Ritalin Gone Wrong? NYT Article and False Beliefs

An article in the New York Times Ritalin Gone Wrong has the ADD community all worked up.

I have a lot I’d like to say about this and will do so in a thoughtful post. In the mean time I came across this blog post Ritalin Gone Wrong? What’s a Parent to Believe?  that is a pretty good rebuttal of the NYT article.

The 2 articles together tell me what I have suspected all along: We don’t really understand the brain very well and the best us humans can do is take the knowledge we do have and use our best judgement as parents to do the best for our children and ourselves. There is no perfect solution so do your best, learn everything you can and live your life.

Too many people have a closed mind and don’t really scientifically test the treatments used. They come to possibly false conclusions and form some firm belief about what works and what does not. I urge everyone reading these articles to evaluate everything with a huge grain of salt and use your best judgement for your situation.

Update 2/3/2012

A few more rebuttals:



Listen to internet radio with The Coffee Klatch on Blog Talk Radio

Hat Tip: Marianne Russo http://thecoffeeklatch.com/


The New York Times piece “Ritalin Gone Wrong” has caused a frenzy of media attention and strong opinions on both sides.  Many parents and clinicians were outraged by the tone of poor parenting as the root cause of many childrens behaviors in the article.  Are we going back to the days of “Refrigerator Moms” ?  Is poor parenting the cause of neurobiological disorders?  Are stimulants overused and being abused?  What is the science behind short and long term use of stimulants to treat ADHD? Perpetuating the stigma and quality of life issues will be discussed.

Tonight Dr Charles Parker author of ADHD Medication Rules joins Marianne to discuss the article, the research discussed within it and the debate that has brought out some of the most renowned ADHD experts in the world.

Has Ritalin gone wrong?

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Ritalin Gone Wrong? NYT Article and False Beliefs — 6 Comments

  1. Was it Ritalin Gone Wrong or NY Times Op Ed Gone Wrong – many parents and experts are outraged. Last night I sat down with Dr Charles Parker author of New ADHD Medication Rules discussing the article and the pros and cons of medications from a professional and parental view. http://t.co/PREEJnSh

    • It’s all about perspective isn’t it? With that many inaccuracies there feels like an agenda is at play. But the author is not alone. The number of people who’s preconcieved or inaccurate knowledge is just plain wrong is astounding. Whats worse are those who refuse to open their mind to other possibilities.

      I wonder if Dr. Parker finds that a mental disorder.

      Thanks for the interview.

    • Please read smart but fnlieeg dumb! It sounds more like other problems are present to me not ADHD. Smart but fnlieeg doumb can help you make the fuzzy line clear and straight! good luck to both of you.

  2. My six year old son was put on Focalin to help with his ADHD. This mcaiedtion made him an absolute monster. For the two weeks he was on it he was in a constant rage over the tiniest things.

    • Symptoms are difficult to strapaee out in the young. The joke is “anxiety is a symptom of everything.”I have seen enough biological cases of attentional disorders to know that they exist. I have also seen both child and adult cases in which some unsuspected medical cause, such as anemia, allergies, or parasites can cause attentional symptoms.And yet…You don’t have to work long in the field to note that there are a lot of boys unable to keep themselves under control, and an unusual percentage of them do not have fathers in the home. The deficit in those cases seems to be Dad’s attention.I suspect more than one thing is being measured. Dr. Daniel Amen claims to have identified 6 varieties of attention disorders, and further claims to find a difference in their PET scans. Whether that turns out to be so or not, the inability to sit still/pay attention is a rather general symptom, possibly attributable to many things.Our own story is that my wife and I were both the spacey type of attention-deficit children, able to daydream or immerse in a book to an extent that interfered mildly with functioning. As an adult, I was diagnosed with Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder, which is now classified as an anxiety disorder. The older of our two biological children showed some spaceyness, plus the normal amount of squiggliness for a boy young for his grade. The second son was even more able to intensely immerse in a book or movie than even we were: the sort of boy who reads many grades above level but is unable to attend to directions. He was eventually on low-dose imipramine for 18 months in 5th-6th grades. It worked very well, and he gradually grew out of his attentionl problems through puberty, as we had hoped. He is still able to immerse intensely, as we are, and that is an advantage now that he is in college.I am of the opinion that having to overcome something is good for children. The difficulty arises when they have too many things to overcome and it squashes them.

      • I happy to hear that your son grew out of it. Between maturation and finding workarounds many people get off meds. I’m curious about the imipramine, for anxiety I understand but I had not heard of it for attention.

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