One in 10 children in the US has been diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).
Mind-altering stimulant medication is the standard treatment. Many parents are being pressured to medicate their children for what may be unnecessary reasons. ADHD is “a prime example of a fictitious disease,” said its scientific father Leon Eisenberg shortly before he died in 2009 at the age of 87.
Numerous doctors are finding conclusive evidence that it is being over-diagnosed due to inaccurate diagnosis methods. One of the world’s leading pediatric neuroscientists, Dr. Bruce D. Perry, M.D., Ph.D., recently stated publicly that ADHD is not ‘a real disease.‘ He also noted that the disorder known as ADHD should be considered a description of a wide range of symptoms that many children and adults exhibit, most of which are factors that every one of us displays at some point during our lives.
“It is best thought of as a description. If you look at how you end up with that label, it is remarkable because anyone of us at any given time would fit at least a couple of those criteria,” he said.
Jerome Kagen, a leading expert in childhood development, also said,
“Let’s go back 50 years. We have a 7-year-old child who is bored in school and disrupts classes. Back then, he was called lazy. Today, he is said to suffer from ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder). . . . Every child who’s not doing well in school is sent to see a pediatrician, and the pediatrician says: “It’s ADHD; here’s Ritalin.” In fact, 90 percent of these 5.4 million kids don’t have an abnormal dopamine metabolism. The problem is, if a drug is available to doctors, they’ll make the corresponding diagnosis.”
Why more and more children are diagnosed with ADHD
Dr. Perry’s comments come at a time when ADHD diagnoses are on the rise in the US. Many parents and activists are concerned about the pharmaceutical company’s motivations in promoting drugs to children. Medications like Adderall, Ritalin, Vyvanse and other mind-altering medications are being prescribed to children in increasing numbers. Medications like these may be dangerous to the mental and physical development of children.
This appears to be proof that corporate profits are more important than your family’s health and safety. You may want to reconsider your options when a doctor gives your child a diagnosis of ADHD. There are alternative treatments that can be as effective as medication without harmful side-effects. Dr. Perry suggested an approach that focuses attention on the parents and the child’s environment, while also recommending natural remedies like yoga and improved diet.
“There are a number of non-pharmacological therapies which have been pretty effective. A lot of them involve helping the adults that are around children,” he said.
“Part of what happens is if you have an anxious, overwhelmed parent, that is contagious. When a child is struggling, the adults around them are easily dysregulated too. This negative feedback process between the frustrated teacher or parent and dis-regulated child can escalate out of control. You can teach the adults how to regulate themselves, how to have realistic expectations of the children, how to give them opportunities that are achievable and have success and coach them through the process of helping children who are struggling,” he added.
Given that the problem of ADHD is complex and the term is more of a blanket term used to describe a wide range of behavioral symptoms, it is important to consider what the root causes of many of the symptoms may be before pharmaceutical intervention should be considered.