Obedience Pills has put Patrick Hahn, Bill James and myself in a bit of a spot. We’ve had feedback that we might be contributing to the stigma against ADHD.
Our contact gave us a Video to orient us.
At the same time, the Guardian in the UK – Tik-Tok and the Rise of ADHD – and Globe and Mail – Adults Seeking ADHD Diagnoses – were writing articles on Adult ADHD, more promoting it than not but perhaps striking a note of caution.
Being viewed as contributing to stigma was a surprise to us because we’d spent a lot of time wondering what to call the book in order to avoid stigma. An early option, Drugging them into Submission, sounded off-putting and only likely to speak to those with already made up anti-ADHD minds.
Another option was Children’s Mental Health Pandemic: the ADHD variant, but this seemed too obscure to attract anyone to read the book.
Obedience Pills seemed an in-between option. Much less aggressive but not totally anodyne.
A title has to grab people but hopefully not put them off in order to get the book bought and the ideas read. A good book will get readers thinking about points of view they may not themselves hold. It just so happens this week that the Guardian has a review which meets this bill of a book called The Case Against the Sexual Revolution. In this case, the reviewer is or was a straight down the middle of the road feminist and liberal who found herself reading a book that gave another point of view and instead of dismissing it, she ended up thinking about it.
This is the goal of all good books but all too often people figure they have the answer to Life’s riddle.
The riddle is the riddle and always will be as Lewis Carroll might have told Alice in Wonderland.
Patrick and Bill and I are last millennium men. Back then there was no ADHD in adults or children. We three, as likely many other groups of three, males especially, all figure we’d have been diagnosed as ADHD if it existed back then in the way it does now or if we were born again now and turned out to be the kind of kids we were back then.
Looking at it from our point of view, none of the three of us would have wanted to be any different to what we were/are – extraverted. Some introverts and cultures (the English) have a bias against extraverts and so yes, there is some stigma to being extraverted but it rolls off extraverts backs. At least some people with ADHD seem more sensitive about this – why?
So, there is no way we or Patrick’s book is against people being the way we were. Calling whatever that is ADHD is not a huge problem except we have all been nudged into calling it ADHD now in order to get us to take stimulants.
Taking any drug is a problem. Stimulants are not the biggest problem there is – given a choice between them and SSRI antidepressants or antipsychotics, they’re probably the best choice if you have to take one. But no drug suits everyone and increasingly today when your drug doesn’t suit you rather than reversing out of the problem they’ve created, doctors put us on more and more drugs. ADHD risks being a lifetime on drugs – not just stimulants.
Every time one of us logs into Facebook, he gets adverts for Cerebral, an online platform that has been accused of rolling over and handing out stimulants for ADHD to anyone who offer the right answers to tick the right boxes.
This is where Obedience Pills might rub some people up the wrong way. The problem is that rubbing some people up the wrong way in this case seems to come down to saying that drugs don’t always work out the way we want them to. Can this not be said any more?
It’s the same with SSRI antidepressants with those who’ve been helped by them going into attack mode at any mention some people have been harmed.
This isn’t just a matter of the people on the pills – its also the media. The mainstream media don’t dare talk about the harms of anything medical either. The media have bought the idea that it is beyond evil to say or do anything that might put people off seeking a benefit.
The Cheerleader in Chief for this approach at the moment is the Pope – who was the first leader to mandate Covid vaccines. The idea that any harms might come from these or any other treatments seems to Frankie to be the height of conspiracy thinking.
We could try to get one of the mainstream media to review Obedience Pills but in the case of liberal media like the Guardian this seems a waste of time, they’ll be hostile, just they would be at any hint that the Covid vaccines might not be the unalloyed salvific technology they have been sold as.
There likely are some mainstream media, more right wing than left, who have still not completely succumbed to the ADHD Cool-Aid but they just pitch to an older generation, horrified at what people who are not like them are up to. Reviews in places like this won’t get to the people who are really grappling with key issues:
Reaching out to get the views of ADHD influencers seems a better bet.
As mentioned, there is no perfect treatment in medicine. The SSRIs aren’t perfect. Pointing out their problems can lead to some people screaming stigma.
There must be some middle ground. We want views on what it might look like. If you know an influencer, can you put them in touch with us?
We don’t mind being told what we have done is horribly stigmatizing and the books should all be pulped. What we want to know is what would a middle ground look like?
For any influencer interested to know more, there is a bunch of material few people talking about ADHD have ever seen that is available on Obedience Pills.
Just wondering where the critical feedback was coming from? Introverts don’t get an easy time either by the way, ‘loners’ .’weirdos’ ‘antisocial’ etc. Parents pressured into accepting therapy for themselves as well as their kids can become the target of intrusive interventions -but that hasn’t even started to receive as much publicity – or drugs been used to realign people into the desired human -yet.
Samizdat Health Writer’s Co-operative Inc. now has quite a collection of books, all of which deal with compelling evidence of injuries and death from prescribed medications.
Samizdat published books are not available in bookshops but are privately published.
Obedience Pills is the latest to describe and produce facts that everything is not what it appears to be.
There is every reason to suspect that all these books could fly off the shelves if they were in bookshops.
It has also been suggested that some of these books could be turned into films.
So why does it take a private publisher to publish and why does it take competent authors to put their faith in Samizdat rather than trust their luck to Penguin?
Wouldn’t most authors just love to see their books in Waterstones and their royalties rise?
Out of all the books published I would suggest Malcharist is the one book that could have made it on its own merits, the film made and Paul John Scott made tons of money. The reason being that it is modelled on humour in a world of clinical trials gone wrong.
Clearly, Samizdat would not be publishing if Samizdat thought the manuscripts would be published with publishers clamouring for the rights to the books.
The only book on the market The Pill That Steals Lives tumbled out in words of a haunted woman determined to tell it as it was, plainly and also in parts, humorously.
Books from Samizdat are those from those who know the score, who know that what they are saying are under the microscope, who have come to the regrettable conclusions that in today’s world people do not need to know what is actually going on.
Throwing plastic bags full of water out of my bedroom window just behind passing walkers with the self-satisfying splat and the surprise or sitting on farm gates giving obsequious instructions to drivers who were lost – I am an introvert unlike Patrick, Bill and David.
Every ‘Bracket’ leads to a ‘Racket’ …
Last month Cerebral put a “pause” on all new ADHD prescriptions. Following press reports that they were handing out Adderall in quickie Zoom consults (and pressuring their clinicians to grant all requests), they got a subpoena from the Justice Department. Ouch. However, they continue to run ads on social media that stretch the concept of Adult ADHD beyond all boundaries.
Speaking of influencers, they hired gymnastics legend Simone Biles to be “the face of Cerebral.” Biles became a mental-health influencer of sorts when she withdrew from the first round of the Tokyo Olympics because of psychological stress that had her experiencing sudden space-outs in the middle of ambitious routines. She has been on ADHD meds since grade school, and has stayed on them into adulthood. (She’s also one of the victims of sexual abuse from longtime team doctor Larry Nassar, and has been vocal about how that trauma has messed with her head.) I hope she will break off her relationship with Cerebral, but it’s not yet clear.
As a child Simone fit the stereotype of the rambunctious little kid who seems “driven by a motor” (her mother recalls her casually doing backflips down the stairs at home). But Adult ADHD advocates have increasingly pushed the idea that their disease can affect people who are clearly neither hyperactive, nor extroverted.
Women and girls especially, they say, may have their symptoms unfairly overlooked just because they are shy daydreamers who sit and read for hours. Especially if they are “gifted” and do well in school despite being awkward or disorganized. (Based on that narrative, I am 100% sure that the child I was would also be identified and dosed today.) The following story from The Mighty (a pharma-financed website that acts as an aggregator of sorts for Compelling Patient Stories) has become all too typical:
The endless spate of articles about how ADHD is underdiagnosed in women and girls always reminds me of the Virginia Slims advertisements: “You’ve come a long way, baby.”
DR DINESH BHUGRA: My fear over the ‘neurodivergent’ TikTok stars who make ADHD and autism seem cool
A woman with shocking-pink hair is describing her psychiatric symptoms in a video shared with her 14,000 fans on social-media platform TikTok. She eats too much chocolate, she confesses, often struggles to focus on work and regularly spends a small fortune on make-up.
Entirely normal, you might think. At worst, they’re small lapses of willpower that should cause no one any real concern.
But according to this social-media influencer, they are symptoms of her recently diagnosed health problem: attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, or ADHD. And to control them she says she is taking a cocktail of powerful medicines.
A good old-fashioned lesson in self control would serve her well, closely followed by a course on ‘consequences’. Oh, no, she won’t need that course – she only has to take her medication, she’ll soon feel the consequences!
According to Ned Hallowell, the doyen of adult ADHD, cocaine abuse, consumption of ponrnography, and “addiction” to crossword puzzles all can be symptoms of “adult ADHD.” Where does he get this information from? He just makes it up as he goes along.
ADHD is considered a disability in the UK and therefore your school / college or place of work must make “reasonable adjustments” to support you.
Next time you’re face-to-face with Eeyore, turn the tables. Say, “If Richard Branson can found Virgin Records and Virgin Atlantic Airways, despite having ADHD, I’m not worried about my son,” or “If my daughter turns out as well as Suzanne Somers or Whoopi Goldberg, who both have ADHD, that’s fine with me!”
“Is ADHD Even Real?” How to Respond to Haters and Naysayers
A second world-renowned scientist has come forward to support claims that ADHD is not a real disease, but a description of symptoms.
Dr Bruce Perry said most people displayed signs of the condition at some point in their lives.
He also said psychostimulant drugs, such as Ritalin, used to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder may have long-term adverse effects.
It comes after US neurologist Dr Richard Saul claimed ADHD did not exist, in a book serialised by the Daily Mail.
17 Reasons Why I Believe ADHD is Not a Legitimate Medical Disorder (Video Version)
Yesterday, I wrote a blog post giving 17 reasons why I believe ADHD is not a legitimate medical disorder. Today, I’ve converted the script into a video with a narrative track and a series of images to drive home what I am saying. I hope that it will spark some meaningful dialogue.
This is worth a watch- ‘ADHD is BS’ a 6 minute satire. Funny but terrifying..
I am ASTOUNDED.
But lest I forget, you know, because I AM NEURO DIVERGENT…
YES! THAT IS AN EXTRAORDINARILY OFFENSIVE TITLE.
But you weren’t really asking because you care. It was a great way to stir the sh*t stew, though, wasn’t it?
I am 57 years old upper middle class female. I have normal brown hair, streaked with silver. I have raised six intelligent, productive, and KIND children into adulthood. I could be mistaken for one of you.
Two years ago, I was diagnosed with ADHD. I was seeing a therapist regularly for a couple of years to resolve some serious trauma. I didn’t seek out an ADHD diagnosis. It was not on my radar at all. But over the course of time, my therapist started connecting dots and I was sent for testing. I didn’t think she was right, but I respect her, so I got tested.
Let me assure of 2 things:
1-It’s real. It explained so many serious difficulties I had for my entire life.
2-I get real relief by using a combination of stimulant and non stimulant meds and CBT.
Yes, I absolutely survived all these decades. It can be done without a diagnosis and without meds. But it is difficult and demoralizing.
The fact that everyone is forgetful SOMETIMES, is distracted SOMETIMES, fails at Executive Functions SOMETIMES has nothing to do with those who rarely don’t struggle with them.
Stop reading people like Hallowell out of context. People with untreated ADHD do have a higher risk for addiction…we don’t have enough dopamine or norepinephrine … so when our brains get a boost, we feel “normal”… it’s really nice to feel normal when you’re struggling. (And yes, those on stimulants are at risk for dependency and some of them will develop addiction… but most of us will not.)
It’s not about self-discipline. It’s not about intellect. I posses both of those. I graduated top of my class, have a high IQ, and served in the US military successfully.
But I get it. You need to feel superior or some such thing.
It is quite incredulous, you know, to look to one or two individuals who dismiss ADHD when there are decades and decades and decades of research and evidence gathering about ADHD that support ADHD and have studied it thoroughly (and continue to do so.)
There is a claim that these individuals are “world renowned”, though I have never heard of them and when I asked a small group of people I know, (scientists, doctors, housewives, engineers and soldiers) they haven’t either. Is the only qualification for these “experts” the fact that they are contrary toward an entire body of research and experience?
The vast majority of the scientists who spend time studying ADHD come to a very different conclusion than those few who very loudly assure us they know the real deal.
And to think… I just wanted to know if Adderall or Strattera have been known to make hair resistant to dye. (See the silver mentioned above.)
Enjoy your little group and feeding off of each other’s ignorance. It is my sincere prayer that none of you EVER has a child in your family with ADHD -especially a severe case. That poor child… I can’t imagine.
Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to take my mixed salts.
Take any drug you want. But children should NEVER be given these drugs.
There are hundreds of studies which show these drugs flatten the affect and increase children’s ability to concentrate on boring tasks — in other words, they create the kinds of changes in children an overworked schoolteacher or an exhausted parent is likely to regard as improvements.
And that is IT. Doctors have been giving amphetamine to troubled children for eighty-five years now, and there are NO studies that have demonstrated ANY long-term benefit. Don’t take my word for it — my book is packed with quotes from eminently credentialed experts, probably every one of whom was pro-med, attesting to this fact.
It’s not for lack of trying. The MTA study was far and away the largest and far and away the largest randomized controlled trial on the effects of stimulant drugs on children, and they gave the drugs every chance to work. The only long-term effect the researchers were able to demonstrate — the ONLY one — was that the drugs stunted the kids’ growth.
The drugmakers have had ample time and resources to demonstrate the long-term benefits of giving these drugs to kids, were it possible to do so. It’s time for the rest of us to say “Time’s up — we’re moving on.”
I am all in favor of troubled children (and their parents) getting help. I do not believe we are helping them by telling them they have a drug-treatable brain disease.