ADHD is Over-Diagnosed and Over-Medicated, Which is the Fault of … Ladies

Not pharmaceutical companies, not overloaded and under-educated doctors, not even school administrators’ zero-tolerance policies or the general paranoid parenting culture. Nope. It’s all about women:

“We are pathologizing boyhood,” says Ned Hallowell, a psychiatrist who has been diagnosed with ADHD himself and has cowritten two books about it, Driven to Distractionand Delivered from Distraction. “God bless the women’s movement—we needed it—but what’s happened is, particularly in schools where most of the teachers are women, there’s been a general girlification of elementary school, where any kind of disruptive behavior is sinful. What I call the ‘moral diagnosis’ gets made:You’re bad. Now go get a doctor and get on medication so you’ll be good. And that’s a real perversion of what ought to happen. Most boys are naturally more restless than most girls, and I would say that’s good. But schools want these little goody-goodies who sit still and do what they’re told—these robots—and that’s just not who boys are.”

Is there anything feminism hasn’t destroyed?

The article in which this guy opens his cakehole is actually very interesting, in its outlining of the history of the drugs most commonly used to treat ADHD and the history of the diagnosis itself, but this fellow is the first “expert” quoted. And he lays the blame directly at the feet of female teachers who just can’t handle the exuberance of real men.

Or maybe this has something to do with it, too:

And there are other underlying reasons for the recent explosion in diagnoses. Stephen Hinshaw, a professor of psychology at the University of California, Berkeley and the editor of Psychological Bulletin, the research publication of the American Psychological Association, presents evidence in a new book that ADHD diagnoses can vary widely according to demographics and even education policy, which could account for why some states see a rate of 4 percent of schoolchildren with ADHD while others see a rate of almost 15 percent. Most shocking is Hinshaw’s examination of the implications of the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001, which gave incentives to states whose students scored well on standardized tests. The result: “Such laws provide real incentive to have children diagnosed and treated.” Children with ADHD often get more time to take tests, and in some school districts, tests taken by ADHD kids do not even have to be included in the overall average. “That is, an ADHD diagnosis might exempt a low-achieving youth from lowering the district’s overall achievement ranking”—thus ensuring that the district not incur federal sanctions for low scores.


3 thoughts on “ADHD is Over-Diagnosed and Over-Medicated, Which is the Fault of … Ladies

  1. But anyway, that misogynist part notwithstanding, I read the article via Mary’s FB page and it is worrisome, given that we have a young son who might or might not have some learning issues…

  2. The supposed “expert” is a complete fucking idiot for making a gender-based argument for the prevalence of ADHD diagnoses. Ned and the myriad of other quacks that are making a buck playing off of parents misgivings about medication should all have to spend a week with undiagnosed ADHD/Aspergers/Autism-spectrum kids and come back and tell us its boys just being boys. Just try it. I guarantee they’d lose their shit in the first 48 hours. Now consider parents who spend *years* dealing with that thinking that they’re doing something wrong and avoiding a medical diagnosis because these assholes are telling everyone its not real.
    Shelly and I have spent years working through stuff with Ethan. Trying all sorts of alternatives; therapies, diets, activities, psychologists, and psychiatrists. We’ve had to fight with schools to get IEPs put in place to get him additional assistance and accommodations. He’s even had a neural-pych evaluation at Children’s Hospital.
    All of which, through trial and error and a a lot of mental stress over whether we’re doing the right thing or not, has resulted in a mix of things that have shown some success. Some therapy; OT, a single drug; Wellbutrin XL; and structure based around behavioral expectations and rewards. He’s able to get his homework done in . He can manage a set of tasks without constant oversight. There are less big emotional outbursts. These may sound pithy, but were huge areas of frustration for a long while.
    So when these asshats come around spouting their over-medicated, over-diagnosed garbage implying parents are simple cowing to school expectations or are copping out on parenting, they can go fuck themselves.
    ADHD is a neurological issue and it’s treatment in the press of late is akin to the way that depression, bi-polar, and other similar mental diseases were characterized in their earlier days of recognition. It’s real and while there may be cases of children being misdiagnosed, these articles do a disservice to the parents and children that do have to deal with the challenges of ADHD every day.

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