Jerome Kagan is known and viewed as one of the most influential psychologists in the world of the 20th century.
In a ranking of 100 psychologists in the 20th century, published by a group of US academics in 2002 put Kagan in 22nd place, even above Carl Jung (founder of analytical psychology-23rd) and over Ivan Pavlov (discoverer of the Pavlovian reflex-24). Its a shocker that Kagan believes ADHD to be an invention created for profit, rather than a serious medical condition.
Kagan is known for his work in developmental psychology at Harvard University, where he spent decades observing and documenting children and infant growth, measuring and testing their reactions. When they began to speak, he would question them persistently. He is a highly exceptional and regarded researcher in the 20th century.
According to the National Institute of Mental Health, ADHD or attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder is a brain disorder that is explained by a pattern of inattention and/or hyperactivity-impulsivity that prevents development and functionality.
The definition of ADHD includes:
Inattention: Which means a person wanders off task, lacks persistence, has difficulty in sustaining focus, and is disorganized;
Hyperactivity: Which means a person seems to move about constantly, or displays excessively fidgets, taps, or talks,
Impulsivity: which is associated with a person that makes hasty actions that occur in the moment without first thinking about them and that may have high potential for harm.
Mislabeling Mental Illness
When interviewed by Spiegel, Kagan talks about the skyrocketing rates of ADHD in America. He spoke about “fuzzy diagnostic practices” and stated his point with the following: “Let’s go back 50 years. We have a 7-year old child who is bored in school and disrupts classes. Back then, he was called lazy.
Today, he is said to suffer from ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder). That’s why the numbers have soared,” states Again in the interview. When Kagan was inquired about his opinion on ADHD, he told the Spiegel: “(ADHD) It is an invention. Every child who’s not doing well in school is sent to see a pediatrician, and the pediatrician says: “It’s ADHD; here’s Ritalin.
In fact, 90 percent of these 5.4 million kids don’t have an abnormal dopamine metabolism. The problem is, if a drug is available to doctors, they’ll make the corresponding diagnosis.” He then goes on to say: “We could get philosophical and ask ourselves: “ What does mental illness mean?” If you do interviews with children and adolescents aged 12-19, then 40 percent can be categorized as anxious or depressed.
But if you take a closer look and ask how many of them are seriously impaired by this. the number shrinks to 8 percent. Describing every child who is depressed or anxious as being mentally ill is ridiculous. Adolescents are anxious, that’s normal. They don’t know what college to go to. Their boyfriend or girlfriend just stood them up. Being sad or anxious is just as much a part of life as anger or sexual frustration.
Kagan also says that, the fact that millions of children in America are incorrectly diagnosed as mentally ill because they suspect something is wrong with them, is completely horrifying. Along with being a psychologist determined to raise a red flag on this trend, Kagan and others feel they’re battling “an enormously powerful alliance: pharmaceutical companies that are making billions, and a profession that is self-interested.
Kagan even endured inner restlessness and stuttering as a young child, however his mother never saw anything wrong, only that his mind works quicker than his tongue. At the time, he thought “Gee that’s great, I’m only stuttering because I’m so smart.” If he was born in todays times, he would be labelled as mentally-ill. Kagan isn’t worried just about ADHD, but also Depression. Depression originated in 1987, when 1-in-400 Americans was on an antidepressant and numbers went up to 1-in-40 by 2002.
Kagan views that depression is another fake diagnosis, just because pills to treat it is available. Instead of primarily resorting to prescription drugs, he believes doctors should emphasize more time with the child patient to examine why they aren’t cheerful or happy as normal. There are some studies that prove that people who have increased activity in the right frontal lobe, respond poorly to antidepressants.
An EEG is the best test to be carried out for this. It’s imperative we make a distinction here: when a life event consumes us, it’s normal to fall into a bout of depression for a bit of time, but then there are those who have a genetic predisposition and endure chronic depression.
We shouldn’t just examine the symptoms but the causes: the former are enduring a bout of a certain depression for a bit thats caused by a tragic event, and otherwise, is mentally ill. Psychiatry is the only medical profession that bases illnesses on symptoms and even a blind spot opens the door for new problems—like bipolar disorder, which was never seen in children.
Nearly a million Americans under the age of 19 are diagnosed with bipolar disorder. “ A group of doctors at Massachusetts General Hospital just started calling kids who had temper tantrums bipolar. They shouldn’t have done that. But the drug companies loved it because drugs against bipolar disorder are expensive. That’s how the trend was started. It’s a little like in the 15th century, when people started thinking someone could be possessed by the devil or hexed by a witch,” said Kagan.
When it comes to alternatives to pharmaceutical drugs for behavioral issues, Kagan says we could look into private tutoring. It’s a perfect start since children who have been diagnosed with ADHD are mainly those who struggle in school.