By Jon Herring 03/10/2010
“Hey, Phillip… do you mind if I sit here and eat with you?” I asked.
“How’s school going? Are you doing well?”
“Not really. I just want it to be summer.”
“Yeah, I remember how that used to feel,” I told him.
Phillip is eleven years old. He’s the son of some family friends and I was at a small party when I saw him sitting by himself. I hadn’t seen him for a few years, so I wanted to remind him who I was and get to know him a little better.
As he became comfortable, he opened up a bit more. He told me his plans for the summer. He told me about his friends and the girl he likes at school. And he also told me that he didn’t care for school all that much.
“It’s hard,” he said. “Plus, I have ADHD, so I don’t pay attention very well.”
“Really? How do you know you have ADHD?” I asked.
“That’s what my doctor said. He said I’ve had it since I was born. That’s why I have to take medicine.”
“Well, I think you’re just fine. How does that medicine make you feel?”
“It used to make me kinda nervous,” he said. “And I couldn’t go to sleep when I took it. Now, it just makes me not want to eat.”
After complimenting Phillip on his manners and intelligence, I changed the subject back to his plans for the summer. But what he said bothered me. Here was a bright young boy who was bored and frustrated in school… who probably had a few behavioral problems… and who had now been labeled as having a “disease” and put on medication.
And, unfortunately, Phillip is just one of millions…
I was bothered by his story because I could only imagine what that would do to the psyche and development of a child to be handed a lifelong sentence like that from a doctor. You are broken. You are defective. Your brain doesn’t work right. You are not acceptable in your natural state, but taking these drugs every day can help you.
It might be one thing if ADHD was actually a “disease”… but it’s not.
In 1987, attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) was voted into existence by the American Psychiatric Association and inserted in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM). Yes, that’s right… the “disease” was “voted” into existence.
Can you imagine if we had to take a “vote” to determine whether cancer is a disease… or diabetes… or heart disease? That would be patently ludicrous. But every year, more and more disorders are voted into the DSM.
In the case of ADHD, psychiatrists made a list of the most common behaviors among children that parents and teachers object to — and then termed them a disease. Within one year, more than half a million children were “diagnosed.”
Since then, the number of behaviors that constitute the disorder has continued to grow. There are now 18 of them. That opens the door for even more children to be labeled and then put on drugs.
Today, most ADHD “testing” consists of parents, teachers, school administrators, or social workers checking off these behaviors as observed at home and in the classroom. A doctor reviews the checklist, and if six or more of these behaviors are exhibited, then the child is “diagnosed” with ADHD. In almost every case, the treatment is pharmaceutical.
Today, the “epidemic” of ADHD has grown to about seven million young people in the U.S. Most of these children are on medication. And if you add in the numbers that are on antidepressants and other psychotropic medications, the number is over 10 million. That is larger than the entire population of New York City!
You might ask, where were these kids when I was growing up?
Dr. Russell Barkley, Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Massachusetts, has the answer for that. They were there, he says. “They were the class clowns. […] Back then, we didn’t have a professional label for them.
“They were the lazy kids, the no-good kids, the dropouts, the delinquents, the lay-about ne’er-do-wells who were doing nothing with their lives. Now we know better. Now we know that it is a real disability, that it is a valid condition…”
They were the dropouts, huh? The kids who didn’t fit in? The kids who found traditional schooling to be hostile, boring, and unacceptable? I wonder if Barkley was referring to “dropouts” like:
.Bill Gates & Paul Allen (college dropouts, cofounders of Microsoft)
.Sir Richard Branson (high school dropout, founder of the Virgin Group)
.Michael Dell, Larry Ellison, and .Steve Jobs (college dropouts, computer company founders)
.Kirk Kerkorian (eighth-grade dropout, billionaire)
.William Faulkner (high school and college dropout, Nobel Prize-winning novelist)
.Ray Kroc (high school dropout, founder of McDonald’s)
.Dave Thomas (high school dropout, founder of Wendy’s)
Almost certainly, if many of these men were in school today, they would be “labeled” with a mental disorder.
The pharmaceutical companies and modern psychiatry represent ADHD to be a biological abnormality of the brain. Along with many other “mental illnesses,” it is often said to be caused by that catch-all phrase — “a chemical imbalance.”
The problem is that psychiatry has never validated ADHD as a biological entity. They have never shown even the slightest bit of proof of a “chemical imbalance” or that this is an actual brain disease. And yet, millions of children and parents are told fraudulently that this is the case.
Source: ADHD Is Not a Disease | Natural Health