Ritalin is a drug that is prescribed for children and sometimes adults who suffer from attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). ADHD is a disorder that most often arises in children between the ages of three and five and it is most often diagnosed when the child is in their elementary school years. Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder is characterized by excessively high periods of excitability and activity, impulsive behavior and a difficulty focusing on a task as well as complete inattention at times.
Many children who suffer from ADHD have performance problems at school. Often the symptoms of ADHD will settle down as a child grows but in some cases they will persist into the person’s adult years. Ritalin is often needed in cases where a child’s day-to-day life is seriously affected by the disorder. It is estimated that an average of three to seven percent of children in their elementary school years suffer from ADHD.
Ritalin has also been used with much success to treat patients of narcolepsy (a sleep regulatory problem) and in some cases, depression. Ritalin is a stimulant that acts on the central nervous system to calm people who suffer from ADHD. The effects of Ritalin are comparable but more intense than that of caffeine yet this drug has less potency than any given amphetamine. This drug would increase the activity of dopamine in the brain for those who do not suffer from an attention disorder thereby causing the person to become overly stimulated and very excitable. However in those who already suffer from this problem, Ritalin has the opposite effect.
This drug is used not just to improve the physical manifestations of ADHD but also the psychological, social and educational ones as well. This drug is not prone to be habit-forming and if taken under a doctor’s careful instructions is likely to cause few side effects. Many children find that not only does their ability to concentrate in school improve but also their feelings of self-esteem increase which leads to better relationships with their family members and friends.
Disclaimer: Cliff Schaffer does not personally endorse or support any of the comments made within the writings of this article.