Recently, Health Canada issued a warning about ADHD medications. This was in response to several individuals, all of whom were on ADHD medications, reporting instances of suicidal thoughts. Understandably, this news has parents worried greatly. However, is the associated hysteria justified?
According to pediatrician Dr. David Wong, it likely is not. This comes for a number of reasons.
Most notably, ADHD medication is intended to target ADHD. It is not intended to target depression, which is another ailment entirely, but how does that absolve ADHD medication from the blame associated with causing these instances of suicidal thoughts?
As it turns out, ADHD and depression are not mutually exclusive conditions, and because depression is not targeted by ADHD medications, it abounds.
What’s interesting is that in many cases ADHD medication may even mitigate the effects of future depression. For example, many children that do not take medication experience an inability to socialize, which often leads to a lack of self-esteem. Naturally, high self-esteem and happiness are correlated, so the development of these social skills, a process that can be enabled by ADHD medication, is crucial.
It certainly is understandable for parents to worry. That said, however, ADHD is still a condition that benefits from treatment greatly.