Cases that prove how the exaggerated ADHD prevalence is both FALSE and DANGEROUS
By Manuel Mota-Castillo
(demographic data changed to protect confidentiality)
A 22 year-old female was admitted to a general hospital with symptoms due to side effects from her mood stabilizer medication. In the hospital she presented severe panic attacks and paranoia which prompted a psychiatric consultation. During the interviewed she told me that when she was six year-old her mother took her to see a psychiatrist. The doctor greeted her mother with this question:
"Are you going to put her on medication?"
In response to the mother's hesitation to make a commitment, the psychiatrist said:
"Bring her back when you make your mind."
16 years after such a brief encounter with that professional, my patient's mother had the opportunity to tell me "the rest of the story." It was a psychiatrist in New York who diagnosed her daughter as having ADHD because SHE WAS DEFIANT AND AGGRESSIVE TOWARD PEERS AND RELATIVES. The Newyorker doctor ignored the mother's description of patient's father as a "raging bull and a drunk."...whose father (patient's grandfather) was also aggressive and Manic-Depressive.
After 3 days on Ritalin the girl became more aggressive and could not go to sleep. Mother stopped the medication and soon after that they moved to Florida... "to be away from that man."... the girl's father. Sadly, as soon as the mother informed the Floridian psychiatrist of the previous diagnosis, no additional questions were asked. The doctor was in rush to prescribe the very same medication that made the patient worse when she was living in New York.
On the same day but at my outpatient practice, a 19 year-old male came for evaluation. His father was with him because the patient wanted "somebody to describe my mood changes to you."
His symptoms are the typical of a person with poor impulse control and irritability...textbook case, but what I want to report is a statement made by the father:
"From First grade until Middle School he was on Ritalin, Adderall and Concerta and getting Cs and Ds. One day he begged me stopp the medication and did it. After a few days he became a Straight As student until 11th grade when it became clear he had the same moodiness I saw in my mother."
Now, here comes the best part of this story: The psychiatrist in these two cases presented in the preceding paragraphs IS THE SAME PERSON...AND STILL PRACTICING (2009) with the same core belief: Bipolar Disorder does not occurs in children.
A 19 year-old female has been my patient since the age of 12.
At our first encounter she was "acting out of control" and had been suspended from school. Her adoptive parents were at their wit ends because "We give her the Adderall and clonidine as the doctor says and she does NOT WANT to get better."
To their atonishment the girl disclosed that she has been "hearing voices" since third grade and that she gets "mad for any little thing" and she can't calm down or follow directions.
The family history will leave wondering "what those previous doctors were thinking?"...The girl was born in a psychiatric hospital because her father had schizophrenia and her mother was bipolar. Medications were stopped to protect the developing baby and hospitalization was required until the delivery. The evaluating doctors never asked about family history, adoptive parents stated.
The enumeration of "hard to believe" real cases could continued beyond the 100 mark but I believe that I can better help to educate the readers by reproducing a paper that was published by the journal Psychiatric Times: