Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Hundred Mile an Hour Lifestyle

Breezing over oceans of image memes -- ima-memes
Hipster couture
Rand Viking the Norse God. The cold inner fire of exploration.
The Nike symbol you've got plastered over your mindxperience.
The Totem OverAll.
Look at the major path through a city of Beverly Hills and West Hollywood and see what you see -- People Buzzing.

Thursday, June 02, 2005

ADD/ADHD and Neuroliberty

Millions of kids across the country are being medicated out of their excitement, tranquilized for their energy, and denied the right to wear themselves out naturally by bouncing and playing. I'm talking about the increasing number of children being diagnosed with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADD/ADHD), a pathology originally invented for children who have a hard time sitting still in class, but which is now being applied to adults too. Our society's habit of medicalizing everything and looking for magic pills to fix all our ills has made this vaguely defined "disease" a huge industry.

The drug companies have already saturated our schools so now they're after adults who have problems with procrastination, "wrapping up the final details of a project," or "remembering appointments or obligations." Doesn't that sound like, um, just about everybody? These quotes come from a simple self-diagnosis screener on a site called Adult ADD. What is it? built by the maker of an ADD drug called Strattera. The site is the first sponsored link to pop up when you type "ADD" or "ADHD" into Google. Looks like there's finally a solution for to my infrequent blogging!

The real attention deficit is the lack of attention from dysfunctional parents and schools. Kids need to run themselves ragged on soccer fields with mom or dad, not sit in front of PlayStation all day everyday. Schools need to stop cutting PhysEd, music, and dance programs where kids can use their bodies and start firing the vampire paper-shuffling educrats instead. Everyone needs to stop stigmatizing kids by telling them self-fulfilling prophecies about their inability to concentrate. We lower expecations by diagnosing them with a nonexistent disease.
Further thought branches:

AbleChild: Parents for Label and Drug Free Education consists of a growing number of parents outraged over both the subjective labeling (ADHD, ADD, OCD, ODD) and pervasive drugging of our children.

An interview with Wrye Sententia (cool nom de plume for brain freedom activism huh?) from The Center for Cognitive Liberty & Ethics:
I read that Ritalin is the most popular drug on college campuses today as adult students are finding it an excellent study aid. [See "Academic Doping"] I’m not sure what this says about how society will cope with new generations of overachievers rather than more legendary generations of slackers, but maybe it’s for the best — at least it is for the GDP....this is what stimulant drugs for children are aimed at, what I like to call cubicle consciousness. I was just talking today with a neighbor who’s 12 year-old son has trouble concentrating in school and is being called a "borderline case" — which in his case, means that because his parents refuse to place him on prescription stimulants, he is repeatedly tested for learning disabilities and alternately scores "genius potential" and "diagnosed ADHD". Surprise, surprise! Either the diagnostic test or the school system is failing him. [Emphasis mine]
Thomas Szasz (author of The Myth of Mental Illness) reminds us that "psychiatrists have always used diagnostic terms to stigmatize and control people -- for example:
* black slaves who ran away to freedom suffered from drapetomania;
* women who rebelled against being controlled by men suffered from hysteria;
* until only a few years ago, men and women who engaged in sexual acts with members of their own sex suffered from the dread disease of homosexuality.