Author Topic: Chicago neurologist: ADHD doesn't exist and drugs do more harm than good  (Read 1312 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline mountaineer

  • Member
  • Hero Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 33,057
ADHD doesn't exist and drugs do more harm than good: Doctor claims symptoms can have routine causes that are ignored due to knee-jerk diagnosis
After 50 years in practice Dr Saul says there is no such thing as ADHD; Improving your diet, exercising and sleeping more can alleviate symptoms

By Dr Richard Saul
 03:23 EST, 11 March 2014 

Quote
Distracted, fidgeting and squirming in his seat, the 13-year-old boy in my consulting room was exhibiting all the classic signs of an attention disorder.

His desperate mother hoped that I could do something for her son, who had become sluggish and unfocused at school, did not seem to care that his academic performance was declining, and claimed to feel 'too tired' for sport, which he used to enjoy.

He had been diagnosed with ADHD - Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder - and been taking medication for a year but, to the despair of his teachers and mother, his behaviour had not improved at all.

I was not at all surprised. Why? Because, after 50 years of practising medicine and seeing thousands of patients demonstrating symptoms of ADHD, I have reached the conclusion there is no such thing as ADHD.

This so-called condition has apparently spread like wildfire across the globe in recent years, with a huge increase in its diagnosis and medication. More than 4 per cent of adults and 11 per cent of children in the U.S. have been diagnosed with ADHD - a leap of more than 40 per cent in the past decade. It's now the most common mental health disorder in the UK and affects around 2 to 5   per cent of school-age children.

Prescriptions for the stimulants used to treat it, including Ritalin, doubled for children and quadrupled for adults in the UK between 2003 and 2008. But these stimulants - so-called because they're designed to stimulate parts of the brain that are not thought to be working properly - frequently do not help, and instead cause a range of side-effects, some dangerous. They can even make symptoms worse.

To treat ADHD as a condition, rather than a set of symptoms, is doing a terrible, and dangerous, disservice to the children and adults who are diagnosed with it. There is no doubt that the symptoms - an inability to pay attention to details, fidgeting, interrupting, difficulty staying seated, impulsive behaviour - exist.

But to lump them together and turn them into a diagnosis of ADHD, then to treat this so-called condition with stimulants, is like treating the symptoms of a heart attack - such as severe chest pain - with painkillers, rather than tackling the cause of them by repairing the heart. It is dangerous, neglectful and wrong.

Back in the Seventies, I believed in ADHD. It seemed to explain the attention issues that affected so many children. But over the years I've come to realise that the symptoms actually had a whole range of underlying causes that were being ignored because of the knee-jerk diagnosis of ADHD.

In the case of the 13-year-old boy, I ordered a series of blood tests. These showed he had an iron deficiency: after school, while his mother was out at work, he binged on junk food that was high in sugar but low in iron.

Iron deficiency (anaemia) causes physical fatigue, poor attention and concentration, and memory problems. As soon as his iron intake improved, with iron pills and more fish, fruit, vegetables and nuts, his performance and behaviour improved hugely, too.

The ADHD diagnosis and the stimulants had masked the real problem, as is so often the case. In France, a study in 2004 found 84 per cent of children diagnosed with ADHD were iron deficient, compared with 18 per cent of 'non-ADHD' children. Yet time and time again, doctors miss the real problems - some serious, some easily correctable - by automatically reaching for the ADHD label.   ...


Read entire article at Daily Mail
The skeptic is never for real. There he stands, cocktail in hand, left arm draped languorously on one end of the mantelpiece, telling you that he can't be sure of anything, not even of his own existence. I'll give you my secret method of demolishing universal skepticism in four words. Whisper to him: "Your fly is open." If he thinks knowledge is so all-fired impossible, why does he always look? — James Sire (from, The Universe Next Door)

Offline Rapunzel

  • Hero Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 71,719
I learned something new this morning - when the schools have a "special" needs child (ADD, ADHD falls in the special needs category) the school receives more money from the federal government than they receive for a non-special needs child...... it was opined this could be part of the reason for school staff to push kids into this diagnosis.

“The time is now near at hand which must probably determine, whether Americans are to be, Freemen, or Slaves.” G Washington July 2, 1776

Offline truth_seeker

  • Hero Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 15,566
  • Common sense results oriented conservatism
Over medicating these children starts a cycle of problems. First, the medication is a stimulant, like meth and cocaine.

So when they become adult, they may self-medicate for the effects they have grown used to.

Kids are not taught to respect and obey authority. Parents haven't raised their kids right, teachers aren't expected to and can't do anything, administrators rely on their only option, drug them to make them sit down and be still.

Plus for kids today, it is cool to be problematic. Look at Bieber in court.

Being diagnosed ADD or ADHD gets them attention, and gives them an excuse.

#NeverHillary

Offline alicewonders

  • Hero Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 12,875
  • Live life-it's too short to butt heads w buttheads
I read somewhere once that every family with a child diagnosed with autism receives a $700 check a month from the government.  If this child gets a job, he loses that monthly check.  I wonder if his school also receives money?  Also, that the number of children being diagnosed has jumped exponentially - even sometimes in cases of a child being extremely shy.  I don't know if that is true, but it pretty much dooms that kid to be "special needs" for the rest of his life.  Same with ADHD.  Whenever I hear about a young person shooting up his school and fellow students, I always wonder what kind of medication he is on.
Don't tread on me.   8888madkitty

We told you Trump would win - bigly!

Offline Rapunzel

  • Hero Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 71,719
I read somewhere once that every family with a child diagnosed with autism receives a $700 check a month from the government.  If this child gets a job, he loses that monthly check.  I wonder if his school also receives money?  Also, that the number of children being diagnosed has jumped exponentially - even sometimes in cases of a child being extremely shy.  I don't know if that is true, but it pretty much dooms that kid to be "special needs" for the rest of his life.  Same with ADHD.  Whenever I hear about a young person shooting up his school and fellow students, I always wonder what kind of medication he is on.

What the callers in to Buck Sexton about one of the reasons DeBlasio is cutting the high-performing charter schools in Harlem is he can get more money for the public schools if they have kids with ADHD, ADD, etc.... from the Federal Government... this was the first I'd heard the schools benefit from this.
“The time is now near at hand which must probably determine, whether Americans are to be, Freemen, or Slaves.” G Washington July 2, 1776

Offline alicewonders

  • Hero Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 12,875
  • Live life-it's too short to butt heads w buttheads
What the callers in to Buck Sexton about one of the reasons DeBlasio is cutting the high-performing charter schools in Harlem is he can get more money for the public schools if they have kids with ADHD, ADD, etc.... from the Federal Government... this was the first I'd heard the schools benefit from this.

So, it's not really for the children, it's for the MONEY. 
Don't tread on me.   8888madkitty

We told you Trump would win - bigly!

Offline mountaineer

  • Member
  • Hero Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 33,057
I agree, T_S.
The skeptic is never for real. There he stands, cocktail in hand, left arm draped languorously on one end of the mantelpiece, telling you that he can't be sure of anything, not even of his own existence. I'll give you my secret method of demolishing universal skepticism in four words. Whisper to him: "Your fly is open." If he thinks knowledge is so all-fired impossible, why does he always look? — James Sire (from, The Universe Next Door)

Offline Gazoo

  • Inactive Members
  • Hero Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 3,968
Over medicating these children starts a cycle of problems. First, the medication is a stimulant, like meth and cocaine.

So when they become adult, they may self-medicate for the effects they have grown used to.

Kids are not taught to respect and obey authority. Parents haven't raised their kids right, teachers aren't expected to and can't do anything, administrators rely on their only option, drug them to make them sit down and be still.

Plus for kids today, it is cool to be problematic. Look at Bieber in court.

Being diagnosed ADD or ADHD gets them attention, and gives them an excuse.

Agreed.  goopo  I think a lot of the kids could also have early childhood allergies that can have them hyper and acting like the tazmanian devil and the teachers and docs scream ADHD.
"The Tea Party has a right to feel cheated.

When does the Republican Party, put in the majority by the Tea Party, plan to honor its commitment to halt the growth of the Federal monolith and bring the budget back into balance"?

Offline Atomic Cow

  • Hero Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 18,235
  • High Yield Minion
While I'm sure a small number of kids really do have a medical problem, I think 99% are not suffering from anything more than being a kid.

My school tried to convince my parents I had ADD, and I was even forced to take medication for a few months because of it.  That crap made me so sick I told my parents that if I could not stop taking it, I would kill myself.  I was dead serious.  To this day, I think my chronic health problems are because of those drugs as nearly all started at the same time I was taking it or shortly thereafter.

The teacher at the time said I was not paying attention in class.  Yes I was, when it was something which interested me.  When it was math, I zoned out because I never liked math and would have rather gone outside and played with my friends.  What little kid doesn't want to do that?
"...And these atomic bombs which science burst upon the world that night were strange, even to the men who used them."  H. G. Wells, The World Set Free, 1914

"The one pervading evil of democracy is the tyranny of the majority, or rather of that party, not always the majority, that succeeds, by force or fraud, in carrying elections." -Lord Acton

Offline Oceander

  • Technical
  • Hero Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 42,739
  • #NeverTrumpForever
The fact that a particular condition is overdiagnosed, for whatever reason, does not mean that the condition itself is not real nor that those who bona fide suffer from the condition will not improve with the treatment recommended for that condition.

Offline alicewonders

  • Hero Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 12,875
  • Live life-it's too short to butt heads w buttheads
Agreed.  goopo  I think a lot of the kids could also have early childhood allergies that can have them hyper and acting like the tazmanian devil and the teachers and docs scream ADHD.

Add to that - many kids don't get the physical play activity we used to get.  We would spend our hyperactivity (normal childhood) running around the neighborhood instead of cooped up in our room playing video games. 
Don't tread on me.   8888madkitty

We told you Trump would win - bigly!

Offline mystery-ak

  • Owner
  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • ******
  • Posts: 246,270
Over medicating these children starts a cycle of problems. First, the medication is a stimulant, like meth and cocaine.

So when they become adult, they may self-medicate for the effects they have grown used to.

Kids are not taught to respect and obey authority. Parents haven't raised their kids right, teachers aren't expected to and can't do anything, administrators rely on their only option, drug them to make them sit down and be still.

Plus for kids today, it is cool to be problematic. Look at Bieber in court.

Being diagnosed ADD or ADHD gets them attention, and gives them an excuse.


Well I have to respond....My son now 35 was diagnosed with ADHD when he was in 1st grade....I took him to Eastern Il U to be evaluated...several pediatricians specializing in ADHD....they all came to the same conclusion...he had ADHD...he was put on ritalin only during the school year and off during the summers...it was a life saver...we hired tutors to help him..I tutored during the off nights..these were trying times in my family....I did not give up on this child and he graduated from HS and is now a chef with a family of his own.....When I hear people say that this is a made up disease I want to slap them.....they have no idea what that child or parents go through.

I will say that it is over diagnosed and the use of drugs are overly prescribed...when this happens it hurts the real victims of ADHD

And no..we received no government check for $700 to help with all his meds and tutors...
« Last Edit: March 11, 2014, 08:34:36 PM by mystery-ak »

Support the USO

Offline alicewonders

  • Hero Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 12,875
  • Live life-it's too short to butt heads w buttheads

Well I have to respond....My son now 35 was diagnosed with ADHD when he was in 1st grade....I took him to Eastern Il U to be evaluated...several pediatricians specializing in ADHD....they all came to the same conclusion...he had ADHD...he was put on ritalin only during the school year and off during the summers...it was a life saver...we hired tutors to help him..I tutored during the off nights..these were trying times in my family....I did not give up on this child and he graduated from HS and is now a chef with a family of his own.....When I hear people say that this is a made up disease I want to slap them.....they have no idea what that child or parents go through.

I will say that it is over diagnosed and the use of drugs are overly prescribed...when this happens it hurts the real victims of ADHD

And no..we received no government check for $700 to help with all his meds and tutors...

There's no doubt that there are children that really suffer from these conditions - but I think it is over-diagnosed.  The $700 check that I read about was for children diagnosed with autism.  That was also some years ago when your son was going through it - there may be money involved now.  I do not know, but I do think many children are saddled with the diagnosis that don't have the condition.  I'm glad it helped your son, I'm sure it was a tough time. 
Don't tread on me.   8888madkitty

We told you Trump would win - bigly!

Offline Oceander

  • Technical
  • Hero Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 42,739
  • #NeverTrumpForever

Well I have to respond....My son now 35 was diagnosed with ADHD when he was in 1st grade....I took him to Eastern Il U to be evaluated...several pediatricians specializing in ADHD....they all came to the same conclusion...he had ADHD...he was put on ritalin only during the school year and off during the summers...it was a life saver...we hired tutors to help him..I tutored during the off nights..these were trying times in my family....I did not give up on this child and he graduated from HS and is now a chef with a family of his own.....When I hear people say that this is a made up disease I want to slap them.....they have no idea what that child or parents go through.

I will say that it is over diagnosed and the use of drugs are overly prescribed...when this happens it hurts the real victims of ADHD

And no..we received no government check for $700 to help with all his meds and tutors...

:thumbsup:

Offline truth_seeker

  • Hero Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 15,566
  • Common sense results oriented conservatism
The fact that a particular condition is overdiagnosed, for whatever reason, does not mean that the condition itself is not real nor that those who bona fide suffer from the condition will not improve with the treatment recommended for that condition.
Sure there are legitimate problems, but nowhere the magnitude being diagnosed and drugged.

I watch a popular forum with my HS class, and the ones on both sides. In total hundreds of people post there.

I can't remember mention of such things in HS decades ago, and I don't see any mention of it today.

IOW no mention of how many had lousy lives because they were not diagnosed and given drugs.

And no mention of their kids/grandkids being so wonderful, and what our generation missed by not getting diagnosed and drugged.
#NeverHillary

Offline Bigun

  • Hero Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 17,624
  • The income tax: Root of all evil!
    • The FairTax Plan
All I can tell you is that if they had known about ADHD 55 years ago I would have been a zonked out drugie by the age of 12! Thank God they didn't!
« Last Edit: March 11, 2014, 09:59:38 PM by Bigun »
“It is difficult to free fools from the chains they revere.” —Voltaire

Offline Oceander

  • Technical
  • Hero Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 42,739
  • #NeverTrumpForever
Sure there are legitimate problems, but nowhere the magnitude being diagnosed and drugged.

I watch a popular forum with my HS class, and the ones on both sides. In total hundreds of people post there.

I can't remember mention of such things in HS decades ago, and I don't see any mention of it today.

IOW no mention of how many had lousy lives because they were not diagnosed and given drugs.

And no mention of their kids/grandkids being so wonderful, and what our generation missed by not getting diagnosed and drugged.

I quite agree with you that it's overdiagnosed.  Not only that, but the medication alone is not sufficient; oftentimes a person (adult as well as child) needs to learn new behaviours to take advantage of the new focus the medication gives them, and that is something they can only get through non-pharmaceutical means.

Also, there are a lot of borderline cases where, if caught early enough, the child will probably respond just as well, if not better, to a regimen of lots and lots of exercise and a very structured environment - exercise can have a similar attention-focusing effect as does methamphetamine - and so that is where, IMHO, the focus should be first, not on the medication.

I think a lot of the overdiagnosis has to do with compliant doctors who accede to the demands of overly aggressive type-a parents who want to buy an unfair advantage for their kids by essentially buying a diagnosis of ADHD for the kid, thereby entitling them to demand extra accomodations from the school when it comes to things like taking tests (more time, e.g.), and some older kids will try to get the diagnosis so they can get access to the so-called "study pill" which is what ritalin is supposed to do for kids who aren't ADHD.  (And some small percentage probably just want to sell the pills on the street).

Offline Rapunzel

  • Hero Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 71,719
Adderal seems to be a prescription drug of choice in Hollywood for weight control and it also appears to be more addicting than a lot of other drugs. Two names in particular was Lindsay Lohan and Charlie Sheens last ex-wife Brook Mueller.  Both have long history of drug addition and rehab, but they are also addicted to Adderal and in both cases in their most recent rehab the illegal drugs they were able to kick, but both insisted they HAD to have their Adderall or else..... and both ended up leaving Betty Ford for a different rehab when told they could not continue to take their "prescribed" Adderal.
“The time is now near at hand which must probably determine, whether Americans are to be, Freemen, or Slaves.” G Washington July 2, 1776


Share me

Digg  Facebook  SlashDot  Delicious  Technorati  Twitter  Google  Yahoo
Smf