Encouraged by its Managing Director Mark Scott, the ABC has promoted Professors Patrick McGorry and Ian Hickie as independent mental health experts and unquestioningly backed their plans for reforming mental health. However both have significant ties to the pharmaceutical industry and there has been prominent international criticism of their methods – and in Hickie’s case his integrity – which has been substantially ignored by the ABC.
The history of ADHD policy and regulation nationally from 1992 to 2012, in WA from 1993 to 2011 and in NSW from 2007 to 2011 is that regulatory capture occurred in the majority of policy development and regulatory processes. These ‘captured’ processes have been associated with subsequent ADHD child pharmaceuticalization. Conversely the only ADHD-critic dominated process identified occurred in WA in 2002 and was associated with subsequent ADHD child de-pharmaceuticalization. The findings of this thesis are consistent with Abraham’s assertion that regulatory capture is a significant driver of pharmaceuticalization.
I don’t intend to enter the contentious ‘smacking debate’… I am however struck by the contrast between the RACP’s anti-smacking stance and its promotion of the use of amphetamines to alter the behaviour of children, even pre-schoolers.
DSM-5, the newest edition of the American Psychiatric Association’s ‘Bible of Psychiatry’ will be officially released in May 2013 and is already available for presale. However, this edition of the DSM may not prove as profitable for the American Psychiatric Association (APA) as there is a growing international chorus of voices, many from within mainstream psychiatry, calling for a boycott of the DSM5.
This is the saddest moment in my 45 year career of studying, practicing, and teaching psychiatry. The Board of Trustees of the American Psychiatric Association (APA) has given its final approval to a deeply flawed DSM 5 containing many changes that seem clearly unsafe and scientifically unsound. My best advice to clinicians, to the press, and to the general public – be skeptical and don’t follow DSM 5 blindly down a road likely to lead to massive over-diagnosis and harmful over-medication. Just ignore the ten changes that make no sense.
WA Stimulants Regulatory Scheme 2011 Annual Report contains both good and bad news. The good news is that the 2011 report confirms there has been a massive decline in per-capita prescribing rates for children since the Stimulant Regulatory Scheme was introduced in mid-2003. However, the bad news is that there was a spike in the number of new cases diagnosed in 2011.
Stephen Colbert’s ‘Meducation’ plan for America’s third rate public schools – Don’t laugh too hard it is already happening (apologies for video quality – high quality video no longer available)
On October 10 2012 American comedian Stephen Colbert coined the term “meducation” to describe the growing practice of drugging with ADHD amphetamines, American children with mediocre school grades, who do not have a diagnosis of ADHD.
The off colour Australian colloquialism ‘you can’t polish a turd but you can cover it in glitter’ is a fitting analogy for the danger of legitimising ADHD as a diagnosable mental illness by developing treatment guidelines. However, treatment guidelines are being developed and the more conservative the treatment guidelines, the fewer children risk damage with the long-term administration of amphetamines.
“Patrick McGorry’s Orygen Youth Health, CAARMS training video[1. Orygen Youth Health Centre, 2009, “Comprehensive Assessment of At Risk Mental State (CAARMS) Training DVD”, The PACE Clinic, Department of Psychiatry, University of Melbourne. see http://www.eppic.org.au/risk-mental-state accessed 3 September 2012] on how to diagnose ‘Attenuated Psychosis’ demonstrates how not to carry out a psychiatric interview and interact with young people.”