Surpise: Ritalin isn't bad


My anecdote is the day I decided to wear red underwear with racing stripes I got hit in the head with a fish, so I won’t be doing that again!

[size=1]edit: grammar[/size]

Whether you think it’s black helicopter speak or not that there’s a “feminist conspiracy out to turn boys into girls; specifically, to turn young boys into young girls” is irrelevant. There actually is significant components of modern conservatism that think that, and the other things the article bitches about.

For example: go look through these National Review articles.

Highlights from the first few:

The “therapeutic society” used to refer generally to the over-indulgence of its members by the state and its institutions. The self-esteem cult and the worship of victimology were its two most obvious symptoms. But today it seems less a metaphor and more an actual description. In a recent article in Policy Review, Contributing Editor Mary Eberstadt writes that the number of children taking Ritalin is approaching 4 million and that production of the drug has increased 700 percent since 1990. In some parts of the country school nurses spend much of their days simply handing out the drugs.

So how comes it, asks Eberstadt, that while any schoolchild can recite the anti-drug catechism, we are medicating up to four million youngsters with a drug virtually indistinguishable from cocaine?

[i]The chronic condition of little boys – once called ants in the pants'' -- is now diagnosed as a disorder and medicated. The widespread misuse of Ritalin, prescribed to treatattention deficit disorder,’’ permits feminized schools to accommodate unruly boys.

On average, boys perform well on standardized tests but are outperformed by girls in the classroom. It’s fashionable among education experts to conclude that if boys were more like girls their academic fortunes would improve. Christina Hoff Sommers, who is working on a book about ``the war on boys,’’ cites a school in Lexington, Massachusetts, that actually teaches boys to quilt!

Competition and academic awards are increasingly out, and cooperation and sharing are in. But boys typically want to win, not share. It’s this natural aggression and competitiveness that frustrated education experts vainly hope early ``intervention’’ will eliminate. To boost female self-esteem, our younger son’s fourth-grade class performed a play in which the princess and her girlfriends vanquished the dragon while the boys in the kingdom stood idly by. We promptly transferred him to a different kingdom – an all-boys school. This school’s mission, the headmaster explains, is to produce the kind of men parents want their daughters to marry. The boys diagram sentences, memorize poetry, and study Latin. They read about Greek heroes, soldiers, and explorers. They play in the rain, wreck their good shoes, and regularly lose their jackets and ties. And they love school.[/i]

Yes, Virginia, there is an extremely goofy culture war going on. If that doesn’t convince, go google “ritalin feminist” and see what you get.

Not quilting!!!
I prefer the KaaaaaaaaRAZY form of conspiracy speak, this ‘careful ommision of facts’ thing is jusy irritating: AmeriKKKa:[i] Many people don’t realize that this is part of the ongoing lesbian, Feminist conspiracy of Witchcraft to destroy men, boys and the nuclear family itself.

This drug Ritlain is like a Witches potion intended to turn men into something other than men. So this is what has been happening with the school violence and the many school shootings by boys who were put on Ritalin. They are only vomiting up the Feminists Witches brew.[/i]


Speaking of conspiracies: Anyone see that ‘Maximum Exposure’ episode where Neil Armstrong punched that reporter? Man that was hilarious: ‘[the reporter] may still think he’s right, but that doesn’t change the fact that he was dropped with one punch by a 70 year old man’. You gotta love that show.

I looked at the first few abstracts and decided that I didn’t want to read them in case I was infected and tainted somehow. If your point is that “it doesn’t matter what the loonies make up, it’s what they do about it”, then yep, I agree wholeheartedly. And this is the whole point about the justifiable scepticism about treatment for ADHD. If such a culture war exists, doesn’t that point to the fact that this syndrome is vague, hard to near impossible to accurately diagnose, and subject to considerable human error in diagnosis? And where are the GPs in this? They are the ones prescribing these drugs. They wouldn’t be just dolling out drugs on hearsay and speculation?

I’m not saying that ADHD doesn’t exist, I’m saying perhaps people should show a lot more caution before tampering with kids brain chemistry.

As for finding nutty theories on the net, well, that doesn’t mean there are widespread cultural conspiracies going on in real life. Reading some of those articles, I’m wondering if it’s the kids that are normal, and maybe some adults need some chemical lovin’. :wink:

That was one small jab for man, and one giant knockout for wimpkind.

I’m sure drugs are an effective means of combating ADHD, but just from reading the article its clear that Fumento is guilty of the same tactics he purports to be exposing. <shrug> Pick your posion.

That’s the thing: National Review isn’t just some nutty website; it’s mainstream conservatism!

Yes, perhaps Ritalin should be prescribed more carefully, but that’s not what they’re talking about. They’re pretty much opposed to its existence.

The problem with something like Ritalin is that there’s no disincentive not to prescribe it, so it probably is overprescribed.

It doesn’t surprise me that it helps some kids do better in school – it’s speed, after all. If the kid is really ADD, it seems to help. If the kid isn’t ADD but is lazy and inattentive, juicing him up with speed probably helps also. I can think of a lot of high school classes where some speed would have helped me out.

I’d be an advocate of a Better Life Through Chemistry, but I’ve been told by a relative who’s at the executive level of one of the giant pharm manufacturers that taking any drug – Tylenol even – on a daily basis is detrimental in the long run. It’s only good to take a drug if not taking it is worse. This guy is not just a suit but a PhD in chemistry who’s had numerous academic papers published.

Yet. Sigh. Long term longitudinal studies will show up anything I guess, if there is any effect.

Amen. The “pill popping” culture is rife in Australia; I think per capita we have the second highest consumption of antibiotics in the world. Doctors think “It’s probably a virus, but it can’t hurt” and so prescribe away. Of course, antibiotic resistance is becoming a major issue now, but people still want those pills. Good luck to them if they get a golden staph infection in a major public hospital.

Yep. The NYT had an article last week about how overuse of headache medicines (like, more than once or twice a week) causes migraines. Behind the pay wall, unfortunately.

That has nothing to do with the article, Jason. Please attempt to stay on topic.

Hey! I didn’t mean to cast a pall over the thread. Please resume normal arguments.

[EDIT: Took some ritalin and decided to remove post :-)]