1 in 5 high school boys have ADHD

From the New York Times:

Nearly one in five high school age boys in the United States and 11 percent of school-age children over all have received a medical diagnosis of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, according to new data from the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

These rates reflect a marked rise over the last decade and could fuel growing concern among many doctors that the A.D.H.D. diagnosis and its medication are overused in American children.

Wow.  Ya think?  Is it really any wonder considering that the psychiatric industry invents mental “disorders” based on self-serving motives rather than science?

And even more teenagers are likely to be prescribed medication in the near future because the American Psychiatric Association plans to change the definition of A.D.H.D. to allow more people to receive the diagnosis and treatment.

Common sense suggests that ADHD is often simply a behavior that is treated with chemicals, not for the benefit of the child, but for the adults who find the behavior intolerable.

A.D.H.D. has historically been estimated to affect 3 to 7 percent of children. The disorder has no definitive test and is determined only by speaking extensively with patients, parents and teachers, and ruling out other possible causes — a subjective process that is often skipped under time constraints and pressure from parents.

“There’s a tremendous push where if the kid’s behavior is thought to be quote-unquote abnormal — if they’re not sitting quietly at their desk — that’s pathological, instead of just childhood,” said Dr. Jerome Groopman, a professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School and the author of “How Doctors Think.”

Psychiatric diagnoses, while shrouded with the mantle of science, are highly subjective and largely impossible to confirm by objective means.  The fact that there is no evidence of a physical cause is what defines it as a mental disease.  And the financial incentives to generate more patients are huge.

An A.D.H.D. diagnosis often results in a family’s paying for a child’s repeated visits to doctors for assessments or prescription renewals. Taxpayers assume this cost for children covered by Medicaid, who, according to the C.D.C. data, have among the highest rates of A.D.H.D. diagnoses: 14 percent for school-age children, about one-third higher than the rest of the population.

ADHD is treated with psychostimulants drugs that contain amphetamine or behave in a way similar to amphetamine.by increasing levels of dopamine and norepinephrine.

The medications — primarily Adderall, Ritalin, Concerta and Vyvanse — often afford those with severe A.D.H.D. the concentration and impulse control to lead relatively normal lives. Because the pills can vastly improve focus and drive among those with perhaps only traces of the disorder, an A.D.H.D. diagnosis has become a popular shortcut to better grades, some experts said, with many students unaware of or disregarding the medication’s health risks.

Of course, once the public starts catching on to their sleazy tactics to line their pockets, all the psychiatric industry needs to do is declare, “Oops.  We changed our minds” as they did when they removed homosexuality from their official list of mental disorders.  The public seems very understanding of that sort of sudden change of direction, never mind the destruction they do when they label people as sick who really aren’t sick at all…

[Adendum] On a slightly related note, the hospital where “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” was filmed opened a mental health museum.

3 thoughts on “1 in 5 high school boys have ADHD

  1. Angie

    I was having a conversation with someone at work over this the other day. My stance has been that it’s boys being boys and parents not wanting to deal with them. Yes a bit simplistic, but bottom line, that’s it.

  2. whistle

    I imagine there really are people who have ADHD. I can’t imagine that 1 in 5 high school boys are better off with Ritalin (assuming they actually take and don’t give/sell it to their friends).

    I used to tutor 8 and 10 year old brothers in Spanish. They moved nonstop. My philosophy was that as long as they were speaking Spanish while moving, I didn’t care what they did. If I had demanding that they still and conjugate “hablar”, I doubt I would have gotten far.

  3. Dave Krueger

    I don’t doubt that there are children with psychological problems, but the psychiatric industry has a lot of financial incentive to take advantage of their power to define “disorders”. The psychiatric industry has established a long history of today’s cures being tomorrow’s horror stories of mistreatment ranging from confinement, to shock, to lobotomy, to drugs, etc. It’s incredible that the public treats them with any credibility at all. I guess the industry just keeps claiming that “we’re not like that anymore” and the public just keeps buying it.

    I think there are a lot of things about our culture and the modern world in general that are incompatible with childhood human nature. The regimented environment of institutionalized education demands that children behave as part of a manageable group while, at the same time, technology is drowning them in distractions and sensory overload. The days of choosing between working on the farm or going to school are gone. These days, kids are swamped with options, almost all of which, are more enjoyable than sitting still and being quiet in a classroom full of kids.

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