Disorder (ADHD) as of 2011. However, if you ask the American Psychiatric Association (APA), they maintain
that even though only 5% of American children suffer from the disorder, the diagnosis is actually given to
around 15% of American children. This number has been steadily rising, jumping from 7.8% in 2003 to 9.5% in 2007.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), approximately 11% of American children between the ages of 4 and 17 have been diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity
Big Pharma has played a significant role in manufacturing the ADHD epidemic in the U.S., convincing parents and doctors that ADHD is a common problem amongst children and one that should be medicated. However, many countries disagree with the American stance on ADHD, so much so that they have entirely different structures for defining, diagnosing, and treating it. For example, the percentage of children in France that have been diagnosed and medicated for ADHD is less than 0.5%. This is largely because French doctors don’t consider ADHD a biological disorder with biological causes, but rather a medical condition caused by psycho-social and situational factors.
French child psychiatrists use a different system than American psychiatrists to classify emotional problems in childhood. Instead of using the APA’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM), the French use an alternative classification system produced by the French Federation of Psychiatry called Classification Française des Troubles Mentaux de L’Enfant et de L’Adolescent (CFTMEA). Not only does this significantly differ from the APA’s system, but it was actually created with the intention to “offer French child psychiatrists an alternative to DSM-III” because it didn’t complement French psychiatric practices. The CFTMEA encourages psychiatrists to identify the underlying issues that cause a child’s symptoms and to address them using a psychopathological approach.
France defines ADHD as a sociological disorder that’s caused by a set of social situations, whereas the U.S. sees ADHD as a neurological disorder whose symptoms are the result of biological disfunction or a chemical imbalance in the brain. France’s definition of ADHD drastically differs from that of the U.S., which is in part because the pharmaceutical industry helped define ADHD in the U.S. (you can read more about that here). France’s treatment methods, therefore, also greatly differ from those practiced in the U.S.
Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is the most commonly diagnosed psychiatric disorder of children, afflicting about 35% in the U.S. It is often believed to be a physiological brain disorder with a genetic component. Children with ADHD are impulsive,overactive, inattentive, poor learners, and are frequently disruptive, aggressive and uncontrollable.
ADHD is treated medically with stimulant drugs such as Ritalin, oral antihypertensives and antidepressants. While these medications can at times be effective if carefully monitored, side effects are possible, and most of these drugs should not be (though sometimes are) given to children under age six because of risk of toxicity or lack of dosage information due to inadequate testing for adverse drug reaactions in this population. Twenty percent of ADHD children do not respond to the first stimulant drug tried, or have a negative reaction to it.
Clinicians using homeopathy for ADHD have reported good results, but objective evidence has been lacking. Now, a double blind, placebo-controlled study of 43 children with ADHD shows that homeopathy can be effective in treating the disorder.
In a study published in the British Homeopathic Journal, Oct 1997, children afflicted with ADHD were given either a homeopathic treatment or a placebo for ten days, then parents or caregivers rated the children on the amount of ADHD behavior they displayed. Those receiving homeopathic medicines showed significantly less ADHD behavior than those given placebos.
When evaluated in a follow-up interview two months after the study's end, 57% of the children showing improvement with homeopathy had continued to improve, even though they had discontinued the homeopathic medicines; twenty-four percent relapsed by the time of the follow-up; and the remaining 19% continued to experience positive results, but only while taking the homeopathic medicines.
The homeopathic medicines found most helpful for ADHD were Stramonium, Cina and Hyoscyamus niger. Stramonium was specifically indicated when children had many fears, or suffered symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder; children who were physically aggressive benefited most from Cina; and, children with manic or sexualized symptoms responded most favorably to Hyoscyamus niger.
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