I was just reading that nearly one in five American high school students has been diagnosed with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, ADHD. And how do we treat these kids who have trouble focusing? We dope them up with amphetamines â enough for every man, woman, and child in America to consume more than 80 doses of stimulants a year.
Is it just me or is that completely nuts? Havenât the doctors that write all those prescriptions heard the old adage, âThereâs a time and place for drug abuse â itâs called college?â Donât they know about the studies linking ADHD to drug abuse and alcoholism? Maybe theyâre just trying to give kids a head start.
Days before the official May 22 publication date of the “Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders” (DSM-5), a number of psychiatrists who were closely associated with the project scrambled to do some preemptory damage control, mostly by lowering the expectations for what was to come.
Allen Frances, professor of child psychiatry at Duke University and chair of the DSM IV (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders) task force hit the nail on the head in a recent commentary “Why So Many Epidemics of Childhood Mental Disorders?” in the Journal of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics. Because he makes his argument so clearly and persuasively (and the full article is only available to those who subscribe to the journal) I will quote it at length.
On 22 May, the American Psychiatric Association (APA) published DSM-5, the fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, after months, perhaps even years, of speculation about its contents.
Its critics warned that DSM-5 would lead to the further overdiagnosis of children and adults.The Economist reported that 11 per cent of American school-age children have been diagnosed with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and that DSM-5 would likely lead to even more ADHD diagnoses.
The alarm bell was sounded Thursday for what apparently is a new drug of choice among college students who pull âall nightersâ. The new study drug is Adderall, a stimulant that is potentially dangerous. Senator Chuck Schumer says its use is spreading. He says as many as 35% of college students use Adderall.
Back in caveman days I understand that women were sent to the woods during their time of the month. Those insensitive cavemen. Actually, cavemen fare pretty well compared to modern psychiatrists.
Psychiatrists just label you mentally disordered if you struggle with your monthly cycle. According to psychiatry’s newly revised diagnostic bible, the DSM-5, which I am holding in my hot little hands, women who show typical signs of PMS are diagnosable with a brand new mental illness.