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(arrow)Ritalin--Wonder Drug or Cop Out

This thoughtful overview from The Public Interest explores some of the controversies surrounding the ADHD diagnosis, and compares the theory of ADHD with the practice of clinicians on the ground. For example, the article points out that most doctors spend an hour with children, rather than the extensive work-up called for by the diagnostic criteria. Speculating on reasons for the rise in ADHD diagnosis rates, author Ken Livingston rejects the hypothesis that an ADHD diagnosis is a tool for teachers to regain control in the classroom. But he questions the ease with which America seems to be medicating so many of its children.
(arrow)Brain Politics

In this article for The National Journal, author Neil Munro explores the politics of brain biology research. Research showing that mental illnesses like ADHD are biologically based--on the surface, a neutral enterprise--has far reaching implications, both philosophically in how we think about those who have these illnesses, and practically, in terms of what diseases insurance companies--and Congress--decide are deserving of help and treatment.

Authors Edward Hallowell and John Ratey argue that our fast-paced, performance-driven American culture can create ADD-like symptoms in all of us. The authors warn that it is important to keep true ADD separate from pseudo-ADD for the diagnosis to retain any serious meaning.

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