I looked up some news reports on this and found it's actually accurate (no surprise to me).
As Spiegel reported in an interview with famous Harvard psychologist Jerome Kagan:
SPIEGEL: … you could also say skyrocketed. In the
1960s, mental disorders were virtually unknown among children. Today, official
sources claim that one child in eight in the United States is mentally ill.
Kagan: That's true, but it is primarily due to
fuzzy diagnostic practices. Let's go back 50 years. We have a 7-year-old child
who is bored in school and disrupts classes. Back then, he was called lazy.
Today, he is said to suffer from ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity
Disorder). That's why the numbers have soared.
SPIEGEL: Experts speak of 5.4 million American
children who display the symptoms typical of ADHD. Are you saying that this
mental disorder is just an invention?
Kagan: That's correct; it is an invention.
Every child who's not doing well in school is sent to see a pediatrician, and
the pediatrician says: "It's ADHD; here's Ritalin." In fact, 90 percent of these
5.4 million kids don't have an abnormal dopamine metabolism. The problem is, if
a drug is available to doctors, they'll make the corresponding diagnosis.
SPIEGEL: So the alleged health crisis among
children is actually nothing but a bugaboo?
could get philosophical and ask ourselves: "What does mental illness mean?" If
you do interviews with children and adolescents aged 12 to 19, then 40 percent
can be categorized as anxious or depressed. But if you take a closer look and
ask how many of them are seriously impaired by this, the number shrinks to 8
percent. Describing every child who is depressed or anxious as being mentally
ill is ridiculous. Adolescents are anxious, that's normal. They don't know what
college to go to. Their boyfriend or girlfriend just stood them up. Being sad or
anxious is just as much a part of life as anger or sexual
SPIEGEL: What does it mean if millions of
American children are wrongly being declared mentally ill?
Kagan: Well, most of all, it means more money
for the pharmaceutical industry and more money for psychiatrists and people
This view, that a defintion of "mental illness" is a philosophical one is one of the main reasons why increasing numbers of psychiatrists are saying there is no such thing as a chemical imbalance. Rather it's a philosophical one of determining what is right or wrong behavior, etc. I reported on this here. The other issue is that there is no standard number for what is accepted as "good" or "bad" amounts of chemicals in one's brain.
Also to note: interviewing people by asking them to describe how they feel--even asking particular questions or phrasing them--both are done as well as the conclusion made based on these interviews---by subjective methods. It's all completely subjective. Remember--people feel differently from one day to the next, even one hour to the next depending upon a lot of various situations---diet, good news, bad news, quarrels, guilt, etc.
Similarly is the report by Der Spiegel (translation edition)concerning the man who came up with ADHD and his renounciation:
In the sixties it was then the U.S. psychiatrist
Leon Eisenberg, who, under a new name, helped the disease to break through. In the evening the doctor
played at home with his own children, during the day he took care of difficult
students - and tried psychotropic drugs from them.Initially
he experimented with dextroamphetamine, later he prescribed methylphenidate to
break bread. And
lo and behold: The means altered the behavior; spirited children were
A look at the USA
demonstrated that there is still room for improvement.Of
the ten year-old boy now swallows every tenth already an ADHD medication - every
of all the scientific father of ADHD has followed the explosion of prescriptions
with growing horror. Leon Eisenberg later
took over the management of psychiatry at the prestigious Massachusetts General
Hospital in Boston and became one of the most famous neurologists in the
world. In his last
interview, seven months before his death from prostate cancer at the age of 87
years, he distanced himself from his youthful indiscretion.
...He never would have thought, he said that his invention would be so
popular once. "ADHD is a prime example of a fabricated disease," Eisenberg
said. "The genetic predisposition for ADHD is completely
Instead, child psychiatrist should more thoroughly
investigate the psychosocial reasons that can lead to behavioral problems,
Eisenberg said. Are there fights with parents, mother and father live together, there
are problems in the family? Such questions are
important but they are taking a lot of time, Eisenberg said, adding with a sigh:
". A pill prescribe other hand very quickly,"
His answer to such a horror is to not turn to drugs but to see what is going on in the life of the child. For example, he suggested looking at the parents' marriage and if there's fighting between them or if they even live together, or if there are other problems within the family. This has been standard common sense for millennia. No one is special when it comes to life's problems. We all must deal with various trials in our lives. That's called Life. Too bad it is so easily scoffed at and rejected. Let's face it: sin is common to every person, young or old. And that's really the bottom line.
And then there's this report by World Public Union which printed the article by Moritz Nestor over at Current Concerns, which shows the direct link between the DSM IV panel members (they vote diagnoses in or out of the upcoming DSM) and the pharmacutical industry:
Have such groups marketed the
diagnosis of ADHD in the service of the pharmaceutical market and tailor-made
for him with a lot of propaganda and public relations? It is this issue that the
American psychologist Lisa Cosgrove and others investigated in their study
Financial Ties between DSM-IV Panel Members and the Pharmaceutical Industry7.
They found that “Of the 170 DSM panel members 95 (56%) had one or more financial
associations with companies in the pharmaceutical industry. One hundred percent
of the members of the panels on ‘Mood Disorders’ and ‘Schizophrenia and Other
Psychotic Disorders’ had financial ties to drug companies. The connections are
especially strong in those diagnostic areas where drugs are the first line of
treatment for mental disorders.” In the next edition of the manual, the
situation is unchanged. “Of the 137 DSM-V panel members who have posted
disclosure statements, 56% have reported industry ties – no improvement over the
percent of DSM-IV members.” “The very vocabulary of psychiatry is now defined at
all levels by the pharmaceutical industry,” said Dr Irwin Savodnik, an assistant
clinical professor of psychiatry at the University of California at Los
task of psychologists, educators and doctors is not to put children on the
“chemical lead” because the entire society cannot handle the products of its
misguided theories of man and raising children, and instead hands over our
children to the free pharmaceutical market. Let us return to the basic matter of
personal psychology and education: The child is to acquire personal
responsibility and emphatic behavior under expert guidance – and that takes the
family and the school: In these fields, the child should be able to lead off
mentally. This constitutes the core of the human person.
Go here for the original article that includes footnotes.
That last paragraph I find interesting because although I reject psychology in all forms, they still have to admit, along with Eisenberg, that psycholgy's and psychiatry's theories of man and raising children has failed and in actuality has led the way to using drugs to deal with life's issues. Instead they admit, we need to teach personal responsibility and right behavior.
Even those studied that believe in ADHD's existance have found that it is reduced by 73% just by having the child stay an extra year at home.
Stanford’s Graduate School of Education offered a news release about the new study published in the National Bureau of Economic Research titled, The Gift of Time? School Starting Age and Mental Health.
“We found that delaying kindergarten for one year reduced inattention and hyperactivity by 73 percent for an average child at age 11, and it virtually eliminated the probability that an average child at that age would have an ‘abnormal,’ or higher-than-normal rating for the inattentive-hyperactive behavioral measure.”