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ADHD treatment gone wrong: when prescriptions replace listening

Posted by Claudia M Gold  February 5, 2013 11:20 AM

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Now that the letters to the editor in response to the New York Times article Drowned in a Stream of Prescriptions have been published, I am going to take advantage of this blog to publish mine.

There is one glaring error in the generally well-researched and deeply disturbing article Drowned in a Stream of Prescriptions. In a record review of Richard’s treatment the reporters found none of  “the more conventional talk-based therapies that experts generally consider an important component of A.D.H.D. treatment.” If only this were true. Just last week, AAP Smartbriefs, a review of newsworthy events in pediatrics, offered this headline Non-Drug ADHD Treatments Don't Pan Out in Study. The “psychological treatments” the study refers to are cognitive and behavioral training and neurofeedback. Talk-based therapy isn't even mentioned.
What is noticeably absent in Richard’s treatment is not talking, but listening. In the age of the 10-minute med check, there is no room for listening. If Richard was truly a well functioning person until mid-college, was his primary diagnosis schizophrenia? Was there some kind of trauma? In a world where ADHD is so quickly diagnosed, there was no time given to fully hear his story. That time that might have saved his life. 

Originally published on the blog Child in Mind.

This blog is not written or edited by or the Boston Globe.
The author is solely responsible for the content.

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About the author

Claudia M. Gold, M.D. is a pediatrician and author of Keeping Your Child in Mind: Overcoming Defiance, Tantrums, and Other Everyday Behavior Problems by Seeing the World Through Your Child's More »


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