When conflicts of interest arise, the results can be insane. Imagine a system of government and medical providers that promotes and supports big businesses that are largely the reason for the massive increases in ADHD and other neurological disorders affecting children. They then tell you that the massive increases of disorders you are seeing is just in your imagination. Everything is unchanged. We are all good! This article published in Social Science & Medicine, “The impending globalization of ADHD: Notes on the expansion and growth of a medicalized disorder,” (you can find it here… ) presents facts that do represent reality but miss the real issue.
The study of children ages 4-17 showed:
- ADHD increased by 42% from 2003 to 2011, with 2 million more ADHD children in the US over those 8 years
- ADHD increased by 28% from 2007 to 2011
- 11% of children in 2011 have ADHD with more than 2/3 taking medication. Read more here…
“We” diagnose ADHD so we can sell more ADHD drugs, and yes, to help these children, but I disagree that all the increase in ADHD is caused by more knowledge, the Internet etc. While awareness certainly does increase our ability to diagnose ADHD, awareness has nothing to do with the cause.
So what causes ADHD? Wouldn’t it be nice to know, so you could have a chance to have and raise children who are not compromised by this brain chemistry disorder?
Genetic risk factors are huge. The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. Twin studies showed that 82% of identical twins and 38% of non-identical twins were concordant for ADHD (both had it). You can find these studies here… If you adopt a child, they are more like their birth parents than adoptive parents when it comes to ADHD. What many miss here, though, is that in each generation the severity seems to be greater. Too often I hear, “well I had ADHD and I did fine with simple hard work and effort”. Well so did I, but I can assure you my own children are so severe that medical school is out of the question. No amount of “buck-up” and effort could overcome the severity of their inattention and distractibility. It would be like asking a child with severe autism or with cancer to buck-up!
Toxins, environmental (you breathe, drink, eat and inject them) are the triggers that make those who are genetically vulnerable suffer from ADHD and other brain chemistry disorders. There are thousands of toxins in our environment.
- Lead (Jusko et al. 2008)
- Methylmercury (Oken et al. 2008)
- Polychlorinated biphenyls (Winneke 2011)
- Organophosphate pesticides (Eskenazi et al. 2007; London et al. 2012)
- Organochlorine pesticides (Eskenazi et al. 2008)
- Endocrine disruptors (Braun et al. 2011; Miodovnik et al. 2011)
- Automotive exhaust (Volk et al. 2011)
- Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (Perera et al. 2009)
- Brominated flame retardants (Herbstman et al. 2010)
- Perfluorinated compounds (Stein and Savitz 2011).
I would add: injected aluminum (in many vaccines), and glyphosate (Roundup) as two other huge environmental toxins.
You can also find my previous blog about these neurotoxins here…
It is not poor parenting
ADHD children do much better with structure, tutoring, and parent styles that validate, nurture, support and build self-esteem while providing a safe environment away from distractions and high risk environments. These kids are impulsive and risk takers. Help them by providing an environment where the risks they do take will not destroy their lives.