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The Truth About ‘ADHD’ That Should Prevent Parents From Needlessly Drugging Their Child

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Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), is a “disorder” that currently affects 5 to 10 percent of all children, and that’s just in America alone. Recent surveys conducted by the US Centers for Disease Control found that: (source)

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  • Approximately 11% of children 4-17 years of age (6.4 million) have been diagnosed with ADHD as of 2011.
  • The percentage of children with an ADHD diagnosis continues to increase, from 7.8% in 2003 to 9.5% in 2007 and to 11.0% in 2011.
  • Rates of ADHD diagnosis increased an average of 3% per year from 1997 to 2006 [Read article] and an average of approximately 5% per year from 2003 to 2011.
  • Boys (13.2%) were more likely than girls (5.6%) to have ever been diagnosed with ADHD.
  • The average age of ADHD diagnosis was 7 years of age, but children reported by their parents as having more severe ADHD were diagnosed earlier.
  • Prevalence of ADHD diagnosis varied substantially by state, from a low of 5.6% in Nevada to a high of 18.7% in Kentucky.

What Exactly Are We Dealing With Here?

One big problem we are dealing with is the label of ADHD itself. By simply treating characteristics of ADHD as a disability (something we so commonly see in education) we are destroying the potential and self esteem of so many children.  Diagnosing a child with a mental disorder based on their lack of ability and/or desire to pay attention in a classroom seems absurd, doesn’t it?

In fact, in my opinion it’s down right crazy. Not wanting to, or not having the ability to pay attention to information that does not nourish the soul, spark the heart or capture the mind is in no way characteristic of a mental disability, but something that seems completely normal. Perhaps we should stop looking at the student and focus more on the environment we surround our children with? If it’s not stimulating enough for some students, that does not mean they have a mental disorder and should be given harmful medications.

Some of these children will be in their own world and downright refuse to pay attention, trying to amuse themselves any way they possibly can, doing what they want to do and not what others tell them to do. These children have become targets for pharmaceutical companies and targets for what might very well be a false labeling campaign based on very little science.

Characteristics associated with ADHD are in no way a “disability.” In fact, there is evidence to suggest that these characteristics might be more associated with “abilities” that should be placing many of these children in gifted school programs instead of special education programs. Unfortunately, new data from the National Center for Learning Disabilities shows that only 1 percent of students who receive services for their apparent “learning disabilities” (some of which are completely and unquestionably valid) are enrolled in gifted or talented programs. The report concluded that “students with learning and attention issues are shut out of gifted and AP programs, held back in grade level and suspended from school at higher rates than other students.” (1)

This is a pretty disturbing characteristic, and what makes it even more disturbing is the fact that recent work in cognitive neuroscience shows that both creative thinkers, and those with an ADHD diagnosis show difficulty in suppressing brain activity that comes from the “Imagination Network.” (2)(3) There are no school assessments that provide evaluation on creativity and imagination, these are hard to draw up and measure and receive very little attention in our education systems.

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In fact, something that’s touched upon in the paragraph below, a tremendous amount of research shows that people who show characteristics of ADHD are more likely to reach higher levels of creative thought and achievement compared to those who don’t show these characteristics.(4)(5)(6)(7)(8)(9) Research also shows that these characteristics are associated with the broadening of attention, and those who have them tend to have a mental “filter.” In other words, it’s their choice what they chose to give their attention to, and they are very selective and stern when it comes to that.

Scott Barry Kaufman, the  Scientific Director of The Imagination Institute in the Positive Psychology Center at the University of Pennsylvania says that :

“Of course, whether this is a positive thing or a negative thing depends on the context. The ability to control your attention is most certainly a valuable asset; difficulty inhibiting your inner mind can get in the way of paying attention to a boring classroom lecture or concentrating on a challenging problem. But the ability to keep your inner stream of fantasies, imagination, and daydreams on call can be immensely conducive to creativity. By automatically treating ADHD characteristics as a disability– as we so often do in an educational context– we are unnecessarily letting too many competent and creative kids fall through the cracks.” (source)

Another interesting piece of information to note is that in 2004, an author by the name of Gary Davis reviewed a large portion of literature from 1961 to 2003 and identified 22 recurring personality traits of creative people, most of which were very positive and associated with the same personality traits as people who have been diagnosed with ADHD. Some of these traits included: independence, risk taking, high energy, curiosity, humor, emotional and artistic. Some of the negative ones included: impulsive, argumentative and hyper active. He published his findings in his book “Creativity is Forever.”

It’s not the children, they do not have a disability of any kind. They simply have a different way of learning, and with a lack of differentiated instruction in modern day education systems, having a child spend 8 hours a day in such a non-stimulating environment is wrong.

The solution isn’t feeding our children drugs that have been proven to be extremely harmful in multiple ways so that a child is almost forced to pay attention and listen, but rather changing the environment that surrounds the student to make it more simulating and exciting. This is a tough task in modern day education, and something educational institutions struggle with on a daily basis.

These children do not need to be singled out and labelled with something that might be completely fictitious.

Is ADHD Even Real? 

When I was in school I received this diagnosis, alongside a learning disability and more. As a child I always knew I was perfectly fine, that everything I did and what I decided to pay attention to was simply my choice. I always felt that none of the labels and the explanations that accompanied them were valid at all, and I personally refused to take any medication that was being recommended to me. I am very glad I didn’t.

I am also a qualified, certified teacher for grades 7-12. Through volunteer as well as work experience my views on this subject matter did not change at all, but strengthened.  I have interacted with these children, as well as those within special education programs (with multiple “disabilities) and the way we label/view them is (in my opinion) completely 100 percent backwards and does nothing but harm. The labels and descriptions alone that education uses to define these kids is even worse.

The fact that children who “have trouble” paying attention to what they are not interested in are diagnosed and placed into the disability category simply based on observation alone is a frightening thought, and I am glad I’m not the only one who has asked this question.

There are many examples, and one of the most recent comes from Neurologist Dr Richard Saul.  Richard Saul is a neurologist who has had a long career in examining patients who have been having trouble with short attention spans and an inability to focus. From his first hand experience, he feels that ADHD is nothing more than a fake disorder that is really only an umbrella of symptoms and not actually a disease. He strongly feels that it should not be listed as a separate disorder in the American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic & Statistical Manual. You can read more about that here.

“We have a habit of always seeing issues in people who don’t fit in with the system. Whether they don’t want to be in standard education, don’t want to work their whole lives or have trouble focusing on things they don’t like, we tend to label this as a problem, but is it? Maybe we just don’t look within enough to figure out what might really be going on or why we are living the way we do. Perhaps it is time we let go of the idea of having to “fit in” to something that doesn’t resonate rather than labelling it as a disorder.” – Joe Martino, Founder of Collective Evolution.

It’s also important to note that, according to an article written in the The German Weekly, the founding father of ADHD, American psychiatrist Leon Eisenberg in a death bed interview said that “ADHD is a prime example of a fictitious disease.” The article was written by Der Spiegel and has made its way around the web for years. I cannot however completely verify that this statement was actually true. (10)

It’s also important to note the pharmaceutical drug aspect into this equation. For (one small out of many) example(s), American psychologist Lisa Cosgrove and others investigated Financial Ties between the Diagnostic and Statistical Manuel of Mental Disorders (DSM) panel members and the pharmaceutical industry. They found that, of the 170 DSM panel members 95 (56%) had one or more financial associations with companies in the pharmaceutical industry. One hundred percent of the members of the panels on ‘mood disorders’ and ‘schizophrenia and other psychotic disorders’ had financial ties to drug companies. The connections are especially strong in those diagnostic areas where drugs are the first line of treatment for mental disorders. In the next edition of the manual, it’s the same thing. (11)(12)

“The DSM appears to be more a political document than a scientific one. Each diagnostic criteria in the DSM is not based on medical science. No blood tests exist for the disorders in the DSM. It relies on judgments from practitioners who rely on the manual.” (11) – Lisa Cosgrove, PhD, Professor of Counseling and School Psychology at the University of Massachusetts, Boston.

The very vocabulary of psychiatry is now defined at all levels by the pharmaceutical industry,” Dr. Irwin Savodnik, an assistant clinical professor of psychiatry at the University of California at Los Angeles (source)

There is lots of evidence to suggest that Pharmaceutical companies have influenced certain psychiatrists to “pathologize” certain behavior as a mental illness so more drugs can be marketed to the masses. In my opinion the evidence is overwhelming, but we’ll save that for another article as it is a big topic.

There are lots of things to consider when it comes to ADHD, and the content of this article is just the beginning. What are your thoughts on ADHD? Feel free to share your opinions in the comment section below.

RELATED CE ARTICLE & More Important Facts To Consider About ADHD:

4 Big Facts About ADHD That Teachers & Doctors Never Tell Parents

Sources:

(1) http://www.ncld.org/ld-insights/blogs/kids-with-disabilities-shut-out-of-gifted-programs-held-back-more-often

(2) http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0006899309004612

(3) http://www.rexjung.com/creativity/2013/7/24/the-structure-of-creative-cognition-in-the-human-brain

(4) http://psydok.sulb.uni-saarland.de/volltexte/2007/904/pdf/ADHD.pdf

(5) http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S019188691000601X

(6) http://jordanbpeterson.com/Publications/Research_Articles/38%202003%20Carson%20SH%20Peterson%20JB%20Higgins%20DM%20Decreased%20LI%20creativity%20JPSP.pdf

(7) http://link.springer.com/article/10.1023/A:1019812829706#page-1

(8) http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1207/S15327035EX1002_3#.VHJR24vF80Q

(9) http://www.amazon.com/Misdiagnosis-Diagnoses-Gifted-Children-Adults/dp/0910707677

(10) Blech, Jörg: Schwermut ohne Scham. In: Der Spiegel, Nr. 6/6.2.12, p. 122–131, p. 128.

(11) http://www.tufts.edu/~skrimsky/PDF/DSM%20COI.PDF

(12) http://www.plosmedicine.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pmed.1001190

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Johnson & Johnson Found To Have Knowingly Allowed Asbestos In Their Baby Powder

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    Johnson and Johnson have recently lost lawsuits for negligence in knowingly allowing carcinogenic substances in their talc-based hygiene products.

  • Reflect On:

    Are we starting to turn the page on an era where human health and safety are not the prime considerations in the manufacturing of consumer products?

We are starting to awaken to the fact that it seems to be the rule, and not the exception, that large Western corporations put profits above human health considerations. The only time they seem to give any regard to human health concerns is when their forecasts of potential lawsuits down the road would likely exceed the cost measures needed to ensure the safety of their product.

Johnson & Johnson is just one of a long line of corporate perpetrators who believed that covering up and lying about known health concerns would make better business sense than taking the time and resources to actually address those health concerns within their products.

Contaminated Baby Powder: The Height Of Indignity

One would think, regardless of an understanding that the bottom line is a priority for most private companies, that the health and safety of a nursing mother and her newborn child would be sacrosanct for any industry. The reality is that this is simply not the case, even though J&J could have mitigated this problem from the start.

Companies that mine talc are required to take extra steps to ensure the absence of asbestos in their talc. Instead, J&J allegedly went to great lengths to fake it.

Not only did the company know about the asbestos contamination, evidence suggests, but J&J also failed to warn its customers about the link between Baby Powder and cancer or replace its talc with a safer alternative. As a result, J&J guaranteed its customers’ exposure to asbestos.

And regardless of their size or numbers, asbestos fibers are lethal at any capacity. As the World Health Organization (WHO) has stressed repeatedly, there is no safe level of exposure. (source)

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The Testimony of Scientist James Webber

Baby Powder’s contamination with asbestos (a mineral that naturally occurs near talc) has long been the subject of lawsuits. But only in recent years has evidence begun to unravel J&J’s defense – that the company had no idea – and threatened its success in lawsuits to come.

In March, a California jury awarded $29 million to Terry Leavitt, a woman who said that asbestos in Johnson & Johnson’s talcum-powder-based products caused her terminal mesothelioma. Environmental scientist James Webber testified in her high-profile California trial and made these observations:

During several hours on the stand, Webber explained how he ran tests that showed “clear” evidence of asbestos contamination in the mines from which J&J sourced talc.

“The testing I have seen [shows] that it was present at least as early as 1971 and up through the late 1990s,” said Webber, who ran an asbestos laboratory in New York state.

Despite denying it publicly, J&J had observed this contamination in internal memos. Its notes dismissed the amount of asbestos in its talc as “but a trace,” Webber alleged. But that was just an optimistic interpretation of superficial testing, he said: the tests used methods too weak to detect microscopic asbestos fibers. Webber insisted the actual tests results revealed there could be millions of asbestos fibers per gram of talc.

And J&J’s inaccurate reports were allegedly only the tip of the iceberg. In some instances, Webber said, photos attached to J&J’s reports revealed that “they had been seeing it and not reporting it.”  (source)

And It’s Getting Worse

The $29 million verdict, in California Superior Court in Oakland, was the latest defeat for the healthcare conglomerate facing more than 13,000 talc-related lawsuits nationwide. And things may be getting even worse for J&J, according to ZeroHedge:

Johnson & Johnson shares are down over 5% after Bloomberg reports that, according to people with knowledge of the matter, the U.S. Justice Department is pursuing a criminal investigation into whether Johnson & Johnson lied to the public about the possible cancer risks of its talcum powder…

Now, a grand jury in Washington is examining documents related to what company officials knew about any carcinogens in their products, the people said.

The Takeaway

It seems as though corporations have long been willing to take the calculated risk of short-cuts and denials instead of ensuring that their products are safe for public use. My suspicion is that a part of our collective awakening process will be issuing in a new business paradigm in which human health and safety become paramount.

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Prescription Infant Formulas Found To Be Contaminated With Aluminum

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    Multiple brands of prescription infant formula were found to contain high levels of aluminum.

  • Reflect On:

    Should we be questioning the quality of products that come from pharmaceutical production? Do we veer away from natural methods of raising children more than we should? At what cost?

You may not think aluminum is a big deal, but it is. For anybody who has looked into aluminum toxicology, it’s quite clear and apparent that it has no place inside of any living biological organism. Putting it simply, it wreaks havoc on our biology. High amounts of aluminum have been found in the brains of people with Alzheimer’s disease, with experts in the field believing that aluminum brain accumulation may be one of the main causes of Alzheimer’s disease.

It’s also been discovered within the brains of MS patients, and some of the highest aluminum content ever recorded in brain tissue has also been discovered in people with autism. Aluminum is associated with several diseases. But an adult body can do a great job of flushing out aluminum.

Despite the fact that aluminum has no place within earth’s biota, it’s still present in many of our medications, our food, and even in the water that we drink due to contamination since the industrial revolution. Aluminum inside the body is a new phenomenon and still understudied. Again, there is a threshold, and aluminum that is injected via vaccines doesn’t exit the body–there is strong evidence that it remains inside the body and ends up in distant organs and eventually inside of the brain. If you want to access more studies on that topic, you can read this article I published that provides them and goes into more detail. You can also watch this interview with Christopher Exley, where he also points to that fact.

A new study published in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health has shown that multiple popular infant prescriptions are contaminated with aluminum. You may be asking how much aluminum, but the authors make it a point to stress that there are no safe amounts of aluminum levels that can be inside of a human body, let alone a newborn baby. That being said, the amounts found are listed within the abstract of the study:

Historical and recent data demonstrate that off-the-shelf infant formulas are heavily contaminated with aluminium. The origin of this contamination remains to be elucidated though may be imported via ingredients, packaging and processing. Specialised infant formulas exist to address health issues, such as low birth weight, allergy or intolerance and medical conditions, such as renal insufficiency. The aluminium content of these prescription infant formulas is measured here for the first time. We obtained 24 prescription infant formulas through a paediatric clinic and measured their total aluminium content by transversely heated graphite furnace atomic absorption spectrometry following microwave assisted acid/peroxide digestion. The aluminium content of ready-to-drink formulas ranged from 49.9 (33.7) to 1956.3 (111.0) μg/L. The most heavily contaminated products were those designed as nutritional supplements for infants struggling to gain weight. The aluminium content of powdered formulas ranged from 0.27 (0.04) to 3.27 (0.19) μg/g. The most heavily contaminated products tended to be those addressing allergies and intolerance. Prescription infant formulas are contaminated with aluminium.

Another very important point made right off the bat by the authors:

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Human exposure to aluminium is a serious health concern. Aluminium exposure in infants is understandably a burgeoning issue. While infant exposure to aluminium continues to be documented, its consequences, immediate and in the future, have received only scant attention and research is required to understand the biological availability of aluminium through formula feeding. For example, how much aluminium is absorbed across the neonate gut and its subsequent fate, including excretion.

There is already too much aluminium in infant formulas and herein we have measured its content in a large number of prescription formulas, products which are fed to vulnerable infants in their first months of life. Many of these products are heavily contaminated with aluminium.

As for the specific infant formulas, you can refer to the study. The researchers obtained 24 prescription infant formulas via the Paediatric Clinic of Russells Hall Hospital in Dudley, United Kingdom. The ready-to-drink and powdered products were new, ready-to-be used and unopened samples. These formulas are for babies with some sort of growth restriction, like for preterm infants or infants who have poor weight gain. There were also powdered formulas for allergies and intolerances and powdered formulas with additional amino acids.

The authors contacted each manufacturer and expressed that they denied knowing that there was any aluminum in their products, which means it’s still a mystery as to their source. The authors hypothesize on a number of ways that aluminum could be entering into the formulas.

In their conclusion, the authors emphasize that:

Where possible, breast milk feeding should be prioritised, as the aluminium content of breast milk is invariably an order of magnitude lower than in formula feeds. Where infant formulas are the only source of nutrition for many infants in their first weeks and months of life, aluminium ingested in formula feeds will be the major contributor to their body burden of aluminium. The last thing that vulnerable infants fed specialised formulas for their specific nutritional/medicinal need is additional aluminium in their diet.

Detoxing

There is a lot of information out there on how a person can detox from aluminum and other heavy metals. There are multiple studies, and based on what I’ve looked into, water with high amounts of Silica are effective in draining aluminum out of your body and brain. Herbs like cilantro and substances like chlorella and spirulina are also great for removing some metals. The information is out there, so be sure to do your research.

The Takeaway

It’s concerning to think about what these corporations are doing. Again, aluminum should hold no place in our society, it should’ve remained well below our surface as part of the Earth’s crust for a reason. It wasn’t until humans began digging it out and using it for a number of things, irresponsibly I might add, that we started to see the health implications which still go largely ignored by the medical community.

In fact, heavy metal accumulation and detoxification of aluminum haven’t been addressed at all, which is odd given the fact that heavy metal accumulation is linked to a variety of diseases.

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9 Studies You Should Be Aware of Before Trying The Ketogenic Diet

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    The Ketogenic diet is a popular fad diet that promotes quick weight loss and symptom management for bodies that are dealing with poor lymph, kidney and digestion health.

  • Reflect On:

    Based on the studies that are emerging, is our desire for quick weight loss more important than living a long and healthy life? Are we learning about these diets primarily through those with strong ties to upholding these diets?

The ketogenic diet has popped up as a popular approach to weight loss in the last few years. Is it successful at that? Sure, it is. I’ve experimented with the diet myself years ago when I was looking to lose some belly fat. I was entering into ketosis in a different way than most, as I was not eating any animal products, but it does in fact work.

But like any animal product based diet, what are the consequences of eating so much food that does not truly jive with our human bodies? Not only that, is fast weight loss more important than keeping our morality rate down?

In the last few years, we’ve reported a lot on the Keto diet and the various ways it can be done. We have explored the studies, the results and in some ways, we supported it. But lately, I have been thinking about how supporting this could actually be encouraging people to jump into these diets, including the paleo diet, when in reality these diets increase mortality rates and are not healthy for the human body.

It became a thought in the back of my mind, I have always strived to put the best information out that I can through this platform to promote good health. And so we must look at that, even if that means upsetting some people who currently are on paleo or keto and are seeing some good weight loss or symptom management. The truth is, like the many people I’ve seen crash on these diets after a few years, I want people to know the truth of what’s going on out there. And how we can get beyond diets that symptom manage, and instead get onto diets that truly heal.

Anytime we have fad diets, which paleo and keto are, we see products and bias pop up all over the place to support the continuation of these trends. It becomes less about health and more about upholding an identity or a business.

So as I recently looked into what experts are saying about these diets, I came upon two important videos I think everyone should check out. Both have been embedded below. Remember, it’s not that I care what you choose in your own life, or that I feel there is a right or wrong, it’s that I believe we should be informed and I wish to use this platform to promote as best a message as I can.

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The Videos

Thanks to Plant-Based News for creating such a good channel and resource of information on YouTube.

In this video, several plant-based health experts talk through 9 nutrition studies that would be of interest to low carb keto diet proponents. To read the 9 studies, click here.

Next up, Dr. Kim Williams (past President of the American College of Cardiology) shares his insights about the ketogenic.

Related Articles

Diabetic Shares Why He Quit ‘The Ketogenic Diet’

Doctor Explains Why She Never Recommends The ‘Ketogenic Diet’

The Biggest Misconception About The ‘Ketogenic Diet’…You Don’t Actually Have To Follow It

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