Tuesday, March 13, 2007

The Great ADHD Myth... Toughen Up People!

The Daily Mail recently ran a story about how ADHD is over diagnosed. This may be true, but the comments posted are even more alarming and show a great intolerance for differences in our society.

Here's my take on the whole ADHD. Sure this is a myth! And, let's not forget the big scam that eye doctors have been running for years. If a child can't see according to "standard charts" we stick metal or plastic and glass over his eyes. Sometimes, even IN the eyes! Why aren't we working with these kids to help them identify the shapes they are seeing? Why are we so quick to force our students to see what we want them to see? Can't teachers learn to write on the boards so that everyone can learn? Wouldn't it be easier and more cost effective if parents didn't have to spend so much on eyeglasses every year? Now an often less diagnosed, but no less scandalous con is the hearing aid. Don't even get me started on that pseudo-science. See any connections?


Anonymous said...

When I read this all I could think of was Tom Cruise and his comments re depression. Articles like this are highly irresponsible.

As an adult that grew up wondering what was wrong with me, why was I so different? Always feeling depression, anxiety.. The hyperness.. The sadness... Sorry Folks, ADHD is REAL. As real as Depression and it can bring on depression due to the loneliness our disability/disorder inflicts on us.

Yes, some of us are different, some can get "better" with behavior modification and other alternative vitamins.. but many of us, that isn't the option.

I grew up in the Caribbean. I didn't have TV to watch all day; didn't want to anyways. The ocean was my playground. Water is safe there, free of lead, so that wasn't the cause. No there wasn't lead base paint in my home.

My mother had us eat the 5 food groups with every dinner, no, missing breakfast and lunch. And a Salad was included every day. So, that wasn't the problem either.

She had be taking a vitamin b complex and massage therapy - that helped a bit, but no that didn't cure me either.

So, as an adult, suicidal emotions were rampant. I've stayed away from Drugs, alcohol, and anything that could be addictive (oops, I do smoke cigarettes, hard to stop, as they REALLY do calm me down) - didn't want to try any street drugs as I was scared of really liking them, and what the outcome would be. I don't even like taking any medication for basic pains either, headaches, back pain. Nothing

Doctors thought maybe bi-polar - no, cause the emotions were to rapid; Depression - those pills caused me to become suicidal; Maybe I had a personality disorder they thought - those pills made me a raving lunatic;

Could it be ADHD? I asked.. My son has it, my father shows the signs. No, they said.. You are too old, Adults don't have adhd. The kids grow out of it by the time they are 14 --- YEAH RIGHT !!!! said with sarcasm - No ONE and I mean NO ONE wanted to acknowledge that I had ADHD! and NO ONE wanted to help me!

Finally, Adults have finally been recognized. The first time I tried any medication was in a clinical study. Literally I could start SEEING better, HEARING better, not only did I get to pay attention more, feel more focused, feel more part of the society that seemed to shun me, so different.. I was able to become a part of it. It happened immediately.

Everyone around me noticed the results immediately - it was like I entered the world of being human. I fit in.

Unfortunately the drugs do build up in my system, and I have to cycle them, off and on. Am I aware? you bet, after a couple of weeks, I know, it is time to get on them again; People who are close to me (there aren't many- I still have a hard time opening up to others, more out of habit today) let me know when again, because I am driving them insane. Unfortunately there isn't a magic cure, YET, and it is all different for different people.. but I can assure you.

Sorry Charlie -- Doctors don't really like giving ADHD medication as Baughman likes to present. The reality, you have to Fight to get medicated.. You have to Fight the doctors, do so many tests to be correctly diagnosed, and forget about trying to change doctors -- Did you know we have to make sure you go back each mth for a prescription - as expensive as that may be, because the Doctor could lose their license for prescribing multi mth doses? - oh, and let's not forget your insurance company hassles, especially if you want to miss a couple of mths to purge!

Why is Adhd so rampant today? Because Adults were Never diagnosed Correctly. We had to live in Hell because of the Naysayers like Baughman, who obviously has not lived within the mind of an individual like us.

If it were such a myth - this ADHD - then explain WHY do we need to have Behavior modification, or eat special foods? WHY are there so many different Alternatives to help the individuals of this so called Myth?

My question to the “dr’s” who believe this is a myth – have YOU Sat with a group (50 or more) ADULT Adhd individuals, and heard their stories.. See us before we take our meds, have us take our meds in front of you, and then see the difference.. listen to us speak, think, read, watch our attention, watch our body language.. before and after.. and then tell me that you still believe it isn’t real.

Try to convince Us too that what we feel isn’t real. There would be a group of very unhappy people for sure.

TO Dr Baughman one of the dr's who like to dispell the truth of ADHD, I think you have been out of the field for too long, for you to even be able to really get an honest perspective on this disorder.. it was people like YOU who put my life in jeopardy with your misdiagnoses.

Yes Virginia – Indeed, there really is ADHD

Anonymous said...

The problem with your logic is that a phenonelogical feeling of being different doesn't translate with a direct physical abnormality such as abrain tumour that can be physically, reliably, and validly diagnosed and treated. The drugs you take for ADHD are neurotoxins similar to street drugs a local dealer might sell you. The cause of any sort of emergent symptoms we decide to call a disorder is completely unknown and that tinkering with something as poorly understood as our brains can have devastating consequences, so from the basis of medicine it is irresponsible to give into a patients wishes because they 'feel" they have a disorder... you could just be no an extreme end of a normal spectrum... this is akin to more psychiatrists telling people they have bipolar disorder etc. when really there is no known p[hysical cause for any of these disorders, in fact if one is ever discovered the disorder gets shuffled out of psychiatry and into the domain of neurology/internal medicine etc. where they can be correctly diagnosed and treated... now drug companies rampantly market new disorders to hang your woes over so that you can hope for "treatment", which is just some derivative of cocaine...

Aimee said...

*applauds the last post*

ADD and ADHD is a myth. There is no test for it. You don't discover a disorder by scientific consensus. There are several scientists who believe in UFOs or Bigfoot. Does that mean that by scientific consensus they must exist?

Strangely there is a 'disorder' where you believe you have a physical or mental illness such as ADHD. It's called Munchausen Syndrome. It's also marked by a willingness to get treatment even if the treatment is dangerous. Like, say, taking Ritalin, which has some horrendous side effects and actual objective scientific tests have suggested it actually shrinks the brain. That, in simplest terms, is not helpful to anyone.

What's irresponsible is people self-diagnosing, teachers diagnosing then suggesting a highly dangerous controlled substance for something they can't prove exists. Would you go through chemo because a questionnaire says you have cancer? That'd be insane. And irresponsible.

And don't think the psychostimulants given for ADHD are not controlled substances. They're schedule II drugs as classified by the DEA and the Controlled Substances Act. That's the same classification as opium, morphine, fentanyl, methadone, and methamphetamine. Would you give any of those to a child? I would hope not.

Doping children is child abuse. Pure and simple. It's dangerous, harms their bodies and minds, and has killed children. And this is acceptable for a 'disease' not even the experts can prove exists?

Miho said...

I'd like to thank the poster of the first comment, and to the naysayers of ADHD-- it is a real issue, and a serious one at that. Just because it's 'overdiagnosed' doesn't mean a thing-- ever think it might be due to better instruments of testing? As someone who's had ADHD-related issues her whole life, I can tell you that it is a lot worse than you think. Those who don't have mental illnesses or disorders aren't fully capable of understanding what it's like for those who do. Who are you to say that these very real problems are all in our head? As a child, I struggled to do well in school-- I'm bright, but I can't concentrate worth anything. I am easily distracted, making up patterns in my head and often completely losing track of what happens. This continues even today, when I am out of childhood and have what is known as 'Adult ADHD.'
Another myth that I can debunk right now is that parents of children with ADHD use it as an excuse for their child to be lazy and inefficient with their schoolwork. Not so for mine. My mother and father were adamant in not allowing my disorder to interfere with me getting a good education, and it has definitely paid off.
To whomever said that the medication we take for ADHD is dangerous and causes mental deficiencies, would you care to cite those sources where you found that information? I'm a Psychology student, and I have never heard this come up. Yes, methylphenidates (the main drugs found in such medications as Ritalin, Concerta, and Aderol) are in the same family as stimulants, but they affect the ADHD brain differently than they do those without the disorder. ADHD is caused by a chemical imbalance in the prefrontal cortex of the brain-- this is proven by numerous CAT scans of ADHD brains as opposed to those brains without the disorder.
Perhaps it's 'overdiagnosed,' but you must also keep in mind that 1 in 4 cases of ADHD also turns out to be bipolar disorder, which is almost indistinguishable from ADHD in children. As well, ADHD and normal childhood inattention/hyperactivity are distinct from one another in the way it affects the children. To be diagnosed with ADHD, one must be found to have severe problems in social, educational, and home environments to the point where it is incredibly difficult for the person being diagnosed to function normally.
ADHD has always existed; it's only now, when we have the technology to differentiate it from other, 'normal' issues, that we can understand the truth of the matter. I'd recommend reading about how psychological diagnoses are carried out; it might help in the understanding of the whole process. I can tell you from personal experience that it is no fun for the tester or the one being diagnosed, but it's important in order to help people function normally and be able to live productive lives.
So whether or not my words have had any effect on you, I've said what I need to say about my disorder. It's a real issue, one that many people sadly don't understand well enough to pass judgment.

Lee Kolbert said...

Thank you for shedding clarity on an often misunderstood issue. Often only those who experience the pain can truly explain. Unfortunately for those dealing with ADHD, there is also the battle of defending the diagnosis and treatment. It sounds like you've come to terms with how you manage your days in order to be able to focus, and that you know it will always be a part of who you are. I can think of worse things. :)

Thanks for commenting.


Anonymous said...
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REALITY said...

Sorry to comment on an older discussion! I discovered this thread as I have been preparing for my BATTLE with my niece's school for BASIC accommodations for her ADHD which, in my opinion, are mainly best teaching practices.

I have been a special education teacher for the past 10 years. I am the daughter of an undiagnosed father with ADHD and a sister of an older sibling with undiagnosed ADHD. BELIEVE ME WHEN I TELL YOU THIS.... ADHD IS REAL AND A HORRIBLE STRUGGLE WHEN LEFT UNTREATED.

So many experts in this thread! Wow! How many of you have actually worked with large populations of children and can form such an opinion? You have read an article or two, maybe watched a youtube clip? Have you fully studied human development?

Shame on you for making such gross statements without any true knowledge on the manner. Can ADHD be misdiagnosed? Absolutely. WHY? Because we have created a society in which parents are AFRAID for their children and are overly sensitive to every little thing their child does!

I cannot tell you how many friends have asked me if their BABY is displaying signs of autism because he or she didn't make eye contact that one time! Misdiagnosis is rampant! However, it does not make the disability a myth!

Try educating yourselves. This comes from a woman with 10+ years in the field, and 2 masters degrees (Intensive special education, and a Masters in behaviorial education). More importantly... personal experience.

Lee Kolbert said...

Thank you for your comments. Nice thing about blogs is that the conversations go on in perpetuity. Best of luck to you.

Buy Viagra said...

The attention deficit hyperactivity disorder has increase its number of patients during the last decade, due to the fact doesn't exist yet an effective method to help persons with this disease.

florida cpa said...

this is an injustice, who mothers and father can allow, this montrosity! my son has AHHD and the doctors send him RITALIN, and my son is not same he was a few years ago!
please find a different medicene for this

Anonymous said...

Regardless of one's level of expertise in the field of psychiatry/neuroscience, the fact remains that there exists NO valid test of physiology that rules out the reality of the alphabet soup mental illnesses that continue to enlarge the DSM every year. Consensus of existence does not equate to scientific evidence and never will.
Improved nutrition, organ detoxes, and increased exercise should be the default solutions for cognitive deficiencies, but where are the massive profits in that for the drug companies?

Anonymous said...

I'm not gonna try and sound like some "expert" who knows more than I do, so I will refrain from trying to say whether or not adhd exists. I will say, based on my own experience, what I've personally witnessed, and from what I've heard from others, that the situation has gotten ridiculously out of control. There is now a 4-year-old in my daughter's preschool class who is so medicated that he just shuffles around, his eyes look kinda dead and empty, and he doesn't really say anything. I can tell the teachers don't like it, but their opinion seems to be, What can we do? And the parents love to brag about their new improved son. Their complaint about his previous behavior? He talked a little too much, and it was irritating! I tried bringing my concerns to a social worker, but I was told, in no uncertain terms, to butt out and mind my own business! I have since found out that that profession is becoming increasingly pro-drugging-of-children... even children as young as 2. This is just one example that I have observed or heard about. There are some parents out there who are truly grateful for the meds, and in those instances there seems to be some benefit, but there is a serious danger in giving a profession absolute control, allowing them to run amok and do whatever the hell they want, and then attempting to silence dissenters by labeling them as "not really caring about the children". Serious danger indeed. We have pretty much allowed the drug companies to become untouchable, and you know what they say about absolute power! I leave you all with this nugget, and don't ever forget it: "The road to hell is paved with good intentions." Best regards~