". . .a pamphlet for Vyvanse from its manufacturer,
Shire, shows a parent looking at her son and saying,
'I want to do all I can to help him succeed'."
Nearly one in five high school age boys in the United States and 11 percent of school-age children over all have received a medical diagnosis of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, according to new data from the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.. . . .The figures showed that an estimated 6.4 million children ages 4 through 17 had received an A.D.H.D. diagnosis at some point in their lives, a 16 percent increase since 2007 and a 53 percent rise in the past decade. About two-thirds of those with a current diagnosis receive prescriptions for stimulants like Ritalin or Adderall, which can drastically improve the lives of those with A.D.H.D. but can also lead to addiction, anxiety and occasionally psychosis.
A leading voice has been Dr. Ned Hallowell, a child psychiatrist and author of best-selling books on the disorder. But in a recent interview, Dr. Hallowell said that the new C.D.C. data, combined with recent news reports of young people abusing stimulants, left him assessing his role.
Whereas Dr. Hallowell for years would reassure skeptical parents by telling them that Adderall and other stimulants were "safer than aspirin, "he said last week, 'I regret the analogy' and he 'won't be saying that again.'
I've written extensively about what I call 'pseudo-ADHD,' children who look as if they had ADHD but in fact have an environmentally-induced syndrome caused by too much time spent on electronic connections and not enough time spent on human connections, i.e., family dinner, bedtime stories, walks in the park, playing outdoors with friends or relatives, time with pets, buddies, extended family, and other forms of non-electronic connection. Pseudo-ADHD is a real problem; the last thing a child with pseudo-ADHD needs is Ritalin.
While some doctors and patient advocates have welcomed rising diagnosis rates as evidence that the disorder is being better recognized and accepted, others said the new rates suggest that millions of children may be taking medication merely to calm behavior or to do better in school. Pills that are shared with or sold to classmates - diversion long tolerated in college settings and gaining traction in high-achieving high schools - are particularly dangerous, doctors say, because of their health risks when abused.
Interestingly, "rates by state are less precise but vary widely." Is it coincidental that Southern states are more likely to diagnose teens with ADHD (bold emphasis added)?:And even more teenagers are likely to be prescribed medication in the near future because the American Psychiatric Association plans to change the definition of A.D.H.D. to allow more people to receive the diagnosis and treatment.
Southern states, like Arkansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, South Carolina and Tennessee, showed about 23 percent of school-age boys receiving an A.D.H.D. diagnosis. The rates in Colorado and Nevada were less than 10 percent.
More shock quotes but are we really surprised?:
Non-diagnosed students have also caught on to the "benefits" of using these "mental steroids" for test-taking enhancement:"There's no way that one in five high-school boys has A.D.H.D.," said James Swanson, a professor of psychiatry at Florida International University and one of the primary A.D.H.D. researchers in the last 20 years.
. . ."Those are astronomical numbers. I'm floored," said Dr. William Graf, a pediatric neurologist in New Haven and a professor at the Yale School of Medicine. He added, "Mild symptoms are being diagnosed so readily, which goes well beyond the disorder and beyond the zone of ambiguity to pure enhancement of children who are otherwise healthy."
And with all those pills around, how much of that actually goes to friends? Some studies have said it's about 30 percent.
ADHD: An American Dream or Reality?
Changing the Education Paradigm (Video featured above) Less Exercise + Less Arts = Increase in ADHD Drugs
Video with Sir Ken Robinson
Let's Raise Our Kids to be Entrepreneurs - "We're Giving Them Ritalin & Saying To Them:
Don't Be An Entrepreneur Type, Fit Into This Other System And Become A Student" -
Cameron Herold makes the case - TED Video
The Case for Distraction or Ritalin?