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Mother's Little Helper - The History of Amphetamine and Anti-Depressant Use in America

By Tony B. Rich and Meg Jordan, PhD, RN

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From 1935 when Benzadrine Sulfate first appeared to entice doctors to prescribe amphetamines to housebound women tired of their daily drudgery, through chemical manipulation and rebranding into the fastest selling drugs to children and young adults, the history, evolution and morphology of amphetamine usage in America is eye-opening. Find out how this category of chemicals, banned for sale to adults due to its health hazards and addictive qualities for weight loss and improved mood in the '60s, is now the leading prescription medication for ADD and ADHD in children and the drug of choice for high school and college students across America.

The History Of Speed
Amphetamine, which was the predecessor to methamphetamine and originally called phenylisopropylamine, was first synthesized in 1887 by the German chemist L. Edeleano. Originally used for respiratory complications such as asthma and nasal congestion, the discovery of the stimulant properties of amphetamine led to additional medical and functional applications in which more potent forms of the drug were developed.

In 1919, Japanese chemist A. Ogata first synthesized methamphetamine via the reduction of ephedrine using red phosphorus and iodine, and in 1929 methamphetamine was synthesized by Smith, Kline & French. The company filed two trademarks in 1932 on the trade-name “Benzedrine" and by 1935, Benzedrine was available by prescription in tablets to stimulate the nervous system, and as a decongestant inhaler.

The American Medical Association approved amphetamine in 1937, and available as tablets, it was immediately used to treat narcolepsy and the behavioral syndrome called minimal brain dysfunction (MBD). It was also recommended for use by physicians to treat their own 'fatigue' and in 1940 Burroughs Welcome markets methamphetamine for the first time under the trade name "Methedrine". Later, Glaxo, Smith Kline enters the lucrative new fray with "Dextroamphetamine" for use by the military, which later becomes "Adderall", today a major drug for the military and the most popular prescription medicine for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD).

{In 1980 the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders III (DSM-III), the American Psychiatric Association's diagnostic manual, redefined minimal brain dysfunction as attention deficit disorder (ADD) and later (DSM-IV) to what we know today as Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD).}

World War II soldiers in the Allied and Axis forces were given liberal amounts of amphetamines. Pilots, tank drivers and infantry used Benzedrine, Dexedrine and Methedrine to stay awake for long periods of time and to 'enhance' levels of courage and bravado. Some records indicate that from 1966 to 1969, the U.S. Army dispensed more amphetamine to its troops than the combined total of British and American forces during the entire Second World War. As one veteran of Vietnam put it on an Internet citation, "Take 100 non-aggressive men and give them all enough speed and you end up with the equivalent of 150 men that'll kill anything that moves and if they have to, they'll kill it with their bare hands." Biographers of war crimes committed by troops from various nations throughout the history of modern warfare believe the most heinous acts were the result of the maniacal effects of amphetamines.

Today amphetamine use in the military continues under the current market name of Adderall. Dextroamphetamine is dispensed by the Air Force to keep pilots awake and alert on long missions. Air Force pilots must sign a form called "Informed Consent for Use of Dextroamphetamine as a 'Go Pill' in Military Operations." Although taking the drug is not technically mandatory, as the form states, a refusal to sign the form could result in a commander designating them as 'unfit to fly a given mission'.

During the 1950s and 1960s, amphetamine and methamphetamine were viewed as 'utilitarian drugs' that working- and upper middle-class individuals would use to increase their energy, meet performance and endurance goals, and as a popular weight loss and antidepressant medication. Around 1955 college campuses became known for their location of ready availability of the first 'lifts', 'nuggets' and 'pixies', and by the early 1960s various forms of speed entered the mainstream youth movements under the names "Blackbombers", "Black Beauties" and "Bennies". By this time, production of tablets for civilian use was in the billions per year.

Stories of amphetamine use by high-profile individuals in society began to be covered in the press — jazz musician Charlie Parker, British Prime Minister Anthony Eden, popular entertainers Judy Garland and Lenny Bruce, and author Jack Kerouac (reported to have written "On The Road" under the influence of amphetamines in twenty-one days on a single scroll of paper). Political leaders Adolph Hitler (said to have received eight injections of amphetamines per day) and John F. Kennedy (received frequent injections of Benzedrine for his back pain) were also among those who regularly relied upon amphetamines for cognitive enhancement and endurance.

Benny and the Jets
Music by Elton John
Lyrics by Bernie Taupin

Hey kids, shake it loose together
The spotlight's hitting something
That's been known to change the weather
We'll kill the fatted calf tonight
So stick around
You're gonna hear electric music
Solid walls of sound

Say, Candy and Ronnie, have you seen them yet
But they're so spaced out,
Bennie and the Jets
Oh but they're weird and they're wonderful
Oh Bennie she's really keen
She's got electric boots a mohair suit
You know I read it in a magazine
Bennie and the Jets

Hey kids, plug into the faithless
Maybe they're blinded
But Bennie makes them ageless
We shall survive, let us take ourselves along
Where we fight our parents out in the streets
To find who's right and who's wrong

On the album Goodbye Yellow Brick Road

When injectable forms of amphetamines began to reach abuse levels in the general population, manufacturers began curtailing distribution, setting off the start of illicit production and black markets. In 1970, amphetamine use by civilians became illegal with the passage of the U.S. Drug Abuse Regulation and Control Act of 1970.

With Americans now hooked on accelerated performance, fast weight loss, and cognitive and mood enhancement, American pharmaceutical giants lost huge revenue streams as Mexico and China quickly stepped in to provide the now-illegal, endless supply of quality amphetamines and methamphetamines. Now with street names such as "crystal", "Tina" and "ice", Texas and Hawai'i became the thoroughfares of importation to satisfy America's growing hunger.

With no way to stem the tide of these now illicit substances and seeing profits plunge, pharmaceutical companies began laying out a strategy to reclaim market shares. A draft proposal was prepared wherein a new division of the United States Government would be established, allowing inter-agency development of a worldwide network to enforce the federal drug laws and consolidate and control the government's drug control activities.

On March 28, 1973, President Richard Nixon signed Reorganization Plan No. 2 of 1973 proposing the creation of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA). Congress accepted the proposal on July 1, 1973, officially establishing the DEA. The war on drugs began.

As Steve McGarrett battled the infamous, Asian international drug kingpin, Wo-Fat, on the hugely-popular Hawai'i Five-O series, senior chemists and ad agency creatives behind closed doors for Big Pharma were busy tinkering with molecules and branding to present a fresh face to a familiar set of compounds.

While methylphenidate (generic name for Ritalin) was patented in 1954 by the Ciba pharmaceutical company and sold to adults for anti-depression, it began to rise in popularity among doctors and their patients in the mid-1960s, as a treatment for hyperactivity or minimal brain dysfunction (MBD), as ADHD was then known. Today methylphenidate is the medication most commonly prescribed to treat ADHD around the world.

Production and prescription of methylphenidate and amphetamine has risen significantly since ADD and ADHD have received more attention and much broader definitions by the DSM-IV (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders {DSM}), the American Psychiatric Association's diagnostic manual), thereby allowing these 'terms of dysfunction' to apply to an ever-increasing customer base.

Another medicine is Concerta, a once-daily extended release form of methylphenidate, which was approved in April 2000. Studies have demonstrated that long-acting methylphenidate preparations such as Concerta are just as effective, if not more effective, than instant release formulas. Time-release medications are also harder to misuse. Additionally, in April 2006, the FDA approved a transdermal patch for the treatment of ADHD, called Daytrana. The once-daily patch administers methylphenidate in doses of 10, 15, 20, or 30 mg. and, upon removal, the drug does not continue to have an effect, allowing the user to come off the drug sooner.

Although chemically unrelated to amphetamine, the isomeric profiles, or physiological consequences, and relative usefulness of dextro- and levo-methylphenidate is analogous to what is found in amphetamine. The means by which methylphenidate affects people diagnosed with ADHD are not well understood. Some researchers have theorized that ADHD is caused by a dopamine imbalance in the brains of those affected. Methylphenidate is a dopamine reuptake inhibitor, which means that it increases the level of the dopamine neurotransmitter in the brain by partially blocking the transporters that remove it from the synapses. An alternate explanation which has been explored is that the methylphenidate affects the action of serotonin in the brain.

While both amphetamine and methylphenidate share similar isomeric profiles, and both compounds carry risks of heart failure, seizures, nervousness, insomnia, psychosis, hallucinations and long-term memory disability, it now appears methylphenidate may carry another, substantial health and reproductive risk.

In February 2005, a team of researchers from The University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center led by R.A. El-Zein announced that a study of 12 children indicated that methylphenidate may be carcinogenic. In the study, 12 children were given standard therapeutic doses of methylphenidate. At the conclusion of the 3-month study, all 12 children displayed significant treatment-induced chromosomal aberrations.

Anxiety and Depression — Today's Pulse In America
In 1998, Martin Seligman, eminent psychologist and then president of the American Psychological Association, told the National Press Club that there had been more than a tenfold increase in the rate of depression in the USA in the past 50 years. It was, he said, an epidemic. A generation ago, the average age for the first episode of depression was approximately thirty, today it is between fourteen and fifteen.

Today the World Health Organization (WHO) ranks depression as the world's fourth most devastating illness (in terms of total years of healthy life stolen by death or disability). The WHO projects that by 2020, depression will be second only to heart disease as a global contributor to early death and disability. Today, it is already number two for one subsection of the population — people aged between 14 and 44 years, of both sexes.

I felt a funeral in my brain,
And mourners, to and fro,
Kept treading, treading, till it seemed
That sense was breaking through.
And when they all were seated,
A service like a drum
Kept beating, beating, till I thought
My mind was going numb.
And then I heard them lift a box,
And creak across my soul
With those same boots of lead,
Then space began to toll.
As all the heavens were a bell,
And Being but an ear,
And I, and silence, some strange race,
Wrecked, solitary, here.
And then a plank in reason, broke,
And I dropped down and down
And hit a world at every plunge,
And finished knowing — then.
Emily Dickenson

• Currently the rate of increase in depression among the under-18 year old group is approximately 23% per year. Pre-schoolers are currently the fastest-growing market for antidepressants.

• Estimates now indicate a similar incidence of depression in both men and women at approximately 30% of the population. While women tend to withdraw and repress emotions and physical/sexual activity during depression, men are more likely to engage in addictive behaviors such as promiscuous sexual activity, drugs, alcohol and work.

• 54% of individuals believe depression is a personal weakness.

• 80% of depressed individuals currently do not seek treatment of any kind.

• 15% of depressed individuals will commit suicide.

• Estimates indicate that depression will be the third largest killer after heart disease by 2020. Current studies indicate that depression is, in fact, a contributory factor to fatal coronary disease.

• Depression lowers immunity. Studies are increasingly linking other serious illnesses to depression, including osteoporosis, diabetes, some forms of cancer, eye disease and back pain.

• Depression results in more work absenteeism than almost any other disorder.

• 33 million Americans were prescribed at least one psychiatric drug in 2004, up from 21 million in 1997.

• Spending on antidepressants rose from $5.1 Billion in 1997 to $11.5 Billion in 2006.

• Nine percent of American teenagers have been prescribed drugs for depression.

• In 2002, 11 million antidepressant prescriptions were written for American children and adolescents. Before 1990, outside of the occasional use of Ritalin, medicating of children was considered taboo. Now, Proxac and Paxil come in mint- and orange-flavored liquids. Clomicalm is meat-flavored and a Los Angeles veterinarian estimates that five percent of cats and dogs in his practice are taking psychotropic agents for their behavior.

• American sales of Zoloft exceeded those of Tide detergent in 2005, namely $3.1 Billion.

"Americans have swallowed it all," says author Charles Barber. "To say that we are the most medicated nation on earth is an absurd understatement. To say that we are the most psychiatrically medicated nation on earth is a prodigiously absurd understatement. Americans have the most luridly expensive urine in the world."

Bruce E. Levine is a practicing clinical psychologist since 1985. He believes a key to understanding depression is simple common sense — something he feels is often lost in professional training. "Depression is simply one of many human 'strategies' to shut down overwhelming pain," says Levine. "The price paid for the long-term reliance on depression is that it also shuts down energy, enthusiasm, sexual desire, concentration, memory and other cognitive skills, and can lead to guilt, hopelessness, problems in sleeping and eating, immobilization and thoughts of suicide."

I take it that no man is educated
who has never dallied with the
thought of suicide.
William James

"When we habitually employ a shutdown strategy — rather than healing and resolving the source of pain — we develop a tolerance to that strategy, which means that we need increasingly larger doses of it. Shutdown strategies such as depressions, alcohol, or other psychotropic drugs can create a vicious cycle in which the very strategy used to shut down pain can create more pain."

Many studies show a variety of psychological and interpersonal losses and pains that can lead to depression. In his book, The Truth About Depression, the physician Charles Whitfield reports on more than 200 studies which show that people who have suffered neglect, abuse and other types of trauma have a much greater risk of becoming depressed.

The loss of affection in a marriage is also highly associated with depression. In their book, The Interactional Nature of Depression, psychologists Thomas Joiner and James Coyne report that in one study of unhappily married women who were diagnosed with depression, 70 per cent of these women believed that the loss of marital satisfaction preceded their depression and 60 per cent believed that their unhappy marriage was the primary cause of their depression.

There is considerable evidence
that depressed people,
though sadder, are wiser.
Martin Seligman

It is a similar story with postpartum depression, which occurs in 10 to 20 percent of women in the United Kingdom and the United States, but is considered rare in China, Fiji, and some African populations. A raft of studies has found that lack of social support after giving birth — a fundamental human need, often unacknowledged and unmet in Modern Western society, with its emphasis on individualism rather than family and community — results in emotional pain followed by depression.

"Low levels of social support directly predict depression," states the sociologist Robert Putnam. In his book, Bowling Alone, which details the collapse of community in the United States, Putnam reports, "Countless studies document the link between society and psyche: people who have close friends and confidants, friendly neighbors and supportive co-workers, are less likely to experience sadness, loneliness, low self-esteem and problems with eating and sleeping. The single most common finding from a half-century's research on correlates of life satisfaction, not only in the United States but around the world, is that happiness is best predicted by the breadth and depth of one's social connections."

An illustration of this can be seen in Mexican-Americans born in the United States, who are almost three times as likely to have had a 'major depressive episode' than recent Mexican immigrants to the United States or Mexicans remaining in Mexico, according to researcher and professor of public health William Vega. Vega found that Mexican immigrants' rate of mental disorders grew steadily after immigration, so much so that Mexican immigrants who had been in the United States for more than 13 years had nearly the same rate of mental disorders as native-born Americans.

"Mexicans tend to come from a much more integrated family system and," Vega concludes, "this translates into tremendous benefits of that in terms of everyday psychological resilience. They are much more likely to be in a situation where people help each other out — there is a cost for this greater personal and economic freedom. The cost is loss of reciprocal support."

In 1957, economist Leopold Kohr concluded in his book, The Breakdown of Nations, that misery in society could be explained by a single theory of size. "It suggests," says Kohr, "that there seems only one cause behind all forms of social misery: bigness."

In a society that has become increasingly institutionalized,
many people feel isolated, small, angry and scared.

"The faith of mass society," continues Levine, "that salvation will come through technology, compounds the problem. Once one accepts that our society worships machines and technology more than it does life and biodiversity, then it's easy to understand that the goal of society is to become more machine-like, more standardized. As society focuses on that goal, more and more people simply don't fit in. Psychiatry can compound this problem when, instead of concluding that there is a problem with this machine-worshipping culture, it concludes that there is a problem with the individual who does not fit in."

"Technology is also about control, and the more we singularly worship technology, the more we singularly worship control. Human beings pay a psychological price for any technology that controls them more than they control it — they can actually feel more powerless. Beyond its attribute of control, technology has no meaning, and if people singularly worship it, they will have meaningless lives."

The main emotion of the adult American
who has had all the advantages of wealth,
education and culture is disappointment.
John Cheever

In the 1960s and 1970s, the counter-culture's message of 'Turn On, Tune In, Drop Out', was about a 'collective consciousness', of looking at the world's sustainability challenges with a different type of psychotropic. 'Dropping acid' (LSD) and smoking marijuana was usually done in group settings, and sharing insights and deep Earth wisdom together and talking about alternatives and action. These drugs were not about 'action', they were about stopping the action, and having some reflection on life's problems and seeking a counter-solution to consumerism and rampant devastation of the environment.

The 1980s and 1990s drugs, anti-depressants and anxiety-lowering pharmaceuticals, offered the promise of individualized solutions to our problems, at a time when Americans were giving up on collective solutions to social difficulties and environmental devastation. The era of governmental or societal solutions to national problems and challenges, such as Social Security, the GI Bill and the Space Program, effectively died with Ronald Reagan's presidency. The '80s birthed a renewal of the old American myth of rugged individualism — Reagan on his horse, Oliver North running rampant, and Rambo's ridiculously successful fantasy.

Today's anti-depressant drugs offer an individualized treatment for one's problems. You fill the prescription alone, you take the medications by yourself, you deal with your insurance plan alone, and you monitor the effects of the medication, usually, alone. As more and more people take anti-depressants, fewer people choose therapy — mental health treatment in the company of another person. The collective consciousness and community are replaced by the singular, isolating act of taking a pill in a private,
sheltered moment. The paradigm has shifted violently — no longer are patients working with a therapist to address their real problems; they are working largely alone and in relation only with a pill.

The Lottery, with its weekly pay-out
of enormous prizes, was the one public
event to which the proles [proletarians
or working class] paid serious attention.
It was probably that there were some millions
of proles for whom the Lottery was the principal
if not the only reason for remaining alive.
George Orwell's 1984 {1949}

Consumer culture is, in many ways, a culture of extended childhood. The child's fantasy is that life is lived without pain and that there are no consequences for fleeing from life's difficulties. The faith of consumer culture is that all pain, tensions, and discomfort can and should be eliminated by industrial products and services.

Jean Shinoda Bolen, MD, psychiatrist, Jungian analyst and clinical professor of psychiatry at UCSF, writes that illness and depression are soul-shaping encounters, and have been perceived for centuries that way. They help us respond to a wake-up call and offer us turning points to find meaning in our lives.

Already concerned about the movement toward biological psychiatry, eminent psychiatrist Morton Resier published an article in 1986 entitled, "Are Psychiatric Educators 'Losing The Mind?". In it he writes, "I talked with some of the [psychiatric] residents and found that their approach and mind set in the interviews [were] astoundingly unpsychological. Once they had done the DSM-IV 'inventory' and had identified target symptoms for psychopharmacology, the diagnostic workup and meaningful communication stopped. Worse than that, to my mind, so did the residents' curiosity about the patient as a person — even to the point where often there was no answer to such basic questions as why the patient came for treatment at this time and what seemed to be worrying him or her."

Nearly ten years later Steven Sharfstein, the president of the American Psychiatric Association, echoed Morton Resier's concerns when he told his fellow psychiatrists, "As we address these Big Pharma issues, we must examine the fact that as a profession, we have allowed the bio-psycho-social model to become the bio-bio-bio model."

Symptoms can be seen, but a lack of emotional, interpersonal, existential, or spiritual wholeness does not show up in any lab test or X-ray. What can be intuited and known often cannot be quantified — and, therefore, is not taken seriously in Western science. Healing the source of despair entails becoming whole, and this too cannot be scientifically measured.

Dr. Levine continues, "I observed how the course work of mental health professionals fractured the wholeness of their knowledge. Future psychiatrists narrowly focus on brain chemistry — the bio-bio-bio model. And in the course work of both psychiatrists and psychologists, no serious attention is given to cultural, economic, and political issues. Academia can be a place of narrow, specialized turfs. Instead of freely exploring the entire landscape, academicians are often quite timid about 'trespassing' onto another's domain. Among professors there are certainly rebels against this practice, and they are fond of joking, 'Academia is a place where you specialize more and more about less and less with this logical endpoint: knowing absolutely everything about absolutely nothing.'"

Bias In Medical Literature
In a January 16, 2008 article entitled "Study Says Patients, Doctors Get Distorted View of Antidepressants", The Wall Street Journal's David Armstrong reports that researchers say unpublished reports on leading antidepressant drugs have found many drugs have little or no effect on patients. As a result, researches asserted in the New England Journal of Medicine, that doctors and patients are getting a distorted view of the effectiveness of blockbuster antidepressants like Wyeth's Effexor, and Zoloft by Pfizer.

Pharmaceutical companies are under no obligation to publish the studies they sponsor and submit to the FDA, nor are the researchers they hire to do the work. The whistle-blowing researchers publishing in the New England Journal of Medicine were able to identify unpublished studies by obtaining and comparing documents filed by the companies with the FDA against databases of medical publications.
Since the overwhelming amount of published data on the drugs show they are effective, doctors unaware of the unpublished data are making inappropriate prescribing decisions that are not in the best interest of their patients, according to researchers led by Erick Turner, a psychiatrist at Oregon Health and Science University. Sales of antidepressants total about $21 billion a year, according to IMS Health. Pfizer and Wyeth declined to comment on the study results. Both companies said they had committed to disclose all study results, although not necessarily in medical journals.

An FDA spokesperson said, "There is no effort on the part of the FDA to withhold or to not post drug review documents." A total of 74 studies involving a dozen anti-depressants and 12,564 patients were registered with the FDA from 1987 through 2004. The FDA deemed 38 of the studies to be positive. All but one of those studies was published, the researchers said. The other 36 were found to have negative or questionable results by the FDA. Most of those studies — 22 out of 36 — were not published. Of the 14 that were published, the researchers said at least 11 of those studies mischaracterized the results and presented a negative study as positive.

"One way of turning the study results upside down is to ignore a negative finding for the primary outcome being measured and highlight a positive secondary outcome," says Dr. Turner. "In nine of the negative studies that were published, the authors simply omitted any mention of the primary outcome. Dr. Turner, who once worked at the FDA reviewing data on psychotropic drugs, said the idea for the study was triggered in part by colleagues who questioned the need for further clinical drug trials looking at the effectiveness of antidepressants.

"There is a view that these drugs are effective all the time," he said. "I would say they only work 40% to 50% of the time, and they would say, 'What are you talking about? I have never seen a negative study.'" Dr. Turner, from his time reviewing studies at the FDA, said he knew there were negative studies that hadn't been published.

The researchers found that failing to publish negative findings inflated the reported effectiveness of all of the anti-depressant drugs. The researchers used a measurement called effect size. The larger the effect size, the greater the impact of a treatment.

The effect size of the antidepressant Zoloft was increased 64% by the failure to publish negative or questionable data on the drug, the researchers found. Looking at it another way, the researchers found the drug was closer to having a "small" effect for people taking it when all of the data is considered. When primarily positive results are all that is published, the drug was shown to have an increased effect closer to "medium."

Children and Psychotropic Medication Use

"Methylphenidate (generic for Ritalin) is a Schedule II
central nervous system stimulant and shares many of
the pharmacological effects of amphetamines,
methamphetamine, and cocaine."
— U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration

Overcrowded public education routinely struggles with quiet and orderly classroom behavior, and children with behavioral disturbances are increasingly labeled with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) if they create 'classroom-management' problems for their teachers (symptoms of ADHD include a failure to keep quiet and a failure to sit still). What was simply referred to as 'acting up' or as 'having ants in his pants' just a few years ago, has now been classified as an official disorder and disease, requiring medication.

Ritalin and Ritalin-like drugs can result in a more subdued class, as many medicated children will talk less to others. A 1998 study showed that the majority of medicated children also become less interested in others and the U.S. Surgeon General in 1999 reported that, long term, ADHD medications do not benefit social skills and peer relationships.

Where teachers were previously trained and required to arrange students in the classroom by learning style and provide different types of materials and interaction for each group, in today's budget-cut environment with less and less resources available, educators are turning toward a pharmaceutical approach to sameness and rapid turnover.

The fact that very little testing of psychotropic medication has been done on children makes this trend even more alarming. President Clinton, when in office, offered to extend patent protection for mood medications to the large pharmaceutical companies if they began testing these products on children. While there was an initial flurry to begin such testing and studies, today most advanced work is languishing due to the fact that initial results found that pharmaceuticals do no more than a placebo for actual mood alteration in children.

{In April 2001, the PBS award-winning documentary program, Frontline, broadcast the first story on children and amphetamine and anti-depressant use, entitled, Medicating Kids: A report on parents, educators and doctors trying to make sense of a mysterious and controversial medical diagnosis: ADHD. In January 2008, Frontline, broadcast the second story, The Medicated Child: Six Million American children are taking psychiatric drugs, but most have never been tested on children. Is this good medicine — or an uncontrolled experiment? If you have not already seen these programs, be certain to watch these excellent and well-researched and documented presentations by clicking through on the cited references at the end of this article.}

Additionally, in a recent New England Journal of Medicine article, the chief of Mental Health Services at Harvard University said, "Increasing numbers of students and sometimes their families, request medication to provide an 'edge', even if the students have no clinically significant impairment of functioning. They think of such drugs as safe 'brain steroids' that help to maximize performance with minimal risk, and they know the symptoms to describe in order to persuade a doctor to write a prescription."

Cognitive enhancement drugs are now estimated to be consumed by nearly 80% of college students nationwide — with only 20-25% actually possessing a valid prescription. "I don't know of one of my friends who isn't taking Ritalin or Adderall every single day, or at least a few times a week," says Christie, a top student at Stanford University. "Most of the kids who have the prescriptions don't have ADD or ADHD, they just tell their parents and their doctors they're having trouble concentrating and are feeling stressed out, and they get it [a prescription] on the spot."

For those families who have a child diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), they often watch a child struggle and fail in school or other social settings. It breaks their heart to see how their child is impulsive, easily distracted and has a very short attention span. The problems that arise in kindergarten, often grow unmanageable by middle school years. The child always seems to get in trouble. He falls behind in school, and grows painfully frustrated because no matter how hard he tries, he can’t seem to do better.

For these families, a diagnosis of ADHD from a caring pediatrician is the first sign of relief. Within a day or two of taking the first doses of Adderall XR or Ritalin LA, the difference in their child’s behavior can be stunning — providing parents with a renewed belief that their child has a chance to succeed. This child's brain, now flooded with dopamine, is like a new entity. Reading a book for ten minutes at a time or more, sitting through a dinner conversation at a restaurant for the first time without a tantrum, and respectful play with siblings are just some of the newfound behaviors allowing for peace in the home.

Is there any wonder that from 1987 to 1996, the number of kids in the United States given prescriptions for psychiatric medications tripled? According to Scott Shannon, MD (Please Don't Label My Child), within a generation half of American children will be on some kind of psychiatric drug if this trend continues. But Dr. Shannon, a child psychiatrist and former president of the American Holistic Medical Association, also argues that behavioral and emotional problems are far too often treated as medical problems rather than what they really are — a response to various kinds of stress, which parents can learn to identify and eliminate from their children's lives.

However, for the families that opt for the ADHD drugs, if they can get through the first few days of side effects, which range from chewing sensations, tics, insomnia, stomach aches, decreased appetite, headaches or emotional liability, then they reach a homeodynamic state as a family. Junior takes his drugs in order to focus and be rewarded in school, and his parents continue to support and praise his normalcy.

If this process starts at seven years old, the drug-taking affirmation has set a precedent in the child’s life that will likely continue through adolescence and adulthood. The covert message to the child: you need drugs to behave properly. And yet, the positive effects of ADHD drugs are so overwhelming that psychologists, pediatricians, school educators, juvenile court administrators, parents and counselors are now seen as remiss in their duties as supervising adults, if prescriptions are not written when two or more qualifying symptoms of ADHD are noted.

The harmful effects of long-term ADHD drug use are just coming into recognition. Adderall abuse on college campuses can not be denied. The Adderral crash is described as "hitting a brick wall", "utterly exhausting", "worse than coming down from multiple shots of espresso". Eating disorders are rampant on Adderrall. "I find the use of Adderall for weight loss particularly troubling," says June Stevens, chair of the department of nutrition at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Ritalin and Adderall are the two most popularly bartered items on campuses nationwide. There are university blogs, forums and discussions within health programs on how to stem the tide of illegal and abusive use of the drug. However, as long as academic pressure remains overwhelming, the demands are prevalent for a substance that can bring heightened concentration and fuel long hours of study.

Freeing our children and society from the escalating use of psychiatric medications will be one of the most difficult public health campaigns to date because it requires nothing short of a sea change in parenting, medical intervention, and over-drugging of today's children. Health researcher Doris Rapp (Is This is Your Child?) notes that the antisocial and substance-related disorders that can follow early ADHD drug use/abuse can be reduced if overreliance on amphetamines by the medical community is avoided, and comprehensive approaches such as dietary management (eliminating sugar, additives, refined starches) are introduced. Families can learn to zero in on the stressors that could be at the root of their child's problem, exploring issues such as nutrition, excessive video game play, too much screen time, poor sleeping habits, environmental toxins, and even recognizing when a school program may be a poor fit for the child's learning style. This holistic orientation toward children's mental health requires a new ecology of modern psychiatry. Children deserve nothing less.

Just Say 'Know'
The history, use and trends of psychotropic medications in America present a daunting reality and beg answers to the questions, "How did we get to this point of required acceleration and mood alteration through synthetic drug usage?" and, perhaps more importantly, "How do we reverse this trend?"

Root causes of ADD, ADHD, depression and mood disorders cover a wide range of potential flashpoints. Everything in today's world that plagues psycho-emotional states of young adults, from global climate change and career opportunities, to the increasing numbers of reports of contaminated food sources and drinking water supplies containing untold numbers of pharmaceutical residues may be to blame.

Likewise, our continued reliance upon and integration of new technologies may clearly be an additional culprit. A growing chorus of pre-school and grade-school teachers are making three, inter-related observations. Sitting still in class, successfully negotiating space, interacting with peers and taking an active role in the learning process is extremely difficult when a child has received constant exposure to always-affirming, never-in-conflict gaming devices that require ever-increasing levels of button-pushing skills in a massively-stimulating audio-visual environment within the home and automobile. Chalkboards, books, overhead projectors and teacher-student interactivity simply cannot compete with that learned behavior and over-stimulation common in these hi-tech environments. Children who have been allowed to concentrate their energies on these solitary activities are having problems adjusting to a socially-dependent, low-tech environment within the classroom.

Additionally, European safety studies indicating that one 20-second cellphone call can disrupt and interfere with a child's ability to learn for up to two hours, to the recent announcement by Germany's government that people should avoid using Wi-Fi wherever possible because of the risks it may pose to health and brain function, certainly represent 'cause for pause'. And with the ever-increasing popularity of text messaging among young people, researchers are now advising caution from both a cognitive impairment standpoint as well as potential reproductive damage as a result of laptop usage.

In the final analysis, does it simply become a question of medication or ethics, or is there a connection between behavior and mood 'disorders' and a piece of the puzzle that we've been missing?

The Sixth Intimacy
For a longer period of time than there have been definitions for psychiatric 'disorders', there has been a humanistic behavioral model and definition of what defines a human being, namely, the ability to be consciously aware of intimacy.

Our conscious awareness of intimacy allows us to interact with one another and with Self in meaningful and experiential ways which define our very existence. These five forms of intimacy — intellectual, spiritual, emotional, physical and sexual — can be used to encapsulate each and every social association we have with others. With some individuals, we share one or two forms of intimate contact, and it has often been said that great friends or long-term couples share at least three of the five forms of intimacy.

As we firmly enter the 21st century and we move forward toward what many foresee as the 'conscious evolution of man', we are beginning to realize that many of our old models and measurement standards are no longer holding up or ringing true as our understanding of the universe and our place it in expands and evolves.

The more we observe and understand that we are intimately connected and inter-dependent upon our environment, and that our environment is intimately connected and inter-dependent upon us, the clearer it is becoming that our previous model of what defines a human being must be expanded to include these new understandings.

Instead of our environment being exclusive of our intimate involvement with life itself, what if, instead, our environment is actually the central hub of our experience — inter-connecting and influencing every aspect of human behavior and life itself?

What if we were to look at the behavior and mood 'disorders' we are experiencing from this new perspective? How would 'environment' influence the way we are answering questions of assessment and treatment, and more importantly, prevention and cure?

Holistic Approaches to Kickstart Your Brain
By Meg Jordan, PhD, RN

For millions of North Americans and countless others around the world, the hunt is on for natural remedies to manage and resolve common physical complaints such as heartburn or headaches.

But nagging mental problems such as trouble concentrating or not being able to shake off a case of the blues can also benefit greatly from natural remedies. We don’t always hear about these holistic solutions, however, because conventional health care providers aren’t as well versed in them.

According to Marcia Angell, MD, former editor in chief of the New England Journal of Medicine, drug companies spend more than twice as much on marketing and administration as they do on research and development. So don’t be surprised if your doctors, who are as vulnerable to $3 billion worth of drug marketing as anybody, tend to reach for the prescription pad when you complain of feeling down or not being able to focus. From 1997 to 2001, the number of retail prescriptions increased from 2.4 billion to 3.1 billion, much of it the result of direct-to-consumer advertising.

Here is a checklist I recommend for people who want to tell their doctors they’d rather try a natural route first.

Deep Breathing Exercises
Take a yoga class that emphasizes belly breathing, or listen to one of the many effective CD/DVDs available that teach diaphragmatic breathing. This is a simple yet profound method that can soothe an over-stimulated sympathetic nervous system, allowing for greater relaxation and increased alertness.

Fix Your “Leaky” Gut
Food sensitivities can play with your mind. Clinical nutritionist Elizabeth Lipski, PhD, CNN, (Digestive Wellness) points out that poor quality diet, additives, and ingestion of heavy metals such as mercury, sort of punch holes in your gut. They create an intestinal lining that is more permeable, allowing the passage of larger molecules. As longer chains of proteins or amino acids pass through the gut wall into the circulation, they are viewed as invaders (food antigens) by regulatory T-type immune cells, triggering an allergic-like response with more inflammation and deterioration of the intestinal wall. In addition to the digestive upset, people who develop sensitivities to certain foods such as wheat, peanuts or milk, can also suffer from behavioral problems. Eventually, sensitivity gives way to chronic inflammatory states and neurodegeneration can occur, or the integrity of brain cells, nerve system cells and neural networks can begin to break down.

In The Gluten Connection, nutritionist Shari Leiberman, PhD, CCN, reported how people with celiac disease, an extreme form of gluten sensitivity, were more prone to develop neurologic disorders (51.4 percent) compared with control subjects (19.9 percent). (2,3) A study reported in Pediatrics found that people with celiac disease displayed learning disorders and ADHD.(3)

Ask your doctor to test you for gluten sensitivity, and if you are sensitive, eliminate gluten from your diet. Gluten is the protein found in wheat, barley, rye, but not usually in wild grains such as aramanth and quinoa.

Cut back on foods that are high in refined starches, and sugars. Overconsumption of the refined starches — white pasta, white bread, white rice — has set the stage for some of the highest rates of prediabetes, obesity and metabolic syndrome in the United States.

Shore Up on Healthy Fats
Your body needs essential fatty acids (DHA, EPA) to maintain more than a trillion functions, but your mind and nervous system are most thankful for these building blocks of neural cells. The right balance of omega-3 to omega-6 fatty acids in our ancestors’ diets was approximately 1:1 or 2:1, but in modern diets, we are consuming more than 30 times the amount of omega-6’s to omega-3s. (3) This leads to an overabundance of arachidonic acid (from omega-6) which can lead to chronic inflammation, the foundational culprit in heart disease, certain cancers, stroke, high blood pressure and asthma.

Omega-6s are in vegetable oils such as safflower, sunflower, sesame and corn. Omega-3 fats are found in cold water fish oil, flaxseed, and some nuts. Supplementation with a high quality EPA, DHA content is recommended.

Nutritional Support
Adaptogens such as ashwagandha, rhodiola, and red reishi help balance the body’s stress hormones, modulating them for more harmonious functioning. Chlorella and other natural chelating and detoxifying agents can help remove the build-up of toxic metals that cause free radical damage and decrease mental alertness. Vitamin B complex is a known support for brain and nervous system function.

Other brain nutrients include:
Amino Acids Phosphatidylserine
Bacopa monniera Choline
Folic Acid Vitamin C
Ginkgo biloba Vitamin B12
Chinese Club moss Essential fatty acids

Several new products are on the market that can give professionals and consumers a natural alternative. One of my favorites is PERSPECTIVE from Wellcorps International ( Providing unique botanical ingredients such as Chinese club moss, along with some very unique and patented extracts found only in this scientifically-formulated combination, PERSPECTIVE has provided college students in field trials a healthier method of staying alert, focused, gaining a mental edge, and improving productivity without the harmful side effects of psychotropic drugs.

Put Life in Balance
Are your actions consistent with your values? Do you make time for nurturing yourself and those you care about? Healing your mind and lifting your spirits requires a potent antidote for social isolation. You need daily connection with your confidantes, friends, spouses, lovers, favorite characters or simply one good animal companion, if that’s all you’ve got at the present. Over 300 studies have been cited in the positive psychology field, a new branch of social science that deals with optimism, social intelligence, mental hardiness and positive relations.

Positive psychology literature is replete with conclusions that treating each other with genuine care and affection is required to stave off serious depression, illness and premature death.

One good way of assessing your life balance is through a wellness wheel. Bill Hettler, MD, co-founder of the National Wellness Institute, put forth the Six Dimensional Model of Wellness, a tool to help people prioritize which areas of their lives need development or change. The areas include physical, intellectual, spiritual, social, occupational, and emotional. Recently, Dr. Hettler noted that environmental should be a new facet, sitting at the center of the wheel. "Without environmental health, we really don’t have any personal health," he explained. Another wellness wheel developed by John Travis, MD, MPH, is available online at

Limit Cell Phone Usage
If you’re unconvinced that chronic cell phone transmission next to the sensitive tissues of the brain is anything but healthy, then read the latest research on long-term cancer risk and serious dangers to children under seven in the Wellcorps Coffee Talk News To Use article, "WIFI and Mobile Phone Use."

Exercise Your Mind
Multiple patent holder Ray Kurzweil (Fantastic Voyage) says, "The most important thing I do to keep my brain healthy is to use it. We know from brain-scanning studies that our thoughts literally create our brains, so challenging ourselves intellectually and artistically is a vital anti-aging activity." Whether it is cross-word puzzles or learning a new language, you can stretch your neural network in two ways. University of California, San Diego researchers discovered that brain cells continue to undergo neurogenesis (the making of new cells) and neuroplasticity (flexible rerouting) throughout the length of life. Essentially, we can always teach "old dogs new tricks," and should try everyday.

Get Adequate Sleep
Nothing can dull the mind more than a lack of sufficient sleep. At least six to eight hours is vital for most people to maintain healthy outlooks. Develop good sleep hygiene habits such as adopting some comforting bedtime rituals, avoiding rigorous exercise late in the evening, refraining from utilizing the computer at least two hours before bedtime, and removing the TV from the bedroom.

Healthful Nutrition
Your diet should consist of wholesome, unprocessed foods. Drink a glass of clean, filtered water every two hours while waking. Eat plenty of fiber to keep any contaminants or toxins from residing in your body. Consume lean proteins such as fish or organic poultry, along with fresh, seasonal, organic fruits and vegetables.

Absolutely, without compromise, starting today, decrease your sugar intake. Too much sugar triggers abnormally high insulin levels, to the point of developing resistance within the body’s cells, or having inadequate output of insulin. In either case, the next step in a series of unfortunate biochemical mishaps is chronic inflammation which is linked with neurodegenerative changes. It is no coincidence that the presence of vending machines in schools coincided with the burgeoning rates of ADHD.

Avoid Additives
In the largest study of the effects of additives on children’s behavior, almost 300 British three- and eight-year olds were monitored after the ingestion of commonly-ingested additives, (preservative sodium benzoate and others). After consuming the products, children were boisterous and lost concentration. They were engaged in impulsive behavior and couldn’t focus well. Even children with no history of hyperactivity had distinct behavioral changes. The study has influenced the regulation of food additives in the UK, but has yet to make an impact on FDA regulations.

But you can make a difference in the diet of your family right now. An excellent place to start is with the famous Fiengold Program diet. ( Stage one of this program eliminates:
∙ Artificial (synthetic) coloring
∙ Artificial (synthetic) flavoring
∙ Artificial (synthetic) preservatives BHA, BHT, TBHQ.
∙ Aspartame (Nutrasweet®, an artificial sweetener)

Having assisted thousands of successful turnarounds through dietary change, Joel Fuhrman, MD, lays down the basic anti-ADHD nutritional plan in his book Disease-Proof Your Child: Feeding Kids Right. At the core of his clinical experience is the removal of additives from the diet. These chemicals found in packaged and processed foods, easily identified on nutrition labels, have been linked with behavioral changes such as restlessness and agitation. He describes the essential elements of his dietary approach as:

∙ A high-nutrient, vegetable-nut-fruit-based diet.
∙ One tablespoon of ground flax seeds daily, easily added to oatmeal, shakes, and desserts.
∙ At least one ounce of raw walnuts daily, with the addition of other raw nuts.
∙ DHA supplement of 100-600 mg daily.
∙ No processed foods, no dairy fat, no trans fat.
∙ Little or no oils; essential fats are supplied from raw nuts and seeds and DHA supplementation.
∙ As mentioned above, some children also must avoid gluten (from wheat products) and/or casein (from dairy products), as they appear to be bothered by these frequently difficult-to-handle dietary proteins.

Get Off The Night Shift
Circadian rhythm researchers found that night shift workers were more susceptible to serotonin deficit, and had more bouts of depression. Human physiology evolved in synch with cycles of light and dark. Our entire biochemistry functions optimally if we sleep in complete darkness and awaken to sunlight. Another study found that exposure to bright morning light can help lift depression.

Behavior Modification Programs
One of the major advocates for addressing the social, emotional and educational influences in a child’s life is educator and author Thomas Armstrong, PhD, author of The Myth of the ADD Child: 50 Ways to Improve Your Child’s Behavior and Attention Span Without Drugs, Labels or Coercion. Dr. Armstrong advises parents and professionals on activities that make the most of the vitality and creativity that are hallmarks of ADD/ADHD-labeled children.

Avoid Tobacco
If you pollute your body with noxious gases and carbon monoxide, clogging your arteries, and damaging your airways with tar and nicotine, you can’t expect your brain to perform optimally. Don’t smoke and quit if you do smoke.

Lose Excess Body Weight
Some research linked excessive body fat with impaired circulation and lowered mental alertness for patients. The journal Neurology reported that people with excess belly fat in their forties are almost 90% more likely to develop dementia later in life. Take a waist-to-hip ratio measurement, and compare your own to these standards. Measure your waist and hips in inches. Divide the waist measurement by the hip measurement. Anything 1.0 or higher is at risk. For men, the ratio should be .9 or less. For women, .8 or less. The good news is that belly fat is the easiest to lose if you restrict calories and exercise more.

Manage Your Stress Loads
Confusion, poor concentration, lack of focus and memory impairment can all result from inordinate amounts of stress on a daily basis. We used to think that major life events took the highest stress toll, but new evidence points to the daily barrage of unresolved, nagging problems — the kind that dog you from day to day. Practice meditation, visualization, guided imagery or deep breathwork and learn to put the “to do” list aside for at least 20 minutes once or twice a day.

Massage and Bodywork
Promoting circulation to the brain is effective in increasing focus and clarity. Experiment with cranio-sacral massage, aromatherapy massage, hydrotherapy or reflexology. Each of these holistic therapies can also help assist the body in detoxification besides clearing away the mental and emotional blocks to contentment.

Find Meaning and Purpose
Neurological and behavioral problems in children are absolutely on the rise. Experts now view a continuum — from mild attention deficit through an autistic spectrum disorder to severe autism — as part of a profound sensitivity to the mysterious bombardment of modern life. Lessons abound for people coping with any kind of behavioral or neurological disorder. For all we know, the mind with ADHD may be simply an evolutionary extension, an early-stage coping mechanism for a multilayered, multitasking, hyper-text world. Find the gifts that reside within, and uncover new meaning and purpose for yourself.


1. Lipski, Elizabeth. Digestive Wellness: New York: McGraw-Hill. 2004.
2. Lieberman, Shari. The Gluten Connection. Emmaus, PA: Rodale. 2007.
3. N. Zelnik, et al., “Range of Neurologic Disorders in Patients with Celiac Disease,” Pediatrics 113(2004):1672-6.

Wellcorps International would like to thank the many fine healthcare professionals and leading psychologists and psychiatrists who contributed to the research and preparation of this research article. Additionally, we would like to extend our most gracious thanks to the authors of the published works from which we have cited valuable passages and datasets within this piece. We have listed these works in the following bibliographies and have provided an additional list of further reading and research materials and encourage you to investigate further these very important issues.

Recommended Further Research


Vintage Drug Ads

Nicolas Rasmussen, "Making the First Anti-Depressant: Amphetamine in American Medicine — 1929–1950," Journal of the History of Medicine and Allied Sciences (February 2006): 288-323.

Edward C. Reifenstein, Jr. and Eugene Davidoff, "The Psychological Effects of Benzedrine Sulfate," The American Journal of Psychology, Vol. 52, No. 1. (January 1939), pp. 56-64.

Ilina Singh, "Bad Boys, Good Mothers, and the “Miracle” of Ritalin," Science in Context (September 2002): 15(4), 577–603.

Irving Kirsch, Thomas J. Moore, Alan Scoboria and Sarah S. Nicholls, "The Emperor's New Drugs: An Analysis of Antidepressant Medication Data Submitted
to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration," Prevention & Treatment, (July 15, 2002): Volume 5, Article 23.

Bruce E. Levine, Ph.D., "Mass Society and Mass Depression," The Ecologist (August 2007): 48-51.

Barbara Sahakian and Sharon Morein-Zamir, "Professor's Little Helper", Nature 450 (December 20-27, 2007): 1157-1159.

Richard Kadison, "Getting an Edge — Use of Stimulants and Antidepressants in College," New England Journal of Medicine, Vol. 353, No. 11, September 15, 2005, 1089-91.

Sean Esteban McCabe, John R. Knight, Christian J. Teter, and Henry Wechsler, "Non-Medical Use Of Prescription Stimulants Among US College Students: Prevalence And Correlates From A National Survey," Addiction, 99, 96–106.

Donald E. Greydanus, MD, "Stimulant Misuse: Strategies to Manage A Growing Problem," Professor Pediatrics and Human Development, Michigan State University College of Human Medicine, Kalamazoo Center for Medical Studies,
Sindecuse Health Center, Western Michigan University.

Morton F. Reiser, MD, "Are Psychiatric Educators Losing The Mind?," American Journal of Psychiatry 145:2 (February 1988): 148-153.

Psychiatric Hoax: The Subversion Of Medicine — Report and Recommendations on Psychiatry's Destructive Impact On Healthcare; Citizens Commission on Human Rights.

Karen L. Harding, PhD, Richard D. Judah, PhD,and Charles E. Gant, MD, PhD,
"Outcome-Based Comparison of Ritalin® versus Food-Supplement Treated
Children with AD/HD," Alternative Medicine Review, (January 2003): 319-330.

Children, Adolescents and Psychotropic Medications; Arizona Health Futures, St. Lukes' Health Initiatives, August 2006.

Clint Carter, Agnes Fogo, Craig Anne Heflinger, Cathy Reisenberg, "2006 Behavioral Health and Vanderbilt Students: Need and Resources," Vanderbuilt University, Faculty Senate Student Life Committee Mental Health Subcommittee, August 17, 2006.

Glen O. Gabbard, M.D., "Mind, Brain, and Personality Disorders," American Journal of Psychiatry (April 2005): 648-655.

Common Psychiatric Drugs And Their Effects; Citizens Commission On Human Rights.

Health Education and Health Promotion: Primary Prevention and Student Health; The Chickering Group, November 2005.

STAR*D Depression Study Offers “Sobering” Third-Round Results; American Psychiatric Association, July 01, 2006.

The STAR*D Study: Treating Depression In The Real World; Cleveland Clinic Journal Of Medicine, Volume 75, No. 1, January 2008.

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder; National Institute of Mental Health; February 24, 2004.

George Lynn, M.A., M.P.A., L.M.H.C., "Identifying And Helping The Child With AD/HD Plus Bipolar Disorder At Home And At School," Positive Behavior Support Symposium, Colorado Department of Education, July 23, 2007.

Pharming On College Campuses, The Peer Education (December 2006/January 2007): 14-15.

International Warnings on Psychiatric and Other Drugs Causing Hostility, Aggression, Homicidal and Suicidal Behavior/Ideation

School Shooters Under Influence Of Psychiatric Drugs

Articles and Books:

Armstrong, Thomas; The Myth of the A.D.D Child: 50 Ways to Improve Your Child's Behavior and Attention Span Without Drugs, Labels, or Coercion; Plume, New York, NY; 1997.

Barber, Charles; Comfortably Numb — How Psychiatry Is Medicating A Nation; Pantheon Books, New York, NY; 2008.

Baughman, Fred A., Jr., MD; The ADHD Fraud: How Psychiatry Makes "Patients" of Normal Children; Trafford Publishing (UK) Limited, Oxford, United Kingdom; 2006.

Bolen, Jean Shinoda, MD; Close to the Bone: Life-Threatening Illness as a Soul Journey; Conari Press, San Francisco, CA; 2007.

Fuhrman, Joel; Disease-Proof Your Child: Feeding Kids Right; St. Martins Griffin, New York, NY; 2006.

Healy, David; The Creation of Psychopharmacology; Harvard University Press, Cambridge, MA; 2004.

Joiner, Thomas E. and Coyne, James C., The Interactional Nature of Depression: Advances in Interpersonal Approaches; American Psychological Association; 1999.

Kahn, Jr., Peter H., The Human Relationship with Nature: Development and Culture; MIT Press; 2001.

Levine, Bruce E., Ph.D., Surviving America's Depression Epidemic — How to Find Morale, Energy, and Community in a World Gone Crazy; Chelsea Green Publishing Company, White River Junction, VT; 2007.

On-Line Video Presentations, Articles and Web Sites:

PBS Frontline, "Medicating Kids: A report on parents, educators and doctors trying to make sense of a mysterious and controversial medical diagnosis: ADHD," 10 April 2001.

PBS Frontline, "The Medicated Child: Six million American children are taking psychiatric drugs, but most have never been tested on children. Is this good medicine — or an uncontrolled experiment?," 08 January 2008.

Harvard On Speed

The Adderall Edge — The Who, What and Why of Stimulant Abuse Among College Students

Ricki Lewis, Ph.D., "Neuroenhancement: A Slippery Slope For Neurologists," Applied Neurology On-Line.

Citizens Commission On Human Rights — Investigating and Exposing Psychiatric Human Rights Abuse

SSRIs, Drug Withdrawal and Abuse: Problem or Treatment?

STAR*D Sequenced Treatment Alternatives to Relieve Depression

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