Tag Archives | psychiatric medication

The Selling of Attention Deficit Disorder (ADHD)

AdhdbrainFinally some tough questions are being asked about one of Big Pharma’s most successful manufactured “diseases,” ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder). The New York Times reports that the number of diagnoses soared amid a 20-year drug marketing campaign – and now it’s gearing up to persuade adults that they have ADHD just like their kids do:

After more than 50 years leading the fight to legitimize attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, Keith Conners could be celebrating.

Severely hyperactive and impulsive children, once shunned as bad seeds, are now recognized as having a real neurological problem. Doctors and parents have largely accepted drugs like Adderall and Concerta to temper the traits of classic A.D.H.D., helping youngsters succeed in school and beyond.

But Dr. Conners did not feel triumphant this fall as he addressed a group of fellow A.D.H.D. specialists in Washington. He noted that recent data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show that the diagnosis had been made in 15 percent of high school-age children, and that the number of children on medication for the disorder had soared to 3.5 million from 600,000 in 1990.

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Confession: I’m on SSRIs

Picture: Christine de la Cerna

To say that I have a family history of mental illness would be an understatement: I’ve got a long, storied family history of men putting shotguns in their mouths and pulling the trigger. I’ve even got a few female suicides as well. Family rumors were that I had a great, great aunt that took a header off a bridge. One of my parents crawled into a whiskey bottle and died. The other recently became persona non grata after putting a pellet rifle to the head of a newborn. Last I heard she’s living in a trailer out in the woods somewhere, gobbling up drugs and claiming to have one fatal illness after another. Throw in a grand lineage of drunks and we’re a family in the classic Southern Gothic style.

Call it a family curse – a tainted bloodline, if you’re into H.P. Lovecraft – but it’s one that visited itself on me in my teenage years and decided to stick around.… Read the rest

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