Healthcare-related decisions are never easy. One wrong judgment call has the potential to dramatically affect the quality of life of your whole family. The stakes are even higher when you’re trying to determine the best course of action for a child with attention issues: Before you make a choice, you consider the side effects associated with each treatment, the effectiveness, and countless other concerns. It’s rare for parents to start out feeling entirely confident about a decision so important. Many parents spend countless hours researching options.
Quite often, the debate is limited to deciding between a set of current pharmaceuticals. But that conversation leaves out a bigger question: Is there a way to improve your health holistically? In some cases of your health, pharmaceuticals are the best choice. However, when talking about focus and attention, your options are wide open. You can choose the pharmaceutical route, or you can pursue a holistic approach. There are benefits and drawbacks to both options, and we wanted to present a balanced look at both sides of the debate.
The Case for Pharmaceuticals
Doctors must prescribe pharmaceuticals. They studied for years to understand the intimate details of medicine that the rest of us don’t. It makes sense to take their advice when dealing with a medical issue. Usually, the measures they suggest work effectively and relatively quickly.
Additionally, pharmaceuticals are a standard part of health insurance plans. These plans make it easy to pick up a refill, if you run out of a prescription while you’re out of town, or move to a new place, you can find a pharmacy that offers the exact medicine for your child. There is little risk of a lapse in medicine or swings in side effects. That peace of mind can be invaluable to some parents.
Lastly, it’s easy to get support from family and friends when you pick the road most traveled. Generally, everyone trusts doctors so you’re less likely to hear unsolicited advice from family members trying to change your mind.
The Case Against Pharmaceuticals
First and foremost, Big Pharma exists because prescription drugs yield billions of dollars each year in profit. Pharmaceutical companies are beholden to shareholders, which has sometimes led to compromises in patient health and safety, in favor of profits. The very idea that the pharmaceuticals you give to your child could do more harm than good terrifies many parents: Lethargy, headaches, weight loss are just a few common side effects of popular medicines meant to help with attention issues. And those are just the ones we know of. Each person has a unique body chemistry that could react in a way that doctors can’t anticipate. The chances are slim, but when you’re talking about your child, that’s enough to steer you away.
A more popular complaint is that pharmaceuticals treat symptoms and don’t focus on a cure. Muted symptoms don’t lead to the kind of lifestyle changes that might lead to curing attention issues. Humans rarely fix problems we don’t notice.
The Case for Holistic Treatment
Holistic treatments, on the other hand, don’t come with negative side effects. Your child isn’t relying on a single cure-all, but rather learning to live a healthy, intentional lifestyle.
By removing harsh chemicals from the equation, you’re focusing on actual health rather than maintenance of systems. Most importantly, you avoid subjecting your child to the harmful side effects introduced by pharmaceuticals. Holistic medicine makes use of science as well as time-proven natural supplements to help improve your child’s condition. For a growing number of parents, maintaining their child’s natural personality while being fully in control of their health is the most important factor.
Lastly, with holistic treatments, you’re not at the mercy of a single doctor’s opinions—or worse, an insurance companies predetermined solution. There are no files to keep track of or surprise raises in cost. The single obstacle in a holistic approach is how dedicated you and your child will be to including the holistic strategies in your everyday life. And we know that barely registers as a speed bump to most dedicated parents.
The Case Against Holistic Treatment
One often-cited argument against holistic treatments is the lack of consistency. Many aspects of a holistic approach are highly dependent on the family’s discipline to maintain a strict regimen, like cutting sugar from the diet, or limiting screen time. These sound like simple tasks, but they require consistency that some parents struggle to maintain.
In addition, as with any industry, some holistic and alternative medications are not well regulated. This can lead to inconsistent results. However, Brillia—which is not a pharmaceutical—is actually governed by the FDA’s Current Good Manufacturing Practices (CGMPs). That oversight helps assure parents that the manufacturing process will be high quality, delivering consistency and reliability with every pill.
Is there a best option? It’s hard to say. Each child is different, and every family must work within their own convictions. One thing is clear: as you continue to research, as you ask questions on behalf of your child, and the more open-minded you stay, the more confident you will be that the choices you make for your child will be the best you can offer.