A few months ago I wrote a piece highlighting the different rates of ADHD diagnosis in Australia compared to those in France. It appeared that ADHD could be something of an “Aussie thing.”

 

Last weekend, I read an article in the Sydney Morning Herald that highlighted the risks associated with ADHD medication, and rates at which medicating has increased.

The headline was particularly provocative. Zombie Kids, Why More Children are on ADHD drugs.

 

Obviously it was deliberately provocative in order to get you to read. But I’m concerned that this is unfair on those kids.

 

The words zombie and drugs are particularly harsh. If the headline had simply read Why More Children are on ADHD Medication I think it would have been fairer.

 

Regardless of where you stand on the ADHD and medication debate, we should never stigmatise the kids.

 

The SMH article, despite its poor headline, does ask a pertinent question.

 

“Do you place greater emphasis on social and cultural issues that may be underlying the rise in ADHD – children being forced to spend more time sitting in school, a greater proportion living under the poverty line, parental demands – or focus on the potential biological factors that medication might treat?”

 

Author: Dan Haesler, he is a teacher, consultant, and speaker at the Mental Health & Wellbeing of Young People seminars. He is the co-developer of Happy Schools and blogs at http://danhaesler.com/ and tweets at @danhaesler