oppositional defiant disorder

  1. Mental illness for everyone

    You might not feel mentally ill -- but you are. You just haven't been diagnosed yet.

    The psychiatric industry is getting ready to update its "bible," the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, and you're not going to believe what's inside it.

    Just about every common emotion, condition, quirk, challenging life event, or personal flaw will become a disorder to be diagnosed and treated in the new book.

    It's so wacky even the shrinks themselves are protesting it: More than 11,000 mental health professionals and counting have signed an online petition to stop it before it's published.

    But maybe they don't really mean that -- maybe they're just suffering from "oppositional defiant disorder," one of the many proposed new conditions.

    Yes, I AM serious.

    That one's actually aimed at kids, of course, and it's what we used to just call "being a brat" or maybe even a "teenager." The definition includes "performs deliberate actions to annoy others."

    Can you think of a single kid who has never deliberately annoyed others?

    Of course, children aren't the only ones being targeted. You're in the crosshairs, too.

    Sad over the death of a loved one? No you're not! You're actually mentally ill, locked in a battle with "chronic depressive disorder."

    At least you'll have company: That same label is also going to be slapped on anyone who's lonely or just plain unhappy.

    Don't give a hoot about stuff? You've got apathy syndrome. I'd tell you more about that one...but I just don't care.

    Spending too much time online? You need treatment for Internet addiction disorder. No more House Calls for you!

    Even serious and violent crime would get a makeover in the new book. Rapists, for example, are just sick now -- fighting off "paraphilic coercive disorder."

    You just can't make this stuff up.

    Once you have millions of new "sick" patients, you get millions of new customers -- and not for some simple talk therapy. Talk therapy is on the outs -- many shrinks don't offer it, and many insurance companies offer little to no coverage for it.

    No, the real goal here is to get more patients on meds, because everyone wins: Shrinks make more in 15-minute sessions renewing and tweaking prescriptions than they ever did in 45-minute talk therapy sessions. It's cheaper per patient for insurers. And, of course, the drug industry loves it so much they'd print the new book themselves if they could.

    Everyone wins -- well, except you of course.

    I'm not done with mental health yet. Keep reading for the latest on depression.

  2. Diet beats meds for ADHD

    Kids diagnosed with ADHD are often given bad meds - but all they really need is some good food.

    The mainstream has been sloooooooow to catch on to the idea that a diet packed with processed foods can literally rot a kid's brain even as it causes his or her belly to swell.

    But maybe they'll take notice now - because yet another study finds that kids saddled with an attention deficit hyperactivity disorder diagnosis show dramatic improvement once those foods are removed from the equation.

    In the new study, researchers recruited 100 ADHD children from Belgium and the Netherlands - mostly boys - between the ages of 4 and 8 years old and randomly assigned them to either a severely limited diet, or nothing beyond some advice on healthy eating.

    Those in the diet group started out eating mostly rice, meat, vegetables and pears, and drank only water.

    After five weeks, kids who got the diet advice showed no change at all - while 78 percent of the kids who stuck to the strict natural diet improved dramatically. The researchers wrote in The Lancet that these kids shed 24 points on the 72-point scale used to measure ADHD symptoms.

    That's more effective than many of the drugs used to treat ADHD - but the benefits didn't end there.

    Half the children had also been diagnosed with "oppositional defiant disorder," which is basically a lack of respect for parents and other authority figures.

    Nearly every kid goes through a phase like that at some point... but the researchers say the "ODD" children on the restrictive diet were less stubborn, had fewer tantrums and showed less provocative behavior.

    You could say they were less ODD.

    The researchers didn't mention side effects, but you can bet that children who skip processed foods are far more likely to learn the kinds of good eating habits that can help keep them healthy for a lifetime.

    Kids who get meds, on the other hand, could be on drugs for that lifetime - because many of the children who were raised on ADHD meds are now adults who practically depend on them.

    And that's despite the risk of everything from physical problems like headache and nausea to mental ones such as psychosis and bizarre, even suicidal, behavior.

    In fact, common ADHD meds are nearly 10 times more likely to be linked to violence than other drugs. (Read more here.)

    Wouldn't it be so much easier to skip the chips instead?

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