Have you ever wondered what it’s like to grow up relying on medications to control your behavior?
“There’s this frustration, this anxiousness, not knowing who I actually am without the medication,” says one individual treated since childhood for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, according to reporter Madeliene Thomas. “When I go off [the medication] now, I can’t get through simple chores, errands, tasks, anything. The biggest thing I hate about it is that I’m a drug addict. If I’m being completely honest, I’m dependent on it. There’s a lot of anger and self-loathing that comes with that.”
It’s likely these feelings are shared by many who have been treated for ADHD with drugs. And while there’s no doubt that caring motives are behind the efforts of medical professionals treating these patients, some are searching for better, more compassionate solutions, including non-medical treatment options. I think many doctors would agree with the statement that Christian healer Mary Baker Eddy, author of Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, wrote over a century ago: “Narcotics quiet mortal mind, and so relieve the body; but they leave both mind and body worse for this submission.” This puts that anger and self-loathing comment in a new light.
Could it be that love is the key to addressing these issues?
Love for others is expressed so clearly by a friend of mine who serves as a state governor. At one point, she had the opportunity to tour a group of schools and was pleased to find them orderly and clean. But she was concerned with the many children who were sitting quietly with almost a glaze over their eyes. Although we both agreed that probably not all of these children were on medication for ADHD, we both felt that medical treatment resulting in any student passivity should be reevaluated.
Love inspires activity instead of inaction, compassion instead of apathy, humility instead of hubris. Eddy makes a great statement on the power of love: “Love enriches the nature, enlarging, purifying, and elevating it.” It has been my experience that this love is from the Divine and is available to each and every one of us.
Jesus demonstrated the power of divine Love to heal. He taught that each of us, created in God’s likeness, is complete, capable, and unlimited, and he proved this through his healing works. This healing message is just as potent today, including for the treatment of ADHD, as it was in Jesus’ time. On this basis, school personnel may feel the support of divine Love and perhaps find ways to draw out each child’s natural curiosity and focus of interest to bring real harmony to classrooms. Health, the expression of harmony, is the ultimate goal that medical professionals, teachers, and parents – actually all of us – strive for. And I believe love is the key.