Apologies to Gianna Kali at Beyond Meds for continously mooching off her post ideas, as I did yesterday, but her post today has inspired me once more. Inspire may not be the right word. I've got to vent. Dr. Mark Foster is a primary care physician in Colorado who is often a guest blogger at Robert Whitaker's Mad in America blog. Today he writes about a teenage patient who's been on Adderall for years. His father is with him in the examining room and expresses consternation after he gets a lecture from Mark about the wisdom of having a kid on Adderall for 10 years. "But, it's a disease, isn't it?" he says to the doctor.
Believe it or not, my sympathies here are with the father, mainly because this post about childhood use of Adderall shows how much people have been jerked around by the medical profession when it comes to mental health. Now, we've got a chirpy young doctor telling the old man that he's got it completely wrong. Pa's been jerked around since before this guy went to medical school, now suddenly he's getting a lecture that supposedly everybody else knows but him.
Parents and their idiotic ideas aside, doctors have been the willing handmaidens of pharma and have been only too willing to push the idea that there is something called ADD or ADHD and there's a medication for it. Consider the opposite. Suppose this father initially resisted putting his child on meds. He'd be up against teachers, other parents who have put their kid on meds, perhaps his own family doctor suggesting that "research shows that untreated hyperactivity leads directly to jail," and the media telling him that the latest research shows how these drugs "protect the brain."
So, I often do get angry because I know we've really been had and almost no person in a position of medical authority who families turned to in the past twenty years was curious enough or responsible enough to question the sales job.