A Father Grieves
a Rush to Medicate


“Diagnosis: Human”, a New York Times op-ed, deftly and stirringly captures the paradoxes of the ADHD medication explosion: “My son was no angel (though he was to us) and he was known to trade in Adderall… What he did was to create a market that perfectly mirrored the society in which he grew up, a culture where Big Pharma itself prospers from the off-label uses of drugs, often not tested in children and not approved for the many uses to which they are put. And so a generation of students, raised in an environment that encourages medication, are emulating the professionals by using drugs as performance enhancers.”

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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. Tragic and sad story. Unfortunately, not unique. Readers of MIA had known about tragedies like this for years.

    I just wonder if “mad” is going to be the new “gay” in so many aspects. The same forces that pushed homosexuality out of the DSM seem to be at play here, including some “high profile” individuals who have been victims of psychiatry’s greed.

    Thad said, psychiatry is not going back to the days where it had the status it deserved -a stronghold for mediocre doctors whose only job was to lock in those governments didn’t like, thus affecting a very tiny minority of Americans- without a fight. Ted Gup, and others who tell their stories, should be ready to be themselves, and their beloved victims, smeared.

    The comment of “Michael O” (the third in the list of top comments as of this writing) shows exactly the type of attacks that are coming. With their livelihoods at stake, these people will resort to whatever it takes to put critics down.

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