Ritalin Debate: Some Experts Doubt Existence of ADHD

Discussion in 'Health and medical' started by Dr. Jai Maharaj, Jun 12, 2004.

  1. Ritalin Debate: Some Experts Doubt Existence of ADHD

    By Patrick Goodenough Cybercast News Service (CNSNews.com)
    April 18, 2003

    Pacific Rim Bureau (CNSNews.com) - The debate over attention
    deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and the drugging of
    children diagnosed with it has been rekindled in Australia,
    one of several countries to have followed the U.S. trend
    over recent decades.

    A youth conference in the eastern city of Brisbane this
    week was told that no proof has been found that ADHD
    exists at all.

    U.S. psychologist Dr. Bob Jacobs told the Youth Affairs
    Network Queensland conference that doctors and
    pharmaceutical companies had turned behavioral problems in
    children into a disorder.

    He voiced concern that misdiagnoses resulted in youngsters
    being prescribed powerful drugs like Ritalin, which may
    affect their long-term mental and physical development.

    In a radio interview afterwards, Jacobs - who is on the
    advisory board of the International Center for the Study of
    Psychiatry and Psychology - said his conclusions had been
    made as a result of his own observations during many years
    in practice, working with children and families.

    He cited cases where parents reported that their ADHD-
    diagnosed children could not pay attention - but then those
    same children could play video games for hours without being
    distracted.

    Sometimes where parents made changes in the way they were
    doing things, the symptoms would go away.

    "A real disease doesn't go away when somebody else does
    something," he argued.

    Jacobs said experts had put labels on different behaviors
    and called them a disease.

    "There's no proof. Nobody has ever presented any evidence of
    a condition called ADHD, except to say all these children
    are hyperactive; all these children are inattentive, and
    therefore they all have the disease. It's the 'and
    therefore' that I'm concerned about."

    Jacobs acknowledged that many parents would disagree with
    him. Parents tend to believe what has become the mainstream
    view, in part because the drugs prescribed for ADHD do work
    in that they make the child more docile and more compliant.

    "The child's not getting into trouble at school any more.
    The child's easier to manage at home, so we say, well this
    is great, it works."

    Also, parents struggling with a behavior problem were made
    to feel better. Instead of feeling inadequate as parents,
    they felt they were now struggling with a sick child and
    doing the best they could.

    Money trail

    In the United States in 2001, pharmaceutical companies made
    more than $600 million in profits just on stimulant drugs
    used for attention deficit disorders.

    "If ADHD doesn't exist, those hundreds of millions of
    dollars in profits go away."

    "You have to follow the money," agreed Peyton Knight,
    legislative director at the American Policy Center, a Virginia-
    based think tank.

    "It's big money," he said by phone late Thursday. "The
    more diagnoses there are every year the more Ritalin and
    other mind-altering drugs they are going to be able to
    market and sell."

    Many would vehemently disagree with the arguments against
    the existence of ADHD, he said.

    "But it's never been validated as a disease," Knight said.
    "It's arbitrary."

    "The number of diagnoses has risen exponentially over the
    past decade. It's not like some epidemic is sweeping the
    nation like a flu virus. It's just a matter of diagnoses
    going up because of the popularity of diagnosing children
    with ADHD," he said.

    "In today's society, parents look for the easy way out. If
    their kids are unruly, we give them a pill and it sedates
    them. That becomes a very easy thing to do and if a doctor
    tells them to do this, they feel good about it."

    Knight said there was a fairly sizeable grassroots
    citizens' movement in the United States questioning these
    issues, and more parents and teachers were becoming aware
    of the problems.

    Unfortunately a similar movement had yet to take hold in the
    scientific community, although there were some bold
    specialists who disagreed with the wider-held views.

    One of them is neurologist Dr. Fred Baughman Jr., who in a
    1998 letter to the then Attorney General Janet Reno, called
    the representation of ADHD as a disease and the drugging of
    millions of normal children "the single, biggest heath care
    fraud in U.S. history."

    Massive increase in drug use

    According to Baughman, 500,000 children were diagnosed ADHD
    in 1985 and between 5 and 7 million were today.

    Substantial growth has also been reported in Australia,
    a country of just 19 million people, where it's
    estimated that at least 50,000 children are now on drugs
    prescribed for ADHD.

    A report in the Medical Journal of Australia last November
    said Australia and New Zealand have the third- highest
    rate in the world of the drug use, after the United States
    and Canada.

    Unlike the United States, where Ritalin (methylphenidate) is
    most often prescribed, in Australia dexamphetamine is more
    widely used.

    University of Queensland figures show that legal use of
    dexamphetamine in Australia has risen from 8.3 million
    tablets prescribed in 1984 to 38.4 million tablets in 2001.
    Over the same period Ritalin prescriptions rose from 1.5
    million tablets to 19.3 million.

    The federal government early this year approved use in
    Australia of long-acting Ritalin-LA, which is said to be
    effective for longer than the usual four-hour period for
    standard Ritalin.

    Rosemary Boon, a child psychologist in Sydney for more than
    20 years, acknowledged in a recent article that the drugs
    were effective in settling the child and this benefited
    teachers, parents and classmates. But there was little
    benefit to the afflicted child, she added.

    Boon does not argue that ADHD doesn't exist, but says it can
    be managed with the help of diet, exercise, behavior
    modification, stress management, identification of
    "triggers" of the symptoms, and a supportive family
    environment.

    Critics list among the problems with drugs like Ritalin the
    fact children on them tend not to grow as tall as they might
    otherwise. There are also concerns that a child's
    intelligence, creativity and spontaneity may be dampened.

    The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of
    Psychiatrists says medication should not be the first line
    of intervention for the vast majority of children.
    Alternatives should be looked into first.

    On its website, Novartis, the pharmaceutical company that
    manufactures Ritalin, describes ADHD as "a physical disorder
    caused by differences in how the child's brain works."

    Novartis has an article in the April-May edition of its
    journal, Pathways, arguing for the existence of ADHD.

    It quotes Prof. Russell Barkley of the Medical University of
    South Carolina as saying that ADHD is not overdiagnosed in
    the United States.

    "We have more diagnosis now than before due to better public
    awareness and greater referrals," he said.

    http://www.cnsnews.com/ViewCulture.asp?Page=/Culture/archiv-
    e/200304/CUL20030418a.html

    Posted on 04/18/2003 12:38:09 PM PDT by FreeRadical

    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

    -To: FreeRadical

    Count me in among the concerned. Kids being force-fed
    something an adult could spend years in jail for unlawfully
    possessing... there is something wrong with this picture,
    and it's not a healthy sign.

    Posted on 04/18/2003 12:42:24 PM PDT by thoughtomator

    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

    -To: FreeRadical

    Well, I was a 'hyperactive' kid, inattentive, unruly, non-
    compliant, etc... and I never had to take any
    pharmaceuticals to change my behavior - and yet, now I am a
    responsible, well-adjusted adult... ;0)

    Posted on 04/18/2003 12:43:54 PM PDT by Chad Fairbanks

    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

    More discussion here:

    http://freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/895966/posts

    Jai Maharaj http://www.mantra.com/jai Om Shanti
     
    Tags:


  2. Ritalin Debate: Some Experts Doubt Existence of ADHD

    By Patrick Goodenough Cybercast News Service (CNSNews.com)
    April 18, 2003

    Pacific Rim Bureau (CNSNews.com) - The debate over attention
    deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and the drugging of
    children diagnosed with it has been rekindled in Australia,
    one of several countries to have followed the U.S. trend
    over recent decades.

    A youth conference in the eastern city of Brisbane this
    week was told that no proof has been found that ADHD
    exists at all.

    U.S. psychologist Dr. Bob Jacobs told the Youth Affairs
    Network Queensland conference that doctors and
    pharmaceutical companies had turned behavioral problems in
    children into a disorder.

    He voiced concern that misdiagnoses resulted in youngsters
    being prescribed powerful drugs like Ritalin, which may
    affect their long-term mental and physical development.

    In a radio interview afterwards, Jacobs - who is on the
    advisory board of the International Center for the Study of
    Psychiatry and Psychology - said his conclusions had been
    made as a result of his own observations during many years
    in practice, working with children and families.

    He cited cases where parents reported that their ADHD-
    diagnosed children could not pay attention - but then those
    same children could play video games for hours without being
    distracted.

    Sometimes where parents made changes in the way they were
    doing things, the symptoms would go away.

    "A real disease doesn't go away when somebody else does
    something," he argued.

    Jacobs said experts had put labels on different behaviors
    and called them a disease.

    "There's no proof. Nobody has ever presented any evidence of
    a condition called ADHD, except to say all these children
    are hyperactive; all these children are inattentive, and
    therefore they all have the disease. It's the 'and
    therefore' that I'm concerned about."

    Jacobs acknowledged that many parents would disagree with
    him. Parents tend to believe what has become the mainstream
    view, in part because the drugs prescribed for ADHD do work
    in that they make the child more docile and more compliant.

    "The child's not getting into trouble at school any more.
    The child's easier to manage at home, so we say, well this
    is great, it works."

    Also, parents struggling with a behavior problem were made
    to feel better. Instead of feeling inadequate as parents,
    they felt they were now struggling with a sick child and
    doing the best they could.

    Money trail

    In the United States in 2001, pharmaceutical companies made
    more than $600 million in profits just on stimulant drugs
    used for attention deficit disorders.

    "If ADHD doesn't exist, those hundreds of millions of
    dollars in profits go away."

    "You have to follow the money," agreed Peyton Knight,
    legislative director at the American Policy Center, a Virginia-
    based think tank.

    "It's big money," he said by phone late Thursday. "The
    more diagnoses there are every year the more Ritalin and
    other mind-altering drugs they are going to be able to
    market and sell."

    Many would vehemently disagree with the arguments against
    the existence of ADHD, he said.

    "But it's never been validated as a disease," Knight said.
    "It's arbitrary."

    "The number of diagnoses has risen exponentially over the
    past decade. It's not like some epidemic is sweeping the
    nation like a flu virus. It's just a matter of diagnoses
    going up because of the popularity of diagnosing children
    with ADHD," he said.

    "In today's society, parents look for the easy way out. If
    their kids are unruly, we give them a pill and it sedates
    them. That becomes a very easy thing to do and if a doctor
    tells them to do this, they feel good about it."

    Knight said there was a fairly sizeable grassroots
    citizens' movement in the United States questioning these
    issues, and more parents and teachers were becoming aware
    of the problems.

    Unfortunately a similar movement had yet to take hold in the
    scientific community, although there were some bold
    specialists who disagreed with the wider-held views.

    One of them is neurologist Dr. Fred Baughman Jr., who in a
    1998 letter to the then Attorney General Janet Reno, called
    the representation of ADHD as a disease and the drugging of
    millions of normal children "the single, biggest heath care
    fraud in U.S. history."

    Massive increase in drug use

    According to Baughman, 500,000 children were diagnosed ADHD
    in 1985 and between 5 and 7 million were today.

    Substantial growth has also been reported in Australia,
    a country of just 19 million people, where it's
    estimated that at least 50,000 children are now on drugs
    prescribed for ADHD.

    A report in the Medical Journal of Australia last November
    said Australia and New Zealand have the third- highest
    rate in the world of the drug use, after the United States
    and Canada.

    Unlike the United States, where Ritalin (methylphenidate) is
    most often prescribed, in Australia dexamphetamine is more
    widely used.

    University of Queensland figures show that legal use of
    dexamphetamine in Australia has risen from 8.3 million
    tablets prescribed in 1984 to 38.4 million tablets in 2001.
    Over the same period Ritalin prescriptions rose from 1.5
    million tablets to 19.3 million.

    The federal government early this year approved use in
    Australia of long-acting Ritalin-LA, which is said to be
    effective for longer than the usual four-hour period for
    standard Ritalin.

    Rosemary Boon, a child psychologist in Sydney for more than
    20 years, acknowledged in a recent article that the drugs
    were effective in settling the child and this benefited
    teachers, parents and classmates. But there was little
    benefit to the afflicted child, she added.

    Boon does not argue that ADHD doesn't exist, but says it can
    be managed with the help of diet, exercise, behavior
    modification, stress management, identification of
    "triggers" of the symptoms, and a supportive family
    environment.

    Critics list among the problems with drugs like Ritalin the
    fact children on them tend not to grow as tall as they might
    otherwise. There are also concerns that a child's
    intelligence, creativity and spontaneity may be dampened.

    The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of
    Psychiatrists says medication should not be the first line
    of intervention for the vast majority of children.
    Alternatives should be looked into first.

    On its website, Novartis, the pharmaceutical company that
    manufactures Ritalin, describes ADHD as "a physical disorder
    caused by differences in how the child's brain works."

    Novartis has an article in the April-May edition of its
    journal, Pathways, arguing for the existence of ADHD.

    It quotes Prof. Russell Barkley of the Medical University of
    South Carolina as saying that ADHD is not overdiagnosed in
    the United States.

    "We have more diagnosis now than before due to better public
    awareness and greater referrals," he said.

    http://www.cnsnews.com/ViewCulture.asp?Page=/Culture/archiv-
    e/200304/CUL20030418a.html

    Posted on 04/18/2003 12:38:09 PM PDT by FreeRadical

    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

    -To: FreeRadical

    Count me in among the concerned. Kids being force-fed
    something an adult could spend years in jail for unlawfully
    possessing... there is something wrong with this picture,
    and it's not a healthy sign.

    Posted on 04/18/2003 12:42:24 PM PDT by thoughtomator

    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

    -To: FreeRadical

    Well, I was a 'hyperactive' kid, inattentive, unruly, non-
    compliant, etc... and I never had to take any
    pharmaceuticals to change my behavior - and yet, now I am a
    responsible, well-adjusted adult... ;0)

    Posted on 04/18/2003 12:43:54 PM PDT by Chad Fairbanks

    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

    More discussion here:

    http://freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/895966/posts

    Jai Maharaj http://www.mantra.com/jai Om Shanti
     
  3. Ritalin Debate: Some Experts Doubt Existence of ADHD

    By Patrick Goodenough Cybercast News Service (CNSNews.com)
    April 18, 2003

    Pacific Rim Bureau (CNSNews.com) - The debate over attention
    deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and the drugging of
    children diagnosed with it has been rekindled in Australia,
    one of several countries to have followed the U.S. trend
    over recent decades.

    A youth conference in the eastern city of Brisbane this
    week was told that no proof has been found that ADHD
    exists at all.

    U.S. psychologist Dr. Bob Jacobs told the Youth Affairs
    Network Queensland conference that doctors and
    pharmaceutical companies had turned behavioral problems in
    children into a disorder.

    He voiced concern that misdiagnoses resulted in youngsters
    being prescribed powerful drugs like Ritalin, which may
    affect their long-term mental and physical development.

    In a radio interview afterwards, Jacobs - who is on the
    advisory board of the International Center for the Study of
    Psychiatry and Psychology - said his conclusions had been
    made as a result of his own observations during many years
    in practice, working with children and families.

    He cited cases where parents reported that their ADHD-
    diagnosed children could not pay attention - but then those
    same children could play video games for hours without being
    distracted.

    Sometimes where parents made changes in the way they were
    doing things, the symptoms would go away.

    "A real disease doesn't go away when somebody else does
    something," he argued.

    Jacobs said experts had put labels on different behaviors
    and called them a disease.

    "There's no proof. Nobody has ever presented any evidence of
    a condition called ADHD, except to say all these children
    are hyperactive; all these children are inattentive, and
    therefore they all have the disease. It's the 'and
    therefore' that I'm concerned about."

    Jacobs acknowledged that many parents would disagree with
    him. Parents tend to believe what has become the mainstream
    view, in part because the drugs prescribed for ADHD do work
    in that they make the child more docile and more compliant.

    "The child's not getting into trouble at school any more.
    The child's easier to manage at home, so we say, well this
    is great, it works."

    Also, parents struggling with a behavior problem were made
    to feel better. Instead of feeling inadequate as parents,
    they felt they were now struggling with a sick child and
    doing the best they could.

    Money trail

    In the United States in 2001, pharmaceutical companies made
    more than $600 million in profits just on stimulant drugs
    used for attention deficit disorders.

    "If ADHD doesn't exist, those hundreds of millions of
    dollars in profits go away."

    "You have to follow the money," agreed Peyton Knight,
    legislative director at the American Policy Center, a Virginia-
    based think tank.

    "It's big money," he said by phone late Thursday. "The
    more diagnoses there are every year the more Ritalin and
    other mind-altering drugs they are going to be able to
    market and sell."

    Many would vehemently disagree with the arguments against
    the existence of ADHD, he said.

    "But it's never been validated as a disease," Knight said.
    "It's arbitrary."

    "The number of diagnoses has risen exponentially over the
    past decade. It's not like some epidemic is sweeping the
    nation like a flu virus. It's just a matter of diagnoses
    going up because of the popularity of diagnosing children
    with ADHD," he said.

    "In today's society, parents look for the easy way out. If
    their kids are unruly, we give them a pill and it sedates
    them. That becomes a very easy thing to do and if a doctor
    tells them to do this, they feel good about it."

    Knight said there was a fairly sizeable grassroots
    citizens' movement in the United States questioning these
    issues, and more parents and teachers were becoming aware
    of the problems.

    Unfortunately a similar movement had yet to take hold in the
    scientific community, although there were some bold
    specialists who disagreed with the wider-held views.

    One of them is neurologist Dr. Fred Baughman Jr., who in a
    1998 letter to the then Attorney General Janet Reno, called
    the representation of ADHD as a disease and the drugging of
    millions of normal children "the single, biggest heath care
    fraud in U.S. history."

    Massive increase in drug use

    According to Baughman, 500,000 children were diagnosed ADHD
    in 1985 and between 5 and 7 million were today.

    Substantial growth has also been reported in Australia,
    a country of just 19 million people, where it's
    estimated that at least 50,000 children are now on drugs
    prescribed for ADHD.

    A report in the Medical Journal of Australia last November
    said Australia and New Zealand have the third- highest
    rate in the world of the drug use, after the United States
    and Canada.

    Unlike the United States, where Ritalin (methylphenidate) is
    most often prescribed, in Australia dexamphetamine is more
    widely used.

    University of Queensland figures show that legal use of
    dexamphetamine in Australia has risen from 8.3 million
    tablets prescribed in 1984 to 38.4 million tablets in 2001.
    Over the same period Ritalin prescriptions rose from 1.5
    million tablets to 19.3 million.

    The federal government early this year approved use in
    Australia of long-acting Ritalin-LA, which is said to be
    effective for longer than the usual four-hour period for
    standard Ritalin.

    Rosemary Boon, a child psychologist in Sydney for more than
    20 years, acknowledged in a recent article that the drugs
    were effective in settling the child and this benefited
    teachers, parents and classmates. But there was little
    benefit to the afflicted child, she added.

    Boon does not argue that ADHD doesn't exist, but says it can
    be managed with the help of diet, exercise, behavior
    modification, stress management, identification of
    "triggers" of the symptoms, and a supportive family
    environment.

    Critics list among the problems with drugs like Ritalin the
    fact children on them tend not to grow as tall as they might
    otherwise. There are also concerns that a child's
    intelligence, creativity and spontaneity may be dampened.

    The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of
    Psychiatrists says medication should not be the first line
    of intervention for the vast majority of children.
    Alternatives should be looked into first.

    On its website, Novartis, the pharmaceutical company that
    manufactures Ritalin, describes ADHD as "a physical disorder
    caused by differences in how the child's brain works."

    Novartis has an article in the April-May edition of its
    journal, Pathways, arguing for the existence of ADHD.

    It quotes Prof. Russell Barkley of the Medical University of
    South Carolina as saying that ADHD is not overdiagnosed in
    the United States.

    "We have more diagnosis now than before due to better public
    awareness and greater referrals," he said.

    http://www.cnsnews.com/ViewCulture.asp?Page=/Culture/archiv-
    e/200304/CUL20030418a.html

    Posted on 04/18/2003 12:38:09 PM PDT by FreeRadical

    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

    -To: FreeRadical

    Count me in among the concerned. Kids being force-fed
    something an adult could spend years in jail for unlawfully
    possessing... there is something wrong with this picture,
    and it's not a healthy sign.

    Posted on 04/18/2003 12:42:24 PM PDT by thoughtomator

    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

    -To: FreeRadical

    Well, I was a 'hyperactive' kid, inattentive, unruly, non-
    compliant, etc... and I never had to take any
    pharmaceuticals to change my behavior - and yet, now I am a
    responsible, well-adjusted adult... ;0)

    Posted on 04/18/2003 12:43:54 PM PDT by Chad Fairbanks

    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

    More discussion here:

    http://freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/895966/posts

    Jai Maharaj http://www.mantra.com/jai Om Shanti
     
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