Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Ritalin Use Doubles After Divorce

June 4, 2007

By Scott Anderson

TORONTO (Reuters) - Children from broken marriages are twice as likely to be prescribed attention-deficit drugs as children whose parents stay together, a Canadian researcher said on Monday, and she said the reasons should be investigated.

More than 6 percent of 633 children from divorced families were prescribed Ritalin, compared with 3.3 percent of children whose parents stayed together, University of Alberta professor Lisa Strohschein reported in the Canadian Medical Association Journal.

The study of more than 4,700 children started in 1994, while all the families were intact, Strohschein said. They followed the children's progress to see what happened to their families and to see what drugs were prescribed.

"It shows clearly that divorce is a risk factor for kids to be prescribed Ritalin," Strohschein said.

Other studies have shown that children of single parents are more likely to get prescribed drugs such as Ritalin. But is the problem caused by being born to a never-married mother, or some other factor?

"So the question was, 'is it possible that divorce acts a stressful life event that creates adjustment problems for children, which might increase acting out behavior, leading to a prescription for Ritalin?'" Strohschein said in a statement.

"On the other hand, there is also the very public perception that divorce is always bad for kids and so when children of divorce come to the attention of the health-care system -- possibly because parents anticipate their child must be going through adjustment problems -- doctors may be more likely to diagnose a problem and prescribe Ritalin."

Ritalin, known generically as methylphenidate, is a psychostimulant drug most commonly prescribed for the treatment of attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder in children.

There is a big debate in much of the developed world over whether it may be over-prescribed -- given to children who do not really need it. In March, a University of California, Berkeley study found that the use of drugs to treat ADHD has more than tripled worldwide since 1993.

Strohschein said it is possible that some mental health problems pre-date the divorce, so "it is possible that these kids had these problems before, but are only being identified afterward."

Her study was not designed to find out why the children were prescribed the drug.

"I might be finished with the survey, but I am not necessarily finished with the question," she said in a telephone interview.

Check out the Orange County ACA website at: Orange County Adult Children

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Head VS Heart

This weeks post is from a fellow ACAer who volunteered to share her story:

Coming from a family of dysfunctional people and a parent that drank and left me when she was drunk, abandonment is my biggest fear. I fear that people will not like me so I do anything possible to make sure that will not happen. Then I feel angry that those same people when they do not pay me back in kind.

Now I understand why "people pleasing" is so harmful because utimately, it makes the one doing it angry. Possibly that is the reason some people say... "I will never help or trust again," or worse, isolate. For me, people pleasing is a set up for a hurt heart.

Why can't the head and heart cooperate?

I think there is an answer to the head and heart problem when it comes to people pleasing. I do not want to be abandoned, so I kiss up to people, which is my head talking. My head is the part of me that remembers past events and how the heart felt when it was abandonded. I contend our heart has no memory of abandonment so herein is the problem. After I have interacted with a person I do not want to lose, I kiss up (people please, brown nose, whatever you want to call it). My head says I am doing a good thing because I am preventing hurt to the heart.

The hurt here is what the heart felt during abandonment as a child. The heart has no idea why it is hurting, just that it has been told by the head that it should hurt.

If I could circumvent the connection from the head to the heart by having no expectations and only doing something for someone because I wanted to do it, that would let me do things for others and protect my heart from hurt if they did not repay me in kind. Yep...that seems to work for me!

It is amazing that I read the Bible and heard this all before but did not internalize it. I thank the good LORD for leading me to ACA. ACA helped my head understand so it can stop telling my heart to be scared or hurt. For that I thank you GOD, ACA and all those who have helped me on the path of healing.

Look up, things are going to be better when you know the truth! Hang in there little hearts, your heads are going to get better!

Hugs and joy,


Thank You for sharing, D!

Check out the Orange County ACA website at: Orange County Adult Children

Monday, June 4, 2007

The Codependent Is Addicted- To The Addict

Reprinted from:

Only in recent years has codependency been recognized as the debilitating sickness it can be. At first, it was identified as a problem in alcoholic families. For example, even after alcoholic husbands dried out, twelve months later, many of their families fell apart. When the caretaking wife no longer had a needy spouse, she felt she wasn't loved anymore because she wasn't needed. What she failed to see was that she had been dependent on his dependency. Her need to be needed was enabling her husband to stay sick. In other words, she was codependent.

Codependency, it is now seen, goes far beyond taking care of an alcoholic. It applies to the caretakers of any over-dependent person–such as drug addicts, work addicts, food addicts, spend addicts, TV addicts, sex addicts, religion addicts, sports addicts, money-making addicts, and to anyone addicted to any kind of compulsive behavior. In fact, latest estimates say that up to ninety-eight percent of us are either over-dependent or codependent to one degree or another.

Second, to resolve their problems, codependents need to admit their sickness and stop blaming others for their unhappiness or the difficulties they have.

Blaming others for their problems is denying their own problem, which is at the heart of most unhappiness. Only as we face the truth, as Jesus put it, will we ever find freedom and happiness.

Third, codependents need to stop trying to change others. They have a compulsion to fix anybody but themselves. Trying to change or fix others only leads to frustration and anger for both parties. The only person we can ever fix or change is our self, and as we change, others around us are forced to change—one way or the other.

Fourth, the codependent needs to come to terms with his or her own problem. While an overdependent person is often addicted to some form of compulsive behavior, the codependent is addicted to the addict. In reality, both are overdependent on each other.

Because codependents need to feel needed in order to feel loved, they suffer from love deprivation, usually from childhood, and have confused feeling needed for feeling loved. This is why many codependents have gone into the helping professions.

In order to feel needed, some codependents will go to any length to keep a needy person dependent on them. They can be loyal to the point of being destructive both to themselves and others.

On the surface, codependency can appear to be very loving, kind and Christian. However, at its core it is a confusion of responsibility. The codependent is so busy taking too much responsibility meeting the needs of others, he neglects taking responsibility for meeting his own needs and facing his own problems.

In so doing, he short-circuits the natural consequences of his loved one's destructive behavior.

Codependents need to allow irresponsible people to face the consequences of their actions, and, if necessary, let them hit bottom. Codependents also need to accept responsibility for themselves and work on their own growth and recovery. One effective ways to do this is to join a twelve-step support or similar group. Here, you can learn to feel loved for whom your are and not for what you do for others.

Most of all, codependents need to trust their life to God—a power greater than their own—and daily ask him to face them with the reality of their problem, help them to see the root cause of it, and lead them to the help they need plus the courage to overcome.

God can make a much better job of our life than we can. Why not trust your life to him today?

Check out the Orange County ACA website at: Orange County Adult Children