A lot of children aged 4 – 17 are diagnosed with ADHD every year. The APA stresses, however, that out of all those that are diagnosed, only 5% of them truly have the condition. There are about 15% of children who are diagnosed each year so why are the results inconsistent?
A lot of people are saying that Big Pharma has contributed to the epidemic because it stressed that medications are needed by kids diagnosed with ADHD so that they can function better. Other countries do not agree with this. They have their way of defining and treating ADHD in their own countries.
In France, there are only a few children who are diagnosed with ADHD, and this is mainly because this is not considered to be a biological disorder. Rather, people are saying that situational and psychosocial factors cause this.
THE DEFINITION OF ADHD IN FRANCE
In France, ADHD is said to be a condition that is brought about by the social situations that kids are exposed to. This means that according to French doctors, there are always some underlying conditions that will make children act the way that they do. The primary goal is to figure out what those underlying conditions are and address them accordingly.
SOME TREATMENT METHODS
Like mentioned earlier, the psychiatrists in France generally look for the underlying cause first before they start treatment. They get to know what makes the child distressed. They would check what social situations the child feels most distressed in. Medications are not usually given to treat patients who have ADHD. Rather, their family members are recommended to undergo family counseling and psychotherapy.
A lot of French psychiatrists also pay attention to the diet that children have. They have noticed that those who are more exposed to processed and colored food may become more distressed and affected by social situations as compared to those who are eating healthier food.
Reasons for Fewer ADHD Cases in France Compared to the US
It was said earlier that about 15% of children in America suffer from ADHD whereas, in France, only 3.5% are diagnosed with the condition. These are some of the reasons why the differences are evident:
The strategy of parents in France is different from the approach of parents in the US. In France, children are required to follow the rules. They have to eat whenever they are needed to eat and if they are encouraged to cry out their frustrations.
Parents frequently spank their children as a form of discipline. This is different in the US wherein spanking is considered to be child abuse.
Pharmaceutical companies in France did not oversell the condition as a way to sell more medications. The drugs that are used to treat children in the US may be powerful and can usually cause children to become meek.
It is obvious that the main reason why ADHD became such a big deal in the US is that of the advertisements of pharmaceutical companies about it. Some more holistic approaches can be used to treat children. People should remember that they are children after all. By saying that ADHD is a neurological disorder, this is bound to make a lot of children feel bad. At the same time, they will be treated poorly by their peers especially if they learn about the diagnosis.
There are still a lot of doctors in the US who feel that the holistic approach will not work. They stand by their position that ADHD is a disease that should be treated with medication. Only time will tell what will happen in the future.
Abby Martin speaks with Thom Hartmann, host of ‘The Big Picture’ and author of ‘Attention Deficit Disorder: A Different Perception’ about the enormous rise of diagnoses of ADHD among American children, and his research into the origin of the perceived disorder as an evolutionary adaption instead of a disorder.