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establishment psycho-bunk 2 —

Ritalin and
junk science

a briefing document

New translation, the Magna Carta

Sweeping inadequate child-rearing under the carpet by doping the young.
Making up fancy names for poor child discipline, and then pretending it is a 'medical' matter.
marker at abelard.org establishment psycho-bunk 1—‘lie detection’ click for documnt start   establishment psycho-bunk is a sub-set of documents, within this document set. This document set shows how to apply empiric reasoning to social and psychological problems..
marker at abelard.org establishment psycho-bunk 2 - Ritalin and junk science   Intelligence: misuse and abuse of statistics drugs, smoking and addiction
marker at abelard.org establishment psycho-bunk 3 —‘dyslexia’  

establishment psycho-bunk cause, chance and Bayesian statistics
marker at abelard.org establishment psycho-bunk 4 —the myth of repressed memory   misuse and corruption in science
marker at abelard.org psycho-bunk 5 —what is memory, or intelligence? Incautious claims of ‘IQ’ genes   For related empiric reasoning documents, start with
Why Aristotelian logic does not work
marker at abelard.org psycho-bunk 6—‘traumatic’ ‘syndromes’ or ‘curing’ P.E.S.Ts marker at abelard.org psycho-bunk 8—Sexual differences in childhood behaviour - socialist science: the result first, the study after
marker at abelard.org establishment psycho-bunk 7 —‘asperger’s’ and ‘autism’ marker at abelard.org psychobunk 9—Dyspraxia

Witchcraft returns under the guise of ‘science’. No longer is the child taught to concentrate, or sent out to run about.
Inattention is a ‘disease’, and ‘diseases’ are ‘cured’ by drugs.

What is ADHD?

You can choose a variety and feel real ‘scientific’. There’s even a book that claims six types.
Win a Nobel prize - invent a seventh! Let’s see what junk ‘science’ has to say:

  • Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder, Combined Type:
        if both Criteria A1 and A2 are met for the past 6 months
  • Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder, Predominantly Inattentive Type:
        if Criterion A1 is met but Criterion A2 is not met for the past 6 months
  • Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder, Predominantly Hyperactive-Impulsive Type: if Criterion A2 is met but Criterion A1 is not met for the past 6 months

    Note: For individuals (especially adolescents and adults) who currently have symptoms that no longer meet full criteria, “In Partial Remission” should be specified.

No, seriously folks... I really am not making this stuff up!

Well, now here is the typical waffle; six ticks on the checklist and you're put on the drugs.
None of the items listed are objective in any useful sense.

1994, Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Ed. IV, (DSM-IV) continues:

ADHD is a Disruptive Behavior Disorder characterized by the presence of a set of chronic and impairing behavior patterns that display abnormal levels of inattention, hyperactivity, or their combination.

Symptom Checklist for ADHD

Criteria: Inattention or Hyperactivity-Impulsivity Behavior has persisted for at least six months and to such a degree that it is maladaptive and inconsistent with developmental level. Must present with six or more of the following:

site map

1. Inattention

  1. often fails to give close attention to details or makes careless mistakes in schoolwork, work, or other activities
  2. often has difficulty sustaining attention in tasks or play activities
  3. often does not seem to listen when spoken to directly
  4. often does not follow through on instructions and fails to finish schoolwork, chores, or duties in the workplace (not due to oppositional behavior or failure to understand instructions)
  5. often has difficulty organizing tasks and activities
  6. often avoids, dislikes, or is reluctant to engage in tasks that require sustained mental effort (such as schoolwork or homework)
  7. often loses things necessary for tasks or activities (toys, school assignments, pencils, books, or tools)
  8. often easily distracted by extraneous stimuli
  9. is often forgetful in daily activities

or if that doesn't work for you, six or more of the following!

2. Hyperactivity-Impulsivity Hyperactivity

  1. often fidgets with hands or feet or squirms in seat
  2. often leaves seat in classroom or in other situations in which remaining seated is expected
  3. often runs about or climbs excessively in situations in which it is inappropriate (in adolescents or adults, may be limited to subjective feelings of restlessness)
  4. often has difficulty playing or engaging in leisure activities quietly
  5. is often “on the go” or often acts as if “driven by a motor”
  6. often talks excessively


  7. often blurts out answers before questions have been completed
  8. often has difficulty awaiting turn
  9. often interrupts or intrudes on others (e.g., butts into conversations or games)click to return to index on ritalin

Just to make it sound more portentous and even more ‘scientific’:

    1. Some hyperactive-impulsive or inattentive symptoms that caused impairment were present before age 7 years.
    2. Some impairment from the symptoms is present in two or more settings (e.g., at school [or work] and at home).
    3. There must be clear evidence of clinically significant impairment in social, academic, or occupational functioning.

I real like that ‘clear evidence’ and ‘clinically significant’ bit. That’ll really impress the customers......ab

The symptoms do not occur exclusively during the course of a Pervasive Developmental Disorder, Schizophrenia , or other Psychotic Disorder and are not better accounted for by another mental disorder (e.g., Mood Disorder, Anxiety Disorder, Dissociative Disorder, or a Personality Disorder).

If this ‘personality’ profile does not appeal, we have plenty more.
How about ‘post traumatic stress disorder’?
I’ll bet we can find you just the drug cocktail for your every wish.

Ritalin is an upper, a stimulant. Uppers are known to increase intelligence/performance over the short term. Other uppers are caaffeine, amphetamine and cocaine.

This report
is headed, “Brain Shrinkage In ADHD Not Caused By Medications”,

and here is the same report on a US government site.
   1) “the disorder”, as if it were a disease similar to mumps or a broken leg.

and here is another version:
“Between 3 percent and 5 percent of American children are diagnosed with attention deficit disorder, three times as many boys as girls.”
   1) “are diagnosed”. The ‘diagnosis’ is entirely non-objective (ab).
   2) the surfeit of boys, boys tend to be more rowdy and thus harder to manage.

“In some school districts, one in five boys take the stimulant.”

“Children with ('the disorder') are often described as less mature than their peers and this may relate to delays in white matter maturation,” Castellanos said.
   1) “may”. In other words, blue sky speculation.
   2) “less mature”. Another way of describing ‘less intelligent’ or ‘less socialised’.

The American Academy of Pediatrics estimates 4 percent to 12 percent of school-age children are affected.
   1)a different number
   2) “estimates”
   3) “are affected”.

Brain size is correlated with intelligence.
A probable reason for using Ritalin is to enhance short-term intelligence.
Of course, there are problems with drug taking, probably long-term problems, but what the hell.

If it were another upper like cocaine, then the dispensers of this nostrum would be called ‘pushers’ and the users would be called ‘addicts’. If it was coffee, it would be called a pick-me-up and cost a lot less at the local market. Of course, coffee is out of patent protection. It matters not what you do in this society, only the language that you use.

See also misuse and corruption in science
   drugs, smoking and addiction click to return to index on establishent psycho-bunk 2 - ritalin and junk science



now for adults

Meanwhile, the American corporations are targetting 8 million adults!

“[...] The adult market is three times the size of the £1.14 billion-a-year children’s market. The market is ripe and is moving in the right direction.

“It certainly will, if it follows the British career path of Ritalin. In 1993 there were about 3,000 Ritalin prescriptions for children. By last year this had shot up to 250,000.”

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