Friday, 18 August 2017

Ed way into conning the public

Have you ever heard of Edward Hallowell in the USA?

Hallowell is allegedly a respected and authoritative voice on the subject of ADHD.

Respected by who exactly? And why? And for what reason?

He wrote a book based on pseudo-science, promoting stimulants to treat ADHD, with another psychiatrist, John Ratey, in 1994 that made them both a millionaire. This tome claimed that Albert Einstein, JFK, Thomas Edison, George Bernard Shaw, Salvador Dali, Edgar Allan Poe all had ADHD.

Perhaps they were names the duo picked out of a hat that including 100 other famous people they wrote down. Rumour has it Marilyn Alma Monroe​, Robert De Niro, Sylvester Stallone, John Lennon, Elton John and Julio Iglesias missed being picked out.

It has also been stated that Einstein had Asperger's, Dyslexia, Schizophrenia and Bipolar. With so much going off it's amazing he managed to function, let alone come up with the theory of relativity. Nobody has managed to throw in Borderline Personality Disorder yet but there is always time.

Hallowell also claimed Richard Branson has ADHD.

You see, the main theme of Hallowell's thesis is untreated ADHD leads to underachievement.

Would you call Branson, Einstein, JFK, Edison, Bernard Shaw, Dali and Poe underachievers?

And they seemed to manager very well without the stimulants Hallowell fervently has praised for 25 years and more.

And for what evidence did JFK have ADHD? .

1994 Hallowell said that around 15 million people had ADHD and two-thirds of children affected continued to be afflicted as adults, without offering evidence or data. That's like me saying there is a Santa Claus or a Tooth Fairy or Easter Bunny!

This is what Hallowell said in May 2015 "The people who colonized this country were loaded with the ADHD genes, hence our current gene pool is well stocked with ADHD. It has driven our greatest successes--but is also why we are such a violent nation".

There are many reasons why people are violent. And ADHD is rarely one of them. Anti-social personality disorders is a main one. Another is power. Another is love of control. The abused becoming the abuser is another. Some people might be violent through lashing out or frustration. Or have been pushed to a certain limit. And some people just have naturally aggressive and violent temperaments. If you live in a country where it is as easy to purchase a gun as I can purchase a Kit-Kat chocolate bar, then that nation is going to be violent!

As for violence... I have met several people with what is termed "ADHD" and haven't found any of them to be violent.

Look at the Presidents who have been assassinated. Lincoln (Another alleged ADHDer - perhaps Wilkes Booth found Lincoln's ADHD too annoying to be around) Garfield. McKinley. Kennedy. (Don't be a USA President and have ADHD).

Perhaps Hallowell might make a new thesis. You will only be shot at if you are a USA President if you have ADHD.

Here is what Hallowell said in 2011:

"There are two main reasons the diagnosis of attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder is high in the U.S. First of all, our gene pool is loaded for A.D.H.D. Consider the central symptoms of the condition: distractibility, impulsivity and restlessness. Consider also the positives that so often accompany A.D.H.D.: being a dreamer and a pioneer, being creative, entrepreneurial, having an ability to think outside the box (with some difficulty thinking inside of it!), a tendency to be independent of mind and able to pursue a vision that goes against convention. Well, who colonized this country? People who have those traits!"

The reason why the USA has the highest or one of the highest percentage of ADHD levels in the world is the role Big Pharma plays. They allow uppers, downers, anti-psychotics to be advertised in newspapers and magazines. In France, 5% of children are diagnosed with ADHD. In the USA it as least 10% and some claim 15% have it.

Is ADHD more common in the USA than it is in France? Of course not!!!

One reason is that French child psychiatrists, instead of treating children’s behavioral problems with drugs, prefer to look for the underlying issue that is causing the child distress—not in the child’s brain but in the child’s social context.

Then, instead of prescribing medication, they tend to use psychotherapy or family counseling as treatment. Yes, instead of rushing to prescribe a cure-all drug, they look thoroughly into the causes of the child’s behavior.

In addition, child psychiatrists in France don’t use the same system of classification of childhood emotional problems as American psychiatrists, and their definition of ADHD is not as broad as in the American system.

I wrote to him in August 2017 asking, seeing as he is a drug advocate and an enthusiast for other people to take stimulants, does he take medications for it himself.

Evidently what is good for the goose is good for the gander in Ed's book?

It is not. He treats it with Caffeine.

I wonder why?

The same Edward Hallowell said this in an advert on USA prime time TV in 2012.

“Undiagnosed this condition can ruin your life. (Promoting the use of Adderall and other stimulants), your family life, your school life. It leads to underachievement. The prison population is chock full of people with undiagnosed ADHD. The divorced, the unemployed, the addicted. It's a good news diagnosis, when you get it you will skyrocket. You will soar, you can achieve your goals.. get this diagnosis and get it today!"

"80% of adults don't know they have it. That's what drives me crazy. Unexplained achievement. You could be a straight A student. You might be a Nobel Peace prize winner. You know you could be doing better".

Let's examine Hallowell's statement.

Hallowell claims to have got ADHD himself but never has been diagnosed.

So is he divorced?

Nope. He is married with three children and happily married it seems.

Is he out of work?

Nope. He's a psychiatrist and, some would say, a drug pusher.

Did he suffer from academic failure?

No he's got a medical degree.

Was he taking Ritalin, Adderall, and Dexedrine and all the powerful psychostimulant drugs he has so eloquently and powerfully praised for the last 25 years whilst doing his medical degree?

It doesn't appear so.

I don’t think he’s got a criminal record, though in 2015 he was charged with indecent assault after allegedly groping a woman.

I also wrote to Hallowell and asked him if thought his comment that Adderall was safer than Aspirin was dangerous and irresponsible and does he receive payment from Eli Lilly and Shire for promoting stimulants, or did he in the past?

I received the following answer:

"He has since recanted this statement, but he meant to state that these medications have been on the market for many years and if taken correctly, can dramatically change a life. Also, once stopped, there are no side effects".

What about people's health they have ruined or affected?

No answer for the final question if he takes money from big pharma companies.

Not like him to be so reticent is it? He usually is full of answers and information, particularly related to all subjects to do with ADHD. I thought people with ADHD often talked too much.

Despite refusing to take Amphetamines and Cocaine like drugs, to treat his own ADHD, which he believed he's had since he was in his early 30s, on his Facebook page on Thursday 20th October 2011, Hallowell advocated drugging 4 year olds with Amphetamine like and Cocaine like drugs.

He also calls ADHD a "Good news diagnosis". Perhaps he means for him as it drums up business for his private practice and gets him more people to diagnose and to make more money.

I can't see what is good news for people with this condition.

You can fool people some of the time but not all of the time.

He seems to be somebody who that rule doesn't apply to.

Friday, 5 September 2014

This happens and the media just don't care

On the 17th August 2014 an 18 year old male with Asperger's, fell, broke his spine in four places, and will, as a result, never walk again.

You probably won't have heard about this in the media. It has hardly been mentioned. Not on social media forums, apart from ITV News on Facebook. It has hardly been mentioned on the national news.

He now will have to face and come to terms with a permanent and life changing, not to mention mentally and physically devastating disability, as well as his Asperger's, which presented challenges in its own right. This was compounded with society misunderstanding him, and ignorance and bigotry.

You might say that this is a tragic event or accident, and very sad for the young man, and his family, but, not really worth mentioning. Tragic and devastating accidents such as this do happen. There is one exception though. This wasn't an accident. It was caused because he was running away from bullies, whose hands Joshua had been suffering at for five years. Earlier this summer he refused to buy alcohol for local youths. For that, somebody jumped on his back, and started hitting him on the back of his head. Joshua retaliated and was charged for assault, making him scared to defend himself again.

South Wales Police said it dealt with three allegations of assault against Joshua between April 2011 and June 2014. This still happened. Such is life. Such is the law.

This incident has hardly been featured on the national news. No politicians or celebrities have spoke out against it. If they have, I haven't heard them. There's been no condemnation of it from Ed Miliband or David Cameron or Nick Clegg. There has been no national uproar or outrage. There have been no campaigns demanding that those responsible are brought to justice. Nobody has launched a "Justice for Josh" page on Facebook or Twitter. It hasn't made the front pages of hardly any national newspapers.

Yesterday an 82 year old woman was beheaded in a garden in North London. This was an horrific and barbaric murder. It also received gallons of media attention and publicity. Umpteen threads forums devoted and dedicated to it on social media. Pages and pages in the national newspapers. People demanding the shooting, hanging, and repatriation of all Muslims. It seems much of the public are enraged, just as they were, (rightly) over Lee Rigby's murder on 22nd May 2013, another horrible, brutal and savage crime.

The victim has been named as Palmira Silva. I send my condolences to Ms Silva's family. Her murderer, Muslim or not, is a brute, who has to be locked away for a very long time, if not for the rest of his natural life. If you can have such a disregard for human life, then you are a danger to the public and should not be mixing with them.

Why though, does one cruel and brutal crime receive wall to wall coverage and attention and the other almost indifference?

What has happened to Joshua is a hate crime, which is as much as a social evil as racism, but whilst the latter is now a stigma (Rightly so) in society, the former is hardly mentioned or recognised. If those responsible are caught, they should receive at least five years in prison, their parents should be prosecuted and they and their parents should pay for his care for the rest of his life.

If the media aren't talking about the beheading in North London, they are talking about the middle east situation, which was partly created by us invading Iraq illegally in 2003. Or they are talking about X-Factor and Big Brother.

It makes you want to weep.

I think a Facebook group should be set up in support and demanding the convictions of those responsible.

Imagine if they had done it to a black man or an OAP. Imagine the outrage that would be occurring instead of the almost indifference from the media and society we are currently getting.

Monday, 16 December 2013

The variations of being normal

People talk about "Normal" or why can't you be "Normal". For me that is a very subjective word. It also changes with time.

It is December 2013. In December 1913 if you committed child abuse or were a pedophile, the chances were you would almost certainly have got away with it, as that sort of thing was not discussed in society back then. Nowadays it is viewed with horror and if you commit either act you will be looking at a prison sentence and will have to be protected in prison to stop other inmates from getting at you.

If you were a homosexual back then and were caught in a relationship with another man, you would be sent to prison or at least to see a psychiatrist to be cured. As late as the early 70's homosexuality was seen as a mental illness. Nowadays the age for homosexual sex is the same as heterosexual sex in the Western World, and gay marriage is allowed. What was seen as odd in the past is seen as normal now. Abortion was banned until 1967. It is legalised now in the UK. Who would dream of banning abortion or criminalising homosexuality now or turning an eye to pedophilia?

The slave trade was once seen as normal and so was viewing the mentally ill as being possessed by the devil. Who believes either are now?

It changes where in the word you live. What is seen as "Normal" in one culture or in one part of the world isn't in another.

So what actually is this "Normal" that people talk about? Is it how you behave? How you dress? Your lifestyle? The music you like? Your political views? Your religious views? Your views on morality? Where you like to go for a holiday?

What can it be when it changes so much with time, geography, culture and interpretation?

Wednesday, 6 March 2013

Thinking Outside The Box

In life, we all have our own strengths and talents, that's what makes us individuals. For me what is termed as intelligence can be measured in numerous ways: Academic, Linguistic, Numerical, Practical, Sporting, Emotional, Common Sense, Ability to make money, Cunning even. I find that the "Academic" curriculum, or education system in the UK or that style of learning suits people who think inside the box. There is a certain kind of free-thinker who prospers in education, but you can find that people with AS, Autism and ADHD/ADD, and Dyslexia have problems because they think outside the box. Some even throw the box away! Unfortunately in mainstream education unless you fit neatly into that box you're can be branded thick or be held back, which is not a good start to life for any young person. Sadly, as a result, and I am talking about NT people as well as non-NT people now, due to this they can develop and grow up with low self-esteem, which can get worse and worse as the years pass by.

I can find it difficult to follow instructions.. particularly when they are spoken, due to processing problems or misunderstanding what I am told or what the person speaking to me is trying to say. Sometimes instructions can be not very clear or long-winded, and by which time I lose interest or miss pieces out. Sometimes they can be vague. If someone shows me how to do something practically, it's much easier for me to do it. I seem to always do well on my own instructions and thinking but not always on other people's. When I am interested in something I hyper-focus and can read through it quickly and I understand things very fast. When I am not, I have to read, and re-read it so the information goes in, and that means writing it down as I read. I often become tired if I am not interested when trying to concentrate, because my brain is having to work twice hard to process information. Of course I can do it, but it is harder. I always seem to learn and do better in life with smaller groups of people around me. Like I have said before, I can function fine socially when I have to mix and converse with up to about eight people at once. When it starts getting more than that I struggle. In large groups I am often nervous and anxious.

Never make the mistake in thinking lack of academic success is due to low or lack of intelligence. It can be, but more often than not, there are plenty of reasons why it occurs, and low or lack of intelligence is rarely one of them.

Sunday, 10 February 2013

Naturals and Strugglers See Different Things

How many times have you heard it said that someone is a natural at doing something? Be it playing football or learning to drive or drawing or photography or anything else. I am not sure I subscribe to the "Naturals" theory anyway. There have been plenty of people described as "Naturals" when learning to drive, particularly when at the ages of 17 or 18, and have passed their driving test first time, only to crash their car in the first fortnight and totally write it off, whereas many other people have passed third and fourth time, and have drove for many years without a point or ticket to their name, or without being involved in any kind of accident or incident, so you have to ask who is the natural?

Communication, interacting and socialising, along with reading other people and their body language and processing what they say, is second nature to the vast majority of people who are not on the Autistic Spectrum. You could say they are naturals at it and that it is as natural to them as blinking is to me. They probably don't even think about doing it. As a result, when it comes to socialising, communicating, interacting and processing spoken information, I will refer to those not on the Autistic Spectrum as "Naturals".

Yet most people on the Autistic Spectrum have to work very hard at doing it and are often worn out mentally and emotionally by having to do it, particularly if they have to do it for too long or if there are too many people around. I know I am.

I have a theory on why I can see through people or am rarely taken in by them, despite struggling in social situations or not being able to read them very well, whereas a lot of naturals in social situations often are taken in by unsavoury characters or dishonest people or can't see bad in others. Perhaps is because I am too busy focusing on them, and weighing them up, and not on the conversation, whereas a lot of naturals focus on the conversation. Eye contact, taking turns and body language come to them like blinking does to me. In situations such as that, I think to myself "He's alright. I don't like him, and I will work him out the next time I see him", and do you know what, I am very rarely wrong in my judgement or assessment of people... I don't know if it is a vibe I get or a hunch I have or intuition when I study them. I can't explain it, but I can explain that I am very rarely wrong in my judgement and assessments of other people.

I can only conclude that in social situations, people who are naturals and those who struggle see and process different things.

Monday, 4 February 2013

The Paradox of ASC's and NT's

I find it a paradox that most people on the spectrum don't like or are afraid of unfamiliar people and situations, and yet are often accepting of differences in people, whereas many NT's embrace change and unfamiliar people and situations, and yet are intolerant or hostile towards anything or anyone that is different!

Sunday, 20 January 2013

The extent people will go to be famous

Andy Warhol once said that everybody will be famous for 15 minutes. I don't quite agree with him but he has a point is that some people are famous and then fade away. For example, there are many rock stars or TV stars from the 1970's and 1980's, who are still alive and well, but you never hear about them nowadays in January 2013.. They don't make the news anymore and are more or less consigned to obscurity. Perhaps in some cases it is obscurity that is well deserved in some cases.

Does anybody remember Maureen Rees, that woman who took numerous attempts to pass her driving test? She was featured on a Reality TV show about 1997.. and for me, that programme triggered off the Reality TV crazy of the naughties and the tens. Of course there has always been Reality TV shows throughout the history of Television, but from about 1999 onwards there has been reality TV shows, after that, dominating our screens, on every Channel. Yet who hears about Maureen Rees nowadays? Or for that matter, many Pop Idol/X-factor winners or even notable contestants. Step forward Hearsay, Gareth Gates, Michelle McManus, Steve Brookstein and Shayne Ward. Do you see these people's faces plastered all over the national newspapers? Do you hear about them constantly on the national TV news?

The problem is with fame is that for some people it is never enough. Some seek it at any price. Like for example, those who go on the X-factor auditions early on, who have no discernible singing talent. Yet they still go on there to humiliate themselves on National TV, in front of millions of people watching. You must ask why on earth do they do it? Do they possess no shame or sense of self-worth? Are they so desperate that they will do anything to be recognised or noticed? I remember this bloke in his mid 70's went on.. with a white beard and white hair and recited a poem. I personally can't see the connection between that and musical or singing talent but there you go.

Occasionally people seeking fame, who aren't particularly talented, have gone onto make names for themselves. Jedward for example, have established themselves as a novelty act and I am sure they are now both millionaires. I think their music is hideous, but they have done well out of it so good luck to them. There was this guy who went on Holland's version of the X-factor who had no musical talent. I can't exactly remember what is name was but he was voted off early and yet made a minor name for himself as a novelty act and opened a few shops and supermarkets. And of course I remember from a long time back, Michael "Eddie the Eagle" Edwards, who came last at the February 1988 Calgary Olympics for Britain. Edwards became an international celebrity and appeared in talk shows all over the world. I remember him on Wogan all those years ago. Edwards appeared in a number of advertising campaigns, e.g. on television, promoting cars. He was able to command fees of £10,000 an hour, and again, good luck to him.

When you watch Snooker matches, people there seem to have a cough. Perhaps it must be a prerequisite to gain entrance to snooker matches that you have to have one. Whenever a player takes a shot, suddenly, everybody at once starts coughing!!! It seems that people are trying to get their cough on TV. When you watch football matches on TV as well, you see people waving at the TV cameras, or trying to get noticed.

Have you noticed with Songs of Praise it happens as well? On an average Sunday there will probably be about 6 people and a Dog in the Church. Then the TV cameras turn up and what happens? They are packed to the rafters.. even the Atheists turn up and start singing hymns just to get on TV... then the following week there are probably 6 people and a dog again in the same Church. And the regular congregation, the faithful who turn up every Sunday are shoved out of the way by the rest because the TV cameras are there.