I don’t buy it – The war on ritalin — ADD Tip o the Day 459


It seems a little hazy.

The New York Times seems embarked on a war against ritalin or adderall for ADD ADHD.


I’ve read some of these articles, some I scanned, some I just read the titles.  I don’t have time and I do have ADD, so I don’t have patience either.

One article was balanced, but I can’t find it now.

One talked about teaching children to just reach for a pill instead of learning to cope.  Well, I’m against that, but I’m for using a pill when it’s necessary to help someone become able to learn how to cope – ie, to use strategies for ADD ADHD.

One talked about medicating energetic children; I’m against that too, unless they are energetic children with ADD or ADHD.  Then the boys will likely be hyperenergetic (ADHD) and the girls hypoenergetic (ADD).

The writer Hanif Kureishi argues that focus is overrated and distraction a gift – and then offers yet another indictment of “drugs like Ritalin”. Well, perhaps focus is over rated but I wish Hanif would try living a day without it.  And I would be happy to return the gift of distraction, just tell me where.

Are they doing this so they can get rich short selling  stocks? (half joking)

Are they psychologists who are against medications? (not all psychologists are)

Are they just sensationalizing some scare stories to sell newspapers? (don’t you hate all awful alliteration?)

Here’s the links, if you have the time and energy for them.  I would love to hear what you think (always love to get comments)


nyt ritalin gone wrong  clik

multiple NYT articles on ritalin  clik         

bonus link o the day: Dr. Parker on meds wearing off  clik

How much harm do you think these kind of articles do?

About doug with ADHD

I am a psychiatric physician. I learned I have ADHD at age 64, and then wrote two ADHD books for adults, focusing on strategies for making your life better. I just published my first novel, Alma Means Soul. Your Life Can Be Better; strategies for adults with ADD/ADHD available at amazon.com, or smashwords.com (for e books) Living Daily With Adult ADD or ADHD: 365 Tips O the Day ( e-book). This is one tip at a time, one page at a time, at your own pace. It's meant to last a year. As a child, I was a bully. Then there was a transformation. Now I am committed to helping people instead abusing them. The Bully was published in January, 2016. It's in print or e book, on Amazon.
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4 Responses to I don’t buy it – The war on ritalin — ADD Tip o the Day 459

  1. Pingback: Stimulant Medicine for ADD ADHD and New Research — ADD Tip O the Day 587 | ADDadultstrategies

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  3. Frances says:

    There are a few good points deep in there. It’s important to not ignore side effects, as it can take a few tries to find the medication that works best. To include strategies, instead of expecting medication to solve everything by itself. To be extra diligent with the diagnosis when the child is so young that it’s hard to distinguish symptoms – you know, don’t go straight to the pills with a 3 year old… And of course pharmaceutical companies should be scrutinized for any bribery.

    But these are really uncontroversial points, and frankly a bit obvious. So I wonder if that’s why they’re surrounded by these thick layers of scaremongering – to make them into a more dramatic article at the cost of misinforming people. I definitely see a lot of sensationalism with the constant allusions to street drugs… Even just constantly making a point to constantly spell out the chemical composition, with this air of “did you know your child is taking MIXED AMPHETAMINES” or “METHylphenidate” (+ the obligatory memo that it is “like cocaine”). I see that as coming from an intent to scare rather than inform. Which really strikes me as absurd, since as far as psychiatric medications go, stimulants have some of the mildest side effects in their appropriate doses.

    But you could put that kind of spin on any old thing… Nasal decongestant, for example. “Is your child snorting l-methamphetamine?!” And on that note, I’m just glad the biggest panic-spreaders haven’t heard of Desoxyn.


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