Lets understand the Inherent Unreliability of the ADHD Label from a psychiatrist

Dr. Lieberman, is an eminent psychiatrist. His son was going to nursery school, and they said he’s not paying attention and were concerned. ‘You should have him tested.’ We had him tested. The neuropsychologist said, ‘Well there’s some kind of, you know, information processing problems, you should see a pediatric psychiatrist.’ I said, “Well, I am a psychiatrist, but I’ll take him to see a pediatric psychiatrist.’ We took him to see a pediatric psychiatrist, spent twenty minutes with him, and he started, you know, writing a prescription for Ritalin. I said, ‘Why?’ and he said ‘Well, he’s got ADHD.’ I said, ‘I don’t think so.’

Lets look at some of the keypoints from his journey.

1. Firstly, the “diagnosis” was made in twenty minutes.

2. Secondly, Dr. Lieberman, as an eminent psychiatrist, had no difficulty resisting the pressure to accept the prescription.

3. Thirdly, I think it’s noteworthy that Dr. Lieberman rejected the prescription.

4. Fourthly, Dr. Lieberman’s son was “diagnosed with ADHD” by a pediatric psychiatrist while in pre-school, but didn’t take the pills. Nevertheless, he graduated from Columbia law school and is now an attorney at a “top law firm.”

5. Fifthly, and most importantly, Dr. Lieberman’s disagreement with the pediatric psychiatrist highlights one of the major weaknesses in the psychiatric system: its intrinsic unreliability and subjectivity.

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