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ADHD Research Mistakes - 101

If the researchers study 100 children, 50 with ADHD and 50 without ADHD, then compare the two groups, and if there are 20 different causes for ADHD in those 50 children, then each cause is statistically insignificant by itself. Therefore this research cannot come to an understanding of ADHD or ADD. It makes a mockery of statistics.

However for each specific child, their specific cause is 100% relevant to that child.

Looking at ADHD as one condition, and not as a spectrum of symptoms, is inane. That assumption fails to differentiate between a disease and a diagnosis, as well as differentiating between cause and effect.

Food Dye ADHD Connection

The “medication only” lobby has vehemently denied any connection between food dyes and ADHD. Despite this, research specifically targeting this topic has shown a definite connection. The connection is not 100% in a group of ADHD children, as the pharmaceutical lobby correctly point out, but for the many children with a reaction to these unnecessary toxins, the effect is 100% for those individual children.

These doctors supported by the pharmaceutical industry deny that food additives can cause ADHD in children. However that is due to selective amnesia, or suffering from paradigm blindness.

In a recent study published in 2007 in The Lancet (The Lancet, Volume 370, 3 November 2007; pp 1560-1567), the effects of a combination of artificial colourings and preservative sodium benzoate (E211) that are commonly used in the preparation of sweets, drinks and processed foods in the UK, was tested on groups of 3-year-old and 8 to 9-year-old children. The colours tested were:

  • Tartrazine (E102)
  • Ponceau 4R (E124)
  • Sunset yellow (E110)
  • Carmoisine (E122)
  • Quinoline yellow (E104)
  • Allura red AC (E129)

While these additives are widely used in the UK (and are approved as safe by the European Union) some of the colours have already been banned in Scandinavia and the US.

Groups such as the Hyperactive Children's Support Group in the UK are trying to find the treatment for ADHD through action on the cause, instead of subjecting the child to further chemical stress by medication.

How can so many intelligent and educated professionals arrive at such profoundly different conclusions?

ADHD Perceptions and Paradigms

Many laymen have lamented the confusing opposite views among equally qualified professionals.

In the field of psychology,Salvador Minuchin, one of the ten mostinfluential therapists of all time, and well-known innovator in the field of family therapy, said:

“How did people respond to our research findings? By defending their own paradigms. In response to new knowledge, there is always the question of how to maintain oneself doing the things one was trained in

Despite this, there are many exceptions within the fields of psychology and psychiatry of professionals who are aware of the shortcomings in these fields and are eager to learn about any methods that can benefit their clients and advance our understanding of the condition.

Physicians and psychologists are not identical even if they are equally qualified. They have been educated in different institutes, and taught to think in different ways.

Intelligence is the potential of the mind.

Thinking is the skill with which we use our intelligence.

Whether the intelligence is used well or badly depends on the strategies and habits of thinking. If a physician merely repeats what he or she has been told, and believe uncritically what higher authorities have suggested, then that physician has not used his or her intelligence.

New ideas are seldom accepted easily. The idea of little germs causing diseases was ridiculed 160 years ago. In 1847, Dr. Ignaz Semmelweiss, a Hungarian doctor in a Vienna hospital, discovered that there was a higher rate of death from puerperal fever among women after giving birth assisted by doctors who failed to wash their hands between examinations. Semmelweiss made a regulation that doctors were required to wash in a chloride of lime solution after autopsies and with soap and water between patient visits. Doctors also had to change into clean lab coats before examining patients. As a result, hospital mortality rates from these infections declined dramatically.

Even after his success Semmelweiss was mocked by senior physicians, who did not believe in the new fangled idea of tiny germs causing these infections, and considered washing hands after digging in a corpse as unnecessary.

first principles through paradigms to knowledge

To understand ADD and ADHD in the face of a stonewalling doctor, we need to understand where the knowledge, the doctor is professing to have, comes from.

Understanding ADD and ADHD

When a professional gives an opinion in an authoritative manner, especially when no alternatives are presented, it is legitimate to ask questions, and to try and see from where the “knowledge” was derived.

Subconsciously we start with what is called in philosophyfirst principles. These are not derived from anything, as they would then not be first principles anymore. Before we even think of some concept we already have a first principle.

First principles are unprovable.

The different attitudes to ADD and ADHD among physicians can be traced back to their first principles.

From first principles, assumptions are made, which are usually the logical conclusions of the first principles.

These first principles are then the sources of our paradigms and belief systems.

Out of the paradigms we derive hypotheses, which when proven become theories. When hypotheses and theories become generally accepted, they are regarded as facts and considered as knowledge.

The “ADHD medication only” doctor is most likely unaware of what his or her knowledge is based on. If the doctor answers honest questions with an arrogant or condescending tone, then it is best to find a more reasonable doctor.

You as a parent, or you as an adult, has to live with the condition. You doctor does not. You have more to gain from a helpful physician, than one who prescribes pills for ADD or ADHD like giving lottery tickets. The “If this doesn't work, we'll try another,” is something you live with, not your doctor.

The truth with prescribing medication for psychological or mental reasons, is that it is a hit or miss, trial and error business. No physician knows how just that specific medication will work for you or your child. Drugs vary as to how a person reacts. No two people are the same, not even identical twins.

Attention deficit disorder and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder are not necessarily negative traits. Handled or coached correctly they can become strengths. We don't all have to be “normal” in society. This so called “disorder” can be a source of creativity.

Does Robin Williams have ADHD? Maybe, but if he does, then isn't it that which gives him the sparkle and enables him to be such a skilled and creative actor.

One cause for ADD and ADHD like behaviour is an intelligent and creative mind, bored and frustrated by the education system.

Both Beethoven and Mozart showed ADHD like behaviour.

Albert Einstein failed mathematics at school. Werner von Braun, the rocket scientist behind the Apollo program, did not do well in physics and mathematics at first in school. Both showed signs of ADHD.

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