Is ADHD now a global pandemic, or are we medicalising normal behaviour?
Figures show that global use of ADHD drugs has quadrupled since 2000. According to experts at least 1 in 20 schoolchildren is thought to have some degree of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Some experts say this is the tip of the iceberg and there are many more children going ‘undiagnosed’.
Critics argue that bad behaviour in children is being medicalised, and even that the labels are being used to excuse unruly behaviour. The US psychiatrist who identified attention deficit disorder says up to 30% of youngsters classified as suffering from disruptive and hyperactive conditions could have been misdiagnosed. Whilst Dr Robert Spitzer, professor of psychiatry at Columbia University in New York, says many may not really be ill and may simply be showing perfectly normal signs of being happy or sad.
He goes on to say: ”There is no test for ADHD. It is diagnosed on the basis of a questionnaire, which is subjective.” “We are creating ADHD out of behaviours that would previously have been perceived as normal.” "There is a temptation to use it as a get-out by doctors as well."
Some argue that ADHD does not exist at all and believe it to be a quasi-medical condition that the treatment of, with powerful psychiatric drugs, is damaging children long-term.
But there appears an even more disturbing aspect to the ADHD issue above the over-diagnosis, the pseudo-science and the drug-company profiteering, and that’s the attack on boys. Data around the diagnosis of ADHD reveals that a ratio of 4 to 1 boys to girls.
Why should this be? Psychologist Michael Thompson may have the answer; he has observed: “Girls behaviour is the gold-standard in schools. Boys are now treated like defective girls.”
There are many examples of this mindset in our schools and medical professions. Many teachers and child psychologists are influenced by progressive ideologies like ‘Toxic Masculinity’ where any and all Male traits are deemed unacceptable. Boys normal energetic and often boisterous behaviour is now seen through this progressive prism. This leads to incidents like the US school sending home a seven-year-old boy for nibbling a Pop Tart into a gun. Or the story of a teacher so alarmed by a picture drawn by a student (of a sword fight), that the boy's parents were summoned in for a conference.
Boys are routinely punished for being active, competitive, and restless. In other words, boys can no longer be boys. If they are they run the risk of being diagnosed as ‘defective’ and pumped full of Ritalin.