“In an article published this month in the Canadian Journal of Psychiatry, McGill University psychiatrist Dr. Joel Paris says the diagnostic criteria for adult ADHD are so broad they could easily describe anyone who has trouble focusing,” says the Canadian National Post. The article goes on to quote Allen Frances: “‘Pharma has already created a wild and dangerous epidemic of prescription narcotics. Next on its agenda is pushing the sale of prescription speed.'”
The most amazing thing is that we’ve been there before and we’ve learnt nothing (in terms of effects of prescribing amphetamines as medical treatment and performance enhancing drugs).
It’s good to see more psychiatrists speaking out against fad diagnoses, and the overuse of diagnoses and medication in general. Joel Paris was my first teacher and mentor in psychiatry. One of his roles was being in charge of the screening clinic in psychiatry where beginning residents learned how to interview and assess people. The most important part of the assessment was the “dynamic formulation” where we would try to understand all the complexities in the person’s distress. While we would put down possible diagnoses, these were seen as only being vague guides and not particularly important or useful most of the time.
A major issue about all the overuse of diagnoses and medication these days is that it indicates that many people are distressed, and many doctors don’t know what to do about the distress. We could use a “dynamic formulation” on our society to understand why people are struggling so much and what can be done to start to address real problems that are afflicting people.
Thanks for posting this. I begun my decade long spiral with taking a stimulant when I returned to school. I had thought I had missed the train with my distrust of medication. It did help but I think it made me look more energized and that with some more un expected stressors led the pathway to my friends in their ignorance tossing about the bipolar word to my family.
I would have done fine without it. I still have great regrets that I let my barrier down and let big pharma in.