Saturday, April 28, 2007

What's the deal with ADD?

Someone asked on the forums, what's the deal with ADD? Is it all bullshit, or do all these kids really need medication?

Well, really, it's about 99% bullshit; and for the 1% of kids diagnosed that actually have it, the treatments often are worse than the problem.

Most often the diagnosis of ADD or ADHD or any of the related "persnality disorders" is part of the general war on boys (between 5 and 8 times as many boys are diagnosed with ADD as girls - depending on which numbers you believe).

The issue here is that many of the criteria for diagnoses are all parts of normal little boy behavior. Of course to todays "enlightened" politically correct, non-competitive, sensitive society, little boys behavior is unacceptable. It's not ok to be competitive or judgmental or aggressive or any of the other things that separate boys social behavior from girls social behaviot.

The teachers have been trying since the early seventies to turn little boys into little girls. When they found that no matter how much they socially indoctrinated the boys, they would still behave like boys; they turned to medication.

Most of the rest of the time, when this relentless pursuit of pharmacology isn't part of social engineering, it's as an aid to teachers who have poor control and discipline over students.

This one I don't blame on the teachers, I blame it on the parents and administrators. Children are today allowed what I would call obscenely poor standards of behavior, both in public and in private; because the parents from my generation on down, are either afraid to be parents, or have been taught ridiculously stupid things about parenting.

Of course administrators aren't going to allow teachers to use stricter discipline or harsher punishments than parents would allow.

... and of course, that's all part of the social engineering as well. Indoctrinate kids make for indoctrinated parents.

Finally, the diagnosis of "personality disorders" like ADD is almsot ALWAYS used to justify increases "special needs" funding for the schools. In some districts, every kid they get with ADD is worth as much as $5000 extra to the school; and medicated kids are well behaved kids who take less time and effort and money.

Except of course for those who don't need the medications (most of them), who end up zonked, and have their developing personalities messed up by psychoactive drugs. Or the kids who the medications backfire on, and turn them manic or generate other psychoses in them.

You cannot possibly understand the effect that psychoactive drugs have on childrens personalities; because they havent fully formed their personalities yet. You can never know if it's really your kid, or if it's the drugs.

The fact is, maybe 1 out of every 20 or 30 kids had "problems concentrating and acting out" before the ADD drugs were heavily prescribed; and most of those kids did reasonably well without drugs. Maybe 1 in 100 kids were a serious behavioral problem. Now, one out of 5 (yes, seriously, 1 out of 5) kids in affluent communities (the poor don't generally take ritalin) are on some kind of psychoactive medication before they leave high school.

This isn't to take away from those who WERE helped by the drugs, and really did need them (that 1 in 100 I mentioned). I had several friends growing up who were little monsters without their drugs, had no attention span, would act out violently etc... Thats the 1 in 20 or 30 that I talked about who can really use it.

All those other Kids though? ...Teachers and parents should be dealing with their children, not their pharmacists.