Who’s fighting America’s childhood ADHD epidemic? Dr. Tim Culbert, one deep breath at a time.
Culbert winces and shrinks when he describes the pressures on doctors to diagnose ADHD in kids.
“A lot of characteristics we are supposed to medicate these kids for would be positives in another context: High-energy people who can shift focus easily—that can describe Albert Einstein just as easily as it can describe a kid who can’t sit through six hours of lectures in a classroom. Someone who makes frequent loose, tangential associations? You could call that person unfocused, or a good musician or marketer. Yet if you give a kid a label, you’re going to leave him thinking he’s a lousy thinker,” Culbert says, adding that people tend to give up more easily after the diagnosis has been made.
“A lot of schools say: If you can’t sit in a classroom for six hours and listen to one set of inputs, lectures, that’s pathologic. Do I think that’s pathologic? Absolutely not. And that’s what the whole system [of children’s mental health care] comes down to now. Label, pathologize, medicate. It makes me want to vomit.”
So, what's the alternative? Learn more from Dr. Tim Culbert as he discusses childhood ADHD with Mpls St Paul Magazine.
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