The ADHD Industry's 40 Lies in 40 Days campaign
Updated: Oct 31, 2022
Lie 29 of 40: Treatment rates rose as new better medications were developed. Truth: Amphetamines (for narcolepsy) and non-stimulants like Strattera (a failed antidepressant) are old drugs rebranded as ADHD treatments to boost sales. (Read more at The Merchants of Speed of the Modern-Day ADHD Medicine Show)
Lie 28 of 40: Thousands of studies show ADHD medications work. Truth: These studies typically show that amphetamines alter behaviour + narrow focus in the extreme short-term BUT the robust long-term evidence shows no benefits only harm. (Read more at https://www.psychwatchaustralia.com/treating-adhd)
Lie 27 of 40: ADHD is a genetic disorder. Truth: Claims that ADHD genes have been found are false. If genes for impulsivity/inattention are ever identified that still wouldn't make ADHD a valid diagnosis, as difference is not disease. (Read more at https://www.psychwatchaustralia.com/adhd-genetics)
Lie 26 of 40: Diagnosing a child with ADHD helps them. Truth: A review of diagnosed and never-diagnosed children with the same ADHD-type behaviours found self-esteem, behaviour + self-harm outcomes were worse in kids labelled ADHD. (Read more at ADHD Diagnosis Leads to Worse Quality of Life, Increased Self-Harm in Kids)
Lie 25 of 40: ADHD drugs are medicines. Truth: The Oxford Dictionary defines medicine as "a drug or other preparation for the treatment or prevention of disease". Amphetamine Type Stimulants are clearly drugs but ADHD is not a disease. (Read ADHD neither a disease or a Disorder)
Lie 24 of 40: ADHD is under-diagnosed/treated in Girls. Truth: Boys are typically drugged at about 3 times the rate of girls because boys tend to be more annoying and ADHD child drugging is all about temporary behaviour management. (Read more about the ADHD Industry's push to sell ADHD to girls and women as a gender equity issue by clicking here)
Lie 23 of 40: ADHD medications balance brain chemistry. Truth: There is no evidence that ADHD brains are chemically unbalanced until so-called stimulant ‘medication’ (i.e. amphetamines) temporarily messily interfere with brain chemistry and cause withdrawal effects and potentially long-term damage. (Read more at https://www.psychwatchaustralia.com/treating-adhd)
Lie 22 of 40: There is no more disagreement about ADHD’s validity than there is over whether smoking causes cancer or whether a virus causes AIDS. Truth: The reliability + validity of ADHD as a psychiatric diagnosis are hotly contested. (Read more at Attention deficit hyperactive disorder diagnosis continues to fail the reliability and validity tests)
Lie 21 of 40: ADHD causes dysfunctional behaviour. Truth- The diagnostic criteria of ADHD are 18 dysfunctional behaviours (e.g. often fidgets). So the ADHD Industry asserts dysfunctional behaviour is caused by dysfunctional behaviour. (Read more at https://www.adhdisbs.com/how-is-adhd-diagnosed)
Lie 20 of 40: ADHD is a superpower and a disability. https://totallyadd.com/5-superpowers-of-adhd/ Truth- This BS hardly needs refuting. Nonetheless here-goes; ADHD is a subjective description of behaviours that has become an Industry. It isn't an illness/disability or superpower. (See ADHD its an Industry not an Illness)
Lie 19 of 40- ADHD medications improve academic performance. Truth- Canadian study found the academic performance of ‘medicated’ children relative to their peers declined significantly in the years after commencing medication. (See Do Stimulant Medications Improve Educational and Behavioral Outcomes for Children with ADHD?)
Lie 18 of 40: ADHD experts care about the long-term wellbeing of children. Truth- Frequent prescribers of ADHD drugs may temporarily help to manage annoying childhood behaviours, but they arrogantly ignore/dismiss many long-term risks. (read more at https://www.psychwatchaustralia.com/treating-adhd)
Lie 17 of 40: Consensus Statements (CS) of self-declared ADHD experts, are a valid substitute for scientific proof that it is a brain disorder, and that ADHD 'medications' are safe and effective. Truth: CS are biased marketing tools. (read more at http://www.critpsynet.freeuk.com/Acritiqueofconsensus.htm)
Lie 16 of 40: ADHD brains are smaller than non-ADHD brains. Truth- Prolonged exposure to ADHD drugs stunts growth and is associated with decreased brain volumes i.e. ADHD drugs (not ADHD) shrink bodies and brains. (See Cumulative exposure to ADHD medication is inversely related to hippocampus subregional volume in children)
Lie 15 of 40- ADHD is caused by malfunctioning dopamine pathways in the brain. Truth- Evidence suggests that long term exposure to therapeutic stimulants causes permanent dopamine system malfunction i.e. amphetamines cause brain damage. (Read more at https://www.psychwatchaustralia.com/what-causes-adhd)
Lie 14 of 40- Untreated ADHD increases the risk of drug abuse. Truth- Research supporting this claim typically involves retrospectively diagnosing ADHD in problematic adult drug users. Its like betting on a horse after the race is over. (Read more at https://www.psychwatchaustralia.com/adhd-drug-abuse)
Lie 13 of 40- The prevalence rate exceeds diagnosis + prescribing rates so ADHD is underdiagnosed + undertreated. Truth- Prevalence rate estimates for conditions with subjective diagnostic criteria are meaningless and vary wildly.
Lie 12 of 40- When medications wear off ADHD re-emerges i.e. a child returns to being chemically imbalanced. Truth- The withdrawal effects from amphetamines often worsen behaviour i.e. ADHD medications create chemical imbalances. (See https://www.psychwatchaustralia.com/treating-adhd)
Lie 11 of 40- Challenging the validity of ADHD is stigmatising. Truth- What could be more stigmatising and dishonest, than telling a child they have a dysfunctional brain and need medication (probably for life) so they can act normal? (Read more at Labelling kids: the good, the bad and the ADHD)
Lie 10 of 40- ADHDers are neurodiverse, non-ADHD people are neurotypical. Truth- The unscientific, divisive labelling of children as neurodiverse or neurotypical is the antithesis of inclusion. We must celebrate difference, not drug it. (Read more at How some self-described adult 'ADHDers' stifle the debate about child labelling and drugging)
Lie 9 of 40- Bad parenting does not cause ADHD. Truth- In some cases children diagnosed with ADHD behave poorly + therefore exhibit the diagnostic criteria because they have dysfunctional home lives or haven't been taught how to behave. (see Associations between Inadequate Parenting Practices and Behavioral Problems in Children and Adolescents with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder )
Lie 8 of 40- Treating ADHD with stimulants is like treating diabetes with insulin. Truth- Diabetes can be accurately diagnosed with a blood test + insulin is a pancreatic hormone. Whereas, there is no scientific test for ADHD + amphetamines are made in a lab.
Lie 7 of 40- ADHD medication use rates have risen because diagnostic processes have improved. Truth- Rates have risen because of aggressive and dishonest marketing + the already loose diagnostic criteria have become even looser. (Read about the history of ADHD's diagnostic criteria by clicking here)
Lie 6 of 40- ADHD stimulants are 'medicinal' and are not like illicit amphetamines. Truth- Taken in low doses prescription and illicit amphetamines have similar effects. In the USA methamphetamine (brand Desoxyn) is prescribed for ADHD.
Lie 5 of 40- ADHD is a neurodevelopmental (i.e. brain) disorder. Truth- There is no way of identifying so called ADHD and non-ADHD brains. ADHD type behaviours occur for a multitude of reasons which have nothing to do with biology. (e.g. Many children are diagnosed and drugged simply because they are the youngest in their class.)
Lie 4 of 40- Leading ADHD experts are independent scientists. Truth- All of the world’s ten most influential, and the vast majority of the top 66 global 'ADHD experts' have financial ties to multiple ADHD drug manufacturers. (See Top 'ADHD Experts' all take drug company money)
Lie 3 of 40- ADHD drugs improve academic performance. Truth- Research shows that, relative to their peers, the academic performance of children diagnosed with ADHD declines significantly in the years after commencing ADHD drugs. (See ADHD Drug Facts.)
Lie 2 of 40- There are valid tests for ADHD. Truth- There are no objective, scientific, tests (biomarkers, blood tests, brain scans etc). A diagnosis is based on reports of a child 'often' fidgeting, interrupting, disliking homework etc. (See How is ADHD Diagnosed?)
Lie 1 of 40 - If a low dose of a stimulant narrows focus in a person, they must have ADHD. Truth - When taken in low doses amphetamines will temporarily narrow focus in most people. This effect has nothing to do with ADHD. (See ADHD Drug Facts.)
Every day (beginning 1 October 2022) ADHDisBS.com will expose one of the lies or half truths told by the ADHD Industry to sell US$22.5 Billion (in 2021) in amphetamines, and similarly dangerous drugs, mostly to children. To follow the campaign on Twitter click here and to learn the facts about ADHD click here.