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Elicia

Adhd, A Big Scam?

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Interesting article. Your thoughts? Thanks

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Edited by 20YearsandCounting
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I don't think it's safe to say that ADHD is a fake disorder.  Rather, I would point out that it is often misdiagnosed.  It shares a number of symptoms with other mental health problems such as Bipolar Disorder, and also has high rates of comorbidity with depression and anxiety disorders.  This alone makes it difficult to properly diagnose, and comorbidity can mean that only one condition is being treated properly.

 

Also, I'm not sure how I feel about the second and third points in that article.  If we're going to count marketing and possible danger against ADHD, then we need to be questioning a lot of disorders.  Pharma companies also push depression medication, which can also cause serious problems.  Heck, some medications for treating epilepsy have serious side-effects.  When you're messing with the chemistry of the brain, getting the right drug is extra important.  It is both the responsibility of prescriber and patient to ensure that the drug is having the intended effect.

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"ADHD-like behaviors are real. But – kids with the “ADHD label” are likely suffering from toxic overload, poor gut health, food and environmental allergies or nutrient deficiencies – among other things. All of these issues mimic the signs and symptoms of ADHD and other psychiatric disorders."

 

I remember years ago, (not very commonly) but some kids would be diagnosed as being "hyperactive". The approach back then was largely to look at diet, things like sugar intake, artificial colourings etc that they may be having a sensitivity to (since it was thought to be caused by food allergies/sensitivities). It sounds as though in the past they may have had the right approach but now it's all about getting these kids on medication instead of looking further into other factors that might be causing it. With medication it seems like they're not really addressing the underlying cause, just masking it with drugs (which is easy for the doctors, and fantastic for the pharma companies).

Edited by bluegal

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I agree with you blue gal 100%.

As for ADHD resembling bipolar... Yes, I agree, but there is also a debate whether bipolar is another "fake" disease... I have questions about that disorder as well .

As someone who has been diagnosed with both... And a few others... I start to question, how do these doctors come to the conclusions when just asking questions and having someone check "yes and no" answers...

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I agree with you blue gal 100%.

As for ADHD resembling bipolar... Yes, I agree, but there is also a debate whether bipolar is another "fake" disease... I have questions about that disorder as well .

As someone who has been diagnosed with both... And a few others... I start to question, how do these doctors come to the conclusions when just asking questions and having someone check "yes and no" answers...

Yeah that don,t really have a good way of determine if you do,they pretty much talk to you for a bit then decide based on there opinion that your mental ill,its not really scientific at all.you will get different opinions from every psych

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I think you can tell the article was written by a supplement company. 

 

I think people are often misdiagnosed as many things can look like each other, ADHD as bipolar or naughtiness.   Dissociation, bipolar ptsd  as a adhd.  Autism when it is other issues such as anxiety or trauma. That doesnt mean any of those conditions are fictitious. 

 

As for diet and attention/wellbeing - I know how truly terrible I feel when I am eating a carb or sugar heavy diet and always wonder how some people/children can function at all when I see how they eat and drink. I think for some parents the way they feed their children could almost be called a form of abuse. Damaging their bodies, minds and their futures. 

Edited by Fizzle

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I had 3 of my friends take the "bipolar" test that I was given and answer the questions I was asked... All of them ended up checking a lot, if not most of the answers I did. So they all have bipolar?

I think before doctors assume what mental illness one has, there should be further testing... I was diagnosed the same day I went in for my first visit to the doctor.

Every single person I come across or meet seems to be suffering from some sort of mental illness or disability. It just seems strange that there are so MANY people and children with ADHD, ADD, Bipolar... Etc..

What if nothing is wrong with them at all? But the medication that's handed out is like a candy dispenser, and who even knows the long term effects it has or the effects it has on someone who doesn't even need it..

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Also I think it's easier for adults to label themselves with bipolar or ADHD... It may be easier for them to associate a disease to their moodyness or excuse bad behavior.

This goes for parents as well that excuse their bad parenting by associating their children's behavior to ADHD.

Not all... But I would be willing to bet a high number...

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Yes, it was a psychiatrist I was recommended by my family care provider. I didn't want to go but I was forced into seeing.. I really don't trust any doctors tbh, especially dealing with mental illness.

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Did you just do one questionaire? Diagnoses for either should be much more involved. I actually think re evaluation as an adult can be better as by that time we have more awareness and can usually vocalise things better and its therefore easier for the pdoc to tell what is happening more precisely . It seems that you should maybe go in an be re assessed. Your physiological things may have distorted things too. 

Edited by Fizzle

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I filled out a few papers and the psychatrist talked to me and asked me questions for about 20-30 mins... Mostly repeated the same questions I was asked on the papers... I find this very alarming that it's so easy for doctors to diagnose mental illnesses without really doing any testing at all.

A normal person could walk in their office tomorrow and be fed a bunch of Bologna along with a bag of medicine that could actually mess up their normal functioning brain. It disgusts me.

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I believe a good healthy diet is definitely important. I've been on a steady diet for a few months now and feel great! I've also been excersizing outdoors and doing more social things. My depression is basically gone, although I do go into episodes every now and then but I wouldn't call it depression, I'd call it being human!

My anxiety is completely gone as well but I do think lexapro had something to do with that. I'm not here saying all mental medicine is bad for you. Some are helpful, IF..and a big if...they are prescribed in a responsible manner and that person is tested thoroughly...

I have been off all my medicines for ...a year? I think... And I'm doing just fine. If I had bipolar or ADHD, I would think I'd be having trouble right now.

Edited by Elicia

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I think its important to tell people that you have a  physical condition affected by diet that is linked to depression so you will get very effective relief from symptoms by dealing with your diet that not all those with depression would do.  Diet is important regardless of course. Its just different. But it sounds like the BP may not have been an accurate diagnoses. As long as your evaluation of your symptoms is accurate that is, 

Edited by Fizzle

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Fizzle - i was diagnosed with both on the same visit. Which I found to be quite excessive and ridiculous.

Teddy- I thank you for the concern and I'm sorry about your bf. That sounds terrible :(

I really don't believe I have bipolar though. In fact, I know I don't.

I would suggest to anyone with mental illness to be tested thoroughly though by an endcrinologist. Before I was diagnosed a few years ago with MDD, the first thing my regular doctor did was check my thyroid, everything came back fine. He then precribed my SSRI.

I went to an endocrinologist a few months ago because my mother suggested i should do that. The doctor she took 9 vials of blood from me and tested me for everything under the sun. Come to find out I had something called HAshimoto disease, which is a thyroid disorder.

This I'm sure was the underlying cause of my depression and maybe anxiety. Not bipolar... Not ADHD... But a thyroid condition.

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Personally I'm getting really sick of the supplement industry and certain other self-interested parties trying to invalidate the experiences of people with ADHD because supposedly "too many people" are diagnosed with it. Many people get misdiagnosed with all sorts of illnesses. There probably are very few that don't overlap with something else.

 

As someone who is in the process of getting diagnosed with ADHD later in life after spending years wasting my time thinking it was my thyroid or primary depression (as opposed to secondary), I'm leery of the idea that ADHD is somehow "overdiagnosed." I don't think there's any evidence of that at all, anywhere.On the contrary, I suspect it's far more likely to be massively underdiagnosed in people who-- like me-- do fit the criteria but don't fit the stereotype.

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I would just like to chime in im pretty sure I have a adhd and bipolar I have a bunch of neurological systems I don,t know anyone who can,t pay attention like me and has a 5 second memory and i get suicidaly depressed for no reason out of the blue I don,t think the bipolar medications would have effected me so drastically if I didn,t.i have it.I  had tons of therapists that have passed around notes to each other,I was evaluated in out patient every day 4 hours a day for 4 months and I asked my therapist what I had and what she thought I should do when I left and she told me,i have a severe case of borderline personality disorder,and I asked her if I just have that and if they wrote up as bipolar disorder to pay for the insurance for dbt and she said no I have both of them  and they interact with each other,it is very hard to distinguish the symptoms for me,but she told me I need to go to therapy because I have alot of distorted thinking and parnoia about other people but I can get better if I keep going and don,t give up,she would not say that to me for the hell of it,it would be of no benefit for her if I was seeing a different therpist.

 

i was tested for vitamin decencies thyroid problems and blood sugar issues,all thes tests said I have nothing wrong with me,I was kind of wishing they didn,t and I had a physical illness because that would be alot easier to treat.Being spoiled is a mental illness it results in a cluster B personailty disorder.

 

i think your doing the right thing by testing your self for physical illness first,I used to think the same thing though I made a bunch of posts about it but no supplements I took ,no diet i followed no exercise routine ever made me any better till I was given the right medications

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Exactly. I remember your diagnoses and am v glad it has all worked out so well for you!  Its terrible that so few people have physiological things checked before any mental  health conclusion is come to.  Its funny that they did do the test but that it didnt show the truth, I know thyroid tests need to be done properly to be valid. Fasting before etc. Maybe it wasnt done properly or the person evaluating it didnt know enough.  Its great you saw a consultant, 

 

It also makes sense that for you these things are organic as you didnt have any other factors in your life that cause depression. Unlike most people on this site. 

 

It does sound  ridiculous that they diagnosed both at the same time and after so little consultation. There is a percentage of people whose symptoms are purely physiological based and it seems you may be one of them. 

 

I think its very important not to jump to the conclusion that these conditions arent real though. Like sabusikumari said I think most people diagnosed have them and not being diagnosed would be exactly like you not being diagnosed for your thyroid condition. I think the tone of the article is irresponsible. 

Edited by Fizzle

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Do meds treat the root cause or just suppress the symptoms?
If you really want to get diagnosed you can just answer the questions accordingly... I remember feeling annoyed from the mental health questionnaires when i was in-patient for teens, because I could easily answer multiple ways depending on my mood and the day. So to think that your changing mood from day to day would be the difference between getting diagnosed with a mental disease or not. Even if it was accurate when the patient cooperated correctly, enough people would answer incorrectly that there would be frequent misdiagnoses.

I always questioned the logic given for how Amphetamines help ADHD. I think they have it completely backwards. In HS it was obvious who had ADHD because they wouldn't stop talking from the effects of the meds.

Edited by Circle

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I don't understand why people who haven't even taken the time to educate themselves on the topic feel qualified to trash ADHD patients and well-researched (as in decades of literature here) medications that have literally turned countless people's lives around. I'm pretty sure most stimulants for ADHD have better scientific backing than most antidepressants for depression do, but I'd still never tell a depressed person for whom SSRIs were effective not to take an antidepressant because it was "only treating the symptoms." In brain scans people with ADHD consistently have reduced activity in the frontal lobe as compared to those who don't. Instead of just serotonin like depressed people, folks with ADHD (also) lack norepinephrine and dopamine.


 


I intentionally use depression as a comparison there because I'd expect folks with depression should know better than to assume that because the root cause isn't definitely known, one should invalidate the use of very effective medication that allows people who are struggling to get through school or hold down a job to start making some real progress in their lives. When we can't get to root causes (and remember there doesn't only have to be one and that complicates things), of course it's only natural to treat the symptoms. I mean would you prefer people just suffer with their overactive brains instead? Considering ADHD commonly runs in families, I wonder what anti-medication people would say if it turned out to be 100% genetic...


 


Serotonin from antidepressants seems to be useless to me, and Wellbutrin didn't do much either, but a stimulant actually stops my brain from constantly trying to push me onto different activities, calms down my constant overwhelm from every little sound around me, and that calm and quiet it brings helps me remember the things I have to do a little better (since my working memory is generally shot most of the time). I'm learning tricks to manage not having much working memory, but they are literally too hard to practice without medication. The only other ways I know of to get some peace and not constantly be overwhelmed by every little noise around me, seeing a cluttered room, etc., etc. is to turn to fiction, games, or the Internet. Yeah, that'll help me get lots done! I have a million things I want to do every day-- both ongoing and temporary-- and would love to see something through to completion and yet I never finish anything I start, whether I start it late (all too often) or not.


 


In case I didn't mention it above, I have been checked for endocrine issues, have long since corrected some very minor vitamin and mineral insufficiencies (neither was even low enough to call a "deficiency"), I eat and sleep well, and I'm mindful of my stress levels. My mood has been relatively stable for a good year. I'm not particularly anxious anymore either. And yet starting long before I ever had depression, I always struggled with being easily hurt, sensorily overwhelmed (especially by sounds), forgetting countless things all day, and have been teased and/or talked down to for seeming "confused" all my life despite being reasonably intelligent. Since I wasn't a disruptive troublemaker as a kid, and perhaps because I did well enough in a highly structured school environment as well, nobody guessed my weirdness might be ADHD, and then when you're an adult you're pretty much on your own so that was the point I started to sink after swimming a very short way.


Edited by sabishikunaru

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While researching the topic, I came across an article about a retired neurologist who speaks out on the issue regarding ADHD and has written a book about his findings.

'ADHD a fake disorder, neurologist-turned-author says'

"Zero: That’s the percent of children suffering from attention deficit and hyperactivity disorder, a neurologist said in his new book, “ADHD Does Not Exist: The Truth About Attention Deficit and Hyperactivity Disorder.”

The book’s due out in February — and controversy is already generating, The New York Post reported.

Author Richard Saul said that over the course of his long career, and treatment of patients complaining of problems related to short attention spans and an inability to focus, he’s come to one conclusion: ADHD is only a collection of symptoms, not a disease or disorder in itself. It shouldn’t be listed as a separate disorder in the American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual, he said, The New York Post reported.

The number of ADHD diagnoses has increased in recent years simply because doctors are failing to probe deeply enough and question patients about related health matters — and because ADHD has become an embraced, accepted catch-all diagnosis, he said. And more bluntly: Mr. Saul said parents seek an easy way to get their children to sit down and shut up, and the treatments for ADHD — Adderall and Ritalian — do the trick.

But those drugs are dangerous and addictive stimulants, and they shouldn’t be prescribed so cavalierly, he said. For instance, one in nine children are now labeled as ADHD, and two thirds of them have been put on a stimulant, The New York Post reported.

“ADHD makes a great excuse,” Mr. Saul said, The New York Post reported. “The diagnosis can be an easy-to-reach-for crutch. Moreover, there’s an attractive element to an ADHD diagnosis, especially in adults. It can be exciting to think of oneself as involved in many things at once, rather than stuck in a boring rut.”

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I don't understand why people who haven't even taken the time to educate themselves on the topic feel qualified to trash ADHD patients

 

I intentionally use depression as a comparison there because I'd expect folks with depression should know better than to assume that because the root cause isn't definitely known, one should invalidate the use of very effective medication that allows people who are struggling to get through school or hold down a job to start making some real progress in their lives.

 

I didn't see anyone trashing adhd patients and most of what is being said is not that it doesn't exist, but is possibly over diagnosed by doctors. These days I think doctors are so busy and have so many patients that it's just often the case where they make a quick diagnoses and hand out a prescription, not just with adhd but for many things. It's not that people assume it isn't valid since the root cause can't be found, I think though that mostly doctors don't spend the time looking for a root cause, it's much more time consuming and involved (specialist) than most doctors are equipped for, but still many of them will simply look at the symptoms and make a quick diagnoses but these symptoms can be caused by lots of other things but I think most doctors don't separate the chaff from the wheat as the saying goes.

 

I don't think you should take this discussion as a personal attack. I also think depression is probably over diagnosed as well because someone going through a rough spot or feeling down etc visits the doctor and they can make that quick diagnosis, write out a prescription and on to the next patient but IMO, depression is very different to some of the normal expected downs we go through in life even if the symptoms seem similar. I think it's largely part of the production line health care that exists today, it takes time and money to be thorough with patients.

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I think I understand where everyone on here is coming from. 

 

I know people with add and when they take their meds they are the opposite of talking and moving frantically. There is a calm there that there usually isnt at all. Compared to without them! For some meds dont work well it seems. People are different, I totally agree that meds usually treat symptoms not cure cause for mind based conditions.  

 

I totally agree that pdocs sometimes dont diagnose properly, Sometimes because they dont have access to all the info and sometimes because they just didnt go through the process properly and thoroughly. And sometimes its people not qualified who are doing the "diagnosing". Sometimes with no real evaluation at all! That is not how it should be and very unhelpful for all. 

 

And on the other hand this thread uses words like scam, fake and add being a fictitious disorder, In broad terms not in terms that that make it clear that just some people get misdiagosed. I can totally see why that would upset some with ADD as, just like other conditions, there are always a lot of people out there who are ignorant and dont believe in any condition that they cant physically see or have a direct test for, Most mind/psychological things cant be tested for in a simple test and diagnoses is more complicated and things can appear to be different from what they are, 

 

People sometimes suffer terribly as a result of others denying there is such a thing as their condition or that they have it.. The sweeping statements used on here at times totally dont help with that, 

 

On the other hand people suffer when misdiagnosed and its good to be able to discuss that too. Just keeping in mind that others stories may be very different. 

Edited by Fizzle

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