View Full Version : Driven to Distraction Author Dr. Hallowell Responds to anti-Ritalin NY Times Piece

02-01-12, 04:30 PM
Thoughtful response to the controversial NY Times Op Ed piece on Ritalin by the Author of Driven to Distraction:

No clinician worth his or her salt believes that all problems can be cured with drugs. But neither does a responsible clinician deny the good that medications can do. When people ask me, “Do you believe in Ritalin?” I reply that Ritalin is not a religious principle. Ritalin, like all medications, can be useful when used properly and dangerous when used improperly. Why is it so difficult for so many people to hold to that middle ground?

And yet difficult it is. Ritalin continues to be a political football, a hot-button issue almost on a par with abortion or capital punishment. One is pushed to be for it or against it, while the right and good position is to be for whatever will help a child lead a better life, as long as it is safe and it is legal.

Used properly, Ritalin is safe, safer than aspirin. And it is legal, albeit highly regulated. As to its long-term use, apply common sense. Use it as long as it is helpful and causes no side effects. That may be for a day, or it may be for many years.

02-01-12, 04:40 PM
Thanks for sharing that, it was a very good read! :)

02-01-12, 06:47 PM
I think we need more people like Dr. Hallowell in medicine. I admit my psychiatrist was the type to just throw the medication at me and over only a matter of weeks got me to up the dosage. What resulted was a tolerance and many side effects. When I took a break then went back on a lower dosage things started to get a lot better. I could at least eat again.

I was kept awake last night from that NY Times article. I still can't believe there are people in the world like that.

02-01-12, 06:51 PM
I'm currently listening to the audio of this book.

Here you go.

02-05-12, 12:37 PM

If that's the article - it's interesting that the author describes the medication's effects of helping us to perform (and 3 times on the first page) boring and repretitive tasks.
“It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society.”
... ... the illusion that children’s behavior problems can be cured with drugs prevents us as a society from seeking the more complex solutions that will be necessary.

The author of the article isn't wrong.

If we didn't need to perform brain bogglingly meaningless, pointless and repetitive tasks - we wouldn't need medication.

Unfortunately - after looking through *EACH AND EVERY* workplace task -
we (as a species) - don't appear to have any NON-brain bogglingly meaningless, pointless and repetitive workplace (for money) tasks.

We're (ADDers) immersed in a dominant global paradigm of vicious stupidity.

And we're taking medication to allow ourselves to survive within it.

It's time to discard the medication and force change.

The recent Middle Eastern episodes of mass murder by ruling Tyrants to be repeated over here by a dissenting public.

Sadly - our tyrants have access to deadlier military and police force.

... ... ... or maybe it won't come to that ... ... ...

I suppose it all comes down to whether the people with guns have minds.

and the armies ceased advancing
because the people had their ear

and the shepherds and the soldiers
lay beneath the stars

exchanging visions
and laying arms to waste

and my senses - newly opened,
I awakened to the cry

that the people have the power
to redeem the work of fools
upon the meek.

Now there's a lady with a plan on how we may discard disorder.