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Monday, September 10, 2012

The ADD Myth - Martha Burge



Released September 2012

Martha Burge
Conari Press

Book Review by Tracy Farnsworth

The first line of The ADD Myth caught my attention. In this line, the author, a mother of two children diagnosed with ADHD and a woman who holds a BA in psychology, states: "I know I have very few standing beside me in my stance that there is no such thing as ADHD." That's all it took to win me over. I have been saying for years that ADHD is a cop-out of sorts. I don't disagree that there are children out there who do act differently than other children, but why is that a bad thing? If we all walked around acting and behaving as others our age, the world would become a boring place.

In The ADD Myth, Martha Burge examines who our culture's solution to these children who behave differently is to keep them drugged. It's wrong, and I'm thrilled to see the author take this very personal, honest approach. Her arguments are sound, and I think many readers may be shocked to discover that homosexuality was once considered a psychiatric disorder. I knew it, but only because of my teens who learned it in school.

Through the book, the author discusses methods other than medications, such as meditation. She talks about the "symptoms" of an ADHD child, many of which even I answered "yes" to. She talks about understanding the moods and behaviors. Everything in this book is written honestly, and in a casual manner that draws you in.

I recommend any parent first look at this book before putting their children on ADHD medications. I know four children who were "diagnosed" with ADHD. Years ago, I wrote an article for a site about the usage of fish oil in ADHD children. While reading many articles and reports about this possible connection, I realized that each of the four children I knew hated seafood with a passion. When I suggested the link to their parents, only one bothered to talk to their doctor, who immediately blew it off as being a wives' tale. She gave her son flavored cod liver oil pills anyway and did see an improvement. She also started to look into his diet and realized that he ate a lot of sugar between his daycare and his school. Altering his diet made a huge difference.

I do agree with the author that ADHD needs a closer look before you go giving a child or adult medications. Another child I know is in a home where the parents, particularly the mother, explodes if he's not behaving as she expects. Living in fear of being screamed at, I can see that causing tremendous emotional issues.

Please read The ADD Myth and take the information to heart. Doctors are not always right. I think malpractice suits over the years have proven that. If you want a more personal case, I spent two years on heavy-duty heart medications for anxiety attacks that a former doctor prescribed because they couldn't find anything else wrong with me, so it must be my heart. Only after I pushed my doctor and health insurance company into sending me to a cardiologist was it determined that I was having panic attacks. It took two years of fighting to get to that point and then six months to wean off the heart medications. Doctors can make mistakes, so always ask questions.

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