Allen J Frances M.D. – Stopping the False Epidemic of Adult ADHD

The history of psychiatry is filled with fads. A diagnosis quickly gains momentum, is pushed by thought leaders, captures the imagination of clinicians, picks up widespread media attention, and soon attracts word of mouth buzz among potential patients. Rates escalate. New and exciting treatments are hyped. Miracle cures abound.

And then it all comes apart. The miracle cures turn out to be much less than miraculous. The excitement wears off and a few years later there is a new fad diagnosis, which temporarily lights up the firmament—before, in its turn, also dimming.

Adult Attention Deficit Disorder is the current fad-du-jour. It needs to be killed before it multiplies beyond easy taming. The best person to provide insight is Keith Conners, the man who did the first studies on ADHD—even before there was an official DSM diagnosis called ADHD.

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