Marilyn Wedge: A Disease Called Childhood, Why ADHD Became an American Epidemic

Over the course of her career as a child and family therapist, Marilyn Wedge has witnessed an ‘astronomical rise’ in the number of children diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD).  Until 1995 she had hardly heard of ADHD, but over the following decades the number of children on medication for ADHD grew and grew until now 13% of boys and 5% of girls in the US – 6 million children –  are on prescription drugs (mainly Ritalin and Adderall) with that diagnosis. But this approach is not shared by other countries,  a child in the US is 8 times more likely to be diagnosed with ADHD than in France, and 80 times more likely than in Finland. Dr Wedge argues that psychiatry needs to completely change it approach, and look at the child’s environment, offering help to parents to manage without medicating their children.