"There's a tremendous push where if the kid's behavior is thought to be quote-unquote abnormal - if they're not sitting quietly at their desk - that's pathological, instead of just childhood." - Dr. Jerome Groopman, professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School
© Food Freedom
According to a recent report by the Centers for Disease Control, a staggering 6.4 million American children
between the ages of 4 and 17 have been diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), whose key symptoms are inattention, hyperactivity, and impulsivity - characteristics that most would consider typically childish behavior. High school boys, an age group particularly prone to childish antics and drifting attention spans, are particularly prone to being labeled as ADHD, with one out of every five high school boys diagnosed with the disorder.
Presently, we're at an all-time high of eleven percent of all
school-aged children in America who have been classified as mentally ill. Why? Because they "suffer" from several of the following symptoms: they are distracted, fidget, lose things, daydream, talk nonstop, touch everything in sight, have trouble sitting still during dinner, are constantly in motion, are impatient, interrupt conversations, show their emotions without restraint, act without regard for consequences, and have difficulty waiting their turn.
The list reads like a description of me as a child. In fact, it sounds like just about every child I've ever known, none of whom are mentally ill. Unfortunately, society today is far less tolerant of childish behavior - hence, the growing popularity of the ADHD label, which has become the "go-to diagnosis" for children that don't fit the psycho-therapeutic public school mold of quiet, docile and conformist.
Mind you, there is no clinical test for ADHD. Rather, this so-called mental illness falls into the "I'll know it if I see it" category, where doctors are left to make highly subjective determinations based on their own observation, as well as interviews and questionnaires with a child's teachers and parents. Particular emphasis is reportedly given to what school officials have to say about the child's behavior.