The pharmaceutical industry is no fan of Jerome Kagan, noted psychologist and professor at Harvard University. He says attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a farce and that parents are needlessly doping their kids so they won’t be so unruly.
“(ADHD) 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 (ADHD-diagnosed) kids don’t have an abnormal dopamine metabolism. The problem is, if a drug is available to doctors, they’ll make the corresponding diagnosis,” Dr. Kagan said.
He doesn’t put the blame on parents as much as the doctors, who rack up hundreds of thousands of dollars in supplemental income for promoting and prescribing certain ADHD treatments. The pharmaceutical companies are just as guilty, spending billions to lobby for their own interests while shelling out money to doctors to be their billboards.
ADHD is often treated with stimulants such as Ritalin or Adderall, or non-stimulant medications such as Strattera and Kapvay. Antidepressants such as Zoloft and Wellbutrin are also given. But these drugs can cause weigh loss or weight gain, sleep problems, headaches, and nervousness.
In some cases, antipsychotics like Risperdal are used to treat ADHD. Risperdal is approved to treat schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and irritability with autism, but is often prescribed off-label for behavioral problems. This drug can cause an increase in prolactin, a hormone that triggers lactation in pregnant women. Lawsuits allege this can cause adolescent boys to grow female-like breasts, a condition called gynecomastia.
Given the potential side effects associated with prescription drugs, Kagan says that best medicine for kids with ADHD is to find out what is causing their symptoms rather than treating those symptoms. A task, he admits, that won’t be easy.
Source: Power of Positivity