Friday, May 17, 2013
Wednesday, April 3, 2013
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’ article is rather weak). The basic idea is, yes, there is ADHD in France, but the approach to diagnosing it and treating it are much different than in the US.
WHY FRENCH KIDS DON’T HAVE ADHD.
“In France, the percentage of kids diagnosed and medicated for ADHD is less than .5%. How come the epidemic of ADHD—which has become firmly established in the United States—has almost completely passed over children in France? French child psychiatrists, on the other hand, view ADHD as a medical condition that has psycho-social and situational causes. Is ADHD a biological-neurological disorder? Surprisingly, the answer to this question depends on whether you live in France or in the United States. In the United States, child psychiatrists consider ADHD to be a biological disorder with biological causes.”
FRENCH KIDS DO HAVE ADHD.
“the concept of ADHD… as a serious disorder is still not fully accepted in France. However, ADHD impacts the functioning of 3.5% of the population of France (Lecendreux, et al. 2011). In addition, ADHD is just as prevalent in other countries as it is in the U.S. (Faraone, et al. 2003). For those children who are not able to receive excellent parenting and high structure, ADHD behaviors can be extremely impairing.”
Other countries definitely provide more structure for their children, compared to the US and more hyper-Westernized nations. But we also know, from past experience, rigid structure can come at a price. Is there a good balance, especially for ADHD kids who benefit from the right amount of structure?
Monday, March 25, 2013
“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.”
Thursday, March 14, 2013
“…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…”
Wednesday, February 27, 2013
“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 speaking out like this is they can’t do it without laying bare the side effects of the drugs which apply to ALL users.
“But they can cause a wide range of side effects including insomnia, aggression, mood and behavior changes, twitching, and shaking.”
Saturday, February 9, 2013
Friday, December 14, 2012
“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 Smoller, MD, ScD, of Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, and colleagues reported online in The Lancet.”
Friday, December 7, 2012
“ 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 publishing profits can fill the big hole in APA’s projected budget and return dividends on the exorbitant cost of 25 million dollars that has been charged to DSM 5 preparation. “
From Allen Frances, head of the DSM-IV Task Force.
Thursday, December 6, 2012
Some more recent, but still old, drug ads, including one of the original Prozac ads. Also a couple iconic ADD/Ritalin ads.
Tuesday, December 4, 2012
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 article in the British Journal of Psychiatry summing up what needs to change in Psychiatry as more and more people realize the value of ‘non-technical’ aspects to treatment and ‘disease’ conception (sort of the brain vs. mind concept).
(also a video of a lecture from one of the article’s authors, Dr. Pat Bracken, on the subject of psychiatric reform.)
Old Ritalin ads. ‘“Acceptable” behavior at any age’ says one. Another says, ‘You can bring patients “out of the corner.”’