Inventor of ADHD'S deathbed confession: "ADHD is a fictitious disease"

By enquirewithin · May 20, 2013 · Updated May 20, 2013 · ·
  1. enquirewithin
    Fortunately, the Swiss National Advisory Commission on Biomedical Ethics (NEK, President: Otfried Höffe) critically commented on the use of the ADHD drug Ritalin in its opinion of 22 November 2011 titled Human enhancement by means of pharmacological agents: The consumption of pharmacological agents altered the child’s behavior without any contribution on his or her part.

    That amounted to interference in the child’s freedom and personal rights, because pharmacological agents induced behavioral changes but failed to educate the child on how to achieve these behavioral changes independently. The child was thus deprived of an essential learning experience to act autonomously and emphatically which “considerably curtails children’s freedom and impairs their personality development”, the NEK criticized.

    The alarmed critics of the Ritalin disaster are now getting support from an entirely different side. The German weekly Der Spiegel quoted in its cover story on 2 February 2012 the US American psychiatrist Leon Eisenberg, born in 1922 as the son of Russian Jewish immigrants, who was the “scientific father of ADHD” and who said at the age of 87, seven months before his death in his last interview: “ADHD is a prime example of a fictitious disease”

    Since 1968, however, some 40 years, Leon Eisenberg’s “disease” haunted the diagnostic and statistical manuals, first as “hyperkinetic reaction of childhood”, now called “ADHD”. The use of ADHD medications in Germany rose in only eighteen years from 34 kg (in 1993) to a record of no less than 1760 kg (in 2011) – which is a 51-fold increase in sales! In the United States every tenth boy among ten year-olds already swallows an ADHD medication on a daily basis. With an increasing tendency.

    When it comes to the proven repertoire of Edward Bernays, the father of propaganda, to sell the First World War to his people with the help of his uncle’s psychoanalysis and to distort science and the faith in science to increase profits of the industry – what about investigating on whose behalf the “scientific father of ADHD” conducted science? His career was remarkably steep, and his “fictitious disease” led to the best sales increases. And after all, he served in the “Committee for DSM V and ICD XII, American Psychiatric Association” from 2006 to 2009. After all, Leon Eisenberg received “the Ruane Prize for Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Research. He has been a leader in child psychiatry for more than 40 years through his work in pharmacological trials, research, teaching, and social policy and for his theories of autism and social medicine”.

    And after all, Eisenberg was a member of the “Organizing Committee for Women and Medicine Conference, Bahamas, November 29 – December 3, 2006, Josiah Macy Foundation (2006)”. The Josiah Macy Foundation organized conferences with intelligence agents of the OSS, later CIA, such as Gregory Bateson and Heinz von Foerster during and long after World War II. Have such groups marketed the diagnosis of ADHD in the service of the pharmaceutical market and tailor-made for him with a lot of propaganda and public relations? It is this issue that the American psychologist Lisa Cosgrove and others investigated in their study Financial Ties between DSM-IV Panel Members and the Pharmaceutical Industry7. They found that “Of the 170 DSM panel members 95 (56%) had one or more financial associations with companies in the pharmaceutical industry. One hundred percent of the members of the panels on ‘Mood Disorders’ and ‘Schizophrenia and Other Psychotic Disorders’ had financial ties to drug companies. The connections are especially strong in those diagnostic areas where drugs are the first line of treatment for mental disorders.” In the next edition of the manual, the situation is unchanged. “Of the 137 DSM-V panel members who have posted disclosure statements, 56% have reported industry ties – no improvement over the percent of DSM-IV members.” “The very vocabulary of psychiatry is now defined at all levels by the pharmaceutical industry,” said Dr Irwin Savodnik, an assistant clinical professor of psychiatry at the University of California at Los Angeles.

    This is well paid. Just one example: The Assistant Director of the Pediatric Psychopharmacology Unit at Massachusetts General Hospital and Associate Professor of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School received “$1 million in earnings from drug companies between 2000 and 2007”. In any case, no one can easily get around the testimony of the father of ADHD: “ADHD is a prime example of a fictitious disease.”

    The task of psychologists, educators and doctors is not to put children on the “chemical lead” because the entire society cannot handle the products of its misguided theories of man and raising children, and instead hands over our children to the free pharmaceutical market. Let us return to the basic matter of personal psychology and education: The child is to acquire personal responsibility and emphatic behavior under expert guidance – and that takes the family and the school: In these fields, the child should be able to lead off mentally. This constitutes the core of the human person.

    Wednesday, March 27th 2013 |by Moritz Nestor, Current Concerns

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  1. 6Abysmal6Solace6
    I agree with Eisenburg's inictment that adhd is a fictitious disease. Having personally been diagnosed with this "disease" and being subjected to taking amphetamine & methylphenidate before the age of 10, and being able to create many of the changes in behavior that these "medications" are meant to produce with dietary changes this is pretty much the silver bullet in terms of confirmation that this "disease" is a crock of shit concocted by the "pharmaceutical cartel".

    I do find it ironic however that people diagnosed with adhd who find that other regulated or outright illicit drugs(cocaine, etc) /botanicals (e.g. coca leaf) are more or equally effective as amphetamines who cannot afford the drugs prescribed for their "disorder" would be subject to encarceration especially given no ill effects in terms of being "intoxicated" or causing economic/financial problems for themselves.

    On another note, I beleive that the medication of children at an early age with psychostimulants exacerbates, later in life, the symptoms of adhd/add in the abscense of amphetamines/methylphenidate given that these drugs are being administered at a critical developmental stage of the brain and the brain most likely associates these states of hyper-focus attributed to abnormal seratonin/dopamine releases as being normal.
  2. Potter
    I never would have made it to high-school had I not gotten Ritalin in elementary school. Despite the high chance that prescription stimulants triggered Tourette's Syndrome at the age of 17, I would do it all again. Having a medical diagnosis saved my life, got me the education I was capable of, and brought me the control I was incapable of.
  3. longwalk
    Amen! Our ADHD/autistic daughter would have been institutionalized, were it not for amphetamines, and Fluvoxetine (Luvox, in case I botched the generic name). I, too, am ADHD, and likely mildly Aspergers.

    That said, do you truly consider yourself "diseased" or "disordered?" Or a different "kind" of normal, which these wonderful, life-giving drugs can help?

    Just my perspective...
  4. 6Abysmal6Solace6
    I regret having gotten off the stimulants when I did (before middle school) tbh because after having done so my motivation declined like crazy & my grades suffered as a result, but tbh I think the administration of amphetamines/methylphenidate as opposed to dietary changes cognitive behavioral therapy in children diagnosed with this disorder is more detrimental in the long term, especially to the meso-limbic region of the brain (beleived to be the brains reward system), when one decides the side effects of amphet outweigh the benefits.

    It would be interesting to see if there is a correlation between chronic stimulant use in adhd diagnosed children into early adolescence or adulthood and "amotivational syndrome" after one decides to taper off or withdraw cold turkey from these drugs.

    ADHD seems like a great way to create institutionalized amphetamine dependence IMO.
  5. candymanny
    Completely agree with that i would of also never gotten anything good out of high-school if i had not be diagnosed at like 7/8.
  6. dyingtomorrow
    Had I been put on Ritalin/Adderall in High School or at least College, I would have been able to actually interact and participate in school, and would have undoubtedly been able to make a lot more out of those years (read: anything), and would be far better off. Instead I did not pay a moment of attention in school, I was fatigued to such an extreme that I could not accomplish anything on a daily basis, and anything which I was finally forced to do at the last minute was done with zero effort and extreme discomfort, irritation, and as hastily as possible. I was also extremely depressed and just moped around and hated everything. I only got along fairly because I otherwise was "gifted" and had some kind of weird latent memory that seemed to absorb everything without me actually paying attention to it and the analytical ability to reverse engineer tests. I did no homework ever and just failed it all. Thinking back to what I could have done on Adderall, if I actually had energy, focus and motivation to do anything - my life would be totally different - although I cannot say I would not have eventually ended up on opiates for other reasons.

    That being said, I think there are definitely extreme cases of children who need ADHD medication to be able to go to school and learn. Is it probably over-diagnosed, and/or sought at a chemical remedy by lazy parents too much? Probably. I also think, on a case by case basis, if it could be at least held back as long as possible and not given to children at such a young age, that would be better. I think giving young children neurology/chemistry-altering medications on a long term daily basis, during their formative years and while their brain is developing is something to be avoided unless absolutely necessary.

    Finally, I think calling ADHD "fictitious" is going way too far. It is kind of a catchall, like Fibromyalgia - some people simply function better on amphetamines, the same way some people function better on opiates. Fortunately for those people whose quality of life, functionality, and happiness is improved by taking amphetamines, they have ADHD. Unfortunately the millions of people who need opiates for the same are shit out of luck at this strange point in human history, with the horrible and cruel social innovation that people cannot manage their own health anymore.
  7. enquirewithin
    I think that Ritalin/Adderall probably do help some kids get through school. I have worked with kids with "ADHD" which is not a very enlightening description of their problems (they are disruptive and can't concentrate). After getting their medication they are much easier to work with, although the drugs do have negative side effects too.

    David Nutt talks about this in Drugs without the Hot Air. He feels that the benefits outweigh the problems and that some kids benefit a lot from Ritalin. Obviously it is not a cure all.

    I am not quite sure about the 'human core' and so. The 'father of ADHD' was getting old.
  8. nattydread
    Amphetamines can help anyone concentrate in school. I didn't do them, I flunked out twice. Does this mean I have ADHD? Why do you think the kids prescribed the medicine sell it to the "normal" college students so they can pay attention to their studying. I know 2 brilliant people with ADHD who aren't taking amphetamines and are the most intelligent and creative people I know.
  9. RoboCodeine7610
    I think that deciding weather to give the symptoms a label or not is pointless. All that matters is that some people really do have trouble concentrating. It may be the result of bad upbringing, genetics, lack of discipline...whatever. The only thing that matters is that some people really can't get through school without stimulants, and in those cases, they should be prescribed.

  10. baZING
    Of course amphetamines have the potential to help anyone concentrate in school. However, some people truly can'tconcentrate for shit without them while others can, but are just lazy and want an extra boost. Only the person taking an amphetamine for academic reasons knows which one is true, but the fact remains there's a huge difference between the two.

    As for your friends with ADHD, well, I hope you're not suggesting that knowing these two people somehow enlightens you on the disorder as a whole. As with just about any disease or disorder, there is a wide spectrum of severity of symptoms and how they effect the functioning of individual cases.
  11. al-k-mist
    this is pretty deep, man, and an accurate portrayal of my feelings, my life

    i quit doing the meds in middle school, i guess because i didnt want to bee different, maybe i wanted friends...never had them anyways. but when i was on them, i remember getting in trouble for not doing homework, despite doing algebra in 5th grade. quit in like 7th grade.
    in high school,i often got failing grades, and was lost in my mind. no friends, class clown. oh i was at eckerd camp for 14 months, and went from 9th grade to 11th. and then failed 11th for being expelled.
    it was not a matter of not having the smarts, it was lack of motivation and rebelling at people who i thought were against me(they still are)
    so if i wouldnt have quit them, do you think i wouldve graduated and done something with my life instead of 15 years of prison?
    i still dont think it was right to experiment on me and now i may be fucked because of it.....oh well
  12. Akanaro
    Well, imagine that. Reading this makes a lot of things that happened appear rather different. An account then of life around the time society went crazy, based on some nearly forgotten memories of life as a child in South Africa and the ADHD craze.

    Forty five years ago someone came up with a brilliant plan to make a fortune by promoting a mind altering drug called amphetamine to the world as an easy solution to 'fix' overactive children who were often referred to as 'misbehaving' by their ignorant parents, hyperactive by the medical field or 'brats' by family friends and relatives behind closed doors. Thus, almost overnight, the last vestiges of parental responsibility would be removed.

    But such a miracle drug would not be accepted by society as a 'cure' for 'brat' syndrome, which was already a well known condition attributed to parental neglect, and which was positively diagnosed by parents all over the world, in many children belonging to family, friends and neighbours, but never their own. Society still frowned on shirking parental responsibility and would definitely not allow it to be replaced by a drug.

    So, after some thought and looking up a few synonyms in an Oxford dictionary, a 'new' disease was invented. They called it 'Hyperkinetic Reaction of Childhood or Adolescence' which described hyperactive behaviour in much more eloquent and complicated sounding terms. Suddenly 'brats' became 'troubled children' in polite company and neighbours were forgiven because it turns out they were not bad parents after all but actually victims of a cruel fate rendering their offspring desperately ill and unable to pay attention for more than 5 minutes. Those poor kids would need special drugs for the rest of their lives, poor babies.

    A conversation was overheard just after the news on this new disease was released that year.

    Mrs Cornwell: Who could have guessed such a thing, Mrs Jones? All this time the husband here and I was doubting your and Mr Jones' poor godly selves for naught, while you were straining so heavily under the yoke of caring for a child, so horribly inflicted with this disease of the devil, as to render them un-mannered and un-teachable! We were of mind that your child be feeling neglected and needing more minding and loving as well as perhaps more of the rod. We were deceived by Satan's trap I dare say. We were such fools darling. Can you forgive us?

    Mrs Jones: Think nothing of it Mrs Cornwell. I told my Jonesy here that we've been vindicated by the good Lord himself in that he opened Mr Eisenberg’s eyes and mind to perceive the truth of the devil's meddling in little Suzy's mind. Jonesy here works long hours and I have this job over at Dr Schmidt taking away the day. Evenings are dedicated to church meetings, appointments and bingo at the reverend's house on Friday's. Weekends we take some self time it's the Lord's time on Sundays. But we still made an effort and set aside an hour every day for Suzie. I knew it was none of that bad parent stuff people whispered. We're always trying so hard!

    Like I said, the new disease was named Hyperkinetic Reaction of Childhood or Adolescence (Teenagers are even more troubled you know), and slowly became known to all as word spread, although often referred to as just Hyper as it was a lot easier to say. Things were taking a little bit too long for the folks having an interest in the drug companies involved and the disease was renamed in 1987 to something more fashionable. HRCA just didn't stick in minds.

    So they came up with 'Attention Deficit-Hyperactivity Disorder' which nobody really cared about as it was more fun to say, 'ADHD', and appear smart if someone did ask. It took the world by storm. So much so that it was adapted to include slighted parents who's kids were not hyperactive but still a hand full. Well, that and to find more kids to drug, I guess. So ADD was accepted as the reason why you should drug you kids if they don't want to behave all the time.

    Suddenly, bad parents across the globe were spared the effort and time required to love, care, discipline, educate and participate in their children's lives. Drug companies and parents alike rejoiced at the wonders of science that made it possible to legally drug your child into submission. It had finally happened. The world had gone mad. Or that psychiatrist did when he started all this with a lie. Or most likely both.

    But even in madness can good be found sometimes. Schools were filled with special classes at the time, aimed at trying to educate those who really had learning problems. But they tried and failed and were eventually send off to special schools, more aimed at keeping them busy than teaching them anything. I don't think the good doctor imagined that what he had created as a lie were a truth for some before that. Kids with learning disabilities due to attention problems were real. They were never brats though. They often time showed more humanity than the normal kids. They didn't care that you were different.

    This was an effort to highlight the gullibility of society in matters such as these. It is aimed to relate some common occurrences of that time and later. Much is as I remember such matters after ADHD became popular in the late 80's and early 90's. I tried to show the humour as I saw it looking back. It is not aimed as an insult against any person or non-person. Descriptions and terms included were in fact common back then and is used for their historical value and nothing else. In short, I'm not calling anyone anything.
  13. ashxcore
    But we have already determined that there is a difference between the amount of dopamine autoreceptors in the brains of those who have ADHD and those who do not.

    And before I had ever learned that, I noticed that amphetamine and other stimulants have a markedly different effect on me than those who do not have ADHD.

    Over-pathologized is NOT the same as fictitious.
  14. MikePatton
    Me and millions of others have spent our entire childhood on drug like SSRIs and Ritalin and the alarming consequences are only now being fully understood. To this day I still use both. The addictive potential, and the inabillity to cope with your existance without those chemicals, is a multi-billion dollar industry that keeps sucking you back in.

    I'd say 80% of the people I've seen using Ritalin, which is as politically correct as candies around here, would have been better off without it. Same for antidepressants.
  15. 6Abysmal6Solace6
    New research seems to indicate that it is the administration of the drugs themselves to adolescents/teenagers that causes these increases in dopamine receptor density of the brain, rather than the brain being organically different in the first place.

    But, alas, this area probably could do with some more research.

    source : (I would provide the link, but the forum is not allowing me to)
  16. RoboCodeine7610
    So what you´re suggesting is that the administration of dopamine repuptake inhibitors increases dopamine receptor density? This is counter-intuitive; do you have any studies that confirm this assertion?

  17. opiatebattler
    I agree with the suggestion that ADHD exists but is very over diagnosed and over prescribed. I have met children who are intelligent and could be more productive if they had the right type of support at home. I have seen many a parent mistreat their kids, calling the child horrible names, using agression and physical violence and then wondering why that child ends up not doing what its asked and even being physically violent to the parent. Then said parent carts child off to the doctor in the hope of getting a medication for their unmanageable child. I was personally unable to concentrate at school, i mucked up in class and disrespected authority. I know this is because my homelife was violent and unbearable and thats what i was rebelling against. As this was in the early 90`s, after reading above articles, i feel lucky i wasnt misdiagnosed and medicated! I do, however, believe ADHD is a real medical affliction, just not as prevalent as statistics reflect. I know foods and additives in them can play a contributing factor for people with this illness and i wonder why the medical profession does not use dietary restrictions of negative impacting foods and addition of positive acting foods as the first line of treatment for ADHD?...Oh, thats right, big pharmaceutical would not benefit from this approach, nor would the prescriber get their kickback...silly me?!?! My bestfriend and partner of 16 years shows genuine symptoms of ADHD & aspergers. He was institutionalized at 10 years old and was treated very poorly at this facility. He was never taught any skills, on trying to. manage said illnesses. As an adult now he sometimes has `moments` resulting in things like him losing his job because his employer doesnt realise he has genuine trouble and is not just being insubordinate.
  18. opiatebattler
    My interest has been piqued as to what foods my friend should avoid or include and my new mission will be researching this on his behalf. Any guidance or direction would be much appreciated.
  19. ex-junkie
    It's really hard to isolate what foods and beverages don't agree with you. The best way to find out is via the elimination method. Keep a food diary - there are some useful resources available for 3 month food/drink/exercise diaries through the 'live lighter' and 'swap it don't stop it' web sites (both Australian resources). Omega 3 keeps popping up as beneficial in research all over the world (I've attached an article to outline the reasons why).

    You need to cut all the crap out of your diet and eat a diabetic diet - which is higher in proteins and low GI carbs, low in fat, low in processed foods, high in natural fibre, and the sugar you eat is only natural - from fruits and muesli bars for example. Then once you've been eating in this manner for a month or so, when you do succumb and eat a piece of cake or whatever - you can see how it's affecting you.

    Black Dog Institute web site also has mood diaries which are very useful - you use them to track your moods, your sleeping patterns, and triggers - be sure to note what you're eating. A healthy diet + exercise = a healthy body and a healthy body= a healthy mind. Know what I mean?

    For myself I find that high processed sugars, processed carbs, anything with artificial colours and sweeteners, alcohol, high fat, and dairy, send me into typical ADHD vs bipolar II with added anxiety and agitation (both of which are conditions of each listed 'illness'.

    When I do the elimination diet, I am only left with what can be described as 'intermittent explosive disorder', which fizzles completely if I exercise and keep up the low sugar/low fat/diabetic diet. I have many creative hobbies which still don't quench it; I actually need to become sore/tired from exercise or work to bring me down completely to a normal level.

    Dunno if this spiel helped you at all, just offering my perspective and I'm self-managing as opposed to taking stimulants (which I know full well I won't be able to take as prescribed- and therefore don't bother). :)
  20. LarsD
    If ADHD doesn't exist then I'd sure like to know what the hell is wrong with me. Because my thought patterns, behaviour, ticks and quirks really are different from 'normal' people. I'm fairly intelligent, but I can't focus or learn to focus no matter what I do. Yet if something interests me, drugs for instance, I go into psycho-obsession mode and remember every damn word i've read...

    That combined with strange forgetfulness, extreme racing and chaotic thoughts, to the point of difficulty falling asleep, and other symptoms basically make me the ADHD posterchild.

    Funny thing? I never even considered adhd Untill now (24 year old) and now I'm gonna go see a shrink before I start college again...
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