Is there ADHD in other countries?
Yes. While it is much more prevalent in the US (you might even call us the ‘home’ of ADHD) it is found and studied worldwide. But treatment approaches, and the concept of it, differ greatly. Some of that is cultural, including how we raise children and what we think about ‘childhood.’ Here are two opposing perspectives on ADHD in France (though the ‘response’...
Difference is Not Disease: Scientific Integrity,... →
There has been a lot of talk lately about neuroscience and the future of the medical model of “mental illness.” It was made clear, in NIMH director Thomas Inselâs statement, that the DSM is a system of identification and classification of what are deemed disorders within our human experience. This isnât exactly news to the vast majority of people who have spent even a little bit of...
Psychiatry divided as mental health ‘bible’...
From NewScientist The world’s biggest mental health research institute is abandoning the new version of psychiatry’s “bible” – the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, questioning its validity and stating that “patients with mental disorders deserve better”. This bombshell comes just weeks before the publication of the fifth revision of the manual, called DSM-5. On 29 April,...
It's Different for Girls with ADHD →
“Yet also harmful are the consequences of ADHD untreated, an all-to-common story for women like me, who not only develop symptoms later in life, but also have symptoms—disorganization and forgetfulness, for instance—that look different than those typically expressed in males.”
The New York Times Opens a Can of Worms on the... →
“In today’s NYTs there is an excellent article by Alan Schwartz and Sara Cohen on the rapid rise of the ADHD Diagnos. The series of articles by Schwartz is especially refreshing given that for decades the Timesreporters, for the most part, have ignored the critics. The Times quotes several promoters of the ADHD diagnosis who now have second thoughts. It is a tad humorous...
Debate Over Drugs For ADHD Reignites →
“…the most obvious interpretation of the data is that the medications are useful in the short term but ineffective over longer periods but added that his colleagues had repeatedly sought to explain away evidence that challenged the long-term usefulness of medication. When their explanations failed to hold up, they reached for new ones…”
Neurologists Warn Against ADHD Drugs To Help Kids... →
“Quite a few of those pills don’t end up being used to treat ADHD, though. They’re used as “smart drugs” or “study drugs” by students who find the pills give them a mental edge. The American Academy of Neurology now says: Stop that.” I agree people shouldn’t be taking meds that haven’t been prescribed to them. But the irony of people...
Inconsistent cultures produce more kids with...
Taking notes on research I came across this interesting, though unstudied theory. In a 1982 paper by researchers Ross and Ross they posit: “Consistent cultures will have fewer children diagnosed with hyperactivity as they minimize individual differences among kids and provide clear and consistent expectations and consequences for behavior that conforms to the expected norms. Inconsistent...
ADHD, Autism, and Others Have Common Genetic Link →
“Autism, attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), bipolar disorder, major depressive disorder, and schizophrenia share common genetic underpinnings — despite differences in symptoms and course of disease, researchers discovered. In particular, single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in two genes involved in calcium-channel activity appear to play a role in all five, Jordan...
The Jekyll and Hyde happy pill: It's brought... →
The Ten worst changes to DSM-V? →
“ When its deadlines were consistently missed due to poor planning and disorganized implementation, APA chose quietly to cancel the DSM 5 field testing step that was meant to provide it with a badly needed opportunity for quality control. The current draft has been approved and is now being rushed prematurely to press with incomplete field testing for one reason only- so that DSM 5...
Psychiatry Beyond the Current Paradigm
“Psychiatry is not neurology; it is not a medicine of the brain. Although mental health problems undoubtedly have a biological dimension, in their very nature they reach beyond the brain to involve social, cultural and psychological dimensions. These cannot always be grasped through the epistemology of biomedicine. The mental life of humans is discursive in nature.” A really great...
How Drug Company Money Is Undermining Science →
“…the pharmaceutical industry has come up with many ways to funnel large sums of money… into the pockets of independent medical researchers who are doing work that bears, directly or indirectly, on the drugs these firms are making and marketing.”
Am I pro- or anti-medication?
Given all the articles and info I’ve posted that are critical of medications and the psychiatric field, I’ve had a couple of people ask me if I’m anti-medication. The simple answer is “no.” Medications have a place in treatment, but only in the most serious or critical of cases. Especially with ADHD. I’ll attempt to articulate my extended feelings in my book,...
Attention Disorder or Not, Pills to Help in School →
Giving drugs to kids so they do better in school because it’s easier than the schools/teachers or the parents changing. I can’t believe this doctor admitted to behavior like this. Unfortunately it’s more common than not. “I don’t have a whole lot of choice,” said Dr. Anderson, a pediatrician for many poor families in Cherokee County, north of Atlanta. “We’ve decided as a society...
Dr. Freidman Criticizes the Overuse of the... →
Nice commentary on THIS recent article in the NY Times about the overuse of antipsychotics (including for ADHD). “The problem with the overuse of the antipsychotics, as almost everybody acknowledges, is that the medical literature on these medications is little more than an infomercial. For anyone who wants to have their eyes opened just read the Rothman Report, which lays out how the...
Big Pharma's Newest Money-Making Scheme: Adult... →
This has already been happening for the last 5-10 years… “the highly prevalent, yet largely untapped, adult ADHD population continues to represent an attractive niche to target.”
Will the APA Listen to the Voices of Those Harmed... →
I can easily see the good and the bad of the DSM. This is a good essay from someone who worked on one of the DSM committees. “My two years of trying to work with the DSM people taught me that psychiatric diagnosis is largely unscientific (I am a research methodology specialist) and that the process of creating the categories is often astonishingly arbitrary or intensely political. This...
The Drugs Don’t Work: a Modern Medical Scandal “Ben Goldacre reflects on having been mislead as a psychiatrist in his forthcoming book Bad Pharma, excerpted here in the U.K. newspaper The Guardian, and in his TED talk. He reviews the process of drug trials, finding them flawed by data that remains hidden in the interests of the drug companies.” (via Mad in America blog)
Ritalin should only be used in severe cases, says... →
“The Sheffield psychiatrist who drew up national guidelines [UK] on the use of Ritalin said the powerful drug should only be given to children with severe hyperactivity problems - and even then alongside other treatments.”
Beyond the Brain →
“In the 1990s, scientists declared that schizophrenia and other psychiatric illnesses were pure brain disorders that would eventually yield to drugs. Now they are recognizing that social factors are among the causes, and must be part of the cure.” “It’s not just about the brain. It’s not just about genes. In fact, schizophrenia looks more and more like diabetes. A messy array of...
The Executive Function theory of ADD →
An interview/conversation with ADD premier researcher Dr. Russell Barkley and his newish (been around for maybe 5-6 years) theory that ADD is really an ‘Executive Function’ disorder. Great stuff. “His new model has some very interesting implications for the assessment and management of executive function deficits as they exist in adults with ADHD. In this episode, host, Jeff...
The end of the psychopharmacological revolution →
The British Journal of Psychiatry calls for an “end” to the psychopharmacological revolution.
How Do We Stop the Next Aurora? We need a mental... →
“In sum, Holmes sent signals that he was on the edge—but once he left school, he was on his own. That is the fact at the center of this tragedy and others like it. James Holmes has far too much in common with Jared Loughner, who pleaded guilty this week to killing six people and wounding 13 more in the Arizona shooting that seriously injured Rep. Gabrielle Giffords. Loughner also dropped out...
Brain Disease or Existential Crisis? →
“…it’s likely that the best support we can offer [for psychosis] does not consist of trying to bring the individual’s experience back into alignment with consensus reality, but instead consists of helping them meet their needs from within the context of their own experiences.” While not directly related to ADD/ADHD I’ve read some interesting things about how, especially...
Consumer Reports Recommends Against Antipsychotics... →
“…the available evidence indicates that antipsychotics aren’t very effective at treating “resistant” depression and aren’t the best choice for this use for most people. …And it remains unclear whether antipsychotics are any better than a placebo at preventing a relapse or return of depression over the long-term. Antipsychotics can also cause serious side...
Psychiatry and The Pharmaceutical Industry →
madness-narrative: What the field lacks is sufficient basic knowledge about normal brain function and how its disturbance underlies the pathophysiology of psychiatric disease. Because of this, as the record now clearly shows, it remains too early to attempt rational drug design for psychiatric diseases as currently conceived. Today, few would argue that syndromes such as schizophrenia and...
The Rosenhan experiment →
Do you all know of the Rosenhan experiment from 1973? It was one of the major reasons, as a critique of psychiatry at the time, for the decision to do a third revision of the DSM. “The study concluded, “It is clear that we cannot distinguish the sane from the insane in psychiatric hospitals” and also illustrated the dangers of dehumanization and labeling in psychiatric...
New diet pills spur hope and warnings →
“At first glance, Dr. Angela Fitch admits, the numbers don’t seem too impressive. One pill was only 4 percent better than a placebo; the other, 7 to 9 percent better… The two new diet pills, which are expected to hit the market later this year or early next year, have traveled a rocky path to approval. Both were initially rejected by the FDA in 2010 because of safety concerns....
Reviving the Myth of Mental Illness →
“What do we mean when we say someone has a mental illness? If we are to take the phrase literally, we mean that someone’s mind is ill. But can a mind be ill with disease? To believe so, one must make two serious assumptions: one, that the mind is a tangible object with discrete boundaries, and two, that the health of that object can be measured.” I don’t agree with everything in...
Are Warnings About the Side Effects of Drugs... →
“One of the most interesting findings in the new report from Germany is about the underappreciated — and under-studied — role of nocebo effects in clinical trials. If you tell a group of trial volunteers that they’re testing a new drug that may relieve the pain of migraines, a significant number of volunteers will experience pain relief after taking the drug — even if they’ve been randomly...
It’s Not Just the Drugs; Misinformation Used to... →
“If people are going to understand themselves and work through emotional problems, it is essential that they get curious about their experiences and reflect on what might be triggering them. Sometimes such curiosity or reflection results in getting valuable messages from those experiences, or at other times, it involves identifying a mistake that triggered the emotional experience, which...
The history of attention deficit hyperactivity... →
A very thorough history of ADD/ADHD that I’m getting a lot of useful info from.
Shire readies Europe for first dose of amphetamine... →
“Shire has treated a generation of American children who can’t concentrate, using amphetamine-based stimulants. As recognition of the condition known as attention deficit disorder grows in Europe, it believes it can overcome skepticism about the treatment to sell it here too.”
…the presence of Scientology in the storytelling mix [of the history of...– Anatomy of an Epidemic, pg 282.
…a true antidepressant should be clearly superior to placebo, should offer...– Relabeling the Medications We Call Antidepressants
Although the risk isn’t well-quanitified, Canadian psychiatrists reported in...– from “Anatomy of an Epidemic” by Robert Whitaker. pgs 237-238.
Data and Statistics on ADHD from the US CDC →
The NY Times: When Stimulants Are Bad →
Stimulants: Therapeutic Actions in ADHD →
The Medication Generation Many young people today... →
is ADHD caused by insufficient dietary fat? →
official FDA info on Ritalin →