Ask the Experts

Q: Will ADHD Meds Make My Son a Zombie?

Will ADHD medication make my son a zombie? Will it strip away his personality? Erase his spark? Here, social worker Ryan Wexelblatt clears up common misperceptions about the stimulant medications used to treat attention deficit disorder, and implores parents not to get their treatment advice from Facebook.

Q: “My 12-year-old son is a bright boy who excels at math. However his self-esteem is low, so he contains himself at school but then melts down at home. He says his classmates are ‘annoying him’ and he ends up with behavioral points. I have put off medicating as I’ve heard horror stories re: inducing a zombie state, and I don’t want to change his personality. But at the same time, I’m at the point of exhaustion and exasperation.” — Adhdmum

A: “If you are not open to having a dialog about medication, I think you are doing a disservice to your son… Medication is the first line of defense in treating ADHD, and there is a wide body of research that shows its efficacy. When people are against medication, it is usually due to a lack of information or its because parents go on Facebook to ask medication questions and then other parents answer them with personal experiences as if they are facts.”

Ryan Wexelblatt, LCSW is the facilitator of the ADHD Dude Facebook Group and YouTube channel. Ryan specializes in working with males (ages 5-22) who present with ADHD, anxiety with ADHD, and learning differences; he is the one professional in the United States who specializes in teaching social cognitive skills to boys from a male perspective.

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