ADHD:  The Hoax Unravels

At the risk of stating the obvious, ADHD is not an illness.  Rather, it is an unreliable and disempowering label for a loose collection of arbitrarily chosen and vaguely defined behaviors.  ADHD has been avidly promoted as an illness by pharma-psychiatry for the purpose of selling stimulant drugs.  In which endeavor, they have been phenomenally successful, but, as in other areas of psychiatry, the hoax is unraveling.

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In 2001, the American Academy of Pediatrics published Clinical Practice Guideline: Treatment of the School-Aged Child With Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder Here’s a quote:

RECOMMENDATION 3: The clinician should recommend stimulant medication (strength of evidence: good) and/or behavior therapy (strength of evidence: fair), as appropriate, to improve target outcomes in children with ADHD (strength of recommendation: strong).

The clinician should develop a comprehensive management plan focused on the target outcomes. For most children, stimulant medication is highly effective in the management of the core symptoms of ADHD. For many children, behavioral interventions are valuable as primary treatment or as an adjunct in the management of ADHD, based on the nature of coexisting conditions, specific target outcomes, and family circumstances.”

Clearly, this recommendation is pushing the drugs (evidence good), and is downplaying the usefulness of behavioral interventions (evidence fair).  The reference to behavioral interventions “…as an adjunct…” doesn’t inspire a great deal of confidence in their use as the primary intervention.  And, indeed, this is how “treatment” of “ADHD” has developed in the intervening years:  pills for all, and occasional behavioral programs, many of which were geared towards accepting one’s “illness” and promoting “medication compliance”.

And all of this in a context in which ADHD was being fraudulently promoted by psychiatry, and by its pharma partners, as a neurochemical imbalance which was corrected by stimulant drugs.  Here’s what the eminent Harvard psychiatrist Timothy Wilens, MD, wrote on the matter in the article Paying Attention to ADHD in Family Circle magazine on November 20, 2011:

“ADHD often runs in families.  Parents of ADHD youth often have ADHD themselves.  The disorder is related to an inadequate supply of chemical messengers of the nerve cells in specific regions of the brain related to attention, activity, inhibitions, and mental operations.”

“Contrary to what most parents think, medication is one of the most important treatments for ADHD and is essential for long-term success of these kids.” (p 65)

The above quotes were clearly aimed at mothers, were designed to break down parental resistance to drug-taking, and are typical of what psychiatry generally has been saying on this subject for decades.

Dr. Wilens is an Associate Professor of Psychiatry at Harvard, and works as a psychiatrist at Massachusetts General Hospital.  In 2014 he was named Chief of Staff in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry.  So promoting the chemical imbalance hoax has certainly not harmed his career.

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In recent years, psychiatrists have been experiencing increased scrutiny and criticism from the media, the general public, and some legislators, for the “pill for every problem” approach.  In this context, the American Academy of Pediatrics, in 2011, published an updated set of guidelines for ADHD under the title ADHD: Clinical Practice Guideline for the Diagnosis, Evaluation, and Treatment of Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder in Children and Adolescents  In this revised document, their recommendations for treatment are divided into three parts:  preschool children (4-5); elementary school children (6-11); and adolescents (12-18).  Here is a quote from each section:

Action statement 5a: For preschool-aged children (4–5 years of age), the primary care clinician should prescribe evidence-based parent and/or teacher-administered behavior therapy as the first line of treatment (quality of evidence A/strong recommendation) and may prescribe methylphenidate if the behavior interventions do not provide significant improvement and there is moderate-to-severe continuing disturbance in the child’s function.

Action statement 5b: For elementary school-aged children (6–11 years of age), the primary care clinician should prescribe FDA-approved medications for ADHD (quality of evidence A/strong recommendation) and/or evidence -based parent- and/or teacher-administered behavior therapy as treatment for ADHD, preferably both (quality of evidence B/strong recommendation).

Action statement 5c: For adolescents (12–18 years of age), the primary care clinician should prescribe FDA-approved medications for ADHD with the assent of the adolescent (quality of evidence A/strong recommendation) and may prescribe behavior therapy as treatment for ADHD (quality of evidence C/recommendation), preferably both.

Note in particular that for preschool children, the recommended “first line treatment” is behavior therapy administered by the parent and/or teacher, and the pills are recommended only if the behavioral interventions are not effective, and the problem is moderate-to-severe.  This is a sea-shift from the earlier guidelines.

Note also that for older children, pills and/or behavioral therapy are recommended, “preferably both”.  Here again, behavioral interventions are being emphasized a good deal more than was the case in 2001.

Later in the guidelines document, the authors clarify what they mean by behavior therapy:

“Behavior therapy represents a broad set of specific interventions that have a common goal of modifying the physical and social environment to alter or change behavior. Behavior therapy usually is implemented by training parents in specific techniques that improve their abilities to modify and shape their child’s behavior and to improve the child’s ability to regulate his or her own behavior. The training involves techniques to more effectively provide rewards when their child demonstrates the desired behavior (eg, positive reinforcement), learn what behaviors can be reduced or eliminated by using planned ignoring as an active strategy (or using praising and ignoring in combination), or provide appropriate consequences or punishments when their child fails to meet the goals (eg, punishment). There is a need to consistently apply rewards and consequences as tasks are achieved and then to gradually increase the expectations for each task as they are mastered to shape behaviors.  Although behavior therapy shares a set of principles, individual programs introduce different techniques and strategies to achieve the same ends.” [Emphasis added]

Note that what’s being recommended here is that the parents be trained in the ordinary, time-honored principles of effective parenting.

And remember, this was in 2011 – five years ago, but the shift in the pediatric guidelines has not resulted in a significant shift in practice.

In response to this inertia, on May 3, 2016, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued a press release titled More Young Children with ADHD Could Benefit from Behavior Therapy.

Obviously the CDC considers ADHD to be a disease, but if you can bear with the medicalization wording, here are some interesting quotes:

“The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that before prescribing medicine to a young child, healthcare providers refer parents to training in behavior therapy. However, according to the Vital Signs report, about 75% of young children being treated for ADHD received medicine, and only about half received any form of psychological services, which might have included behavior therapy.” [Emphasis added]

Note that what’s being stressed here is the need to refer parents to behavioral training.

“Parents of young children with ADHD may need support, and behavior therapy is an important first step.  It has been shown to be as effective as medicine, but without the risk of side effects. We are still learning about the potential unintended effects of long-term use of ADHD medicine on young children. Until we know more, the recommendation is to first refer parents of children under 6 years of age with ADHD for training in behavior therapy before prescribing medicine.” [Emphasis added]

“CDC is calling on doctors, nurses, and allied health professionals who treat young children with ADHD to support parents by explaining the benefits of behavior therapy and referring parents for training in behavior therapy.” [Emphasis added]

In addition to the press release, the CDC also provided a press telebriefing in which reporters were able to put questions to senior CDC officials.  One of the questions was from Ariana Cha with the Washington Post.  Her question was:

“Hi.  I had a quick follow-up question about the — about insurance.  And when you say that these should be covered, are you also talking about kind of the gold standard, which is A.B.A. [Applied Behavior Analysis]  Therapy, which is incredibly expensive and usually used for autism but also to address a lot of the same behaviors that you see in ADHD?”

Two CDC officials responded.  First was Anne Schuchat, MD, Principal Deputy Director for CDC:

“No, you know, the treatments are quite different.  And I’d like Dr. Georgina Peacock to comment on that because we don’t believe the same interventions for autism should be used for children with ADHD.”

And then Georgina Peacock, MD, MPH, FAAP, Director, Division of Human Development and Disability:

“So we are talking about behavioral therapy, but this particular behavioral therapy is parent training.  So parents learn skills that help promote positive behaviors in their children.  There’s also a strengthening of the relationship between the parent and the child.  And some of the other things, some of the examples of things that happen, is parents learn about limit setting.  They learn about applying appropriate consequences for inappropriate behaviors and learn about how to improve communication between the parent and the families.  That’s the type of behavioral therapy that we are talking about and the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends for families.” [Emphasis added]

It is clear from these responses that the CDC is not conceptualizing these recommendations as the provision of some kind of specialized treatment to the children, but rather as training the parents in the basic principles and practices of effective parenting.

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In other words, as we “mental illness deniers” have been saying for years, the problem does not reside in the child in the form of some hypothesized brain dysfunction.  Rather, the problem is the direct result of ineffective discipline, training, and correction on the part of caregivers.  And the truly ironic thing is that older people, with no particular training in psychology, psychiatry, social work, counseling, etc., have been saying this for decades, shaking their heads in sadness and disbelief as they watch their children and grandchildren accept pharma-psychiatry’s hoax, and feed the serotonin-disruptive drugs to their children in ever-increasing numbers.  Grandparents – nature’s own trainers in parenting skills – have been effectively silenced by pharma-psychiatry’s spurious, self-serving insistence that these kinds of misbehaviors constitute a brain illness which needs the attention of medically-trained experts.  These unsubstantiated assertions undermine parental confidence, open “uncooperative” parents to accusations of child neglect, and create an environment in which the levels of mastery and self discipline that were the norm for children fifty years ago, are rapidly becoming the exception.

Even CHADD, not noted for challenging the ideology of their pharma benefactors, makes some concessions in this direction.  Here’s a quote from their About ADHD document:

“Problems in parenting or parenting styles may make ADHD better or worse, but these do not cause the disorder. ADHD is clearly a brain-based disorder. Currently research is underway to better define the areas and pathways that are involved.”

This, incidentally, is a truly delightful example of typical psychiatric mental gymnastics.  Let’s take a closer look.

“Problems in parenting or parenting styles may make ADHD better or worse…”

Now, as is well known, ADHD is defined by the presence of six or more habitual behaviors from either or both of two checklists of nine items each.  So if it is being conceded that “problems in parenting” can make ADHD worse, this can only be in terms of a deterioration on one or more of the criterion items.  But since all the criterion items are continuous variables, this inevitably entails a recognition that problems in parenting can push a child past whatever threshold of severity or frequency is required to constitute a “hit”.  Which in turn entails the fact that problems in parenting can produce the six or more hits required to make the “diagnosis”.  In other words, problems in parenting, by CHADD’s own admission, can cause ADHD.  Obviously the drafters of the document realized that they had opened this door, and immediately tried to slam it shut by countering even their own logic with their customary mantra-like assertion:  “ADHD is clearly a brain-based disorder”, the proof of which will be forthcoming any decade now!

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And incidentally, the American Academy of Pediatrics guidelines includes a section on the adverse effects of stimulant drugs.  Here’s a quote:

“An uncommon additional significant adverse effect of stimulants is the occurrence of hallucinations and other psychotic symptoms.”

In 2009, Mosholder et al conducted a study on the incidence of these kinds of events and found:

“A total of 11 psychosis/mania adverse events occurred during 743 person-years of double-blind treatment with these drugs, and no comparable adverse events occurred in a total of 420 person-years of placebo exposure in the same trials. The rate per 100 person-years in the pooled active drug group was 1.48. The analysis of spontaneous postmarketing reports yielded >800 reports of adverse events related to psychosis or mania. In approximately 90% of the cases, there was no reported history of a similar psychiatric condition.”

Eleven cases in 743 person-years (i.e. one in 68 person-years) sounds like a small effect.  But in any given year, about 3.5 million American children take a stimulant drug for ADHD.  And if we assume that each of these children takes the pills for an average of six months (almost certainly an under-estimate), this amounts to approximately 25,700 drug-induced psychosis/mania incidents each year in the US alone.  To the best of my knowledge, no large-scale, systematic study of the outcome of these incidents has been undertaken.

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SUMMARY

The 2011 pediatric guidelines, reinforced as they were by the CDC’s recent press release and telebriefing, represent a formidable broadside against psychiatry’s promotion of ADHD as a brain illness residing within the child.  If this “illness” can be “cured” by improved discipline/correction on the parents’ part, isn’t it eminently reasonable to conclude that ineffective discipline was the precipitating cause of the problem in the first place?  We can be sure that pharma-psychiatry are already working on counter-measures to neutralize the impact of these documents, and we should not expect the bastions of bio-bio-bio psychiatry to crumble overnight. But as Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice put it so lyrically back in 1968:

“But if my analysis of the position is right,
At the end of the tunnel there’s a glimmer of light”
(Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat)

On all sides the hoax is unraveling, and psychiatry has  no response other than the repetition of the same unsubstantiated assertions, laced generously with PR, obfuscation, and the assignment of blame to others for their own errors and deceptions.

 

  • S Randolph Kretchmar

    Interesting whether new practice guidelines (from the American Psychiatric Association, amazingly enough!) regarding “antipsychotics” represent a similar shift, and additional “unraveling”… http://psychnews.psychiatryonline.org/doi/full/10.1176/appi.pn.2015.5a1

  • Mark

    Hey Dr. Hickey, I think you’re completely right that ADHD is a hoax. I want to comment a bit on this though:

    “Rather, the problem is the direct result of ineffective discipline, training, and correction on the part of caregivers.”

    I think we ought to keep in mind that the problems we assign the label ‘ADHD’ are often considered problems only by someone other than the child himself. The idea that children should behave, focus on their work, sit still in class, and so on is a societal judgement, and it’s one the children themselves often disagree with. This is an important point — the lie of psychiatry is a rhetoric for medicalizing socially defined problems, and it’s used by the relatively powerful (in this case parents, teachers, etc.) to couch their expectations and negative judgements of the less powerful (children) in the language of scientific objectivity and illness.

    So while it may that children labelled with ‘ADHD’ need more discipline and better parenting, I’d note that the initial judgement of improper behavior is not an objective one. Other perspectives are possible, and personally I question if the things we expect from children are reasonable at all. Perhaps it’s unreasonable to make them sit still for hours on end, pay attention to boring teachers, and focus on things that don’t hold their interest. I’m channelling Bruce Levine a bit here, but I often suspect many aspects of ‘ADHD’ are just normal child behavior, and the real problems lie with our society and our schools.

  • Rob Bishop

    Our definition of normalcy is arbitrary. It changes over time and varies between cultures. “Problems” are arbitrary. A problem is simply something we decide we don’t want to experience. We make ourselves miserable by resisting reality. Irrational expectations cause us to label things as “problems”. We need education about our nonsensical thinking habits. We have such a strong tendency to think we’re defective, when “specialists” diagnose us as “abnormal”, it’s like giving heroin to a junkie, as the masses proclaim, “It’s so great to find out what is wrong with me! It’s not all in my head!” . . . great comments Mark

  • all too easy

    “This finding makes it clear that dopamine transporters play an important role in modulating attention in all people. Yet, for a given level of dopamine transporters, scores of inattention were, on average, five times greater for ADHD subjects than for controls in this study.”

    “To measure dopamine transporter levels, each subject was given an injection of a radiotracer (a radioactively labeled chemical) designed to bind to dopamine transporters while lying in a positron emission tomography (PET) scanner. The PET camera picks up the radioactive signal from the tracer to precisely measure the level of dopamine transporters.

    The PET scans revealed that ADHD subjects had significantly fewer dopamine transporters than control subjects in the nucleus accumbens, an area of the ventral striatum that is one of the main reward centers in the brain. In a dorsal striatum region known as the putamen, which plays an important role in habits and is also involved with attention, dopamine transporter levels did not differ between the two groups.

    “In both groups, levels of dopamine transporters in the putamen were positively associated with scores of inattention on the self-report questionnaire: the higher the level of transporters, the higher the score of inattention. This finding makes it clear that dopamine transporters play an important role in modulating attention in all people. Yet, for a given level of dopamine transporters, scores of inattention were, on average, five times greater for ADHD subjects than for controls in this study.”

    “These findings suggest that an additional variable in conjunction with dopamine transporters would be required to account for the severity of the symptoms of inattention in ADHD,” Volkow said. “We speculate that this other variable may be lower levels of dopamine release in ADHD subjects.”

    I’d include the detailed references for the above but delusional “ADHD is a hoax” quacks commenting here do not rely upon scientific data, but rather specialize in handpicking and editing data to reach absurd and ridiculous theories.

    Much to the torment of Phil and Company, the biomarkers for ADHD are established.

  • all too easy

    “ADHD Patients Found to Have Chemical Imbalance

    New research shows the first definitive evidence that there is a chemical imbalance in the brains of those suffering from attention deficit and hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

    The study, conducted by the US Department of Energy’s (DOE) Brookhaven National Laboratory in New York State, has found that ADHD sufferers have deficiencies in the way the brain deals with dopamine, an amino acid involved in regulation of movement, thought, and behavior.”

    Yet, unable or unwilling to interpret correctly the science in the literature, Phil stumbles over the truth time and again.
    “And all of this in a context in which ADHD was being fraudulently promoted by psychiatry, and by its pharma partners, as a neurochemical imbalance which was corrected by stimulant drugs.” Phil

    You should be ashamed, Phil

  • all too easy

    Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder predominantly inattentive (ADHD-PI) and combined (ADHD-C) presentations are likely distinct disorders that differ neuroanatomically, neurochemically, and neuropsychologically. However, to date, little is known about specific white matter (WM) regions differentiating ADHD presentations. This study examined differences in WM microstructure using diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) data from 20 ADHD-PI, 18 ADHD-C, and 27 typically developed children. Voxel-wise analysis of DTI measurements in major fiber bundles was carried out using tract-based spatial statistics (TBSS). Clusters showing diffusivity abnormalities were used as regions of interest for regression analysis between fractional anisotropy (FA) and neuropsychological outcomes. Compared to neurotypicals, ADHD-PI children showed higher FA in the anterior thalamic radiations (ATR), bilateral inferior longitudinal fasciculus (ILF), and in the left corticospinal tract (CST). In contrast, the ADHD-C group exhibited higher FA in the bilateral cingulum bundle (CB). In the ADHD-PI group, differences in FA in the left ILF and ATR were accompanied by axial diffusivity (AD) abnormalities. In addition, the ADHD-PI group exhibited atypical mean diffusivity in the forceps minor (FMi) and left ATR and AD differences in right CB compared to healthy subjects. Direct comparison between ADHD presentations demonstrated radial diffusivity differences in FMi. WM clusters with FA irregularities in ADHD were associated with neurobehavioral performance across groups. In conclusion, differences in WM microstructure in ADHD presentations strengthen the theory that ADHD-PI and ADHD-C are two distinct disorders. Regions with WM irregularity seen in both ADHD presentations might serve as predictors of executive and behavioral functioning across groups. Hum Brain Mapp, 2016. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

    © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

    ADHD combined; ADHD preferentially inattentive; executive and behavioral performance; fractional anisotropy; white matter microstructure

    INDEED, children, ADHD does not exist. (One would be tempted to conclude that the drug companies would have provided sufficient evidence demonstrating conclusively the reality of the medical model for ADHD by now, considering they are the funding source for the testing that they always rig. But alas, their results were at best inconclusive.) Just look at this research. Uh oh. Who funded this junk, pray tell, whilst fellating the mass phallus?

  • all too easy

    “ADHD often runs in families. Parents of ADHD youth often have ADHD themselves. The disorder is related to an inadequate supply of chemical messengers of the nerve cells in specific regions of the brain related to attention, activity, inhibitions, and mental operations.”

    “Contrary to what most parents think, medication is one of the most important treatments for ADHD and is essential for long-term success of these kids.” (p 65) Eminent Harvard psychiatrist Timothy Wilens, MD, from Paying Attention to ADHD in Family Circle magazine on November 20, 2011.

    The above quotes were clearly aimed at mothers, were designed to break down parental resistance to drug-taking, and are typical of what psychiatry generally has been saying on this subject for decades. Phil

    Phil, you are calling this Dr. a liar. You are accusing him of betraying his Hippocratic Oath, of deliberately deceiving the public for his own personal gain and dismissing the abundance of evidence that makes perfectly clear that ADHD is a medical disorder.

  • all too easy

    “Problems in parenting or parenting styles may make ADHD better or worse…” Phil quotes from, “ADHD: Clinical Practice Guideline for the Diagnosis, Evaluation, and Treatment of Attention-Deficit/ Hyperactivity Disorder in Children and Adolescents” 2011
    the APA

    “Note in particular that for preschool children, the recommended “first line treatment” is behavior therapy administered by the parent and/or teacher, and the pills are recommended only if the behavioral interventions are not effective, and the problem is moderate-to-severe. This is a sea-shift from the earlier guidelines.” Quote from Phil’s critique.

    Watch this. The text does not say, “and the problem is moderate to severe.” It reads, “…and may prescribe methylphenidate if the behavior interventions do not provide significant improvement and there is moderate-to-severe continuing disturbance in the child’s function.“ Phil wants you to believe that ADHD is a joke; that doctors prescribe powerful drugs to treat it simply as an illegal, immoral slick money-making tool. To him, ADHD cannot be an ongoing or a continuing disabling disorder of a medical nature, period. That’s all he knows. Therefore, he rejects the legitimacy of prescribing drugs to treat ADHD even though it is often a persistent, continuing severe problem. Once the teachers and parents perform their roles properly, there can be no further ADHD problems, according to him. That’s his foundational belief. What he will not acknowledge is this: If a child so diagnosed does not continue to suffer from this damaging condition at any point in time, she should stop taking meds. All psychiatrists and people with genuine concern for children would agree wholeheartedly without reservation. But, Phil wants to convince you that these wonderful, trained, concerned doctors would prescribe drugs regardless whether they are needed. That is Phil’s perverted opinion of every one of these medical professionals.

    “Problems in parenting or parenting styles may make ADHD better or worse, but these do not cause the disorder. ADHD is clearly a brain-based disorder. Currently research is underway to better define the areas and pathways that are involved.” Phil quotes again.

    And then he makes this phenonenal, twisted, illogical leap “So if it is being conceded that “problems in parenting” can make ADHD worse, this can only be in terms of a deterioration on one or more of the criterion items. But since all the criterion items are continuous variables, this inevitably entails a recognition that problems in parenting can push a child past whatever threshold of severity or frequency is required to constitute a “hit”. Which in turn entails the fact that problems in parenting can produce the six or more hits required to make the “diagnosis”. In other words, problems in parenting, by CHADD’s own admission, can cause ADHD.”

    Are you ready for his conclusion? Are you sure? Get this: “If this “illness” can be “cured” by improved discipline/correction on the parents’ part, isn’t it eminently reasonable to conclude that ineffective discipline was the precipitating cause of the problem in the first place? We can be sure that pharma-psychiatry are already working on counter-measures to neutralize the impact of these documents…”

    There is no known cure. Parents do not cause ADHD. Bad parenting is always harmful to any child in any number of ways. Having ADHD as a child is tough enough. Talk about feeling alone. My God. Yearning to learn and to do right and be good without knowing why you cannot, that is hell. Add critical, demanding, perfectionistic parents and reinforce the child’s damaged self-esteen, creating more stress and frustration, and deep rooted anger and hatred. Good parenting can help a struggling child find solace and perhaps the strength to face another day of additional public embarrassment and failure.

  • Phil_Hickey

    S Randolph,

    Thanks for this interesting link.

    In the olden days of fortified towns, if the defenses were crumbling under attack, the leaders and citizens would retreat to the citadel – an inner fortress where they could be safe until the tide turned. I see this in psychiatry today – attempting to pull back to a greatly restricted version of practice. For instance: Dr. Pies and Dr. Frances lamenting the over-use of neuroleptics and antidepressants. And the link that you sent on minimal use of neuroleptics to “manage” people in nursing homes, when in reality the practice has been to dope them into virtual oblivion.

    I think this retreating-to-the-citadel behavior is very encouraging, but it is also important that we not be lulled into a false sense of victory. We’re not there yet. But they’re definitely on the run!

    Best wishes.

  • S Randolph Kretchmar

    We have to burn the citadel and scatter its ashes across the oceans. We certainly cannot stop.

  • Rob Bishop

    Article refers to “agitation” as a “debilitating” difficulty, but isn’t it normal?

  • Phil_Hickey

    Mark,

    I agree with what you say. The problem is that the criteria items that the APA uses to define ADHD are such a mixed bag that any statement about AHDH, or “ADHD” as I prefer to write it, is inevitably distorted. In your comment you are focusing on the sitting still and paying attention criteria items. But the definition also includes items like intruding on others; taking other people’s things without permission; talking excessively; neglecting assigned chores; jumping queues; etc.

    My central problem with the whole thing is that we need to drop the general concept of “ADHD”, and address each individual problem area with regards to the child in question. And, as you imply, one of the first questions we should ask is: is this really a problem? Sometimes the answer to this question will be yes; other times no. But the notion that somehow having six of the nine problems constitutes an illness is nonsense, and destructive nonsense at that.

    With regards to the intrinsic relativity of “psychiatric symptoms”, here are two quotes that you might like from Ullmann and Krasner, A psychological approach to abnormal behavior, Second Edition (1975):

    “The principal argument of this book is that abnormal behavior is no different from normal behavior in its development, its maintenance, or the manner in which it may be changed. The difference between normal and abnormal behavior is not intrinsic; rather it lies in a societal reaction.”

    and

    “A second aspect of behavior likely to be called abnormal is that it is unpleasant enough or disturbing enough for someone to want to change it.”

    Best wishes.

  • S Randolph Kretchmar

    According to a presentation by Stephen M. Stahl, M.D., Ph.D., this morning at the American Psychiatric Association’s annual conference in Atlanta, “psychiatric diagnoses are not diseases”.

    This was a categorical statement from a leading authority in psychopharmacology. Lancet Psychiatry is tweeting Stahl’s slides, calling his presentation “controversial”.

    Wow! Talk about retrenchment…. How do they get past that?

  • Betty Sainz

    I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again. Those of us with ADHD can hyper-focus, too, at times. So, the obvious conclusion must be that we really do not have an organic disorder, but a moral deficiency, a lack of willpower or a streak of laziness.

  • Rob Bishop

    Isn’t under & over focusing an artificial arbitrary invention?

  • all too easy

    Let’s be honest, shall we? It is time. Enough silliness. Enough bullshiting.

    Phil is absolutely correct. ADHD is a hoax, a total, fabricated, ridiculous, evil, money making ruse, created by psychiatrists to make a lot of money through pure B.S. It really is. There’s no sense trying to get around the facts. No one, and I mean no one, has ever had severe challenges paying attention consistently, ever, unless, UNLESS, they were lazy or poorly parented. Okay? Okay! There is not one iota of proof suggesting otherwise.

    We all need to remember that not one single objective test exists that can confirm people don’t pay attention sufficiently to succeed in life. Not one! Quite the opposite. Many tests, objective ones BTW, demonstrate with great precision that everyone who is willing to, can concentrate just fine.

  • Phil_Hickey

    Randolph,

    Thanks for this information. But it’s not as dramatic as it sounds. It’s just a repetition of Thomas Insel’s 2013 statement that:

    “The goal of this new manual [DSM-5], as with all previous editions, is to provide a common language for describing psychopathology. While DSM has been described as a “Bible” for the field, it is, at best, a dictionary, creating a set of labels and defining each.”

    Dr, Stahl’s conclusions stress the role of “inefficiently functioning neurocircuits”, and subtyping “psychiatric symptoms along a neurobiological basis.”

    All I’ve been able to get are the pictures from his slide show, but perhaps I’ll try to do a piece on it.

    Best wishes.

  • Betty Sainz

    ADHD afflicts me, this I know,
    For the DSM tells me so
    Anyone who says otherwise is a big meanie. And an infidel.
    Praise Biederman!

  • Adrian Hansen

    Your determination to make yourself look foolish is astonishing !

  • Number 1 Fan of All Too Easy

    Man you’re so upset bro. Raging on here for over a year because people don’t believe you have a medical problem. Hey, should be easy to show us the test results right? Oh that’s right you’re someone who just believes you have a medical problem because psychiatrists claim it to be so… well there are plenty of places where your religious beliefs can be validated online, plenty of ‘ADHD’ believer forums to go to. Wouldn’t you be happier some place else? You seem to be concentrating on trolling this blog, just fine. Every new post of yours adds more evidence to the claim you are exceptionally good at concentrating on what you want to concentrate on, trolling this blog. But I’m so glad you’re not banned from commenting, because you serve as the PERFECT example of how brainwashed the true believers are. Hundreds of people will have seen your comments over the past year and rather than come to agree with you, your comments help this blog’s case immensely. So thank you, for paying so much attention, in fact no deficit of attention at all, to this blog, you serve as a wonderful orbiting presence here, always reminding readers how rabid and unthinking the true believers in false concepts like the ‘ADHD’ label truly are. Thank you. Please stay. If you do leave, make sure it’s not for too long.

  • all too easy

    you might want to fellate the mass phallus

  • all too easy

    yea. fellating the mass phallus.

  • Number 1 Fan of All Too Easy

    Not just the determination he shows, the sheer level of laser-like concentration on his chosen task, is astonishing too. He demonstrates to the world the amazing, limitless potential of the human mind to concentrate and pay attention, especially for people like ‘all too easy’ who have no provable brain problems, the ability to pay attention is just a breathtaking thing to behold. I’ve never seen someone dedicate 13 months of his life almost daily, plowing enormous attention and concentration into his chosen task, mindlessly droning on about the false concept of psychiatry’s fake disease ‘ADHD’. If aliens came from Mars to Earth they’d be struck by this man’s amazing ability to hold onto his train of thought, pay laser focused attention, for 13 months trolling this blog leaving hundreds of comments under the ‘all too easy’ name. And it’s great for this blog too, I mean you couldn’t ask for more could you? an ‘attention defecit’ believer gets angry with this blog for not sharing his false beliefs and proceeds to lash out by paying extraordinary levels of daily attention to it for around 400 days now. It’s almost like he’s saying ‘how dare you say I don’t have a deficit in being able to pay attention, I’m going to prove you wrong by paying laser-like attention to this blog for 400 days’… absurd! But hey, he may be operating on mind altering drugs.

  • all too easy

    when your done with your crush on me, you will find meaning in life. guaranteed, sweetie, cause compared to hanging on my every word, getting a life has to be an improvement. don’t misunderstand. while your devotion to all things me is bizarre, sick, perverted and typical for fellas like you, the attention you fasten upon me is something i’ve grown accustom to. some have it. you don’t. go stalk someone your own kind

  • all too easy

    I’m so fascinating, I can’t wait to read what I’m going to type next.

  • Adrian Hansen

    That would be as impossible as you trying to get satisfaction out of your big Ego !

  • Parents are paying or in charge, so saying they are the problem is a non starter and saying the kid is incorrigible is not pc(also it is not true). So we say the kid is sick and give him medicine. What a mess. Also, no one wants to say that some children have a different personality that finds it harder to sit in class. That is not a disease, These creative people are super valuable and not to be labeled defective. Good parenting can keep even these kids happy in school. Parenting is clearly the key, but no one wants to name the parents. So the kids get medicated. Horrible result.

  • Rebecca Smith

    yes it is normal. We all get agitated. Now there is a pill for that. LOL

  • Rebecca Smith

    I can say that with my child they missed the whole thing on abuse. I really think they were looking for the easy road. It may have made a big difference if they knew or remembered the abuse criteria as well. it is similar I take it. I for ADHD and bipolar as well. i was the unwitting parent wanting to get help and was misguided by the pills and the help at first. It took my kid throwing the pills a few years later for me to say no way he isn’t me. I was going by force in some ways to take the meds. it was a child thing too. Oh they use that to put parents in line. give the parents an ounce of respect they will know what to do with help.

  • Rebecca Smith

    Mental illness is just that too. it is a band aid for the behaviors we should be trying to help get better if it is hurting others. We are inherently good and bad as far as useful words for this those are the simplest. Ieven talk in the simple terms because the more extensive terms or words are too much for all to get. I would rather know and simplify it for the masses. it is not about being smart we are conditioned that much.

  • Rebecca Smith

    “In your comment you are focusing on the sitting still and paying attention criteria items. But the definition also includes items like intruding on others; taking other people’s things without permission; talking excessively; neglecting assigned chores; jumping queues; etc”

    Ummmmmmmm….well simply put kids want to test the waters of independance as early as I think 2. Yeah I have the one kid who gave me grief most of the times, but I am not to discipline a kid for being angry at things he had no control over. How would that look to him. When i tried he really went kinda gonzo on me and said lots of mean things. I am still to this day trying to find a happy medium to me being duped. It is hard, but as a parent it happens. ADHD will only make the life of the parent that much harder and if there is another reason for the behavior, then you need to really address it. Not put a label to it. All of these things listed are normal even with kids who are not abused as well. Why? have you ever seen a temper tantrum in a store. I rest my case.

    I actually want to add that even though i was diagnosed with a mental illness i have PTSD and it is a behavior based disorder so it is therapy. That does happen too. Think on it, we all are walking into a, sorry i keep foul words out mostly, shit storm if we keep on believing everything we hear or read. I am one of the ones who gut hurt quite badly for trusting the docs who “knew me” my liver is the result of meds and other things. I am losing a physical battle due to the ignorance of mental health. not the liver the other stuff that is right now something i can cope with, it is life changing to me, it takes time. Do I have ADHD for trying?

  • Rebecca Smith

    Creativity runs in my child like it does me. it is wonderful to watch him think on the fly with a problem. Iti s sight for me to watch. he has friends who will do as he says because he is the real shit. It’s not about what is cool or fun. he does go his own way. His friends respect him and that is hard for them too they are the product of the worst of home lives. i have seen way more creative kids to adults, despite the bad way of growing up. I am saying this, as a parent who messed up with my won kid and the meds. I will never not trust his interpretation of how they work in him. it is the truth not just a play.

    Kids need to be let free only so much until they can be let go for the independance and my son I trusted by 14. And saying this, I got hurt big time during the whole time I gave him some rope. He never tried to cut the rope it got longer until 16. he let go this time. I did a stupid thing and it hurt him to the core. i had to let go and wait. Let me tell you I keep on wondering if i did not pay attention to those damned people and what he was given would he have been different. the meds made him have rebound when it wore off. i got hit by keys, clothes anything small. He was still able to control it some. tell me who is stronger him or all the kids made to take a stimulant to just be shut down. no matter how you are turning out, what if it was not an option to take a med how would it be for you? This is directed to the ADHD person who has an answer.

  • all too easy

    Being unable to pay attention consistently destroyed me and it destroys many who have ADHD. Nothing made this inconsistency better. One dose of medication gave to me what I never knew I was missing, but in an instant I understood this disorder, one I never considered I could have. Putting on a pair of glasses is as good an analogy as any. It was like a miracle. It was like a miracle. I could hear; I could follow a conversation, a lecture, I could read without endlessly starting over, and without 40 cups of coffee.
    To the cruel, selfish, egotistical, nasty, vicious, uncaring fools who cannot see, you’d be wise to shut your big fat mouths out of respect for the innocent children who suffer immensely from undiagnosed and untreated ADHD. You cannot hurt me, even a tiny bit, though you try and you’d love to. (Your vain attempts are hilarious, though, so please continue. I love it!) But, you might influence a harmless, lost, confused little fella not to get the medical attention he needs and that is inexcusable. You will be counted among the damned in the end.

  • all too easy

    Lil Stevie Wonder, you are a colossal idiot.

  • all too easy

    Phil loves to blame the parents. He’s done it over and over again for many years. Do your homework. Stop giving Phil a free pass. He has done great harm to innocent kids and their parents. He is very Naziesq. He is cruel, dogmatic, Phariseecal, a detriment to all of us who have been abandoned by our culture, despised, misunderstood, blamed.
    His little band of followers likewise trash and denigrate the disabled, like we really needed more criticism! Like we haven’t been tossed around and humiliated enough as we strive to do our best one more day, one more class, one more hour, one minute.

  • all too easy

    Dear Moron, show me whee it says that having a hard time sitting still is a disease. Fool! Jackass!! Punk. Don’t discard like dung the neurobiological deficits we have like Phil and his cowardly flock. I am 6 feet 2 inches, 267.5 pounds of massive lungs and arms and chest muscles and I could break you and paladapussy and Philly in half with one piston fist through your faces. Don’t be quite so dismissive of a growing brotherhood of Americans who are not going to be pushed around any more. We have had enough

  • all too easy

    400 days? I love your devotion.

    You girls need to make up your little pee wee brains. Golly, Stevie, I thought you were ignoring this troll. Jerk

  • Number 1 fan of blakeacake

    “a growing brotherhood of Americans” LOL! All those fake names you use to pass yourself off as more than one person does not qualify as “a growing brotherhood of Americans.” You’re hilarious. Get real.

  • Phil_Hickey

    Jim,

    Parenting is indeed the key, and previous generations knew this intuitively. It took psychiatry’s lies and pharma’s money to convince an entire society otherwise.

    Best wishes.

  • all too easy

    “At the risk of stating the obvious, ADHD is not an illness.”

    Martians invaded the earth. We never went to the moon. The earth is flat and clodhopper the fellating the mass phallus is an awesome scholar

  • Juan Liam Leonardo

    You just described what it means to do cocaine….

  • Bobby Sherwood

    As a 52 year old specimen for this issue, have, at least a good long term memory. So I can remember as far back as being an infant in my grandmother’s crib upstairs in her house, I can remember many instances to be able to state, that I have always been behind everyone else my age and younger, developmentally, psychologically, academically, physically. I have always been the one who didn’t get it. The one who couldn’t grasp simple ideas, skills and tasks at hand. I remember at Christmas one year as a tot, getting this mechanized clown toy, that when you press down on the lever, the clown flips over the trapeze bar and back. Simple. I knew that’s all I had to do. But when I tried to do it, it was like another part of my brain that just couldn’t get the message on actually doing it. Looking right at the lever, but couldn’t figure out how to do it. Something, just as now, is not functioning correctly in my thinking. It applies to now as well. Can be looking at something that I know how to, but the communication with another part of my brain is in some kind of error, and I just can’t get that task done. I have also had that “lazy gene” thing going on too. Even now. but I’m not lazy. I have worked physically hard all my life and had to push through the lazy gene issue which never leaves me alone. Also schizo-affective, more on the bipolar side or that, and the depression side of that. Now, that being said. I had my first bipolar incident when I was around 5 years old. I remember everything about it and also how it progressed into what it did. It was a positive situation that caused that first bipolar “high”. Just listening to some music and playing with toy planes to create a little movie scene. Lasted all about a few minutes and it was over. OCD: Where I had to have certain things just so, but also a lot of neurotic nonsense on the flip side. I also would drift into daydreams. Sort of a “Walter Mitty” kind of thing. I was always easily distracted in school, couldn’t concentrate, remember, comprehend simple things. Failed all through school. I also did suffer through a lot of bullying, teasing and rejection as time went by. But these instances that I mentioned were “before” the bullying and the rest. My parents treated me the same as my older successful brothers. I guess 2 out of 3 ain’t bad. As far as Bipolar goes. It really kicked in, when I was in my late teens. Clear highs and low. The highs were most excellent. Who needed cocaine, right?! anyway. Those would come on whether triggered or not. even now, and being medicated with lithium for about 25 years, it does what is supposed to, but yeah, also has crappy side effects. It does not stop the cycling of the highs and lows completely. never has. But I don’t know what else I could have done or what else I can do now. Talk therapy Is just that. Talk. It’s more or less a pep talk or discuss changes that are maybe okay to try out on a child. Not an adult. This is something physical. Whether it is genetic, social or environmental, it turned into what it did, no matter what I tried to do to turn it around. I didn’t bring on have these problems, I didn’t wish them to be, I am certainly not lazy. I’ll try anything, I’ve worked myself to disability. Can’t help but to just stare into space when that’s all my mind can do sometimes. And that started before I started taking medication. Trying to focus with a brain that just won’t cooperate and forcing thinking sometimes, causes a lot of distress, fatigue and exhaustion. So what’s your take on this, dear sir. be careful.

  • all too easy

    And for the millions of people who are unable to pay attention consistently to the extent that it is destructive, harmful, pathological, here is what Dear Uncle Phil Hickey recommends:

  • all too easy

    LOL

  • all too easy

    “Parenting is indeed the key” Our resident genius. Ready? Watch. Okay Dr. Phil, prove it.

    Phil is cursed with the inability to see straight, to see what is right in front of him. Each piece of information he finds which he hopes will prove that ADHD is bull is matched with thousands more which prove he is wrong, though he will never present the other side. If all anyone ever heard about was the dangers of dental amalgam, no one would have teeth, but Phil would happily slurp his homogenized burgers. .

  • all too easy

    it was the German physician Weikard’s description of attention deficit (“Attentio Volubilis”) from 1775
    that might be the earliest scientific reference to ADHD (Barkley and Peters 2012).
    Indeed, Weikard’s presentation of attention deficits is quite in line with nowadays
    understanding of essential aspects of the disorder. In his book the following vivid
    description of attention problems is given: “An inattentive person won’t remark
    anything but will shallow everywhere. He studies his matters only superficially; his
    judgments are erroneous and he misconceives the worth of things because he does
    not spend enough time and patience to search a matter individually or by the piece
    with the adequate accuracy. Such people only hear half of everything; they memorize
    or inform only half of it or do it in a messy manner. According to a proverb they
    generally know a little bit of all and nothing of the whole”

    Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder in adults
    A study of treatment and outcome in different age groups
    Michael Hermann Bernhard Lensing

    Can’t be. Phil knows it’s a recently developed hoax based on bad parenting and big-pharma, although he has never offered one single bit of evidence.

  • Becky Lu Lu

    We say his folks are to blame and let him rot throughout his youth. We have the answers.

  • Becky Lu Lu

    The sandcastle of stupidity is crumbling and the hucksters who blame everyone but themselves for perpetuating this debacle have gone deep underground in disgrace. Parents are not to blame. Parents, Bless you for all you do to help your kids through this hellish affliction.