The American public has come to view ADHD drug treatment as a rather benign option for common behavioral and academic issues. A recent report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention indicates that 14% of American children receive a diagnosis of ADHD before the end of childhood. Rates of diagnosis and treatment vary by geographic region. In some communities rates of treatment are much higher than the national average. By most any reasonable measure, the number of children who are medicated under the guise of ADHD is out of bounds. Current levels of ADHD drug treatment are unsafe for individuals and society.
The more a drug is prescribed, the more it will be diverted for illicit purposes. Borrowing, swapping, selling, and stealing ADHD drugs has become increasingly common on American high school and college campuses. The ubiquitous availability of these drugs has led teens and young adults to believe that they are harmless. They freely mix them with alcohol — a potential lethal combination. Nationwide, emergency room visits and deaths associated with adverse reactions to ADHD medications are on the rise.
Too few of the professionals who have issued lax ADHD diagnoses or overprescribed drugs for the condition realize that better and safer options exist. This is due, in part, to the way the media has played up the results of our country’s landmark MTA study — the only large, national, longitudinal study comparing the benefits of behavioral and drug therapy. The popular media-issued interpretation is that medication is the most effective treatment option.
The truth is that the MTA study actually provided evidence to consider behavioral interventions — not drug therapy — as the first line of defense. As reviewed by Dr. William Pelham, a clinical psychologist who was one of the MTA researchers:
- The benefits of drug treatment (even carefully monitored and titrated treatment) fade over time while the benefits of behavioral treatment endure.
- Drug treatment is not effective as delivered as part of routine community care.
- Drug treatment does not result in better academic outcomes.
- Over time, behavioral interventions are more effective than drug treatment.
- When behavioral interventions are implemented prior to the initiation of drug treatment, 75% of children fully resolve their ADHD symptoms.
In the wake of mounting evidence of Adderall abuse and addiction, it is more important that every mental health professional seek to distinguish between scientific fact and marketing spin. Fortunately, a front-page New York Times story that detailed the tragic case of Richard Fee’s addiction to Adderall captured national attention and put the spotlight on the dangers of current diagnostic and treatment practices.
Soon after Richard Fee’s story hit the newsstands the reporter, Richard’s parents, and psychiatrist Dr. Edward Hallowell were invited to be guests on the popular national Dr. Oz Show about health care trends. Dr. Oz managed to get Dr. Hallowell — a leading and compelling ADHD spokesperson that has had a significant influence on the ADHD practice in this country — to admit on air that he regretted having promoted the notion that ADHD drug treatment is “as safe as aspirin.” That’s progress. Hats off to Hallowell.
It remains to be seen whether other popular opinion leaders who sought to expand the use of ADHD drug treatment options will follow suit. Will clinical psychologist Russell Barkley — another notable ADHD advocate who emphatically maintained that too few children are medicated for ADHD — admit that scientific evidence does not support his view on this matter?
Regardless of what key opinion leaders like Drs. Hallowell and Barkley say next, it is ironic that provocative ADHD stories recently published by Alan Schwarz in the New York Times may compel some clinicians to turn to the academic literature for information about what constitutes the best treatment options for their patients. Hopefully, blogs such as this one will inspire some to read the peer-reviewed articles, perhaps beginning with these:
- Antonuccio, D. (2008). Treating depressed children with antidepressants: More harm than benefit? Journal of Clinical Psychology in Medical Settings, 15, 92-97.
- LeFever, G.B., Arcona, A.P., Antonuccio, D.O. (2003). ADHD among American schoolchildren: Evidence of ADHD overdiagnosis and overuse of medication. Scientific Review of Mental Health Practice, 2(1), 49-60.
- Pelham, W.E. & Fabiano, G.A. (2008). Evidence-based psychosocial treatments for attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder. Journal of Clinical Child & Adolescent Psychology, 37,(1), 184-214.
Mad in America hosts blogs by a diverse group of writers. These posts are designed to serve as a public forum for a discussion—broadly speaking—of psychiatry and its treatments. The opinions expressed are the writers’ own.
Thank you for writing about the important issue of the lack of scientific validity of the prescription of stimulants to children.
As far as I am aware, there is not evidence that there’s anything physiologically different about those of us diagnosed with ADHD, despite the long-running and pretty absurd myth that “stimulants affect ADHD brains differently.” I find it interesting to see this article posted in juxtaposition to Bruce Levine’s latest.
In that article Dr. Levine posits that the real culprit of ADHD may be boring and alienating schools, rather than anything wrong with the child. I know my personal experience reflected exactly what he describes from the research: That when I was interested in what was going on I was as strong (actually, often much stronger) of a student than the “normal” kids. And when I wasn’t interested in what was going on then I was prone to daydreaming and self-stimming to keep my mind active, nimble, engaged, and growing: Things I still do today with exercise, movement practice, prayer, and meditation in order to maintain my mental and emotional facilities.
Here is an article citing the famous Dr. Jerome Kagan stating that ADHD is an “invention” used to label kids not conforming in school in various ways. Of course, schools have federal and other monetary incentives to label and drug children as well as others including the mental “health” profession.
The same article below also says that several news stories have been going around the web reporting that the inventor of ADHD admitted the so called disorder is fictitious. This article also purports to clarify this statement with the claim that Dr. Leon Eisenberg, who had a great impact on the creation of child biopsychiatry, said that ADHD is a good example of a fabricated disorder that is greatly over-diagnosed while the supposed genetic evidence is fairly nonexistent. He also points out the fact that ignoring the psychosocial aspects and resorting only to pills is horrendous. Similarly, he is quoted as regretting his contribution to this debacle in his old age after seeing the horrible results.
I assume you must be aware of the noble Dr. Fred Baughman, Child Neurologist and real brain expert, who has written the book, ADHD FRAUD, and countless articles about biopsychiatry’s junk science. Dr. Baughman also says that such DSM voted in disorders like ADHD and bipolar are 100% fraud and the worst medical crimes ever perpetrated against humanity. You probably would have gotten the bipolar stigma today instead of ADHD since that is the latest fad fraud. The infamous Dr. Joseph Biederman just about single handedly created both false epidemics of child ADHD and bipolar to satisfy his role as a paid shill of Big Pharma while using children as guinea pigs.
Just for your information, Matthew, my brother was the only boy among four girls and constantly acting out in school in his youth. When my mother would go to parent/teacher meetings, the teacher would tell her my brother was so smart, he would get his work done more quickly than most students and spend the rest of the time bored and/or fooling around. The teachers were pretty sympathetic about it back then. He probably would have been a candidate for an ADHD stigma today, but fortunately, ADHD didn’t exist then. Instead, he wound up with a master’s degree and a long successful career. You sound very intelligent yourself, so I agree with your self diagnosis for sure.
Dr. Fred Baughman on the history of psychiatry and neurology and how and why they split showing biopsychiatry as invalid:
We have to bear in mind that bogus DSM stigmas especially for children are just voted in lists of various behaviors that annoy others like teachers and parents or define normal boyhood/childhood behavior. These so called “crimes” involve ridiculous things like speaking out of turn, not staying in one’s seat, being inattentive to boring things, ad nauseam. Dr. Peter Breggin wrote a great book on this topic, Reclaiming our Children, and also Talking Back to Ritalin.
This is why Dr. Thomas Insel, Head of NIMH, has been forced to admit what many have known for decades: that all junk science voted in DSM labels are invalid including the bogus ADHD and bipolar slapped on children to push Big Pharma’s toxic drugs on new markets due to the total lack of science, biomarkers, genes, chemical imbalances or any other evidence whatsoever. The recently invented adult ADHD was voted in/expanded in DSM 5 to expand this market for new drugs on patent.
The claim that stimulants affect the brain differently for those who supposedly have ADHD is an evil lie. This is just like the infamous Dr. Ghaemi and others continuing to insist that the many who suffer mania, suicidal ideation, aggression/violence and other dangerous “side effects” from SSRI antidepressants have uncovered their real bipolar disorder to not only blame the victims of these iatrogenic effects, but vastly expand the market for the bipolar fad fraud to just about everyone on the planet with the ever expanding “spectrum.” Dr. David Healy debunks the great myth of the great SSRI (and Ritalin) uncovering of bipolar by exposing that a Big Pharma CEO, Mitch Daniels, came up with the “brilliant” ad ploy of blaming the victims’ so called mental illness for all their drugs’ horrible “side effects” as in this case. In spite of Dr. Ghaemi making this and other spurious claims because of his big “mood disorders” career, the Physician’s Desk Reference cites the drugs and not bipolar as causing the dangerous “side effects” of SSRI’s and it happens all too frequently as Bob Whitaker has exposed. Bob Whitaker like others have found Ritalin like drugs to serve as gateways to bipolar and now we even have dual diagnosis of both fraud fad ADHD and bipolar for children.
I’m writing to you on this because as you probably know, the stigmatizing and drugging of children is a real hot button issue for me and many others, so I have researched it extensively to validate my own reality as well as others.
We have to remain constantly on the alert to fight back against the constant attempts at brainwashing by the biopsychiatry/Big Pharma Industrial Complex through constant manipulation via mind boggling repetition of pseudoscience as supposed fact and truth. These are the same tactics used in Animal Farm and 1984 as well as advertising.
As you say, this current post is a great article and I’m happy it cites many studies and articles debunking the usual lies about the bogus ADHD stigma invented to push kiddie cocaine. You are right that the simultaneous posting of Bruce Levine’s latest article is a real bonanza for those tired of reading about biopsychiatry’s constant pseudoscience and the NAMI wars.
It’s a real hot-button issue for me as well! Bless my mother who encouraged me not to go on Ritalin when I was diagnosed at eight-years-old. I had enough trouble just being so different from my peers, and later developed a penchant for self-medication. Who knows what an early addiction to stimulants would have done to my life! From what I’ve seen in others, and in the data, I think the results would have been ruinous.
You obviously have a very wise mother, which has rubbed off on you. I appreciate your responding because I was concerned that I had offended you when I wanted to validate you since biopsychiatry and its minions do such a great job of invalidation. Invalidation in itself is deadly and harmful to our health.
Dr. Gabor Mate is becoming very famous for his evidence that capitalism makes us crazy and addicted, which is similar to what Dr. Bruce Levine says in his articles. I may not agree with him completely because some substances do seem to be more addictive than others in my opinion and experience as with nicotine, junk food and others, but I sure agree that various life stressors make some more apt to get addicted to numb the many stresses of modern life and toxic relationships. I was only able to quit such addictions after “quitting” certain abusive relationships. And school/work with its cliques, social bullying, relational aggression, excess competition and other hellish ordeals is enough to make anyone crazy too. Many popular kids/adults maintain their “status” by bullying, intimidation and power plays against their peers. Also, based on your stated interests, you might want to see how the health of blacks is negatively affected by our social conditions in Dr. Mate’s article in the following post:
Dr. Mate also wrote the best selling book, In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts, exposing that nobody is immune from addiction in such draining, fascist capitalist or socialist environments, but rather, the “drugs” of choice often only vary due to one’s social position. So, everyone chooses their own poisons to cope whether it is the compulsive shopping of Dr. Mate or taking huge risks like the masters of the universe of Enron; they are just less obvious or vilified than the addictions of the less wealthy and powerful.
I think you are setting a great example with your current healthy life style.
I’ve read Mate’s book and have had a draft blog sitting on the site for the past couple months about Capitalism, Oppression, and Psychiatry including a link to that interview! I hope to come back around to finish and publish it sometime this month.
I agree that there is a hugely under-explored intersection between diet, addictions, physical wellness, capitalism, and social relationships. Do we see ourselves as an object to be used, exploited, and abused, or do we see ourselves as a whole-hearted person with a purpose for being in this world and a connection to something greater than ourselves? This seems to be a defining difference between people who thrive and people who don’t. I’m reminded of this wonderful article I just read about meaning vs. happiness.
Thanks for your wonderful and wise contributions here.
I really look forward to your completing and posting that blog you have in process citing Dr. Mate and related issues that are of great interest to me and others on this web site. As Dr. Mate exposes, nobody is immune from struggling with these issues in our less than ideal social environments.
Thanks for the great article you cite on meaning versus happiness. During some of my most difficult times, I was greatly inspired by the great book, Man’s Search for Meaning.
On a different plane, books like The Pleasure Trap, help us to understand how toxic addictive substances can hijack our limbic brain to substitute short term immediate pleasures for long term happiness.
As they say, I learned the hard way that with toxic substances like cigarettes, one is too many and a thousand isn’t enough, so I can’t have “just one.”
Comedian, David Allen in hilarious video on his giving up smoking:
It is true that finding a higher purpose and seeing one’s self as connected to all of humanity for better or worse helps us to see and work on our own shadow side that can contribute to the darkness of all of humanity’s “collective unconscious.”
Have your read Eckhart Tolle’s The Power Of Now, Stillness Speaks or A New Earth? I find that he helps to clarify some major spiritual principles or kernels of truth from most of the major world religions that have become fossilized with too much “tailoring” or familiarity to the point they become meaningless or irrelevant to the majority of people including their supposed followers.
I appreciate your contributions and hope to hear more from you soon with that blog in process. Thank you for validating my reality since we all need regular doses of validation to fight the constant invalidation from those who believe they benefit by such predation on others as with biopsychiatry, when they are also hurting themselves in the process.
Pelham WE, Fabiano GA. Evidence-based psychosocial treatments for attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder.
“This review evaluated the evidence base of psychosocial treatments for attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and apparently concluded that evidence-based behavioural interventions should constitute part of the services received by children with ADHD. Given the poor reporting of the review process and potential for missed studies, the authors’ conclusions should be interpreted with caution.” Web MD
“We have to bear in mind that bogus DSM stigmas especially for children are just voted in lists of various behaviors that annoy others like teachers and parents or define normal boyhood/childhood behavior.” G L Watson
The behaviors don’t just annoy teachers and parents and they do not constitute the only reason they are voted in. Disabling attentional deficits may impact a child for life, which makes this an important factor in making a determination whether the diagnosis is proper.
Would you deprive a child of any appropriate remedy? What if you could save him from failing in school? Failing socially? Failing to thrive? If nothing known to you or other experts worked, would you deny him a closely examined medication and years of scientific testing indicating some RXs do work; they improve the symptoms of distractibility, inattention, tuning out?
Would you apply a tourniquet to stop a wound from bleeding, even though you didn’t know what caused the bleeding wound? Would stopping the bleeding with a tourniquet appear to offer a solution? Or, would you necessarily demand to understand exactly what caused the bleeding in his case before using it? These analogies/questions are not perfectly raising the issues at hand, but they offer food for thought.
Without even addressing the subjective and speculative nature of the “ADHD diagnosis,” even if we accept uncritically that some people have this “disease,” the “treatment” has been shown at best to be helpful in suppressing symptoms for the short term. There have been hundreds of articles and at least half a dozen thorough reviews of the literature, starting with Barclay’s own review in 1978, and none of them have ever shown any long-term outcome being positively affected by long-term stimulant use.
I raised two classically “ADHD” kids without any thought of drugging either one of them, and both ended up honors students in high school, highly successful athletes, and the youngest has developed into quite the social butterfly, while the oldest has been steadily employed for over 10 years by the same agency. No drug abuse, never fired from jobs, no high-school dropout or delinquent behavior from either one. The youngest is poised to start into college next year.
ADHD is not a disease, and stimulants are not a treatment. They are a way to suppress annoying behavior that many boys exhibit when forced to sit in a chair all day and do boring things. ADHD kids who are placed in open classrooms were indistinguishable from “normal” kids, so naturally, we put our kids in open classroom settings in elementary school, and their “ADHD” magically disappeared.
It is amazing that we have such broad participation in such an amazingly unscientific sham!
“ADHD is not a disease, and stimulants are not a treatment. They are a way to suppress annoying behavior that many boys exhibit when forced to sit in a chair all day and do boring things.”
How do stimulants suppress annoying behavior? I mean, what is the mechanism of action within the brain, among the neurons, dendrites, axons, synapses, that creates such suppression? Giving stimulants to kids in general usually fosters a similar response? IOW, do most kids’ behaviors quiet down on stimulants?
Is nearsightedness a disease? 25% of Americans have it.
Mary Ann Block, D.O. has been one of the strongest advocates of non-drug options to treat the symptoms called “ADHD”.
She has testified to Congress that “ADHD” was created by a floor vote at an APA convention. But she does *not* rule out symptoms – with a root cause of allergies and nutritional deficiencies:
The Feingold Association has research in this area as well.:
Other organizations are Food and Behaviour Research and Minnd Foundation:
IMO, it’s important to recognize two things:
1) “ADHD” is not a real disease.
2) Symptoms can be very real, and have as their root cause cerebral allergies and/or nutritional deficiencies.
For those who are skeptical, please spend time on the links listed above. It’s important to recognize that other areas such as Neurofeedback can be helpful to these kids.
In short, just because drugs are not an answer, does not mean other approaches cannot be.
Duane Sherry, M.S.
Neurofeedback and ADHD:
Interactive Metronome for “ADHD”:
IMO, we *must not* replace the one-size-fits-all paradigm of psychopharmacology with a one-size-fits-all paradigm of talk therapy. The key is to provide non-drug *options*… The more, the merrier!
You make very good points that kids who may be off the walls can have “symptoms” for many reasons including physical problems, abusive home/school/community environments and other problems that need to be addressed. I greatly admire the work of Mary Ann Block, O.D. and have heard her speak online. She is great!
However, many children and adults targeted for these bogus disorders may just be engaging in what are perceived as misbehaviors or behaviors others don’t like and target for social control via bogus DSM stigmas and toxic psych drugs.
There are books like Blaming the Brain and A Dose of Sanity that show that real medical illnesses may cause certain symptoms, but a bogus DSM stigma sure does nothing to find and treat such causes. Rather, they endanger the person all the more because psychiatry just uses its lethal drugs to hide or suppress surface symptoms with no regard to the real cause whether physical or environmental, so they are totally useless. If the person really has a dangerous illness that needs immediate treatment as has been the case at times, such stigmatizing and drugging of the victim can be very deadly indeed not to mention all the drug induced deaths of normal children.
In the article I cited above from Snopes, experts pointed out the absurdity of biopsychiatrists failing to investigate or acknowledge environmental stressors such as toxic families, divorce, abuse, etc.
So, as you say, there are many ways children can be diagnosed with ADHD and let’s not forget the huge amounts of extra special services money schools get for each child “diagnosed” for mere behavior or other problems. Also, in our day, misbehaving children were identified as such and subjected to various disciplines as needed without being destroyed for life.
The author, Dr. John Rosemond, I cited below seems to have some excellent suggestions for both the best psychological and medical outcomes without toxic labels and drugs.
“that kids who may be off the walls can have “symptoms” for many reasons including physical problems, that show that real medical illnesses may cause certain symptoms…”
Just be damn sure the medical problem cannot be ADHD?
To which medical illnesses do you refer that produce the bouncing off the walls behaviors you mention?
I don’t think calling ADHD a bogus diagnosis is helpful, especially when there is no good reason to. As you say, labeling kids with a term like bogus can only be harmful to them.
You know what is cool? Some of us don’t mind the term ADHD at all. Just the opposite, in fact. We are quite proud of our abilities when harnessed. Do you have any idea how fast the brains of some with ADHD compute? Do you have any idea how perceptive many are, extremely affable, generous and creative? Did you realize that we often see through complex problems and arrive at a solution in an instant, an answer no one else even considered? Do you know how big our hearts are? How sensitive we are to the pain of others? How we can walk into a room of strangers and sense who is hurting just like that? It is uncanny. Often, we are the life of the party. And when something grabs our attention, say goodbye. It is called hyper-focusing. We lose sense of time. You cannot break us away from whatever it may be, like wrestling or computer games, preparing to present a product or concept to sell.
It is often a relief to know that there is a name for this mysterious set of symptoms.
“psychiatry just uses its lethal drugs”
Check that. Lethal?
“They hide or suppress surface symptoms with no regard to the real cause..” Unfair generalization. Probably some do.
“Whether physical or environmental, so they are totally useless.”
“If the person really has a dangerous illness that needs immediate treatment as has been the case at times, such stigmatizing and drugging of the victim can be very deadly indeed not to mention all the drug induced deaths of normal”
We can’t win!
That’s about it. Said pretty much what I have to say.
Dr. Charles Parker has written extensively regarding the current ADHD Diagnostic and Treatment Tragedy on the CorePsych pages for the past seven years. His books, articles and many videos are a great resource for anyone trying to make sense of ADHD.
Thanks for the link. I’ll spend some time on the site.
With all due respect, the list of so called authoritative psychiatrists Dr. Parker lists to prove his credibility reads like a list of the worst poster boys of the most pernicioius fraud and paid shills of biopsychiatry who also parrot the Big Pharma/biopsychiatry bogus agenda of labeling and drugging all of their victims.
Dr. Parker also pulls a magical sleight of hand by claiming that the “label, “ADHD” is outdated with the pretense of debunking it and labeling in general while giving this pernicious stigma a new label. This is what the DSM voters did with child bipolar to cover up their abuse of children while continuing business as usual of stigmatizing children to push lethal drugs on them for a wide variety of environmental, social and other problems.
Anyway, I pretty much lost all interest in this so called doctor since he too appears to be pushing a “one size fits all approach” that blames the victims.
Dr. Parker, a DO Psychiatrist is a licensed professional with a practice he has to run as a business.
There is a Sufi saying that the rabbit will frequently out-run the fox because the rabbit is running for its life and the fox is only running for its dinner.
In 1982, I was in treatment with one of the psychiatrists Dr. Parker mentions. That doctor was furious when I took up an orthomolecular therapy program based on hair analysis I obtained by mail from Analytical Research Labs http://www.arltma.com. When my condition improved, however, he allowed me to withdraw from the medication (Haldol) and when I was both symptom and drug free for several months, he confirmed that I had had a remission and released me from further monitoring and treatment.
I am well aware that his superiors would not have allowed him to continue seeing me regularly if I were not taking prescription medication, however, I did see him several times over the following eight years and he confirmed my remission for insurance purposes.
Of course I was disappointed that he did not at least investigate orthomolecular therapy if not embrace it, but to do so would have cost him his career and his license. He made his choice, the only choice available in 1982.
Today, Dr. Parker can practice openly, offering testing like tissue mineral analysis from hair samples, and he has patients who take no prescription medication, or follow a diet and supplement program he prescribes, and some are treated with psychotherapy only.
If I had been seen by someone like Dr. Parker at my first admission in 1974, I would not have had to endure eight very unpleasant years before learning that there was a drug-free way to recovery.
Thanks for the clarification. Perhaps because of the names Dr. Parker cited to justify his approach, I may have been too quick to make assumptions.
From what you say, Dr. Parker may offer helpful alternatives, but his web site implies he is trying to give ADHD the new name of Executive Function Disorder. And I got the impression that he was saying ADHD drugs are fine, but it’s a matter of the right dosage that will improve outcomes.
Did I misunderstand Dr. Parker on these points?
I can see where I could explore other things on the web site that might make Dr. Parker stand out from the typical biopsychiatrist with a bogus ADHD stigma slapped on within 15 minutes or even quicker with a school referral and a prescription for kiddie cocaine.
If you think I misunderstood Dr. Parker based on the above, feel free to let me know.
In reply to your question concerning Dr. Parker , I must say that I do not agree with the use of stimulant drugs under any conditions. When I began my orthomolecular program, I was told to avoid all stimulants. Every time thereafter that I “fell off the wagon” and drank some coffee or tea there was a pay back due for that stimulated energy that just wasn’t worth the cost.
The rest of society has a way to go before coming around to my way of thinking, however. Even public radio is sponsored by Five Hour Energy. Most people today see stimulants as necessary and harmless. It is just a small step to regard them as therapeutic. Besides, if they try to withdraw they get a terrible headache!
Once a person’s mineral profile has been optimized, and I experienced this myself, the smell of coffee becomes distasteful, just as the smell of cigarettes is to former smokers.
I noticed that ISEPP has the following author speaking at an up coming meeting:
John Rosemond, The Diseasing of America’s Children: Exposing the ADHD Fiasco And Empowering Parents to Take Back Control
According to information about the above book, Dr. Rosemond, Psychologist, exposes the fraud behind the ADHD and other DSM stigmas applied to children and the dangers of the toxic drugs used to “treat” them. It’s gotten great reviews except from those who have a self serving agenda to promote this horrific assault on children.
This book looks so interesting I ordered it from the library.
Here is the flyer from the ISEPP conference:
Bob Whitaker, Dr. Bruce Levine and other experts will also be speaking at this conference, so Dr. Rosemond will be in good company.
Thanks for the info, Donna.
I appreciate all the information you provide too and your passion for human rights via the Constitution. You also keep us all on our toes reminding us of those like the great Mary Ann Block, D.O. and the fact that the so called symptoms or various behaviors that might be described as “ants in their pants” per one expert have a wide variety of causes that can include physical ones like nutritional/vitamin deficiencies, various illnesses caused by bacteria and/or infections, and other causes while also considering environmental/social and other toxic stressors that can wear the body’s immune and other systems down resulting in physical problems as well.
I have watched Mary Ann Block, D.O on video when speaking to Congress about physical causes of what gets stigmatized as ADHD and she is very knowledgeable and impressive.
I think John Taylor Gatto, former New York teacher of the year, who wrote several explosive books about the history of mass schooliong, is the best place to start to understand what we are doing to our kids.
You can read his first book for free at his website
So for a large period of the time forced mass government schooling has existed, corporal punishment was used to keep kids in line, then we patted ourselves on the back by abolishing that, but instead turned to doing violence to the inside of children’s growing brains.
In 300 years, the drugging of children will be seen for the barbarism that it is.
Of course just yesterday news came that it has been discovered that the Incas drugged children before making child sacrifices… so the more things change the more they stay the same:
The sheer fact that the populace parrots the acronyms developed by the DSM, such as PTSD and ADHD, without any critical appraisal of from whence these allegedly concrete, discrete ‘conditions’ originated, tells you we are truly living amongst something like a society that has been indoctrinated into the tenets of a secular scientism religion. If it’s in the psych bible, it must be a ‘real thing’.
Young people WILL come across the message that their human rights have been abused by having their growing brains drugged for no good bona fide medical reason. I see great scope for many to join the movement as they come of age. They have a right to feel betrayed. They were betrayed. Betrayed by the generation above them, who believed in quackery.
And you know, if you take cocaine, cigarettes and coffee, stimulant psych drugs, meth, whatever, anything that makes your resting heart rate go fast all day and night, you’re wearing out your heart faster. These kids lifespans will be shorter. Mark my words.
It is sad.
Brilliant analysis as usual. I’ve heard and read lots of great things by and about John Taylor Gatto and how the horrible public school system came into being. I’ve been meaning to read more of his works and you inspire me to do so.
Great analogy of the Incas drugging their children before making them sacrifices, but sadly the Big Pharma/biopsychiatry’s drugging of children IS the sacrifice of them since as you point out it causes chemical lobotomies making them obedient zombies during their pretty much guaranteed shortened lives.
I’ve read before about the MTA study; i think it was mentioned in Peter Breggin’s “Brain Disabling Treatments in Psychiatry” and maybe in Robert Whitaker’s “Anatomy of an Epidemic”.
One thing that’s still unclear to me: Were any of the groups in this study unmedicated? I don’t think so. Some commentary I’ve read seems to imply the group that received “community treatment” was unmedicated, but i don’t think that’s the case; rather, it seems they were just not as aggressively medicated as one of the other groups. I believe the researchers, having identified the subjects as having ADHD, would be compelled to take the position that to “not treat them” would be negligent–perhaps the fear of a law suit would contribute to this, also. This appears to be a kind of circular reasoning that, IMO, prevents quite a bit of sorely needed research.
Anyway, if anyone out there can clarify this for me, i’d appreciate it.
Nevermind…I just answered my own question by doing a little internet search. I guess it should have been quite clear from Gretchen’s article above that the “behavioral treatment” group was just that–behavioral treatment with no drugs (duh!).
It seems there was hardly a peep in the media about the 8-year follow up, which showed a fading effect of medication and superior long-term results from behavioral treatment.
I believe after the 8-year follow up much of what “came out” about it still tended to put a spin on the results that disguised just how ineffectual medication was in the long term. At any rate, the push to diagnose kids with ADHD and get them on medication does not seem to have diminished one iota!
Be that as it may, other drugs may be substituted for the one that is not as efficacious as it was at one time. After a break, it may become effective once again.
Some people with ADHD never respond favorably to any RX. Most do, however, and the benefits overall are quite favorable.
…plus, there is a substantial subset of these kids who end up getting put on antipsychotic meds–almost always “off label”, and without ever having had true psychotic symptoms (until, in some cases, AFTER they get put on these drugs!). Of course they were bipolar or pre-schizophrenic all along, dontcha know?! It just took the “diagnostic use” of stimulant meds to bring it out in the open so it could be properly treated. Give me a break!
I believe i read somewhere that kids labeled ADHD are the largest group taking SGA’s (second generation antipsychotics).
If you could reference that article/publication, I would appreciate it.
Science as Social Control: Political Paralysis and the Genetics Agenda
“Variations in individual “educational attainment” (essentially, whether students complete high school or college) cannot be attributed to inherited genetic differences. That is the finding of a new study reported in Science magazine (Rietveld et al. 2013). According to this research, fully 98% of all variation in educational attainment is accounted for by factors other than a person’s simple genetic makeup.”
This fantastic, very enlightening, mind boggling article published in Truthout exposes how the whole bogus genetics research agenda is an evil ploy to blame the victims for the crimes of Big Tobacco, Big Pharma, the Junk Food Industry, failed schools, failed/unjust government policy, etc.
Warning: this article will most likely make your blood boil, get you angry and “makes you want to holler” per one author of a book by that title.
This is why the nefarious Dr. Thomas Insel, Head of NIMH, has announced the results of the next billions of wasted tax dollars in advance for the future junk science that will prove that the “mentally ill” have faulty brain circuits/wiring and other supposed defects to blame the victims of government/corporate crimes against humanity. So, here is more evidence and validation that all of biopsychiatry’s junk science stigmas like ADHD and bipolar are 100% fraud and it is our psychopathic, fascist, lying corporate/government cronyism that is driving everyone “crazy” in a metaphorical sense as well as what stress and injustice can do to the mind and body.
This is a great article and it does an excellent, complete job of exposing the latest vile eugenics agenda to justify the despicable wealth and power grab of the greedy, narcissistic, malignant power elite.
At age 50 I was diagnosed with profound attention problems. The diagnosis was made on the basis of a TOVA which gave a scientific measure of my attention levels rather than just looking at symptom clusters.
My attention deficit is (probably) the result of a chronic dissociation. I have seen the dissociation on an EEG monitor and been able to see this as the times I lose attention.
The clinic I attended developed a tailored program
– Neurofeedback, then
– Interactive Metronome, followed by
– Kirshner Arrow Chart (10 minutes a day at 60 beats per minute) as ongoing treatment
That has produced about a 25% improvement and I go backwards without daily use of the Kirshner Arrow Chart.
Diet and supplements are also part of my ongoing treatment.I also practice mindfulness techniques and very slowly there is a shift in the dissociative fog.
Attention is the building block of everything we do! Seeing the EEG and the very low numbers on the TOVA enabled me to make sense of a life of struggle and start to develop productive strategies to minimise the effects of my inattention. Medication is not one of them!
Thanks for letting MIA readers know about non-drug approaches that work for you!
this is why I had to stop dexedrine… I spent years on them, the tablets allowed for flexibility if i didn’t need as much and I could eat. The XR meds all make me rage for 4 hours and ir doses feel like different meds. I literally tried everything and when I was a kid I was on 140 mg/day. I was recently on 70 mg. The brand name ones were the best, they felt like they just turned your brain on and off and since then they have all been no good. Out of the blue, insurance recently started threatening me and my doctor and I have taken everything from ritalin to desoxyn, tried all the new long acting ones which sent me into 5 hour rages when they wore off. I took it to be a slug like everyone else and not talk and be Mr. Appropriate because I am a ball of energy so I just said to hell with them. I stopped and am full of energy and I am glad I am not taking them to be passive for everyone else.
my attention itself is fine, I go in a rush but the loudness and my bluntness and spur of the moment issues bugged people…. I like it better now I am glad it annoys people… it annoys me that I was taking that crap to please others and then got accused of being a druggie over it when I had decreased it by half of what I was as a kid… it wasn’t hard on my body though, it was just a brain switch. other new ones make you nuts and generic dexedrine tablets are all crap anyhow.
Prescribing medication to make someone passive is not the treatment goal for ADHD by a good medical doctor.
Raging, which results from taking an RX to treat the symptoms of ADHD, is not healthy or warranted.
that is an excellent implication you added in there, I spent my life on these meds for hyperactivity and impulsive behavior and they slow me down. As someone who grew up hating these drugs, the term passive fits quite well.
As far as my current medication, it is a patch made with Ritalin. Oral meds have a rebound effect, long and short acting and I metabolize them too fast due to liver enzymes, something that if you weren’t high on your low dose Adderall XR or Concerta because everyone who is lazy has “Adult ADHD” and takes low doses and if that works for you that is great. If I wasn’t on my medication I would have in turn said a lot of nasty things back to you and just blew it because hyperactive ADHD is a very specific type and I am not that type.
My language isn’t in clinical vernacular because at the basic level, the reason people are given medications for their behavior is due to the benefits. Chemical coping which is low end accepted dependence. I know you Adult ADD people talk like you are holocaust survivors and suddenly have that alleged genius to tap into but I am hyper and impulsive and when you are a kid who is a brat and hyper and they put you on those to target that behavior you are ALLOWED to have position.
Medication helps people but it isn’t a cure all. I am hyperactive remember so your disorder is nothing like mine. I am disorganized, forget and lose things and when walking I can daydream intensely and have almost gotten hit but these are assistants. Tools. The insulin theory is a load of bull. I am glad your speed prescription helps you breeze through life effortlessly. My issue is impulsiveness and high energy. Different set of problems.
Sorry I lost my other account somehow but I wasn’t too pleased with your judgmental attitude considering I have the classic type of ADHD and what some doctors only consider the “real” ADHD. I can’t sit through classes without opening my mouth and getting myself kicked out or shuffling things in tests and stuff. I appreciate you implying I am a drug addict though. I have issues with generic and insurance switching meds and the side effects are unbearable. Have a nice day.
Without my RX to treat the symptoms of ADHD, I couldn’t read your comments and other information published here. I can’t follow lectures. I can’t take instructions. I don’t control what I say and do very well, either, without medical help. Medication has given me the opportunity to engage in life, to develop and to use my innate potential; potential buried for decades (but never knew I possessed) and to share my experiences and my growing body of knowledge with others.
Walking around all day every day like a legally blind person- without knowing my vision was impaired- and then being given a pair of corrective glasses, is a fitting analogy for me.
I am grateful beyond the capacity of words to describe for the drug that has given me a life.
“Regardless of what key opinion leaders like Drs. Hallowell and Barkley say next, it is ironic that provocative ADHD stories recently published by Alan Schwarz in the New York Times may compel some clinicians to turn to the academic literature for information about what constitutes the best treatment options for their patients.”
G L WATSON
From the same article written by Alan Schwarz in the NYTS referred to by Dr. Watson we read, “Few dispute that classic A.D.H.D., historically estimated to affect 5 percent of children, is a legitimate disability that impedes success at school, work and personal life. Medication often assuages the severe impulsiveness and inability to concentrate, allowing a person’s underlying drive and intelligence to emerge.”
According to Dr. Watson, Alan Schwarz, nominated for a Pulitzer Prize not only acknowledges the validity of the diagnosis and its devastating impact, but that drug therapy is an effective treatment modality to alleviate the crippling symptomology.
For Dr. Watson to say, “There are books like Blaming the Brain and A Dose of Sanity that show that real medical illnesses may cause certain symptoms, but a bogus DSM stigma sure does nothing to find and treat such causes” seems to contradict the position of the journalist whose work she supports. If ADHD is a bogus diagnosis why does Schwarz acknowledge it? And, even as being labeled as a homosexual was once considered a stigma, should being stigmatized with a legitimate DSM condition dissuade a person afflicted with the inability to pay attention consistently, discourage his efforts to find medical treatment?
The inventor of the lobotomy was given a Nobel prize no less, but modern people see such barbaric butchery for the Dr. Mengele type of human experimentation that it is though psychiatry is doing all in its ongoing ill gotten power to bring back such barbaric practices in full force including ECT, lobotomy, magnetic “brain stimulation” and others in their arsenal to continue their chemical, electrical and surgical lobotomies that no decent, humane person could possibly condone if they fully understood the truth about such lethal treatments.
Thus, winning a Pulitzer or Nobel prize does not make one’s science correct. And Galileo is a great example of those with the real science behind them being silenced, shunned and even jailed though he history has more than vindicated him just like those like Dr. Peter Breggin and Dr. Fred Baughman are being vindicated for exposing the 100% fraud behind the junk science DSM paradigm psychiatry created when it sold out to Big Pharma with the bogus ADHD stigma one of its many billion dollar crimes against children no less.
“The American public has come to view ADHD drug treatment as a rather benign option for common behavioral and academic issues.” Dr. Watson
That is hard to imagine given the uproar by some who believe it is a dangerous drug pushed on our youth by big business.
“By most any reasonable measure, the number of children who are medicated under the guise of ADHD is out of bounds. Current levels of ADHD drug treatment are unsafe for individuals and society.” Dr. Watson
Let’s say that is true. Do we therefore deny ADHD exists? Even if it is terribly over diagnosed, should we therefore conclude that it must not be real and debilitating for some?
“The more a drug is prescribed, the more it will be diverted for illicit purposes.” Dr. Watson
Which is not a reason to deny the RX for those who need it, is it?
“Too few of the professionals who have issued lax ADHD diagnoses or overprescribed drugs for the condition realize that better and safer options exist”
Dr., would you list those options, please, or tell me where to find them? Thank you
“The truth is that the MTA study actually provided evidence to consider behavioral interventions — not drug therapy — as the first line of defense. As reviewed by Dr. William Pelham, a clinical psychologist who was one of the MTA researchers”
“The Effectiveness of Short- and Long-Acting Stimulant Medications for Adolescents With ADHD in a Naturalistic Secondary School Setting”
Dr. Pelham has been recognized by Divisions 53 and 37 of the APA and by CHADD as a model program
Dr. Pelham disclosed that Abbott Labs contributed financially to this study
Existing studies demonstrate that medication delivered in analogue settings clearly produces an acute effect on teen academics (Evans et al., 2001) and disruptive behavior (Smith et al., 1998). Parents also report that stimulant medication produces improvements in their adolescents’ ADHD symptoms (Findling et al., 2011). These studies establish the efficacy of stimulant medication for teens
Primary findings of this study are as follows: (a) short-acting MPH, but not long-acting pemoline, led to statistically significant improvements in ADHD symptoms
Other treatments, including individual counseling, play therapy, dietary interventions, treatment for inner ear problems, neurofeedback/biofeedback, perceptual-motor training, sensory integration training, chiropractic manipulation, pet therapy and others have no proven efficacy for ADHD.
As far as the junk science, invented, voted in ADHD life destroying stigma to push the vile kiddie cocaine drugs to a make a literal killing by biopsychiatry when it sold out to Big Pharma in the 1980’s, I will trust Dr. Fred Baughman, lifelong Child Neurologist, and author of ADHD Fraud any day of the week when he speaks of such psychiatric fraud as the worst medical crimes ever perpetrated against humanity. We can thank Dr. Joseph Biederman for such crimes against children when he personally sold out the nation’s children to the drug companies he was truly serving when he almost single handedly created both the ADHD and bipolar epidemics in children just like DSM III and IV perpetrators created the adult bipolar epidemic in adults and now the DSM V perpetrators are pushing for adult ADHD. This Dr. Mengele like psychiatric monstrosity never ends. And ADHD drugs are now being promoted for the brand new DSM bogus stigma of “binge eating disorder” with an article about it posted in the news section of MIA with many upset because these toxic drugs put people at risk for heart attacks and other lethal effects with children far from immune as many children have died from these dangerous drugs.
And the real experts have exposed that any supposed differences in the brains of so called ADHD and normal kids are due to the toxic drugs given to those stuck with a junk science ADHD stigma due to abusive families, bullies and other social stressors and certainly not any faulty brains. Diet may be a factor especially today, but the current model is always blame the victims for any lethal effects inflicted by the current robber barons of our time, the real “patients” of psychiatry today as was the case with the robber barons of the 1930’s who along with psychiatry created the eugenics theories that led to the Nazi Holocaust after psychiatrists practiced by gassing to death those they stigmatized as “mentally ill.” Today, they just drug and shock children and adults to early death by about 25 years after torturing and profiting from them during their greatly shortened lives thanks to the biopsychiatry/Big Pharma cartel.
And Dr. Thomas Insel, Head of the NIMH, has admitted recently that all DSM junk science stigmas that would include ADHD, bipolar and other recent voted in fad frauds of psychiatry are totally INVALID and lacking any science, medical or other evidence whatsoever.
Thus, I think that despite blakeacake’s attempts to “educate” MIA members about all the great science behind the bogus invented ADHD stigma created to push amphetamines on innocent children that have been proven to cause much harm and little help or positive results after about three years and often ending up with an even worse bipolar assault due to the lethal effects of the kiddie cocaine pretense of help, MIA members and many others are all too well informed about the total junk science behind ADHD, bipolar and any other life destroying degradation rituals perpetrated by psychiatry/Big Pharma to force their brain disabling treatments on a literally brain washed public. But, the cat is out of the bag and more and more people are catching on thanks to all the corruption exposed in both psychiatry and Big Pharma not to mention all the destroyed, disabled lives exposed by Robert Whitaker in his many articles and books like Mad in America and Anatomy of an Epidemic.
And by the way, the APA and CHADD, NAMI and many others are just drug company front groups.
Are you sure Hallowell apologized for his aspirin/safer statement? I didn’t find it. I did read the transcript and he said aspirin is more dangerous than Ritalin.