The Myth of ADD

Since the first edition of The Omnipotent Child in 1984, Dr Millar began cautioning people concerning the label Attention Deficit Disorder. In recent years the use of the label, modified to Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder with five variants, has escalated enormously.

Since 1990 the number of children in America who have been diagnosed with ADHD has risen several hundred percent. If the condition were infectious, Dr Millar argued, we would have an epidemic on our hands. A peculiar epidemic it would be, however, for it prefers boys to girls four to one, and has little taste for European children.

Ritalin has become the quick fix, the no-fault solution to every parenting problem The drug is becoming an adjunct to normal child-rearing in both Canada and the United States, and significant numbers of children as young as two years of age are being given Ritalin.

In 1995 the International Narcotic Control Board issued the following Bulletin. "The International Narcotics Control Board requests all governments to exercise utmost vigilance in order to prevent over-diagnosing of Attention Deficit Disorder in children and the medically unjustified treatment with methylphenidate."

Why has this situation escalated so quickly? There seem to be three factors. Vigorous drug company promotion, careless doctoring, and parents who find it comforting to believe their child's behavior problems are not their fault.

Table of Contents

Chapter One: Who Is Doing the Labeling?
Chapter Two: A Minority Opinion
Chapter Three: Post-Freudian Angst
Chapter Four: Spitzer's List
Chapter Five: No Worse than Aspirin?
Chapter Six: An Adaptive Approach
Chapter Seven: Post ADHD Angst
Chapter Eight: Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder in Cats

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