New ADHD study would push pills on minorities

Runaway “mental illness” fraud gallops on at an ever increasing pace. The latest example of this fraud that I’ve seen is in this comparative study, reported on by Reuters, under the heading, Fewer minority kids diagnosed with ADHD.

Black and Hispanic children are half as likely to be diagnosed with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) as their white peers, according to a new study that followed U.S. kindergarteners through middle school.

You’d think that would be good news, right? Think again.

“It’s a consistent pattern of what we’re interpreting as comparative underdiagnosis for minority populations,” he (study leader Paul Morgan) told Reuters Health.

If we’re diagnosing more white kids with ADHD than we are black and hispanic, it’s not because we’re overdiagnosing it in white kids, it’s because we’re underdiagnosing it in black and hispanic kids.

Let me tell you, illogic like that is not going to reduce the overall “mental illness” rate in the world today one iota. If anything, it’s likely to increase it.

“If you’ve got certain groups of kids with a disorder who are not being picked up … they might not be accessing treatment that can help in terms of their school-based functioning,” he said. That, in turn, can lead to poor self-esteem and acting out.

Morgan then goes on to talk about the dangers of “untreated ADHD”.  The short list he gives includes anxiety (a disease according to the gospel of the APA), depression (ditto) and “substance abuse”, sometimes euphemistically termed “self-medicating.”

Just what we needed, huh? More ‘mental ill health’ in the world.

This study is not about benefiting the minority community. How is the minority community going to benefit from a larger population of people with “mental illness” labels within it? This comparative study is about selling mental health treatment, and with it, “mental illness”.  There is basically one form of treatment used in standard practice these days. That one form of treatment is the use of psychotropic drugs. The one group that stands to benefit from such a study is comprised of multi-national drug companies.

Excuse me. I was a little rash in my last statement. Two groups actually stand to benefit. Were we to impose equality of disease diagnosis, by increasing the rate of diagnosis in minority communities, the overall “mental illness” rate goes up. The two groups that stand to benefit would be “mental health” professionals who would then have greater job security, and the drug industry that would have an increasing profit margin. Everybody else loses.

Children with ADHD diagnoses, as Morgan pointed out, are also prone to be diagnosed anxious, depressed, and to take illicit drugs. Short list. We really need a lot more of that in this country. Oh, yeah!

I don’t see much upward mobility for minorities developing out of this predicament, instead I see a persistent downward slide. This sort of equality–equality in disease diagnosis rates–is much like equality of inopportunity, and equality of inopportunity is just the sort of equality we don’t need.

Bringing the war in the classroom home to your doorstep

Did somebody say it’s jungle out there? It isn’t a jungle, it’s a war zone, especially in the public school system. Among the new disorders in the DSM-5, such as adult ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder) , you will also find childhood PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder) listed.

Just read between the lines on the first paragraph of this ABC News report, Psychiatry ‘Bible’ DSM-5 Will Add PTSD for Preschoolers, and imagine millions, perhaps billions, of shell-shocked kiddies returning home from their school day.

 When the new Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, DSM-5, is published in May, a small section could alter the lives of millions of children.

Not to be alarmed, despite this potential sharp rise in the number of children labeled ‘off their rocking horses’, mental health professionals tell us they’ve got treatment, and that this treatment can be effective.

Small children develop PTSD at the same rate as adults — one in four — and the number of potential sufferers is vast, said Dr. Judith Cohen, a psychiatry professor at Drexel University’s College of Medicine.

I imagine we could just give children signs on their first day of class, basing children numbers on adult numbers, of course. Numbers, you know, don’t change. 1/4th of the students would receive a sign that read PTSD, and 3/4th of the students would receive signs that read NORMAL. The students with the signs that said PTSD could then automatically be enrolled in a treatment plan.

And yet because existing DSM criteria doesn’t apply to young children, and because of society’s tendency to idealize children as resilient, pre-schoolers aren’t getting the diagnoses they desperately need, [vice chairman of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at Tulane University, Dr. Charles] Zeanah [Jr.] said.

Children are idealized as resilient. Oh, that explains it! We don’t have the time to offer classes to parents, teachers, and children in ‘how to be more resilience’ then I guess. Notice, they desperately need diagnoses, too. You think so?

If you will excuse me, I think I’ve had enough of this nonsense, and so I think I’m going to return to my bunker for a little blissful shuteye. The prospect of a nation of shell-shocked children is just a little much for me to face head-on alone at the moment. I’ve got my own patch of green pasture that needs tending.

Missing ‘The Psyche’ In Psychiatry

I came across in this Information About Psychiatry blog a post, Origins of the words Psychology and Psychiatry, on the word origin of the specialty beginning with a sentence on psychology.

The word psychology first appeared in the English language in the 17th century and derives from psyche (soul) and ology (study of).

Closing with a paragraph on psychiatry.

Later, in 1808 the word “psychiatry” was coined by Johann Christian Reil. This word means “doctoring the soul”, coming from psyche (soul) and iatros (doctor). This new word allowed psychiatrists to take matters of the soul away from religion and into their own, incapable hands.

It was quite fascinating to think that the second half of the word psychiatry seemed to have the same root as the first half of one of my favorite words, iatrogenic, or doctor caused. Used in a sentence: Psychiatry is the source of much iatrogenic illness found in the world today.

The base of iatrogenic, according to Mosby’s Medical Dictionary.

Etymology: Gk, iatros, physician, genein, to produce.

Soul, in this instance, often translates interpretively into mind, and the word mind in its origins is related to memory.

I know of people who see conventional twenty-first century psychiatric practice as ‘soul killing’ or fostering ‘soul death’. This has to be ironic as the psychiatrist was initially viewed as a person who would be a healer of souls.

Much of this direction away from the original slant of psychiatrist has come with the ascendancy of biological psychiatry. Biological psychiatry sees human problems primarily in terms of brain dysfunction, and it does not tend to look to psyche or consciousness for the source of, or the solution to, those problems.

Re-translating psychobabble into bio-babble certainly hasn’t increased the success rate for the field. In fact, the biological approach to problems in living seems resigned to a belief that subtle birth defects are the source of psychiatric disorders.

One has to point out, time and time again, that there is very little concrete proof for a biological basis to psychiatric problems. There has been, on the other hand, much heavy-handed theorizing and thoroughly biased verbiage expended to bolster such a faith.

Specialty Specialist Word Usage Timeline

psychology 1653

mad doctor 1703

psychologist 1727

psychiatry 1846

alienist 1864

psychiatrist 1890

shrink 1966

Mutants are taking over? Really? You think…

Psychiatry is full of it, and some of the latest “discoveries” in the field indicate just how full of it psychiatry happens to be. Take this report, New Genetic Mutations May Keep Some Mental Disorders From Dying Out, at PsychCentral. The post concerns a study suggesting that because mental patients have fewer children and “mental illness”, the label, isn’t dying out, we’re seeing genetic mutations…

People with certain mental disorders, such as schizophrenia and autism, tend to have fewer children than the average person, suggesting that these disorders persist not because of heredity, but because of new genetic mutations, according to a new study.

Or, and this isn’t stated, because we’re not dealing with a heritable condition. In other words, it’s a matter of the decisions people make in their lives and not so much the genes their parents gave them.

People in the psychiatric system exist within a social context, and it’s this social context that is not being looked at so much.

The findings shed light on a longstanding puzzle in psychiatry: How do the genes linked with some mental health disorders persist in the human population, if people with those disorders tend to have fewer children?

I would suggest that the issue is a matter of supply and demand. If mental health professionals had fewer children, there wouldn’t be such a demand for nut cases.

No doubt some Swedish researcher somewhere along the way was impacted by the SciFi movie The Andromeda Strain, and nothing can be the same since.

For example, schizophrenia is extremely heritable, so it would make sense that it becomes more rare over time. But the disorder seems to persist in 1 percent of the population, which suggests that new mutations are occurring quickly enough for it to remain consistent, said [researcher Robert] Power.

Correction, bias has it that schizophrenia is extremely heritable despite all the evidence that would indicate otherwise. If it’s not genes, it must be genes. This is biological psychiatry to the core. Nobody is saying look to social and environmental factors, nobody is saying that, but maybe somebody should.

When you are selling disease it is convenient to pretend you are selling something else, like health, because people wouldn’t tend to buy disease on its demerits alone.

The researchers note that some people with mental disorders may take medication that affects fertility, or they may have been hospitalized at some point during their reproductive years, and these factors may have influenced the results.

Or they may be facing prejudice in what is referred to as the competition for suitable, if desirable is too strong a word, partners. One scapegoat doesn’t reproduce. Two scapegoats do reproduce, but they hardly do so well as the goat with his harem in the herd.