Wednesday, 12 March 2014


Dr Richard Saul has this to say about attention deficit hyperactivity disorder:

This so-called condition has apparently spread like wildfire across the globe in recent years, with a huge increase in its diagnosis and medication. More than 4 per cent of adults and 11 per cent of children in the U.S. have been diagnosed with ADHD - a leap of more than 40 per cent in the past decade. It's now the most common mental health disorder in the UK and affects around 2 to 5   per cent of school-age children.
Prescriptions for the stimulants used to treat it, including Ritalin, doubled for children and quadrupled for adults in the UK between 2003 and 2008. But these stimulants - so-called because they're designed to stimulate parts of the brain that are not thought to be working properly - frequently do not help, and instead cause a range of side-effects, some dangerous. They can even make symptoms worse.
To treat ADHD as a condition, rather than a set of symptoms, is doing a terrible, and dangerous, disservice to the children and adults who are diagnosed with it. There is no doubt that the symptoms - an inability to pay attention to details, fidgeting, interrupting, difficulty staying seated, impulsive behaviour - exist.
But to lump them together and turn them into a diagnosis of ADHD, then to treat this so-called condition with stimulants, is like treating the symptoms of a heart attack - such as severe chest pain - with painkillers, rather than tackling the cause of them by repairing the heart. It is dangerous, neglectful and wrong.

 Here is a common sense account written by a parent who questions whether or not the condition ADHD exists:  ADHD REPORT

There is no doubt that a case can be made for or against the diagnosis. All of this does bring into question what is likely to happen in Scotland if a `named person` in charge of the wellbeing of a child disagrees with a parent about such a diagnosis.  How are disputes to be settled? At the moment it is impossible to say.

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