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ADHD Does Not Exist

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Overview

A radical new response to a widely misunderstood condition

We are witnessing a global epidemic of attention deficit and hyperactivity disorder. Millions are suffering from attention issues, while millions more are reliant on stimulant medication to perform at school and at work. Despite decades of advancements in neuroscience, the definition of ADHD has remained essentially unchanged since its introduction in 1980, and its prevalence in the ...

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ADHD Does not Exist

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Overview

A radical new response to a widely misunderstood condition

We are witnessing a global epidemic of attention deficit and hyperactivity disorder. Millions are suffering from attention issues, while millions more are reliant on stimulant medication to perform at school and at work. Despite decades of advancements in neuroscience, the definition of ADHD has remained essentially unchanged since its introduction in 1980, and its prevalence in the population has skyrocketed.

In this controversial and landmark work, Dr. Richard Saul draws from five decades as a practicing physician and researcher in the field to contend that the definition of ADHD as we know it is completely wrong. Instead, he argues that the "disorder" is a cluster of symptoms stemming from more than twenty other conditions, each requiring separate treatment. The detailed list ranges from mild problems like poor eyesight, sleep deprivation, and even boredom in the classroom, to more severe conditions like depression and bipolar disorder.

Through the lens of history and into the present day, Dr. Saul examines "ADHD," exploring the rising cultural and medical trends that have birthed the stimulant epidemic. Both comprehensive and illuminative, ADHD Does Not Exist is essential reading for doctors, practitioners, educators, and individuals who are seeking an honest approach to understanding and treating this complex condition.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
12/16/2013
Saul, a behavioral neurologist with 50 years of clinical practice, isn’t joking around; after noting that 11% of American children are diagnosed with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder—a 40% increase in a decade—he makes the provocative claim that, “among the millions of people diagnosed, not one of them actually has ADHD.” This matters for many reasons, particularly in that treatment for real disorders is delayed when ADHD is diagnosed and two-thirds of children diagnosed with ADHD take powerful stimulants with potentially debilitating side effects. Saul takes readers—parents, teachers, physicians—on a fascinating tour of conditions that share symptoms with ADHD. Children with Tourette’s disorder misdiagnosed as ADHD can experience amplified tics on ADHD stimulants. Other conditions with ADHD-like symptoms include undiagnosed hearing, sight, and sleep problems; undiagnosed giftedness, learning disabilities, mood and sensory processing disorders—even allergies. While few would argue with Saul’s contention that overdiagnosis is rampant, his uncompromising main theme will concern clinicians who regularly deal with the condition, whose criteria in the (much fought over) industry bible, the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, were recently loosened. Nevertheless, parents will be better armed to ask more of the right questions after reading Saul’s book, which should spark much debate. (Mar.)
Booklist
“Sure to ruffle some feathers, ADHD Does Not Exist is provocative and pensive.”
Kirkus Reviews
2014-01-04
Respected American Academy of Pediatrics and American Academy of Neurology fellow Saul makes the controversial claim that attention deficit hyperactivity disorder is routinely misdiagnosed. The author challenges the definition of ADHD as a fundamentally flawed catchall based solely on "symptoms of distractibility and impulsivity [that] are all too real" but may be attributable to "more than twenty medical diagnoses." Using the analogy of common ailments—e.g., abdominal pain, which may be the result of a variety of problems ranging from indigestion to appendicitis or cancer—Saul makes the point that many different factors can explain a child's disruptive behavior. He makes a convincing case that a diagnosis of ADHD followed by a prescription for a stimulant, such as Ritalin, has become a routine option for pediatricians at the urging of school authorities and parents. Too often, an overlooked, underlying condition is left untreated while the hapless patient suffers from side effects such as insomnia, weight loss and anxiety. The author illustrates his contention with anecdotal material, using case histories accumulated from his more than 50 years of medical practice. He explains that he routinely administers a series of tests before making any recommendations, beginning with a blood work-up in order to eliminate problems such as hyperthyroidism, iron deficiency or hormone imbalance. He describes instances in which a routine eye examination revealed that a child was unable to see the chalkboard and a similar instance of how a hearing problem was the root of a student's inability to follow instructions properly. If none of these are at issue, Saul looks for stress-related psychological problems. Other possibilities range from dyslexia, substance abuse, 20-second epileptic seizures and major psychiatric disorders such as depression. None of these benefit from amphetamine-based medications such as Ritalin. A provocative, valuable guide for parents, school personnel and medical practitioners who deal with individuals showing symptoms routinely attributed to ADHD.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780062266736
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 2/18/2014
  • Pages: 336
  • Sales rank: 352,289
  • Product dimensions: 5.80 (w) x 8.80 (h) x 1.40 (d)

Meet the Author

Dr. Richard Saul is a professor, clinician, researcher, and radio personality. For more than fifty years Dr. Saul has incorporated his clinical and academic experience into the practice of behavioral neurology and development. He served as the chairman of the department of pediatrics at Highland Park Hospital, and the medical director of an HMO in North Suburban Chicago. While working with the Health Systems Agency, a federal program, he was responsible for containing healthcare costs in Illinois.

Dr. Saul has been a Castle and Connolly Best Doctor in Chicago for the past ten years. His work has been applauded in US News & World Report. He is a member of the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Academy of Neurology, and the Society for Behavior and Development. He earned his M.D. at Chicago Medical School. He lives with his wife outside of Chicago.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 2.5
( 11 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(4)

4 Star

(1)

3 Star

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2 Star

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1 Star

(6)

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Sort by: Showing all of 11 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 27, 2014

    Asscinine

    This is repulsive I have adhd and this is insulting

    4 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 18, 2014

    Jeremy

    #3 is right i have adhd this is mean and an insult to people who have adhd

    3 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 27, 2014

    Dr. Saul's book provides no research to back up the bold claim i

    Dr. Saul's book provides no research to back up the bold claim in its title. It is nothing more than a list of other possible diagnoses that any good clinician would use to rule-out ADHD, and it provides very little in the way of useful guidance for parents trying to help their struggling children.

    3 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted February 26, 2014

    I Also Recommend:

    New perspective Read this book if you want a new perspective on

    New perspective
    Read this book if you want a new perspective on the most-popular ADHD diagnosis. I certainly found it eye-opening. Like so many popular ailments, the answers are never easy, never black and white. I think the author brings up some great points regarding the impacts that our stimulating culture has on the mental and emotional maturity of individuals: children and adults alike.

    Parents should be attentiev to their children and address their unique needs. My dear cousin was labeled ADD when he was in grade school but my aunt who is a teacher and quite familiar with the rising prescription of Ritalin etc. for over-active students said "hell no" to the meds and with her husband took the hard effort to teach him how to behave.

    I myself have wondered if I have ADHD, but honestly, I think its just life to feel scatter-brained at times. This book confirmed a lot of my instincts that underneath it alll, the real issues are sleep-deprivation, lack of exercise, emotional instability.. etc.

    I am reluctant to throw the label out with the bathwater. After years of concentration-trouble, my husband was diagnosed ADHD and the therapy he has subsequently received has been so* helpful - for him and for us. Are the doctors always right? Is science really the best answer? Why is the sky blue? There are so many questions in life. It's good to be informed, but in the end, you get to decide what works for you. (RC)

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 26, 2014

    Reeeeeeally???

    Well i know that adhd Exists becase have it and every symptom that was ever listed for this disorder applies to meeeee! Hows that for real proof?

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 3, 2014

    Solid

    Thank you for writing this book.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 14, 2014

    Me too

    Im ADHD. Its so real. Example:my parents told me to follow me dreams and thay would be tru. NOT

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 4, 2014

    Clearly Not Knowledgeable

    #1 This person clearly has not done research on latest in neuroscience.

    #2 Yet another person who does not get that diagnositic criteria is merely about a a min of symptoms required to validate a diagnosis so insurance will cover it.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 20, 2014

    Idiot

    I have adhd and its big i cant say down and stay still for even 10seconds its real

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 25, 2014

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 6, 2014

    No text was provided for this review.

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