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ADHD Does Not Exist

http://time.com/25370/doctor-adhd-does-not-exist/

You may have already heard about this book.  It’s written by Dr. Richard Saul. Well a friend of mine just posted the article and already she’s getting comments about it… all things about how it’s overdiagnosed and their kid acts ADHD sometimes, but certainly isn’t, etc. 

Anyone with any great responses?

Replies

I would let the experts duke it out. Why bother arguing with someone who says the condition doesn’t exist while ADHD is the most researched condition in the U.S.?

This article isn’t going to stop me from medicating my child, taking her to the doctor and therapist and working with the school.

I’d stay out of it.

Posted by momodoodle on Mar 17, 2014 at 11:06pm

It’s not experts talking about it though… it’s everyone else.  They’re seeing a Dr. say “ADHD doesn’t exist” and all the old stigmas and misinformation is being reinforced.  :(

Posted by Rai0414 on Mar 17, 2014 at 11:12pm

If they’d like, I can lend them my child for a couple of hours…unmedicated.

Posted by Speduc8r on Mar 17, 2014 at 11:36pm

It’s almost ridiculous taking the bait from books like this, but since ADHD symptoms are what they are it’s easy for people to make accusations of that nature.

In my mind what it comes down to is a medical condition that is treated well with medication. Period. Recent research in X-rays, CTs, MRIs demonstrate the way ADHD brains function differently and what it looks like when treated correctly.

It will never make a difference to some that the CDC, National Institute for Mental Health, and many, many other reputable institutes, research facilities and medical professionals have strict criteria they use to diagnose and treat ADHD. That extensive interviewing of teachers, parents, pediatricians, school officials and psychologist are used in conjunction to make a diagnosis. Intellectual, social, and cognitive testing that these children have to undergo. That it has to be a condition that negatively effects every area of life be it school, home, social, etc. You’ll never convince some people and it’s a waste of time trying.

Unlike other disabilities, and I don’t like that word but it can be used strictly for effect, ADHD children do not use wheel chairs, need brail, etc., so that the battle they fight is within them and we do great harm in saying that hardship doesn’t exist. Our biggest concern should be for how sensationalism like this affects their chances of treatment and fairness. It’s an awful burden to have a painful condition that other people want to say ‘doesn’t exist’. It’s irresponsible and attention-seeking - ironically.

I believe that once ADHD is diagnosed medically more effectively, X-ray, MRI, some of this will be put to rest. Until then ask someone with ADHD what it was like before medication and then after so they can explain to you just why it’s so important that they get their medical condition treated and have the support of those around them to overcome the challenges they’ll face their entire lifetime.

To some extent we should just ignore books like this so they don’t get the reactions they’re looking for with self-serving reasons.

Posted by Havebeenthere on Mar 17, 2014 at 11:42pm

People are clearly afraid of what they perceive as unfamiliar, out-of-control, unknown, such that it’s easier to dismiss rather than courageously embrace and transform.
I don’t think it’s possible to understand what it’s like to parent a child with ADHD. However, I do think that the research confirms the generally messed up reaction of the most people. Consider the data from a blog post today about the outrageously high rates of school suspension for kids with disabilities. An out of sight, out of mind mentality:
http://uneducacion.blogspot.com/2014/03/some-districts-schools-reporting-high.html

Posted by MomofMack on Mar 18, 2014 at 12:14am

I am familiar with a number of disorders that “overlap” ADHD- Anxiety and Bipolar for example, and I am one of a number of parents that have suffered with the difficulty of professionals that have trouble distinguishing and treating patients with multiple diagnoses or who have trouble distinguishing between diagnoses.  This is one of the biggest problems with the mental health field overall- it is more subjective than objective and when multiple people look at one person, they often come up with a different diagnosis even when looking at the same symptoms.  There often is not consensus between doctors, psychologists, psychiatrists, and therapists even when using the same DSM to diagnose and treat.  Until the Mental Health field has a more scientific and medically precise method for diagnosis, backed by research, we are going to keep seeing misinformation abound.  Medical professionals (assisted by all families with a mental health history) need to start documenting as much as possible: listing all the symptoms, what medications were taken, and what symptoms improved, and what the family history is.  Then the medical field can start teasing out what the real genetic and environmental issues are and how they are impacted by what medicines.  The technology is there, but the cooperation has not gotten that far yet.

Posted by MollyMS on Mar 18, 2014 at 1:30am

Here is the response I posted on the article when it came out—you may be surprised by my viewpoint:

This article is a sensationalized overview to sell books, plain and simple. However, some of what he claims is true—in SOME cases, there are underlying causes for a cluster of symptoms that looks like ADHD. I completely agree that Western medicine is often just putting a pharmaceutical band-aid on a problem. We need to dig deeper and look for whys.

BUT, and this is a big but, ADHD is more than a lack of attention and hyperactivity. It is a physiological difference in an individual’s brain that causes them to not be in control of their attention span nor their physical movements. It also affects planning, organization, working memory, processing speed, emotional regulation, cognitive function, and more.

I’m all for looking for root causes, and I’ve done a lot of that for my son, who has ADHD, sensory processing disorder, dysgraphia, written expression disorder, severe executive functioning deficits, and a gifted IQ. We have discovered many underlying issues, like genetic polymorphisms and gluten intolerance. Yet, the treatment of all the underlying issues we’ve uncovered by digging deeper has never improved his ADHD symptoms. Not everyone with low iron or gluten intolerance is “cured” of ADHD by addressing those issues—if they are, they didn’t have ADHD in the first place.

Yes, we need to dig deeper, when someone presents with ADHD and in Western medicine as a whole. But denying that ADHD is a “real” condition doesn’t help anyone and only further perpetuates the stigma that makes it that much more difficult for individuals with ADHD to live successful lives.

Penny
ADDconnect Moderator & Mom to Tween Boy with ADHD and LDs

Posted by adhdmomma on Mar 18, 2014 at 5:33pm

We need to consider the source. If this were an actual scientific article on ADHD, it would have been published in a peer review journal like JAMA and not Time Magazine. Since it is just an editorial piece, it doesn’t hold much weight with me.

However, most people don’t read JAMA, but they do read Time. So, the misinformation that is being fed to the public by this “expert” just makes things more difficult for us and our kids.

Posted by SueH on Mar 18, 2014 at 5:34pm

It’s important to note that this article is in the *opinion* section of Time as well.

Penny
ADDconnect Moderator & Mom to Tween Boy with ADHD and LDs

Posted by adhdmomma on Mar 18, 2014 at 6:09pm

If you research ‘pubmed’ there are repeated studies demonstrating the differences the exist within the ADHD brain. Like so many conditions over the course of history the patient gets blamed for the problem until science catches up with the truth. Eventually medical evaluations such as this can be used in combination with psychological evaluations to make a complete diagnosis. Then maybe we won’t have to deal with misinformation and lack of support for the sufferers.

Posted by Havebeenthere on Mar 19, 2014 at 3:09am

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