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“Daydreaming could be seen as attention disorder.” Alan Schwarz of the New York Times wrote this article, illuminating a not too well known attempt to widen the scope of pyschotropics in "treating" an everyday event. Daydreaming.

Daydreaming is wonderful, not a disorder.
Photo courtesy of FidlerJan/MorgueFile

Here are the highlights:

Schwarz said that experts want more research into “sluggish cognitive tempo.” They do so in order to get it recognized as a “legitimate disorder.” If it enters into that realm, it moves into the arena of being treatable with pharmacological treatment. In short, using drugs to treat it.

“Some of the condition’s researchers have helped Eli Lilly investigate how it’s flagship ADHD drug might treat it.” That drug is Strattera.

In the January issue of The Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology 136 pages were devoted to various papers describing the “illness.” The lead paper, not named, claims that the question of its existence “seems to be laid to rest as of this issue.”

Russell Barkley, a psychologist with the Medical University of South Carolina, a 30 year proponent of ADHD, has claimed, according to the article, in research papers and lectures that sluggish cognitive tempo “has become the new attention disorder.”

Dr. Keith McBurnett, professor of psychiatry at UC San Francisco, has been the co-author of several papers on sluggish cognitive tempo. He, and others, including a few members of the Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology’s board, say “that there is no concensus on the new disorders specific symptoms let alone scientific validity.”

This, from the article, a quote from Dr. Allan Frances, an emeritus professor of psychiatry at Duke, “We’re seeing a fad in evolution: Just as ADHD has been the diagnosis du jour for 15 years or so, this is the beginning of another. This is a public health experiment on millions of kids.”

Keep in mind that professors at the University level are required to publish, as in publish or perish. A lot of what is published is pure junk. There is actually a published paper in a nursing journal about “loading the spoon.” Research into how to put food on a spoon and feed someone.

There’s more but it is all just crazy, according to many, which is a very polite way of saying that it’s BS of the highest order. Daydreaming is now a “disorder”? A former teachers take on it: "Really?"

It is difficult for many to remain polite about this. As far as is known, there isn’t a child on this planet who doesn’t daydream. The same applies to the adult population. Is there an adult who doesn’t daydream? It is an absolutely normal thing to do.

Children, and those fortunate enough to retain some nanobit of childhood, daydream all the time. It’s the reason they can become super hero’s after donning a towel for a cape, become Catwoman just because, or create any number of really cool tools with a stick, or climb into a box and blast off for the moon. It’s how they enter into the story their teacher is reading. They actually are the bear, the bee, that kid who’s lost, the caterpillar who turns into a butterfly. It is an enormously important part of childhood. It is a building block of creativity.

It may be the reason we have computers, airplanes, great art, music, and a rich history of the written word. You’d have to ask daVinci, Michelangelo, Bach, Beethoven, Marie Curie, Jobs, and quite a few others about that. Of course, you’d have to do a bit a daydreaming, and launch out into the everywhere to do so.

Pushing this to become a disorder in the Diagnostics and Statistical Manual may be a push by Eli Lilly, and others, to add to their profit line. It is accepted that some children benefit from drugs that allow them to concentrate. There is no doubt that some children, who fit a strenuous and narrowly defined diagnosis by a highly qualified medical professional, benefit from Eli Lilly’s flagship drug for ADHD, Strattera, or Adderall or Concerta.

The article outlines some concerns about excessive daydreaming. Who, exactly, is in charge of the excessive daydreaming label? As parents of school age children, it is important to allow your children to simply be children, free from some of the crazy babble of adults.

How this could actually end up in the Diagnostics and Statistical Manual as a defined "disorder" is very difficult to imagine.

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