On May 16, the New York Times ran an article titled Thousands of Toddlers Are Medicated for A.D.H.D., Report Finds, Raising Worries, by Alan Schwarz. Here is the opening sentence:
“More than 10,000 American toddlers 2 or 3 years old are being medicated for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder outside established pediatric guidelines, according to data presented on Friday by an official at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.”
The CDC official is Susanna Visser, MS, DrPh, Acting Associate Director of Science for the Division of Human Development and Disability, and she was speaking at the annual Rosalyn Carter Georgia Mental Health Forum. I have not been able to find the text of Ms. Visser’s speech. (It will probably be published later.) Meanwhile, there is a good deal of information in Alan Schwarz’s article. Here are some more quotes:
“The report, which found that toddlers covered by Medicaid are particularly prone to be put on medication such as Ritalin and Adderall, is among the first efforts to gauge the diagnosis of A.D.H.D. in children below age 4. Doctors at the Georgia Mental Health Forum at the Carter Center in Atlanta, where the data was presented, as well as several outside experts strongly criticized the use of medication in so many children that young.”
“The American Academy of Pediatrics standard practice guidelines for A.D.H.D. do not even address the diagnosis in children 3 and younger — let alone the use of such stimulant medications, because their safety and effectiveness have barely been explored in that age group. ‘It’s absolutely shocking, and it shouldn’t be happening,’ said Anita Zervigon-Hakes, a children’s mental health consultant to the Carter Center. ‘People are just feeling around in the dark. We obviously don’t have our act together for little children.'”
“Dr. Lawrence H. Diller, a behavioral pediatrician in Walnut Creek, Calif., said in a telephone interview: ‘People prescribing to 2-year-olds are just winging it. It is outside the standard of care, and they should be subject to malpractice if something goes wrong with a kid.'”
“Dr. Visser said that effective nonpharmacological treatments, such as teaching parents and day care workers to provide more structured environments for such children, were often ignored. ‘Families of toddlers with behavioral problems are coming to the doctor’s office for help, and the help they’re getting too often is a prescription for a Class II controlled substance, which has not been established as safe for that young of a child,’ Dr. Visser said. ‘It puts these children and their developing minds at risk, and their health is at risk.'”
But there was also some support for the practice, albeit cautiously worded:
“Keith Conners, a psychologist and professor emeritus at Duke University who since the 1960s has been one of A.D.H.D.’s most prominent figures, said that he had occasionally recommended it when nothing else would calm a toddler who was a harm to himself or others.”
“Dr. Doris Greenberg, a behavioral pediatrician in Savannah, Ga., who attended Dr. Visser’s presentation, said that methylphenidate can be a last resort for situations that have become so stressful that the family could be destroyed. She cautioned, however, that there should not be 10,000 such cases in the United States a year.”
The article finishes with quotes from Nancy Rappaport, MD:
“Dr. Nancy Rappaport, a child psychiatrist and director of school-based programs at Cambridge Health Alliance outside Boston who specializes in underprivileged youth, said that some home environments can lead to behavior often mistaken for A.D.H.D., particularly in the youngest children.”
“‘In acting out and being hard to control, they’re signaling the chaos in their environment,’ Dr. Rappaport said. ‘Of course only some homes are like this — but if you have a family with domestic violence, drug or alcohol abuse, or a parent neglecting a 2-year-old, the kid might look impulsive or aggressive. And the parent might just want a quick fix, and the easiest thing to do is medicate. It’s a travesty.'”
ADHD IN THE DSM
ADHD is listed in the DSM and is widely promoted by psychiatry as a brain illness which causes children and adults to be excessively inattentive, hyperactive, and/or impulsive.
DSM-III-R specified that the onset of this “illness” had to be prior to age seven, but set no lower age limit. In fact, in this edition of the APA’s manual, the assignment of this “diagnosis” to preschool children is clearly endorsed.
“In preschool children, the most prominent features are generally signs of gross motor overactivity, such as excessive running or climbing. The child is often described as being on the go and ‘always having his motor running.’ Inattention and impulsiveness are likely to be shown by frequent shifting from one activity to another.” [Emphasis added] (p 50)
“In approximately half of the cases, onset of the disorder is before age four.” [Emphases added] (p 51)
“It is difficult to establish this diagnosis in children younger than age 4 or 5 years, because their characteristic behavior is much more variable than that of older children and may include features that are similar to symptoms of Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder. Furthermore, symptoms of inattention in toddlers or preschool children are often not readily observed because young children typically experience few demands for sustained attention. However, even the attention of toddlers can be held in a variety of situations (e.g., the average 2- or 3-year-old child can typically sit with an adult looking through picture books). Young children with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder move excessively and typically are difficult to contain. Inquiring about a wide variety of behaviors in a young child may be helpful in ensuring that a full clinical picture has been obtained. Substantial impairment has been demonstrated in preschool-age children with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder.” (p 89)
DSM-5 is briefer but just as clear:
“In preschool, the main manifestation is hyperactivity.” (p 62)
So, as far as the APA is concerned, children of preschool age can, and do, “get” ADHD.
But what is ADHD? Here again, the APA’s position, in their fact sheet titled “ADHD,” (2014) is brief and clear:
“Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is one of the most common mental disorders affecting children. ADHD is a brain condition that is often first identified in school-aged children when it causes disruption in the classroom or problems with schoolwork.” [Emphasis added]
Note, incidentally, the assertion of causality. ADHD is a brain condition that causes classroom disruption and problems with school work. In reality, the causal connection is spurious, and is just one more example of psychiatric “logic.” To illustrate this, imagine a conversation between a parent and a psychiatrist:
Parent: Why is my child so disruptive in class? Why won’t he concentrate on his schoolwork?
Psychiatrist: Because he has ADHD. ADHD causes these problems.
Parent: But how do you know he has ADHD?
Psychiatrist: Because he is so disruptive in class and doesn’t concentrate on his school work.
Psychiatry defines ADHD by the presence of an assortment of vaguely-defined behaviors and then adduces this construct as the cause of these behaviors. In other words, a child has ADHD because he is disruptive; and he is disruptive because he has ADHD! This particular piece of psychiatric sophistry has been identified and highlighted, at one time or another, by virtually everyone on this side of the “mental illness” debate. But I have never seen an attempt at rebuttal from any proponent of psychiatric orthodoxy.
But back to the question: what is ADHD? There is a document titled ADHD: Parents Medication Guide published jointly by the APA and the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry in July 2013. Here’s a quote:
“Attention-Deﬁcit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is a neurodevelopmental disorder characterized by difficulty paying attention, excessive activity, and impulsivity (acting before you think). ADHD is usually identified when children are in grade school but can be diagnosed at any time from preschool to adulthood.” [Emphases added]
This document also stresses that:
“Early identification of ADHD is advisable…”
and lists the dire consequences if “ADHD is left untreated”:
- “Increased risk for school failure and dropout in both high school and college
- Behavior and discipline problems
- Social difficulties and family strife
- Accidental injury
- Alcohol and drug abuse
- Depression, anxiety and other mental health disorders
- Employment problems
- Driving accidents
- Unplanned pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases
- Delinquency, criminality, and arrest”
The NIMH document Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (2012) states:
“Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is one of the most common childhood brain disorders and can continue through adolescence and adulthood.” [Emphasis added]
So it’s pretty clear that organized psychiatry, as represented by the APA, AACAP, and NIMH, endorses the notion that preschool children can “get” ADHD, and that ADHD is a brain illness. It is also widely promoted that ADHD should not be left “untreated.”
In 2006, Greenhill L. et al. published Efficacy and safety of immediate-release methylphenidate treatment for preschoolers with ADHD, in the Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. Here’s their conclusion:
“MPH-IR [methylphenidate-instant release], delivered in 2.5-, 5-, and 7.5-mg doses t.i.d., produced significant reductions on ADHD symptom scales in preschoolers compared to placebo, although effect sizes (0.4-0.8) were smaller than those cited for school-age children on the same medication.”
The paper lists 17 authors. The lead author is Laurence Greenhill, MD. Dr. Greenhill is a very eminent psychiatrist. At present he is a professor of Psychiatry and Pediatric Psychopharmacology at Columbia University. He is also Director of the Research Unit of Pediatric Psychopharmacology at the New York State Psychiatric Institute. Dr. Greenhill has served as principal investigator on several NIMH studies, and on 14 pharma-funded studies. He has also served as President of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (2009-2011).
His 2008 conflict of interest statement which is on file with the AACAP, states that during the period when he was president-elect, he was spending 50% of his work time “…dedicated to the private practice treatment of toddlers, adolescents, and adults mostly with ADHD.” [Emphasis added]
Incidentally, according to the disclosure section at the end of the 2006 article, 11 of the 17 authors had ties to pharma. (In addition, a twelfth author disclosed links in a 2009 paper that will be discussed below.)
This study was funded by the NIMH, and on October 16, 2006, NIMH issued a press release in which they described the study as:
“The first long-term, large-scale study designed to determine the safety and effectiveness of treating preschoolers who have attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) with methylphenidate (Ritalin) has found that overall, low doses of this medication are effective and safe. However, the study found that children this age are more sensitive than older children to the medication’s side effects and therefore should be closely monitored.” [Emphasis added]
Thomas Insel, MD, Director of NIMH, provided a quote for the press release:
“‘The Preschool ADHD Treatment Study, or PATS, provides us with the best information to date about treating very young children diagnosed with ADHD,’ said NIMH Director Thomas R. Insel, MD. “‘The results show that preschoolers may benefit from low doses of medication when it is closely monitored, but the positive effects are less evident and side-effects are somewhat greater than previous reports in older children.'”
The press release concluded with a quote from Laurence Greenhill, MD, the lead author:
“‘The study shows that preschoolers with severe ADHD symptoms can benefit from the medication, but doctors should weigh that benefit against the potential for these very young children to be more sensitive than older children to the medication’s side effects, and monitor use closely,’ concluded Dr. Greenhill.”
There’s another piece of research by Abikoff, et al. published in the journal Advances in Preschool Psychopharmacology in 2009. It’s titled Methylphenidate Effects on Functional Outcomes in the Preschoolers with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder Treatment Study (PATS). Here’s the conclusion:
“Preschoolers with ADHD treated with MPH [methylphenidate] for 4 weeks improve in some aspects of functioning. Additional improvements might require longer treatment, higher doses, and/or intensive behavioral treatment in combination with medication.”
This paper lists as authors most of those who are also shown in the Greenhill et al. study cited above.
So, according to the best psychiatric authorities, the condition known as ADHD
- Is a brain illness;
- Can and does occur in children of preschool age;
- Causes severe problems if left untreated;
- Can be safely and effectively treated with stimulant drugs (with the caveat that children of preschool age should be closely monitored for adverse effects).
Against this well-orchestrated and heavily promoted background, it is easy to see how the drug-prescribing is drifting into the lower age range. In fact, if one buys the psychiatry line, wouldn’t it be tantamount to criminal to deprive these preschoolers of “treatment” for their “brain illness”? Wouldn’t it be unconscionable to expose them to the risks outlined earlier? Surely the risk of taking a few pills – that have been proven safe and effective anyway – is justified when weighed against the dangers of “untreated ADHD.”
Besides, in their booklet on Mental Health Medication (2008), the NIMH state unambiguously: “Stimulant medications are safe when given under a doctor’s supervision.” I kid you not.
The critical issue here is that the loose cluster of vaguely defined behaviors that psychiatry calls ADHD is not an illness. Rather, it is, in the vast majority of cases, a reflection of inadequate discipline and training on the part of the parents.
In former times, parents accepted, as an intrinsic part of their role, training their children: to sit still when required; to pay attention to authority figures; to be obedient; to complete chores; to stay focused when needed; to be quiet when needed; to wait his/her turn; not to interrupt when others were speaking; to respect other children’s property; etc…
But today, psychiatry tells us that children who have not acquired these habits are ill. This is emphatically not something that psychiatry has discovered in the normal scientific manner. Rather, it is something that psychiatry has decided. Psychiatry has decided that all significant problems of thinking, feeling, and/or behaving are mental illnesses. So, children who have not been trained in the skills listed above are ill – by definition.
And because they are “ill,” they must take “medicine.”
Despite the protestations and the expressions of outrage, the expansion of the ADHD “diagnosis,” and consequent drugging, into the preschool population is an inevitable consequence of psychiatry’s spurious medicalization of every conceivable human problem, and their eagerness to prescribe drugs to “treat” these problems.
Protesting that the drugs have not been approved for children under the age of four misses the point, for two reasons. Firstly, because the approval process is intrinsically flawed, and secondly because drugs are not an appropriate response to these problems, for preschoolers or for older children.
Debates as to whether the preschoolers in question “really” have ADHD are meaningless. ADHD is defined by the presence of certain vaguely-defined behaviors. If a two-year-old is engaging in these behaviors, then he “has” ADHD. This is the travesty that the APA has created. There is no test or reality against which the child’s presentation can be compared to confirm or refute the “diagnosis.” All that’s needed is the subjective opinion of a mental health professional that the child displays the misbehaviors in question to a degree that is “inconsistent with [his/her] developmental level and that negatively impacts on social and academic…activities.” (DSM-5, p 59).
And there is no lower age limit for this “diagnosis.” Well, that’s not absolutely true. The “symptoms” must have been present for at least six months, so I suppose 6 months is effectively the lower limit! So the babies are still safe – at least until DSM 5.1!
Psychiatry’s primary agenda for the past fifty years has been the expansion of its “diagnostic” net, and the prescribing of more and more pills to more and more people. Psychiatry promises joy, happiness, and a trouble-free life from a pill bottle, and tragically our society and our political leadership have bought it. Today, no group is safe from psychiatry’s depredations. Their net embraces people of all ages, all walks of life, and all circumstances. There is truly no human problem that cannot be “diagnosed” as a “mental illness,” and for which psychiatry doesn’t have a pill.
Ten thousand American toddlers taking stimulants for ADHD is just business as usual. By all means, let us speak out against this psychiatric assault on our toddlers, but let’s not lose sight of the greater tragedy – that this kind of approach has become the norm. Feeding children psychoactive drugs as a substitute for instilling age-appropriate habits of discipline, self-control, and interpersonal respect is a tragedy beyond description. If street-dealers were promoting their products to toddlers and their parents in this way, there would be outrage – and rightly so. But psychiatrists, dressed in nice suits, and with their image polished by an international PR firm, are accepted.
As a society, as a culture, we have truly lost our way.
* * * * *
This article first appeared on Philip Hickey’s website
Behaviorism and Mental Health
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.
I am so with you on this. What are these learned men and women thinking of?
But then there are the parents to consider too. Why do they want their children drugged? Because they are tired and can’t be bothered to give them their attention? Here in Britain our government instead of supporting the mothers who want to stay at home and bring up their children, wants to force them all into work as if bringing up your children weren’t proper work. Teachers’ hands have been tied when it comes to introducing discipline. It is a vicious circle created by governments and “experts” psychiatrists, some psychologists, and other theorists.
We have the same problems in the US, actually if you saved up enough money to be a stay at home mom, as I did. Then the psychiatrists go after you, claiming your 30 hours of volunteer work a week, prolific art portfolio, and good parenting skills are “w/o work, content, and talent” and “irrelevant to reality.”
“As a society, as a culture, we have truly lost our way.” Thank you once again, Dr. Hickey, for pointing out psychiatry’s on-going attacks on our most vulnerable. It’s heartbreaking and shameful.
We have the same problems in the US, actually if you saved up enough money to be a stay at home mom, as I did. Then the psychiatrists go after you, claiming your 30 hours of volunteer work a week, prolific art portfolio, and good parenting skills are “fictional,” “w/o work, content, and talent,” and “irrelevant to reality.”
Well, in the neurologist’s defense, after several years he did finally take a look at my portfolio, changed his mind, and claimed it be “work of smart female” and “insightful.” Maybe force medicating women based upon lies and gossip from child molesters isn’t actually wise? Just a theory ….
“As a society, as a culture, we have truly lost our way.” Thank you once again, Dr. Hickey, for pointing out psychiatry’s on-going attacks on our most vulnerable. It’s heartbreaking and shameful.
And thank you for your support.
the governments that sanction such drugs should and will be held accountable, that i am certain of, but in the meantime, everyone should protest about the drugging of children, it’s obscene
Thanks for coming in. It is indeed amazing the extent to which the drugging has become accepted.
100%, it’s a planned assault on parenting and the rearing of children, leaving them vulnerable to all sorts of addictions, that the same experts have medication and skills to cure, great!
i was with a friend yesterday, working mother, comes home exhausted, her little boy is full of beans, with the child minder, now seeks the love of his tired mother, you can imagine the childs frustration when the mother can’t give it the attention it rightly needs, later the child will have attention problems etc.. the psychiatrists of this world, not all, but some, in cohoots with big pharma target the new product range, medication for children, marketeers dream, new product range, and they say it’s not a con, amen
I like all the testimonials from the “experts” who have NEVER taken ADHD drugs.
Ritalin/Adderal feels like speed/cocaine to the person taking it but looks like a sedative to observers. I am high as F__k so I think I will just sit here and be still for a wile…
These “experts” are like people from the midwest who have never even seen the ocean but think they are experts on surfing cause they read a few books on hydrodynamics.
That’s a good analogy!
These wonder drugs are chemically simply amphetamine, methamphetamine or related chemicals. People are OK putting kids on Adderall but if you’d tell them you want their kids to have some meth they’d freak out and call the police.
they used to spoil the child with gifts, when the children get bored, next option, give them drugs as well, wonderful world
Any older readers else notice that you almost never see small children acting up in stores anymore, throwing those nasty fits if mommy or daddy won’t buy that toy they want like you saw years ago ?
Why is that ? Cause these days one or two ‘episodes’ in school and the brain disabling drugging begins.
That’s an interesting observation; and a scary thought.
It’s finally reaching the mainstream a little bit:
The video also talks about reading the online forums for parents of kids on meds. I have read those too and I saw that almost none of the parents report good results but they keep telling each other to keep trying, don’t give up and “find the right meds”.
“The drugs never helped my kid or made him or her worse but you should keep trying”
“Find the right meds” – that’s the new Holy Grail.
the holy grail, simply love, love meaning making time for people, amen
From the article:
“… lists the dire consequences if “ADHD is left untreated”:
“Increased risk for school failure and dropout in both high school and college
Behavior and discipline problems
Social difficulties and family strife
Alcohol and drug abuse
Depression, anxiety and other mental health disorders
Unplanned pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases
Delinquency, criminality, and arrest”
As always, the authors of this paper neglect to mention that NONE OF THESE OUTCOMES ARE ALTERED IN ANY WAY BY STIMULANT TREATMENT!!!! The only one that there is any suggestion is improved by stimulants is driving accidents. The rest have been shown to be completely unaffected by long-term stimulant treatment.
I think we need to be broadcasting this fact loud and clear. There were reviews of the literature in 1978, 1993, 2001, as well as two long-term studies (the MTA in the US and the Raine Study in Australia) that compared “treated” and “untreated” ADHD-diagnosed students, and there is no consistent difference in outcomes. Actually, the Raine study showed the “treated” cohort to drop out of school at a rate over 9 times that of the “untreated” group.
This is a far more relevant point than how to define “ADHD” or whether or not it is a brain disease. The “treatment” does nothing to improve the lives of the “treated,” except for short-term symptom reduction (which does more for the “treaters” than the “treated.”) To give toddlers a drug to control behavior is reprehensible. To tell people they need to give them a drug to prevent outcomes that the “treatment” has no impact on is criminal.
STIMULANT TREATMENT DOES NOT WORK LONG TERM!!!!
INdeed Steve. Wish this could be understood loud and clear. Sadly, if you look through B’s youtube video and scroll through the comments, you see a number of similar comments. “I was unfocussed. I didn’t do well at school. I could never sit still. Then I took….bla bla boa….now I’m great…bla bla bla. ”
Though I am “pro-choice” and am all for people making their owned choices on taking drugs or not, I have a very hard time with this drug. Its frickin speed. How the Hell is it ever ok to regularly dose a kid with speed?
I see people saying…”Oh well yeah thats crazy for a 2 year old…but for my 5, 6, 8, 11 year old, etc it was a godsend.” Give me a frickin’ break. No you don’t get to give your kid speed no matter what their behavior is. You just don’t. Ban these drugs and any psych drugs for anyone under 18. Period.
“Ban these drugs and any psych drugs for anyone under 18. Period.” I agree, but somehow misinforming patients of legal age should be illegal also (and I understand the pharmaceutical industry has been misinforming doctors for decades now, so there’s confusion over whose legally responsible for this problem, so the patients alone, pay the price).
Here’s a good video on the drugging of children:
Two reasons for it – people don’t understand placebo/other circumstances effect (“I got better” doesn’t mean it was drug which did it) and stimulants specifically have a propensity to make people think they preform awesome although objectively it doesn’t change:
“In the 1970s, two researchers, Russell Barkley and Charles Cunningham, noted that when children with ADHD took stimulants, parents and teachers rated their academic performance as vastly improved9. But objective measurements showed that the quality of their work hadn’t changed. What looked like achievement was actually manageability in the classroom.”
I have quarreled many times with people who got/knew someone who go better on drugs and told them that according to studies the drugs (anti-depressants in that case) don’t work better than placebo and they still said – “well, they don’t work better than placebo that is true but they clearly work for some people”. Some just don’t seem to understand the idea of double blind placebo controlled study…
Right you are. And Barclay and Cunningham’s work was done back in 1978 or so, and nothing has changed since that time. It is the responsibility of the DOCTORS to convey this information to patients, just like they finally have started to do about antibiotics being useless against colds and most ear infections. This was known for years, but the docs kept prescribing antibiotics to keep their patients happy, which, of course, keeps the drug companies happy, too.
Instead, the doctors should be EDUCATING their clients – “This drug may temporarily make your child easier to manage in class, but there is no evidence that they will learn anything more or become a better or more successful adult as a result of being more manageable.” Instead, they are WARNED that failure to medicate them will have “dire consequences” in half a dozen or more areas that stimulants have no effect on at all! That is malpractice, in my book. I understand that patients are susceptible to the placebo effect, but doctors should know better than to lie to their patients. The doctors’ confidence in the “treatment” is a huge part of the placebo effect anyway. They are extremely reprehensible for not conveying this information that has been known since before the DSM-III was even published.
On the antibiotics: I’ve seen it a thousand times over. I was put on antibiotics as a kid when I had a case of viral pneumonia. My teeth are destroyed from this till today and of course it didn’t help – I only got healthy when a reasonable doctor took me off the antibiotics and send me to sanatorium to get some inhalations and other “alternative treatments”. Worked like a dream. I later got some vaccines to boost my immune system and was just fine. Nowadays whenever I go to a doctor with an infection I tell him if I want and antibiotic or not since I usually know better how to distinguish viral from bacterial. There are a few really good doctors out there but many are just uneducated drug pushers who don’t think twice about what they’re prescribing and for what.
Yes but with antibiotics, a short course is generally prescribed. With psych meds, the prescription can be for a lifetime. Talking about the true problems with drugs like these and others, would mean killing the cash cow of the “forever patient”. And it would also mean that doctors really don’t have anything to offer. Why kill the golden goose?
To Jonathan Keyes:
Agreed. My point is – you can’t trust doctors with anything just based on the fact that they are educated professionals. Some of them are idiots, others are just people who are moderately good at their routine and very few are really good. It causes enough problems with conventional medicine where you have decently reliable diagnosis, real diseases with identifiable etiologies and in many cases real treatments. When you enter that factor into psychiatry where everything is just a matter of opinion and on top of that the patient often does not have a say at all because of coercion – it’s a disaster we all know.
Yes. And this is why the whole conflict of interest matter is so important. Physicians who maintain close financial ties to pharmaceutical companies are simply not credible when it comes to patient care.
Yes. The notion that the “meds” work has acquired the status of a highly valued idea. People cling to it regardless of the evidence. Which is why we have to keep re-stating the reality.
It’s illegal to buy alcohol until age 21, but OK to give speed to 3-year-olds!
When you look at this in the context of the war on drugs, its absurd. We arrest and imprison people for long terms for selling speed to another consenting adult…but then lionize doctors for giving speed to toddlers. Good for the prison industry. Good for the pharmaceutical industry. Ruinous for society.
Thanks for pointing this out.
Dr. Hickey, You say we’ve lost our way. I noticed David Healy says in regards to ADHD, that parents have allowed themselves to beomce brainwashed. In a similar vein, it feels to me that a great trend emerged to bartar of our freedom if responsibility could be encapsulated, rather visibly, in pills and medication routines. We aren’t very impressive in taking this blissful route to freeing ourselves from worries that our children seem to cause, and contenting ourselves with the simple and easy answers that keep the attention off anything real about children’s needs and the quality of life.
Thank you, it’s another nice run of information… as trying to assimilate and tolerate as it should be.
Well put. And the tragedy is that everybody sees this for drugs like heroin and cocaine. Even the people who use these drugs acknowledge that they don’t make life better. But psychiatric “meds” are somehow believed to be different.
Drugging toddlers for acting childish is so absurd and harmful to our children that it seems to foreshadow the beginning of the end for the medical model.
Thank you again for a great article, Dr. Hickey.
Best wishes, Steve
Thanks for the feedback. I hope you’re right about the beginning of the end.
i read a report issued in Ireland, or in an irish paper, that reported that 50% 0f children with ADHD, were from poorer backgrounds, basic point, children need nurture when young, and when resources are missing, children suffer, no big deal, total common sense. the reason this is of interest to me, was that a young pal of mine, kid without father figure and troubled mother, had relationship difficulties etc, school, friends, home, basic authority issues, nothing new. when i suggested he needed help to a doctor pal, the diagnosis was, after a gathering of expert opinion, put him on the ADHd meds.
great, problem solved. the medication is untested, the condition is all social related, nothing chemical missing, yet all the experts direct medication, problem solved. the same professionals are doing the same today, child, attention issues, medication. I wonder how much more of this professional behaviour is mimicked elsewhere. i have for purpose of wisdom, and new insights, put together a webpage that might help those with issues as they say. the cure for a ADHD child, is Love, time, support, companionship and understanding. in our busy 24 hour world, social media and email, etc etc, we have all the money it seems but none of the time. for wisdom seekers only, i have a blog under the name paddypicasso which is available on wordpress. http://www.paddypicasso.wordpress.com
we live in a time, when wisdom is badly needed, and common sense is almost extinct. what kind of society dopes it’s unruly children, only a very sick one, amen.
You’re right – children need a great deal more than pills.
I’ve just noticed this quote:
“a toddler who was a harm to himself OR OTHERS”
How the hell can a toddler be dangerous to others? Unless you give him a loaded gun maybe but then you’re probably in need for “treatment”.
And I thought being put on them at age 5 was bad. That poor child will be dependent for life. See, I have always been hyper but I never saw the point of being drugged. It was a 2-3 time per day war as a kid to take dexedrine. I tried the “can’t swallow pills trick”, then I got so good at hiding the applesauce in the capsule form that I could talk like I swallowed it. Most of the time I took it though. When you are really young and the pills do all the work, when you get to the age to where you take it willingly to stop the fights and suspensions from school and at age 33, I have to practice skills like a madman before even dropping a dose. Sadly, I am not past the functionality to earn enough to not get medicaid so I have been switched to Adderall because the government is cracking down on all of these “Adult ADD” folks and I am going slowly as I learn skills because then I literally lose maturity like a pro. I respect the crackdown but when I had to fight not to cut down the dose until I am ready because I still qualify as “severe and persistent mentally ill”, especially in the summer if I am not careful, I will get two hours of sleep and I turn into a mad man. It annoyed me to see the “pain pill queens” who seem to be very fine to me since they openly were yelling that they cut their “xanny bars” down and can only get a lower dose of fentanyl and 240 “oxy 10’s” when they used to get more but I am glad to see the change for that reason. I am a health food nut, exercise on an infrequent basis, never get sick but I tend to go at my own pace and sometimes function better after seeming in a “rutt” per say. I think the fact that I went from an 8 med cocktail with PRN drugs to small amounts of 3 drugs with very limited and small dose of 0f a 1st generation antipsychotic and short term klonopin (hey, I am not a fan and the bricks in my feet feeling is what stops it quick, plus aside from that they come in handy for thunderstorms). At this point, I still take Lamictal but I am much better from mindfulness and balance than anything and nutrition and neuroprotective foods and magnesium at bedtime had made the world of difference. I have a way to go but I am glad they are doing something. I am not sure how I feel about some of the big brother medicine they promote though. I think with adults who grew up that way there should be patience because the dependence is developmental.