Zero: That's the percent of children suffering from attention deficit and hyperactivity disorder, a neurologist said in his new book, "ADHD Does Not Exist: The Truth About Attention Deficit and Hyperactivity Disorder."
The book's due out in February — and controversy is already generating, The New York Post reported.
Author Richard Saul said that over the course of his long career, and treatment of patients complaining of problems related to short attention spans and an inability to focus, he's come to one conclusion: ADHD is only a collection of symptoms, not a disease or disorder in itself. It shouldn't be listed as a separate disorder in the American Psychiatric Association's Diagnostic and Statistical Manual, he said, The New York Post reported.
The number of ADHD diagnoses has increased in recent years simply because doctors are failing to probe deeply enough and question patients about related health matters — and because ADHD has become an embraced, accepted catch-all diagnosis, he said. And more bluntly: Mr. Saul said parents seek an easy way to get their children to sit down and shut up, and the treatments for ADHD — Adderall and Ritalian — do the trick.
But those drugs are dangerous and addictive stimulants, and they shouldn't be prescribed so cavalierly, he said. For instance, one in nine children are now labeled as ADHD, and two thirds of them have been put on a stimulant, The New York Post reported.
"ADHD makes a great excuse," Mr. Saul said, The New York Post reported. "The diagnosis can be an easy-to-reach-for crutch. Moreover, there's an attractive element to an ADHD diagnosis, especially in adults. It can be exciting to think of oneself as involved in many things at once, rather than stuck in a boring rut."
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