Hyperactivity Jumps in Children


A study of trends in the diagnosis of ADHD in Kaiser Permanente Southern California Health plan medical records finds that the rate of diagnosis from January 1, 2001 through December 31, 2010 rose by 24%. There was a disproportionately high rate of diagnosis among white children. Results were published online by JAMA Pediatrics on January 21, 2013.

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Of further interest:
ADHD in kids jumps 24 percent in a decade, study shows (NBC News)

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Kermit Cole
Kermit Cole, MFT, founding editor of Mad in America, works in Santa Fe, New Mexico as a couples and family therapist. Inspired by Open Dialogue, he works as part of a team and consults with couples and families that have members identified as patients. His work in residential treatment — largely with severely traumatized and/or "psychotic" clients — led to an appreciation of the power and beauty of systemic philosophy and practice, as the alternative to the prevailing focus on individual pathology. A former film-maker, he has undergraduate and master's degrees in psychology from Harvard University, as well as an MFT degree from the Council for Relationships in Philadelphia. He is a doctoral candidate with the Taos Institute and the Free University of Brussels. You can reach him at [email protected].


  1. I was just sitting here thinking. I went to school in the state of Colorado from the time I was in Kindergarden to eleventh grade and then finished my twelth grade in Arkansas. I cannot remember back to any incidents that would have pointed to anything like any of my fellow students having anything like ADHD. There was the day in Kindergarden when we all had to hold hands and take a little trip to take a kid back home because he was crying and wouldn’t stop because he missed his mom.

    I taught high school and junior high school from 1973-1988. I do not recall any studett that I would have labeled as needing to be drugged. I saw lots of bored kids in my class and in the classes of others, I saw lots of kids being taught to memorize material rather than learning how to think critically. But I did not see any kids who needed to be drugged for this supposed ADHD. This is a made up problem created for the welfare of psychiatrists and the drug companies. They’ve certainly pulled the wool over the eyes of society with this one.

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    • I will say that I think kids are more stressed these days than when I went to school. I think that this, along with a number of other things, has made the life of kids much more difficult than what I experienced growing up. Maybe we need to be looking at the things that are stressing kids, rather than trying to label them with nonexistent illnesses. We are drugging an entire generation of kids and in doing so have set them on a course of being perpetual patients rather than productive and unique individuals.

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    • Stephen what you have described is very accurate. There is a politican in Australia, who was a former teacher, who is trying to get rid of the ADHD diagnosis. Shame he wont do it for everything else, but he is concerned with some things in the current system.

      One thing he has said is this. When he was being a poor teacher every child in the class had ADHD as they were bored. When he was being an average teacher sure some kids were difficult, but when he was being a brilliant teacher no child in the class had ADHD as it was it job to ensure they remained focused and on task. Teachers have led go of that job and now expect psychiatrists and drugs to do it for them. A bit like therapists have stopped doing there job of helping people work through things and now expect drugs to do it for them.

      Amazing how instead of keeping children occupied and challenged and asking them to think for themselves we label them with fictional brain diseases and drug them.

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      • Exactly! And in the end, we are doing something very destructive to not only the kids, but to our society. We are destroying the brains and personalities of some of the best minds in the world that are waiting to manifest their talents when grown. But they will never get the chance to contribute to our society because they will be perpetually drugged to the gills.

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