ADHD is Neither a Mental Health Crisis nor a Cultural One

CADDAC National Director

ADHD is neither a mental health crisis nor a cultural one, as Maclean’s Magazine asks in the title of their article this week. It is a mental health condition that needs to be taken seriously as a medical issue, and not used to sell newspapers and books. I was actually interviewed for this article and, as I was assured, by the author, were Canadian medical ADHD experts, this however was not evidence anywhere in this   article. One would expect the authors and publishers of the books highlighted in this article to do their utmost to sensationalize the title of their books and create catchy, if inaccurate sound bites, to sell their books, but how easily journalists, such as Kate Lanau fall into line with the marketing ploy is rather shocking.  Journalists who use these exact tactics themselves to increase sales totally disregard the harm they do when they sensationalize a medical condition without balancing it with decades of scientific research. How many children and adults who may have received help will go undiagnosed because this misinformation is being promoted? The most unfortunate thing is that some real issues that do need looked at here in Canada, such as the misuse of medication by some post-secondary students, and the lack of training for physicians and educators in ADHD, won’t be discussed because everyone will be focused on the pure sensationalism of this article.

Since the chances that they will publish it are slim, here is my letter to the editor of MacLean’s Magazine.

“It is irresponsible to publish an article regarding a medical condition, in a Canadian publication, using US medical, information statistics and issues with very vague Canadian references, but not include Canadian expert interviews covering the Canadian situation. We are seeing far too much of this type of journalism lately in regards to ADHD.”

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