“ADHD is a prime example of a fictitious disease.”
Those were the words from the “Father of ADHD” Leon Eisenberg, just months before his death. You will find articles and videos that say he was taken out of context but no one can deny those words came from Leon Eisenberg’s mouth. Why would he say that?
At the very least, whether it is real or not, many believe it is widely overdiagnosed in today’s society.
After a recent story that was run on DC Dirty Laundry it is definitlely time to revisit this topic because even if ADHD is real, it may be too often falsely diagnosed and the drugs can be dangerous.
As ANOTHER ADHD child recently made the news by murdering her sibling, I think it’s time to take a hard look at the ADHD debate and why it may, at the very least, be overdiagnosed. Hint: $$$
For those of you who don’t follow my work much, I tend to write lately about how the world I see is much different than the one I grew up in. I grew up with TWO good parents who were very old school. I was adopted by a 45 year old man and his 40 year old wife who could not have their own children. At age 54 I feel like I am a whole generation ahead of most people my age. So is being “old school” bad? That’s for you to decide.
Let’s look at what some experts say about ADHD. Is it real? Is it overdiagnosed?
A major study of 1.16 million six to 19 year-olds has found strong links between receiving medication for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and limited maternal education, single parent families and welfare benefits. It is believed to be the first study of risk factors for ADHD in a national cohort of school children. Women who had only received the most basic education were 130% more likely to have a child on ADHD medication. Children were 54% more likely to be on ADHD medication if they came from a single parent family. Coming from a family on welfare benefits increased the risk of ADHD medication by 135%.
A major study of more than a million children has found strong links between receiving medication for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and limited maternal education, single parent families and welfare benefits, according to the June issue of Acta Paediatrica.
Swedish experts teamed up to carry out what they believe is the first study of risk factors for ADHD in a national cohort of school children, based on 1.16 million children on the country’s Prescribed Drug Register.
“We identified 7,960 Swedish-born children, aged between six and 19, using a prescription for ADHD medication as our indicator of severe ADHD” explains lead author Professor Anders Hjern from the Centre for Health Equity Studies, a collaboration between the Karolinska Institutet and Stockholm University.
“We then tracked their records through other registers, using the unique ten digit reference number all Swedish residents are given at birth, to determine a number of other factors.”
ADHD is a common, treatable childhood illness that can affect areas of the brain connected to problem solving, planning ahead, understanding others’ actions and controlling impulses. The primary symptoms of the condition are hyperactivity, impulsivity and inattention.
“Genes are also known to play an important role in the development of ADHD and studies of identical twins show that they are very likely to exhibit the same ADHD traits” says Professor Hjern, who carried out the study when he was based at the National Board of Health and Welfare.
Key findings of the Swedish study include:
- Boys were three times more likely to be on ADHD medication than girls, with medication use highest in boys aged between 10 and 15.
- Women who had only received the most basic education were 130 per cent more likely to have a child on ADHD medication than women with university degrees.
- Children were 54 per cent more likely to be on ADHD medication if they came from a single parent family rather than having both parents at home.
- Coming from a family on welfare benefits increased the risk of ADHD medication by 135 per cent when compared with households not claiming benefits.
- There were no statistically significant differences between the effects that socioeconomic factors had on boys or girls in the study.
When the researchers examined the total impact of the socioeconomic factors, they found that the impact was similar to that reported in twin studies.
“Our study showed that almost half of the cases could be explained by the socioeconomic factors included in our analysis, clearly demonstrating that these are potent predictors of ADHD-medication in Swedish schoolchildren” says Professor Hjern.
“There are several ways that family factors may influence ADHD. For example, low parental education is associated with general social disadvantage, a higher number of stress factors and a greater risk of childhood adversity.
“Lack of time and money are more common in single parent families, as are lack of social support and family conflict, including separation, divorce and parental absence.
“We believe that further research into ADHD should focus on the interaction between genes and environmental factors in order to determine the reasons why some children develop ADHD and how it could be prevented.”
At the very least it would seem that socio-economic issues strongly effect ADHD kids.
One must understand that overdiagnosis means more profit to our medical community in America. We are one of the only places in the world where kickbacks are paid to medical professionals for prescribing certain drugs. What about ADHD drugs?
As prescribing for ADHD stimulants rose, so did industry payments to doctors
At the same time that more doctors were prescribing stimulants, a new analysis finds that 1 in 18 U.S. physicians received some form of payment from drug companies that were marketing these medicines, notably ADHD pills often prescribed for children. And the researchers suggested the financial ties may have partly contributed to the rise in prescriptions.
Between 2013 and 2018, nearly 592,000 payments totaling more than $20 million were made to physicians who prescribed stimulants, according to the analysis in JAMA Pediatrics, which reviewed a database run by the U.S. government. Overall, about 55,000 pediatricians, psychiatrists, and family doctors received food, travel expenses, consulting and speaking fees, or other payments.
So if your doctor is receiving a kickback from Big Pharma, how well can you really trust them? Those numbers are almost certainly higher today.
As you can see by the above map, ADHD is exploding all over the world and is not only an American problem.
So what is the culprit? I’m not enough of a scientific mind to know but… I have been around long enough to know that many numbers are inflated and this would seem to be one of the times that the numbers may be inflated.
When Doctors have a chance to secure patients for the long term AND get some kickbacks from the drugs they prescribe as treatment, in 2023 I do not for a minute trust that the numbers are not inflated.
Studied of Overdiagnosis are hard to find but here is a good one to look at.
Overdiagnosis of Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder in Children and Adolescents A Systematic Scoping Review
Findings Of the 12 267 potentially relevant studies retrieved, 334 (2.7%) were included. Of the 334 studies, 61 (18.3%) were secondary and 273 (81.7%) were primary research articles. Substantial evidence of a reservoir of ADHD was found in 104 studies, providing a potential for diagnoses to increase (question 1). Evidence that actual ADHD diagnosis had increased was found in 45 studies (question 2). Twenty-five studies showed that these additional cases may be on the milder end of the ADHD spectrum (question 3), and 83 studies showed that pharmacological treatment of ADHD was increasing (question 4). A total of 151 studies reported on outcomes of diagnosis and pharmacological treatment (question 5). However, only 5 studies evaluated the critical issue of benefits and harms among the additional, milder cases. These studies supported a hypothesis of diminishing returns in which the harms may outweigh the benefits for youths with milder symptoms.
Conclusions and Relevance This review found evidence of ADHD overdiagnosis and overtreatment in children and adolescents. Evidence gaps remain and future research is needed, in particular research on the long-term benefits and harms of diagnosing and treating ADHD in youths with milder symptoms; therefore, practitioners should be mindful of these knowledge gaps, especially when identifying these individuals and to ensure safe and equitable practice and policy.
Again, why overdiagnose? Other than the fact that Doctors are human, in The United States there may be some extra financial benefits to a misdiagnosis… repeat visits and kickbacks from BIG PHARMA for starters.
Would the typical Doctor rather give a misdiagnosis or no diagnosis?
My guess would be a misdiagnosis. A misdiagnosis keeps money coming in. No diagnosis likely sends their patient elsewhere.
I hate to believe that. I really do. But like MOST Americans, our medical community also worships the almighty dollar.
Other than the example of a kid killing her sibling possibly because of ADHD drug side effects, let’s look at another fact that is not discussed often, because there is no way to prove those meds made that girl kill her brother. It is a common story but we can’t prove it’s the meds. It might just be the disease of ADHD.
However, did you know this????
Research shows that teenagers with ADHD are more likely to abuse substances like drugs and alcohol. Kids with ADHD may be drawn to substances that make them feel calm. Plus, their brains might be more sensitive to drugs. That can make them feel effects more intensely and sometimes get addicted faster.
The most common drugs used by teenagers with ADHD are marijuana, alcohol and nicotine. Often they aren’t looking to get high. Instead, they’re looking for a break from ADHD symptoms like racing thoughts and hyperactivity.
Having another mental health disorder, like depression or anxiety, makes kids with ADHD more likely to abuse substances. Kids who are struggling in school or with friends might also end up spending time with other kids who are more likely to take risks and experiment with drugs or alcohol.
For any of you marijuana smokers who do not believe marijuana can lead to violence, you’ve probably never been a full blown addict. Sure you have a great time while you are high but what happens when you run out? Like any addict potheads will beg, borrow and steal for more. As a former pothead I’ve seen it myself. When they run out of “green” potheads are capable of doing things your might not imagine for yourself as a casual smoker.
And let’s not forget the dealers. Business is business.
My pot dealer used to answer his door with a pistol ready. The old saying in the pothead community is “paranoia will destroy ya.” One of my lifelong friends raided a pot dealer’s patch one time and brought home a few garbage bags full of marijuana. What would have happened if that dealer caught him doing that?
Furthermore both marijuana and alcohol are considered “gateway drugs” meaning they can and sometimes will lead to heavier substances.
When the man who “discovered” ADHD says it’s a “fictitious” disease it is worthy of discussion.
Is it totally fictitious? It would be hard to prove that but there are all kinds of factors that tie into the prevalence of ADHD like poverty, single parent homes, and less education.
If it is over medicated and not all diagnoses are real then we have other problems like crime resulting from those diagnosed with ADHD. Like the little girl who killed her brother and inspired this article.
We are pushing more kids (and adults) into prescription drug dependency and many are stepping outside of that circle to reach beyond what their doctor will prescribe.
There are no clear answers in the ADHD debate but one thing is for certain in my mind. We have not come close to figuring out the truth about this condition and people are dying in some cases because of violenct. In many other cases we are frying children’s brains for life.
Science is often wrong and when the smart guys and gals screw up, it is people like me, you and our kids that pay the price.
Leon Eisenberg said it’s “fictitious” but it doesn’t have to be total fantasy to be overdiagnosed and ruin lots of lives.
We have seen what happens when things are rushed in the medical community. Over 400,000 Americans are now dead because of covid jabs alone.
- Truth’s Last Stand: The Final Thoughts of a Dying American Pt. 1 — Why The Elite are Intent on Murdering BILLIONS
I’ve given you enough to think about today. My opinion is ADHD is very over diagnosed and may be just another fiasco stemming from doctors and scientists rushing for answers. That never seems to work out well. There are many articles about Leon Eisenberg’s statements and how they may have been taken out of context. Those articles could be spot on but I also see a real problem with labeling every kid with some attention issues as ADHD.
It’s all about money folks. It usually is.