Faster pills for restless children - Therapeutic bankruptcy and danger to the welfare of thousands of children

The intention of the AWMF, the Arbeitsgemeinschaft der Wissenschaftlichen Medizinischen Fachgesellschaften e. V., to revise the ADHS treatment guidelines with the aim of enabling a faster use of psychopharmaceuticals proves the fact, criticised for years by the ADHS conference, that the biological-medical approach to "ADHS" is largely helpless in real causal work and has nothing to offer therapeutically other than pills.

The diagnosis "ADHD" is already made far too often today and serves as legitimation for a treatment with psychostimulants that is only to be covered but not cured, the long-term consequences of which are still largely unexplored. Faster medication endangers even more children in psychological distress. Even the DSM-5 confirms that the tests used "are not sufficiently sensitive and specific enough to be used for diagnosis". There is by no means unanimous consensus among the professional societies. For example, the Association of Analytical Child and Adolescent Psychotherapists (VAKJP) has not signed the new ADHS S3LL guideline.

The ADHD Conference advises all those directly or indirectly affected against such a diagnosis even more urgently than before. It can lead to an irreversible dependency cycle of medication, apparent treatment success, strong side effects and the missed chance of a real, lastingly effective, relationship-oriented psychodynamic or deep psychological psychotherapy. In this way, an addictive structure of emotional external control through pills instead of newly learned self-control is consolidated.

For the ADHD conference, ...

... the awarding of the diagnosis "ADHD" is already a momentous mistake, because it shears a wide variety of children over the same comb and does not permit any other understanding of behavior than a mechanistic-neurobiological one.

The "ADHD" diagnosis displaces the personal, empathetic view of the child in the context of his or her individual living conditions. Restlessness or inattention is not a biological disease, but the response of a sentient human being to an inner and outer situation. The ADHD conference is extremely concerned about the lack of concern with which children who are very lively, very dreamy, very playful and, moreover, perhaps very healthy and unruly, are attached to an "ADHD" diagnosis.

Every symptom has a meaning. There are countless examples of the complete disappearance of so-called "ADHD" symptoms after professional, situational psychosocial, curative or depth psychological interventions. Real therapy makes children independent and does not want to "control" their feelings and behaviour, but to help them understand and free themselves.

The neurobiological "ADHD" hypothesis ...

... does not even stand up to a superficial logical test. It is and remains highly speculative to attribute the relevant symptoms to a genetically caused brain metabolic disorder in only two or three percent of cases. There is no "true ADHD" as a biological-genetic "disease".

Even the new DSM-5 states that there is "no biological marker on the basis of which ADHD can be diagnosed", although in the world of those affected or their parents the myth of a "brain disease ADHD" has been systematically built up for years. None of this is proven, there are no clear neurobiological or genetic findings.

The term "attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)" is thus only a vague collective term for a number of increasingly undesirable but among children quite widespread behavioural patterns, which can have various causes. "ADHD" refers to behaviour, it cannot at the same time refer to its cause.

Even if in extreme emergencies ...

... a drug can appear to be a blessing in the short term, claims that methylphenidate is more effective than psychotherapy are "generally well tolerated" and have only a few false and dangerous side effects.

In the corresponding study only behavioural herpy was compared, deep psychological studies were not consulted, although these have proven sustainable effects for many years. For the psychostimulant methylphenidate, in addition to possible addictive effects (if I am unbearable, I take something) and strong side effects such as insomnia, headaches, stomach complaints, loss of appetite up to growth delays and cardiac arrhythmia and many more, it has been proven that even long-term medication does not bring any lasting clinical improvement. The ADHD conference is horrified at how often hair-raising differential diagnostic carelessness leads to the fact that the actual, e.g. psychosocial causes of the symptoms are misjudged and therefore a meaningful therapy is omitted. The regular intake of medication for behavioural control favours severe identity disorders in developing children and adolescents.

Children with behavioural problems ...

... do not primarily belong to a doctor or psychiatrist, but to a pedagogue, curative teacher or psychotherapist.

Although medical, brain and body experts may be able to supplement a missing part of the overall picture, they cannot decide on questions of pedagogy or psychotherapy. Their sciences are responsible for other areas of reality.

Since trust, feelings, relationships and new human life experiences are essential in learning, education and therapy, educators, psychologists and psychotherapists should be experts in compassion, inner experience, relationship and self-relation, communication, emotions and conflict resolution, not experts in "brains" or "nervous systems".

Taking all this into account and well equipped with scientific arguments for our stance, the ADHS Conference considers it scandalous that the AWMF should now lower the hurdles to prescribing methylphenidate rather than significantly raise them, which is urgently needed.

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Source: Konferenz ADHS

The ADHD Conference is an association of renowned scientists from various disciplines who are committed to a critical examination of the topic of ADHD.

Konferenz ADHS
c/o Freies Bildungswerk Rheinland
Luxemburger Straße 190
50937 Köln
www.konferenz-adhs.org

For questions is available: Pascal Rudin,
Secretary General of the Conference ADHS and Representative to the United Nations for Children's Rights
pascal.rudin@konferenz-adhs.org

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[This is a translation of the German original article: Schnellere Pillen für „Zappelphilippe" - Therapeutische Bankrotterklärung und Gefahr für das Wohl tausender Kinder]

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