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UPDATED: Ritalin, the lobotomy of the 21st Century

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posted on Jun, 13 2004 @ 02:53 PM
I apologise for this first posting being so long, but I felt it rather important that ATS readers/members should have a fair background into both the travesty of the lobotomy and Ritalin "cures". Please also read my later postings on this thread that raises many more scary aspects of putting your child on Ritalin. Thanks for reading this - it may help your or some other child.

Before I start on the current situation of Ritalin usage I would like to briefly paint a parallel from the 20th century.

The idea of brain surgery as a means of improving mental health got started around 1890, When Friederich Golz, a German researcher, removed portions of his dogs’ temporal lobes, and found them to be calmer, less aggressive. It was swiftly followed by Gottlieb Burkhardt, the head of a Swiss mental institution, who attempted similar surgeries on six of his schizophrenic patients. Some were indeed calmer. Two died. In theory once this procedure had been performed the individual would become a functioning and valuable member of society. A lobotomy is a surgical incision to sever nerve fibers in the frontal lobe of the brain, which would change the behavior of severely mentally disturbed patients. Between 1939 and 1951, over 18,000 lobotomies were performed in the US, and many more in other countries. It was often used on convicts, and in Japan, it was recommended for use on “difficult” children. There are still western countries that permit the use of the lobotomy, although its use has decreased dramatically worldwide. Curiously, the old USSR banned it back in the 1940s on moral grounds!

Interesting articles:
“If you saw CBS' Hard Copy, June 24, 1998, you saw Stephanie Hall. You learned that Stephanie, like millions of other children in the US, had attention deficit/ hyperactivity disorder—ADHD (sometimes referred to as ADD or attention deficit disorder)--and was on Ritalin. You saw a picture of Stephanie--a lovely, healthy, normal girl. Next, in what was a brief segment that hardly told her story, you saw Stephanie's gravestone. Born January 11, 1984. Died January 5, 1996. Her parents, Michael and Janet, were shown at the grave "where (they) visit 'Steph' now." Her younger sister, Jennie, had ADHD too, and was on Ritalin. But she stopped Ritalin the day 'Steph' died and the whole family stopped believing in ADHD.”

So I am left with two final questions : “Why would any “good enough parent” put their child on Ritalin?” and
“Is there a way back?”
When Chad Taylor noticed his son was apparently experiencing serious side effects from Ritalin prescribed for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, he decided to take the boy off the medication. Now, he says he may be accused of child abuse.

[edit on 13-6-2004 by Mynaeris]

[edit on 5-9-2004 by Mynaeris]

posted on Jun, 21 2004 @ 07:59 AM
I hope those companies get crushed. But they'll most likely win , they seem to always win these days.

posted on Jun, 27 2004 @ 09:58 AM
One other factor in the classrooms, is the influx of drug babbies of the early to mid eighties during this time period. You can almost pick them out in classroom.

Ritalin has its place (Im a Pediatric Critical Care Nurse) but I agree it is massivly overperscribed.

posted on Jun, 27 2004 @ 10:01 AM
I'll throw another one that is even more dangerous and has research data suppressed in its FDA submission...I think this one is more foul and egregious than the tobacco findings.


THIS is a class-action suit waiting to happen - guaran-damn-tee you. And there are homicidal/suicidal happenings taking place as we speak caused by this poison.

I agree with your thoughts on Ritalin.

posted on Jun, 27 2004 @ 10:36 AM
This should move the whole process up a notch the government wants to help us raise our children as model Americans. I am pleased I am all "growed up".

"Bush plans to screen whole US population for mental illness"

The president's commission found that "despite their prevalence, mental disorders often go undiagnosed" and recommended comprehensive mental health screening for "consumers of all ages," including preschool children. According to the commission, "Each year, young children are expelled from preschools and childcare facilities for severely disruptive behaviours and emotional disorders." Schools, wrote the commission, are in a "key position" to screen the 52 million students and 6 million adults who work at the schools.

The commission also recommended "Linkage [of screening] with treatment and supports" including "state-of-the-art treatments" using "specific medications for specific conditions." The commission commended the Texas Medication Algorithm Project (TMAP) as a "model" medication treatment plan that "illustrates an evidence-based practice that results in better consumer outcomes."

Also see

posted on Jun, 27 2004 @ 11:09 AM
Really interesting post there, I always thought ritalin had some weird effect on our brain. And it is overly-prescribed, a guy at my high school (5 years ago) used to sell ritalins to the local junkies.

Kinda-offtopic, but somehow related: Being one of the junkies at that time, I had to try it, and let me tell you that ingesting 15 ritalin pills made me go completly nutz, and turned me into a freaking talking-machine. I think I had never been so wasted. We must have spend like 8 straight hours, constantly talking. Man, I wished I had recorded everything we said, I wonder if it would have made sense.

posted on Jun, 27 2004 @ 11:44 AM
If you think Ritalin is bad, how about the cancer industry?

When very few doctors undergo chemotheraphy when diagnosed with cancer, what does that tell you?

It tells you that you are a gullible fool who believes anything a so called authority tells you. Phamaceutical companies by the way are total top feeders on the economic chain, hence they also control the media even more today, due to pressures of advertising. Remember when drug companies were not permitted to advertise on television?

[edit on 27-6-2004 by SkipShipman]

posted on Jun, 28 2004 @ 02:23 AM
Ritalin like you said Mynaeris, is going to be one of the major pitfalls in the fext couple decades. People are so narrow-minded that they cannot see themselves making the same mistake that others did in the past (such as the lobotomy).

The psychiatric organizations across the world are up there in the "Most Evil List". They do not desire to improve humanity, only conform it enough so that they can weild power (in malicious ways). Now that's not to say that all psychiatrists desire that terrible power, but as you go higher and higher up the psychiatric ladder you will find that the supreme psychiatrists do.

Not only is Ritalin going to be a major issue, so is Paxil (like Valhall said) and any other "mental disorder" medication. The side-effects are astronomical and cannot be reversed, and the drugs are perscribed like candy (like that scene in Willy Wonka where the candy-store guy gives out all those goodies. Wait was the Willy Wonka?). Not that they ever are beneficial to the person, but to put them out like they do shows their ineptitude.

It is a huge step towards brainwashing and the government loves what the psychiatrists are doing.

Like a user posted (I believe in this forum) nearly ALL of the children who shot up their schools and such were on Ritalin or another drug. People defend themselves by saying "Well they were on such-and-such because they were depressed, it is usually the depressed ones who do it anyways". To that I say "Well you call shooting up your schoolmates an improvement? If they were willing to shoot up their school AFTER being on drugs then I would have hated to have seen them before the pills."

The whole perscribing of the "medication" makes me think of an infomercial.

If you buy in the next 30 minutes, not only will you get a lifetime supply of Ritalin, but you also will get your own free bottle of Paxil! But thats not all! Pay via credit card and use the secret code "infanticide" and we will send you a Free bottle of Zoloft, great for those sad days, or any days in particular! And can you believe that's STILL not all?!?! To help you cope with your side-effects we will also include a jumbo-tub of Prozac! Dig in!

posted on Jun, 28 2004 @ 02:24 AM
BTW I meant to add that this was a great topic Mynaeris, good research and a good read

posted on Jun, 28 2004 @ 11:00 AM
My children aren't bad, but they're extremely chatty and active, so I just know eventually some underqualified fool will try to "suggest" I get my pediatrician to prescribe Ritalin or a similar drug. I think these drugs are used as crutches by lazy teachers and administrators and by bad parents, who caused the problem in the first place.

posted on Jun, 28 2004 @ 11:09 AM

Originally posted by MsCGA
My children aren't bad, but they're extremely chatty and active, so I just know eventually some underqualified fool will try to "suggest" I get my pediatrician to prescribe Ritalin or a similar drug. I think these drugs are used as crutches by lazy teachers and administrators and by bad parents, who caused the problem in the first place.

So maybe the Zoloft that i take daily so i can function is a crutch too?

maybe when i don't take it, i refuse to get out of bed and i try to kill myself because of bad teachers and lazy parents?

I dont think so- mental illness, even ADHD, ADD, etc, are chemical imbalances, just like my depression.

these drugs, like most, do more good than they do harm, but you never hear about the good, just the bad.

posted on Jun, 28 2004 @ 12:07 PM
"So maybe the Zoloft that i take daily so i can function is a crutch too?

maybe when i don't take it, i refuse to get out of bed and i try to kill myself because of bad teachers and lazy parents?

I dont think so- mental illness, even ADHD, ADD, etc, are chemical imbalances, just like my depression.

these drugs, like most, do more good than they do harm, but you never hear about the good, just the bad. "

You know, not everything you read is directed at you personally.
There's enough mental illness in my family for me to understand the challenges you and so many others face, so back off a little. There's a huge difference between someone who honestly needs and benefits from the assistance of medicine for mental illness and a child who's being doped up because mommy and daddy never wanted to be the bad guy and make that child learn when it's appropriate to behave.

posted on Jun, 28 2004 @ 01:28 PM
I want to thank everybody for their postings on this thread.

Bobbo: With all due respect I found your posting was both aggressive as well as presumptive about the causes of ADHD/ADD.

Ritalin is being prescribed for children as young as 5. Where did this new breed of chemically imbalanced kids come from? When 3 to 10% of your child population are likely candidates for medication , it would appear that the problem is the society and not the child. I would suggest that perhaps you read the full article at the top including the ones on lobotomies and deaths caused by Ritalin usage, the one about the Father facing criminal charges for taking his child off Ritalin.

As for those interested in alternates to Ritalin, I found this article rather interesting. I would also like to ask if parents who have children with "ADD/ADHD" have tried alternatives to medication and what their findings are? Any stories about Ritalin both positive and negative would also be interesting. I am currently considering writing a paper on the issue.

School Offers Transcendental Meditation for ADHD Students

June 4 - At Chelsea School in Silver Spring, 10 students with ADHD are trying transcendental meditation. The school is part of a 3-month study to see if meditation can help the children overcome the stresses of their disorder.

Project director Sarina Grosswald, Ph.D. said, "TM is a mental technique that allows the mind to settle down - when the mind settles down the body settles down."

Settling down is one of the problems of kids who suffer from ADHD, they often have difficulty focussing and paying attention.

"It's frustrating when these children become behavioral problems but it's not something they do intentionally, it's something they really can't control."

At Chelsea, students in the pilot program gather twice a day to meditate, and they say it's helping.

Taylor David, student said, "It's helping me do my homework and helping me with my relationship with my friends."

"It's helped me in not getting as frustrated with my work, not being disrespectful with my teachers and basically just being a normal teenager," said Scott Schwartzman.

The academic head of Chelsea Academy says the meditation program benefits the entire school.

Principal Dr. Linda Handy said, "I see this as having tremendous impact for all our students. I'm excited about being able to take it to all of them."

"You can learn many things from children. How much patience you have, for instance. " ~Franklin P. Jones

"Children are one third of our population and all of our future." ~Select Panel for the Promotion of Child Health, 1981

[edit on 5-9-2004 by Mynaeris]

posted on Jun, 28 2004 @ 06:14 PM
I'm also a professional in the health care industry, in addition to being a funeral director.

Ritalin may be over prescribed, but so are most antidepressants.

There's enough mental illness in my family for me to understand the challenges you and so many others face, so back off a little. There's a huge difference between someone who honestly needs and benefits from the assistance of medicine for mental illness and a child who's being doped up because mommy and daddy never wanted to be the bad guy and make that child learn when it's appropriate to behave.

I won't back off, because i'm trying to make a point. If a parent is stupid enough not to know the difference, or at least to not discuss the difference with their pediatrician, between a child being plain old hyper, and a child with ADD or ADHD, then they shouldn't be parents.

too much blame is placed on the parents, and the teachers, when in reality, its the doctors that decide to drug the kids. I've seen it on countless occasions, where the doctor prescribes ritalin so the child will not have to be seen in the office constantly, as opposed to an occasional visit to tweak the ritalin.

and Mynaeris, I find your comment about being "pleased that zoloft works for you" a bit condescending- I'm using my own experiences as an example, and yea, while my post my have been presumptive about ADHD/ADD, it was not aggressive, it was to prove a point.

posted on Jun, 28 2004 @ 06:21 PM
Nice post Mynaeris,

I think that the APA's official description of ADHD clues us in on how a drug like Ritalin can be so overprescribed, or why ADHD may be so overdiagnosed. ADHD as it is now is mainly understood on a qualitative level, that is, there are very general symptoms that are described on a behavioral level. As many of you have pointed out, some of these behaviors can be identified at one time or another in a large segment of today's (and probably the last generation's) youth.

Understanding ADHD and other mental disorders on a more quantitative level will allow for more precise diagnostics in the future. As it is now, many drugs are prescribed after a physician does a brief interview with either the patient or his/her parents/family, and sometimes without even that. More rigid diagnostics, I believe, will drastically reduce the prescription rate, and allow physicians to put their patients on a more individualized treatment plan. Not everyone with symptoms needs chemical intervention, but another form of treatment may be useful to the individual.

But how do we understand mental disorders on a more quantitative level? I'm not really sure, to be honest. I assume that as neurological imaging techniques become more sophisticated, have higher resolutions, and become more affordable, researchers will have an easier time understanding these disorders on a neurological level. There is also some good work going on in the intelligence/cognitive science field right now that has implications for ADHD. Jack Naglieri, Ph.D. at George Mason University in VA, with his PASS theory of cognitive processing, has shown that some children diagnosed with ADHD have a very distinct pattern of cognition in some tasks. Assessments founded on the PASS theory are able to distinguish between ADHD and below average intelligence, something that older, more traditional assessments such as the Stanford-Binet and the WISC-III cannot do.

(Here's a little powerpoint presentation on PASS if you are interested : )

However, this stuff is still in laboratories, scientific journals, and filing cabinets. More research is needed before will be practical in everyday diagnoses.

In my opinion, the problem is not evil doctors, greedy corporations, or lazy parents, labels which smack of too much moral indignation for me. I would instead say that many doctors don't have the proper diagnostic tools, chemical treatments are cheap and somewhat effective, and many parents are scientifically illiterate or just want to help their kids (most aren't scientists, and that's fine!).

Science and research is the answer. Deny ignorance, not the disorder!


[Edited to include hyperlink]

[edit on 28-6-2004 by phaedrusxxx]

posted on Jul, 2 2004 @ 10:07 AM
Here are some new and rather scary items I found about Ritalin usage for the future.

One would be really surprised to find this article after reading the first posting in this thread. Would one not think that the Kennedies would have learnt a lesson from the Rosemary Kennedy lobotomy, BUT no...

Kennedy ties up drug bill
By Jessica E. Vascellaro, Globe Correspondent | July 2, 2004

WASHINGTON -- A bill banning schools from coercing parents into putting their children on psychotropic drugs, passed with near-universal support in the House, is being tied up in a Senate committee by Senator Edward M. Kennedy, who contends it requires more study.

Supporters of the bill, which sailed through the House 425 to 1, said it will help prevent an epidemic of children on drugs like Ritalin and Prozac, and that Kennedy is being influenced by his longstanding ties to health and pharmaceutical associations, which contend the bill will discourage the diagnosis of mental illnesses that could be easily treated.

3) 5 Million American kids on Ritalin, with prescriptions written for kids as young as 15 months?? Am I really the only preson noticing how scary this is?

"The most disturbing story I've heard came from a friend, Maria, about her son, Matthew. When Matthew was about 15 months old, he was having trouble adjusting to the arrival of his new baby sister, Elizabeth. As many children do in that situation, he was reverting back to a lot of his "baby-ish" habits, trying to nurse, that kind of thing - all stuff that seemed pretty normal. But it was hard for Maria to handle - so she asked her pediatrician for ideas on how to deal with it. His solution? A prescription for Ritalin. That was about 10 years ago. Maria never filled the prescription - and quickly changed pediatricians. Matthew has grown up to be a normal, healthy, active boy. "

Please people show some concern.

[edit on 5-9-2004 by Mynaeris]

posted on Jul, 2 2004 @ 10:42 AM
I definetly agree that Ritalin is way over-prescribed. Though I don't remember it much, I was forced to take it when I was but two years old. What possible excuse is there for making a two year old child take Ritalin?

Eventually I began to get severe headaches, so they switced me to different medications about every month or so until I was about nine years old. The names of all of the medication escape me at the moment, I'll attempt to search out some paperwork later that might jog my memory. I do however remember clearly that I had to take Prozac for a rather long period of time.

I was diagnosed with ADHD, OCD, Anxiety disorder, and depression by the time I was in the second grade, which would have made me six or seven yearls old. If these were all properly diagnosed chemical imbalances in my brain, I would expect myself to be rather hard off right now, considering that I stopped taking all medication in 1997. I'm not hard off though, I've been an on and off honor student since the very year that I stopped taking medication and have graduated high school with the intention of entering the most elite technical field in the U.S. Navy. I would expect a chemical imbalance to have more strongly affected my life.

posted on Jul, 2 2004 @ 10:48 AM
Shadow - that is both a really scary story as well as an inspiring tale for those who are afraid of taking their children off unneccesary medications. I am not advocating that all medications for kids are bad - Ritalin however is a disaster in the making. Thanks for sharing your story with everybody. Good luck with the navy.

posted on Jul, 10 2004 @ 09:24 AM
Now we have the issue of Ritalin and the Olympic games:-

" bill making its way through the California Legislature would force high schools to test for performance-enhancing supplements. But you have to forgive some kids if they roll their eyes at such measures. After all, lots of them have been asked to take performance-enhancing medications, such as Ritalin, for much of their lives. Lawrence Diller, a Walnut Creek behavioral pediatrician, said parents have called him to ask if he would medicate their children specifically for the SAT's. He also knows kids who increase their own dosage of Ritalin before Pop Warner football games.

We live in a competitive society, and the message we often send to our children is that we must succeed at any cost. That message is not likely to change simply by busting a few track athletes, though it's a good start."

And some more news from the world of Ritalin:

"Teen pointed gun at mother's head for minutes before killing her

(Rochester-AP) -- A teenager has told police he aimed a shotgun at the back of his mother's head as she lay on the living-room couch watching television. Eighteen-year-old Nathan DeWispelaere said told police he stood with the gun about two feet from his mother's head thinking for a few minutes before shooting her in May. DeWispelaer was indicted last month. He has pleaded innocent to second-degree murder in the killing of his mother, Lizabeth at their home in Sparta in rural western New York. DeWispelaer told police his mother had harangued him about using drugs after she found his prescribed Ritalin crushed into a powder he planned to snort. DeWispelaer's elder brother died of a drug overdose last year. The two-page statement to police was made available by the prosecutor's office today after the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle filed a lawsuit to obtain transcripts of a preliminary hearing had been closed to the public."

posted on Jul, 10 2004 @ 11:29 AM

Originally posted by SkipShipman
Remember when drug companies were not permitted to advertise on television?

Yes. Now it seems every other commercial is an ad for some drug or another. And have any of you ever noticed that Mother of a list of side-effects and contraindications they spout off as well ?

"Side affects may include dizziness, vomiting, heart palpitations, liver failure, blood spurting from every orifice, excessive unusual desires to consume dirt...etc etc etc"

"Not recommended for those who: have kidney disorders, mental illness, poop a lot, are exactly 5 feet tall, listen to Marilyn Manson music, eat a lot of beans..etc etc etc"

Yeh, I've had me some laughs over some of these commercials.

But to be serious, I totally agree with most of what I've read here regarding medication, particularly Ritalin. The stuff is evil. Plain and simple.

Something else that galls me: Yes, I believe there are genuine cases of clinical depression or mental illness where drugs may indeed be beneficial. However, I also believe that psychiatrists are all too quick to diagnose and hand over prescriptions for some of these happy pills.

I also HATE the way they (TPTB) spout that they have no idea WHAT causes depression. Hmmmmmm....I wonder what THAT could be.

Could what they call a lot of depression simply be an unhappiness with life in general, because it SUCKS a lot of the time, or being continually sad because you are broke and have no money for the necessities of life, or a badly mismatched marriage, or your spouse beats you...etc etc.

A lot of things can make people continually unhappy. They have good reason to be unhappy. This doesn't make them abnormal or in need of drugs IMO.

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