Another Mother’s Little Helper?

It pays to watch the AMA MorningRounds news items because I found out about another Mother’s Little Helper, an issue I posted about on November 19, 2011, “Mother’s Little Helper” in the New Millenium « The Practical Psychosomaticist: James Amos, M.D.

Back then it was about sleeping pills. The most recent item highlights the new role of Adderall, which apparently is being called “mother’s new little helper.” This was originally aired on ABC World News on June 26, 2012. ABC received a large number of anonymous voice mails and e-mails from women who admitted to using the drug, even though they’ve not been diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). They said they need Adderall “to be better mothers.” Funny, I thought it took love to do that. Dr. Marvin Seppala of the Hazelden Clinic (an addiction treatment center) remarked that the use of Adderall and other amphetamines by women is on the rise. He cautioned that it can cause “seizures, strokes, heart attacks, and death.”

So it looks like Mother’s Little Helper could be a variety of drugs which women may be using as a means of support in child care. I think one question it raises is, at least in my mind, “Where’s Dad?” And of course the other question is similar to the one raised in my earlier post, regarding what our expectations are of women generally in our society:

Our culture expects women to work at mach speed both inside and outside the home and this expectation of perfectionism tends to get internalized. That’s not a mental illness; that’s a systems problem. And there’s no little helper for that. Fixing that involves an honest reassessment of our expectations of each other and working together to reset unrealistic, unhealthy, and impractical goals.

So it probably should come as no surprise that “speed” get internalized as well.

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