Book Review: A Disease Called Childhood

photoOver the past 30 years or so, ADHD (Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder) has grown from an inglorious collection of symptoms into a household name. Approximately 11 percent of children and 15 percent of adolescents in the United States are diagnosed with ADHD. Each American child is 6 times more likely to receive the diagnosis than a child in France and 60 times more likely than a child in Finland. In her recently published book, A Disease Called Childhood, psychologist Marilyn Wedge set out to find out why ADHD became an “American epidemic.” She concludes with a decisive stance against the medicalization of childhood behavior, rampant prescription of stimulants classified as addictive and widespread misrepresentation of research in the name of ADHD. Continue reading

Who’s Afraid of Richard Saul? On the Existence of ADHD

ADHD Does Not ExistIn February of this year, behavioral neurologist Richard Saul, MD, proclaimed in the title of his book, ADHD Does Not Exist: The Truth About Attention Deficit and Hyperactivity Disorder. The publication launched a flurry of heated chatter regarding the legitimacy of the ADHD diagnosis, use and misuse of stimulant medications, and the culture at large that fertilized the seeds of the ADHD epidemic. A glance at the title suggests that Dr. Saul is challenging everything we ever believed to be true about ADHD, perhaps that there is even a problem at all. We and our children are just a bunch of entitled whiners looking for a magic bullet explanation and a shot of legalized speed. Or perhaps western society was duped by psychiatrists and their overlord, Big Pharma, manipulated into a state of learned helplessness and chemical addiction. Continue reading