When is an investigation not an investigation

I scanned an amusing, to my way of thinking, interview in MedScape Today News recently with the misleading heading ADHD Diagnosis a Detective’s Job. The subheading is also very curious, An Expert Interview With Julie Dopheide, PharmD, BCPP. Her credentials are sticking way out there, aren’t they? You don’t see many interviews billing themselves as amateur interviews anyway. This interview apparently grew out of a discussion at the American Pharmacists Association Annual Meeting and Exposition, held March 25 to 28 in Seattle, Washington. Druggists have conventions, do they?

You need to do a little detective work and figure out all the possible causes of inattention, impulsivity, and hyperactivity.

Translation: you need an over-educated, minister evangelist of the DSM (i.e. a shrink), to give your child a psychiatric label, and make a cripple for life of that child. Over-bearing parents have a tendency to do that kind of thing. Your regular gumshoe, if he was astute enough, might be able to see through the whole business.

There really are underlying brain changes that have been uncovered. There are changes in dopamine receptor density in unmedicated patients with ADHD, compared with controls. Other studies have found a delay in cortical thickening. These children don’t develop their executive functioning and decision-making capabilities until later, and that predisposes them to inattention, impulsivity, and hyperactivity.

A growing brain is a growing brain. It’s important to remember that you are dealing with children here and not with adults. If the child’s executive functioning and decision-making capabilities aren’t fully developed yet, maybe that is because the child is a child and not an adult. Labeling less mature children with ADHD is a practice that is not in the best interest of the child. Inattention, impulsivity and hyperactivity are all characteristics of childhood, and such traits aren’t the symptoms of disease.

There are both short-term and long-term effects of these medications. Parents are often really worried about their child becoming a drug addict or developing a problem with drugs if they are given a drug that has abuse potential. But a large trial showed that ADHD itself is associated with a larger rate of substance abuse and delinquency, and there’s no evidence that giving a stimulant makes them more likely to get into drug or alcohol abuse. Clinicians and family members have to be more vigilant for abuse with ADHD patients generally, because they may be self-medicating with an addictive drug.

Apples and oranges…Is it the drug or is it the label? When you’ve got a kid on a wrong track sometimes you just need to change tracks. Labeling leads to further labeling, troubles lead to more serious troubles, and apparently taking prescription drugs leads to further drug taking.

Read this interview a little further, between the lines, of course, and you will see concretely in terms of changes in physical health why there are better things to do with children than to label them with ADHD, and put them on powerful growth retarding chemical compounds.

Unfortunately, desperate and sometimes over-burdened parents don’t always tend to be so astute as your typical private dick.

8 Responses

  1. A real detective wouldn’t be sucked in for a minute. The shrinks investigate nothing. Their work is divided between studying what they can get away with “legally” and (?sp)collabarating with their colleagues to make sure they’ve got their stories straight.

    Whilst a “patient” one day I spoke with a nurse about the meanings of words such as information and investigation. About three years later when I finally got hold of that set of records I found I’d been written up as delusional and hallucinating. Telling people that I was an undercover FBI agent.

    Fair enough I suppose. I’m perfectly sane and more intelligent than she is. She’s a bitch and I’m a decent guy. So she retaliates. No real surprise since I knew these people pretty well even then and they knew it.

    • I’ve seen other occasions where the hospital staff on psych wards have stretched the truth past the breaking point as regards some of their patients. This is illustrative of the lack of legal protections and the corresponding lack of rights that people in mental health treatment have to contend with. The staff get away with murder because patient “care” is based upon human rights violations.

      This is why humane treatment in the mental health field has become the vortex of a civil rights struggle. You’ve got a population that is still being treated like second class citizens, if they aren’t just plain treated like animals. It’s as if you could wipe their resemblance to others of their species away just by coupling the words “most vulnerable” with the word “population”.

      “Mental illness” is a word that keeps coming between this population and the idea of their humanity. Until people see human beings before them rather “the mentally ill”, or even people with “mental illness”, this struggle hasn’t come to a close. These are people who should be treated like people. The “mental illness” gloves need to come off.

      Getting back to the subject of ADHD, here you’re dealing with complete and utter bunk. ADHD is simply a lame excuse to try to drug kids into what is seen as acceptable school performance. As you can see from the interview, this excuse isn’t working very well. Youngsters are being led down a path that leads, if not into even more serious mental health trouble, into delinquency and drug addiction. Get rid of the ADHD label, and you kill two birds with one stone as the old adage goes. Put them on a success track, and the label dissolves into something that might be applied to other folk’s children instead.

  2. Yeah. Parent tells a shrink – My son won’t listen to me and runs and yells and pushes the other kids over in play group.

    The shrink looks down at his pen. Holds it between the thumb and forefinger of each hand.

    Shrink says, “Mrs Brown, your son has ADHD. We can treat it.”

    Mrs Brown says, “Well that’s a relief. For a while George and I thought there was something wrong with him. Now it turns out he’s normal and there is no stigma. Thank you doctor.”

    • I remember when conduct used to be a grade on a report card. Now it’s a disorder. What do the school’s do? They take a disciplinary problem, and they make it a psychiatric problem, but doing so doesn’t make it cease to be a disciplinary problem.

      Conduct disorder and oppositional defiant disorder are 2 of the disorders commonly “found” “co-occurring” with ADHD.

      These disorders frequently lead to even more serious disorders when the student has been sufficiently drugged and psychiatrized.

      Want a disorder? Go to a psychiatrist. Even if he or she doesn’t have a disorder to give, he or she needs one for billing purposes. The insurance companies won’t pay for a bad day unless that bad day has a medical sounding name.

      Dissatisfied with the initial disorder? Keep going to the shrink. Complain enough, and he or she are sure to come up with something else.

  3. The shrink evaluates the parent the way a car salesman evaluates a “head” in the yard. He susses them to see if they will buy his bullshit.

  4. Every kid I have met who had been given the “oppositional defiant” label had been neglected and abused–and were IMHO, oppositional and defiant towards adults who did not have respect for them, and it seems to me that what is in reality a coping mechanism, a protective strategy developed to guard against further harm; that is being labeled as a freaking disorder! Seems pretty convenient way to not be accountable for the adults who just want the behavior to conform, to a preconceived ideal—-Adults who are able to see how this “child’s behavior” effects them, BUT see no connection to how they behave towards the child, also has an impact on the child!?! It seems to me some children are “oppositional and defiant” for good god damned reason!

    • Yep. Around this neighborhood ratbag kids have ratbag parents, apart from a rare few that have diagnosable genetic and neurological conditions.

      And the prevalence of genuine medical conditions in kids that can cause emotional hardship in families or society certainly hasn’t increased by a factor of 30 in the past 20 years.

    • For Oppositional Defiant Disorder read rebellious. Children, adolescents, and adults rebel for one reason or another. Under no circumstances does such rebellion constitute a “disease”. The DSM-IV has 300 + “disorder” labels, many of them as frivolous and far fetched as this one.

      Doctors use this diagnostic tag as another excuse for drugging kids. When coupled with the ADHD, or another disorder label, it’s just a convenient excuse to practice polypharmacy. Polypharmacy has proven itself to be one of the least effective, and most detrimental, of treatment practices.

      People who actually care about kids neither drug nor label them.

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