Archive for August, 2012

High school students and stimulant use in Baltimore

Style magazine in Baltimore has  published an article in September 2012 edition on stimulant misuse in high school students in Baltimore. The article distinguishes between the use of stimulants for performance enhancement by students vs the use of stimulants to treat legitimately diagnosed ADHD in young adults. I, along with Dr. Alain Joffe, director of Johns Hopkins University’s Student Health Center, were interviewed for our thoughts on this important issue.  Students interviewed offer their perspective as well.

The take-home point for me as a psychiatrist treating late adolescents and young adults is to obtain a complete history of ADHD since childhood confirmed with input from a parent. Other co-existing psychiatric and medical condition are also considered. Only after I am confident of the presence of ADHD do I write a prescription and recommend behavioral/organizational therapy.

As it is important to treat those who need medication, it is equally important to not prescribe to those students who don’t have ADHD.

ADHD and Olympians

Michael Phelps is universally known as the most medaled olympian in the history of the games. He is also very public about his ADHD.

Yet the 2008 Beijing Olympics  had another gold metal winnerwith ADHD, Adam Kreek from Canada. He won his medal in rowing.

So, for those of you who see ADHD as a life-long handicap, take inspiration from those whose determination led them to success. Go to our website and see famous people with ADHD in all walks of life.  All identified and capitalized on their strengths. What are your strengths that can make you a success?

ADHD in U.S. and Europe

90% of the prescription market for ADHD medications is in the U.S. So what’s up with the rest of the world? I thought this disorder was international in scope and recognized by the World Health Organization?

Well, it is. Unfortunately, countries in Europe have been slow to adopt the U.S. perspective on ADHD. This is a function of different diagnostic criteria. The DSM-IV recognizes ADHD inattentive subtype (no appreciable hyperactive or impulsive symptoms) but the ICD-10 ( the European diagnostic manual) does not. In other words, in Europe, you must have inattentive AND hyperactive/impulsive symptoms. Therefore, fewer children fulfill diagnostic criteria. And certainly adults are very unlikely to meet the criteria for diagnosis. So is ADHD less likely in Europe? No, if you understand the diagnostic criteria difference between the U.S. and Europe.

There are now growing pockets of exemplary research being conducted and published from European countries. Sad to say that my international patients still have difficulty finding expert ADHD doctors in their countries to continue treatment started with me. In addition, the number of ADHD medications approved in Europe is less than the U.S. The medications available vary from country to country because of their respective approval process.

I will follow this blog with advise and instructions to my international colleagues and people seeking treatment about finding an ADHD expert in your country, if not area.

Thank you for your interest. Hope this is informative.

David W. Goodman, M.D.

Copy Cat Crimes since Aurora shooting

The tragedy of Aurora has raised the issue of copy cat crimes, in this case, shootings or threats of shootings. I was asked to provide a psychiatric insight to WUSA Channel 9 News in Washington, DC about copy cat crimes and those people who might take such action.

Copy cat crimes have been a phenomena that occurs around the world. This has been recognized by the Centers for Disease Control and the World Health Organization. Some research supports the idea the media coverage sensationalizing the crime can contribute to copy cat crimes. Conversely, the absence of coverage of the events decreases the likelihood of copy cat crimes. The media is aware of this research and attempts to strike a balance in the reporting these events to the public.

See this excellent report televised today, August 2.

David W. Goodman, M.D.

Categories: Media-TV, News