Shakespeare, Health Care, Doctors and ADHD

And thou, too careless patient as thou art, Commit'st thy anointed body to the cure Of those physicians that first wounded thee shakespeare richard II“And thou, too careless patient as thou art,
Commit’st thy anointed body to the cure
Of those physicians that first wounded thee”

(King Richard II, act 2, sc. 1)

Call it suspension of disbelief, or rather suspension of belief. But disbelief is called for when, on sundry TV snippets, dedicated to health, we listen to statements whereby doctors are “concerned” about this or that health-issue, e.g. diabetes, cancer, obesity and the like.

The concern is obviously untrue. If there were no illnesses, the massive medical-pharmaceutical-insurance establishment would be deprived of the enormous related profits. Who would then ingest those costly medicines and/or buy the plethora of offered gadgets? Besides, has anyone ever paid attention to the comic litany of “side-effects” associated with the endless list of “new” medicines advertised and promoted to the helpless viewer? From diarrhea to death (sic)?

Most health advice, supported by so-called researches, is contradictory. Examples would fill a book. Who, for example, cannot remember the researches concluding that coffee is bad for us, followed by other researches concluding the exact opposite?

One good advice we never hear from the news channel is to become vegetarians. No need for academic credentials for stating what is statistically obvious – that a vegetarian diet has historically proven more conducive to general health. Or, at least, it has proven the best insurance against the inevitable weaknesses that trigger our illnesses. Bombarded, as we are, by medical propaganda, it is easy (or maybe comfortable, for some), to forget that “All that lives must die, passing through nature to eternity”

Of course. vegetarianism is censored from television because it would hurt the interest of the fast-food and meat industry. In the same line of thought, the TV never shows how animals are killed – if they did, meat consumption would dramatically drop.

The same principle explains why the Pentagon forbids the showing of coffins being unloaded from planes – planes arriving from countries which received the US blessing of “freedom and democracy” via the medium of bombs and drones. It is feared that the viewing would somewhat abate the nationalistic cravings of some warmongers.

But to return to medicine, the case of ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder) shows the deceit of the industry. Perhaps not many know that the ADHD “disease” or “condition” was born in 1987. Was it brought-in by a virus, a microbe or some other pathogen? No, the disease was invented by the pharmaceutical industry. After all the president of one the pharmaceutical multinational is on record for stating that if there are no new illnesses, we must invent them – or so he said at a sales convention.

Does it mean that before 1987 all children were attentive and only moderately active (including ourselves)? Apparently not. In 1775, a German doctor Melchior Adam Weikard wrote in his book “Der Philosophische Arzt”,

“An inattentive person won’t remark anything but will be shallow everywhere. He studies his matters only superficially; his judgements are erroneous and he misconceives the worth of things because he does not spend enough time and patience to search a matter individually or by the piece with the adequate accuracy. Such people only hear half of everything; they memorize or inform only half of it or do it in a messy manner. According to a proverb they generally know a little bit of all and nothing of the whole….They are mostly reckless, often considering imprudent projects, but they are also most inconstant in execution. They treat everything in a light manner since they are not attentive enough to feel denigration or disadvantages.”

I do not know about you, but I will plainly admit that often I have studied “matters only superficially” and did “not spend enough time and patience to search a matter individually or by the piece with the adequate accuracy”. And even today I feel that I “generally know a little bit of all and nothing of the whole.” And as for “imprudent projects” I have a fairly long list.

And yet, today, these characteristics are enough to qualify a person as “affected” by ADHD and in need of pills, the expense for which will further increase the grotesque profits of the sickness industry.

The latest figures on attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) show a growing epidemic in the United States. According to the Centers for Disease Control, 15 percent of high school children are diagnosed with ADHD. The number of those on stimulant medication is at 3.5 million, up from 600,000 two decades ago. ADHD is now the second most common long-term diagnosis in children, narrowly trailing asthma.

These incredible figures reflect a medical reality or an over-medicated craze that has earned billions in profits for the pharmaceutical companies involved. Sales for ADHD drugs like Adderall and Concerta exceeded $9 billion in the United States last year, a more than 500 percent jump from a decade before. The radical spike in diagnoses has coincided with a 20-year marketing effort to promote stimulant prescriptions for children struggling in school, as well as for adults seeking to take control of their lives. The marketing effort has relied on studies and testimonials from doctors who have received massive speaking fees and funding grants from major pharmaceutical companies.

It turns out that some of the ADHD drugs have side effects (who could have guessed), and every now and then some young patients either commit suicide or go on rampages (often deadly). And that the same pills are sought after for their associated psychedelic effect.

So much for ADHD, so much for health.

Of course, this is no concern for the “health industry”. After all, their “more having is but a sauce to make them hunger more” (from Macbeth)

In the Play.  Gaunt reproaches nephew King Richard II for being too eager for flattery.

Shakespeare at Work. The doctors can be actual physicians or a metaphor.

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16 Responses to Shakespeare, Health Care, Doctors and ADHD

  1. Melanie says:

    A great piece, Jimmie. When reading the description of what might be ADHD, I did begin to worry that I might be having the symptoms until I read your reassuring lines. The American pharmaceutical industry’s business of inventing illnesses is in keeping with their business of inventing wars, so that the weapons industry might boom! Being vegetarian is certainly a healthier state though we are now beset with the problem of pesticides in veggies too. Monsanto and others are hell-bent on sending the world to doomsday, except that they don’t realise that they will be facing the consequences too!

  2. jimmie says:

    Melanie says (via Linked In)
    A great piece, Jimmie. When reading the description of what might be ADHD, I did begin to worry that I might be having the symptoms until I read your reassuring lines. The American pharmaceutical industry’s business of inventing illnesses is in keeping with their business of inventing wars, so that the weapons industry might boom! Being vegetarian is certainly a healthier state though we are now beset with the problem of pesticides in veggies too. Monsanto and others are hell-bent on sending the world to doomsday, except that they don’t realise that they will be facing the consequences too!

    • jimmie says:

      Thank you Melanie and, of course, the pesticides in the vegetables are an issue. Biut everything being equal, a vegetarian diet has historically proven to be healthier than otherwise. In the past, and notably in the Middle Ages, the wealthy were universally afflicted by gout, which is said to be an effect of meat-based diet. One interesting book, not specifically on the effects of meat consumption, but on principles of good nutrition and psycho-physical health was authored by Luigi Cornaro who lived from 1464 to 1566. The title is “The Art of Living Long”. He wrote it when he was 81years old and the contained advice may be considered to have been based on evidence. “The Heretic’s Feast” is a well written and documented history of vegetarianism, from its remote origins to today. I submit that it would be difficult not to become vegetarians after reading the book.

  3. jimmie says:

    Jeff says (via Linked in)
    don’t even know where to begin with this article — this is a far too simple brush off of a real, diagnosed condition that has been in the DSM manual since 1968, and has research roots that go back into the 1700’s, although modern research tracks to the 1930’s. Medication was first used in 1937 as a treatment, but detailed research into the benefits of stimulants came in the 1970’s. It is fashionable now to scoff at the ADHD epidemic, and easier to paint troubled kids as lazy, having bad parents, etc. But a substantial body of research has debunked this. Having a son who has benefited immensely from medication, I have seen this first hand. Please do more careful research before painting with such a broad brush. And saying it was just invented in 1987 is simply untrue

  4. jimmie says:

    Jimmie replies to Jeff
    Thank you for the comment and nothing of the sort was intended in the article. That the term ADHD was coined in 1987 is information verifiable on the web.
    I am genuinely pleased that a medication was helpful to your son. Your comment, however, points to an unsolved dilemma – whether chemical or psychological means are to be preferred when treating a psychological condition that can arise from all sorts of reasons. I certainly do not know and am far from being an expert. I only know that the US is the only country (along with New Zealand) where pharmaceutical companies advertise their products. And the examples of medicines believed miraculous and proved harmful when not deadly are not difficult to find.

  5. dama-de-pica says:

    Sorry, Jeff, it’s only half of the true in what you said – those immense benefits are arguable. But if you (not your son!) like it, be it. Still, even if you feel that your son benefited, surely you can’t recommend those drugs for every whacky and addled child. And that’s the question: confidence in superdrugs expand the habit of drugs, with or without consideration of the consequences, side-effects, by-blows, casualties. Could we always trust health industry?
    Jimmy put it right: if I am a chewing-gum seller, why on earth should I warn the little buyers that chewing gum habit could cause gastritis (with superwhite teeth)? In the end, there are doctors and drugs that cure the gastritis (and frail enamel problems), aren’t they? Why should anyone be deprived of so many flavors (and such gorgeous, expensive, jewel-like dentures)?
    The truth is we became an important (see profitable) lot of guinea-pigs for all sort of experiments, and, funny, with our total consent, willingly and hastily gave. It is more and more difficult to say when do we really need some improvement by drugs or a complete change of personal habits.

  6. jimmie says:

    Tony Brook says, from Linked-in
    As an adoptive parent and ex-teacher this is a topic that has always had a slightly fearful fascination for me. I taught backward children in England who went by the title, ‘educationally subnormal.’ Room for thought there. I can understand that in a world where the visual rules and information comes in five second bites it should not amaze that attention spans are so low. After much consideration I came to the conclusion that a good teacher’s role is not so much the three r’s, but the task of finding all ways to foster the vital force of self love and self valuing. There, that’s got that off my chest.


  7. jimmie says:

    Jimmie says,
    Very good Tony,… if I may. I wish more teachers had the same views and undertanding.

  8. jimmie says:

    Gary says, (form Linked-in)

    R. Gary Cousineau

    writer at RGaryC at hotmail

    Tony, not just ADHD, but also Autism and a whole slue of other similar diseases and mental disorders that skyrocketed along with the excessive use of alcohol and nicoteine durring and after WW2.
    It’s self evident that mental disorder have litteraly overwhelmed our country sumultaneous with the excessive use of alcohol and ciggerets and especially since the introduction of the drug culture.
    A lot of baby boomers felt hopeless dispair over the near nuclear holocaust that almost happened durring the Cuban missile crisis- and other close calls too.
    I believed stopping the insurgents and dominal theory was our last chance to stop the communists from taking over the world including me and my loved ones and I was stupid enough to volentier for Viet Nam.
    I came home to hundreds of protesters at the airport calling us baby killers.
    I was punished for helping lose that war by being forced to pay one third of what I got in taxes that were given to millions of women I didn’t know or love to make babies they couldn’t afford including many that were crazy, stupid, disfunctional, addicted to drugs alcohol and ciggeretts.
    Adding insult to injury that included millions that snuck into the country that also got paid for breeding many of the predators that got paid to exterminate our former Arab friends for defending their homes from invading Zionists bulldozers our taxes paid for, enabled, empowered to do so.
    As a baby boomer, the entire situation appeared so hopeless that a lot of otherwise good people began escaping their imminent doom how ever they could with drugs, alcohol, ciggerets, sex, food, etc., and that’s why the country is in the sorry shape it’s in today.

  9. jimmie says:

    Dawn Napier says (from Linked-in)
    Fiction Writer at Dawn Napier

    Autism and other mental disorders are not on the rise; that is a common misconception.
    Diagnoses are going up because the criteria for evaluation has changed. Fifty years ago autism was only diagnosed if a child was completely nonfunctional and unresponsive. Children were instead labeled “emotionally disturbed” or “retarded.” Now those children are recognized as having mild cases of autism.
    ADHD was once only diagnosed in children who had suffered brain injuries. Now the criteria for diagnosis has expanded to include cases that developed spontaneously.
    There is the same number of mentally ill children now that there has been for as long as people have recognized such things. The only thing that has changed is how they are labeled.
    And I’m very sorry about your experiences as a Viet Nam vet; that entire war was bullshit from start to finish, and it made ugly people do ugly things. But none of that has anything to do with the diagnostic criteria for children with neurological disorders.

  10. jimmie says:

    Tony Brooks says (from Linked in)
    Friend Gary, your personal distress, even despair comes blazing out of every line you write. I suspect you are at heart a good man and I wish I could find something to say to comfort you.

  11. jimmie says:

    Gary Cousineau says (from Linked in)
    Thanks but the only thing you could possibly say that would do both you and me any good would be to say specifically what I said that is untrue or wrong and why.
    Then I could either defend my point ot thank you from the bottom of my heart for straightening me out and be etournally grateful….. but you can’t every thing I said rings with undeniable logic. We’ve paid to breed our own executioners and are about to get what we paid for…..The manipulating Bwords that took over our country spent our Social Secutity money on exterminating our former Arab friends and paying to breed the predators that got paid to invade and murder 1.2 million former Arab frienes defending their homes from Zionists bulldozers.
    Our country is on the brink of bankruptcy and and when that happens all hell is going to break lose.
    I don’t care if it’s the communists I fought in Viet Nam, the Black Panthers, the KKK or the millions of predators we paid to breed that snuck into my country to do the jobs of my people and their children for half- that we compete with for all the things needed to survive.
    I’m going to support any body that can get our country back to the people that paid for and created it. Good Mexicans and Jews are the salt of the earth but the bad Mexicans just might be the only people on earth ruthless, treacherous and smart enough to beat the betraying manipulating Bwords that scammed us into paying to breed them……Just like happened in Nazi Germany where millions of good Germans had no choice but side with the anal lusting Nazi’s that did so many horrible things….in order to survive!
    By R. Gary Cousineau

  12. jimmie says:

    Adrienne Riggs (from Linked In) says,

    Dev. Services Regional Area Coordinator at Tennessee Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities

    Be careful about blaming parents for the illnesses or diagnoses their children have. Should I blame myself because my son has numerous endocrine disorders including brittle diabetes when no one else in the family has these issues? I am intellectual, driven, and focused and working on my doctorate. I have a professional career and am a published author. I stayed at home with my children with they were toddlers and preschoolers in order to teach them myself so that they were prepared for school.

    Should I blame myself that two of my children were diagnosed with ADD/ADHD? One was with my first husband, the other with my second. I am the only common denominator but both kids have it. My 31 year old daughter had ADD Inattentive Type, my 18 year old son has ADHD Combined Type. (Did you know there are 3 types?) My 30 year old son was “gifted” with an IQ of 133 at age 8. My 36 year old daughter had an IQ of 142 at age 7.

    I didn’t party, I don’t drink, I don’t smoke, and had excellent prenatal care. My kids have been happy and relatively healthy except the youngest with the endocrine issues. So where and how did 2 of them develop ADD/ADHD? It didn’t come from me but it is who they are and they have learned to grow and thrive and do well in school in spite of it.

    So, be careful where you place “blame” for a child’s medical condition. Some things just happen but all things happen for a reason. My children were made stronger because of it because they had to work harder and try harder and I am proud of all of them.

  13. jimmie says:

    Madeline says (from Linked-in)

    Secondary school assistant/Writer
    My nephew has autism.He was born to two healthy,bright and wonderful people.People who also did not smoke,drink,do drugs. Lived a clean …

  14. jimmie says:

    Jimmie says,

    Perhaps Adrienne and Madeline refer to some of the comments. The thrust of the article that triggered the discussion has nothing to do with blame. It is a criticism of the blanket approach to treating psychophysical conditions with drugs. Notwithstanding the claims of propaganda, we know very little of how the brain works, or even the mind, not to speak of the soul – considered in its non-theological definition. Assigning “blame” for a child’s medical condition is self-defeating, as blame deals with the past, progress with the future. And he who insists on blaming him/herself for whatever occurrence or event, may remembered Pascal’s words, “To understand everything is to forgive everything.”

  15. Balázs Jávorszky says:

    Hi and sorry for reflecting to a post this old. I generally agree with what you say here, including your characterization of the ADHD “epidemic” in the US. Nevertheless, I am truly affected by ADHD (actually, without the “H”), and I can tell you this syndrome is not just a made up stuff. As far as I know I get mild medication (Ritalin, 30 mg / day), and it does help me, though it is not a silver bullet. Anyway, in my opinion these epidemics (ADHD, autism, depression, whatever) in the US serve as substitutes to the real solutions to the problems of society. That is why they diagnose some kind of disease for even a hint of “deviation”, and massively medicate a sizable segment of society.

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