Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

A Million Kids Misdiagnosed with ADHD?

CmdrTaco posted more than 4 years ago | from the i-wasn't-one-of-them dept.

Medicine 711

Jamie was one of several people who submitted links to a story proclaiming that as many as a million kids were misdiagnosed with ADHD simply for being the youngest and therefore least mature in their classes. Worse still, I wonder how many of those kids are permanently put on drugs.

cancel ×

711 comments

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

Sigh (4, Insightful)

cgpirre (1838252) | more than 4 years ago | (#33286682)

Just let kids be kids?

Re:Sigh (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33286702)

Where's the profit in that?

Re:Sigh (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33286722)

Well you get legal drugs for uni years, so where's the harm?

Re:Sigh (4, Insightful)

Xacid (560407) | more than 4 years ago | (#33286746)

Somewhat related:

In the wise words of Sage Francis "Making yourself feel ugly is a billion dollar a year industry". Same mentality pretty much, just replace "ugly" with "broken" and "billion" with "trillion".

Re:Sigh (2, Insightful)

al3k (1638719) | more than 4 years ago | (#33286726)

But then parents have to deal with them. Why let kids be kids when you can just have them pop a pill and turn into zombies? All the cool parents are doing it.

Re:Sigh (4, Informative)

Erik Hensema (12898) | more than 4 years ago | (#33286852)

According to my girlfriend (who's got ADHD), ritalin is a stimulant. It makes non-ADHD'ers hyperactive.

The reason is that in an ADHD brain, the 'control'-part isn't working hard enough, making you very impulsive. And if you act on every impulse, you're hyperactive. So, you have to stimulate the 'control'-part of the brain, keeping the impulses in check.

Somebody without ADHD has got the exact same impulses, but is just better in controlling them. Unless the brain is overstimulated by something like ritalin..

So, no, the kids aren't turned into zombies. On the contrary.

Re:Sigh (-1)

bluefoxlucid (723572) | more than 4 years ago | (#33286936)

It's a depressant. Methylphenedate binds to a neural receptor that draws in excess serotonin, depressing that part of the brain. This allows more serotonin to remain in flow in the brain, exciting other parts of the brain.

Re:Sigh (3, Informative)

N_Piper (940061) | more than 4 years ago | (#33287116)

It's a stimulant, re-uptake inhibition has never been classified as a depressant action.
Also Ritalin works on dopamine not serotonin.
You may be thinking of SSRI anti-depressant drugs like Prozac or Celexa, though those are not depressants either.

Re:Sigh (1)

sortius_nod (1080919) | more than 4 years ago | (#33287152)

Nope, it's a stimulant... it effects dopamine not serotonin. A quick search would have shown you this from at least 5 000 000 results to the contrary with your argument.

Re:Sigh (5, Informative)

al3k (1638719) | more than 4 years ago | (#33287076)

I have two younger siblings who are on ADHD medication. They are lively fun people to be around when they aren't on their medication (usually during the summers when they aren't at school because my parents believe the medication will magically bring about better grades). On the other hand, they are zombies and very different people when on the medication. It kills their appetite and they are much less outgoing, it is a very noticeable difference.

Re:Sigh (2, Funny)

Anne_Nonymous (313852) | more than 4 years ago | (#33286974)

>> Why let kids be kids when you can just have them pop a pill and turn into zombies?

There's also TV, or DVDs from Disney.

Re:Sigh (1)

M. Baranczak (726671) | more than 4 years ago | (#33287150)

Or Slashdot.

Re:Sigh (4, Insightful)

v1 (525388) | more than 4 years ago | (#33286728)

Just let kids be kids?

But they're not behaving like I want them to! Isn't there a drug for that?

Re:Sigh (2, Insightful)

gorfie (700458) | more than 4 years ago | (#33286734)

At least accept the fact that kids will often act like kids. The article is dead right in that some kids are more likely to misbehave than others due to a variety of factors including age, sex, life experience, and physical problems like ADHD.

Sigh again (5, Insightful)

edremy (36408) | more than 4 years ago | (#33286764)

How about just treating serious medical problems as serious medical problems and not trying to sweep them under the rug?

I have a severely ADHD child- he's not normal, he needs serious drugs to function in school, and he knows it. (He's extremely bright and is fully aware of what he's capable of when he's on them- you ever have to deal with child sobbing because he can't focus on simple tasks?) ADHD is one of the most misunderstood conditions out there- it is real, it can be severe, and we need to avoid knee-jerk "It's all made up" reactions

Re:Sigh again (1)

Thanshin (1188877) | more than 4 years ago | (#33286822)

I have two questions:

- What would happen to him if he didn't take the medication?

- When was the medication invented?

Re:Sigh again (4, Informative)

scdeimos (632778) | more than 4 years ago | (#33287040)

Methylphenidate (Ritalin) was first synthesised in 1944. It was identified as a stimulant in 1954, and has been used to treat children with ADHD or ADD, known at the time as hyperactivity or minimal brain dysfunction (MBD) since the 1960's.

Re:Sigh again (4, Interesting)

DrLang21 (900992) | more than 4 years ago | (#33287054)

I can guarantee you this. I would not be an engineer today if I did not have stimulants when I was a kid in elementary school on through high school. By college I needed it less as I started to grow out of it. The fact is that kids with ADD could do fine without it. However, our schools are run in a manner that is not conducive to teaching people with ADD. So parents have to choose between having a depressed delinquent child who likely will never have the chance to even try to reach their full potential, or drugs.

Re:Sigh again (2, Interesting)

Sarten-X (1102295) | more than 4 years ago | (#33287078)

- Ideas run through his mind unrelated to the task at hand, serving only to confuse and frustrate.

- Shortly before a group of kids went from being pissed off and distracted to being happier and focused.

Based on my own experience.

Re:Sigh again (5, Insightful)

andymadigan (792996) | more than 4 years ago | (#33286868)

Saying that it's over-diagnosed is not the saem as saying it doesn't exist. Psychology, especially child psychology is hardly perfect. Plus, we can observe the phenomenon of parents letting the TV raise their kids, is it so unbelievable that some of those same parents would prefer to drug a perfectly normal (if perhaps immature) kid just to make their lives easier?

Re:Sigh again (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33286870)

I don't think anyone (at least anyone with any experience or sense) is saying that ADHD is a made up condition. It is quite real, but I agree that it is over-diagnosed and often a "diagnosis" of ADHD is used to deal with poor behaviour. From what you have said, your child clearly needs medical treatment and is responding well to such treatment. The study cited in the original article should (if taken seriously) help correct this situation by raising awareness of the trends in misdiagnosis. Unfortunately, I doubt it will help because there is no profit in it.

Re:Sigh again (2, Interesting)

BStroms (1875462) | more than 4 years ago | (#33286894)

There's a difference between being all made up and being over diagnosed. I believe there are children for whom medicine is more or less a necessity to function normally in society. But there's little doubt in my mind that many children are being medicated who simply need a little discipline. Medicine should be the last resort, not the first thing to try.

Some people even take medication to the extreme and seem to be of the opinion that all children should behave in almost exactly the same manner and any deviation should result in drugging them until they fit the mold. Having a variety of personalities should be considered a positive rather than a negative. Diversity should not be feared in behavior any more than in physical appearance.

Re:Sigh again (4, Insightful)

CraftyJack (1031736) | more than 4 years ago | (#33286904)

ADHD is one of the most misunderstood conditions out there- it is real, it can be severe, and we need to avoid knee-jerk "It's all made up" reactions

Easy, chief. Given a million misdiagnoses, it sounds like it's a highly misunderstood condition - and that's the point. Doctors and parents are so unfamiliar with what real ADHD looks like that they've slapped the wrong tag on it a million times. Reminds me of a quote:

"I once thought I had mono for an entire year. It turned out I was just really bored."

Re:Sigh again (2, Insightful)

Foobar of Borg (690622) | more than 4 years ago | (#33286920)

I'm sorry about your child, but it is not an either-or situation. ADHD does exist. It is not something that is made up. *However*, it is vastly over-diagnosed. If I had been born 10-20 years later than I was, *I* would have been diagnosed as having ADHD even though there is nothing wrong with me. One tragedy is that other problems, such as depression, are misdiagnosed as ADHD since it is such a hot topic. There are so many problems that are not properly dealt with because of politics, "hot topics", and whatever other nonsense is masquerading as "truth" today.

Yes, your child may have ADHD, but don't overlook the possibility that there is something else going on.

Many times it's to make the adult's life easier. (1)

AnonymousClown (1788472) | more than 4 years ago | (#33286976)

That sucks. And you have a child with the disorder.

But what about all the other children who are diagnosed? Isn't it strange that the diagnosis has increased dramatically in the last few years? And with children sucking down 20oz Cokes (Sugar AND Caffeine) with little exercise, it's no wonder many of them are bouncing off the walls. And when you have arm chair doctors making the diagnosis putting pressure on MDs for a pill - especially if they're being threatened to have their kids expelled ...

I can tell you from personal experience that the diagnosis isn't exact - it's very subjective. One doc (MD) will tell you one thing, a PhD will say another. Mental health issues are a real pain in the ass to get nailed down. We also live in a culture that wants quick fixes - i.e. gimme a pill to make it better.

Here's something a relative who was diagnosed ADHD by two different docs wanted for his son who was also diagnosed: no medication even though he was getting a lot of pressure to put him on something (it wasn't Ritalin which surprised me).Granted, the kid wasn't a severe case - so, forgive me if your child has a severe case of ADHD

Here's why.

He learned to deal with it because he never knew he had it - he was in his mid-forties and got through school (BS Chem E. GA Tech) before educators thought every little boy had it. He wanted his son to learn to do the same thing.Being ADHD was part of who he was.

He was diagnosed when he boy was. It's a long story.

So many children, other than your son, are probably missed diagnosed, need to lay off the Cokes, and probably have other issues but are diagnosed with ADHD to make the adult's lives easier.

Re:Many times it's to make the adult's life easier (1)

DrLang21 (900992) | more than 4 years ago | (#33287120)

Funny thing is that caffeine should do the opposite of making a kid with ADHD bounce off the walls. Not a bad litmus test.

Re:Sigh again (1)

Midnight's Shadow (1517137) | more than 4 years ago | (#33287022)

I don't think I've ever heard anyone say that ADHD didn't exist only that it is severely over diagnosed. Growing up I had to deal with many people that were diagnosed with ADD and ADHD. Most of them didn't require medication only a lot more physical activity and discipline then they had. Children are naturally active creatures and very few of them have the same attention span of adults which makes me believe that if they out grow it then they probably never needed to be medicated. From personal experience, my brother and I both had trouble in school because we were both bored out of our minds. My brother acted out physically and got diagnosed with ADD. I did my own thing without disrupting the class and wasn't diagnosed.

Your son is probably one of the few children that may actually have ADHD but I don't know for sure because I've never interacted with him. Just because your son was properly diagnosed doesn't mean that all the other children are.

Re:Sigh again (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33287070)

Just as all fat people claim to have water retention rather than years and years of over eating and zero exercise, almost all parents of non-zombie kids claim their kid has ADHD. Those with real cases will clearly be lumped into the same pot as the fakers. I wonder how many so-called hyperactive kids are on healthy diets that avoid junk additives and sugar overloaded processed food and drinks. Is yours, or do you just drug him?

Re:Sigh again (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33287094)

As someone with ADD (not hyperactive,) I will be the first to admit that ADD/ADHD are overdiagnosed, but nothing pisses me off worse than self-proclaimed experts who declare it all to be a lie. It is a legitimate condition, and it is good when parents recognize it.

No, that's not allowed anymore. (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33286814)

My fiance's son was recently accused of having ADHD by the social-workers masquerading as "teachers" at his school. See, unlike his older siblings, he doesn't LIKE school. It's not fun to him. He'd rather be outside running around, or shootin' zombies on the PS3, or just hanging out with Mom.

However, in today's Brave New World of elementary school, being "unhappy" is NOT ALLOWED and is a symptom of ADHD and depression. The "teachers" (and I will put quotes around the name because they were nothing more than armchair social workers) were hell-bent on getting him on ADHD. Not a single one of them was a medical doctor. But, they had all their ministry of education created "information sheets" that gave them a nice formula for identifying potential ADHD cases in the classes. And like the dutiful little Nazis they were, they religiously hunted down every kid that just wasn't happy enough for "further evaluation."

Fortunately, our family doctor did not agree. He put a stop to this nonsense. Maybe he's one of the few, but our doctor said "Maybe he just doesn't like going to school?" Someone give that man a candy apple for stating the bloody obvious.

Like it or not, ADHD is an industry. A LOT of money is being made off the over-prescription of Ritalin. Children are being unfairly "accused" of ADHD simply because they don't fit some happy shiny ideal that no child should ever be if they are truly healthy.

I HATED school when I was a kid. The popular vernacular for elementary school in my day was "jail." I guess nowadays I would have been dragged off and drugged up for daring to crack a frown at the teacher.

Re:No, that's not allowed anymore. (1)

DarkKnightRadick (268025) | more than 4 years ago | (#33286850)

preach it AC, preach it.

I had the same issue. Teachers wanted me on ADHD meds because I was bored in school and wasn't challenged enough. My parents refused, though.

Re:No, that's not allowed anymore. (3, Insightful)

Foobar of Borg (690622) | more than 4 years ago | (#33286982)

The "teachers" (and I will put quotes around the name because they were nothing more than armchair social workers) were hell-bent on getting him on ADHD. Not a single one of them was a medical doctor.

This is one of the things that really pisses me off. Why can't we sue them for practicing medicine without a license? They aren't doctors, but they are attempting to force medical prescriptions on children based on their limited knowledge.

Oh, I forgot: "Think of the children"

Re:No, that's not allowed anymore. (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33287122)

Ok this is getting a bit off topic about ADHD, but the teachers...well let me tell you. They dragged my fiance in for "face to face meetings" over this non-issue several times. After a while, they simply stopped listening to her, the parent of this child. It didn't matter to them that she works really damn hard with her kid to convince him he should be taking school more seriously, or working with him nightly on his homework assignments. It didn't matter to them at all that she had some better ideas on how to get him to take school more seriously on the teacher's side of the blackboard. All they cared about was getting him diagnosed and drugged, and Mom's opinion did NOT matter. They were so sure the doctor was just going to wrtie up a scrip for Ritalin (which, he did not). They had official letters written up for the doctor and everything. Fortunately he just said "WTF..I have patients who really have this disease. Yours does not. These teachers are fools."

I'm not here to say ADHD does not exist. I am here to say that if a million were wrongfully "diagnosed," the problem isn't just the doctors writing the prescriptions. The school systems are guilty as hell, and as someone else said, borderline practicing medicine without a damn license.

Re:No, that's not allowed anymore. (0, Offtopic)

bluefoxlucid (723572) | more than 4 years ago | (#33287066)

The "teachers" (and I will put quotes around the name because they were nothing more than armchair social workers) were hell-bent on getting him on ADHD.

Children are being unfairly "accused" of ADHD simply because they don't fit some happy shiny ideal that no child should ever be if they are truly healthy.

I sent an Internet this morning and it took two days to arrive!

Re:Sigh (4, Interesting)

dtml-try MyNick (453562) | more than 4 years ago | (#33286840)

Sometimes a tough call.

I'm 35 now and got diagnosed with adhd 2 years ago.
I've been through some counseling and training via a "adhd for adults" program and started taking meds.

Man, has my life changed! For the better that is.....
Suddenly the things I do (or don't do) make a lot more sense. I've started learning and understanding my own behavior a lot better. The medication (Concerta supplemented with Ritalin) make me feel and act a lot more "normal" (whatever that is). I can now actually watch a complete movie without getting distracted and bored within 10 minutes. I can focus on my work and jobs a lot better, get things done a whole lot more..

So, for me getting that diagnose now in this stage of my life is almost a revelation...

But!
When I think of my childhood, I wouldn't have wanted that.

Yes, I was a annoying little son of a....Got bored very fast, always busy, with, well.. being busy.
I'm sure a lot of teachers would have executed me on the spot if they had the chance to do so. Later on I became a true wildchild. Sex, drugs and rock'n'roll? Hah, that's what pussies do so to speak..

But I enjoyed every moment of it, wouldn't have wanted to miss that for a second.
Of course, I would never have known if I'd had started taking meds at a much younger age. But still... Looking back, I don't regret it.

I was just a kid, being a kid, though on natural steroids..
I'm glad they let me be.

Re:Sigh (1)

ByOhTek (1181381) | more than 4 years ago | (#33286966)

Why? TheydidthattomeandnowIhavethiswonderfullstuffcalledritalin! andIenjoyitalotohlookapony!

SHOCKING! (4, Insightful)

Xacid (560407) | more than 4 years ago | (#33286714)

Can't really say I'm all that surprised. The more responsible/seasoned parents out there pretty much called b.s. on this long ago and actually discipline their kids instead of medicating them.

I presume most of these diagnoses are based on kids simply being kids. They're packed with energy and ready for playtime at a moment's notice. The early years of schooling is/was geared towards training them to control that behavoir. What the heck happened? What's next? Treating restless leg syndrome?*

*Disclaimer: I know no one with this personally, nor do I know if this really, truly is a severe medical condition. I use a pillow between my legs at night if their existence is bothering me.

Re:SHOCKING! (1)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 4 years ago | (#33286890)

When I was a kid there wasn't any ADHD! Well, I'm sure there was, and I suspect that I had it too, but nobody knew about ADD.

The more responsible/seasoned parents out there pretty much called b.s. on this long ago and actually discipline their kids instead of medicating them.

Read this comment [slashdot.org] . There are kids who really need the drugs, but like TFA says, more kids are getting them than need them.

What's next? Treating restless leg syndrome? I use a pillow between my legs at night

It's sad what Nancy Reagan and her "just say no to drugs" has done to you and millions like you. There's nothing wrong with drugs provided the drug helps. Would you eschew a crutch if you had a broken leg? A sling if you had a broken arm? Aspirin for a headache? If a drug will make your life better, take the damned drug!

Re:SHOCKING! (1)

Grizzley9 (1407005) | more than 4 years ago | (#33287086)

There's nothing wrong with drugs provided the drug helps. Would you eschew a crutch if you had a broken leg? A sling if you had a broken arm? Aspirin for a headache? If a drug will make your life better, take the damned drug!

I believe this is where most differ in that you are treating the symptom not the cause. Why take a drug/sling/crutch/aspirin if you could avoid those related symptoms in the first place. I don't doubt some kids need it but what makes many skeptical of its widespread use is the fact they see the parenting of those kids as leading to the symptoms, not the kids themselves.

Re:SHOCKING! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33287136)

Wow. So now someone who doesn't like prescription medications for things that can be treated without them is someone who was affected by the "just say no" campaign?

That ad campaign was a load of crap, yet the strongest medicine I take is an occasional aspirin or benedryl. Why? I'm one of those people who more often than not ends up being even more miserable from side effects.

But no, I must be one of those millions who were brainwashed by the war on drugs crowd.

Re:SHOCKING! (1)

PolygamousRanchKid (1290638) | more than 4 years ago | (#33286934)

. The more responsible/seasoned parents out there pretty much called b.s. on this long ago and actually discipline their kids instead of medicating them.

Well I kinda sorta agree with you. Medicating has no sense, and disciplining them neither. How about teaching them some "values", and more importantly, try to help them to get them to think about their own "values" for themselves?

If your kid is a delinquent, I've got news for you . . . you will not always be around to help. The child must learn to be sociable on his or her own.

Re:SHOCKING! (1)

Xacid (560407) | more than 4 years ago | (#33287072)

Well let's not confuse discipline with "beating" either. The main objective there is to simply assert your authority. If the roles slip and then swap then you end up with a Jerry Springer episode.

But I do agree - ultimately values are the key item. Self reliance and self respect are major components. Many of the 18-25 "kids" these days don't even know how to operate in the real world or make their own decisions - that in itself scares me.

Or maybe I'm getting old and just prefer to view the past through my rose colored glasses. :)

Re:SHOCKING! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33286962)

Restless leg syndrome is a disease where the patient is constantly moving their legs at night. This is because the legs themselves are getting little to no blood and the leg tissue is literally dying. Your brain causes them to move in an attempt to circulate blood and prevent the tissue from dying.

RLS is usually just a symptom of a bigger problem and the medication people are given to treat it (sedatives) only exacerbates the problem. Typical causes are obesity and sedentary lifestyles (although valid, circulation-affecting diseases can cause it too).

Re:SHOCKING! (1)

Xacid (560407) | more than 4 years ago | (#33287018)

Thanks for the information! I'll eat my humble pie now. :)

Except it never was (2, Informative)

Moraelin (679338) | more than 4 years ago | (#33286978)

Actually, in ye olde days, parents used to just sedate them. Just read some ads from the late 19'th century or early 20'th century. They were selling some unholy mixtures of opium, morphine, heroin, chloroform, and in some cases alcohol as a way to keep your kids out of the way. And you didn't even need a prescription for that either.

And in the poorer countries they just used poppy tea, pretty much for the opium again.

Honestly, it's not something new. Don't let nostalgia paint a false image for you, there actually never was an age where parents and school just dealt with it responsibly. If there even was some wonder drug that let one turn off the kids -- either as in "asleep" or as in "drooling unfocused in a corner" -- there always were a bunch of parents who wanted that.

No, I'm not saying it's a _good_ thing. Just that it's not a new one.

Re:Except it never was (1)

Xacid (560407) | more than 4 years ago | (#33287144)

But on the same token you had the same mixtures being abused by adults as well.

As for there "never [being] an age where parents and school just dealt with it responsibly" - well, I'll have to disagree. And heck, maybe my experience isn't the norm. To be fair my teacher did suggest to my parents that I be medicated and I fit into the category this study covers ("youngest brat in the class"); however, my parents pretty much said "are you off your rocker?". I loved talking and socializing. They got rid of that idea pretty quickly through vigorous detentions/demerits/detentions/etc and now I'm shy and socially awkward sometimes...funny how that works. :p

Re:SHOCKING! (1)

rolfwind (528248) | more than 4 years ago | (#33286996)

This was a while back, but I remember recess in my first week of middleschool - 5th grade. A bunch of us wanted to play tag or something, but a teacher/supervisor stopped us and told us we weren't to run anymore, we're too old for that game. The rest of middleschool recess was like that, the one consistent time of day to get out our frustrations we were reduced to walking like any other intermission between class periods. Strange rule though, because we had Gym, and dodgeball is just a form of tag with a ball and slightly different rule (tag, you're out! instead of tag, you're it!)...

Re:SHOCKING! (2, Interesting)

RogueyWon (735973) | more than 4 years ago | (#33287102)

I suspect this actually has a lot to do with other kinds of parents. Yes, some of them being the stereotypical "bad" parent, but also including plenty of "pushy" middle-class parents.

I think a lot of parents have problems with the idea that their kids might not actually be as bright or as successful as they themselves have been. Broadly speaking, we tend to be optimists when it comes to our children and to assume that they'll exceed our own achievements. Of course, this doesn't always happen. I'm sure we all know of cases of intelligent, successful parents with at least one child who is either stupid or so badly behaved that he or she is incapable of learning properly.

So when such a child (particularly an only-child, from my experience) starts to fall behind at school, the parents start to cast around for a reason that doesn't involve the kid not being particularly clever. A medical diagnosis is one of the best ways to achieve this, at least in terms of having some way of explaining to friends why little Johnny just came home with D grades again. ADHD is certainly one of the most common, though dyslexia gives it a good run for its money. That isn't to say that neither condition is real (because both are), but it is to say that both conditions are rarer than records indicate.

I remember when I was doing my undergraduate studies, I spent the holidays doing tech-support and admin work in a local doctors' surgery (boring, but fairly well paid as student jobs go). You may have heard of the abbreviations that used to appear on doctors' notes in the UK in the days before the data protection act; abbreviations that conveyed the kind of message that was useful to a doctor meeting the patient for the first time, but too unflattering to state outright. These were real enough and there was one of these that was used to convey "this kid is basically a bit dim, but I've made up some fictitious syndrome to satisfy the parents". I can't for the life of me remember what the abbreviation was - I want to say NSS (non-specific stupidity), but I suspect that's my memory being coloured by this book [amazon.co.uk] . Obviously, this was back in the days when most of the population had never used the internet; you wouldn't get away with it these days due to the proliferation of behavioural disorder related websites.

Sad to say it (2, Insightful)

Pojut (1027544) | more than 4 years ago | (#33286736)

but the process of diagnosing ADHD would condemn just about every kid who took the test. "Doctor, doctor! My child runs around uncontrollably, can't keep his attention on one thing at a time, and doesn't like school...oh Doctor, what do I do?" "ADHD, MUTHA FUCKA!"

"Ghandi has ADD! Ghandi has ADD! You get it from toilet seats! Use a protective sheet!" Oh man, I miss Clone High...

Re:Sad to say it (1)

Superchip (1874486) | more than 4 years ago | (#33286766)

Flap, flap, flapping my albatrosssssssss wiiiiiiiiiiiiiings

Re:Sad to say it (1)

crawdaddy (344241) | more than 4 years ago | (#33287036)

Have you ever actually undergone an actual ADHD test & not simply a psychological evaluation? It's a battery of tests that incorporates psych evals, IQ tests, memory tests, and attention-measurement tests. I'm not sure what test you're referring to, but regardless, you're trolling. This is a very real condition and without educating yourself about the disorder, it's incredibly difficult to overcome. And purely medicating ADHD is nearly unheard of as an actual solution to the issue (note: this is not to say that it doesn't happen, but that it isn't a solution & the doctors/parents doing this are acting irresponsibly). Medication should be paired with coaching & therapy. I could go on, but really, all I wanted to do was ask that you stop your ignorant trolling.

Pseudoscience in 3, 2, 1... (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33286750)

*** First things first: I don't doubt that a great many children have been misdiagnosed with ADHD or that the U.S. is a non-thinking, pill-popping kind of place. ***

HOWEVA, I'm still bracing myself for the Slashdot pseudoscientists who will come a-rushin' out of the woodwork this morning. They'll immediately throw the baby out with the bathwater and trash EVERYTHING related to psychiatry. They'll insist that nearly all psychiatric diagnoses are horse dung and that The Man (or whoever) just wants a drugged-up, compliant populace.

Aside: What is it about certain I.T. types? Dubious brilliance in one tiny area of the (I.T.) world leads them to believe that they'd be logical experts in wholly different fields.

Re:Pseudoscience in 3, 2, 1... (1)

gorfie (700458) | more than 4 years ago | (#33286776)

Aside: What is it about certain I.T. types? Dubious brilliance in one tiny area of the (I.T.) world leads them to believe that they'd be logical experts in wholly different fields.

Logic can be applied to any field. And IT folks are typically very logical. If we didn't work with computers, we would probably be mechanics, doctors, or lawyers.

Re:Pseudoscience in 3, 2, 1... (1)

delt0r (999393) | more than 4 years ago | (#33287134)

You need to be logical to be a good mechanic. Don't know why you assume IT is the logic department. I have had more than my fare share of problems from quite stupid and illogical IT department polices--and yes the guy in charge was an IT guy not a management guy.

Re:Pseudoscience in 3, 2, 1... (1)

DarkKnightRadick (268025) | more than 4 years ago | (#33286940)

Psychiatry is mostly junk science. It's based on unprovable theories of how the brain works, half-known ideas of what chemicals the brain produces and how they make us feel, and generalizations made about groups that rarely hold true when applied to individuals.

Re:Pseudoscience in 3, 2, 1... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33287142)

This simply needs a bad car analogy. A car mechanic wouldn't look at the exhaust output of a car without knowing how much gas was being given. Most of the good ones are against putting crap into the gas tank to correct the exhuast output to some precieved normal state. Also they look under the hood and understand how things work together. They also realize that hard drivers are going to have more problems then little old ladies.

Re:Pseudoscience in 3, 2, 1... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33287056)

it's not about anything you mentioned.

it's about the magnitude of the problem.

the fact that we're even discussing this on slashdot shows how overblown this particularly rare problem is.

let's pretend there's a closed loop population that contains 1000 children.

10 have some kind of authentic related attention disorder.

undisturbed, 7 of 10 would have adapted as if by magic, and turned out fine.

3 of the 10 became criminals, hung themselves or somehow went over the cliff.

boo hoooooo. "think of the children"

in response to "think of the children", scenario 2 involves aggressive "detection" and labeling

let's pretend there's a closed loop population that contains 1000 children.

10 have some kind of authentic related attention disorder.

societal intervention occurs.

200 have been diagnosed as "positively" having it.

100 more are suspect.

50 are under heavy medication.

100 more are under "average" medication.

250 grow up thinking that they were somehow fundamentally flawed human beings, and everyone else is normal.

25 had serious diseases that were missed due to the false diagnosis of an attention disorder.

150 had serious resources misapplied that could have been spent productively.

Millions of man hours of wasted time on forums scattered about the net occur.

and some blowhard makes it known to the world that we're not doctors.

fuff..

Special case (4, Interesting)

zero.kalvin (1231372) | more than 4 years ago | (#33286754)

I maybe a special case. But I was diagnosed as a kid with ADHD. However I refused to take the medicine all of my life(I still have ADHD). But not being medicated didn't affect me. I always had top grades, and now enjoying finishing my PhD.d In physics. Anyway I am not advocating abstaining medication. But my point is, that drugging the kids is not always the solution.

Re:Special case (1)

Pojut (1027544) | more than 4 years ago | (#33286772)

But my point is, that drugging the kids is not always the solution.

Drugging kids is NEVER the solution. The proper solution is to find a creative and/or productive output for their energy.

Re:Special case (1)

zero.kalvin (1231372) | more than 4 years ago | (#33286826)

Actually that was exactly what I had in mind when I wrote my reply. I was fascinated by math and physics. So my parents supported me in my decision of not taking the medication and tried to keep me interested in science as much as they could. And it worked! Even now as a complete adult, the only thing i can put my mind on for more then 5 minutes is math and physics. With good orientation and supporting people around, you can almost eliminate the need for medication is these cases. (However I do not support a total elimination of the medication, sometimes a proper use is in order)

Re:Special case (1)

Zeek40 (1017978) | more than 4 years ago | (#33286924)

No, drugging kids _is_ the solution, so long as they actually have the disorder. My brother has had pretty severe ADHD his whole life. He's never liked taking Adderol (I think I'm misspelling that), but since high school he's recognized that he simply can't focus on school work without it, so now he only takes it when he has class or needs to study.

Re:Special case (1)

DarkKnightRadick (268025) | more than 4 years ago | (#33286956)

agreed. There used to be a taboo against diagnosing kids under the age of 18 because so much of being a kid could be attributed to any number of DSM-IV illnesses (such as ADHD/ADD and bi-polar disorder, to name a few).

Re:Special case (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33286882)

That may be, but maybe you missing something.

Re:Special case (1)

dsfox (2694) | more than 4 years ago | (#33286944)

What people don't seem to understand is that this medication is basically just a strong cup of coffee with a time release coating. How many of you have philosophical objections to that? There must be a lot of Mormons on this board.

Re:Special case (1)

dcollins (135727) | more than 4 years ago | (#33287096)

I abstain from that. Nonreligious.

Re:Special case (1)

RsG (809189) | more than 4 years ago | (#33286918)

Actually, contrary to the public image, drugs are not always suggested as a treatment.

There's this view, popular among people who dislike psychiatry, that at the first hint of anything ADHD related, out comes the prescription pad for Ritalin (or whatever's fashionable these days). Moreover, there's a notion that ADHD is diagnosed based on perfectly normal childhood traits.

There's a grain of truth to both beliefs. Some doctors (lousy ones) over-medicate. Some ADHD diagnoses are false positives. Some parents call their brats misbehaviour "ADD" as an excuse, often with no formal diagnosis and no genuine symptoms.

TFA suggests there's a lot more misdiagnoses than previously thought. But not all diagnoses of ADHD are wrong, nor is medication needed in all instances. There are plenty of people who do just fine with ADHD, sans medication, and plenty of doctors/parents/educators/whatever with enough sense to realize this. And by "do fine with ADHD" I don't mean do fine with a misdiagnosed version, I mean actual, genuine ADHD.

Not all of the traits it imparts are inherently detrimental. Some are mixed. Hyperfocusing (a common symptom) can be a problem in the wrong context, but an asset elsewhere. Most of the negative traits can be overcome with practice. It's really only the severe cases that actually need meds, and then often only during childhood.

(Yes, I have ADHD, and yes, it's a correct diagnosis in my case. It was also caught late. Never medicated, never needed to, and only one professional has seriously suggested I should consider doing so.)

Re:Special case (0, Troll)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 4 years ago | (#33287060)

I advocate abstaining from the medication, at least anything they'll prescribe you. Once one reaches an age of self-medication there's an herbal drug that is highly effective for ADD, ADHD, SAD, PTSD, and a whole range of other acronymized disorders. Until then it would be stupid of me to make a recommendation.

Anyone else notice that the Ritalin epidemic followed the Methamphetamine epidemic, which followed the USA's use of amphetamines in WWII?

ADHD is real (3, Informative)

dsfox (2694) | more than 4 years ago | (#33286774)

Its really easy to figure out if your kid was misdiagnosed. People without ADHD who take the medication (e.g. Concerta) have a very different reaction than, say, my kid who barely notices it but is able to concentrate in class.

Re:ADHD is real (4, Informative)

lisaparratt (752068) | more than 4 years ago | (#33286800)

Absolutely. If you give dopaminergic stimulants to someone who's neurotypical, you'll watch them bounce off the ceiling. If they've got ADHD, they'll likely get calm and productive, up to a point, after which, from my observation, they start getting sleepy.

Re:ADHD is real (1)

JohnFluxx (413620) | more than 4 years ago | (#33286808)

Indeed. ADHD is real, and it's a shame to see such a strong backlash in here.

There are misdiagnosed cases, and there are people who are diagnosed when they are not ADHD.

But there are also kids who have a severe problem, and then never get treatment due to the whole social stigma surrounding the issue.

Re:ADHD is real (1)

dsfox (2694) | more than 4 years ago | (#33286838)

Not to mention missing the opportunity to do things which require concentration, like math.

Re:ADHD is real (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33286998)

Indeed. ADHD is real, and it's a shame to see such a strong backlash in here.

I don't doubt that the condition exists. Just seems that riddling a child with speed is just as likely to ruin their life as ADHD is.

Is it just me? (5, Insightful)

rotide (1015173) | more than 4 years ago | (#33286786)

When I was a kid, I was always outside running around with friends. Playing by the local pond catching tadpoles, frogs, fish, etc. Playing in the fields catching snakes and bugs while eating raspberries and strawberries. Playing in the woods and streams making dams. Riding our bikes _everywhere_. In the winter we were always outside sledding and having snowball fights. etc. etc. etc.

Why are we expecting kids to sit in one spot for hours on end staring at a teacher/board and expecting them to stay calm and fully attentive? I know school is necessary but that's 7 hours of basically sitting there and then the kids come home and are basically expected to just sit there and do homework and then just sit there and eat dinner. Are we just setting ourselves up for failure? I mean, are we just asking kids to _not_ be kids and then drugging them up to make them comply?

I'm only 30, and frankly I knew of _no_ kids with ADD, let alone ADHD. There were merely kids that liked to sit and read or play quietly and then there were the kids who wanted to play football all the time or otherwise be active.

Seriously, what happened to kids expending their energy? Why do parents/administration expect kids to be these calm and attentive beings who just sit there and want to be talked to all day?

Maybe there are some children who have an imbalance somewhere. It happens. But overall, when a kid wants to run around and play, guess what, they are KIDS! It's part of being a kid. Throwing drugs down their throat to turn them into the kid that is more convenient and calm isn't the answer unless there is a _real_ (read: rare) issue.

Re:Is it just me? (4, Informative)

lisaparratt (752068) | more than 4 years ago | (#33286820)

"Throwing drugs down their throat to turn them into the kid that is more convenient and calm"

If the kid doesn't have ADHD, the drugs will likely do the exact opposite.

Re:Is it just me? (1)

Rogerborg (306625) | more than 4 years ago | (#33287112)

Throwing drugs down their throat to turn them into the kid that is more convenient and calm

If the kid doesn't have ADHD, the drugs will likely do the exact opposite

So, OK, let's try a higher dosage, Mrs Burbmom. Just swipe your credit card here.

Say, you look a little stressed. Have you considered the many benefits of Xanax® Brand Alprazolam, as extolled in this compelling leaflet? No, keep it, I've got 2,000 more. As your Health Professional, I'd be delighted to give you a completely free sample of Xanax® Brand Alprazolam right now, and provide a subscription - sorry, prescription - for as much Xanax® Brand Alprazolam as you'd like. Why not buy some extra for your maid and dog walker. No? Can I interest you in some Viagra® Brand Sildenafil Citrate for your husband? Well, how about for your pool boy?

Re:Is it just me? (2, Interesting)

Sarten-X (1102295) | more than 4 years ago | (#33286910)

The problem isn't really the extra energy. It's the distractions that affect the ability to focus. Having ADHD is, for me, like having six alarm clocks, each going off at random intervals of no more than five minutes. The medications are like earmuffs. I can ignore the distracting ideas, and focus on my work. Unfortunately, the medications also dull any "good" distractions for me, so I've trained myself over 7 years to not take them and still be focused.

Now I live with the distractions, and try not to annoy my coworkers too much with my occasional random ideas. I still move around much more than my coworkers and keep a messier desk, but at least I can work on my own.

Re:Is it just me? (1)

DarkKnightRadick (268025) | more than 4 years ago | (#33286992)

preach it rotide. (:

Fatty acids vs ADD/ADHD (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33286812)

My sister works in medical science and was involved in a study at Flinders University (South Australia) regarding ADD/ADHD kids.

I first found out about it after she caught me with some Dexampheatime (for recreation)

I'm not 100% on the details as its not my field, but the basic gist of it was that they got 2 groups of ADD/ADHD kids and took them off their meds (usually Dexamphetamine or Ritalin). Removed all junk food from their diet and made them eat healthily (both test and control group)

then in the test group they gave them Omega 3 fish oils and Evening primrose oil capsules.

the summary was that the bad fatty acids that reside in the grey matter (between the brain halves) interfere with attention and focus.
As they stopped the junk food both groups got better, but the test group who were replacing the bad fatty acids with good fatty acids (the Omega 3 fish oils and Evening primrose oil) improved more than the control group.

Being a pain in the ass isn't an illness (1)

stevegee58 (1179505) | more than 4 years ago | (#33286832)

But teachers with troublesome kids are overly anxious to "diagnose" them to get them on drugs to shut them up.

ADHD isn't even a real illness; it's simply a conglomeration of behavioral patterns.

My stepson.... (4, Interesting)

The Diver (310313) | more than 4 years ago | (#33286842)

My stepson has been tested twice for ADHD and both times they came out negative. The tests were recommended by his 1st and 3rd grade teachers (he is going into 7th now). He is one of the youngest kids in his class. However, he is in the gifted and talented program, has a high IQ and is currently reading books about the String Theory. We seek out teachers that can handle a child that is, probably, overall, smarter than they are. If we encounter a teacher who asks him to be tested, we show them the original 2 results. Then they can either suck it up or ask to have him moved to another class.

Alan

Well, that's still lower (2, Insightful)

BrianRoach (614397) | more than 4 years ago | (#33286856)

That's significantly lower than the 100% misdiagnose rate I was thinking of ...

There's no profit to the pharma companies in kids just being kids. When was it that we decided a significant percentage of all children suddenly had a mental disorder?

It took them 15 minutes to diagnose me (2, Informative)

Haedrian (1676506) | more than 4 years ago | (#33286858)

In 15 minutes they diagnosed me with ADHD and got me a prescription for the drugs (which I don't take) - while I was 20 years old.

If all the diagnosises are made that quickly then I'd be pretty worried about it.

Re:It took them 15 minutes to diagnose me (1)

Sarten-X (1102295) | more than 4 years ago | (#33286964)

That's probably because you were 20, and should be capable of recognizing your own thought patterns. When I was diagnosed, it was over a two-week process, with about 8 hours of doctor contact.

School is the problem (2, Informative)

spiffmastercow (1001386) | more than 4 years ago | (#33286874)

Most of the teachers I had when I was in school neglected lesson planning, and instead assigned pointless busy work like writing vocab words 20 times each or doing 50 math problems where 10 would do. School really only needs to be about 4 hours long. Any longer than that and the kids lose focus, and the teachers run out of stuff to teach.

Re:School is the problem (1)

xaxa (988988) | more than 4 years ago | (#33287064)

School for under 11s here is roughly 9:00-12:00 (with a 20 minute break), an hour for lunch, then 13:00-15:15 (with a 30 minute break). That's about 4¼ hours in class, and that should be varied (some sitting down and listening, reading, or writing, but also less "academic" stuff -- painting, acting, etc).

Re:School is the problem (1)

xaxa (988988) | more than 4 years ago | (#33287106)

From here [newham.sch.uk] , "Hours spent on teaching excluding registration and playtime, totals approximately 23 hours and 45 minutes per week", so 4¾ a day.

my son almost was one (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33286880)

when my son was 4, he was in a very good pre-school. In the middle of the year he was moved up to the next age group ( 5 and 6 year olds. Luckily a girl was moved up at the same time. A month after the move, my wife and I were called in for a conference because the teacher had concerns about my son's behaviour. In the middle of the meeting, I asked a question about the age distribution in the class. The director and the teacher both looked at each other. You could almost see the light bulb going on. Of the 20 kids in the class, 10 were older 6 year olds, 8 were older 5 year olds. The other two were my son and the girl who had moved up from the 3 and 4 year old group. She was also having "issues". The meeting closed quickly with apologies.

Control your kids (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33286884)

Maybe if the kids had less sugar, and parents stop acting like lil ol Skyler shuoldn't be disciplined because he was only 4 and it was so cute, some of these kids wouldn't have ADHD. Just control your kids so that the psychiatrists or whomever can spend time with the kids that actually have ADHD.

Are These Drugs Intrinsically Bad? (2, Insightful)

Dr. Eggman (932300) | more than 4 years ago | (#33286886)

{Full Disclosure: I was diagnosed ADD (nowa-a-days called ADHD-I) at an early age and have been on Adderall since then. Today, I choose to continue recieving the prescription.}

Not to be disrespectful or contrarian or anything, but are these drugs really intrinsically bad? Even under a misdiagnosis, isn't it possible that these drugs can provide tangable benefits for the child? I don't want to jump right on and say that there is, but shouldn't we at least examine the possibility that these drugs could provide benefits and (assuming they do even for the misdiagnosed) allow the parents (and the child once he's of an appropriate age) to choose whether to administer the medication?

What's really wrong with these drugs? Yes they have side-effects, and yes there are consequences and very different reactions in people who don't have what they are prescribed for, but should we jump to the conclusion that these are not worth it or that only those whom the drugs were researched for can benefit from them?

What? No, I don't have answers to any of these questions. I want to know people's opinions. I am of the opinion that it is neither right nor wrong to let nature take its course or to intervene. Of course, this simple opinion presupposes a lot about the point of views I may be arguing about. I want to here those views and understand them as well.

Oh look shinny rocks.. (3, Funny)

toughluck (633962) | more than 4 years ago | (#33286898)

I started to read the article and found it... oh look shinny rocks...

Easy excuse for parents with misbehaving kids? (2, Insightful)

JohnMurtari (829882) | more than 4 years ago | (#33286988)

Folks, You just got to believe that some parents are "relieved" to have a misbehaving child diagnosed as ADHD and medicated. Then, it is not their fault. They can tell all their friends, "Johnny was acting out at school for a while, but he has ADHD and is now on medication..."

Like everyone else is saying I also would have put on drugs. All my elementary report cards said, "Johnny talks to much in class!" With enough positive and negative reinforcement -- I learned to control my behavior.

I was an Honor Graduate of the Air Force Academy and a jet instructor pilot -- and a programmer in my later years! I hate to think what would have happened if I'd been drugged.

So what is different this time? (1)

will_die (586523) | more than 4 years ago | (#33287004)

That teachers and doctors misdiagnose ADHD has been known for 30-40 years, so what is different this time.
It is done because it is easier to give the kids a couple of drugs to keep them in the seat then to do deal with the problems those kids cause.

ADHD is often misdiagnosed (2, Informative)

EmagGeek (574360) | more than 4 years ago | (#33287006)

I hear about it frequently from a couple of friends of mine who are school psychologists. Parents come in with misbehaving kids looking for drugs to calm them down and make them more obedient - basically a pharmaceutical cure for their bad parenting.

We have an entire generation of kids who are being tagged ADHD when there is nothing wrong with them because parents don't want to deal with the responsibility of raising them, or because the parents have heard that Ritalin will make them get better grades, or for some other reason that has nothing to do with the behavioral health of the child.

Youngest? (4, Insightful)

aero2600-5 (797736) | more than 4 years ago | (#33287008)

simply for being the youngest and therefore least mature in their classes.

A million misdiagnosed just because they're younger? Wait until they start looking into how many kids are misdiagnosed because they're too smart and not being challenged by our schools that are set up to cater to the lowest common denominator.

I was misdiagnosed with ADD as a kid. Turns out, I was just bored out of my fucking skull. Second, third, and fourth grades were the hardest for me because the material should have been covered in one year, not three. Some schools have realized this and starting pulling the smart kids out of 'general population' and putting them in their own curriculum track which is much more challenging.

That's what they should look into

Aero2600

Re:Youngest? (1)

EmagGeek (574360) | more than 4 years ago | (#33287092)

Amen to that. Ditto here. Thankfully my folks saw the real issue and put me in a private school that actually challenged me when I was very young. When I went into 4th grade, we had moved and for economic reasons had to go to public school. It was like going back 3 years. I had been learning algebra and geometry in 3rd grade at the private school, and the public school was still teaching multiplication and division in 4th grade. I did every homework problem in the book in one week and got them all right.

The public school did not have a track for accelerated learning, and the principal and school psychologist thought it would be bad for me to attend classes with students that were 4 years older, so I was forced to sit around and twiddle my thumbs for 3 years while everyone else caught up.

I wonder how many millions of children we do this to every year. We're so preoccupied with "fairness" and, as you said, catering to the LCD that we are completely failing the high achievers. Then again, we've also developed into a culture of envy where high achievement is viciously attacked and discouraged.

Nice referral. (1)

Yamata no Orochi (1626135) | more than 4 years ago | (#33287042)

Nice Reddit referral in the article link there. Is this where we get our news?

How about the other mis-/undiagnosed million? (2, Informative)

Ihlosi (895663) | more than 4 years ago | (#33287050)

I bet that for the million false positives there's at least an equal million of "false negatives" - kids with actual ADHD who are just labeled lazy and stupid and who'd just have to "concentrate", "work harder", "shape up" and "pull themselves together" (*), and never see a doctor who could actually diagnose and treat them.

(*) Telling someone who has actual ADHD any of these phrases is equivalent to telling a paraplegic to get up and walk. It might work if you're Jesus himself, otherwise it's an exercise in futility.

I have ADHD (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33287052)

I have ADHD and I was given mediation for a while but I refused to stay on it. For me, I'm glad I have ADHD because I can multitask my thoughts while everyone else is brainlessly focused on a single task. My biggest issue with ADHD has been trying to convince everyone else that the label does not imply that I am disabled in some way. In fact, I always found myself two steps ahead of my teaches in school. My test scores didn't reflect my knowledge because I suck at tests (due to staying focused). If this was a real problem then you would hear the students requesting drugs to cure their "disorder".

"permanent on drugs" - malpractice! (1)

Ihlosi (895663) | more than 4 years ago | (#33287098)

Part of any medication treatment of ADHD are periods (several days to weeks) of no medication, to check and compare behavior to the medicated state and to find out whether the medication should be continued.

Also, most ADHD drugs are so short-acting that even if someone takes two doses a day, there are still _plenty_ of hours left in a day to observe the unmedicated state.

If someone gets "put on drugs permanently" for ADHD, they should sue the bajeezus out of whoever ordered that.

Conspiracy! (4, Informative)

nukeade (583009) | more than 4 years ago | (#33287138)

My parents had a theory about this. When I was young, Ritalin was the biggest fad. Better than half the elementary school was on it, and every day they would line up around the corner to get their medication. Further, it was recommended for nearly every child in the school whenever they got in trouble of any kind.

The contributing factors that made the perfect storm of Ritalin were as follows:
-The drug company wanted to sell as much Ritalin as possible.
-The company bought legislation that classified ADHD as a learning disability, so that schools got more money for each child who was diagnosed.
-The same legislation meant that if you qualified for government assistance, you'd get more money for each child that was on Ritalin.

So the school now became the company's taxpayer-financed agent to push Ritalin, a drug required long-term to treat a condition that no one quite understood. The school had a financial incentive to have the psychologist diagnose everyone he could with ADHD, and if you were on welfare they could extend an incentive to you as well. I can offer one other piece of evidence: I had a friend whose parents did not want to give him these drugs under any circumstance as they understood neither ADHD nor the effects of the drug. When they were pressuring the family to medicate him, they handed his parents a stack of teacher's notes ostensibly to show he's been acting up. As my friend's parents looked at the notes, they noticed that some of the notes had inconsistencies such as wrong gender (she vs. he) and wrong name. The administration making the Ritalin sales pitch had taken notes about a child with ADHD and simply changed the name on them! At this point, they pulled my friend out of school and moved to a different area.

Ultimately, I'm not surprised that this is the case. I'm only surprised that it took so long for people to see through the ruse. I'm happy that my parents did, and sad that most of my friends' parents could not be convinced that ADHD was for my generation a huge drug-pushing scam!

Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>