View Full Version : N.Y. Times Columnist Reverses Position on ADHD.

02-26-10, 03:56 PM
I came across this article recently, and found it encouraging. I'm not inclined to read the book, as I doubt it would tell me much I didn't already know, but perhaps she'll have more credibility among those who need convincing, than those who've been consistent.

Doing an About-Face on ‘Overmedicated’ Children

Picture a cupped hand. A capsule and a pill lie in the palm. The hand is extended toward a small child. The caption reads, “Take your vitamins.”

For some, the picture symbolizes the best kind of parenting, proactive and nurturing. For others, it is an evocative summary of everything that is wrong with our culture, as pushy parents blithely dose hapless children with unnecessary medication in the name of conformity and achievement.
The journalist Judith Warner was a die-hard member of the second camp, and wanted to spread the word. Six years ago, she happily landed a book contract to explore and document the overmedication of American youth.
Readers of Domestic Disturbances, the online column Ms. Warner wrote for The New York Times until December, will be familiar with what happened next. She sallied forth to interview all the pushy parents, irresponsible doctors and overmedicated children she could find — and lo, she could barely find any. After several years of dead ends, missed deadlines and worried soul-searching, she was forced to reconsider her premise and start all over again.

“We’ve Got Issues” is the product of that unusual cycle. Journalists who cobble together enough anecdotes to support a preset agenda are all too common, and presumably Ms. Warner could have managed to do just that. Instead, she actually let her research guide her thoughts: it whirled her perspective a full 180 degrees and, as she would be the first to affirm, lifted the scales from her eyes.

“A couple of simple truths have become clear,” she writes with the passion of a new convert. “That the suffering of children with mental health issues (and their parents) is very real. That almost no parent takes the issue of psychiatric diagnosis lightly or rushes to ‘drug’ his or her child; and that responsible child psychiatrists don’t, either. And that many children’s lives are essentially saved by medication, particularly when it’s combined with evidence-based forms of therapy.”

02-28-10, 02:52 AM
Faith in humanity went up a tiny bit just now.

02-28-10, 11:59 AM
From the article:
"But then again, we are all inured to expert voices preaching on these topics. Those who disagree stopped listening long ago, and Ms. Warner’s earnest, wide-eyed exhortations will not bring them around. But for the choir, her version of the sermon will make a pleasant change."

One person at a time, the struggle goes on.

We are winning but it is slow and progress is fragile. Things like this give me hope and perhaps a small warm feeling of "One more in the choir".

I too had a slight increase of hope, not a bad feeling.


02-28-10, 12:49 PM
Nice to see a journalist who is so open and honest that she can pull a 180 on a topic on which she had been so passionate.

03-16-10, 12:22 AM
Now if we could just get all the journalists.......oh well, one at a time or groups, the understanding of the problems ADD etc. causes grows and makes it a little easier for those of us struggling daily....

( probably one of the worst sentences I have ever constructed....) but it is nice to see someone reverse themselves....that is rare under ANY circumstances.....