Never Mind The Facts; Just Sell More Pills

by Phil on August 23, 2013

There’s an interesting article, recently published in Journal of Contemporary Psychotherapy, on Springer Link.  It’s titled Shooting the Messenger: The Case of ADHD,  and it was written by Gretchen LeFever Watson, PhD, et al.

Apparently some of the authors had noted in 1995 a marked increase in the “diagnosis” and “treatment” of the condition known as ADHD in southeastern Virginia.  This is a large urban conglomeration of six different cities, including Norfolk, Portsmouth, and Virginia Beach.

Psychologists in the area formed a school health coalition “…to implement and evaluate interventions to address the problem.”

They soon found themselves under attack by “other professionals with strong ties to the pharmaceutical industry…,” and in 2005, the work of the coalition was terminated.

One of the attacks consisted of an anonymous allegation that Dr. LeFever was falsely reporting high rates of ADHD in order to promote an anti-drugging agenda.

As a result of the termination of the work, the coalition was disbanded, and promising behavioral and public health interventions were discontinued.  Meanwhile, the drugging of the children “diagnosed” with this condition continued to escalate.

The article cites that today, 14% of American children are receiving this “diagnosis” before the age of 18.

One of Dr. LeFever’s most outspoken critics is Russell Barkley, PhD – a psychologist who has written and spoken extensively on the condition known as ADHD.  He also has strong financial ties to pharma ($91,167 in 2009-2011 according to Pro Publica’s Dollars for Docs), and is considered a key opinion leader in the ADHD field.

The Shooting the Messenger article runs to 16 pages, discusses the issues in considerable depth, and is well worth reading.  The general message is that if one takes on pharma-psychiatry and starts having a significant impact, one will come under attack.  In bio-psychiatry, truth is routinely subordinated to the central task of medicalizing an ever-widening range of human problems, and selling drugs to “treat” these fictitious illnesses.

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