In an interview with Spiegel, Kagan addressed the skyrocketing rates of ADHD in America. He attributes to “fuzzy diagnostic practices” and illustrated his point with the following example:
“Let’s go back 50 years. We have a 7-year-old child who is bored in school and disrupts classes. Back then, he was called lazy. Today, he is said to suffer from ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder). That’s why the numbers have soared,” says Kegan in the interview.
When asked about his opinion on the disorder, Kegan told the Spiegel: “(ADHD) It is an invention. Every child who’s not doing well in school is sent to see a pediatrician, and the pediatrician says: “It’s ADHD; here’s Ritalin.
” In fact, 90 percent of these 5.4 million kids don’t have an abnormal dopamine metabolism. The problem is, if a drug is available to doctors, they’ll make the corresponding diagnosis.”
He then continues: “We could get philosophical and ask ourselves: “What does mental illness mean?” If you do interviews with children and adolescents aged 12 to
19, then 40 percent can be categorized as anxious or depressed. But if you take a closer look and ask how many of them are seriously impaired by this, the number shrinks to 8 percent.