Tuesday, July 22, 2008

More evidence that ADHD is a fake

Just published in the British Medical Journal are the results of a study that shows a clear connection between hyperactivity in children and chemical additives in foods.

Removing junk food from a child's diet is a simple treatment that has no side-effects and plenty of positive effects compared with drugs which have horrendous side-effects such as nervousness, insomnia, anorexia; nausea; dizziness; palpitations; headache, cardiac arrhythmia; abdominal pain etc., etc.

A study by the Montreal Children's Hospital found that after five years hyperactive children who received drugs (either Ritalin or Chloropromazine) did not differ significantly from children who had not received them. Although it appeared that hyperactive kids treated with Ritalin were initially more manageable, the degree of improvement and emotional adjustment was essentially identical at the end of five years to that seen in a group of kids who had received no medication at all.

Of course the big difference between the kids who took no drugs and those that took the drugs was that pharmaceutical companies made no profit from the kids who took no drugs.  And the non-drug kids didn't get any of the horrible side-effects.

So why are these drugs used at all if the end result is the same as if the kids took nothing?  As the legal profession says "cui bono?"  (who benefits?)


kaicevy said...

Although it appeared that hyperactive kids treated with Ritalin were initially more manageable, the degree of improvement and emotional adjustment was essentially identical at the end of five years to that seen in a group of kids who had received no medication at all

Grahame said...

Exactly. So basically if you do nothing the "ADHD" goes away. In other words it's a normal part of child development. They go through a "hyper" phase and then it goes away. So why put them on dangerous and addictive drugs? Unless profit is your motive of course.

Aligote said...

What Montreal study are you citing? It would be nice to see the study for myself just to verify what you're saying, since you'd have to agree that if you're saying kids given medication and kids not given medication were equally unmanageable you can see how I might see that a a bit of a stretch.
I have seen the food additive story before and I agree that if you feed a kid unhealthy food they won't behave well, but I'm not sure that equates with the disease being "fake", merely that the disease flares up with certain stimuli.

Grahame said...


For the study you ask about - follow the "horrendous side-effects" link in the article.

ADHD is a fake because a "disease" that has no physical test to prove its existence, but relies on merely subjective evaluation by a psychiatrist or psychologist, is not a disease. At the most it is a list of observed symptoms without a known cause.

Joshua said...


First of all ADHD is not "fake" and although you're correct a test is not available however the mechanism is largely well known. ADHD affects dopamine receptors in the brain causing them to be less efficient. The drugs cause more dopamine (in all but stratera which slows them down).
Secound, coming from a family that has one parent with ADHD and all of the kidds with ADD or ADHD, Having a girlfriend with both parents diagnosed with ADD and all four kids with ADD/ADHD, Having a best friend with both parents with ADD and all three kids with ADD.... I do not doubt the genetic connection of ADD.
Third, Many known ideas have accumulated about ADD which are not 100% clinically validated. The main one has to do with how people with ADD (and people I know with ADD) because dopamine is less effective do not react to cocaine in a positive manner.

In Conclusion.....

ADD/ADHD is nowhere near fake.....

Try sticking to some scientific facts.... Just because some might be misdiagnosed in rare cases due to food habits this does not mean that even close to a majority are.
For Example: my girlfriend hates sweets and she snacks on salad.... I doubt the salad would classify as a junk food......

Grahame said...

Hey Joshua,

If there is no test to show that a "disease" exists then how can anyone say it exists?

There are plenty of theories about receptor sites and neurotransmitters but there is no actual proof.

The fact is that ADHD and ADD are a set of symptoms, they are not a disease. To diagnose a person with ADHD or ADD simply stops you from looking any further to see what is really causing the symptoms.

You and your family have my sympathies. I hope that some day you look further than a cop-out diagnosis.

Rex said...

Hey Josh, maybe your whole family is over diagnosed. You honestly don't think it's an over diagnosed disease? essentially everyone you know has ADHD. Something about that doesn't strike you as odd?

It's a bunch of b.s. dude. How you diagnose a disease when there are no physiological effects or no test to even find the disease?

Kids go through hyper phases. Some parents are lazy and or don't give a crap and look for any excuse to just be lazy by giving a pill instead of being consistant with parenting and making the hard choices.

The pharmacutical industry created ADD to sell drugs.

Grahame said...

@Rex - I agree with you on the massive over-diagnosis and over-prescription of ADHD drugs. It's just a money-making racket.

On your "bad parenting" comment: I think the majority of parents are concerned about their kids and want to do the best for them. It's just that they are bombarded daily with lies about what causes their kids' problems and what the solutions are.

There is research out there about "hyperactivity" that points to chemicals such as preservatives and other additives in food and, of course, sugar and other sweeteners. But that research is not going to help the drug companies make huge profits, so gets suppressed.

Perhaps the criticism we could give to parents who put their kids on these drugs is that they are too ready to listen to "authority" and not willing to spend the time to do the necessary research to find alternative answers.

Zachary Caine said...

All of these mental illnesses are fake. Please read what I wrote about them on my blog http://tehsource.com/2011/05/mental-illness-truth/

christine said...

I'm not a Scientologist myself but I just wanted to leave a comment to say that I completely agree with you assertion that ADD/ADHD is a BS "LIEagnosis". There is no evidence to even suggest that the "symptoms" are anything other than normal behavior. I'm sickened that parents, psychiatrists and the drug industry knowingly exploit defenseless children for their own personal gain. These children are told by their parents that psychiatrists are there to "help them" when in fact all the psychiactric industry cares about is making money at all costs.

Grahame said...

Thanks for your comment christine.

I agree with you about the money motivation of the psychiatric and drug industries but I don't think that applies to parents. I think they are misled and lied to as much as their kids. If they knew the damage these drugs do they would not be putting their kids on them.

Matthew said...

I can only laugh when I read comment about how ADD/ADHD if fake and that is just a bunch of hype to get people to buy drugs. A few months ago I would probably agree. But the thing is, most people who say its fake don't have it. So they really can't put a legit statement in the first place. ADD/ADHD is very real. I had to find out the hard way. I do agree that we should not give are children drugs because they are still developing and its to hard to tell the difference anyways. I was one of those kids. And my mom took me off Ritalin after just two days because I was a zombie. She just couldn't see me like that. I lived a very happy childhood. I did ok in high school and had strait A,s my freshman year. But like most I thought high school was dumb. And just showed up to pass the test. I served In the military for 5 years and really never had a problem because I always had someone tell me what to do. If anything I was really good at what I did. But now I'm in collage and want nothing more than to make my father proud (RIP) and my mom proud. Plus to prove something to myself. Amped and ready. I started school. I have no problem understanding the lessons or info. I have trouble sitting still, keeping my mind on one topic, and just finishing things I started. I hate to fail and will never give up. But I knew I couldn't do it alone. So I got help. After learning everything I could about ADD/ADHD, I had to come to the hard conclusion that I might really have this stupid thing. At first I was like really that BS that I had in grade school. I have no problem that i'm wrong, but have a big problem saying there is something wrong with me. But after watching myself slipping everyday and have the feeling like I had no control or that I'm a complete failure, I had to see someone for help. I have been working with my specialist for a month now. I don't feel any different than before. I am just able to control my mind better. And now am getting A's again. There are so many thing that play a role in why ADD/ADHD is taken out of hand. It's not just bad parents or crappy doctors. But kids making excuses and people not knowing the difference. Plus all the people who think its fake. One of the reasons it took me so long to get help is because I thought it was fake too. But after trying anything and everything other than drugs. Diet, sleep, working out, study groups and even supplements. I can honestly tell you that the disorder is there. I respect the opinion of others, even if they think its fake. Without people like you we would just beleave anything we heard. But please try to understand that its not something you want to be labeled as. Its something you have to live with. And for me it has its good sides. I just have to deal with the one bad side thats all. Thank you everyone

Grahame said...

Hey Matthew,

Thanks for your comment. Let me clear up one thing right away. The evidence is that ADHD, as described by the psychiatric and drug industries does not exist. That doesn't mean that the symptoms that get labelled as ADHD don't exist, they do.

But look at it like this: if you had measles and it was labelled as lotsaspots syndrome and the medical handling was to cover the spots with a cream that hid them and soothed the itching then would lotsaspots syndrome be a legitimate "disease"? No. Would the symptoms be real? Yes.

That's what I'm saying about ADHD: The label is bogus and is designed to sell drugs.

The symptoms are real but they are caused by something and giving someone drugs addresses symptoms and not causes. You have to find the actual cause in order to correct the condition. Taking dangerous drugs may hide the symptoms for a while but it doesn't handle the underlying cause and the drugs will have nasty side-effects which could turn out to be much worse than the symptoms they hide.

Good luck with your situation.

Anonymous said...

Grahame, I would really like to cover some of your viewpoints. I've been diagnosed with ADD, and I the competitive person I am have tried to fight this rejecting its credibility. In the past I have tried fish oil, ginko biloba, ginseng, l-tyrosine, st johns wort, attend as supplements to help me focus. I would try many different combinations, but nothing seemed to work. I even tried cold showers, and meditation to get a fresh mind. I for one have tried so many methods to succeed. You classifying ADD as a "disease" is bogus. In the 1950's homosexuality disorder was a REAL thing. It wasn't til later that they changed it, and accepted homosexuality in society. Disorders is just a way of labeling groups of people, and it has been accepted in our society as a problem. So I must go onto say if someone is more depressed than another person couldn't they be associated with "Major Depressive Disorder." So what do you believe then Grahame? You go onto say that ADD is fake, but yet if a person is more depressed they are diagnosed with a type of depression. What about the person who is incredibly happy? I guess that's normal in society... So we label what is normal in society, and medicate the ones that don't fit the criteria. Conflict of interest? So do you believe in disorders? Because each is just a classification. So if people are more anxious, depressed, or stressed then others doesn't that mean some people are more focussed / organized than other people? What about the people that have tried every method and yet failed. You mention that profit is the motive of medicating kids whose symptoms might go away later. Well, you do bring up a very good point. Psychiatrists should use prescription medication as a last resort for peoples problems. I always have believed that if all else fails, medication is the solution. Everyday I pray to God for what I struggle with. Isn't it tragic to watch everyone in your life move ahead while your left behind? Maybe you haven't experienced it Grahame, to be called by others as super disciplined at such a young age, and envy the other students ability to focus. That's what I envy every day. When not medicated, I have to spend every hour of the day working to just get increments of things accomplished while I still get left behind by the masses. Yes, I took adderall today, and I accomplished what I would have in 3 days, but I don't think you know what it means to wake up with "suicidal thoughts" as a type A individual going no where. It's like I wake up everyday after a boxing match, and I just got the shit kicked out of me, and yet I still get back up with a non-stimulated mind. You further go onto say that it is subjective. There is one doctor that MRI scans his patients, Dr. Daniel G Amen there's your evidence of a non-stimulated mind, and when my mind is stimulated I leave others behind, and that's what it's about taking control over your life. Medication turns the light "on" for me. What is it like? It's like I feel 10 x smarter than I actually am. Does the drug make me smart? No, it just makes me focus, turns the light "on" and untaps my potential.

matt p said...

Hi people. I always wondered about the legitimacy of the term as well and the symptoms. I to was given medication as a kids and also was
causing concern with my parents for being a zombie. the inability to remember or focus on anything as a kid made my life a living hell. My parents always tried to help my principle actually spent the at my house to assist me with focusing on my work. Even if i did manage that, i would forget to bring my work to school. It was a stressful time. After 8th grade i stopped taking them. High school was a mess of forgotten work, spending 30 mins on a single problem, overlooking obvious answers, interrupting others, fidgeting, the list gos on. Fast forward 20 years and wife, kids now. If my wife tells me, "hey can you get me that water bottle off the table." I will go to the table, scan for the bottle, not see it, tell her its not there when in fact it was one of 3 items on the table. This was happening daily. My work had suffered. Fired for forgetting things, i had to make a list for everything. If i had a grocery list of ten things I'd forget 3 of them even with a list. I thought it was glasses for a couple years but to no avail. My wife used to ridicule my parents for putting me on meds. Until we got married and she saw the crazy things I'd do. Anyway i see your point about the name "adhd" but here's the deal. Call a turd a swan it still stinks. If the diagnosis if for the symptoms and the meds work. Who Cares. I know its over diagnosed. I see it every day. But the meds I'm on now are the only thing that has ever worked. I'm ok with that.

Grahame said...

@matt p

I understand your situation, but all you've done by taking a pill is hide your symptoms. After all these years you still have the underlying condition and because it has never been addressed you still have the symptoms that get labelled "ADHD".

To me it makes more sense to find out what is causing the symptoms and address that. Then the symptoms go away and there is no need to take drugs with dangerous side effects.

Grahame said...


Sorry about your situation, but you are missing the point.

ADHD the "disease" is a fake. ADHD the "symptoms" are real.

To regard it as a disease means you don't look any further - as in your case.

To regard it as a set of symptoms caused by an underlying condition means you keep looking until you find the underlying condition.

Taking vitamins and supplements is just another way of treating ADHD as if it were a disease.

Getting blood tests and hormonal test and whatever other physical tests are required will lead you to the underlying condition which can then be addressed and bring about a true recovery.

Staying on drugs with the dangerous side-effects the ADHD drugs have will solve nothing but the problems of the profit margin of drug companies.

matt p said...

I totally get where your coming from. I wish i had the financial stability to let these symptoms continue while I have the trouble shooting done. Thing is, there its no guarantee that its going away even if they found an alternate diagnosis. I suppose if they found some sort of a chemical imbalance they may have the ability to treat. Maybe not. I may have forgotten to add that in adult life as i take my medication, i haven't noticed any unpleasant side effects. Well groggy sometimes but that might be my fault. Anyway, thanks for being here and making me think!

Grahame said...

@matt p

Blood and other tests to investigate your symptoms are not expensive. If you don't have medical insurance you can find labs that will do the tests for very reasonable amounts.

I have a friend who've gone that route for other problems, with great success. Her "depression" turned out to be a thyroid problem.

If you want to take what you think is the inexpensive route and just take the drugs then go ahead, it's your choice, but do be aware of the side-effects. You may not have noticed them yet, but they are inevitable.

Side-Effects of Stimulant ADHD Medication

The side-effects of ADHD drugs.

ADHD Medication Side-Effects

Anonymous said...


Thanks for replying to my post. I'm "Anonymous" as you call and am taking the time to reply back.

I agree with most if not all of what you have said. What I am beginning to come to conclusion about is that a person with ADD like symptoms may inherit the ADD brain which I believe works different than a typical brain would and should be associated with intelligence. I believe that the brain of someone who has ADD because they think more thoughts at one time that it consumes more brain power, therefore consuming the 3 types of neurotransmitters at a faster rate which leads to depression, anxiety and other disorders associated with "ADD". It's either it consumes more neurotransmitters or lacks producing them which could be related to something else as you say. I can see how a person with a simple mind can be less depressed than I and get more done because of their thought process. Many of the people I have seen who can focus excellently are simple minded and less creative while the ADD mind is bombarded with thoughts all at once which causes distraction. Recently, I have mimicked this trait that others possess without medication and although a long way from getting to my destination, have improved so far. I would say many CEO's and business owners possess ADD like symptoms and can shift their thought process from being "more thoughtful" to "less thoughtful" when they have to do tasks that require less thoughts. I own a business in website design which has enabled me to observe these types of people. The difference is they can control it. Because people who have ADD like symptoms have higher IQ's, at this point it leads me to believe that a person with ADD like symptoms should learn to control their mind. You will hear all over the web that people who are medicated who possess ADD like symptoms say their creativity has vanished and that they "feel nothing" almost like a zombie. I believe the ADD mind adapts to our thought processes and believe that in order to focus have to control the amount of thoughts but rather put all of the thinking towards the task at hand. I searched all of Science Daily but it would be interesting if a study was done on people with lots of creativity and lots of focus and then associate the two of them for the two types of people. What they may find is the people possess creativity but not focus may have ADD like symptoms while people who are over focused lack creativity. Creativity for some is the most difficult to accomplish, focus on the other hand is just a matter of perception, controlling the thoughts.

Grahame said...

@Anonymous - thanks for your thoughts on this.

I think it is possible for people to be intelligent and creative without having their thought running out of control.

Having thoughts run wild is not a normal state to be in. There are causes. They can be found and handled. Drugs with horrible side-effects are not the solution.

Good luck with your situation.

Jez Rader said...

Ever think that its not genetic... its monkey see monkey do. Children mimmick the behavior of their parents and siblings all the time. And what scientific evidence? There is no scientific evidence that this "disease" exists. I have a friend with "ADD" and she honestly seems normal to me even when she said she was off her meds. The so-called disease is over diagnosed and over medicated and is an excuse to escape personal responsibility.