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Everyone who works with children should read this book.The must-read summary of “ADHD Nation: Children, Doctors, Big Pharma, and the Making of an American Epidemic,” by Alan Schwarz.Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a biological disorder of the brain that can be treated with medications when appropriate. In the 1980s, only 3 percent of American children were diagnosed with ADHD. But now that number is 15 percent—three times what the experts have said is appropriate. Meanwhile, the prevalence of ADHD in other countries such as France, Finland, and Japan, has remained low at below 1 percent. This means that millions of American kids, some as young as three years old, are misdiagnosed and taking powerful stimulant medications like Adderall or Ritalin for a psychiatric condition they probably do not have.This complete summary of Alan Schwarz’s book reveals the powerful forces fueling its widespread diagnosis and drug treatment through the experiences of three people. One is the father of ADHD and its medications, who now regrets its current misuse. The second is a 7-year-old girl who was misdiagnosed with ADHD. The third is a 14-year-old boy who faked symptoms to get the drug. Both kids spent ten years suffering through the consequences of using the medication.This guide includes: Book Summary—The summary helps you understand the key ideas and recommendations. Online Videos—On-demand replay of public lectures, and seminars on the topics covered in the chapter.Value-added of this guide: Save time Understand key concepts quickly Expand your knowledgeRead this summary if you are a parent, professional or individual, who is dealing with the diagnosis and treatment of ADHD.
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Books by Lee Tang
PART ONE - From Fidgety Phil to ADHD
1. Fidgety Phil’s Arithmetic Pills
2. Dr. Conners
3. From MBD to ADD
4. Collision Course
PART TWO - Big Pharma
7. ADD for All
8. The Hijacking
9. There’s Something They Know About Us
PART THREE - The Explosion
10. Higher and Higher
11. Less Than
12. Bright College Days
13. And Now, a Word from Our Sponsors
PART FOUR - What's Next?
16. This Is Your Brain on Capitalism
17. Coming Soon to a Doctor Near You
About the Author
Summary &Study Guide
Anatomy of an EpidemicAttention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder
Title: Summary & Study Guide - ADHD Nation
Subtitle: Anatomy of An Epidemic - Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder
Author: Lee Tang
Publisher: LMT Press (lmtpress.wordpress.com)
Copyright 2017 by Lee Tang
All rights reserved. Aside from brief quotations for media coverage and reviews, no part of this book may be reproduced or distributed in any form without the author’s permission. Thank you for supporting authors and a diverse, creative culture by purchasing this book and complying with copyright laws.
First Edition: April 2017
Issued in print and electronic formats.
ISBN 9780995943117 (ebook)
ISBN-13: 9781545085233 (paperback)
ISBN-10: 1545085234 (paperback)
Limit of Liability/Disclaimer of Warranty: The publisher and author make no representations or warranties regarding the accuracy or completeness of these contents and disclaim all warranties such as warranties of fitness for a particular purpose. The website addresses in the book were correct at the time going to print. However, the publisher and author are not responsible for the content of third-party websites, which are subject to change.
To my wife, Lillian, who is the source of energy and love for everything I do, and to Andrew and Amanda: watching you grow up has been a privilege.
For a complete list of books by Lee Tang and information about the author, visit https://lmtpress.wordpress.com.
“ADHD Nation: Children, Doctors, Big Pharma, and the Making of an American Epidemic” by Alan Schwarz
Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder is a biological disorder of the brain that can be treated with medications when appropriate. But over-diagnosis of the condition could lead to a serious drug problem, especially for young kids. Accurate diagnosis and well-monitored care could improve the productivity and safety of all society.
This book reveals the powerful forces fueling the widespread diagnosis and drug treatment of ADHD through the experiences of three people. One is the father of ADHD and its medications, who now regrets its misuse. The second is a 7-year-old girl who was misdiagnosed with ADHD. The third is a 14-year-old boy who faked symptoms to get the drug. Both kids spent ten years suffering the consequences of using the medication. The focus of the book is on two aspects: the over-diagnosis of the disorder; and the intentional misuse or abuse of the medications for academic advancement.
Alan Schwarz is a former Pulitzer Prize-nominated investigative reporter for The New York Times whose acclaimed series of more than one hundred articles exposed the seriousness of concussions in the NFL and led to safety reforms for young athletes nationwide. His work was profiled in The New Yorker and honored with a George Polk Award, the Associated Press Sports Editors Award for Project Reporting (three times), and the 2013 Excellence in Statistical Reporting Award from the American Statistical Association.
Important Note About This Study Guide
This guide is a summary and not a critique or a review of the book. It does not offer judgment or opinion on the content of the book. This summary may not be organized chapter-wise but is an overview of the main ideas, viewpoints, and arguments from the book. It is NOT meant to be read as a replacement of the book which it summarizes but, instead, a supplement for review of the book's main premises and to provide commentary and additional resources.
ATTENTION DEFICIT HYPERACTIVITY DISORDER (ADHD) is not a myth. It is a real biological disorder of the brain that manifests itself in behavioral symptoms such as hyperactivity, impulsivity, and inattention. These behavior patterns often become evident in school and home settings. Untreated ADHD children may suffer many difficulties in school and community adjustment, struggling to keep up academically. Untreated ADHD adults may fail the demands of modern life.
Unfortunately, as with many psychiatric illnesses, there is no definitive way to diagnose ADHD. Only thorough and diligent assessment can distinguish ADHD from other mental health disorders. Yet ADHD is too often diagnosed in a cursory fashion. This lack of careful evaluation contributes to a national crisis.
There is no cure for ADHD. Someone with the condition might learn to adapt to it with the help of medications, but they must deal with the condition for the rest of their lives.
The American Psychiatric Association (APA) estimated the condition affects about 5 percent of children, mostly boys. In the 1980s, only 3 percent of American children were diagnosed with ADHD, but now that number is 15 percent - three time the APA estimate. That means kids misdiagnosed with ADHD outnumbered those with the real biological condition, with most put on serious medications.
Because ADHD medications can improve a person’s concentration and focus, they morph from medicines to performance-enhancing drugs. Some parents pressured doctors to prescribe it to children without the disorder to improve their grades. Others may fake the ADHD symptoms to get the drugs.
This book tells the story of the forces behind the ADHD epidemic through the experiences of three people. One is the father of ADHD and its medications, who now regrets its misuse. The second is a 7-year-old girl who was misdiagnosed with ADHD. The third is a 14-year-old boy who faked symptoms to get the drug. Both kids spent ten years suffering the consequences of using the medication.
In the summer of 2015, an 82-year-old man traveled in the passenger seat of a car heading to Connecticut for a meeting. The man is Dr. C. Keith Conners, the eminent child psychologist who pioneered the recognition and treatment of a once unappreciated childhood malady called ADHD.
As a young researcher in the early 1960s, Conners had shown how much a new drug—Ritalin—could calm severely hyperactive and impulsive kids. He had developed a questionnaire to help diagnose children with such symptoms. He encouraged other doctors to locate and medicate children with acute issues and worked with pharmaceutical companies to test new and better drugs for these kids.
Conners didn’t know until he read The New York Times story about a kid misusing ADHD medicine, becoming addicted, delusional, and suicidal. Reading about these kids made Conners feel curious and conscientious. So he traveled to Connecticut to meet the two children who had become casualties in medicine’s crusade against ADHD.
One was Kristin Parber. She was seven when misdiagnosed with ADHD in the late 1990s. The other was Jamison Monroe. He faked his ADHD symptoms so he could get a steady supply of Adderall to help improve his school grades. Kristin and Jamison crossed paths in 2009 and they’re now working together. They wanted to meet Keith Conners as much as he wanted to meet them.
FROM FIDGETY PHIL TO ADHD
FIDGETY PHIL’S ARITHMETIC PILLS
In a 1775 medical textbook, Melchior Adam Weikard, a prominent German physician, explored treatments for various ills, including short attention spans. He recommended that “the inattentive person is to be separated from the noise or any other objects; he is to be kept solitary, in the dark, when he is too active.”
In 1798, a Scottish doctor named Sir Alexander Crichton gave the first careful consideration of inattention as a disease in his textbook, An Inquiry into the Nature and Origin of Mental Derangement
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