Tuesday, April 13, 2021

“The Not-So-Hidden Cause Behind the A.D.H.D. Epidemic”

The New York Times returns to the question of whether the explosion of ADHD diagnosis reflects a previously undetected population that was pathologically hyperactive,...

Shire Seeks to Overcome European Resistance to ADHD Medication

Bloomberg reports that "The European debut of a pill to treat children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder faces a major hurdle: convincing people the...

Australia Reinforces Suicidality Warning on Strattera

Australia's Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) has reinforced its warning to health professionals about the risk of suicidality associated with Straterra, after receiving reports of...

ADHD in France and America

We now have 40 plus years of diagnosing and medicating children for ADHD in the US, and at a population level there’s no evidence that US kids are mentally or cognitively ‘healthier’ than kids in other societies.

Germany Rejects New ADHD Drug

Finding that Shire's study of its successor to Adderall XR, Vyvanse, (lisdexamfetamine; known in Germany as Elvanse) was too short and did not look at the drug...

Parents’ Goals Affect Choice of Medication vs. Behavior Therapy

Researchers find that parents who are focused on their child's academic achievement are twice as likely to start the child on ADHD medications as...

Shooting the ADHD Messenger

A paper in the Journal of Contemporary Psychotherapy chronicles the history of MiA blogger Gretchen LeFever Watson's effort to improve ADHD treatment in southeastern...

Why the Rise of Mental Illness? Pathologizing Normal, Adverse Drug Effects, and a Peculiar...

In just two decades, pointing out the pseudoscience of the DSM has gone from being an “extremist slur of radical anti-psychiatrists” to a mainstream proposition from the former chairs of both the DSM-3 and DSM-4 taskforces and the director of NIMH. In addition to the pathologizing of normal behaviors, another explanation for the epidemic — the adverse effects of psychiatric medications — is also evolving from radical to mainstream, thanks primarily to the efforts of Robert Whitaker and his book Anatomy of an Epidemic. While diagnostic expansionism and Big Pharma certainly deserve a large share of the blame for this epidemic, there is another reason.

Advancing the Use of Safe and Effective ADHD Treatment Options

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.

ADHD Drug Studies Find Little Change in Academic Performance

According to the Wall Street Journal's, story on a June study of 4000 Qubequois students, "a growing body of research finds that in the...

Spinning Straw into Gold: When Science Becomes Fiction

In Grimm’s fairy tale Rumpelstiltskin, an impish little man helps a girl spin straw into gold. This story seems an apt metaphor for how legitimate neuroscience research can become transformed into sensationalist claims regarding the causes and treatment of ADHD.

The Vatican, Ritalin, and a Canadian Study of Long-term ADHD Outcomes

The Vatican conference on “The Child as a Person and as a Patient: Therapeutic Approaches Compared,” which took place on June 14 and 15 in Rome, was not really focused—as I had thought it would be—on the merits of medicating children for psychiatric disorders. The two Americans who had tirelessly campaigned for this conference, Marcia Barbacki and Barry Duncan, had hoped that it would serve that purpose, but the Pontifical Council for Health Care Workers, as it invited speakers, decided on a broader, more diffuse agenda.

Obesity in Men Diagnosed With ADHD as Children

A 33-year controlled, prospective study conducted as a collaboration by researchers in New York, Mexico, and Verona, Italy found that men diagnosed with ADHD...

Chew on This: FDA Embraces Big Pharma; Takes Aim at Big Gum

May 8th in the USA Today:   “WASHINGTON (AP) — Wrigley says it is taking a new caffeinated gum off the market temporarily as the Food and Drug Administration investigates the safety of added caffeine.”  Really?  Major Tranquilizers, Amphetamines, Benzodiazepines, and Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors have all been approved by the FDA for the treatment of “mental illness.” These drugs are being prescribed to youth, some as young as 3 and 4 years of age. My Big League Chew is more dangerous than Uncle Jim’s Seroquel or my big brother’s Adderall?

Treating one Disease by Causing Another

Treating one disease by causing another is actually a pretty mainstream therapeutic strategy in medicine - and especially psychiatry. The idea is to use a milder or temporary disease to treat a more severe or permanent one. In a recent development neuroleptic/antipsychotic drugs are being given to tens/hundreds of thousands of over-active children (aka 'bipolar'). Parkinson's disease certainly puts a stop to hyperactivity!

“More U.S. Children Being Diagnosed With Youthful Tendency Disorder”

The Onion satirizes the ADHD "epidemic": "'As horrible as the diagnosis was, it was a relief to finally know,' said Beverly. 'At least we...

Winners of the American Dream

Since I left the psychiatric prescribing trenches and came south for the winter, I’ve been staying in a beach town within driving distance of a technology metropolis. I take breaks from my writing and walk to the beach. There, I meet and talk with the winners of the American dream. They are intelligent, highly educated and financially successful. They take their beach vacations here.

Adderall Blamed for Leap into Tiger’s Den

The mother of a man charged with trespassing for leaping from a monorail into a tiger's den at the Bronx Zoo, where he was...

Medicating ADHD: Diagnosis and the Long-Term Effects of the Medications

Robert Whitaker appears on Science for the Public on March 20, 2013, speaking about how the ADHD is diagnosed and why users of medications...

Love Note for Valentine’s Day: Beware of Those Pedaling ADHD Drugs

A recent New York Times front-page story about ADHD care gone awry concluded with disturbing quotes from a an information session that was held in Norfolk, VA last October. “ADD and Loving It?!” was sponsored by Children and Adults with Attention Deficit Disorder (CHADD)—the leading advocacy group for ADHD. The story raises questions our country’s love affair with ADHD by detailing the tragic death of an aspiring medical student from the Norfolk-Virginia Beach area who became addicted to ADHD drugs.

Violence, Depression in Parents Linked to Kids’ ADHD, Depression

A prospective study of 2,422 children from 2004 to 2012 found that children whose parents reported Intimate Partner Violence (IPV) and depressive symptoms were...

“You Keep Giving Adderall to my Son, You’re Going to Kill Him”

The New York Times, in an extraordinarily lengthy front-page article, chronicles the descent of popular college class president, athlete, and aspiring medical student into...

Increasing Use of Antipsychotics for Disruptive Behavior in Children

Canadian researchers systematically reviewed all randomized controlled trials of second-generation antipsychotics (SGAs) and placebo in the treatment of disruptive behavior disorders in children, finding...

ADHD Drugs Compensate for a Deficit of Attention to Schools

The New York Times describes a growing trend among doctors: prescribing medication to fix a "made up" diagnosis in children, in order to compensate...

2 Reasons Why Time-Outs Do Not Work

The fundamental importance of connection to a child helps us to understand the use of "Time-Outs" which, used improperly, can be like pouring gas on a fire in a situation that is already not working; causing a distressed child to go further awry and potentially contributing to symptomatology that puts them at risk of being identified as ADHD, anxious, or bipolar.

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