ADD/ADHD is a social problem with America, not a chemical problem of the brain

When patients ask me questions about medication, the state of Texas says I am not allowed to give advice as a Chiropractor.  I tell them to consider the effect of the medication, and consider if their problem really stems from a LACK of XYZ drug in their system.

I believe some medications are necessary, and I believe medical science has made some AMAZING advances.  (If you cut your foot off, whilst mowing the lawn, don’t come to me for an adjustment, go to the ER.)  I am a huge champion for the appropriate and responsible use of medicine and surgery.  Medical science is incredible, I mean surgeons are able to perform face transplants for goodness’ sake.

I do however feel that the United States of America, more than any other country on earth, is subject to the indiscriminate use and abuse of pharmaceuticals.  We are constantly bombarded with commercials from drug companies.  As a result we are the most drugged up, doped up country on the face of the earth.  We take drugs to pep-up, cool-down, wake up, go to sleep,  gain weight, lose weight, grow hair, lose hair, uppers/downers, poppers, zippers, zappers, lotions, potions, tonics, and every form of male enhancement you can imagine.

WHY?  Most of these drugs, don’t really “cure” anything, only covering up symptoms.  For example, if you can’t sleep because you are too stressed out, rather than take a Lunesta, how about you go on a vacation?  It will be more fun, cost less, and actually take some stress off your adrenal and cardio-vascular system.

The U.S.A.’s drug epidemic is especially puzzling with respect to our children.  As a little boy my Mom and Dad were told (every year from 2nd to 6th grade) I needed to be evaluated for ADD and given Ritalin (back in my day doctors hadn’t added the extra “H” for dramatic effect, yet).  At school, I was talkative, and sometimes I seemed to be in my own world, rather than in the class room.  Thankfully, my parents evaluated the situation, and realized their son did not have an “imbalance”, or pathological condition of the mind; rather, he was a normal 9 year old by that would rather be playing outside, drawing dinosaurs, or plucking his own eyeballs out rather than practicing cursive, diagramming sentences and working on long-division math problems.  (As a side note, when was the last time anyone actually put these “life-skills” to use?).  I grew up Ritalin  free, and as a result; I love my wife and my family and my job.  I enjoy art, music , working with my hands, wrenching on my own car(s), healing spines and caring for and loving my patients.  Some people would even say I grew up to be a pretty normal guy.  My “miraculous healing” from ADD came at the hand of love and ATTENTION from my parents, gentle guidance and an occasional appropriate spanking.

I also, feel I am in a unique position to comment on this “phenomenon”, because my lovely wife, Kristine, is a Kindergarten teacher and I get to hear about all the little “turds” (my words not hers) in her class.   In nearly every case, the parents are out of the picture, and little “Timmy Turd” is raised by a day-care, grandma, or worse, the television and video-games.  As a result the kids are disrespectful, they are angry, slow learners, and don’t know the meaning of the word “No”.  It is my opinion that most of these little guys and girls need more love and time with mommy and daddy, rather than being evaluated for a problem as a result of an unexplained disease that affects 1 in 5 American children, but is virtually non-existent in the rest of the world.

I am not telling you to take a medication or not take a prescribed medication, I just implore you to think critically before you turn that slip over to the pharmacist and nuke your kids creativity, turning them into a more easily controllable zombie child.

Just look at this poor child, creative, happy and excited to be a little boy.  Obviously he needs more Ritalin so he can be a better speller and be able to write his name in cursive!!

This is a picture of me, Dr.T, at about 5 years old.  I loved playing outside, climbing trees and playing Batman.  Just look at this poor child, creative, happy and excited to be a little boy. Obviously, he needs more Ritalin so he can be a better speller and be able to write his name in cursive!!

Britton A. Taylor, DC.

“To keep you at your best, for the rest of your life.” 

Brown Chiropractic Center

800 Ira E. Woods Ave.

Grapevine, Texas, 76051

(817) 481-7025



The following article was found on Psychology today and was written by Marilyn Wedge, Ph.D.

Why French Kids Don’t Have ADHD

French children don’t need medications to control their behavior.
Published on March 8, 2012 by Marilyn Wedge, Ph.D. in Suffer the Children

In the United States, at least 9% of school-aged children have been diagnosed with ADHD, and are taking pharmaceutical medications. In France, the percentage of kids diagnosed and medicated for ADHD is less than .5%. How come the epidemic of ADHD—which has become firmly established in the United States—has almost completely passed over children in France?

Is ADHD a biological-neurological disorder? Surprisingly, the answer to this question depends on whether you live in France or in the United States. In the United States, child psychiatrists consider ADHD to be a biological disorder with biological causes. The preferred treatment is also biological–psycho stimulant medications such as Ritalin and Adderall.

French child psychiatrists, on the other hand, view ADHD as a medical condition that has psycho-social and situational causes. Instead of treating children’s focusing and behavioral problems with drugs, French doctors prefer to look for the underlying issue that is causing the child distress—not in the child’s brain but in the child’s social context. They then choose to treat the underlying social context problem with psychotherapy or family counseling. This is a very different way of seeing things from the American tendency to attribute all symptoms to a biological dysfunction such as a chemical imbalance in the child’s brain.

French child psychiatrists don’t use the same system of classification of childhood emotional problems as American psychiatrists. They do not use the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders or DSM.According to Sociologist Manuel Vallee, the French Federation of Psychiatry developed an alternative classification system as a resistance to the influence of the DSM-3. This alternative was the CFTMEA (Classification Française des Troubles Mentaux de L’Enfant et de L’Adolescent), first released in 1983, and updated in 1988 and 2000. The focus of CFTMEA is on identifying and addressing the underlying psychosocial causes of children’s symptoms, not on finding the best pharmacological bandaids with which to mask symptoms.

To the extent that French clinicians are successful at finding and repairing what has gone awry in the child’s social context, fewer children qualify for the ADHD diagnosis. Moreover, the definition of ADHD is not as broad as in the American system, which, in my view, tends to “pathologize” much of what is normal childhood behavior. The DSM specifically does not consider underlying causes. It thus leads clinicians to give the ADHD diagnosis to a much larger number of symptomatic children, while also encouraging them to treat those children with pharmaceuticals.

The French holistic, psycho-social approach also allows for considering nutritional causes for ADHD-type symptoms—specifically the fact that the behavior of some children is worsened after eating foods with artificial colors, certain preservatives, and/or allergens. Clinicians who work with troubled children in this country—not to mention parents of many ADHD kids—are well aware that dietary interventions can sometimes help a child’s problem. In the United States, the strict focus on pharmaceutical treatment of ADHD, however, encourages clinicians to ignore the influence of dietary factors on children’s behavior.

And then, of course, there are the vastly different philosophies of child-rearing in the United States and France. These divergent philosophies could account for why French children are generally better-behaved than their American counterparts. Pamela Druckerman highlights the divergent parenting styles in her recent book, Bringing up Bébé. I believe her insights are relevant to a discussion of why French children are not diagnosed with ADHD in anything like the numbers we are seeing in the United States.

From the time their children are born, French parents provide them with a firm cadre—the word means “frame” or “structure.” Children are not allowed, for example, to snack whenever they want. Mealtimes are at four specific times of the day. French children learn to wait patiently for meals, rather than eating snack foods whenever they feel like it. French babies, too, are expected to conform to limits set by parents and not by their crying selves. French parents let their babies “cry it out” if they are not sleeping through the night at the age of four months.

French parents, Druckerman observes, love their children just as much as American parents. They give them piano lessons, take them to sports practice, and encourage them to make the most of their talents. But French parents have a different philosophy of discipline. Consistently enforced limits, in the French view, make children feel safe and secure. Clear limits, they believe, actually make a child feel happier and safer—something that is congruent with my own experience as both a therapist and a parent. Finally, French parents believe that hearing the word “no” rescues children from the “tyranny of their own desires.” And spanking, when used judiciously, is not considered child abuse in France.

As a therapist who works with children, it makes perfect sense to me that French children don’t need medications to control their behavior because they learn self-control early in their lives. The children grow up in families in which the rules are well-understood, and a clear family hierarchy is firmly in place. In French families, as Druckerman describes them, parents are firmly in charge of their kids—instead of the American family style, in which the situation is all too often vice versa.

Copyright © Marilyn Wedge, Ph.D.

Marilyn Wedge is the author of Pills are not for Preschoolers: A Drug-Free Approach for Troubled Kids



Twitter: marilyn Wedge


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