March 2, 2014


Beautiful minds : Medicating America's children (C.H., 3/01/14. The Economist)

These figures suggest a misallocation of resources. Too much money is being spent to treat attention disorders, and not enough attention is being paid to children's anxiety and depression. ADHD is real, but it is hard to believe that everyone who is diagnosed with ADHD actually has it and should be treated with stimulants. The American Psychiatric Association says that in most cultures ADHD occurs in about 5% of children. In America the number of children diagnosed with ADHD increased by an average of 3% each year from 1997 to 2006, then about 5% each year from 2003 to 2011, according to the CDC. By 2011 more than one in ten children and more than one in eight boys had been diagnosed with ADHD. In Kentucky a staggering 19% of children have been diagnosed with the disorder.

The American Psychiatric Association itself is seems set to exacerbate the problem. Its new diagnostic manual, published last year, eased the guidelines for identifying ADHD. It instructs psychiatrists to look out for children who, among other things, are reluctant to do homework, who lose school books and who are fidgety.

And so, A Clockwork Orange has gone from dystopian fiction to reportage.

Posted by at March 2, 2014 7:32 PM

blog comments powered by Disqus
« THERE IS NO CHINA: | Main | ...AND CHEAPER...: »