To Medicate or Not to Medicate: That Is the Question

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As a mother, I am constantly on the look-out for what is best for my children.  In today’s society there seems to be a more forward battle against the medical solutions to cure or aid illnesses and dysfunctions.  Now of course, I am by no means an expert on any of these, but I feel that as a parent who leans on God, I have a bit of expertise on my side!  This expertise is not in medicine but in the care of my children through Gods guidance.  God has the final say-so of what goes on in our lives, even when I am a little reluctant to follow.

I am sure there are many parents who go through the shock of the initial diagnoses of ADHD , ADD, dyslexia, etc…  Well, once the haze of facts that was given to us has faded, we then go through the process of filtering the information.  I was not as fortunate to have both sides of the story during the initial diagnosis of my oldest having ADHD.  I was only given the facts of his situation, along with the medicines they wanted to start him on. I was basically told to focus more on the benefits that my son would gain with taking the medicines than on the side effects he would endure in the process.  To acknowledge that he will lose weight, lose sleep, lose his appetite (which was bad because he was already small for his age), and possibly have to see a counselor to help him through all of these transitions he would experience, was good; but I was encouraged to remember the positives that come along with them.  No, don’t focus on the negatives, because look at what he will gain.  He will do better in school, get better grades, and listen better at home.

Well, lets zoom ahead a few years where I learn that medicine is not the only way.  Actually, there are a lot of parents who knew to research first before deciding.  There were parents and friends who took the time to find natural ways to help their children and shared their thoughts on this.  By now my son had tried two different types of medicines, had not really gained weight ( his sister who is 4 years younger was catching up to him in weight), was starting to do worse in school, was losing confidence in himself, and was becoming more confused in the mind than before he started, when I heard God tell me to stop.  Stop with the medicines already.  For me that was a huge step, and I was very nervous.

So, why am I saying all of this?  I am not trying to convince anyone either way.  There are some situations where children may need some form of assistance, and for them, medicines may work best. However, medicine is not the end-all and be-all solution.  I will suggest that you take the time to pray, pray, pray, and research until you hear a word from God.  There is an endless world of information for both sides of the story. I started small by changing our diet as a family first, and noticed a big difference in my son.  It was big enough to encourage me to continue to look for natural ways to help my son and our family.   Remember, it may be the child who is diagnosed, but the family is also affected by this diagnosis.

If you opt for medicines, look into the sides effects and pay attention to them, because they may not be severe at first, but some can cause long term effects.

If you opt for natural ways without medicines, make sure you are prayed up and guided by God in your decision, because it will ONLY be God who will be able to help you through the trials you WILL encounter during your endeavors.

With that said, here are a few things to think about when making your decision.

1. Prayer – You can never, never, never go wrong when praying.  That should always be the first thing you do.  I don’t mean the quick sit-in-the-seat, close-your-eyes kind of prayer.  I mean the prayer in which you open your heart to God about the situation and let Him know what you would like, and then open your mind to what ever it is that HE wants you to do.  Also pray for the strength, courage, patience, and wisdom to do the things He is telling you to do.

2. Family Support – This is one of those things in which it is really important to make sure you are led by God in you decision.  Either way it will be hard and God is the main support, but He also supports you through the family. If the family does not understand what is going on or is not on board, you are only adding to the boulder you have to break down.

3.  Age – If your child is older, it may be a harder hill to get up; but again, if led by God, anything and everything is possible.  It is best to start younger, but it is never too late to start when God has His hand in it.  Again, this is true for both using medicines and not.

4. Be open and honest with the child – Many people may believe that the child has to listen to what the parent says and do whatever you say.   I believe that to be true in most if not all situations, yet if the child is involved in the process and has opportunities to speak their thoughts, it aids the process and may make it that much easier.  Factor in the fact that it also encourages self-worth by allowing them to at least speak their thoughts and feel they are listened to and  heard.  They already feel like they do not have control of things; you wouldn’t want to add to that issue.

5. Keep a journal – There is so much information to receive that sometimes things may get mixed together.  It helps to keep a journal of your thoughts, the child’s progress, and the information you are receiving, so that you have a solid reference of what you may be doing or going through.  Even if you are still trying to decide, a journal can give a better overall picture of what is going on and what God may be showing you.

I could give pages and pages of things to read or look at and research, but I will not go that route now. I would rather give you a verse to read and encourage you to lean on God.  That is where the decision will come from.

“But they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; that shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.”

Isaiah 40:31

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