The French Say No to Ritalin

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Less than 1% of French children are medicated for ADHD, compared to 9% of American children. Why the difference?

An interesting piece in Psychology Today explains that in the US, ADHD is viewed as a biological disorder with biological causes, so it is treated biologically–Ritalin, Adderall.

The French view ADHD as a medical condition with underlying social and situational causes. They look at the child’s social context and more commonly treat with counseling and dietary changes. The article says the American system tends to “pathologize much of what is normal childhood behavior.”

I grew up before the Ritalin craze, and don’t recall any classmates taking such medications. Speaking from the sidelines, amidst ignorance and lack of experience as a parent, it seems to me that we’ve gone a bit overboard.

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1 Comment to "The French Say No to Ritalin"

  1. Jeff Bleijerveld

    Perhaps the difference is the US pharmaceutical industry that we have basically put in charge of keeping us healthy. They do, but all their solution comes in the form of a pill. We could look for other solutions, but that might require a national healthcare plan.

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