ADHD is a genetic condition, study says
September 29th, 2010
06:30 PM ET

ADHD is a genetic condition, study says

A new study in the Lancet provides the first direct evidence that genetic abnormalities are responsible for attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, ADHD.

Although previous research had shown that ADHD can be inherited, no specific genes have been identified before that seem to underlie this condition. But that doesn't mean that someone with these particular genetic markers will have ADHD, experts say.

"This tells us that there is a biological marker that tells us that this person is susceptible to develop this disease," said Dr. Robert Marion, chief of genetics and developmental medicine at the Children’s Hospital at Montefiore and Albert Einstein College of Medicine, who was not involved in the study.

Researchers led by Dr. Nigel Williams at the Cardiff University School of Medicine in Wales fully analyzed data from 366 children with ADHD and 1,047 who did not have ADHD.

The Lancet study finds that children with ADHD have more large, rare copy-number variants than children without the condition. "Copy-number variants" are pieces of DNA that are either missing or extraneous in the chromosomes. Other studies have suggested that these variants may be associated with schizophrenia, autism, epilepsy, and other neurodevelopmental disorders.

Specifically, this study suggests a shared biological basis between ADHD and autism because of the shared genetic characteristics found in this study. Researchers also found genetic overlaps with schizophrenia.

""Eventually we’re going to be able to do testing that will identify susceptibility to ADHD or other conditions," Marion said.

But that test won't be available any time soon, especially because there appear to be a large number of variations in DNA that predispose a person to ADHD, Marion said.

The results suggest that ADHD is "not purely a social construct," the study authors wrote. "It’s a real hard and true disorder," Marion added.

On the other hand, this doesn't rule out environmental factors, Marion said. It may be that specific environments determine whether a person with these genetic variations goes on to develop ADHD, autism, schizophrenia, or nothing at all. However, scientists do not yet know precisely what those factors are.

In the future, as more becomes known about the genetics of ADHD, interventions may be tailored toward specific children before they begin to have serious problems in school, Marion said.

The study's "results are exciting, but how these findings will be clinically translated is still speculative," writes J. Peter Burbach, of the University Medical Center Utrecht in the Netherlands, in a Comment in the journal. More research should be done to further examine the associations between these genes and their outcomes.

ADHD has caused a great deal of controversy as parents struggle to appropriately treat their children.

Given that there may be nearly 1 million misdiagnoses of ADHD in the United States, a better grip on the biological basis of it may help mental health professionals distinguish ADHD from other problems.

soundoff (618 Responses)
  1. George

    I did not believe in Meds for ADHD, I thought it was a lack of diciplin, so I diciplined and at 8 years old my son would still react without thinking. His brain was moving so quick, he couldnt remember what the color orange, red, blue etc. was, He could not remember math. It was very upsetting. My wife is a special Ed teacher, but I still thought it could be handled with only disciplin, boy was I wrong. I finally agreed to have my son take a med called Focalin. My son is now 11 and he has tested 96% smarter than kids in his age group nation wide! Yes Nation wide. so to all of you who think ADHD is an excuse, I did too. And some may be, but in my case and anyone else with a similar story, I am here to tell you meds help and I have proof. My proof has documention. 97% within 4months after taking meds....48% before meds....

    September 29, 2010 at 19:18 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Clark1b

      true ... but many kids that are "diagnosed" with ADHD are discipline problems. The trick for the docs, parents and teachers is which kids truly have ADHD and which are because their parents are poor disciplinarians.

      September 29, 2010 at 19:48 | Report abuse |
    • John in NY

      Oh I believe that there that some people are in fact ADHD but I also firmly believe it's highly over diagnosed. The reasoning is twofold, firstly a disabled child in your home is more money, more "disabled" child in your school means more money for your school and better behaved children in your classrooms, afterall it's easier to teach a bunch of children mellowed out on drugs as opposed to a bunch of normal 7 year olds.

      September 29, 2010 at 19:56 | Report abuse |
    • Amanda

      I am an adult living with ADHD, and it truly makes me rage to hear there are people out there who say we are spoiled, were undisciplined or that my condition does not exist. I remain unmedicated because of bad experieces as a child with Ritalin. It is a struggle every single day to look and act normal, to maintain my home, keep a job and be a good mother to my kids. It's more than concentration or being figidy.

      The gears are always turning, the lights in my head are always on, there is no sitting still in silence or in deep thought. I am physically unable to do it. I am always going going going going. It is mentally exhausting. It is difficult to maintain relationships and have come to terms I will probably go through life with no friends but my husband.

      September 29, 2010 at 20:00 | Report abuse |
    • Kati

      I was diagnosed with ADHD as an adult. As a child, I was an angel and required ZERO discipline (any family member or parent of mine will corroborate this). But ADHD meant I had a very hard time focusing on lectures in school...I was always "lost" in school (though I was a straight A student...even smart kids can have ADHD). There were other indicators, too, but I'll skip those to save space.

      To me, the most interesting part of this article was the suggestion of a possible link between autism and ADHD. I've always wondered if I were autistic (clearly high-functioning). I have so many of the traits, but not all of them. I appear to have ADHD, too, though with some sensory and other issues typical of autism. If there is some overlap between the two, well, that would certainly explain a lot of my "issues."

      September 29, 2010 at 21:11 | Report abuse |
    • Logical2010


      I'm glad you saw the light. I am a male in my upper 50s who has been extremely ADD all my life. My parents treated the disorder with a belt. And to show how powerful and refractory ADD is, I remained ADD, even when the whippings got worse. Remarkably, as an adult, I was diagnosed a few years ago and Ritalin has changed my life even at this age. Sometimes I wonder what could have been, but I had life easier than the kids who got polio.

      September 29, 2010 at 21:23 | Report abuse |
    • Joeymom

      John in NY, how we wish. Having a disabled child does not mean you get more money- it means you have to get extra jobs to pay for the therapies and treatments your child needs, but no school can provide and no medical insurance will cover. It means another child in a school requiring services in a world of shrinking- not growing- school budgets. It means a lifetime of challenges for not only the person with the disability, but also for the family. A child with ADHD is often determined to not be disabled enough to receive public support or school special education services, so that they are left to struggle through school without any appropriate support. This is not a joke, and it is not a money-generator.

      September 29, 2010 at 22:23 | Report abuse |
    • Eduardo

      We are right there with you George.
      Our girl is 10 and before focalin 4 years ago she was having difficulty in school. Now with focalin she's thriving at one of the top all girl prep schools in the country. But look out in the morning before she gets on and at night trying to get her to bed! We'll deal with all that as long as she now has the chance to succeed.

      September 29, 2010 at 23:05 | Report abuse |
    • D. Williams

      Thank you George for finally agreeing and for allowing yourself o accept that maybe you were wrong. It takes a strong person to accept chnge and I am so pleased that you did it to help your son. You are doing a great thing and your son is so fortunate to have you and your wife in his corner. Continue to help him and fight for him whenever you feel you need to or as he asks you to. God Bless you both.

      September 29, 2010 at 23:34 | Report abuse |
    • john T

      You people are whacked.......... ADHD, what a crock! They tried to tell me my son had ADHD when he was 3. He's now 8 and an all-star athlete/gymnast, GATE student and all 4 of his teachers have said he is the best disciplined, most respectful student in his class and a born leader. Channel their energy and let kids truly focus on things and they will excel. Discipline, structure, and hey, try this....... actually be there for your kids and don't send them to daycare "pre-school" starting when they're babies, and actually try being a parent........ wow! what a concept. You lazy bastards who have kids, yet spend ZERO time with them. ADHD/ADD – where was it 50 years ago??????? Oh that's right, it's a disease that's just suddenly began to affect the entire world. Hmmmmm, remember when mom's used to stay at home with their kids and actualy cared about them? Oh yeah, and people weren't afraid to spank and discipline there kids........... Oh that's right, today you can just give them drugs and forget about having to be a parent....... What a bunch of BS...... How many potentially great men and women have been destroyed because lazy parents have destroyed them by diagnosing with them with a myth..... yes .... A MYTH and drugging them. I guarantee that many of the great leaders of the past and present have the same genetics......... you notice it says pepole with these genetics have the "potential"........ yeah, whatever!!!! they have the potential to be whatever they want, if you don't cripple them with drugs, and mental abuse by telling them over and over they have a disease...

      September 30, 2010 at 02:21 | Report abuse |
    • Sandy

      I have a husband and a child who have ADHD, and every time I read some comment about how drugs "mellow" out kids with ADHD I want to scream. Oh, if only drugs were really a panacea, what a lovely world it would be. Here on planet Earth there simply is no drug that turns ADHD kids into happy mellow model children. Parents pick and choose among imperfect meds which help their kids concentrate, but only last for a few hours and have side effects. Oh, and the discipline thing? I wish there were some way to force people who dismiss ADHD as a mere discipline problem to have to parent a child suffering with this syndrome for a week (except it would be too mean to the kid).

      September 30, 2010 at 02:25 | Report abuse |
    • steve hunter

      John T, seriously. Coffee is not your friend. Take it down a peg or ten buddy.

      September 30, 2010 at 07:06 | Report abuse |
    • steve hunter

      John in NY, as a teacher with an ADHD stepson, I have to say that your post was one of the dumbest things i've read all week. And there's been some serious competition. Top of the class.

      September 30, 2010 at 07:12 | Report abuse |
    • Wife&MomofADHD

      The key is in proper diagnosis. My husband has ADHD and so does my 7 year old. We initially were not sure there was a problem with my son until literally daily calls from his first grade teacher regarding his behavior. After seeing his pediatrician and ruling out any phyical and/or metabolic issues, we were referred to a psychologist with special training. After a series of tests and interviews – parents, teacher and child, he was diagnosed with ADHD. Because of my husband's bad experiences with medication in his own childhood we did not want to medicate my son. However, after research and discussion with other parents of kids with ADHD, we changed our minds. He is in a low dose of a medication that has made a tremendous difference for him. He reminds us about it because of the positive impact he notices. We don't keep junk food in the house, he had a pretty good diet and consistent discipline before. ADHD is not made up. It is a true issue and finally there is support for the idea that there is a hereditary link. If your child has diabletes, you modify diet and make sure they have insulin. If they have a thyroid issue, it is corrected with medication. ADHD is a medical condtion. And for those who say it can't kill you - tell that to the people who live with the mental health issues that result from not treating it - i'm sure some of them have commited suicide.

      September 30, 2010 at 09:26 | Report abuse |
    • DBINVA

      John T-You are acting a lot like those "undisciplined" kids you rant about. So what's your issue–ADHD or are you the product of "lazy" parents?

      September 30, 2010 at 09:42 | Report abuse |
    • ShaneB

      @JohnT The doctor that told you your kid was ADHD at 3 years old aided your lack of understanding. The expectation of a lengthy attention span from a 3 years old is laughable. Your child clearly didn't have ADHD, so denying its existance based upon the observation of your own child is invalid.

      September 30, 2010 at 10:03 | Report abuse |
    • Squeezebox

      Let me be the poster child for Ritalin. I was kicked out of pre-school because I was such an out-of-control child and my mother spanked often! I was on Ritalin by the time I was six. I went through nine psychiatrists before I was nine years old! Some thought it was my mother's fault because St Sigmund said so. Some thought I was psychotic because in the 1970's there was no such thing as a bad child, only a crazy one. Some thought I was autistic, and if you count Asperger's, they may have been right after all. The best diagnosis I ever got was that I had a "neurological dysfunction" that the Dr. couldn't identify, but he put me into a special school that administered behavior modification therapy. The therapy worked and they took me off Ritalin when I was 13. I want that genetic test ASAP!

      September 30, 2010 at 10:31 | Report abuse |
    • davidp

      George, thank you for admitting your mistake in misunderstanding ADHD. Those who say that is it just an excuse or a reason to ask the government for money are truly people with closed minds. Yes, there are always some people who will try to get money from the government for nothing as we have all read about in the gulf oil spill (just because some people did that does it mean the oil spill didn't happen??). And yes there are those who think they can make their kids pay attention, but not all brains work the same (many examples of that in these comments), so unless you have talked to doctors, counselors, or done research yourself, don't tell those who have seen and lived with it that it doesn't exist.

      September 30, 2010 at 10:36 | Report abuse |
    • L in Seattle

      Thank you, George, for your understanding. What a blessing for your son. I was only diagnosed with ADHD a few years ago, at age 38; I spent my K-12 education feeling stupid and being told I was lazy and 'just not trying' by teachers and my parents. It was such an amazing relief just find out there was an actual medical reason behind everything.

      September 30, 2010 at 13:35 | Report abuse |
    • Lilly

      I realize this is a late to the game, but I wanted my post on top. To all of you calling Adderall and Ritalin "meth", you are simply wrong. Adderall is composed to two types of dextroamphetamine and Ritalin is composed of methylphenidate. These chemical compounds are entirely different from each other. Oh, and Cocaine is not an amphetamine AT ALL. Cocaine is a serotonin–norepinephrine–dopamine reuptake inhibitor. For those of you that are going to say "meth" is in a few of these...the prefix "meth" means one carbon atom. Many harmless substances have "meth" in their name. People need to pick up a science book every now and then. If some of you trailer dwellers were to take my 10MG adderall, you would just focus a little more intently on Jerry Springer. It does not cause a high at prescription doses. Drug abusers will abuse anything. Some people even sniff glue. The "giving kicks coke" or "meth" arguement is futile to the educated.

      May 1, 2012 at 09:02 | Report abuse |
  2. Charles

    Wait now, hold on a sec "Eventually we’re going to be able to do testing that will identify susceptibility to ADHD or other conditions"? Sounds like eugenics to me.

    September 29, 2010 at 19:40 | Report abuse | Reply
    • CV

      I agree!

      September 29, 2010 at 19:45 | Report abuse |
    • PedroDa

      Umm, so testing for genes like the Brac1 gene is eugenics as well? Nice straw man. The ability to test for susceptibility just would allow doctors to focus their energy on the correct groups.

      September 29, 2010 at 19:51 | Report abuse |
    • FromWasilla

      It would be eugenics if they determined that a kid had ADHD and then killed him/her or aborted him/her (same thing).

      September 29, 2010 at 19:56 | Report abuse |
    • Mac

      I agree that ADHD is a problem, especially in crowded classrooms. Having taught high school a few years, I think a teacher should be credited with, say 3 kids for each ADHD or apparent ADHD child. However, I have a PhD and have had a very productive 30 some years since finishing my dissertation. I think ADHD has increased my creativity. I have found many solutions to unusual problems. Sometimes these solutions are seen as genius, but they seem obvious to me. It is odd that they were mostly problems which didn't require a PhD to solve, but which did need a PhD to get someone to listen to me. But, characteristically, I digress; I worry when this subject of avoiding ADHD genes comes up. You may have a drearier world without us.

      September 29, 2010 at 23:15 | Report abuse |
  3. dizzybuzz

    George, by your math if another kid in your son's age group has an IQ of 130 then your son, who is "96% smarter" has an IQ of 254. That's simply amazing! I better get some of that Focalin! I'm retar...uh intellectually disabled by comparision.

    September 29, 2010 at 19:43 | Report abuse | Reply
    • light bulb

      tested better than 96% of his age group... the guy never said that he was 96% smarter than each kid in his age group... based on your answer i would assume that the kid is 96% smarter than you though. Go back to school and learn how to think critically.

      September 29, 2010 at 21:15 | Report abuse |
    • 2+2=5

      Not smarter, you just tend to do your homework because your so cocained up you have tunnel vision. Honestly, how many of these people actually have taken these medications? Because your in for a treat. It's not as simple as take it and you do better, in fact, like most medications, the bad effects outweight the good quite often.

      September 30, 2010 at 07:34 | Report abuse |
    • DBINVA

      2+2–I take the meds. They do not make me "spacey". I am not "cocained up". I have a Master's degree (that I earned before I was diagnosed) and hold down a job that requires a lot of organization. I have to make more of an effort than some, but I have received excellent evaluations and two promotions. My boss does not know of my condition, nor do I intend to reveal it to him. I could ask for special accomodations and would probably receive them, but I want to make it on my own merits. I seem to be able to tolerate the meds well. What's your personal experience with ADD meds?

      September 30, 2010 at 09:14 | Report abuse |
  4. JMD

    I have been diagnosed as adhd since age
    6. I HATE people who say its a disease or condition or that it needs medication. F that. How about they make a medication that makes people smarter, then we can pump all your STUPID kids full of it?

    I have been unmedicated for almost 10 years, and in that time I have done well for myself, and now I go to one of the countrys top universities.

    Don't Medicare your children for the communities failings. There is no rule of nature that says little boys and girls HAVE to be good at sitting and paying perfect attention to some boring CRAP your stupid kids struggle with.

    Do yourself a favor: get off the internetz and tv and go play with your UNMEDICATED brilliant son. He is perfect the way he is, and eff the world for tellingi

    September 29, 2010 at 19:45 | Report abuse | Reply
    • MoMo

      JMD: What "top" university do you go to? Your spelling and punctuation are horrible. You'd better get back to class.

      September 29, 2010 at 21:02 | Report abuse |
    • ArtistLimited

      This makes sense. Neurological disorders, such as Tourette's syndrome are genetically inherited (for the vast majority of cases). The reason I point Tourette's syndrome out is because people who are affected with tourette's often have accompanying disorders, such as ADHD, and autism. With this study, we can now correctly identify that ADHD is infact, a very real disorder (though it may be overdiagnosed).

      Interestingly enough, I have Tics (a symptom of Tourette's), and my Dad did as well. However, our family does not have a history of ADHD, nor do we have any history of autism. Then again, I do take Guanfacine for my tics (which is said to treat ADHD symptoms). I suppose I have suppressed such symptoms with medication, or I do not have ADHD, and am therefore, "lucky".

      September 29, 2010 at 21:59 | Report abuse |
    • Kyle

      I have had ADHD all my life..school was easy ( my tested IQ is 140) but sitting still until the remaining dolts finished was sheer torture. Finished college at a major University with two degrees in 4 years with a 3.2 average, black belt martial artist, board certified in histology, A+ and Net+ certified. I hate working in a structured corporate environment which is why I am self employed and doing well. I didn't take medicine and don't take medicine now, but it takes me longer to prepare for the next day than most and I constantly live with lists 😛

      My father has ADHD and was successful in his career as an executive and played full scholarship basketball, but his personal relation skills are horrible and all the family members have a hard time interacting with him. My goal is to use his personal relationship disasters as an example not to follow and do much better with my family and son.

      My son has ADHD and takes adderall to focus in school. He is a straight A student and an excellent kid. It is easier to deal with him being ADHD as well.

      September 29, 2010 at 22:41 | Report abuse |
    • Brad

      I go to Stanford and I absolutely need my medication. I agree with you that people shouldn't be forced into taking it. I only take it for classes and when I need to do homework. I don't like my personality as much on medication.

      That being said, trying to encourage people to not take medication because that solution worked for you is no worse than others encouraging people to take medication because that worked for them. There is no "silver bullet" for how to deal with ADD. Certainly there are ways that I temper my ADD when I'm not on medication, but for me the best solution is using those methods with medication.

      September 30, 2010 at 01:43 | Report abuse |
    • Karen

      JMD, I agree with some of what you say, just not with how you say it. You can make an intelligent statement without the angry language. I agree that medication is not always the answer, but for the most extreme cases, sometimes a low dose of a med along with counseling can go along way. Medication alone is never, ever the answer. But med will allow an extreme child to calm down enough so that he/she may grasp the lessons on how to behave appropriately. Unfortunately some parents don't care and will only medicate their child without further interaction. (a lack of parental envolvement is also a problem with non-ADD children as well. Many parents truly are more concerned about their own lives and their children are an inconveniece.)
      As for boys and girls sitting in classrooms, I agree that it is wrong for teachers/administrators to expect children to sit for extended periods of time in a classroom. When a child acts up, their punishment is to lose recess time. The last thing that should be done is take away the time to run and play as it is precisely what the problem is – the lack of enrgy releasing activity. Now with schools cutting out recesses and gym class, the poor kids (boys in particular) are having an even more difficult time focusing. This is not only ADD kids either, all children need time to get up, move around, learn by doing physical activity. You are correct in admonishing parents to get up and go play with their children. ADD or not, all children thrive when their parents demonstrate their love by spending as much time as possible talking with them, reading to them, coloring with them, going on walks etc . . . Children require quantity of time, not quality as defined by a self-centered adult. Children don't care if you are having a great talk with them, what they care about is that you are with them. Period. And truly with them, not physically in the same room while your mind is on the tv as you flip channels. Kids, ADD or not, want their parents attention, and the more you give freely of it the more the child can play contentedly on their own when you need to get down to your own work. All parents need to try it. I promise you that it is the key in building a great relationship with your child(ren). You may also discover as a result that any med they may be on could very well be reduced in dosage, if not eliminated altogether.

      September 30, 2010 at 10:46 | Report abuse |
    • davidp

      Going to one of the "countrys top universities" to push a broom for 8 hours a day does not prove your point. As some people have pointed out, taking medications does not always work, and neither does not taking medications. It takes some trial and error and some extra work that many parents are willing to do for their children. Those who say "just get over it" need to "just get over it" and realize that you don't know everything about everything. And to those who say "gee, it didn't exist 50 years ago, so it must not be real" think for a moment, did cancer exist a few centuries ago? Or is it all made up too as an excuse the get chemotherapy?

      September 30, 2010 at 10:52 | Report abuse |
    • Cindy

      OMG, you should step back and look at yourself there buddy. Spell much?? Hope you are taking an extra english class, it's obvious that you are ignorant. No matter how much you beat an ADHD child, it will not get rid of ADHD! My child could not even sit for 5 minutes in Kindergarten, I am a great parent and continue to be. My son is a Senior this year and I have no doubt that he would not be graduating unless he had medication and counceling as well. Sounds like you need to actually research this disorder before you go spouting off at the mouth! Just because you THINK you are high functioning and oh so smart does not mean it is true! If you don't believe me proof read your post! Oh and the kids back before we knew about it pretty much dropped out of school after junior high because the could not cope. I remember kids like that when I was in school and always wondered why they didn't have that voice in their head to tell them they should think before acting, but after researching this disorder thoroughly when my son was diagnosed I understand that they could not help it! BTW my son got it from his sperm donor of a crappy Dad who was never medicated and wound up in jail and on drugs, my son is better off with a mother who cares enough to be involved with his future in our jacked up society. Education is key to dealing with this real disorder!

      September 30, 2010 at 11:07 | Report abuse |
    • Alex

      i wouldnt say we were all forced i personally chose to stop taking my medicine a few years ago and to me my adhd is an advantage as i now have it under control but i still have the energy which i think is great personally

      October 12, 2010 at 07:21 | Report abuse |
  5. JMD

    I have been diagnosed as adhd since age
    6. I HATE people who say its a disease or condition or that it needs medication. F that. How about they make a medication that makes people smarter, then we can pump all your STUPID kids full of it?

    I have been unmedicated for almost 10 years, and in that time I have done well for myself, and now I go to one of the countrys top universities.

    Don't Medicare your children for the communities failings. There is no rule of nature that says little boys and girls HAVE to be good at sitting and paying perfect attention to some boring CRAP your stupid kids struggle with.

    Do yourself a favor: get off the internetz and tv and go play with your UNMEDICATED brilliant son. He is perfect the way he is, and eff the world for telling it different.

    September 29, 2010 at 19:46 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Stacy

      I found the meds made my head hurt. I tried changing my diet/ eating less junk and watching what I put into my body, and I find that seems to help just as much. Working out – which has been proven to improve test scores in students (even those with out ADD/ADHD) can help you channel some of the energy. Also, I tend to multitask a lot. It drives the people around me nuts, but I always have a handle on what's going on and if I try to "slow" down and do one thing at a time I can't focus. I try to not drink soda which makes me extra hyper and eat more veggies. The rest is just accepting who I am and letting it roll. I also found a career that allows for constant mental stimulation, and little direct supervision.

      September 30, 2010 at 00:55 | Report abuse |
    • DBINVA

      Stacey–I agree. I wouldn't be on the meds if I didn't have to be. Having a lot of mental activity is key for me. That's why I enjoyed college way more than high school. And if you don't have to take the meds–don't.

      September 30, 2010 at 09:17 | Report abuse |
  6. JMD

    Haha I tapped this from my EVO 4g sorry for this misspellings

    September 29, 2010 at 19:48 | Report abuse | Reply
  7. PedroDa

    As a life long sufferer of ADHD, I AND my wife can assure anyone it is VERY VERY real. It is both at the same time an incredibly over and under diagnosed disease. Basically, there are people who don't have it who are game the system in order to obtain the prescription, while those who actually have it are often misdiagnosed or worse not diagnosed at all. I commonly hear people say, oh I go through the same stuff you are going through and I am fine you just have to work harder. No you don't. It is like saying, oh I get low blood sugar every now and then, I know what its like to be a diabetic.

    As for medications, this is VERY much a personal decision. The meds do not CURE ADHD in any way, instead they provide the sufferer the ability to develop coping mechanisms and the like so that they may lead a normal life. That being said, depending on the severity/type of adhd (ADHD-H, ADHD-I) and personality of the person, some people can function better than others with out meds. I am NOT one of those people, despite ALL of the side effects that I endure because of the medication (fast heart rate, sweat like CRAZY, etc.). I wish I was, but you don't get everything you want in life.

    September 29, 2010 at 19:49 | Report abuse | Reply
  8. Tiss

    Maybe this existed in my grandparents age but the difference here is that they used all their energy working-even as kids. Got up early, milked cows, fed chickens...etc. and then off to walk to school. They were too darn tired to have all that excess energy put into bad behavior. I bought into all that nonsense when my kids were little and had them both on meds-bad decision. My daughter got into soccer and band and everything else and that took care of her "ADD". Unfortunately my son abused his meds (without my knowing) and is now a drug addict. I should've had him in some major extra curricular stuff that involved very intense physical exertion. If the genetics are showing something now, then they had to come from earlier generations unless it's a mutation of some sort. So, maybe we need to get back to our roots and get our kids busy again. My ex, who was also labeled as "ADD" as an adult, somehow made it through med school and has done very well for himself!

    September 29, 2010 at 19:50 | Report abuse | Reply
    • PedroDa

      Or they were beaten for being "bad wives", "bad kids", etc. Things aren't nearly as rosie in the past as you paint it out to be. I have to head home and will respond more later.

      September 29, 2010 at 19:53 | Report abuse |
    • Mindy

      I agree with you Tiss. I think it's not an illness or an abnormality, just a spectrum of "normal". We have changed the way we live and now those with less attention, but more energy, can't fit in as easily as they did decades ago, when we were more physically active. And kids didn't spent hours and hours in front of the TV or computer screen. Unfortunately, as society turns more inward (more screen time, more sitting time in school, less active time), these people are going to have a harder and harder time adjusting to a less active life.

      September 29, 2010 at 20:45 | Report abuse |
    • Tiss

      I am not painting the past as being "rosie". I'm telling it like it was. BTW, neither grandparent were beaten by their parents nor was there any violence in their home at all. It was tough I know that. My grandmother's saying was "there was nothing about the "good old days"–those "old days were hard". So true and that's my point. They were exhausted but they weren't altering their brain chemicals (especially as children). They were out working and using their bodies. When I was young we were OUTSIDE ALL THE TIME PLAYING. I wonder if the physical exertion of either work/play helps the brain to settle down and focus better. We really don't know the long term effects of those drugs either. Is it a really a good idea to medicate a developing brain unless it is absolutely necessary? I have 2 siblings that are teachers-of long standing. They have stated that their "worst" cases of "ADD" are the children who come from homes where there is poverty, single parent homes, absent fathers, poor discipline, etc. Not slamming anyone here just telling you what I've seen myself (I;m in the mental health field). I know that there are some real cases but if you look at the statistics--there;s just no way that those numbers could have jumped astronomically in the last 15 years for no reason.

      September 29, 2010 at 20:48 | Report abuse |
    • Matt

      Had a similar experience myself. Read my below posts!

      September 29, 2010 at 21:29 | Report abuse |
    • rob

      Unfortunately, most people today ingest many more preservatives, hormones, and other chemicals than in your grandmother's era, and those might have a role in this. Also, your sister's observation that the ADHD kids who are most disruptive (not sure if that's the best word) are homes with poverty, single parents, etc., might have to do with the lack of access of those children to healthy food and meds; both of these can have drastic impacts on the behavior of kids. As for whether it's okay to medicate developing brains, yes. For many kids, medicine is what prevents a kid from impulsively doing things that greatly increase his risk of injury (ADHD people tend to "leap before you look,") and from being ostracized by his peers for the constant interruptions and repetitive fine motor movements. Properly treated kids aren't noticeable for acting like zombies; they're actually not noticeable at all, because the self-control they gain from medicine allows them to fit into social situations.

      September 29, 2010 at 22:49 | Report abuse |
    • PedroDa

      Actually, we do have a pretty good idea about the long term effects of those drugs on the brains. Adderall in one of its many forms has been prescribed since the 1960s (in fact amphetamine was first prescribed for ADHD back in the 1930s so this is NOT a new drug).

      While I came down a bit hard before, having worked with people in foreign cultures (especially the middle east) in a counseling type setting. Women to THIS DAY are beaten for failing to keep the house clean, keep things organized, etc. Many of which are actually untreated ADHD.

      As for excersize helping ADHD, in the short term it can due to the release of dopamine and endorphines. That being said, your theory has a glaring flaw in it. The idea that ADHD ONLY consists of hyperactivity. That is one type, called ADD-H, the other side is ADD-I (for inattentive). These people do not display ANY hyperactive symptoms but have many of the other traits associated with ADD. Lack of ability to focus, impaired ability to filter outside stimuli*, impulsivity, lack of organizational ability, start projects but don't finish them.

      *a huge part of the lack of ability to focus comes from this disability to filter outside stimuli. In a normal type person, when a lecturer is speaking, you are able to listen to him and the background noise tends to gradually drop out (unless you are bored). You stop hearing the people breathing, the people coughing the squeaking chairs, the noise of pencil/pen on paper, the click of someones fingers on a keyboard, etc. In a person with ADHD, their brain simply CAN NOT physically do this. EVERY single thing that goes on comes in at 100% full effect all the time non-stop. Everything in the brain competes with everything else.

      September 29, 2010 at 23:04 | Report abuse |
    • greg

      I'm sorry, but you are way off. I came from a generation that didn't have video games, I played several sports and was active all of the time. I made it through high school and went on to college where I failed out after my second year. My problem was not that I was hyper but that I could not focus on studying. I had never heard hte term ADHD and while my peers were able to sit and read 2 chapters of a book at a time, I couldn't read two sentences. I would read the same thing over and over again and would never get anything out of it. My mind was going in 20 different directions and I couldn't focus on the task at hand. I went through terrible depression trying to cope with the problem and never have been on any medication for either. I wish I had known what ADHD was back then maybe I would have been able to finish my schooling. Even today if you look at my work space it is a mess. I have good ideas, but it is hard for me to follow through and accomplish any one task because I am moving from one thing to another all of the time.

      September 30, 2010 at 08:22 | Report abuse |
  9. Your right George!

    George, you are absolutely right. You could spank an ADHD kid until he was blue and they will still behave the same way. Would you spank a kid in a wheel chair because he couldn't walk? Would you strictly disciplene a blind person because they couldn't see? As ridicoulous as that sounds it is the same thing! It is not a matter of discipline. It is a right combo of meds and structure and an understanding of the way thier minds work. My husband, myself and my two sons are ADHD. Yes, it is a happening household! With the meds my son's can concentrate and pull straight A's. My husband was diagnosed with ADHD as an adult and after taking meds, was able to enroll in college, and can focus and is pulling A's The world doesn't understand what it feels like to have 16 ideas floating through your mind at the same time and for a child, well, hey the energy hits the fan;) Meds, Meds, get the chemicals in the right order. It is nothing different than being a diabetic and taking insulin. I knew I did the right thing when my oldest (he is now 17, plays varsity football, is studying to be a chef and a brilliant artist) when he was 5 years old I reluctantly gave him his first med. Twendy minutes later he came to me and hugged my leg and said 'thank you mom everything slowed down and I feel so calm and can think." From that point on, I knew I did the right thing.

    September 29, 2010 at 19:53 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Matt

      I was diagnosed with ADD at 2 years old, now I am 29. I can tell you from my perspective, the meds were not the solution to the problem, and certainly a far cry from a diabetic using insulin. In my view, the meds came with so many negative side effects – Lack of sleep, lack of appetite, jaw clenching which resulted in teeth grinding, and a hyper-focus on what was going on currently, which took much of my brainpower away from forethought.

      My advice, and you can totally take it or leave it, is to engage your kids in as many activities as possible, allow them the freedom to explore those 16 ideas floating around in their head, and realize that the 'disorder' is more of an 'ability' that most people do not posess. At 29, and on no meds, I have gone through college with straight A's, I have taken a leadership/VP role in my organization, and I absolutely am the mental horsepower behind our most imporatnt projects. I can handle so many tasks at once, that the rest of the company relies on me for nearly everything of major importance. I can think so blazing fast, that I actually amaze my co-workers. This is what ADD becomes later in life, unchecked by meds. ADD is a super-ability, not a disability. Yes, it does certainly come with a degree of social awkwardness in regards to talking fast, and quickly becoming bored with time-wasting situations, but this is what our professional society demands. Please please please don't give up on your kid, and dope him up with Ritalin, Adderol, or any other meth-related drug (methylphenadate). Enable your child to pursue every random interest that comes across. We learn fast, work fast, and do everything in life fast. Trust me, when the kid gets to adulthood (and I'm talking 23+ here), the kid will be a genius dynamo. ADD kids are the future, trust that nature knows whats up!

      September 29, 2010 at 21:05 | Report abuse |
    • Karen

      It is a foolish comparison to say taking ADD meds is the same as taking insulin. I have a 25 year old son who had ADHD since he was five and I have a 13 year old son who is Type I Diabetic since he was 8. There is no comparison whatsoever. If my oldest was not given med, he would not die. He was tough to handle, sure, but certainly no death resulted. If my 13 year old did not take his insulin, within a matter of days he would go into full ketoacidoses and would be hospitalized in intensive care where they would correct the insulin loss. If not, he would die a very, very agonizing death.
      I agree some children need to be medicated for ADD/ADHD, but to compare it to a true life and death situation is the epitome of foolishness. Please be careful of your comaprisons as it could negate your argument.

      September 30, 2010 at 11:01 | Report abuse |
  10. AKRon

    Gee, glad the found a correlation between the genetics and the disease. The first thing all scientists are taught is correlation does equal causation.

    That was sarcasm in case you missed it.

    September 29, 2010 at 19:57 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Sue

      High correlation may not equal causation, but (in a properly designed study) it is a common way to evaluate the validity of hypotheses.

      September 30, 2010 at 14:01 | Report abuse |
  11. dizzybuzz

    Twenty minute miracle cures with in-depth acumen by a 5 year old? Genious level IQs as a result of meds! Big pharmacy post hijacking in progress!

    September 29, 2010 at 20:00 | Report abuse | Reply
  12. Ally

    Well, JMD - glad to know that you have done so well off of your meds - but please, let us know which of the nation's top universities you go to so that I can be sure that my child doesn't apply - you and/or your parents are definitely NOT getting your/their money's worth - your spelling is atrocious. Maybe you should try to go back on your meds; you are not exactly making a good case for your position. My child is not "Medicared" for her ADHD; she takes medication and by doing so, she is making straight As whereas this time last year, she was being sent to the principal's office for behavioral issues. What may have not worked for you may work for somebody else. Stop being so judgmental, get off of the "internetz" and start studying - you obviously need to!

    September 29, 2010 at 20:06 | Report abuse | Reply
  13. JMD

    Haha, very funny.

    My parents died in a fire. I manage my own financial aid, thanks. And if you were attentive! enough to read on, I tapped this from my cellphone.

    Way to make your own point though – you do need the meds.

    September 29, 2010 at 20:10 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Ben

      you said it all man. anyone can benefit from the results from the meds they dish out. i dont think people realize how dangerous they really are

      September 29, 2010 at 23:17 | Report abuse |
  14. Cole

    While I was still a parent. I had a dilemma,ADHD,it was either tell my child to take these meds or a little discipline and extra help. I put in that extra hour and when my son grew older, his brain did to. He is 21 and never took a pill for ADHD.

    September 29, 2010 at 20:15 | Report abuse | Reply
    • stu

      are you no longer a parent? Haha, dummy.

      September 29, 2010 at 20:25 | Report abuse |
  15. Planetcrap

    Does anyone ever consider the fact that in nature it is necessary for us to be so sensitive to multiple stimuli around us as a matter of survival? We must be aware and quick acting to the world around us to avoid predators, to assist in hunting abilities and to "sense" changes in environment and weather. It amazes me constantly that people would try to suppress our natural urges and abilities and mark them as abnormal, Wake up people... When the majority begin to show "syptoms" it is the Norm.

    September 29, 2010 at 20:19 | Report abuse | Reply
  16. Ally

    JMD - you are an idiot, have no idea what you are talking about and BTW, its spelled "douche."

    September 29, 2010 at 20:20 | Report abuse | Reply
  17. Planetcrap


    September 29, 2010 at 20:20 | Report abuse | Reply
  18. LIN

    Thomas, Thank you for being ignorant. Thankfully not everyone is and the researchers who conducted this study did not think like you. My sister-in-law at 37 has been diagnosed with breast cancer (triple negetive) so it is very rare. There are many great doctors researching and treating her and research will continue because cancer is a devastating disease. My daughter (and ex) have ADHD and we cannot figure out where the genetic piece comes from for him. His aunt has schizophrenia. This research gives me a piece to our puzzle that affects MY CHILD. Will she die from it? no but she struggles every day and felt stupid before her diagnosis. No child should ever feel stupid! Especially for something they cannot control. Unfortunately, now with her aunt getting breast cancer she also has a chance of getting that later in life. Therefore, I hope, for her sake, research continues for both of these and so much more. Do not be ignorant about things that do not affect you directly...someday it may and you will be thankful not all researchers thought like you!

    September 29, 2010 at 20:21 | Report abuse | Reply
  19. stu

    I love how many people with no real education on the subject feel it appropriate to opine on mental health issues and the use of medications to treat the same. Same folks are surely opposed to vaccines because they cause autism...

    September 29, 2010 at 20:23 | Report abuse | Reply
  20. stu

    WOW, Berkeley. Couldn't get into Stanford, huh?

    September 29, 2010 at 20:25 | Report abuse | Reply
  21. CC

    I can't believe our school systems haven't devised a new method for teaching kids with ADD and ADHD. They obviously learn and absorb information in a different way. There has to be a way to reach them before they conclude they're dumber than their classmates. Once they reach that conclusion their self esteem takes a hit and it's a matter of time before many of them begin to act accordingly. Medication or no medication – they need a way to learn!!

    September 29, 2010 at 20:27 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Jennifer

      I so agree, every year I have to re-educate all my son's teachers about his difficulties in learning within the current school environment, and it's like starting over. That doesn't make sense to me, because based on statistics, each classroom should have 1-2 ADHD kids per year. It would make sense to me for the administration to create recommended guidelines and accommodations for helping ADHD kids. I will say though, that making the effort to explain my son's differences, and help them understand that his inattentiveness isn't rudeness, and what accommodations have helped in the past, goes a long way.

      September 29, 2010 at 21:26 | Report abuse |
    • Kati

      I was ADHD–unmedicated as a child–and was one of the smart kids in class. Not all kids with ADHD are dumb.

      September 29, 2010 at 21:27 | Report abuse |
    • Jennifer

      Not actually dumb, but labeled as such because of the educational system's inability to recognize an ADHD kid's intelligence

      September 29, 2010 at 21:35 | Report abuse |
    • Glortch

      It has been alleged that I have ADHD,and I do have a hectic mind. I have had a moral conundrum with this label and the act of using a loosely based science to justify medicating a demographic that has little to no ability to defend themselves. I thought myself a little spartacus growing up and caused strife with authority.

      I find that a 3mile jog helps me Immensely in balancing my mental and physical discipline. Being a student of history, I have great trepidation with this type of science, after all some great atrocities have been brought on by this type of surroutious and passive aggressive labeling. Just know that this can lead to bullying and scape goating. The ADD Label has been thrown in my face just to win petty arguments or is used to attack my credibility.

      Their is a drakside to this kind of thinking in History books (Thomas Paine) anyone? using physical discipline to promote mental discipline is more scientific them Magic beans and emperors clothing. No financial incentive there. Just wish they knew what disorder turned people into indoctrinated minions, that would be neat.

      October 2, 2010 at 12:08 | Report abuse |
  22. Chelsea

    ADHD a disease or disorder?! Pooah! It most certainly is not a disease or disorder and I get sick and tired of hearing it referred to as such. ADHD is purely a product of a sedentary society. From an evolutionary perspective ADHD was actually beneficial before we decided that children and adults should be strapped down in their seats and forced to sit in a classroom or work long hours in front of a computer for the better part of their lives. As an adult with ADHD I find myself to be most productive when I am outside working in my gardens, mending my chicken fences, chasing chickens or doing some other type physical labor around my homestead. At work in front of my computer? Forget it, I space out within 10 minutes. The funny thing is that I hear this story repeated over and over. When put in the right environment a person with ADHD will excel far beyond a person without it. Don't believe me? Look up famous people with ADHD and then come talk to me. In closing, what does this say about our society? Sounds to me like a disorder of society, not a disorder of the person.

    September 29, 2010 at 20:29 | Report abuse | Reply
    • stu

      well, good luck surviving on just roaming your garden and chasing chickens.

      September 29, 2010 at 20:31 | Report abuse |
    • Chelsea

      Oh, and did I mention that I also have a Master's degree and a rather nice job as well, despite my ADHD? Yeah, I think I'll be okay. I might space out, but I've also had to teach myself how to bring myself back. Save your condescending attitude for someone else.

      September 29, 2010 at 20:35 | Report abuse |
    • anita

      Life cannot always be just what you want it to be; ADHD is a condition and it has nothing to do with people being lazy or whatever you want to assign it to be. Your ignorance of the subject is appalling. Do some real studying and stop listening to people spread ignorance. I have worked with young people with ADHD. They learnin a different manner, but it is recognizeable.

      September 29, 2010 at 20:37 | Report abuse |
    • Chelsea

      As someone who has been diagnosed with ADHD I have done extensive research on the subject. Ever heard of the Hunter vs Farmer theory of evolution? You might want to look into it. I'm rather appalled myself by all these people who are so quick to slap the label of disorder on children and adults before looking into the root of the problem and helping them adjust their behavior accordingly. I will grant you that in order to function in today's society and adapt to societal norms sometimes medication is the only solution. I don't think it's the best thing, but society is what it is and it's not going to change anytime soon, sadly enough. However, as someone who works with ADHD kids you ought to know darn good and well that cognitive behavioral therapy can go along way in dealing with ADHD. Of course labeling them as "disordered" or "diseased" is much easier than dealing with the root of the issue, right?

      September 29, 2010 at 20:45 | Report abuse |
    • ADawg

      You couldn't have expressed my own personal feelings any better. Wow. It's wonderful to see someone else who can actually think for themselves. Thank you for existing. 🙂

      September 29, 2010 at 20:55 | Report abuse |
    • bronislawa

      "When put in the right environment a person with ADHD will excel far beyond a person without it. Don't believe me? Look up famous people with ADHD and then come talk to me. "

      with all due respect, if you don't have the attention span to cite your sources, why should other posters do the work for you? As to the Einstein reference, have you seen a diagnosis, or are you just guessing b/c you kinda relate to him and want to consider him a kindred spirit? As far as I can make out,
      ADD is a legitimate disorder butt hat doesn't mean it's a justification for sloppy, unsubstantiated thinking.

      October 1, 2010 at 09:51 | Report abuse |
  23. FromWasilla

    JMD, I know you are anti-med and please understand what I'm about to say is coming from a caring perspective. You had meds during your early formative years and you had someone who understood that you had to be taught coping skills. This is very important for how a person with ADD/ADHD will cope later in life. Meds do not cure ADD/ADHD. I am truly happy for you that you have succeeded in life. It hasn't been that way for me. People didn't know what ADD/ADHD was when I was growing up. I was smart, but couldn't get work done. In 5th grade Mr. Heath, Sarah's dad, told me they wanted to put me in advanced classes, but that I would have to keep my desk clean for 2 weeks. I wanted to so bad, but I couldn't even clean it out all the way let alone clean it. I wonder where I would have ended up at if I had meds and support.

    September 29, 2010 at 20:31 | Report abuse | Reply
  24. a slozomby

    yes genetics causes adhd.
    theres a heck of alot of behavioral problems that are diagnosed as adhd that arent. and a heck of alot of ridilin kids that just need some discipline in thier lives.

    September 29, 2010 at 20:35 | Report abuse | Reply
    • FromWasilla

      I think you are partially right. Parents put the kids on the meds and expect the pills will solve the problem. The meds are only a tool to allow for the coping skills and positive behavior patterns to be learned. If the kids are put on meds and left to fend for themselves then nothing will change.

      September 29, 2010 at 20:44 | Report abuse |
  25. CC

    Chelsea, how do you account for a not quite 2 year old bouncing off the walls? Careful with food, dyes, beverages, chemicals – everything. He's not quite two and literally cannot be still even though it's completely obvious he's exhausted. While flying around the room he runs into the closet door, slides down it and is dead asleep by the time he hits the floor and I get to him to help him up. Society? Sedentary society?

    September 29, 2010 at 20:36 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Chelsea

      Hunter vs. Farmer theory of evolution. I suggest you check it out. Fascinating stuff and it will explain why even children and especially children exhibit traits associated with ADHD. Good luck! ADHD kids are sharp as a tack if they are nurtured correctly. Heck, even if they don't have the advantage of behavioral mod therapy they can still be whip smart. Look at Albert Einstein, he's probably one of the world's most famous ADHDers. You know, I have a son who is just a few months younger than yours and as a mother who has ADHD I watch him like a hawk to see if he is exhibiting ADHD symptoms.

      September 29, 2010 at 20:52 | Report abuse |
    • Chelsea

      I would also suggest looking into Waldorf schools once your child is ready for school. They are wonderful for children with ADHD! Rudolf Steiner's methods are simple, logical, functional and traditional and yet they produce simply amazing results at the same time. They are based on experiential learning methods which work very with well for children with ADHD.

      September 29, 2010 at 21:03 | Report abuse |
    • Kati

      You can't accurately diagnosed ADHD in 2 or even 3 year old.

      As far as "bouncing off the walls" goes, that's NORMAL. Especially if your kid is getting too little sleep (a kid sleeping too little will act the opposite of tired...he'll act manic and energetic).

      September 29, 2010 at 23:06 | Report abuse |
  26. JohnyC

    It doesn't seem to matter what the disease or the ailment is. Doctors always seem to treat only the symptoms and never address the cause. I would think a good place to start would be the type of diet that is being consumed. Are they getting plenty of fruits and vegetables? Are they eating lots of junk food and drinking sodas? Are they drinking enough water during the day? Some people might be surprised at what a change in eating habits can do for one's health (speaking from personal experience dealing with allergies). Just a thought.

    September 29, 2010 at 20:50 | Report abuse | Reply
  27. heather

    way overdiagnosed imo. and i really think they should stop giving adderall to children. prescribed meth is what it is, pretty much.

    September 29, 2010 at 20:51 | Report abuse | Reply
    • DB

      You are misinformed.

      September 29, 2010 at 20:58 | Report abuse |
    • Kati

      I'm on Adderall as an adult. Best. Stuff. Ever.

      September 29, 2010 at 23:10 | Report abuse |
    • heather

      no i am not

      September 30, 2010 at 00:40 | Report abuse |
    • greg

      You have no idea what you are talking about. If anything ADHD is underdiagnosed. My son would be still failing school and have no friends if were up to you I guess. I am glad that you don't have to deal with this issue. My son is on the lowest dose of Concerta possible and you wouldn't even know that he had ADHD. We didn't give it to him during the summer or weekends, only when he is in school so he can focus on his work.

      September 30, 2010 at 08:26 | Report abuse |
  28. Matt

    A fun fact indeed, I was told this by a doctor about a decade ago when I was diagnosed with ADD. "A.D.D. is a misnomer, because the word 'disorder' inaccurate. It is simply a personality trait that has been passed on genetically, at least that is my theory. The personality trait is a direct result of society's dependence on technology, and fast paced thinking. Those that exist in a society like ours that is fast paced, on demand etc. would naturally adapt to think faster, and have improved critical thinking abilities. The downside to this is that the brains desire to save time and effort, is manifested by an apparent lack of focus in terms of subjects the brain is not concerned with. In children, this can concern certain matters in school, and home life. Inattentiveness to one subject is replaced by complete attentiveness to another, which in turn enables the child to excel in certain areas of life beyond the abilities of 'normal' children, yet is a detriment to subjects of which the child has no interest'.

    In short, this is another evolutionary leap in the development of human beings. As more mundane tasks are automated through computers, machinery, etc, our brains tacitly become less concerned with them. I guarantee that as time goes on, we will see a rapid increase in this 'disorder'. ADD kids are not disabled, and 'hyper active' children simply exist in a world that works much too slowly for them to mentally tolerate.

    Consider this, before reading this article and buying this BS.

    September 29, 2010 at 20:55 | Report abuse | Reply
    • ADawg

      Perfectly stated.

      September 29, 2010 at 20:58 | Report abuse |
    • Chelsea

      Thank you! People are so quick to slap the label of "disorder" on ADHD when it just isn't accurate. I'm also glad you brought up what is known as the hyper-focus state that ADHDers experience. I think most people simply don't know about this or don't know how to properly deal with it.

      September 29, 2010 at 21:11 | Report abuse |
    • Lorenzo

      Exactly correct, as an individual who has ADD and was prescribed drugs as a child this is right on. We simply are wired differently, I look to ADD as one commenter previously stated as no longer a disorder but as a super type power.

      September 29, 2010 at 21:31 | Report abuse |
    • hardright

      matt, thanks. your insight is FAR more plausable than those that advocate medicating these so called conditions. as you said, society is pretty fast, getting faster, and to top it off, kids 100 years ago had to go out and do a couple hours of hard labor before they walked 10 miles to school uphill both ways...and people wonder why their kids can't sit still and focus in school, it's b/c they had a good nights sleep, ate a good breakfast, get not physical outlet for their energy and have to sit for 6-7 hours. get 'em out to milk a cow, cut some firewood, then feed them 6 eggs and a half pound of bacon, and make them run behind the car to school...then tell me they have ADHD and can't sit still.

      September 29, 2010 at 23:40 | Report abuse |
    • Stacy

      I have to say I agree with Matt. At 32 I have tried it both ways – both on and off meds, and I really feel smarter/stronger/faster off the meds. When I was a kid, I was in ballet 5 days a week, riding bikes, climbing trees, and in High School only paid enough attention to continue to play sports. When I am left to my own devices, and allowed to run at my own pace, I am usually yards ahead of my peers. It was only when I had a stubborn teacher (or later in life, Bosses) that didn't get me that held me back. It was usually only an issue when I was "too much" for someone else to handle because I always wanted to know "why" or "How" something worked. I managed to double Major in Philosophy and Religion and minor in Psychology with a year of research under my belt before meds. After college, I finally got diagnosed, and in 3 years went from an $9/hr job to making 90K a year – through hard work and creative thinking. I think it should be on a case by case basis – and ADD/ADHD should not always be looked at as a terrible thing. Maybe your child has something special to offer, it just has to be channeled in a productive way.

      September 30, 2010 at 00:39 | Report abuse |
    • davidp

      Maybe, then, it should be called Attention Deficit Tendency, which more accurately describes it if it indeed isn't a disorder. But whatever you call it, it is real. Sometimes medicine works, sometimes it doesn't. Sometimes it is caused by their environment, sometimes it isn't. Sometimes the person can control it, sometimes they can't. In other words, every single person with a little ADHD/ADD symptoms or a lot of them is different. If everybody was the same then there would only be one comment on this page and everybody in the whole world would agree with it. It's not black or white.

      September 30, 2010 at 13:57 | Report abuse |
  29. DB

    ADHD is real. I'm sure it is often misdiagnosed as all conditions are that don't present themselves with unequivocal evidence. I did not discover that I had it until I was in my 40's, especially seeing how I'm one of the ones who never had the hyperactive part. Understanding it and getting treated for it is changing my life. I already knew it was hereditary as I can see it in my kids. I can see the frustration in their eyes as they just can't seem to do what they are supposed to. They are very intelligent as most ADDers are, but not simply lazy and undisciplined as so many like to characterize us as. As a society we categorize and judge people because their differences cannot be "proven." Mental Illness, Gays and anything else that we as a society think are choices or just excuses. Walk a mile in our shoes and I'm sure you would sing a very different tune, until then, a bit of understanding and a resistance to judge others would be nice.

    September 29, 2010 at 20:57 | Report abuse | Reply
  30. Erik

    I am 40 years old. I just started taking add medication today for the first time. I would like to kill anyone who is opposed to this medication. I have been a vegetable for 15 years now. I was so spaced out, I actually forgot my own name before. I feel like I could maybe go back to work now(I think the dose needs to be increased first though). I haven't been able to work in years.
    It is also extremely physically unpleasant and painful to have this add. I feel I tiny bit of euphoria now that is such a relief, you couldn't even know.
    I went to so many doctors who refused me this medication in the last five years when I first became aware of what I had it is mind-boggling.
    I believe it is criminal how difficult it is for an Adult to be prescribed meds for this just because there was no diagnosis as a child. If Doctor's want to uphold the hippocratic oath, they better start dishing this stuff out a heck of a lot easier. Especially to those that have become completely incapacitated by add. All they wanted to do was prescribe me anti-depressants that made me even more sick feeling and made me sleep all day. I was already to screwed to work, Why did they give me stuff that made me worse?
    I hope I will obtain the right dosage and type of med soon now, because I finally see a faint light at the end of this tunnel.
    If you oppose the use of add drugs you certainly have an enemy in me!

    September 29, 2010 at 21:00 | Report abuse | Reply
    • DB

      Amen. It will take time, and I can tell you from experience that medication is not the end all. We have a lifetime of habits that we have learned in our attempts to cope and those run very deep. Stay positive and you will dig yourself out of the hole.

      September 29, 2010 at 21:02 | Report abuse |
    • KYMD

      Eric, it could be that doctors were refusing to dish it out because you were demanding it based on self-diagnosis. If you come in and tell me you know what you have from reading it on the internet, you better believe you are going to get a lot of testing before I believe you. You will also have to get some therapy before I will slap you on mind-altering drugs. It sounds as though you have a lot more issues than ADHD.

      September 29, 2010 at 21:36 | Report abuse |
    • Erik

      KYMD You illustrate perfectly the need to remove the need for doctors to have to write prescriptions.
      If I know what I have why do I have to spend thousands of dollars on numerous doctors visits and therapy sessions before I can be medicated? It is very difficult for me to make one appointment, let alone a whole string of them. I have tried therapy at least 10 different times and have failed after usually the first session. I have space-outs bad from add. I don't even think it is possible to communicate with a therapist. They always ask you what you want to talk about or what you think about something. I always reply : "ugh I don't know, I have no idea(My mind draws a total blank!)" Then they claim I am not cooperating. I have add dumbdumb, nothing is coming to mind!! I really am registering a total blank!!
      I graduated from University with honors with 2 degrees. I am not an idiot, I am highly educated, and I know that doctors are trained to believe what people say is going on and what actually is going on are 2 different things. This is the crux of the problem. The opposite of that is often true. A lot of people know exactly what is going on and get really frustrated when they are belittled and disbelieved. You need to change your attitude or you need to quit being an MD. Remember the Hippocratic oath??? Damn.
      Do you really think I should have to jump through many painful onerous hoops before I am provided medication that would provide me relief? You are a sick. sick individual. Provide the medication as soon as possible, and please do not let your petty Dr. ego get in the way with treating people.

      September 29, 2010 at 22:21 | Report abuse |
  31. Joseph

    So essentially, ADHD is genetic but we they have no specific genetic marker and the variants are possibly also responsible for schizophrenia, autism, epilepsy, and other neurodevelopmental disorders.... So yes, as a scientist, I'll sum up this article... ADHD is genetic but, you'll have to take my word on it because we have no proof. A waste of an article.

    September 29, 2010 at 21:04 | Report abuse | Reply
  32. Matt

    I was diagnosed with ADD at 2 years old, now I am 29. I can tell you from my perspective, the meds were not the solution to the problem, and certainly a far cry from a diabetic using insulin. In my view, the meds came with so many negative side effects – Lack of sleep, lack of appetite, jaw clenching which resulted in teeth grinding, and a hyper-focus on what was going on currently, which took much of my brainpower away from forethought.

    My advice, and you can totally take it or leave it, is to engage your kids in as many activities as possible, allow them the freedom to explore those 16 ideas floating around in their head, and realize that the 'disorder' is more of an 'ability' that most people do not posess. At 29, and on no meds, I have gone through college with straight A's, I have taken a leadership/VP role in my organization, and I absolutely am the mental horsepower behind our most imporatnt projects. I can handle so many tasks at once, that the rest of the company relies on me for nearly everything of major importance. I can think so blazing fast, that I actually amaze my co-workers. This is what ADD becomes later in life, unchecked by meds. ADD is a super-ability, not a disability. Yes, it does certainly come with a degree of social awkwardness in regards to talking fast, and quickly becoming bored with time-wasting situations, but this is what our professional society demands. Please please please don't give up on your kid, and dope him up with Ritalin, Adderol, or any other meth-related drug (methylphenadate). Enable your child to pursue every random interest that comes across. We learn fast, work fast, and do everything in life fast. Trust me, when the kid gets to adulthood (and I'm talking 23+ here), the kid will be a genius dynamo. ADD kids are the future, trust that nature knows whats up!

    September 29, 2010 at 21:06 | Report abuse | Reply
    • greg

      I'm not sure how you were diagnosed at 2, our sons doctor wouldn't never even considered diagnosing him at that age. I'm so glad for you, but you need to see from another persons persective. I am 40, never was medicated, have a 165 IQ and promptly flunked out of college after my 2nd year. All because I couldn't focus on the task that I needed to do. To get to the point you are at you have to get good grades in school, I am glad you were able to achieve them. I can not get one task accomlplished before I move on to the another so I am glad for you that you are able to. My son can not get those good grades in school with out his meds so I will keep giving them to him on the days that he will be in school. He does not get them on weekends, holidays, or summer when he doesn't have to focus on his school work. I will not have him go through the problems in life that I wewnt through because of people like you that think it is so bad to medicate him for a medical condition.

      September 30, 2010 at 08:42 | Report abuse |
  33. evoc

    LIN: Well said. There seems to be a gene pool from which can sprout a variety of neuro-behavioral issues. In my family there is Tourette's Syndrome with ADD/ADHD, autistic traits, anxiety disorder, and more. That is in one family member. The rest of us have some of this, and some of that. A part of the brain is excessively active, allowing for the appearance of some, all, or none of these traits. Research has been ongoing for some time, and more is needed. Everyone experiencing any of those issues can live a life of hell. When we are more informed, we make everyone's life better. The education process needs to be updated for providing appropriate accommodation (first recognition) to these students, who, in my family have gone on to receive Master's degrees in teaching, or criminal justice – two of us are attorneys, one a teacher, one a nurse. These challenges are not limiting, but can be enhancing. Good luck with your child, be her strongest advocate.

    September 29, 2010 at 21:09 | Report abuse | Reply
  34. michael

    to all the arm chair doctors wthout a degree who feel the need to spew ignorant baseless garbage-shut up until you know what the hell you are talking about. adhd is a real disease that affects kids and adults case closed.

    September 29, 2010 at 21:18 | Report abuse | Reply
  35. Mathu

    Well all i want to say is that this is really foolish! Why is everyone so angry about what they think or say. I understand being compassionate about something because there are many things I'm very opinionated about, but that doesnt mean that i get angry and cuss people out for disagreeing with me. everyone has a right to do as they wish with their own life and it is not my problem if other people make a mistake. Now to take this into consideration i do have ADD al though i never took medication for it because I personally am not a big fan of medications in general but that is my own right and I am entitled to it without prejudice. But there are people on here that are so unbelievably intolerant of other peoples positions. So what if someone wants to medicate their child because they believe it is the right thing to do. That is their decision and it is their right as parents to make that decision. It doesn't make them bad people or bad parents it is simply their method there is no hand book on parenting and there is no such thing as a perfect parent. I am not a parent but I am the son of two parents that i spent many years fighting with and still to this day get in very angry fights with them because they aren't perfect but they aren't bad parents they support me in my decisions and sometimes they don't and as Jim Carrey says "thats the way the cookie crumbles". my message to tis board of bloggers is there is no need to be angry and attack people it is only fair to accept and politely disagree with that person over their opinion. remember we are sitting at our computers writing these things and half of us are probably half way across the country so what this or that person says in the grand scheme of things really does not effect you in the long term so no need to be angry. thank you 🙂

    September 29, 2010 at 21:23 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Cole

      Mathu – your comments are thoughtful and wise. Thanks for speaking up

      September 29, 2010 at 22:40 | Report abuse |
  36. Kati

    I was diagnosed with ADHD until adulthood, but I will happily admit that medication has been a life-changer for me. I cannot even tell you how much better my life is for it. Perhaps meds aren't the way to go for young kids or specific individuals, but many people do see benefits from the meds, including myself.

    September 29, 2010 at 21:24 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Ian

      Same story here. I'm in college, and I didn't recognize my ADHD until 6 months ago or so. I would /study/ 6-8 hours a night with almost nothing to show for it. Every single night. I wen't into depression because I thought I wasn't fit for learning. Turns out I have severe Adult ADHD.

      My father has it too, but he has always been in the work force, never school, so he really never cared to look into it.

      September 30, 2010 at 15:21 | Report abuse |
    • x


      September 30, 2010 at 20:02 | Report abuse |
  37. helen

    My son has ADHD and is in clue, plays piano and participates in a number of sports. Without the meds none of this would be available to him, as he would be too aggressive. Most daily activities would be impossible- however, it is interesting to note that that he can play complex video games without any meds??

    September 29, 2010 at 21:24 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Matt

      Get the kid into martial arts, it tamed my aggressiveness and taught me self control. Probably the best thing that ever happened to me as an A.D.D. kid. Wasted all my energy, and taught me incredible discipline.

      September 29, 2010 at 21:32 | Report abuse |
    • KYMD

      Umm. . . he has the attention span to play complex video games, but not other activities that he finds less fun . . . What's that called?

      September 29, 2010 at 21:38 | Report abuse |
    • research

      one of the reasons children with true adhd respond well to games, television, and the internet is because they are fast-paced, constantly changing, and visually stimulating. these are all things that stimulate the brain and increase the ability of children with adhd to focus.

      September 29, 2010 at 23:58 | Report abuse |
  38. Kati

    It's not the hard to get into Berkeley.

    September 29, 2010 at 21:25 | Report abuse | Reply
  39. Matt

    I agree with JMD.

    September 29, 2010 at 21:29 | Report abuse | Reply
  40. Jennifer

    Similarities to ADHD and autism include: 1. inability to pick up on social cues and respond accordingly 2. hyperfocus on one subject and obsessing over it (i.e. dinosaurs, WWII, etc) 3. repetitive physical movements like tapping on a desk 4. blurting things out at inappropriate times 5. easily distracted by background noise (I could go on)

    September 29, 2010 at 21:33 | Report abuse | Reply
  41. Emmy Vesta

    I have ADHD, I was also a child exposed to abuse and in foster care. What came first? The ADHD or the reaction to violence(i.e. lack of executive functioning)?

    My oldest son is Autism Spectrum, and my youngest is currently being diagnosed. So... if I was to have a neurological issue such as ADHD, would that mean I passed that gene on to my children? Did my genes make my boys more likely to have AS?

    We are to undergo genetic testing soon. I want more than a correlation of suspect, I want hard data. How do they remove the various aspects? Ten years ago, I heard that exposure to second hand smoke could cause ADHD... both my biological parents smoked in the home and car with me. I smoke, but never have I smoked in the house or my car with my children. I had the best prenatal care during my five pregnancies. All five kids are physically healthy, never an ear infection or traumatic brain injury. Yet, four out of five of my kids has a disorder. Was it me? Was it my genetic makeup? Who knows.

    I want factual information, not correlations.

    September 29, 2010 at 21:42 | Report abuse | Reply
  42. asdfas

    Fake illness concocted by pharma companies in the same way Valentine's Day was created by greeting card companies. Lack of self control and focus is due to bad, inattentive parenting during kids' formative years by adults who only half a$$ their role as caregivers. Kids need attention and focus from ages 0 – 3 otherwise they become negatively hardwired.

    September 29, 2010 at 21:45 | Report abuse | Reply
  43. someoneelse

    I doubt genetics is the sole cause, and I doubt it's even half as bad as they say.

    September 29, 2010 at 21:47 | Report abuse | Reply
  44. LAWMAN

    ADD is no excuse. I have it. I was medicated. I am now in college (one of the top 30 in the nation i might add). I do not take the pills now. Best advice is to make sure ur kid does not get singled out for it. I did and it ruined my social life. Lost all self esteem. now beginning to recover.

    September 29, 2010 at 21:57 | Report abuse | Reply
  45. Dan

    My younger brother was diagnosed with ADHD and I have most of the symptoms of ADHD. Though, there was a big shift in diagnosing ADD between my generation going to elementary school in the early to mid 80's and my brother's generation in the late 80's and early 90's. There were very few children diagnosed with ADHD in my class, but my brother's class had a significant number of children diagnosed with ADHD. I consider it both a blessing and a curse. I'm able to think outside the box even if my mind wanders and I sold my first busines at 24 from some almost random idea I had watching TV. I also have another successful business and I'm consulting with a Fortune 100. Though, I have to do something I'm interested in or I have no concentration. I couldn't imaging being stuck in an accounting or many office jobs where it's mundane details-driven work. The only time I wish had the meds was for taking the SAT and GMAT, but standardized tests are a terrible measure of ability and I had good grades otherwise.

    September 29, 2010 at 21:58 | Report abuse | Reply
  46. Arlene

    My Grandson was diagnosed with ADHD when he was in first grade. He was taken off his medication this summer. His mom received about 6-7 phone calls within a two week period from school. He called out the answer in class without being called upon. He was fidgeting in his seat, and he called the teacher by her first name. Because he was going to a new school his mother advised the school that he had ADHD. Guess what happened! They punished him. All the information
    that was on the list he does. One of the teachers said she has 28 other students to teach that she didn't have time for a
    child with ADHD. This was told to my grandson's mother. The school suggested that he be put into a class with kids who
    have special needs. If he was a child who has special needs he would have already been in that said class. The last
    school he went to suggested that he be put into an advanced math class. He also is an honor roll student and has just
    started 6th grade. The problem I am having is that these teachers seem not to have any education when it comes to a
    child who has ADHD. If they did, they would have noticed. He is now back on his medicine and now we deal with his
    extreme loss of appetite. He will eat breakfast take his medicine and won't eat anything until late dinner time. He is quiet,
    not himself, and hasn't much energy at all. Who knows what else he is feeling inside. I was with him for 4 weeks this summer and yes, we had issues but they were small and the majority of the time I really enjoyed his energy, his wit, his
    charm, his caring ways, and his unselfishness. He was a joy to be with. I disagree with a child at a young age being medicated so he/she can act "normal" for everybody else at the child's expense. Did anyone ever think what it does to
    a child's mind what their thinking. My grandson has questioned why he has to take it. What does that tell you. I wish someone in the Education Department do some research into teaching teachers the tools to work with a child who has
    ADHD. I believe that parents should also learn the tools how to learn raise an ADHD child. The Doctors will tell parents
    your child has ADHD and write a prescription but they don't tell you how to work with the tools to educate yourself
    and your child. I know my Grandson will do very well in school it's just unfortunate that he is now medicated.

    September 29, 2010 at 22:01 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Cole

      Hey Grandma, google "twice exceptional". It means high-ability children who have learning difficulties. My daughter went from the 13% to 95% when we got the right diagnosis (from a pyschologist, not the school) Sometimes we still have difficulties but it just means the "standard" way to learn doesn't work for her and we have to try alternate approaches. We had lots problems in early grade school. Meds were the beginning of the solution. Also look up 504 plan – it is the law in every state. Now my daughter is a senior in HS and she is in the top 10% in the Advanced classes. She amazes me every day. May God Bless

      September 29, 2010 at 22:36 | Report abuse |
    • greg

      I'm sorry but I don't agree with you on this subject. It is hard for me to give my son medication, but is it right for 27 other kids in his class to change for him. Is it right that my son was a loner and had no friends in school because the other kids didn't want to be around him. It is hard enough for teachers to get their job done without my son being disruptive to the others. We have had good teachers and bad. Some deal with his condition better than others. As with most children with ADHD he is extremely smart so why not give him the tools to be able to use that brain to its full capacity. We don't medicate him during the summer months and yes we are fine with it, he is fun to be around. He has his good days and his bad like anyone else does. The same for when he is on the medication, he has good and bad. His good days which I would classify as normal days he is energetic, funny and just fun to be around. His bad days, he mopes around the house and isn't very talkative. Again these kids are generally high on the IQ table but they just can't focus on a single issue. I don't want my son to fail out of college like I did, I want to give him all the tools available to be able to succeed in life.

      September 30, 2010 at 09:10 | Report abuse |
    • greg

      Maybe you should look into some help with your issues from a group called CHADD. This group is for children and adults with attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder. It has lots of good information and ansers to questions on their website.

      September 30, 2010 at 09:14 | Report abuse |
  47. Jim

    Try passing on the drugs and do coffee enemas and drink lots of raw vegetables and fruit. Stay away from Chlorinated/Fluoridated water, either drinking or bathing/showering. The Gerson therapy seems to cure most illnesses. Drug companies make drugs to treat symptoms, but never to cure disease. Combined with a nutrition free society, we have people dying and sick from simple lack of nutrition, and colon overflow.

    September 29, 2010 at 22:01 | Report abuse | Reply
  48. Kamikaze

    ADHD is a parent condition. It was created so parents would have an excuse to not punish their children for sitting down and doing their homework. No one in my family seems to have ADHD. No one on my wife's side or mine. Maybe it's because everyone in both our families kicks the crap out of our children when they get out of line and don't do what their told.

    September 29, 2010 at 22:02 | Report abuse | Reply
    • getreal

      That's bs. Both of my sons have adhd combined. For someone that is so informed, for your information they don't dx add anymore. They quit doing that in 1994. Both of my sons are also on the autism sprectrum disorder. Are they disciplined? Yes but , according to all the data out there,, you do not discipline them for something that is directly related to the adhd or the autism. Is it unusual for a kid on the spectrum to have other dx's? No it is not. What is really ironic is the schools want them medicated like zombies and the dr. refuses to do it. And no, no one in my family has adhd or autism.

      September 29, 2010 at 22:15 | Report abuse |
    • Cole

      Wow Kamikaze – you must be soooo proud :S

      September 29, 2010 at 22:23 | Report abuse |
    • Adhdmom

      We disciplined our daughter each time she needed it, which was too often. It didn't work. She went right back to what she did in the first place to get punished for. One of the symptoms is impulsivity. They just can't help it. How hard do you think we should beat them before we know if it's ADHD or not? Should we put them in the hospital?

      September 29, 2010 at 22:45 | Report abuse |
    • David

      What an idiot

      September 29, 2010 at 22:48 | Report abuse |
    • ChipH

      Our one kid developed uncontrolled behavior that was starting to be described as ADHD by teachers and school psychologist so the next time s(he) went AWOL and started punching out the walls, I wrapped him/her in a bear hug and held on while s(he) head-butted me and scratched and kicked me and screamed and terret's syndromed blue, ... until s(he) started crying, then I talked quietly to him/her how we would respect his/her 'zone' and ease off our school expectations, and do more things on the weekend, instead of working seven days a week for the man, hoping you would be above the RIF on pink slip day, which it turned out I wasn't, so I wasted ALL THOSE YEARS I could have been playing with him/her.

      S(he) slipped back into slack mode with his/her druggie friends so we cracked the whip one more time, and s(he) cleaned up his/her act and overnight stopped acting retarded and ADHD, now totally self-motivating, self-directing, going to college.

      Just like 'Alzheimer's' used to be called 'Old Timers', what used to be 'The Wild Bunch' is now diagnosed ADHD, and every parent is so burned out sucking the tailpipe for The Man, they'll actually PAY to have their kids DRUGGED, instead of disciplined. Like the Izzies say about the Palestinians as they bomb them, 'WE JUST WANT A LITTLE QUIET AROUND HERE!'

      Hug your kid, turn off the TV, and go camping this weekend. It's almost winter, and soon time for cabin fever, err, 'ADHD'.

      September 29, 2010 at 23:06 | Report abuse |
    • Ben

      forget all these people who say youre wrong, youre absolutely right. everyones doing everything they can to not look like the parent who "mistreats" their child but thats bs. when i was young and i messed up i knew about it because my parents were no bs. and im glad too, it made me a better person. they used to think my younger brother had ADD but all that was really going on was that his teachers sucked and didn't care and he was just getting too bored in class to give a damn. two years after that diagnosis they reversed it because he got serious about school and started paying attention and doing his work. no drugs. he went on to get a college degree near the top of his class.

      if you think you need drugs to get control of your mind, youre weak. thats all there is to it. you're too weak to want to try and make yourself better and you think you can rely on some pills. people like that make me sick but you know what, those people will never really be anything in life because they can't take it upon themselves to want to make a change.

      im with you kamakazi, when my kid screws up hes gunna know about it. and if he still cant manage to focus on his work after that, then hes just not the smartest kid in the world. no diseases. ill still love him all the same

      September 29, 2010 at 23:33 | Report abuse |
    • Kamikaze

      When I was in school they wanted to put me on ritalin. My parents thought about it and decided that if giving chemical induced mood changing drugs was the answer then they would be raising a child that would eventually learn to think, "Hey if there is something wrong I can take a pill to make it better". They chose right. When I got heavily out of line I got my butt kicked. If I did something stupid at school the principal would paddle me. When I got home I got more of the same and everywhere in between. Now I'm 36 years old. I've never spent a day in jail and neither has my sister who had similar problems. The problem with parents today is they think they can reason with children. You can't. The only thing children understand is pain and suffering. Giving children these pills is the same mindset of adults telling themselves, "Hey, I'm fat because I just don't have the time to go work out and it's okay". Why do you think fat reducing pills is a billion dollar business. It's because children are growing up thinking pills will solve their problems because their lazy good for nothing parents didn't have the balls to slap their own kids. Maybe that's why I'm 5'9" 205 pounds at 8% body fat. I learned to solve problems with hard work.

      September 29, 2010 at 23:59 | Report abuse |
    • David

      I am sure death row is filled with stories of soft, kind, loving parents who never struck their children.

      September 30, 2010 at 08:27 | Report abuse |
    • davidp

      I don't think it was the crap your parents kicked out of you, I think it was your brain. Too bad, life is so much more fun when you have one.

      September 30, 2010 at 14:08 | Report abuse |
    • Cosmo

      Kamikaze- I'm sure you drive around with a beer in your hand (and no seatbelt on) like your parents did too. And I'm sure if you end up with a pregnant 15 year old daughter, you're probably the dad

      September 30, 2010 at 14:19 | Report abuse |
    • EDG


      No one in my family is a drug addict or on my wifes sad for that matter. Does that mean they are made up terms by people who want to drink themselves into oblivion and not work? You are entitled to your opinion, but don't say people with ADD/ADHD is just a made up term becasue you don't have it.
      I am 35, my parents would make me sit and study for hours even while I stared out the window etc.. It is real condition that impacts many children and adults. I went to college and even have my MBA, but do you realize how many kids ADD or ADHD feel stupid and want to drop out of school becasue they can't figure out a way to adapt? Do some research you will be surprised.

      October 7, 2010 at 17:30 | Report abuse |
  49. getreal

    There was a big debate over the past few years over whether or not to put the adhd under the autism sprectrum disorder. Is it under the asd in the new DSM IV-TA? I doubt it but there was a serious debate over that.

    September 29, 2010 at 22:08 | Report abuse | Reply
  50. matt

    All I can say is that I really find the relatively sudden explosion in ADHD/ADD diagnoses truly startling. I will get ripped for this one, but I just wonder if sometimes ADHD is simply kids being restless kids who would rather be doing something other than studying, doing homework, sitting in a classroom. I know that some people are truly affected and I sincerely hope they find help if they so desire, but it just seems like all bad students are generically diagnosed with ADHD.

    September 29, 2010 at 22:08 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Kati

      Much of the surge in the number of people being diagnosed with ADHD is awareness. When I was a kid, no one had ever heard of ADHD and I didn't know a single person who had it. It was until after I had graduated college that I had even heard of the disorder.

      Yet, I am ADHD and I always was. If I were a kid today, I would have been diagnosed around age 6 or 7 instead of age 32. If I were a generation or two older, I might not have been diagnosed at all.

      September 29, 2010 at 23:25 | Report abuse |
    • Kamikaze

      It's because ADHD is a billion dollar business.

      September 30, 2010 at 00:15 | Report abuse |
    • Cosmo

      Kamikaze- I'm sure you drive around with a beer in your hand (and no seatbelt on) like your parents did too. And I'm sure if you end up with a pregnant 15 year old daughter, you're probably the dad

      September 30, 2010 at 14:20 | Report abuse |
    • bronislawa

      I agree with matt – ADD is both a real phenomenon and an overdiagnosed excuse. As a teacher I've seenboth very bright students who are clearly experiencing the world differently that the rest of us, and spoiled slackers whose parents paid for a diagnosis rather than admit their child has mediocre abilities/impulse control. Whether they succeed or not has less to do with whether or not it has a genetic component, and much, much more to do with whether they take responsibility for the hand they've been dealt, and work on finding the techniques, meds, and/or skills that will help them focus OR just use the diagnosis as an excuse to tell everybody how brilliant they are and how the rest of the world is at fault.

      October 1, 2010 at 10:11 | Report abuse |
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