Limits & Benefits of Medication
A major obstacle to treatment for hyperactivity and attention deficits is the refusal of people or a key figure in their lives (parent, teacher, or spouse) to accept the diagnosis. They may think that labels of ADHD and ADD are excuses for laziness, the wrong values, or not trying hard enough. Even if this hurdle is passed, there may be resistance to the use of drugs. Making the decision to take medication and measuring its effectiveness stands a much better chance with a full understanding of its limits and benefits:
Limits and Benefits
Medication Can Help
Medication Does Not Help
(Table adapted from Beyond Retalin by Stephen Garber, Marianne D. Garber, and Robyn F. Spizman (Harper Perennial, 1994). Starred items are not true in all cases.)
In mild cases, self-monitoring may eliminate the need for medication; with more difficult problems, it can pick up where medication leaves off. Self-
ratings of behavior can be compared with that of a buddy or coach who has good organizational and social skills and is capable of being objective and positive. In turn, people with ADD can rate buddies who serve as models for appropriate behavior. Learning internal dialogues is also important—“I stayed on task”; “I did what I said I’d do.” It is best to work on one area at a time.