Renowned Harvard Psychologist Says ADHD Is Largely A Fraud

Renowned Harvard Psychologist Says ADHD Is Largely A Fraud

Jerome Kagan is the most influential psychologists of the 20th century, who has the expertise and moral authority to compare psychology to a rotten piece of furniture.

A group of US. Academics ranked the 100 most eminent psychologists of the 20th century in 2002 and they put Kagan in 22nd place, even above Carl Jung (the founder of analytical psychology-23rd)and above Ivan Pavlov (who discovered the Pavlovian reflex-24).

It may be very surprising to learn that he believes that the most modern diagnosis of ADHD is a mere invention rather than a serious condition.

So it may be surprising for you to learn that Kagan believes the diagnosis of ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder) is an invention which mainly benefits the pharmaceutical industry and psychiatrists.

Kagan is well-known for his pioneering work in developmental psychology at Harvard University where he has spent decades observing and documenting how babies and small children grow, measuring them, testing their reactions and once they’ve learned to speak, questioning them over and over again. He is an exceptional and highly-regarded researcher.

Renowned Harvard Psychologist Says ADHD Is Largely A Fraud

Renowned Harvard Psychologist Says ADHD Is Largely A Fraud

Mislabeling Mental Illness

In an interview with Spiegel, Kagan addressed the skyrocketing rates of ADHD in America. He attributes to “fuzzy diagnostic practices” and illustrated his point with the following example:

“Let’s go back 50 years. We have a 7-year-old child who is bored in school and disrupts classes. Back then, he was called lazy. Today, he is said to suffer from ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder). That’s why the numbers have soared,” says Kegan in the interview.

When asked about his opinion on the disorder, Kegan told the Spiegel that he believes ADHD is an invention. He thinks that if a child is not doing well in school, the pediatrician gives that child Ritalin, since the cure is available to the doctors and they give the diagnosis.

According to Kagan, the fact that millions of American children who are inaccurately diagnosed as mentally ill because they think there is something fundamentally wrong with them is devastating.

Besides being a psychologist is determined to raise the alarm about this trend, Kagan and others feel they’re up against “an enormously powerful alliance: pharmaceutical companies that are making billions, and a profession that is self-interested.”

Kagan himself suffered from inner restlessness and stuttering as a child, but his mother told him that there was nothing wrong with him, only that his mind was working faster than his tongue.

He thought at the time: “Gee, that’s great, I’m only stuttering because I’m so smart.” If he had been born in the present era, he most likely would have been classified as mentally ill.

However, ADHD isn’t the only mental illness epidemic among children that worries Kagan. Depression is another mental illness that almost started in 1987, when about one in 400 American teenagers was using an antidepressant and the numbers leaped to one in 40 by 2002.

Kegan believes that depression is also another overused diagnosis, simply because the pills are available. Instead of immediately resorting to pharmaceutical drugs, he thinks doctors should take more time with the child to find out why they aren’t as cheerful.

Since studies have shown that people who have heightened activity in the right frontal lobe respond poorly to antidepressants a few tests should be carried out (an EEG for certain).

It’s very important for distinction to be made: when a life event overwhelms us, it’s common to fall into a depression for a while, but there are those who have a genetic vulnerability and experience chronic depression.

It’s crucial to look not only at the symptoms, but the causes :the former are experiencing a certain depression caused by an event and the latter are mentally ill.

Renowned Harvard Psychologist Says ADHD Is Largely A Fraud

Psychiatry it’s the only medical profession that establishes illness on symptoms alone and such a blind spot opens the door for new maladies — like bipolar disorder, which we never used to see in children. Acording to statistics,nearly a million Americans under the age of 19 are diagnosed with bipolar disorder.

“A group of doctors at Massachusetts General Hospital just started calling kids who had temper tantrums bipolar. They shouldn’t have done that. But the drug companies loved it because drugs against bipolar disorders are expensive.

That’s how the trend was started. It’s a little like in the 15th century, when people started thinking someone could be possessed by the devil or hexed by a witch,” said Kagan.

About the alternatives to pharmaceutical drugs for behavioral abnormalities Kagan said that we could look at tutoring, as an example. It’s a good start since children who are diagnosed with ADHD are mainly the children who are struggling at school.

Written by Simon Segal

A professional writer with years of continual practice. His experience in writing varies from science to psychology and spirituality. He also teaches academic and creative writing.

Source: Curious Mind Magazine via The Mind's Journal
Renowned Harvard Psychologist Says ADHD Is Largely A Fraud Renowned Harvard Psychologist Says ADHD Is Largely A Fraud Reviewed by Κατερίνα Παπακυριακοπούλου on 8:15 PM Rating: 5


  1. I have a feeling this guy is a little behind on the times. It says the 20th. century, hmmm, add a one to that please.

    1. LOL. The article only said 20th when talked about how Kagan had been found to be "the 22nd most eminent...". It was the 20th century before 2000, you know that right? :DD

    2. I think the point is valid, though. I'm not a grammar nazi, and in my English degree, in applied Linguistics for teaching ESL, we looked at language in a descriptive rather that prescriptive way, looking at the ways English evolves, & how people communicate in real life--not harping on the use of "whom" in the objective case.
      But like a fake email I got from "Apple" yesterday asking me to click here to fix my passwords and attempted log-on from unknown devices--one of the reasons I instantly know it was fake is the language. Words left out, and used improperly are a tell in the cyber world. As people sit in Internet cafes around the world 24 hours a day sending a million emails, they mostly cut and paste, and many do not speak English in Nigeria, Ghana, parts of Russia, and every country who partake in cybercrime.
      I've become sensitized to mistakes because of all the phishing scams I get each day saying "give us all your information so that we can send you $7 million dollars" for no reason; things like that. PS I forwarded yesterday's email to [email protected]
      The first sentence in this article makes it sound like it was written by a hacker; that's why I believe Rob's mention of the date is a valid concern. Although I agree that Big Pharma is a problem, and I am against prescribing pills/or taking pills, without consistent, regular talk therapy about the cause of the symptoms being treated (so I agree with most ideas in this article), they need to edit and rewrite if they want us to take this article seriously. Here's the first sentence:
      Jerome Kagan is the most influential psychologists of the 20th century, who has the expertise and moral authority to compare psychology to a rotten piece of furniture.
      By using the plural instead of "psychologist" with "the most" it sounds like bullshit. And it's just odd that the first sentence talks about rotten furniture, just as a non-sequitur. The rest of the article says nothing about furniture, nor does it end in summary by reminding us back to the kicker, so that's why a pharmaceutical company is like a sofa, or something. This writing has detracted from the article, to the point where it's lost any power to convince. I feel like they're going to ask for my Apple password at the end, so they can send help.

    3. Shawn: Maybe I should apply your concept to your own post. Who, in this day and age, still uses the term "Internet Cafe". That is quite an old and outdated concept in the age of "free wireless" at every coffee shop, restaurant, hotel, grocery store and big box store, let alone, the use of cellular. At the least, this is true in the United States.

      Your wording also could easily lead one to believe that you would, in fact, fall for a $7m giveaway if only it is grammatically correct. Personally, I would like to believe common sense would lead you to that conclusion either way.

      Should I assume you are actually a Nigerian hacker trolling us due to your outdated syntax? Of course not. Sorry to troll, I just found your critique to lack credibility due to your failures being equivalent to that which you are criticizing. It is YOUR position this makes one unbelievable...not mine. lol

    4. I agree with Shawn, and disagree with "Unknown" who hasn't enough courage to use his own name while insulting someone.

  2. Absolutely true, another label to control anxious children. Children need structure and discipline to feel safe and its too easy to say they have some chemical imbalance its a behavioural problem and was never heard of a 100 years ago also putting children on drugs to make them more manageable is for the adults sake and also you can get extra money from the state to care for a child who has it. This is why so many are been diagnosed and turned into zombies and chemically controlled.

  3. I agree that there are cases of over-diagnosis. However, as a parent of a child diagnosed with ADHD, he clearly struggles. The issue is there are other options for support. Drugs are NOT always the answer. We work with a Naturopathic doctor and engage in behavioral therapy and my son is thriving as a result. Never once have we given him Ritalin or the like. The CDC recently issued an article indicating behavioral therapy can be just as successful as drugs. So, I think the issue really is the method of treatment. There is no doubt that ADHD exists, but the question is why and how to do deal with root causes versus shoving a drug down the kiddos throat.

    1. I like what you said. How do you go about finding a "Naturopahic" doctor...then maybe it's too late. My child is already 18 and a product of huge amounts of medication that don't seem to have had any affect on his behavior. Instead he has been labeled by classmates since the 3rd grade and struggles today with very low self-esteem and has been disregarded when he should have been included in sports and other activities at school.

    2. Trish, Sorry to hear that your child has been on huge amounts of medication. I am off all my meds following the protocol of renowned holistic psychiatrist Dr Kelly Brogan, author of A Mind of Your Own - for a drug free life - even after lots of medication:


Don't show again. Close

Like us on Facebook?