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The Business of Attention Deficit Disorder

timothy posted about 10 months ago | from the drug-'em-all-let-god-sort-'em-out dept.

Education 246

Hugh Pickens DOT Com writes "Alan Schwarz writes in the NYT that the rise of ADHD diagnoses and prescriptions for stimulants over the years have coincided with a remarkably successful two-decade campaign by pharmaceutical companies to publicize the syndrome and promote the pills to doctors, educators and parents. 'The numbers make it look like an epidemic. Well, it's not. It's preposterous,' says Dr. Keith Conners, a psychologist who has led the fight to legitimize attention deficit hyperactivity disorder for more than fifty years. Few dispute that classic ADHD, historically estimated to affect 5 percent of children, is a legitimate disability that impedes success at school, work and personal life. But recent data from the CDC show that the diagnosis had been made in 15 percent of high school-age children, and that the number of children on medication for the disorder had soared to 3.5 million from 600,000 in 1990." (Read on for more.)"Behind that growth has been drug company marketing that has stretched the image of classic ADHD to include relatively normal behavior like carelessness and impatience, and has often overstated the pills' benefits. Advertising on television and in popular magazines like People and Good Housekeeping has cast common childhood forgetfulness and poor grades as grounds for medication that, among other benefits, can result in 'schoolwork that matches his intelligence' and ease family tension. The FDA has cited every major ADHD drug — stimulants like Adderall, Concerta, Focalin and Vyvanse, and nonstimulants like Intuniv and Strattera — for false and misleading advertising since 2000, some multiple times. And although many doctors have portrayed the medications as benign — 'safer than aspirin,' some say — they can have significant side effects and are regulated in the same class as morphine and oxycodone because of their potential for abuse and addiction. Meanwhile profits for the ADHD drug industry have soared. Sales of stimulant medication in 2012 were nearly $9 billion, more than five times the $1.7 billion a decade before, according to the data company IMS Health. 'This is a concoction to justify the giving out of medication at unprecedented and unjustifiable levels,' concludes Conners."

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first... (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45702683)

Wait... what was I doing?

Re:first... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45702813)

You were furiously masturbating. Or vagina.

Business Plan (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45702697)

The pharmaceutical industry won't be happy until everyone is on a handful of medications. One that supposedly "cures what ails you" and the rest to address the many side effects of the other drugs.

Get 'em early. Get 'em hooked. Get 'em for life.

Re:Business Plan (4, Insightful)

Noughmad (1044096) | about 10 months ago | (#45702731)

Not "cures", but "treats". You pay for a cure once. You keep paying for treatment for the rest of your life.

Re:Business Plan (0, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45702773)

Not "cures", but "treats". You pay for a cure once. You keep paying for treatment for the rest of your life.

So taxes are a treat?

Re:Business Plan (1)

Jesrad (716567) | about 10 months ago | (#45702869)

For those who receive them, sure they are.

Re:Business Plan (2)

g0bshiTe (596213) | about 10 months ago | (#45703181)

Taxes are the only instance where you continue to pay for a cure, they cure you of having extra money.

No, they're taxes. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45704715)

Just like food isn't a treat, but you still have to keep paying for more food for the rest of your life.

You need to be a little more discriminating of what is being said.

Unless you like looking dumber than a sack of spanners.

Re:Business Plan (2)

TWiTfan (2887093) | about 10 months ago | (#45702933)

Seems like everyone is on some kind of happy/dopy drug these days. And, is it me, or has the workplace changed significantly as a result? Seems like way too many people are walking around today smiling and happy all the time for no fucking reason. Not that I'm a grinch or anything, but it seems like a "positive attitude" these days has lost its classical meaning of a "can-do attitude" and has taken on more the flavor of a "happy, happy all the time" attitude. I'm starting to feel like a freak for not walking around as happy as a goddamn Barney the Dinosaur 24/7. I raise a single objection or broach the slightest criticism and suddenly I'm a cynic, with a bunch of endlessly smiling freaks staring at me like *I'm* the one who's crazy for not being endlessly doped up and "positive."

Re:Business Plan (1, Insightful)

g0bshiTe (596213) | about 10 months ago | (#45703249)

I fully agree with you, and you aren't alone. In my immediate family not one of us takes anything outside of aspirin or multivitamins, unless absolutely necessary.

30 years ago there was no ADD, or ADHD you were considered hyper, no medication needed just lower his sugar intake and keep him away from sodas. Today, not so much. Seems like all my daughters friends are ADHD or on some type of med for something.

I quote Lazyboy

"how do I get that disease, it comes with a hot chick and a puppy".

Re: Business Plan (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45703393)

It's now become "cool" to have ADHD, depression, etc. If you don't have one of these you're the abnormal one!

Re:Business Plan (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45704157)

I suppose the raise in full blown Autism is also due to marketing?
ADD is a relatively MINOR manifestation of a subset of symptoms.
Back about 30 years ago a bladder medication had a mysterious side effect of transforming me from a "lazy genius who just doesn't apply himself"
into the head of the class making up for years of hell.

i say fuck you.
to you and all the ass holes who have no idea the reality.

Re:Business Plan (1)

budgenator (254554) | about 10 months ago | (#45704599)

and cut out red dye #2.

Re:Business Plan (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45703309)

If you can't beat them, join them - that's what I did!

Re:Business Plan (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45703409)

Well I am a grinch, and all the "happy happy" people at work are driving me crazy. Particularly this time of year, with everyone wandering around with their vacant-eyed stare, chanting "Come to the Holiday Party... you want to come to the Holiday Party don't you... come to the party... party... party... and the gift exchange... gifts... gifts... and the daily door prizes... prizes... brains...."

I swear I don't understand why there are so few workplace shootings. Go away and let me work, you benighted fools!

I'd show up at their damn party wearing one of those "Bah Humbug" Santa hats I see they've started making, but then I'd be photoshopped with it the rest of my whole damn career.

Re: Business Plan (1)

Dr.Syshalt (702491) | about 10 months ago | (#45703669)

You need medication, citizen. Everyone deserves to be happy. Medical team has been dispatched.

Re:Business Plan (4, Funny)

plopez (54068) | about 10 months ago | (#45703833)

way too many people are walking around today smiling and happy all the time for no fucking reason
Well where I live marijuana legalization explains it...

Re:Business Plan (1)

pnutjam (523990) | about 10 months ago | (#45704199)

I have only been in the workforce for about 15 years, but I don't see your false happiness.
I see a lot of people who complain about chronic pains or anxieties that they are forced to medicate. With some people it seems like a contest to see who is the most medicated. I also see many people having surgeries or other procedures that seem designed to give them access to pain medications.

This is the Problem. (5, Insightful)

rmdingler (1955220) | about 10 months ago | (#45702721)

The ACA is something, and something is better than nothing, but the medical industry is saturated with greed and gouging. Take the obscene profits out of medical care and there is no incentive for mass misdiagnosis.

Re:This is the Problem. (2)

BVis (267028) | about 10 months ago | (#45702739)

Agreed. Outlawing for-profit insurers/providers isn't a magic bullet but it's a good step, it would save something like 25 cents on the dollar.

Re:This is the Problem. (5, Interesting)

Connie_Lingus (317691) | about 10 months ago | (#45702895)

lol...how clueless.

"non-profit" hospitals abound in the U.S, yet they still charge almost the exact same rates as your evil "for-profit" ones. They all use a pricing sheet called the "chargemaster" that they guard zealously.

non-profits still have to pay salaries to retain talent, pay utilities etc etc.

"No wonder MD Anderson’s operating profit in 2010 was $531 million on revenues of $2.05 billion. That’s a 26-percent profit margin, unheard of in any service industry other than hospitals. Being a “non-profit” organization, it pays no income taxes." http://www.commentarymagazine.com/2013/08/01/why-non-profit-hospitals-are-so-profitable/ [commentarymagazine.com]

the "non-profit" tag is pretty much nothing but a "feel-good" marketing gimmick to assuage socialistic-types.

Re:This is the Problem. (1)

BVis (267028) | about 10 months ago | (#45702949)

This is unfortunately true. What I said was a simplification, that would have included the scenarios you describe.

I noticed how you didn't say anything about the for-profit insurers, though, who would rather not do business with someone than spend 85 cents on the dollar on actual healthcare.

Re:This is the Problem. (1)

rmdingler (1955220) | about 10 months ago | (#45703045)

The "nonprofit" label is abused as often as disability and workmen's compensation programs. If you didn't have the churches wrapped up in there, there might be a chance of getting the designation reviewed. As it stands now, it is a shield against taxation any qualifying entity would be fool to give up.

Re:This is the Problem. (1)

mrchaotica (681592) | about 10 months ago | (#45703405)

In contrast, other non-profit (public) hospitals, like Grady in Georgia, make the news [clatl.com] when they manage to break even!

Re: This is the Problem. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45703625)

Doesn't apple make like 30-40% profit margin?

Re: This is the Problem. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45703951)

Quoth the poster: "That’s a 26-percent profit margin, unheard of in any service industry other than hospitals."

Reading for the win!

Re:This is the Problem. (1)

Impy the Impiuos Imp (442658) | about 10 months ago | (#45703623)

Agreed. Outlawing for-profit insurers/providers isn't a magic bullet but it's a good step, it would save something like 25 cents on the dollar.

I want that money as an attractant incentive to produce more drugs. This is what saves lives as the years pile up. Jist a few percent difference in rates of drug development compounds like interest, and 20 years down the road you find yourself with just the drug tech of 15 years from now.

There was a study that big drug companies of Europe were largely driven by US sales. This on top of the US basically inventing half the drugs and medical devices invented every year -- the free shit they give out relies on the US inventing it first.

I do not want feel-goodism executing tens of millions over the coming decades becaise this greed-driven process is squashed.

Re:This is the Problem. (2)

BVis (267028) | about 10 months ago | (#45703713)

The savings wouldn't come from prescription drug prices, they would come from 1) lower overhead when dealing with one insurer instead of 29348792384 (ever wonder why there are 12 administrative staff working at a modestly-sized medical practice? Insurance forms/claims/fights.), and 2) removing the profit motive from health insurance. 1) presumes a public/socialized option, of course, like the grown-up countries have.

You have to remember, though, Big Pharma doesn't give a shit about anything other than money. Not saving lives or curing disease, but selling you pills. They could take a significant haircut and still lead the world in new developments.

Re:This is the Problem. (1)

pnutjam (523990) | about 10 months ago | (#45704231)

If this is true, where are the new antibiotics in pipeline? Throwing money just attracts the worst people who have the worst ethics. They will only research the blockbusters and ignore common problems. More then half the "inventions" in the medical industry are creative ways of patenting old things.

Re:This is the Problem. (1)

Cornwallis (1188489) | about 10 months ago | (#45702799)

>>> The ACA is something, and something is better than nothing,
Rabies is something, and something is better than nothing,

>>> but the medical industry is saturated with greed and gouging. Take the obscene profits out of medical care and there is no incentive for mass misdiagnosis.

...but the [fill-in-the-blank but-especially-poltics] is saturated with greed and gouging. Take the obscene profits out of politics and there is no incentive for mass corruption.

Fixed that for you. You think Big Pharm didn't get where it is without colluding with the Criminals in Congress(TM)?

Re:This is the Problem. (1)

rmdingler (1955220) | about 10 months ago | (#45702881)

Sure enough. Baby steps though... perhaps we could get the masses equal access to decent medical care before this protracted exercise you suggest.

Re:This is the Problem. (1, Informative)

Curunir_wolf (588405) | about 10 months ago | (#45703943)

perhaps we could get the masses equal access to decent medical care

There is no such thing outside of totalitarian regimes like North Korea. Even in communist China different people get vastly different quality of health care. And the attempts to control medical care by the federal government is doing nothing but leading to efforts like Medical VIP clubs [mdvip.com] where all the good doctors are taking care of well-to-do patients that can afford to pay a little extra. It hasn't helped to equalize health care at all, in fact it will only increase the disparity.

What's needed is less government intervention and more people shopping for normal health care to help drive down the costs. Of course the typical collectivist response to this is "OMG you can't shop around when you're bleeding to death." Which is nothing but a straw man, because emergency and trauma care is a much smaller proportion. Even shopping around for the best price on a procedure would put tremendous amount of price pressure on the providers if more people did it. Why would pharmacies compete on price when everybody is going to pay their $30 co-pay anyway. That's why you can find a 200% - 3000% difference in the cost of certain medications - most of the people buying it are getting the bill paid by somebody else.

Re: This is the Problem. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45704095)

It's silly to use China and North Korea as your only examples. Scandinavia has much more equal access to health care, we use less money on it both in terms of total per capita spending and health care as percentage of GDP, and our average outcome is better. It is true that the fantastically well-off are best served in the USA, but most people are better served in Scandinavia.

Re: This is the Problem. (3, Informative)

Curunir_wolf (588405) | about 10 months ago | (#45704499)

It's silly to use China and North Korea as your only examples. Scandinavia has much more equal access to health care, we use less money on it both in terms of total per capita spending and health care as percentage of GDP, and our average outcome is better. It is true that the fantastically well-off are best served in the USA, but most people are better served in Scandinavia.

The Scandinavian system works for Scandinavia, but it's paid for by one of the highest tax rates in the world. I believe Sweden actually has a tiered system, where you are required to purchase a basic level of health insurance, and if you can afford it you can optionally purchase better coverage. Of course these countries also have a homogeneous population with relatively healthy lifestyles, and the wealth do pay for private health care - they don't wait in line with the rest of the folks.

Re:This is the Problem. (2)

pnutjam (523990) | about 10 months ago | (#45704321)

Have you tried shopping around for non-trauma care? I have, it's neigh impossible. You can easily spend an hour finding the best price for a medication. You can spend days pricing out a procedure. It's true that part of this is due to lack of incentives. Some places will flat out refuse to quote you a price, and you can bet the ones who do quote you do not consider it binding. They can sprinkle some different meds and have a couple extra doctors glance at your chart to double your bill.

Insurance is a great way for me to pay someone with the knowledge to insure prices are correct and procedures are billed properly. The crappy part about the US system is I am stuck with the insurer my employer picks. My current insurer makes you fill out dozens of forms if you have any sort of accidental injury treated. Like I want them sueing my neighbor to recover costs. I would drop them in a hot minute if I had the choice. They are also habitual late payers. Too bad I don't have a choice unless I want to decline a large part of my pay package.

Re:This is the Problem. (1)

BrillenOtarie (3015535) | about 10 months ago | (#45703197)

Mmm, as a teacher, I love is soo much when a distressed child, disturbed by an indeed problematic work-environment, is taken to a psychiatrist to be "cured". I love it sooo much when they come back to stare and laugh at the blank wall for the whole day, week, month... (I heard those case are exceptional miss-calculations in the proportions. But those story who end well in the very long therm are for me like fairy tales: I heard a lot about them, but very seldom got the actual opportunity to see them with my own eyes.) The problem with those jobs is : if you are a technician and if you don't have a certificate; it's still possible to do the job if (well, you have the competence, someone able to see it, and nobody else to do it). In those fields, only the person with THE certificate can do it. So the whole problem for the student becomes as much about how to get the competence, than about how to get accepted in a group of people protecting each other's back. (Because in the highly desirable world of money and social recognition for life: many are the applicants, few the openings and so rude is the fight. So any advantage you wouldn't have, becomes often too much to make it.) Then, when you have the right spirit... Well psychiatrists don't have the monopol of the problem. In a world where any green field you need to work on, is a field you have to take from someone else: greed has becomes the Darwinist law of evolution. Now that's just one of the actual results.

Re:This is the Problem. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45703931)

as a teacher

... you ought to learn how to write.

miss-calculations ... those story who end well in the very long therm ... monopol

Re:This is the Problem. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45704057)

No kidding.

Re:This is the Problem. (1)

Chris Mattern (191822) | about 10 months ago | (#45703223)

The ACA is something, and something is better than nothing

Ah, the Policitian's Fallacy in full flower. "Something must be done. This is something. Therefore we must do it."

Re:This is the Problem. (1)

Wycliffe (116160) | about 10 months ago | (#45703247)

The ACA is something, and something is better than nothing, but the medical industry is saturated with greed and gouging. Take the obscene profits out of medical care and there is no incentive for mass misdiagnosis.

The only thing that obscene profits do is allow for bigger risk taking and drive the prices up. If there is any profit at all then there will always
be an incentive for mass misdiagnosis. What we really need to do is shift the incentives. For instance researching new antibiotics is currently
unprofitable because people only take antibiotics for a week or two likewise with diseases that mostly affect the 3rd world. So right now the
most profitable research is research into 1st world diseases that require ongoing treatment not the ones that would cure the most people.
The medical industry has other issues too but fix this problem and you would go a long way to at least fixing the problem with the drug industry.

Re:This is the Problem. (1)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | about 10 months ago | (#45703621)

The ACA is something, and something is better than nothing

Did anybody else hear this in the voice of Veronica from Better Off Ted?

Veridian Dynamics: We're something, which is better.

What is it then? (1, Insightful)

erroneus (253617) | about 10 months ago | (#45702747)

Is it big pharma pushing doctors to prescribe more? Is it doctors too lazy/busy to do a proper diagnosis? Is it mothers, fathers and teachers who seek to explain bad behavior and poor discipline (which is largely their fault) on medical conditions? Is it our foods which have changed over to GMO based content over the same period of time?

I don't know, but I certainly want to know.

In the mean time, I tend to stick to basic foods to avoid as much problem as I can. Most dinners consist of salad and some kind of meat or fish and some other vegetables. Lunch is usually the same and breakfast is eggs, sausage or bacon and garden vegetables. Not much room for GMOs to creep in yet unless you count the feed that goes into the animals.

Re:What is it then? (0, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45702817)

Is it big pharma pushing doctors to prescribe more? Is it doctors too lazy/busy to do a proper diagnosis? Is it mothers, fathers and teachers who seek to explain bad behavior and poor discipline (which is largely their fault) on medical conditions? Is it our foods which have changed over to GMO based content over the same period of time?

The basic cause of this is simple: lack of physical activity causes kids to be fidgety. They can't concentrate. Kids that fidget in class are disruptive. They are marked as "trouble".

Let them burn off all that energy they get from the sugars and carbs and mass market garbage foods they have shoved down their gullets by the schools and parents who don't have time to cook because a 40 hour week never really means that, and their commutes usually are longer than the time they spend with their kids.

This ADHD problem is a byproduct of the fast paced world we've created to "stay competitive, stay on top, and keep up with the Joneses".

Re:What is it then? (5, Interesting)

RetiredMidn (441788) | about 10 months ago | (#45702917)

Is it big pharma pushing doctors to prescribe more? Is it doctors too lazy/busy to do a proper diagnosis? Is it mothers, fathers and teachers who seek to explain bad behavior and poor discipline (which is largely their fault) on medical conditions? Is it our foods which have changed over to GMO based content over the same period of time?

The basic cause of this is simple: lack of physical activity causes kids to be fidgety. They can't concentrate. Kids that fidget in class are disruptive. They are marked as "trouble".

Crap. My son was diagnosed in the early 90's. We resisted the diagnosis at first, then balked at medication. In the end, the medications did help him succeed in school and at such activities as soccer, where the difference in his ability to pay attention was easiest to observe.

The counter-intuitive thing about ADHD medications is that they are typically stimulants, hardly something you would think of giving to a hyper-active child. Our doctor described the symptoms as something more akin to the restlessness that can come with drowsiness than an over-active mind or metabolism.

Maybe some parents diagnose and treat to make life easier, but I'm here to tell you that we specifically did not medicate my son during weekends and vacations, partly to minimize the medication, and partly to be able to observe his baseline behavior to see whether it changed over time.

As for teachers, my wife has taught first and second grade for about 20 years, and in her school system, teachers are prohibited from offering a diagnosis or even acknowledging the possibility when asked; that is the domain of medical professionals, not teachers. YMMV, of course.

All that said, ADHD is certainly over-diagnosed, and that was almost certainly the case back when my son was diagnosed, at the early end of the chart in TFA. I have to say I was shocked at how much more prevalent the diagnosis has become. I tend to lay the blame at the feet of Big Pharma marketing treatments to lay people; the lengths they go to in advertising in magazines (with pages of fine print that few read or understand) and television, carefully staying within the guidelines of regulations (that clearly aren't helping) is absurd.

Re:What is it then? (1)

DogDude (805747) | about 10 months ago | (#45703213)

Yes, speed helps everybody focus. It's wonderful for getting things done. Payback is a bitch, though.

Re:What is it then? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45704613)

That's pretty much what we experienced as well. And we did double-blind tests every year to ensure that we weren't imagining things and to see if the medication was truly necessary and a benefit. The tests made it very obvious that sometimes the medication for ADHD symptoms can make a huge positive difference for kids in school. Simply letting kids be "active" does little but tire them out. That's fine on the weekends, and is a strategy we regularly employed with our child on holidays or weekends when we did not use the medication, but unless you're going to forego school it doesn't make much sense as a general solution. They need to learn in order to make progress in today's world. If we were harvesting crops on a farm all day, maybe reading, writing, and math wouldn't matter as much as it does now. Otherwise they need school.

Although diet can apparently make some difference, ours was not a diet rich in sugar and carbohydrates in the first place. Things like pop and candy were rarities, as were processed foods.

What did eventually work was maturity. They learned to manage the symptoms themselves as they grew older, by which point we dropped the medication. They could still notice a small effect from it, but once we decided together that the effect wasn't worth it, that was the end of it. They haven't used it in years now. Even though the same tendencies are there, they can manage it alone.

Re:What is it then? (5, Interesting)

p00kiethebear (569781) | about 10 months ago | (#45703437)

Is it big pharma pushing doctors to prescribe more? Is it doctors too lazy/busy to do a proper diagnosis? Is it mothers, fathers and teachers who seek to explain bad behavior and poor discipline (which is largely their fault) on medical conditions? Is it our foods which have changed over to GMO based content over the same period of time?

The basic cause of this is simple: lack of physical activity causes kids to be fidgety. They can't concentrate. Kids that fidget in class are disruptive. They are marked as "trouble".

Let them burn off all that energy they get from the sugars and carbs and mass market garbage foods they have shoved down their gullets by the schools and parents who don't have time to cook because a 40 hour week never really means that, and their commutes usually are longer than the time they spend with their kids.

This ADHD problem is a byproduct of the fast paced world we've created to "stay competitive, stay on top, and keep up with the Joneses".

You sir are full of shit.

Lack of physical activity? Are you serious? I was training in gymnastics for sixteen hours a week when I was diagnosed. I was winning state and regional medals until I was fifteen.

It's always fucked up to me how all the people who have never had ADD are always first to know exactly everything about it. You've never had to struggle with academics and social skills because the only things you could focus on were the ones that were rewarding to you. It's not a cut and dry case of being 'fidgety' and rarely is it a case of discipline on part of the parents.

ADD made my elementary school days hell for me. It was almost impossible to get along in regular social situations with exception to times I was with other kids that had ADD. It was hard for me to pay attention to what I was reading when all I could focus on were INTRUSIONS into my focus from say, the sound of the kid behind me wheezing. The ticking of someone's watch. Hearing the hum of a fan turning on and off at regular intervals and noticing it always happens every 4 minutes. The way a cute girl across the room wore her hair differently today or maybe she got her ear pierced and I'm distracted by how red it's made her earlobe and how she's scratching it often. Maybe today I've noticed the teacher got a new watch and it's super shiny. He asks if there are any questions and I raise my hand and ask about the watch. Everyone laughs at me since the question had nothing to do with the lecture but I can't understand why no one else was so interested in the cool looking timepiece.

ADD is not an inability to focus. It is a deficit with the ability to filter out the intrusions into your senses that make focusing on what others seem to find important nearly impossible at times. Let's face it, it's hard to have perspective about how important it is to know about the revolutionary war when you're 10 years old.

Don't be so quick to have all the answers when your understanding of the issue is clearly incomplete.

ADD is STILL affecting my life. I struggle with it every day. This morning is a perfect example. I WAS trying to sleep. I woke up to pee and decided to read slashdot in bed while I let sleep take over again. But I read your retarded comment and it has made it impossible for me to go to sleep. Why? Because I can't seem to filter out your bullshit. Your asinine opinion on the matter has intruded into my focus on getting a healthy night's sleep. I tried to let it go and just lie down but I couldn't stop focusing on your stupidity and I won't be able to until I post this. Hell, even after I hit submit I'm still going to toss and turn for a half hour while I try to divert my attention to happy butterflies and fluffy sheep to count.

Re:What is it then? (2, Insightful)

DogDude (805747) | about 10 months ago | (#45703551)

What you're describing is a lack of discipline. Yes, speed does help with that (short-term). But, as with any drug, there's a down-side, too.

Re:What is it then? (1)

p00kiethebear (569781) | about 10 months ago | (#45703771)

What you're describing is a lack of discipline. Yes, speed does help with that (short-term). But, as with any drug, there's a down-side, too.

Here we go again, More people who know exactly what the problem is. There was no lack of discipline. A full time gymnast can't win medals without the discipline it takes to focus on and visualize their routines. Furthermore my career in martial arts afterwards couldn't have been accomplished without discipline. You all think you're so clever and have all the answers. But you never saw the world from behind my eyes. It's always the same with you people, it's as if you believe every human being experiences the world around them exactly the same as yourself and because you can't share MY subjective experience you can only assume that it's an issue of 'a lack of discipline.'

Open your mind and try to imagine for half a second that the subjective experiences of every human being are not identical to yours.

Also, I know the article is about prescription drugs which I didn't talk about at all. I'm not sharing my opinion on that, only trying to explain. If I hadn't been treated with medication though, it would have been much worse. I don't think for a second though that it should be the first line solution to the 'problem.'

I find it even more ridiculous that both you and the anonymous reply below both seem to know exactly what my diagnosis is from reading only a couple of paragraphs. Though I don't remember either of you giving your credentials as doctors of behavioral psychology.

Re:What is it then? (0)

DogDude (805747) | about 10 months ago | (#45703915)

What you're describing is the experience of nearly every human being on speed.

I'm going to start telling people that I have a terrible disease, and I know that I do, because pot gives me the munchies.

Re:What is it then? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45703937)

What you're describing is the experience of nearly every human being on speed.

I'm going to start telling people that I have a terrible disease, and I know that I do, because pot gives me the munchies.

You must really look down on people that are prescribed vicodin/tramadol scripts because they have chronic pain issues. Sure, everyone feels better when taking them, they're narcotics. Everybody does, right?

Re:What is it then? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45703849)

What you're describing is a lack of discipline. Yes, speed does help with that (short-term). But, as with any drug, there's a down-side, too.

"There is no such thing as mental illness - just misbehaved children and people that never learnt their lessons."

I have ADHD myself - the amount of times I kept hearing this sentiment meant I was never diagnosed until 25 years of age. You have no idea what you're saying if you think it's something that can be just ignored or trained away in a legitimate case - I can help mitigate it and the fact that I have gotten where I currently am in my life is testament to the fact that I HAVE been able to overcome it. But I could never explain the overall sense of there being 'something wrong' with my motivation levels and ability to control my focuses and interests. Going on medication for the first time was an epiphany - I finally felt *on a level playing field* and it started to finally feel fair to own my fuckups when I left things slip, and I started to learn to recognise what actual disinterest was, what lack of motivation caused by a bad mood or sleep is, what is just me putting off a chore, and what it feels like to be unable to motive myself to play a video game, do anything except repeatedly refresh a website or even go to bed because I'm stuck in a brain fog caused by a chemical imbalance I've been dealing with for 25 years without knowing.

People really don't understand the difference between a lack of discipline and just not giving a shit about something, and the mental rift of wanting to something, ANYTHING, but just completely being unable to do it. It's like trying to explain pain to someone that never had experienced it. People are only now starting to come around to understanding depression and how you can't just 'cheer up', and even then, it's still nearly a taboo and a sign a weakness.

Re:What is it then? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45704261)

And what your comment demonstrates is a lack of life experience. This is not a matter of self-discipline for some. Don't assume others experience life in exactly the same way you do.

Re:What is it then? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45703565)

It sounds like you may be suffering from an obsessive personality or a touch of bipolar.

Re:What is it then? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45703759)

Any more armchair psychiatry or will you also throw in a multiple personality disorder diagnosis too?

Re:What is it then? (1)

p00kiethebear (569781) | about 10 months ago | (#45703785)

Any more armchair psychiatry or will you also throw in a multiple personality disorder diagnosis too?

Fucking thank you.

Re:What is it then? (1)

pnutjam (523990) | about 10 months ago | (#45704513)

I'm not discounting your problem. I'm certain there are many children who have benefited like you. However, there are also many children who are drugged by their parents because it is easier than following through on consequences.
Children have to be patiently taught. It takes weeks of repetition to teach a toddler to do or not do something. Often, the kids want to please you, so they will appear to learn things quickly. Just because a child is strong willed or stubborn, the end up medicated.

Re:What is it then? (1)

RaceProUK (1137575) | about 10 months ago | (#45702833)

1-3: Yes to varying extents. 4: No idea.

Not that I'm claiming genuine knowledge, it's more the general perception I have determined over time.

Re:What is it then? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45702847)

Is it big pharma pushing doctors to prescribe more?

Yes.

Is it doctors too lazy/busy to do a proper diagnosis?

Yes.

Is it mothers, fathers and teachers who seek to explain bad behavior and poor discipline (which is largely their fault) on medical conditions?

Yes.

Is it our foods which have changed over to GMO based content over the same period of time

No.

In the mean time, I tend to stick to basic foods to avoid as much problem as I can. Most dinners consist of salad and some kind of meat or fish and some other vegetables. Lunch is usually the same and breakfast is eggs, sausage or bacon and garden vegetables. Not much room for GMOs to creep in yet unless you count the feed that goes into the animals.

A little clozapine might help you there.

Re:What is it then? (2)

will_die (586523) | about 10 months ago | (#45702965)

Well kind of.
This was originally brought up as a problem 20 years ago, give or a take a few years; ADD, a substype of ADHD, was commonly used.
At that time it was teachers and schools pushing it and it is still is, if the kid was causing distruptions it was a standard solution to get the kid on a pill.
Companies are just responding to the need. Companies are coming up with better drugs with less side affects or are cheaper or better in other ways. Since they now have this better drug they are putting out information about it. So now people are pointing to the drug companies and saying how they are to produce a better drug that schools are pushing.

Re:What is it then? (3, Insightful)

jellomizer (103300) | about 10 months ago | (#45703011)

Is it big pharma pushing doctors to prescribe more? Most likely, there are so many regulations and public pressure to lower the costs of their drugs, so they will make up the difference with increase volume. I mean we have TV adds full of commercials pushing superscription medicine, even if 80% of the commercial is about the side effects, to cure a minor condition.

Is it doctors too lazy/busy to do a proper diagnosis? Lazy, no. Over worked yes. In an attempt to try to get health care cheaper doctors usually take the brunt of the cost cuttings, insurance companies pressuring them to lower their rates, so they make it up by double/triple booking patients. Because they cannot afford to see 12 patients a day at 45 minutes apiece.

Is it mothers, fathers and teachers who seek to explain bad behavior and poor discipline (which is largely their fault) on medical conditions? Not necessarily their fault, society has changed the role of the traditional family. With both parents working full time, or a single parent family the norm, it makes it quite difficult to raise their children. Teachers have their hands tied behind their back on what they can do to discipline children. Then you combine media fear about strangers wandering suburban streets waiting to abduct your child, so they try to keep them safe by locking them indoors where they can only play indoor, without burning off the energy that kids have. Then if you kid is allowed outside and gets hurt or worse caused an other kid to get hurt, you are under pressure to explain yourself.

We have gotten to litigious in many areas, while the intent is honorable, it creates side effects much like the drugs do, that is sometimes worse then the cure they are trying to fix.

You can jump up and down and complain how greedy these people are, but that is the problem if you take people/corporations in the Macro sense, their main trends will be following going towards greed. However each individual has virtues too, however they are quite varied, and tends to get washed out when you calculate the overall trend.

 

The root of the problem... (3, Insightful)

Unloaded (716598) | about 10 months ago | (#45702775)

...aside from the big push by the drug companies is that they allow family doctors to diagnose ADHD and prescribe the meds at all. The docs, parents, and teachers get handed a checklist and if the kid (or adult) meets a certain number of criteria on the checklist then they're told meds are the answer. Some doctors who work for the big PPOs and HMOs are expected to see 6 or more patients an hour so they are taught to rely on the checklists to give them answers. Sometimes it comes down to the fact that a few parents and teachers have lost the ability to set and hold limits with their kids. Sometimes a kid is just being a brat. I'm simplifying so I'm hoping someone can expand on my idea more, but ADHD is serious and needs to be diagnosed by a psychiatrist. Attention problems and hyperactivity can be symptoms of things other than ADHD too.

Re:The root of the problem... (5, Interesting)

ohieaux (2860669) | about 10 months ago | (#45702859)

Meds are not always the answer and a child psychiatrist is the best person to know. We had our son tested twice (3 years between). The first was borderline. We saw no improvement and after more discussions with the school (attention and not behavior issues) we had him tested again. These were real tests that took hours, over several days. He scored high and received the diagnosis. But, they didn't want to try meds at first.

We met with the school (teachers and school psychologist). A plan was devised and it seems to be working. He gets a break to walk around, occasionally, and some extra time on some tests. I'm much happier that the school was able to make a couple of accommodations, and the teachers are happier to have one less zombie in the classroom.

Re:The root of the problem... (2)

pnutjam (523990) | about 10 months ago | (#45704601)

That sounds like a lot of work...

-said most parents who then proceeded to medicate their kids.

But don't worry, their kids were really serious problem. They need this medication to make their lives better.

Meanwhile their kids goes to after school care, gets picked up and shuttled to some activity with a snack. Sometimes a second after school activity. Then a late dinner at 8:30 or 9pm. Has to do homework. Might got to bed sometime between 10:00 and 11:30. Gets up a 5:30 to get dropped off on the way to work.

Why is this kid acting up?

Re:The root of the problem... (1)

0racle (667029) | about 10 months ago | (#45703941)

they allow family doctors to diagnose ADHD and prescribe the meds at all

You wouldn't think about going to a psychiatrist to get a flu shot or cholesterol medication yet we are perfectly happy to go to any other doctor for psychiatric medication.

They're not qualified but they won't stop given their own egos and people won't see a psychiatrist when they should between the stigma associated with it and issues with insurance.

Amazingly accurate estimate there (4, Insightful)

SirGarlon (845873) | about 10 months ago | (#45702797)

I did a quick search to see how many children there are in the United State. The first number I found was 74 million [childstats.gov] (total of all children under 18, as of 2013).

5% of 74 million is 3.7 million. Since I doubt they are giving Ritalin to toddlers (yet), this estimated number of children with ADHD is amazing close to the number who are on a prescription.

In other words, those are probably not two independently-derived numbers. They're one. There is no independent estimate of what percentage of kids have ADHD: there's only a count of how many are on the meds. This is a classic trick from _How to Lie with Statistics_: when you don't have the number you want (how many kids actually have ADHD), use the number you have (how many are on the meds) and pretend there is no distinction.

This has the side effect of "showing" (with numbers!) that the diagnostic methods for ADHD are nearly perfect. By circular logic, QED.

Re:Amazingly accurate estimate there (2)

RaceProUK (1137575) | about 10 months ago | (#45702841)

Not everyone diagnosed with a condition is automatically prescribed medication.

Re:Amazingly accurate estimate there (1)

Jesrad (716567) | about 10 months ago | (#45702887)

And not everyone who gets the prescription was diagnosed, either. In this time and age, you can bet the ratio between "diagnosed" and "perscribed meds" is close to 100%, and maybe even more.

Re:Amazingly accurate estimate there (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45703149)

> Since I doubt they are giving Ritalin to toddlers (yet)
They are. It is fucked up.

The only medicine that works... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45702827)

... is marijuana. Big Pharma pills = poison that makes you even sicker (and poorer).

Remeber my school days in Special Needs (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45702853)

While I agree that true ADD is out there. The levels of diagnoses are high because parents are willing to pay to have their child diagnoses with it. I have dyslexia - I dispute have a BA in History - have no scent of letters = sounds. So I was placed in a class with 7 other students - in a public school in Ontario. 3 of the other children had ADD - you could tell if they didn't take their drugs - heck you could tell in one class when one the kids Mom's was refusing to take hers. They were more emotional; fiddled with everything and distracted. Sending them out to run around did not help because it clearly wasn't that type of energy. On the drugs then tend to way to forced; prone to only looking at the details and fussy. Either way not the most fun people.
I thing we as a society have bought into our own fansitys too much some people do not do well in school; in the office or on a factory line but are much better with outside world.

"Every healthy person is just (1)

obarthelemy (160321) | about 10 months ago | (#45702863)

an under-informed patient"

(or something to that effect)

Apologies to Dr Knock.

American Culture? (5, Interesting)

goruka (1721094) | about 10 months ago | (#45702901)

I'm not american, lived and visited several parts of the world. Love to talk and fit in with the locals and socialize.
Of course it's all anecdotal, but I'm pretty sure that something odd is going on in American culture. The times i've been there I couldn't help but finding amazing how such large parts of the population take behavioral related medication. I mean, even most TV commercials I saw were for anti depressants, or even complenents to them.

But it's not the medication itself what caught my attention but how people itself claims to be unwell, not feeling like what people should feel or not behaving as people should behave. It's as if there was some sort of strong "need to be normal" or "need to be well" (whathever tha means), and that not being like that is not fitting in society.

It's not that where I am from (South America) people won't get depressed or have panic attacks, but you see such symptoms by far much, much less often. It's not misdiagnose either or that people chooses to put up with it instead of taking medication , I mean, it's very clear when someone is going through depression. In contrast, people here are more "unpolite", intimate,cares less about rules and socialize a lot more. I'm sure there has to be a relationship somehow, but I am no expert on the matter. As I said, it's just what I see, but I can't connect the dots.

So, I think that even if pharmaceutical companies capitalize on this stuff, I'm not that sure they created the situation, I believe it's more akin to a side-effect.

Re:American Culture? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45703059)

Of course it's all anecdotal, but I'm pretty sure that something odd is going on in American culture. ...

It's not that where I am from (South America) people won't get depressed or have panic attacks, but you see such symptoms by far much, much less often.

Don't forget the body burden of the chemical environment in the USA: The number of chemicals found in american unborn children is in the hundreds, or even thousands.
This chemical soup will have an effect on the child.

http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=newborn-babies-chemicals-exposure-bpa
http://edition.cnn.com/2010/HEALTH/06/01/backpack.cord.blood/

Re:American Culture? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45703827)

If you look closely enough, you'll find that babies in America are actually made of chemicals. This certainly must have some sort of effect on them, and if we don't stop this trend soon enough, babies in other countries will start to be made of chemicals, too!

Re:American Culture? (3, Informative)

Nyder (754090) | about 10 months ago | (#45703093)

I'm not american, lived and visited several parts of the world. Love to talk and fit in with the locals and socialize.

Of course it's all anecdotal, but I'm pretty sure that something odd is going on in American culture. The times i've been there I couldn't help but finding amazing how such large parts of the population take behavioral related medication. I mean, even most TV commercials I saw were for anti depressants, or even complenents to them.

But it's not the medication itself what caught my attention but how people itself claims to be unwell, not feeling like what people should feel or not behaving as people should behave. It's as if there was some sort of strong "need to be normal" or "need to be well" (whathever tha means), and that not being like that is not fitting in society.

It's not that where I am from (South America) people won't get depressed or have panic attacks, but you see such symptoms by far much, much less often. It's not misdiagnose either or that people chooses to put up with it instead of taking medication , I mean, it's very clear when someone is going through depression. In contrast, people here are more "unpolite", intimate,cares less about rules and socialize a lot more. I'm sure there has to be a relationship somehow, but I am no expert on the matter. As I said, it's just what I see, but I can't connect the dots.

So, I think that even if pharmaceutical companies capitalize on this stuff, I'm not that sure they created the situation, I believe it's more akin to a side-effect.

Being a depressed person and having to take medication, I find that my life is way better taking the anti-depression meds then not. Of course, it took 10 or so years to find the meds that work best for me and i've spent most my life not on them, but in the last 5 or so years I've been the most mentally level I have ever been in my life.

Sure, drug companies make money by selling drugs and they want to sell as much drugs as they can, if needed or not. But that doesn't change the fact that most of the drugs they sell do have problems they address & help.

I also have ADHD, which didn't get diagnosed until later in my life (also), and no one seemed to care growing up. But I'm not really down with taking speed for it, and really giving speed to kids is really stupid. I mean, they made laws against selling drugs around schools, yet they prescribed them a class a speed that is way better then any meth they could get.

Stuff like this is why there is no such things as a "free market" and why there needs to regulations. Mainly drug reps paying doctors to prescribe their drugs.

Matter of environment (4, Interesting)

fldsofglry (2754803) | about 10 months ago | (#45702903)

I can't help agree with a poster above, who recommended the Ken Robinson video.

I also wanted to add that I think the way that our modern education system works has a lot to do with parents seeking a diagnosis for little Bobby "who just can't sit still".

I used to work in the environmental education field for quite a few years. I can say that I loved to have kids with "ADHD" in my group, because they were the ones turning over rocks and logs and activity searching for things. What is seen as a detriment in one setting, seemed to be an advantage in another setting.

An interesting thing to note is often how I would find out about their conditions. Since I did do some work at overnight facilities, I would sometimes would be told ahead of time medications and conditions a child had. But most of the time, I found out about it by a teacher saying something like: You know, so-and-so has a ADD/ADHD and he is just doing SO well out here.

ADD = The Business of Curing Stupidity (3, Informative)

ClassicASP (1791116) | about 10 months ago | (#45702987)

I have ADD myself, and I take meds to treat it. I can honestly say that I make smarter decisions when on my medications. I focus better, get things done, my social life improves, and I'm just generally better at living. And when I reflect back on days when I was not on my meds, I often just shake my head at myself in embarassment for all the dumb things I did that day. So glad to have a treatment. I think before ADD was clinically diagnosed, people were just called "less intelligent". And who wants to be dumb? Certainly not me.

Re:ADD = The Business of Curing Stupidity (3, Insightful)

DogDude (805747) | about 10 months ago | (#45703231)

I can honestly say that I make smarter decisions when on my medications. I focus better, get things done, my social life improves, and I'm just generally better at living.

Yes, speed has that effect on almost everybody.

Re:ADD = The Business of Curing Stupidity (1)

Stonent1 (594886) | about 10 months ago | (#45703283)

Obviously a comment by someone who doesn't have it.

Re:ADD = The Business of Curing Stupidity (2)

DogDude (805747) | about 10 months ago | (#45703419)

No, I've had speed. It works exactly as you describe it in my experience, and the experience of everybody else I know.

Re:ADD = The Business of Curing Stupidity (1)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | about 10 months ago | (#45703751)

Related anecdote:

When I was in high school, I took a tab of Ritalin once, on a lark (not sure what the dosage was); I spent the first 2 hours more focused than I think I've ever been in my life, and the next 2 hours slumped against a wall, barely able to function.

The sad part is, even though the hyper-focus I experienced at first allowed me to complete my math homework, in class, for the first (and only) time, it didn't help me get any of the questions right; much the opposite, I ended up failing that day's lesson miserably.

My point? Yea, just like speed.

Re:ADD = The Business of Curing Stupidity (2)

swillden (191260) | about 10 months ago | (#45703643)

I can honestly say that I make smarter decisions when on my medications. I focus better, get things done, my social life improves, and I'm just generally better at living.

Yes, speed has that effect on almost everybody.

To a degree, this is absolutely true. If you take a bunch people who don't have AD(H)D and give them the medications, you generally will see a modest improvement in cognitive tests that benefit from improved focus. This is why there is a black market in ADD meds in universities, because they really do help people do better on tests.

But that in no way detracts from the fact that for people with the disorder, it's like flipping a switch. For them, it's not an incremental improvement, but a huge change in behavior and performance. I have ADD and all of my kids have it, in varying degrees, so I have a lot of direct, personal experience with the disorder in its different manifestations, and the drugs, and how and when they help, and to what degree.

For the people that need them ADD meds are a fantastic tool. They're not the only tool... one of my key coping strategies is simply having a job that keeps me engaged and exploits the flip side of ADD's distraction prone-ness: hyperfocus. Writing code fully engages my brain for long periods of time, which I alternate with goofing off (like posting to slashdot). It works very well for me. Oh, and I also self-medicate with caffeine, that helps too.

For my kids who are in school, that strategy isn't really available. The meds are a big help for them, at least until they get to high school and especially college where there are more options for picking really engaging courses.

Re:ADD = The Business of Curing Stupidity (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45703893)

I can honestly say that I make smarter decisions when on my medications. I focus better, get things done, my social life improves, and I'm just generally better at living.

Yes, speed has that effect on almost everybody.

Of course! The first thing you think of regarding meth-heads is, " [They] can honestly say that [they] make smarter decisions when on my medications. [They] focus better, get things done, my social life improves, and [they're] just generally better at living."

Very astute observation, Sherlock!

Carelessness And Impatience (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45703115)

If they have truly made a pill for carelessness and impatience, imagine how many factors more richer they could be if they made a pill to cure idiocy.

Re:Carelessness And Impatience (2)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | about 10 months ago | (#45703777)

If they have truly made a pill for carelessness and impatience, imagine how many factors more richer they could be if they made a pill to cure idiocy.

What do you mean, "if?"

I have the cure for idiocy right here. Just send your life savings to P.O. Box 732, Ripoff City, USA, 66601, and I'll ship it out the second your check clears. Better hurry, though, demand is high and supply is low. Order Now!

ADD? (1, Insightful)

xenobyte (446878) | about 10 months ago | (#45703215)

Adult Discipline Deficiency... a better de-acronymization. Way too many diagnosed with ADD don't need medication, they just need boundaries and discipline.

Re:ADD? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45704003)

I'm not someone with ADD, but I do have more empathy than you do. How about we treat your EDD instead?
You're an asshole.

Lots of "lifetime" drugs now (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45703227)

A lot of the objection seems to be that there is a force promoting the life long use of the drugs..

Consider insulin. Do you have an objection to taking this all your life if you're diabetic?

Consider non-drowsy antihistamines (Seldane, Claritin, etc.)

Back before those were invented, people with allergic rhinitis had three choices:
1) live with perpetually congested noses
2) identify the allergen and go through a series of desensitization shots, that may or may not work, and aren't available for all allergens (e.g. cats)
3) take drowsy antihistimines (Actifed, for instance).

(I guess you could try and create an allergen free environment.. or keep moving to areas with different vegetation)

Now that the newer drugs exist, a person can take them, and there's no particular reason why they shouldn't take them for the rest of their life (or at least until the allergy goes away.. some do).

Is this a bad thing? You take a drug that counteracts a problem with your biochemistry that is largely a genetic thing (you have IgE).

There's no doubt that ADHD can be misdiagnosed, particularly because the drugs have desirable effects (the black market trade in stimulants at schools is quite active and large).

However, why would you object to anyone taking it. Is taking a stimulant somehow morally wrong? Or is it some sort of "cheating" to allow you to do more with what you were born with? Is drinking redbull, or coffee, or whatever somehow different, just because of the non-prescription nature of it.

Lots of comments about how little Johnny is being drugged so they sit quietly, and that this is somehow evil, and we should let Johnny express his true nature. Is this some sort of throwback to Rousseau's noble savage: that somehow things in nature are *better* than things that are artificial in some way.

I think that as long there's informed consent, let people use what drugs they want, with an awareness of the side-effects. (this *is* the problem, though.. the drug companies have a huge incentive to market the good, and minimize the bad... Better test scores, more productive at work, die sooner)

Re:Lots of "lifetime" drugs now (1)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | about 10 months ago | (#45703801)

Obvious Pharma shill is obvious.

Consider insulin. Do you have an objection to taking this all your life if you're diabetic?

If you stop taking insulin, is there a strong chance that you might suddenly want to kill people, yourself included? No? Then you're kinda comparing apples to hand grenades, aren't you?

TL;DR (1)

Darth Snowshoe (1434515) | about 10 months ago | (#45703497)

TL

ADD (2)

Charliemopps (1157495) | about 10 months ago | (#45703591)

I've got ADD. I was diagnosed with it in 5th grade. My parents refused medications and instead demanded the school address it via teaching techniques. Right or wrong that decision lead to me being who I am. They used to tell me in my special ed class that I was the only one in there that actually had ADD, the rest were just lazy. lol. It does bother me how many people I meet that claim to have ADD and clearly do not. Just about everyone self diagnoses themselves with it at a whim. It's not a joke, it's a real and debilitating disease.

My teachers taught me how to focus despite my disability. Today's shrinks (at least the ones I see) call it "Hyper focus" which has it's pluses and negatives. I can be given a task and plow through it in an almost machine like manner. I could be at a rock concert, it doesn't matter. If the planes going down and you need someone to work on fixing the autopilot before we crash without being distracted by imminent death and everyone screaming, I'm your man. I'd still be stripping wires as we plowed into the ground.

The downside is, I'm not in many plane crashes or doing work at rock concerts so often. More routinely I'm at my desk focused on some code or SQL, and I miss a fire drill... or someone comes up to me, needs my attention and keeps bugging me until I finally turn around in a rage and say WHAT?!?!?!? then feel very embarrassed. Luckily I've explained my condition and my co-workers understand why it happens. Like any mental health condition it becomes a lot easier to deal with when you have a shrink give you tools that you can teach to those around you. Now my friends and co-workers know there is value in me being a bit off and put up with me getting cranky when torn away from my work. They also tap me on the shoulder for fire alarms now. :-)

And, I always like to state that being open about mental health issues is good. We need to stop shunning people who have them... We ALL have them.

MORE DRUGS FOR OUR KIDS! (1)

YoungManKlaus (2773165) | about 10 months ago | (#45703651)

Because TV is not working any more to keep them busy while we don't want to care for them!

It might not just be Big Pharma (1)

QilessQi (2044624) | about 10 months ago | (#45703657)

A number of years back I used to dial-surf while driving, and often I'd come across the local Christian (mainstream Protestant really) radio station. One thing I remember noticing was the tremendous number of ads and special segments involving ADD and ADHD diagnoses and treatment for kids.

Now, in retrospect, it's possible that the station was sponsored in part by some pharma company. But my only guess at the time was that if you were a parent raising your child in as Biblical a way as possible, but your child was nevertheless inattentive and rebellious, then you might look for some medical reason to explain the disconnect.

We all want explanations for why our lives aren't going the way we want them to, despite our best efforts. Some people take solace in religion, some in science, and some in a combination of both.

And Bi-polar is right on its heels (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45703895)

It seems to be the diagnosis d'jour. When I was diagnosed I went through hours of cognitive and psychological assessments at a University clinic, face to face interviews, and a counselor who was so worried about me that she wanted me to immediately check myself into a mental ward. SInce I have moved around and changed insurance companies I have changed doctors several times. When I walk into their office it is more along the lines of a one page self assessment check list. A joke. You should not accept the diagnosis with out going through interviews and tests along the same complexity and comprehensiveness I had.

Was speaking with a nurse the other day (1)

argStyopa (232550) | about 10 months ago | (#45704289)

....and she mentioned that they had an elderly woman come in for a doctor's visit.

As usual, the woman was told to bring her current medications, so they could make sure about what she was taking, cross reactions, etc.

She came empty handed. The doctor proceeded to gently explain to her (right away) about why it was so important to bring them while the whole time she tried to explain: she doesn't TAKE any meds.

His reply was an astonished, "At all?"

Eventually she got through to this (young) doctor that no, despite being 74 years old, she was on NO ongoing medications, except the occasional aspirin for when she had a headache.

It was this nurse's impression that the doctor was a) disbelieving, and b) absolutely determined that this woman MUST have some sort of undiagnosed malady that she wasn't being treated for. They tested her all over the place - no diabetes (but rather high blood sugar...she said she'd just had coffeecake that morning), high-ish blood pressure but nothing needing treatment, etc. She was just a normal, healthy old person.

The "can't stand still" argument (1)

Daniel Hoffmann (2902427) | about 10 months ago | (#45704595)

When I was a child I simply could not stand doing _nothing_. My mom would make me wait around in the lobby for my older brother to get out of his swimming class for about 40 minutes 3 times a week and I remember vividly that I found those days to be some kind of torture. My mom would get furious that I couldn't just sit on the damn chair and read a stupid magazine silently.

The way I behaved during those 40 minutes the 3 times a week would probably qualify me for the meds they are prescribing for kids these days. Yet not only did I have no trouble concentrating, but I was on the top of my class back on those days. I have to say that most of these cases are probably about kids not being engaged in the education system. If a kid finds listening to the teacher while he tries to shove some random knowledge on the kids brain boring they will start behaving like I did while waiting on the lobby, it's natural since the alternative is to do nothing. Nothing is worse for a child than doing nothing.

It's more about engagement than concentration deficits.

Math (1)

jklovanc (1603149) | about 10 months ago | (#45704735)

Few dispute that classic ADHD, historically estimated to affect 5 percent of children, is a legitimate disability that impedes success at school, work and personal life. But recent data from the CDC show that the diagnosis had been made in 15 percent of high school-age children, and that the number of children on medication for the disorder had soared to 3.5 million from 600,000 in 1990."

According to this [census.gov] census data there are 62.3 million School aged children in the US, Five percent of that is 3.1 Million. The numbers don't seem so far off. Even the 5% may be off as diagnostic criteria changes over time. It may be higher now.

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