According to the CDC as of 2011 in the US 11% of all children aged 4-17 have been diagnosed with ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder). But the APA (American Psychiatric Association reports that just 5% of all children in America suffer from this disorder even though about 15% of all suspected cases are being diagnosed with ADHD. The number is increasing by the year and from 7,8% in 2003 jumped to 9,5% in 2007, something that doesn’t have so much sense.
Big Pharma reports that doctors and parents alike should be aware that ADHD is a very common disorder and all children diagnosed with it should receive the appropriate treatment. However, this view is not shared by other European countries and they diagnose, treat and define the condition in a different manner.
In France, doctors diagnose the condition in only 0.5 % of the cases and believe that this disorder is not a biological one but happens as a result of situational and psycho-social factors. Psychiatrists in France don’t use the same system for classification of childhood emotional problems, their system is known as the CFTMEA and it differs from the APA in a number of ways. This system has been implemented so that the child psychiatrists can first find out the underlying reasons that led to the symptoms and adopt a psychopathological approach for targeting these symptoms.
According to the French doctors ADHD is a sociological disorder that happens on account of a combination of social situations and factors, while the American doctors believe it to be a neurological disorder with symptoms that occur as a result of a chemical imbalance in the brain or a biological dysfunction.
But it’s not just the definition of ADHD that is different in France, their method of treatment is also significantly different than ours.
ADHD Treatment Methods in France
In France when a child gets diagnosed with ADHD the phycologists first try to figure out what caused it. They start by investigating the distress in the child and compare it to the social situation. They believe the disorder is a social context issue which is why the treatment is often psychotherapy of family counseling. They almost never prescribe medications as they believe it’s not necessary and that the issue can be resolved in a different manner.
Another thing they look into is a child’s diet as it’s believed that a poor diet abundant in preservatives, artificial colorings and flavorings, sugars and allergens can affect the child’s behavior negatively.
A study which was conducted in 2011 revealed that in France only 3.5% of the youth is diagnosed with ADHD.
Dr. Marilyn Wedge, a family therapist and an author of numerous books, suspect that this may be connected with the cultural differences between France and the US, especially when it comes to raising children. She further goes to say that parents in France are accustomed to making their kids follow a more structured lifestyle, they stress out how important self-discipline is, maintain strict eating times and even use the method known as “cry it out” with toddlers and babies.
Spanking is also not considered abuse by the French as they use it as a disciplinary measure. Back in March 2015, the Council of Europe argued about the absence of appropriate legislation in France regarding corporal punishment of children.
The New York Times reports that child abuse is of course illegal in France, punished by long prison times, however it must be said that many French parents do spank of slap their kids occasionally, and the French courts don’t regard it as something unacceptable.
Unlike France, The US depend on Big Pharma when it comes to diagnosing and defining ADHD and the method of treatment for the same. Many doctors and researchers are even getting big money to overemphasize the risks of this disorder as well as the benefits of the drugs prescribed for this disorder.
Of course that people believe in the information that comes from respectable universities like John Hopkins and Harvard, what they fail to realize is that even these universities and the researchers working there are on Big Pharma’s payroll.
The sad reality is that all of these drugs and medications are linked to a number of adverse side-effects and can even be listed in the same category as oxycodone and morphine since they’re highly addictive and often abused.
Another big point for concern are the advertisements for ADHD drugs and they are one of the reasons why the number of children diagnosed with this disorder is increasing rapidly. Parents are bombarded with false claims that ADHD drugs can improve their children’s test scores and their home behavior.
There was one advertisement that comes to mind from 2009 for an ADHD drug called Intuniv, in which a kid in a monster costume takes off its mask and shows off its smiling, calm self and the text goes to say “You’ve got a great child in there”.
The FDA warned the companies to remove such advertisements as they’re false and misleading, they exaggerate the effect from these medications and openly lie to the general public. You’ll never come across such propaganda in France.
There’s a lot to be learned from France and their definition of ADHD, how they approach the disorder and treat it eventually. It’s not ethical to start treating it with drugs right away, it damages the kid’s self-esteem and has a negative effect on their overall well-being. Sometimes the child might just be emotionally traumatized, has increased energy levels or is simply not interested in a certain subject. There are even many doctors in America that believe ADHD is not a disorder but a condition that should be treated alternatively.
Dr. Sanford Newmark, a leading integrative pediatrician and author of many books, claims that ADHD can be treated naturally, without the use of any drugs and medications. According to him, the drugs that are being prescribed to children nowadays should be a measure of last resort as they’re often known to cause adverse effects. He recommends a treatment method with an improved nutrition, iron, zinc, better sleep, family counseling, supplementation with Omega 3 and positive behavioral and social changes.
The number of phycologists that believe ADHD should be treated alternatively and not with the help of conventional drugs and medications is rising and we sure hope that they will be able to prevail and spread the right information to the general public.
Article and image source: http://www.healthyfoodhouse.com