From the Daily Beast: "Amphetamines come with a host of negative side effects, most commonly insomnia and irregular heartbeat. But in less common cases, the...
In October of 2013, I wrote a blog on the Foundation for Excellence website (‘The Story of My Perfectly Wonderful Children and the Change WE Need to Make in the World to Save Them’) shortly after finding out that my son’s guidance counselor suggested he (then 10) consider ‘distraction meds’ to aid in his school performance. If I could sit every member of this school system down right now and ask them all my most burning questions, they would be: Do you want to be a tool of the system? The one who knows all the rules and holds all the lines? That says 'no, we can't do that', just because that's the way it is? Or do you want to be a guide through all that mess?
For the New York Times Well blog, Katherine Ellision writes about how the rise in ADHD diagnoses globally is sparking “debates about the validity of the diagnosis and the drugs used to treat it.”
A paradigm is a way of thinking about things. For the past 60 or so years, our thinking about mental health and illness has been dominated by what can be referred to as the "DSM (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders) paradigm." What this looks like in everyday practice is that when a child is referred to my behavioral pediatrics practice for anxiety, the questions that parents, referring doctors, and teachers ask is, "Does he have anxiety disorder?" followed by "How to we manage his behavior?" and "Does he need medication?"
At Alternet, Jay Syrmopoulos of The Free Thought Project discusses new research on the use of medical marijuana as a treatment for ADHD within the context of the ongoing debate over the validity of the ADHD diagnosis.
Writing in The Atlantic, James Hamblin reports that research continues to show that physical exercise is integral to “childhood cognition and brain health,” especially for children who exhibit symptoms associated with ADHD. These findings, Hamblin comments, have been discussed with a “phenomenal degree of reservation compared to the haste with which millions of kids have been introduced to amphetamines and other stimulants to address said ADHD.”
Coercion — the use of physical, legal, chemical, psychological, financial, and other forces to gain compliance — is intrinsic to our society’s employment, schooling, and parenting, but it isn’t to less “civilized” societies. Coercion fuels miserable marriages, unhappy families, and what we today call mental illness. Psychiatrist E. Fuller Torrey, in Schizophrenia and Civilization, states “Schizophrenia appears to be a disease of civilization.” But Torrey is a strong advocate for coercive treatments, including forced medication — even though his own research shows a stronger relationship between severe mental illness and European-American civilization than with hypothesized biochemical agents that have never been found. Still, he has he not considered the toxic effects of coercion.