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A Million Kids Misdiagnosed with ADHD? 711

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the i-wasn't-one-of-them dept.
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.
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A Million Kids Misdiagnosed with ADHD?

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  • Sigh (Score:4, Insightful)

    by cgpirre (1838252) on Wednesday August 18, 2010 @08:48AM (#33286682)
    Just let kids be kids?
    • Re:Sigh (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 18, 2010 @08:50AM (#33286702)

      Where's the profit in that?

      • Re:Sigh (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Xacid (560407) on Wednesday August 18, 2010 @08:54AM (#33286746) Journal

        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".

        • Medical corruption (Score:5, Interesting)

          by rainmouse (1784278) on Wednesday August 18, 2010 @09:39AM (#33287298)
          I wonder if Doctors over diagnose ADHD for the same reasons they over diagnose depression.
          Friend of mine is Doctor working for the UK National Heath Service and he's told me about how they can be offered cash incentives for prescribing certain drugs, particularly antidepressants. Consequently you go to the doctor with any vague symptoms there is a good chance you will walk away with low dosage Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors(SSRI).
          The cash incentives avoid being bribes in a cunning way. If a doctor prescribes enough of a certain pill he gets invited to conferences where they apparently give them more information about the drugs they prescribe. Of course this is out of work hours and the drug companies feel they should compensate the doctors for their time, usually cash in hand with jaw dropping amounts and somehow the after parties end up in hotels with coke and hookers. ''Prescribe our drug and you can come to the next party! ''
          I wish I didn't believe him but first hand I went to the doctors with a headache and lethargy and walked away with a months worth of venlafaxine though I never took them after reading the side effects list. 3 years later I passed all the tests to join the Intelligence Core in the British Army but failed the medical because I had apparently previously been diagnosed with depression.
          • by Third Position (1725934) on Wednesday August 18, 2010 @10:23AM (#33287948)

            You also have to consider the doctor has some incentive to cover himself. Given that a diagnoses of ADHD is subjective, a parent convinced that Little Johnny has ADHD is going to continue doctor shopping until they find one that'll make that diagnoses. Probably a lot of doctors figure it's easier to give in and prescribe the drugs than get sued for malpractice by a disgruntled parent.

            • by asills (230118) on Wednesday August 18, 2010 @10:58AM (#33288566)

              I've had the pleasure of being an outside observer to the therapy and psychiatry world, and you are exactly right from what I've seen and heard. Problem children are problems, parents don't know what to do with them, and they'll go doctor to doctor until they find a solution. Even if that means putting a rowdy child (who just has serious authority issues) on antipsychotics. This problem goes way beyond just ADHD diagnoses; this is just one item in a sea of psychiatry doing what it does best: labelling and providing medication.

          • by xaxa (988988) on Wednesday August 18, 2010 @10:34AM (#33288126)

            Friend of mine is Doctor working for the UK National Heath Service and he's told me about how they can be offered cash incentives for prescribing certain drugs, particularly antidepressants. Consequently you go to the doctor with any vague symptoms there is a good chance you will walk away with low dosage Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors(SSRI).

            I went with non-vague symptoms, and the doctor said "I could prescribe you some drugs if you'd like, but I think you'll do better without any drugs. Instead, I want you to do some outside exercise every day."

            3 years later I passed all the tests to join the Intelligence Core in the British Army but failed the medical because I had apparently previously been diagnosed with depression.

            My doctor asked if I wanted my medical record updated. I said no. I'm not sure (I haven't seen my record since then) but presumably there's no record of my visits.

          • by tophermeyer (1573841) on Wednesday August 18, 2010 @10:41AM (#33288256)

            (Disclaimer: Speaking to the American medical system here.)

            Doctors are also on the hook if they assess and fail to diagnose things like depression. If they aren't sure they're pretty likely to throw you some low dose SSRI's. The side effects are mild and not life threatening, and they tend to make everyone feel a little bit happier. They leave it up to you to take (or not take) that medication, but they're covering themselves. If symptoms persist then they'll take a more serious look at it, but typically they'll write you a scrip and send you on your way.

            I was almost diagnosed with ADD as a kid. My doctor leveled with me and my parents and said that wether or not I was actually suffering from real ADD the typical course of action would be to give me basic happy pills then wait and see what happened. We decided not to pursue medication at that time so we agreed to just pay attention to it and check back in after a while. Eventually the symptoms just went away, I stopped being an idiot and paid attention in school. Parents can be super pushy to get their kids fixed, I imagine a lot of Doctors just don't want to deal with taking a stance in such an ambiguous position and push the pills to keep the families happy.

            In hindsight I'm glad I never received the formal diagnosis. Like your example, those diagnoses tend to stick with people (wether they are accurate or not). I would probably have been lumped in with the special needs kids, and that would have stuck with me all the way through high school.

            • Re:SSRI Disasters (Score:5, Insightful)

              by TaoPhoenix (980487) <TaoPhoenix@yahoo.com> on Wednesday August 18, 2010 @10:51AM (#33288424) Journal

              Alamazadarnit, your quote illustrates the whole problem. Been there, solved that.

              I have Attention problems. I spent about five years semi-scientifically describing its effects down to the activity parsing level.

              If someone has ADD, (*Note the missing H - there are multiple variants!), they get called "moron". Getting called "moron" is what makes you depressed. So an SSRI is a total disaster! What's the chief side effect of SSRI's? Lethargic fatigue! So it makes you more of a "moron".

              If the guy has ADD, FIX the ADD. Ritalin, Strattera, custom natural cocktails, whatever. But get the guy thinking straight so he isn't called "moron", and watch him magically stop being depressed.

              P.S. SSRI side effects are in fact nasty.

          • by VenomPhallus (904463) on Wednesday August 18, 2010 @10:47AM (#33288364)

            "Friend of mine is Doctor working for the UK National Heath Service and he's told me about how they can be offered cash incentives for prescribing certain drugs, particularly antidepressants."

            I'm sorry, but having worked quite extensively for the NHS in the past, a family almost entirely consistening of medics (2 aunts, 2 uncles, my father, my sister) and plenty friends who are medics *and* drug reps, I can tell you that is complete and utter twaddle.

            The idea that doctors are routinely getting off their heads on "coke and hookers" at the drug company's expense has zero grounding in reality.

            • by KiloByte (825081) on Wednesday August 18, 2010 @01:04PM (#33290596)

              My sister's ex' sister is a drug rep, and she was describing exactly what the GP says, except for "coke and hookers", but with coke being nearly unheard of around here, that's pretty consistent.

              And just go visit any doctor, or if that's your family, just see what they're doing. Having all lapels in their coats, all pens and all pads bear the logo of a pharma company, then the walls covered in such posters, quite suggest there might be some way too tight relations...

            • by MPAB (1074440) on Wednesday August 18, 2010 @03:22PM (#33292482)

              As a doctor, I concede there's a payroll for us at big pharma. I couldn't care less about all the pens and cheap gadgets they give us with the name of the medication. But they give us something else, which is something we're obliged to have and produce evidence of: CME (continuing medical education). When big pharma takes us to a seminar or conference that may or may not spin around its product, they're giving us for free something the law forces us to get and which would be very costly if we had to pay for it ourselves.

              A second way of getting us into their payroll is by hiring us as co-investigators to do last-mile tests of medication. In that case, because we're generating information for them they have no issue in paying us for it.

              Please. Erase the US-centrical image of doctors. Around the world we're in a much lower salary scale. In Spain, still a 1st world country, a doctor makes an average of US$ 3500 each month. And most things cost the same or more than in the US.

        • Re:Sigh (Score:4, Funny)

          by Smivs (1197859) <smivs@smivsonline.co.uk> on Wednesday August 18, 2010 @10:17AM (#33287862) Homepage Journal
          It makes you wonder how many American kids are mis-diagnosed as Obese just because they're even fatter than the rest of the kids in class!
          • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

            by sorak (246725)

            It makes you wonder how many American kids are mis-diagnosed as Obese just because they're even fatter than the rest of the kids in class!

            put together?

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by al3k (1638719)
      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 (Score:5, Informative)

        by Erik Hensema (12898) on Wednesday August 18, 2010 @09:06AM (#33286852) Homepage

        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 (Score:5, Informative)

          by al3k (1638719) on Wednesday August 18, 2010 @09:23AM (#33287076) Homepage
          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: (Score:3, Interesting)

            by PFI_Optix (936301)

            As an adult who went 28 years before getting ADHD medication, I rather liked the whole "no appetite" thing :)

            I think it's important for ADHD kids to learn to deal with their differences (note: imho ADHD is not a disorder, or a problem, or a deficiency, we're just a particular set of personality traits that do not do well in modern social norms that require most people to sit still and perform repetitive tasks all day every day) without medication. After I was diagnosed at 28, friends who have ADHD kids star

            • Re:Sigh (Score:4, Interesting)

              by N0Man74 (1620447) on Wednesday August 18, 2010 @10:20AM (#33287908)

              I think it's important for ADHD kids to learn to deal with their differences (note: imho ADHD is not a disorder, or a problem, or a deficiency, we're just a particular set of personality traits that do not do well in modern social norms that require most people to sit still and perform repetitive tasks all day every day) without medication.

              There is at least one personality researcher that believes the same thing. I believe I heard David Keirsey refer to these types of medications as behavioral modification through narcotherapy, and claimed that there is a strong correlation between personality types and the diagnosis of ADD/ADHD.

              He has an interesting article on his site called Drugged Obedience: http://www.keirsey.com/drugged_ob.aspx [keirsey.com]

        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by Scrameustache (459504)

          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.

          Hi, I have ADD, without the H. I wasn't diagnosed as a kid, because I didn't misbehave, I just underperformed. I'd just like to inform you that attention-deficit isn't all about the hyperactivity.

    • Re:Sigh (Score:5, Insightful)

      by v1 (525388) on Wednesday August 18, 2010 @08:52AM (#33286728) Homepage Journal

      Just let kids be kids?

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

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by gorfie (700458)
      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 (Score:5, Insightful)

      by edremy (36408) on Wednesday August 18, 2010 @08:56AM (#33286764) Journal
      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

      • by Thanshin (1188877)

        I have two questions:

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

        - When was the medication invented?

        • Re:Sigh again (Score:5, Informative)

          by scdeimos (632778) on Wednesday August 18, 2010 @09:21AM (#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 (Score:5, Interesting)

          by DrLang21 (900992) on Wednesday August 18, 2010 @09:21AM (#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 (Score:5, Interesting)

            by 0100010001010011 (652467) on Wednesday August 18, 2010 @10:00AM (#33287616)

            I'm finally considering going on something for my Masters. I made it through all of mechanical engineering just on account that I was 'smart'. I've been able to get good reviews at work even though I feel like I only work 2 hours a day. The rest I spend on slashdot and fark or elsewhere on the internet. But somehow the ADHD has kept it such that I'll work in spurts and and surf and still get more work done than my peers.

            It seems that /. has a different group consensus on ADHD (thankfully) but there are some places that think it is made up. That it's just 'kids being kids'. If you spend an hour with me in a 'boring' situation that I don't have my internet pacifier, I start making up things to do. Below is something that I wrote for another website on ADHD:
            ADHD indeed does suck. On Welbutrin right now, but at times it makes me near manic. I mean I'm VERY productive but short term memory is nill (I can't remember where I would set a screw driver) and wouldn't work on something for more than 10 minutes at a time. (Opposed to 30 seconds at a time and switching jobs), I honestly would forget words and speaking came out like I had tics, but it's helped a bit.

            My adult test for ADHD is sex. As long as I have a 'task' which is her pleasure. I'm all into it. I'm concentrating on something. There is however, no such thing as relaxing. Because as soon as I'm told to 'relax' and it's my turn, ADHD kicks in. "Ooh MyTurn.This feels good, hrm I wonder what that car sound was, cars I wonder where I parked my car, oh yeah in the garage next to that BMW, I wonder if I could get a free test ride. shiat losing erection, she looks like it's her, think sexy thoughts think sexy thoughts. Hrm, last time I had sex, that was last weekend, last weekend oh that was before I went to work, work I wonder if that simulation was finished running, crap I have a meeting on Monday, Monday that's labor day, no work labor day, labor day, stupid unions, probably the only thing they've ever given us, union contract expiring at work".

            Repeat. There is a reason sex can take up to 45 minutes and NO it is not fun.

            The only exception is when I either haven't had it in a LONG time (Long distance GF) or it's the first time with someone. Even the second time my brain goes "heh, already done this. What else is can I think about."

            Only thing worse is when I've been cramming for a final on a subject and the brain tries to incorporate the two. Clutch friction plates, rotational intertia, wave motion, hell I have a sex.c file somewhere in my brain. "No baby, it's not you, I just can't figure out the switch statements for this subroutine."

            THAT is ADHD.

            The Welbutrin is so so. I think it severely affects my short term memory. When I'm taking it I can't multi-task because I'll forget what the other task was, so it does sort of force me to work on one thing. However at times it makes me talk like a stroke victim because I can't even speak.

            • My adult test for ADHD is sex. As long as I have a 'task' which is her pleasure. I'm all into it. I'm concentrating on something. There is however, no such thing as relaxing. Because as soon as I'm told to 'relax' and it's my turn, ADHD kicks in. "Ooh MyTurn.This feels good, hrm I wonder what that car sound was

              Ah! That sounds familiar. You wouldn't mind writing a pamphlet, would you? Something along the lines of "So you're dating someone with ADD...", 'cause it's IMPOSSIBLE to convince a girl that it's not because you don't think she's hot or because she's bad in bed, it's just that your brain won't shut up, ever, no matter how much you want it to stop.

            • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

              by sexconker (1179573)

              I'm finally considering going on something for my Masters. I made it through all of mechanical engineering just on account that I was 'smart'. I've been able to get good reviews at work even though I feel like I only work 2 hours a day. The rest I spend on slashdot and fark or elsewhere on the internet. But somehow the ADHD has kept it such that I'll work in spurts and and surf and still get more work done than my peers.

              You do not have ADHD.
              You have "I am semi-competent and prefer surfing the web to working. I am normal."

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by Sarten-X (1102295)

          - 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: (Score:3, Funny)

            So much for the FUD saying ADHD drugs cause kids to become "zombies". How dare you have happy, focused zombies.
        • Re:Sigh again (Score:5, Interesting)

          by Nyder (754090) on Wednesday August 18, 2010 @09:57AM (#33287576) Journal

          I have two questions:

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

          - When was the medication invented?

          I was diagnosed with ADHD in my adult years (mid 30's). Also dyslexia.

          Anyways, I spent most of early school years being extremely frustrated. People didn't seem to understand the points of what I was saying. I didn't play well with others. I could do better if I applied myself. Don't seem to pay attention. etc.

          In my teenage years, nothing really changed.

          In my 20's I discovery herion and that it makes me feel so good that none of the frustration of dealing with people matter.

          In my 30's, after 15 years of being a junkie and trying to stop being a junkie, I get to start seeing a shrink at the methadone clinic. We figure out that I'm ADHD (well, he figured that one out) and dyslexic (i started to notice something was wrong), got me on meds, and I had no problem getting off methadone and staying clean since then.

          My life would be different now if I had found out about my ADHD (and dyslexia, and well, depression) back in my youth and if I had gotten medication for it. How different, no idea. Probably better in the long run, even though I don't really have any complaints.

          By society's "norm" i'm a waste. disabled, living off the government.
          By my goals, I have a my own place, a cat, computers, internet. I'm a slacker, taking this life off.

          So, if i probably would of known about my problems, and taken meds, I'd probably be married, have 2.5 fat kids, probably have 3 cats, some crappy IT job, lots of bills, stress and ulcers. And worse, I'd probably work for microsoft.

          Seriously, I can't say what my life would of been like, but I can safely say this:

          My life has been better since I started taking meds for the ADHD.

      • Re:Sigh again (Score:5, Insightful)

        by andymadigan (792996) <amadigan @ g m ail.com> on Wednesday August 18, 2010 @09:07AM (#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 (Score:5, Insightful)

          by Ethanol-fueled (1125189) * on Wednesday August 18, 2010 @09:35AM (#33287226) Homepage Journal
          Many of my friends who have become parents also don't let their kids out the door, on their bikes or skateboards or whatever, because they're too afraid of terrorists and pedophiles or injury.

          What happens instead is that kids are raised by video games and TV, which overstimulate the kids without allowing them to physically tire themselves out. That's where the drugs come in.

          Bad combination, in my opinion, but I keep my mouth shut. Who am I to tell a parent how to raise their kids? I (thankfully) don't even have kids.
          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by pnuema (523776)
            I (thankfully) don't even have kids.

            The first thing I learned when I became a parent was to never criticize someone else's parenting. Every kid is different. Every circumstance is unique. One child may be able to handle playing outside by themselves just fine. Other kids seem to willfully do everything in their power to get themselves killed. You just don't know until you have done the job.

            I'm pushing 40 now, and the older I get, the more I realize I don't know shit. I'm considered an expert in my field

      • Re:Sigh again (Score:5, Insightful)

        by CraftyJack (1031736) on Wednesday August 18, 2010 @09:11AM (#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: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by TubeSteak (669689)

          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.

          ADD and ADHD are spectrum disorders.
          If you match a certain number of symptoms, a doctor can say you've got the disorder.
          The problem is that 99% of doctors/parents do not follow up with (or do not have available to them) a full evaluation.

          Back in the day a relative of mine was diagnosed, then went to a psychologist who subjected him to hours of tests.
          Everything from "click the mouse when the X pops up on the screen" to "I'm going to read these numbers and I want you to repeat them to me backwards"

          It's a trag

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        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", an
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Just Some Guy (3352)

        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?)

        You beat me to it. My son had the same problems. He simply couldn't focus on his homework, even when we put him in a quiet, calm environment. I'd peek in at him and he'd be playing with his toes, or counting bumps on the ceiling, or staring at his pencil while he twirled it. We tried everything, from carrot to stick, to get him to just finish his homework. A 15 minute assignment would turn into a 2 hour ordeal. One time he came to me crying and upset that he just could not focus on his homework, no matter h

    • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 18, 2010 @09:03AM (#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.

      • by Foobar of Borg (690622) on Wednesday August 18, 2010 @09:16AM (#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: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by Anonymous Coward

          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

    • Re:Sigh (Score:5, Interesting)

      by dtml-try MyNick (453562) <litheran@gmai l . c om> on Wednesday August 18, 2010 @09:06AM (#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.

  • SHOCKING! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Xacid (560407) on Wednesday August 18, 2010 @08:51AM (#33286714) Journal

    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.

    • Except it never was (Score:3, Informative)

      by Moraelin (679338)

      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 a

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by RogueyWon (735973) *
      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
    • Re:SHOCKING! (Score:4, Interesting)

      by Kozz (7764) on Wednesday August 18, 2010 @09:41AM (#33287324)

      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?

      My wife and I have two sons, ages 5 and 3. We long suspected our 5yr old of having/developing ADHD. We held off any official diagnosis or medication until the last few months, and the difference is quite noticeable. You need to understand that you're making a big mistake by equating ADHD with "kids need discipline". It's not that at all. Our 5yr old son can be behaving perfectly well (no discipline needed) yet still generally annoying the crap out of us (to be perfectly honest) when he's completely off meds. And don't get me wrong -- of course we love him dearly, and he's incredibly bright -- but before any medication, he could have difficulty holding his own attention long enough to complete a sentence, repeating a sentence fragment several times, then forgetting how to finish the phrase. "Daddy? Daddy, I want to go to ... I want to go .... can I..? ..." This is just one example of one symptom of his ADHD and I won't go into his entire behavior history and how the diagnosis was confirmed by our pediatrician.

      For many kids with ADHD, the correct type/dosage of medication is like throwing them a lifesaver in rough waters. From your post, I'll assume you're not a medical professional, nor do you have children or close friends with children with ADHD. Though I shouldn't let online comments get under my skin, I'll tell you I take umbrage at your suggestion that I'm merely not providing discipline to my kids. I can assure you they get plenty of playtime, structure, discipline and so on. But when you're doing everything else right, and the ADHD remains, the logical step is to seek treatment of one kind or another. Medication may not be right for everyone, but it helps many.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      As a responsible, seasoned parent I call b.s. on your assertion that the issue is a combination of lack of discipline and energetic kids.

      The diagnosis is not made on energy levels. We have 3 kids, all equally energetic. Two were diagnosed with ADHD (I fought the diagnosis...see a reply I made elsewhere in this thread for details). The difference? Ability to focus and to control impulses.

      Medicine has made a huge difference in their school lives. On non-school days they don't get meds...that level of
  • Sad to say it (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Pojut (1027544) on Wednesday August 18, 2010 @08:53AM (#33286736) Homepage

    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...

  • Special case (Score:5, Interesting)

    by zero.kalvin (1231372) on Wednesday August 18, 2010 @08:55AM (#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.
    • by Pojut (1027544)

      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.

      • 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
  • ADHD is real (Score:4, Informative)

    by dsfox (2694) on Wednesday August 18, 2010 @08:57AM (#33286774) Homepage

    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 (Score:5, Informative)

      by lisaparratt (752068) on Wednesday August 18, 2010 @09:01AM (#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.

      • by Monkeedude1212 (1560403) on Wednesday August 18, 2010 @10:23AM (#33287970) Journal

        Absolutely. If you give dopaminergic stimulants to someone who's neurotypical, you'll watch them bounce off the ceiling.

        They also get a movement speed boost and an increased fire rate.

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by hedwards (940851)
        That last bit depends a great deal on the individual, unfortunately at this point it's not predictable what the appropriate dose is. I take a minimal dose and am round about 200lbs., with symptoms that aren't particularly severe. I take less than many kids do just because that's where the effective dosage range ended up.
    • by JohnFluxx (413620)

      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: (Score:3, Interesting)

      Thank you for that. Two of my 3 kids were diagnosed and are on medication. It was a huge decision to put them on meds and almost caused a split between my wife and I. I told her if she tried to put our daughter on meds that I'd take her and leave. I loved my daughter just as she was and didn't want to change her a bit. After much discussion with teachers, doctors, counselors, I finally agreed to a trial run.

      Amazingly, the drugs worked wonders. She was still the same silly, sweet, loving girl but now
  • Is it just me? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by rotide (1015173) on Wednesday August 18, 2010 @08:59AM (#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? (Score:5, Informative)

      by lisaparratt (752068) on Wednesday August 18, 2010 @09:03AM (#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: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Sarten-X (1102295)

      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 stepson.... (Score:4, Interesting)

    by The Diver (310313) on Wednesday August 18, 2010 @09:06AM (#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

  • by BrianRoach (614397) on Wednesday August 18, 2010 @09:07AM (#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?

  • by Haedrian (1676506) on Wednesday August 18, 2010 @09:07AM (#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.

  • by spiffmastercow (1001386) on Wednesday August 18, 2010 @09:08AM (#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.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 18, 2010 @09:08AM (#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.
  • by Dr. Eggman (932300) on Wednesday August 18, 2010 @09:09AM (#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.
  • by toughluck (633962) on Wednesday August 18, 2010 @09:10AM (#33286898)
    I started to read the article and found it... oh look shinny rocks...
  • Youngest? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by aero2600-5 (797736) on Wednesday August 18, 2010 @09:18AM (#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

  • by Ihlosi (895663) on Wednesday August 18, 2010 @09:21AM (#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.

  • Conspiracy! (Score:5, Informative)

    by nukeade (583009) <<moc.liamtoh> <ta> <11tnepres>> on Wednesday August 18, 2010 @09:27AM (#33287138) Homepage

    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!

  • by Rogerborg (306625) on Wednesday August 18, 2010 @09:35AM (#33287242) Homepage
    I did a lot of research, and found a nearly forgotten technique which has been recently discovered and shows a lot of promise: Disruptive Stimuli Refocussing Behavioural Therapy [youtube.com]. Completely drug free, and a full course of treatment can be delivered in as little as one lesson.
  • by mutube (981006) on Wednesday August 18, 2010 @09:56AM (#33287562) Homepage

    ...that I didn't RTFA

  • by Zontar_Thing_From_Ve (949321) on Wednesday August 18, 2010 @01:08PM (#33290646)
    I'm in my 40s so for those of you not old enough to know this, for the past 30 years in the USA, parents, schools and doctors have all been looking for the quick fix for "problem" kids.

    In the 1980s psychiatric hospitals were the answer. The kids were all "crazy" and need psychiatric help. Some got put on medication. Some did not. But if you caused a problem anywhere, your butt was going to a psych hospital to get you "help".

    In the 1990s, everybody was diagnosed as being hyperactive and put on ritalin.

    Roughly since 2000, now the answer is that all kids have ADD or whatever term du jour they use for it. So maybe now instead of getting ritalin you get some other drug, but you're still on medication.

    So since the medical community and the schools change their method of treatment and diagnosis every 10 years according to whatever faddish diagnosis takes hold, is it really any wonder that people question whether ADD/ADHD or whatever you call it exists? Because 20+ years ago these same kids were sent to psychiatric hospitals and nobody every said they were "hyperactive" or had "attention deficit disorder". And prior to the 1980s, NOBODY went to psych hospitals or got pumped full of pills for simply being bored.

    Look I'm sure that some people really do have ADHD/ADD or whatever they call it and really do need medication for it. But do I think that most kids diagnosed with it have it? Nope.
  • Children or boys? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Have Brain Will Rent (1031664) on Wednesday August 18, 2010 @01:26PM (#33290872)

    Except for one sentence the article gives no clue as to whether there is sexual bias at work in the selection of the little victims here.

    "If a child is behaving poorly, if he's inattentive, if he can't sit still, it may simply be because he's 5 and the other kids are 6," said Elder, assistant professor of economics.

    I've read many press reports about ADHD over the years and it seems clear that it is overwhelmingly boys who are diagnosed and that normal young male behaviour is being treated as pathological.

    • Mod parent up! (Score:4, Insightful)

      by ProteusQ (665382) <dontbother@nowhe r e . c om> on Wednesday August 18, 2010 @01:49PM (#33291188) Journal

      I mean no disrespect to parents trying to raise a child who legitimately has ADHD or to teachers trying to teach such a child, but the idea of:

      1) Segregating students by age
      2) Expecting them sit all day

      may work for girls, but it doesn't work for boys. I can remember clearly my first grade teacher (in the late 70s) talking with another teacher about which of us were quiet (=good) and which were loud (=bad). And she went through _each student by name as we were forced to listen_. And guess who was good? Nearly all of the girls and a minority of boys, the ones who were quiet by disposition. Why? Because those of us who were normal didn't want to sit still and be quiet all day.

      As for age segregation, if boys see older boys modeling good behavior, they tend to do so as well, either because they 'want to grow up to be like them' or they know they'll get smacked if they don't.

      Now, take an extreme version of a 'bad' kid coupled with the willingness to drug said kid for the sake of classroom harmony, and you have an obvious explanation for this report.

  • WTF? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Locke2005 (849178) on Wednesday August 18, 2010 @01:57PM (#33291276)
    Why the hell are teachers making an ADHD diagnosis in the first place? That is something that requires a medical degree. In Oregon, it is against the law for the school staff to tell you your child has ADHD -- which didn't keep my daughter's principle from insisting she as not normal and needed to be medicated. Needless to say, we did not comply -- we transferred her to another school where they treated her like all the other kids and her "behavior problems" instantly disappeared.

    Inattentiveness is not necessarily a sign of ADHD -- it can also be a symptom of depression, trauma, or abuse, as mentioned in this article [cnn.com].
  • by roc97007 (608802) on Wednesday August 18, 2010 @02:09PM (#33291470) Journal

    My daughter's birthday is just shy of the beginning of the school year, making her one of the youngest in her class. In fourth grade her teachers and counselors called me in for a meeting, said it was clear she was ADHD and strongly recommended I get her on Ritalin immediately. I refused. A few months later, another meeting, this time including the vice principal, same forceful recommendation.

    Wondering if they were on to something, I took her to a specialist, but when he found out what the issue was, he gave me a questionnaire to fill out, and prescribed Ritalin without ever actually seeing the child. Apparently the medical profession gets a lot of these cases, and they rotate them through as quickly as possible.

    This cavalier approach started alarm bells ringing, and I started doing research. As a result, I ended up getting her some *real* help (she is severely dyslexic) and continued to resist efforts by the school system to prescribe drugs for her.

    In what turned out to be the final meeting with school offials (sixth grade), I brought in the results from two different specialists and gave an impromptu lecture on dyslexia, it's effects in the classroom, and how this pertains to my child. (Ok, I'm a geek, I probably overprepared.) Eleven expressionless faces looked back at me. When I finished, the principal said "that's all very well, but we are not medical doctors and are not qualified to evaluate this. The school system doesn't recognize dyslexia as a medical condition."

    Ok, so let me get this straight. You decline to consider the results from specialists because you're not medical doctors. Yet you have diagnosed my daughter with a neurobehavioral disorder and prescribe drugs for her.

    It didn't go well after that, and I pulled her out of school. She was homeschooled for three years and then was accepted into an art magnet school, where she thrives. And her counselors have never, ever, suggested she take Ritalin.

    The point is, we're geeks here, we're more likely to have the resources and inclination to dig into the problem and expose this kind of corruption. Dick and Jane, IQ 95 and 97, don't have the wherewithal, and Dick doesn't have time from his backbreaking job at the sprocket plant, and Jane is pretty much incapacitated from her antidepressants, but like any good parents they really do want Dick Junior (IQ 93) to succeed, so when the school says Dickie has a problem and should take these pills...

    ....they believe it. It's not the parents' fault. The system isn't even designed to get all kids on drugs, it's designed to get the easily persuaded to agree in great enough numbers to be significantly profitable.

    What's insidious about this is that some kids (about 2%) really do need the drug to function. It's not the drug's fault. What started as relief for a genuine (although somewhat rare) disorder has turned into a huge cash cow.

  • by Peterus7 (607982) on Wednesday August 18, 2010 @02:39PM (#33291892) Homepage Journal
    I was the little kid who preferred to draw rather than interact, due to being picked on all the time by kids during recess for being small and geeky. So, I was given time release ritalin, which I chewed due to a gag reflex. I literally have no memory of that chunk of my life, save for the occasional bizarre hallucination, and people yelling at me for having nervous tics. I got off it, and suddenly I had friends, I was social, I was doing great in school, and I could actually recollect what had been happening. I'm a grad student now. I can keep up with the schoolwork just fine, and have no issues with focus. According to my mom, who works in neurology now, the company that made Ritalin went around to schools and started giving heavily skewed presentations on ADD and ADHD to teachers, so that the teachers would tell parents that their kids has ADD/ADHD, parents would tell doctors that, doctors would administer a bullshit battery of tests, and kids would do kiddie meth and get stoned.

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