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       Misdiagnosing Mental Illness

       Some So-Called "Psychiatric Diseases" May Not Have A
       Biological Basis, So Do Drugs Really Help?

       By Nicholas Regush

       Oct. 17 - Psychiatry has become a heavily drug-company
       influenced edifice which often trumpets highly
       speculative biological science.
           There are signs many Americans are disturbed by the insidious
       evolution of psychiatry as a shill for pharmaceuticals and a tool for
       behavior control.
           Two class-action lawsuits filed last month allege the American
       Psychiatric Association and Ritalin's maker, Novartis
       Pharmaceutical Corp (formed through the merger of Ciba-Geigy
       and Sandoz) encouraged overdiagnosis of behavioral disorders in
           Congress also recently convened hearings about whether Ritalin
       is overprescribed to children who are diagnosed as having
       Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD).

       Is It Intrinsic or Culture?

        These are children who purportedly have disorder-related
       symptoms such as short attention span, impulsive behavior and

[Dr. Baughman:
Let there be no mistake-by 'disorder' they-all in psychiatry, all
in mental health, pediatric, neurology, family practice--mean 'disease.'
They mean the children are diseased-abnormal.

       Some undoubtedly have these difficulties and need
       some help, but these days it would appear that when a child too
       often twitches in school, cracks a few jokes, or gazes off, bored
       stiff, he or she can be slapped with an ADHD label.
           This "diagnostic" enthusiasm has gone way off the deep end.
       Now, finally, there are serious calls to investigate.
           Part of the problem lies in psychiatry's disorder classification
       system. I'm referring here to the American Psychiatric
       Association's Diagnostic and Statistical Manual for Mental
       Disorders,  or DSM. It is at the core of modern-day psychiatric
       practice and influences how the entire field of mental health deals
       with patients and research.

       Fidgeting Is a Sign of Illness

        The latest DSM edition's description of ADHD is truly something
       to behold. In the inattention category, for example, one symptom is
       "Has difficulty sustaining attention." Another is: "Does not appear
       to listen."
           One symptom in the hyperactive/impulsive category is: "Fidgets
       with hands or feet or squirms in chair." Another is: "Blurts out
       answers before questions have been completed."
           If these types of symptoms occur frequently and appear to be
       severe, then the child has a good chance of being branded ADHD.
           The problem is, some of the symptoms listed could point to a
       wide variety of stimuli: Insufferably boring teachers. An out-of
       touch-with-reality academic curriculum. This is, after all, the
       Internet Age in which the flow of ideas and facts are fast and
       furious. And what about learning patterns at home that might play a
       role in how a child behaves at school?
           To give so many children a drug such as Ritalin presupposes
       that specific biological problems underlie ADHD.

[Dr. Baughman:
ADD was invented, in-committee, at the American Psychiatric
Association for the DSM-III, in 1980. Before it could be validated as
anything physical/biological, the same committee using a show of hands,
nothing like the scientific method, changed it to ADHD, for the 1987,
DSM-III-R. Next, they changed the diagnostic criteria for ADHD for the
1994, DSM-IV. Nowhere was science served. Each new construct served only
to cast a wider marketplace net. All the while, parents and the public at
large were being told it was a disease due to a chemical imbalance of the
brain. All the while, the only chemical imbalance of the brain was that
caused by Ritalin

      And in  psychiatry, this gets about as murky as you can possibly
           The recent orgy of drug-giving to so-called ADHD children is no
       historical accident. It comes at a time when there is increasing
       pressure within psychiatry to focus more attention in the DSM on
       biological  causes of disease.

       Biology vs. Psychological Causes

        Much of the history of psychiatry boils down to a duel between
       those who have attempted to relate mental disorders to specific
       brain functions (the biological approach) and those who have
       attempted to explain disorders in psychological terms (the mind
           As long as biological psychiatry had few treatments to bank on,
       psychology more or less held sway. But that changed considerably
       in the 1970s when moderately effective treatments for mental
       illness appeared on the market. That gave biological psychiatry a
       huge shot in the arm and it has grown in stature and power ever
           But here's the rub. The brain has proved to be far more vastly
       complex than some of the biological enthusiasts have imagined. To
       be sure, there has been progress, but much of what is considered
       mental illness still is poorly understood and many drugs offer
       scattershot rather than well-targeted treatment.

[Dr. Baughman:
Nary a single psychiatric disorder has been proved to be a
disease with a confirming abnormality within the brain-not one.
Nor--applying physical technologies to emotions and behaviors that have no
underlying physical abnormality, will they ever validate a single
psychiatric condition as a disease. Without proof that any are diseases,
psychiatry cannot claim that they are other than a product of the normal
person's environment. Nor do psychiatrists try to understand all there is
to know in their patient's life's histories.

       And that often
       translates into patients suffering serious drug side effects.
           It is indeed very telling that psychiatry's disorder
       system, the DSM, still remains, as the section on ADHD shows -
       primarily a manual of descriptions  of psychological states and
       symptoms - and not a manual pointing to disorders with specific
       underlying biological conditions.

       Assumed ADHD Is Biologically Caused

        Yet, in the case of ADHD, for example, there is clearly an
       unstated assumption that symptoms of inattention and
       hyperactivity have some biological cause.

[Dr. Baughman:
psychiatry assumes this with only a sham biological literature
and with no hope or expectation of ever proving it to be true. Having
assumed that it is they force this misinformation on the parents/public as
fact even to the point of having legislators pass laws about it and judges
render decisions about it, all of which validates ADHD as a disease when
nowhere within science is a shred of validation to be found.

       But the behavior that is
       described may have non-biological or social causes, such as bad
       parenting, poor schools and poverty.
           There is certainly no indication in the DSM's description of
       ADHD that the "disorder" can be viewed as arising from a difficult
       or non-conformist relationship between an individual and his
           In other words, rather than spotlight problems in the culture,
       subtle message in the DSM is that ADHD is biological in origin
       and therefore mental health professionals should opt for drugs to
       quell some ill-defined inner disruption.
           There is little in the way of worthy biological data available on
       something termed "ADHD" to make a scientific case for so much
       drugging of children.
           Now, if either the current president of the American Psychiatric
       Association or the chief science officer of Novartis would enjoy
       debating me on this point, I'm sure we can arrange a public forum
       and an Internet Webcast.
           I'll even allow them to debate as a tag team.

       Nicholas Regush produces medical features for ABCNEWS. In his
       weekly column, published Thursdays, he looks at medical trouble
       spots, heralds innovative achievements and analyzes health trends
       that may greatly influence our lives. His latest book is The Virus

[Dr. Baughman:
Mr. Regush is getting there, but he still doesn't understand
that it isn't mostly, almost wholly a fraud-it is a total, 100% fraud.

no abnormality = normal = no disease

abnormality = disease

disease = abnormality

psychiatric condition = no abnormality (physical or chemical) = normal = no

ADHD = no abnormality = no disease = normal (physically, chemically)

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