The Diseasing of America's Children

The Diseasing of America's Children

Exposing the ADHD Fiasco and Empowering Parents to Take Back Control

Many of our patients who come to us because they are addicted to drugs have one thing in common—they were diagnosed as having ADHD and put on drugs like Ritalin, Adderall or Concerta. Since these are Schedule II drugs and are molecularly very similar to cocaine, it is not surprising that many studies show that people taking these drugs are much more likely to abuse drugs than people who have not taken them.

In a very well-researched and easily readable book, psychologist John Rosemond and pediatrician Bose Ravenel, M.D. trace the myth of the “ADHD Disease”, the possible real causes for this behavior and the many non-drug alternatives.


The authors answer this not by giving their opinion but by referring to facts. They cite the findings of the 1998 National Institute of Health Consensus Conference. This was a conference where “experts” on ADHD reviewed all of the available evidence and agreed that, “...there is no compelling evidence to the effect that ADHD is caused by or significantly and reliably associated with physical or biochemical 'irregularities' (e.g., deficiencies in the left temporal lobe, biochemical imbalances) in the brain. They furthermore agreed that no objective test or set of criteria exists with which to accurately diagnose ADHD.”

The authors point out that the 2002 textbook, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder—State of the Science, stated by its editors to be “ up-to-date, state of the art review of what is known concerning the disorder by the world's leading authorities on each of the topic areas,” concluded that the findings of the 1998 conference are unchanged.

The authors then point out that many of the most vocal proponents of ADHD contributed to the 1998 Conference Report and the 2002 textbook. However, many of them are receiving sizable amounts of money from the drug companies selling the ADHD drugs and see no problem in admitting the lack of a scientific basis in professional publications, but then advocate the existence of ADHD in articles and literature sent to doctors and the general public.

Many psychologists, psychiatrists and other physicians “believe” that ADHD exists and even without any verifiable scientific evidence assert that it is real. However, the point remains that there is no science—just opinion.

The authors point out that none of the supposed symptoms of ADHD are described with any precision. The authors state, “The word 'often' is used in every signal criterion.” Does often mean they happen every few minutes or several times a day? They also point out that the number of symptoms required to diagnose ADHD is arbitrarily set at six. “Why six?” they ask. “Why not five? Why not seven?”

The authors point out that some ADHD advocates estimate that five out of ten of our children have ADHD. They point to interviews done with teachers who taught before 1960 who maintain that they hardly ever saw kids who fit the ADHD description. They ask the logical question, “Do you think it's possible that nearly half of America's children have something seriously wrong with their brains, some kind of inherited chemical imbalance?"

Rosemond and Ravenel state their opinion of most psychiatrists and psychologists. “Of all the legitimate medical and scientific professions, only psychology and psychiatry claim to know the existence of things that have not been, and in many cases cannot be, verified objectively. In saying, 'we're no different from anybody else,' the APA is determinedly trying to conceal the fact that mental illnesses do not qualify as illnesses at all for exactly this reason: they cannot be objectively defined so that their boundaries clearly distinguish one from another. There is great confusion between one mental disorder and another and even, in many cases, mental illness and a state of good mental health. In short, the APA is in denial concerning the fact that psychiatry and psychology do not qualify as hard sciences; not by a long shot. In fact, because they deal predominantly in matters of faith (challengers of which, as the authors can attest), risk being branded as professional heretics), they more closely resemble religion than science.”


The authors point out that certain of these drugs seem to alleviate the ADHD symptoms for some hours. As the authors state, “Stimulant medications enhance a person's attention span and ability to concentrate on a task at hand...The simple explanation is that as a person's attention span lengthens, his activity level will come down. Said differently, as a person's ability to focus on a single task improves, the person will be more able to sit still.” The authors then state, “In the case of a hyperactive child, the difference in pre-medication and post-medication activities levels is going to be more than simply obvious; it’s going to be striking.”

This makes sense to those of us who have to have our cup of coffee, a stimulant, in the morning before we can face the morning. This also explains why many college kids now look up the symptoms of ADHD on the internet, see the school psychologist and get sent to a psychiatrist to obtain a prescription for ADHD drugs. Then they take the drugs because they help them study for their final tests.

Of course, if taken to address problems in school, ADHD drugs don't actually cure the underlying cause but have very serious side effects—unlike coffee drunk in moderation.


The authors point out that a fundamental difference between how children were raised prior to 1970, when there was little, if any, evidence of ADHD symptoms in the classroom, and now, is the concept of ensuring that children have “high self-esteem.” After they refer to the number of studies that associate “high self-esteem” with antisocial behavior, the authors state, “First, it is a mistake to think that if one does not have high self-esteem, then one has low self-esteem. The actual opposite of high self-esteem, however, is not depression, but a character that embodies the traditional, biblical values of humility and modesty. Second, there is no evidence whatsoever that people who are humble and modest and therefore highly mindful of others lack the belief that they are capable of overcoming life's challenges, and there is good evidence that people who pursue high self-esteem through achievement are especially vulnerable to depression.

The authors also point to the 1980 study of a half-million school-age children done by the California Department of Education that “...found that the more time a child spent watching TV, the lower his test scores regardless of IQ, social background or study habits. “Since then,” the authors continue, “one study after another ...has found that television watching is associated with underachievement.”

To further make the point about the impact of discipline and one's environment, the authors refer to the studies done on Amish children. An article published in 2005 in Clinical Pediatrics, reported that “not a single child in this group has been referred to us by the schools for evaluation or recognized by us as having ADHD.” These children do not watch television, are expected to do chores and play outside when the weather is good—like children raised before ADHD was invented.

In addition, the authors point out the growing list of research showing that simply adding essential fatty acids and reducing the intake of sugar will markedly reduce ADHD symptoms.

The authors discuss other simple parenting changes that will help our children. They quote psychologist Thomas Armstrong, author of The Myth of the A.D.D. Child, who calls ADHD a myth and says that, “...we discover that -as with the disappearing Cheshire cat in Lewis Carroll's classic children’s tale---all we're really left with in the end is the smile, if that.”


As more and more disclosures are made of the incredible and fraudulent lengths the drug companies will go to create markets for their drugs, it is important that all of us remember the words of Ronald Reagan when he talked about making deals with the old Soviet Union. Reagan said, “Trust but verify.”

We can trust scientific studies, but only after we verify that they were actually done independently and not by a doctor paid by the drug companies, and that the results have been corroborated by independent researchers.

We can trust our doctors when they prescribe medication, but we also should verify that there is more than the opinion of a drug salesman influencing the doctor. We should ask our doctor to explain the results of the medical test that showed we needed a medicine. If the doctor can't supply the results of an actual medical test, then we need to find another doctor.

At Novus Medical Detox Center, we regularly see the victims created by the medical philosophy of treating symptoms and not the source of the problem. If you know anyone that wants to safely and more comfortably withdraw from OxyContin, heroin, methadone, Xanax, antidepressants or other harmful unneeded drugs, please give us a call.

We are here to help.

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