Here's the deal: My mom thinks I might have ADHD and I'm afraid if we go to the doctor I'll end up being on Ritalin for the rest of my life. That's a long time …particularly since I'm only 16! Not only that, my friend Paul says that stimulation medication can kill you. Is that true?
What your friend Paul says is true; stimulation medication has been linked to sudden death syndrome in children with pre-existing heart conditions. However, it’s rare. Indeed, there is no increased risk of sudden heart syndrome in children without pre-existing heart conditions. As far as a doctor forcing you to take Ritalin, a doctor can no more force you to take stimulants than they can force you to take any other type of medication. Ideally, the decision of how to treat your ADHD should lie with your doctor, mom and you.
I recently saw a story on cnn that said that of the children diagnosed with ADHD, as few as 10 to 20 percent actually need medication. Check it out at: http://www.cnn.com/2010/HEALTH/08/11/adhd.medication.schools/