A Disease Called Childhood

A Disease Called Childhood

Why ADHD Became An American Epidemic

Book - 2015
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A surprising new look at the rise of ADHD in America, arguing for a better paradigm for diagnosing and treating our children. In 1987, only 3 percent of American children were diagnosed with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, also known as ADHD. By 2000, that number jumped to 7 percent, and in 2014 the number rose to an alarming 11 percent. To combat the disorder, two thirds of these children, some as young as three years old, are prescribed powerful stimulant drugs like Ritalin and Adderall to help them cope with symptoms. Meanwhile, ADHD rates have remained relatively low in other countries such as France, Finland, and the United Kingdom, and Japan, where the number of children diagnosed with and medicated for ADHD is a measly 1 percent or less. Alarmed by this trend, family therapist Marilyn Wedge set out to understand how ADHD became an American epidemic. If ADHD were a true biological disorder of the brain, why was the rate of diagnosis so much higher in America than it was abroad? Was a child's inattention or hyperactivity indicative of a genetic defect, or was it merely the expression of normal behavior or a reaction to stress? Most important, were there alternative treatments that could help children thrive without resorting to powerful prescription drugs? In an effort to answer these questions, Wedge published an article in Psychology Today entitled 'Why French Kids Don't Have ADHD' in which she argued that different approaches to therapy, parenting, diet, and education may explain why rates of ADHD are so much lower in other countries. In A Disease Called Childhood , Wedge examines how myriad factors have come together, resulting in a generation addictied to stimulant drugs, and a medical system that encourages diagnosis instead of seeking other solutions. Writing with empathy and dogged determination to help parents and children struggling with an ADHD diagnosis, Wedge draws on her decades of experience, as well as up-to-date research, to offer a new perspective on ADHD. Instead of focusing only on treating symptoms, she looks at the various potential causes of hyperactivity and inattention in children and examines behavioral and environmental, as opposed to strictly biological, treatments that have been proven to help. In the process, Wedge offers parents, teachers, doctors, and therapists a new paradigm for child mental health - and a better, happier, and less medicated future for American children. Advance Praise for A Disease Called Childhood 'This reflective, carefully researched and well-written book exposes the cultural wounding of our children by Big Pharma and ill-advised adults. Wedge's book is a much-needed call to action for advocates of children everywhere.' Mary Pipher, bestselling author of Reviving Ophelia and The Green Boat 'One of the most important and persuasive books I've read in years. If you are a parent, teacher, or doctor of a child diagnosed with ADHD, you owe it to the child to read this book.' Irving Kirsch, author of The Emperor's New Drugs- Exploding the Antidepressant Myth 'In this compelling book, Marilyn Wedge provides readers with an in-depth understanding of the rise of ADHD, a skilful deconstruction of the science used to promote the selling of stimulants for the disorder, and - most important of all - a guide for thinking of alternative approaches to helping our children. This is an antidote to the common wisdom about ADHD that our society needs to know.' Robert Whitaker, author of Anatomy of an Epidemic- Magic Bullets, Psychiatric Drugs, and the Astonishing Rise of Mental Illness in America ' A Disease Called Childhood is strongly recommended for parents who wish to understand the ADHD diagnosis and learn specific techniques that may be helpful for the
Publisher: New York, N.Y. : Avery, c2015.
ISBN: 9781583335635
Branch Call Number: 618.9285 WED
Characteristics: xxii, 250 p. ; 22 cm.

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