We all have our beliefs about ADD and ADHD, and often state them as though they were fact. There are many source for these beliefs:
“My cousin’s friend had a neighbor whose brother took ritalin and his ears fell off and his nose turned green, permanently. I would never take that stuff!”
I took ADDerall and it made me jittery and I didn’t sleep all night. Nobody should take that stuff, it’s poison.
There’s no such thing as ADD, it’s made up by the doctors to push drugs and make money. I read it on the net.
the gut (ala G Bush):
“I just know, that’s all”.
“A doctor told me that ritalin is bad for my heart.”
“What kind of doctor?”
“I don’t know; he had a PhD in 18th century French poetry or something.”
Adhering to previous beliefs:
“Gee, good to see you! Wow, you’ve gotten taller and now you’re wearing glasses. But you don’t look a day older!”
“Sorry, you’ve mistaken me for somebody else.”
“No, no, Fred, I’d know you anywhere.”
“I’m not Fred; I’m Joseph.”
“Oh, so you’ve changed your name,too!”
presenting opinion as fact, and, using partial truths
The recent NY Times article as well as the French children article exhibit a lot of this; for ex: Of the 6.4 million kids who have been given diagnoses of A.D.H.D., a large percentage are unlikely to have any kind of physiological difference that would make them more distractible than the average non-A.D.H.D. kid. It’s also doubtful that biological or environmental changes are making physiological differences more prevalent. Instead, the rapid increase in people with A.D.H.D. probably has more to do with sociological factors — changes in the way we school our children, in the way we interact with doctors and in what we expect from our kids.
So, we ask, is it the changes in society causing the misdiagnosis of ADD, or do they merely unmask ADD? I had only a few real problems from my ADD before I hit college – then, WHAMMO! So did college cause my ADD?
At least, she finally says “probably”; many don’t. If you read carefully, she’s not describing a rise in ADHD, but a rise in the diagnosis of it. That makes some sense- if we assume a rise in the demands upon children, then more ADHD will surface. And maybe part of the rise is from the inattentive type girls who caused no problems but just underperformed now getting diagnosed?