clown all day just to take the kids eyes of the dissability, can i claim again if i needed to and how would i go about it?
what do you all rekon?

- Mike, middlesex, 16/01/2010 17:37
There is definately a difference between a child who has A.D.H.d and a child who is just boistrous. I don't think that GPs perscribe ritalin willy-nilly at all. My experience is exactly the opposite. As a mother, I was almost at my wits end after completing my seventh parenting course and still being told that my son's behaviour was because of some sort of disfunction at home. My son was unable to concentrate, make friends or have a meaningful relationship with anyone outside the family. He was doing really badly at school too - in the headmaster's office every day for bad behaviour and not doing his work because of lack of concentration. He was perscribed ritalin a year ago, and it has changed all of our lives. Home is no longer a battle zone. He is helpful and caring (both of which we never saw before). He now has close friends and is has caught up with his work - in fact, he is gifted in maths. I am not saying that ritalin is a magic cure because it won't cure disfunction in families, but I know that my son wouldn't be the happy chap that he is today without it. The last thing a mother wants to do is give her child ritalin, but for those of us living with A.D.H.D on a daily basis, sometimes it is a last resort, and sometimes it helps. Yes, I do worry about the future side effects of ritalin, but I honestly don't think that he would have had much of a future without it.

- Brian, Rice,USA, 07/09/2009 00:00
My 11 year old son is currently going through the process of being prescribed this drug. We have struggled since he was 2 years old with his behaviour. We are not lazy, uneducated, ignorant people. He isn't fed junk, artificial colours, sweeteners, additives etc. He goes to a good school and is well cared for, but the effects of adhd should not be underestimated. It causes immense stress within a family and my husband has been made redundant due to the stress at home leading to him being unable to cope at work. People seem to assume that adhd can be cured with more discipline and better parenting, but this is simply not the case. Poor parenting can make the effects of adhd worse, but it cannot be controlled simply by fresh air, exercise and vegetables. It is a brain disorder. I didn't believe in its existence until I had my son - I have had to learn fast that it does exist and it can ruin families. I don't want to medicate my son, but after exhausting every option, this is all we have left.

- Tricia Neilson, UK, 24/07/2009 13:49
Ok, an update... I just recently had a full blood panel done, this was my second one. The first one my white blood cell count was a little low, but they confirmed that it was because of a flu I had that was going around just before 2009. My secone blood panel test showed my white blood cell count at a normal range and my testosterone levels were higher than the first test due to harder exercise and running. Both tests showed me being in well above average health for my age. So, no testosterone issues, no prostate issues, nothing. I take a whole food powder, liquid cal/mag citrate, I get omega3's from eating cold water fish I eat fruits and vegetables like Kale, apricots, pineapple, you name it. I have tried amino acids to boost dopamine with no luck though. To the best of my knowledge and according to Nora Volkow and other amphetamine researchers, my symbathetic nervous system, some dopamine receptors, and some other brain areas are more than likely damaged from neurotoxicity. The next step would be to get an MRI with a dopamine tracer, but I only make $11 something per hour and it would be spendy even with insurance. Since I have had everything else checked, I am almost 100% positive that it is neorotoxicity. That is where I am at right now.

- Brian, Rice, USA, 08/05/2009 04:03
If Ritalin is so good, then why doesn't everyone line up at the doctor's office and take it?? Since so many people advocate the use of it, then why don't you people try it?? Give me an answer to that one? Or, how about if something new comes out from the pharmacy you people be the first ones to try it?? You people take it and see how it makes you feel then tell me if it is safe.

- Brian, Rice, USA, 19/04/2009 22:07
When I stopped taking Ritalin at age 14, I had absolutely no sexual function problems. I took Ritalin again at age 21, it boosted my sex drive, and I was on it until age 24. One month after stopping ritalin at age 24, I met up with my girlfriend and we had sex but, I did not achieve a full erection, and from there on out, it has gotten worse. See, try to understand that at age 14, I stopped taking Ritalin, and had no sexual function issues. At age 24 stopping it, I had issues. I am about to turn 27 and do not wake up with a morning erection, I have almost no sex drive, and I want someone to tell me that it is all in my head. I see a naturopath to try to reverse the damage, take vitamins, omega 3's, exercise, eat fruits, vegetables, and have a good diet. Other people my age say that I should file suit against the makers of Ritalin. They tell me that they have no sexual function problems at the same age as me. I have had this conversation with other people my age or older, people with ADD who never took medicine, and even girls who all say that they do not have any of the same issues as me. I have talked to ex meth/crack/speed/ and adderall or ritalin users and some of them have sexual problems, and some don't. None of them, however, were on any of it as long as I was. Well, that is what I have to say. How can I make it any clearer?? Maybe I will sue them, or contact Kevin Trudeau or someone who can really help.

I know this for certain, the symptoms inherent to adhd patients also makes them profoundly unreliable when it comes to reporting data regarding symptoms. I have,more than once, changed treatments (for adhd) only to realize after the fact that I had already tried a particular medication and that it didn't work for me.

Th irregular brain activity seen in the prefrontal cortex of adhd patients is also seen in patients suffering from bipolar disorder or schizophrenia. Which suggests that someone suffering from adhd and unmedicated could experience symptoms of mood disorder. I have experienced this first hand.

Lastly, the consensus regarding long-term use of stimulants is, if anything, beneficial to someone who really has adhd. The reason why is that the stimulant forces the adhd brain to act more normal. Over time, the brain gets more "used" to behaving as it should.

With regards to finding yourself stuck, by going off your medication you are essentially drastically modifying your brain chemistry. You shouldn't be surprised to find yourself without the tools you need, namely a system of behaviors and habits that allow you to cope with the new reality you find yourself in.

Think of it this way, ask any two depressed people why they are unhappy. One could be depressed because of his genetics. The other could be depressed because his life actually sucks.

- Torin, arcata, ca, 20/12/2008 02:57
Ok, whatever, people who are millionaires standing behind the drug companies and anyone involved making profit in that same realm are worried about one thing, making money. They do not care that people like myself have what seems like permanent problems after stopping ritalin. Look at Seroquel for bipolar people, it has been proven that the drug induces diabetes in a number of adults and children. Also, I have spoken with or read articles and patient reports from medical doctors, ex medical doctors, pharmacists, ex pharmacists, naturopaths, chiropractors, osteopaths, and anyone inbetween. They all admitted that when you put a chemical like amphetamines in your body for a long enough period of time, it can have adverse effects. I have personally met ex stimulant/ritalin/adderall/conceta/speed/coke...... users who have told me their symptoms are much the same as mine. I was on ritalin almost 12 years of my 26 years of life. The after effects are very real, true, and anyone can browse the internet to see that it is not fake, a hoax, or people just trying to tell a story. We are all just wanting to get back to normal. A normal mind set, a normal sex drive, no libido problems, no flat line emotion, the ability to cope and handle what the world throws our way, not feeling empty, alone, abandoned, and stuck. I know you other people are out there, start speaking up and do what you can to fix the damage.
My best hope and wishes for anyone in my position.

- Ove, Tromsø, Norway, 26/11/2008 18:06
I am a 26 year old male. I was on ritalin from age 5 through age 14. I was put back on ritalin at age 22 and stayed on it until age 24. when I stopped taking it at age 14, I was functioning normal except for mood swings. When I stopped taking it at age 24, I was and now am still stuck with mood swings, flat line emotion, lack of motivation, and here is the one that pi$$es me off the most, THANKS RITALIN, I APPRECIATE IT A LOT!!
Does anyone know if there is some way to correct the damage Ritalin caused? I mean what is it? Are my dopamine receptors and nervous system fried or something?
Take care,

- Brian, Rice, USA, 04/11/2008 02:36
In over 15 years of teaching I have worked with many tens of children who have taken or are taking Ritalin. In my opinion only ONE of these cases was severe enough to warrant the prescription.

- Jo, Essex. UK, 24/09/2008 15:52

I don't have a child diagnosed with ADHD but I do have 2 boys and as most parents will know, children have their own personalities and often go through phases or long periods where their behaviour is difficult. Parents, being human, cannot always deal with the difficulties well, it may be that their circumstances are part of the problem. Ups and downs are part of life, some children need a different approach to help them get through difficulties and parents need support and guidance. Parents and children need chances to develop better coping strategies, sometimes they just need a break and the child needs one to one attention from a caring person who can steer the child to positive thoughts and activities. Professionals have a role but as Aristotle suggested long ago, an over excited child needs plenty of physical exercise, plenty of fish and less meat. This would be a good starting point rather than Ritalin.

- Maria, London, 24/09/2008 11:17

When I was younger at age 9, I was prescribed ritalin, I don't know the dose I took at the time. I felt that it made me feel tired, robotic and in a type of deep daze daydreams. It did not help me in concentrating very much, I could not work out or understand maths subjects, or understand some stories from books, for a time I stopped taking them, other times I felt I should take them. I felt Isolated in classes falling behind and not getting good grades. I'm not sure how long I took them for but it was over a year. I had less friends than most, since I felt like there was something wrong with me. I didn't know why I was different, I could not understand why I felt down, at times and other times, my mood changed. Felt enticed to daydream when people were talking to me. I did not have a great attention span for long periods, or I had to read some sentences twice to understand it. At a time when I stopped taking ritalin, I would sometimes act in a hyperactive manner, found it a lot hard to concentrate with what I was doing. I felt I wanted to commit suicide when I was a teenager, without any skills to motivate me in learning new skills, suffered because I had a problem with being put behind from the rest of the class at college. So in turn left, with no skills and am finding it hard to find jobs now at 32 years of age. I suffer from bouts of depression and have been on antidepressants as I have changing moods, but don't always take them as I worry it will make me worse..


New England Learning and Development Center | Hangzhou, China | 508-717-4110

The New England  Learning and Development Center is a non-profit organization, founded by a school psychologist whose son was diagnosed with ADHD.