A.D.H.D. NATION

“ADHD Nation should be required reading … Schwarz is sounding an alarm for a fire that looks nowhere near abating.”
The New York Times Book Review (Read)

“The most important book of the year for anyone who cares about children.”
John Merrow, former PBS Education Correspondent (Read)

“Chilling … In this powerful, necessary book, Schwarz exposes the dirty secrets of the growing ADHD epidemic.”
Kirkus Reviews (Read)

“[A] sweeping critique… The calm, incisive side of Schwarz’s investigative style dominates.”
Publishers Weekly (Read)

“Devastating and very necessary … I beg you to read this candid, fact-packed and even-handed study.”
Daily Mail (UK)

“Brimming with intelligence and insight … Those with the disorder will hear a voice of compassion. And those who may be misdiagnosed, a clarion note of caution.”
Jerome Groopman, MD, Harvard Medical School; Staff Writer, The New Yorker

At its core, A.D.H.D. Nation is a story – not just of the disorder itself, which has evolved over more than 50 (some would say 200) years, but of children, doctors and drug companies who have led us to the point where 15 percent of American youngsters get diagnosed with it. The main characters are Dr. Keith Conners, often considered the father of A.D.H.D., and two children, Jamison Monroe and Kristin Parber, who got caught up in the growing A.D.H.D. machine.

PART ONE

CHAPTER 1: FIDGETY PHIL’S ARITHMETIC PILLS
A look at the earliest days of concern about attention deficits in children, from the 1700s to today, with an emphasis on Charles Bradley’s discovery in the late 1930s that Benzedrine, an amphetamine for adults and ancestor of Adderall, calmed hyperactive children and made them more interested in schoolwork.

CHAPTER 2: DR. CONNERS
Meet Dr. Keith Conners, a Utah-born Rhodes Scholar turned young child psychologist, as he finds a new medication from Switzerland — Ritalin — improves children’s behavior. He publishes many high-profile scientific papers through the 1960s on how the pills treat hyperactivity — what was then called “Minimal Brain Dysfunction”.

CHAPTER 3: FROM M.B.D. TO A.D.D.
In 1970, the first national controversy over the use of Ritalin in children erupts when news that thousands of children in Omaha are being put on the drug leads to a fiery Congressional hearing. Dr. Conners ignores the debate and continues to diagnose and prescribe Ritalin for M.B.D., which in 1980 is rebranded “Attention Deficit Disorder.”

CHAPTER 4: COLLISION COURSE
As diagnoses of A.D.D. rise to 3 to 4 percent of American children, Ritalin explodes into an American phenomenon, featured on the covers of national magazines, debated on television talk shows, and subjected to high-profile lawsuits. The U.S. National Institute of Mental Health holds a summit on the matter and winds up only confusing parents more.

PART TWO

CHAPTER 5: KRISTIN
Meet Kristin Parber, a third-grader in suburban Philadelphia who is overactive and having trouble concentrating. Her parents and teachers, who through the 1990s have been bombarded by messaging that this means she has what is now called “Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder,” get her put on Ritalin. The adults around Kristin believe it helps; she isn’t so sure.

CHAPTER 6: JAMISON
Meet Jamison Monroe, a freshman at a prestigious Houston-area prep school who sees his grades slip and wants to focus and study harder. He tries one of his friends’ Ritalin pills and likes them so much that he fakes A.D.H.D. to his parents and doctor to get a regular prescription.

CHAPTERS 7-18: Coming soon

NOTE: This is only a partial bibliography. Interested researchers can e-mail Alan Schwarz for any other citations.

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Clements, Sam D. Minimal Brain Dysfunction in Children: NINDB Monograph. U.S. Public Health Service, 1966.

———. Minimal Brain Dysfunction in Children: Terminology and Identification: Phase One of a Three-Phase Project. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Health, Education and Welfare, 1966. LINK

Conners, C. Keith, ed. Clinical Use of Stimulant Drugs in Children: Proceedings of a Symposium Held at Key Biscayne, Florida, 5–8 March, 1972. Princeton, N.J.: Excerpta Medica, 1974.

Conners, C. Keith, and Juliet L. Jett. Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (in Adults and Children): The Latest Assessment and Treatment Strategies. Kansas City, Mo.: Compact Clinicals, 1999. LINK

Conners, C. Keith, and Karen C. Wells. Hyperkinetic Children: A Neuropsychosocial Approach. Beverly Hills, Calif.: Sage Publications, 1986. LINK

Corman, Clifford L., and Esther Trevino. Eukee the Jumpy Jumpy Elephant. Plantation, Fla.: Specialty Press, 1995. LINK

Crichton, Alexander. An Inquiry into the Nature and Origin of Mental Derangement: Comprehending a Concise System of the Physiology and Pathology of the Human Mind and a History of the Passions and their Effects. London: T. Jr. & W. Davies; 1798. LINK

Decker, Hannah S. The Making of DSM-III: A Diagnostic Manual’s Conquest of American Psychiatry. New York: Oxford University Press, 2013. LINK

DeGrandpre, Richard. Ritalin Nation: Rapid-Fire Culture and the Transformation of Human Consciousness. New York: W.W. Norton, 1999. LINK

Diller, Lawrence H. Running on Ritalin: A Physician Reflects on Children, Society and Performance in a Pill. New York: Bantam, 1998. LINK

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Frances, Allen. Saving Normal: An Insider’s Revolt Against Out-of-Control Psychiatric Diagnosis, DSM-5, Big Pharma, and the Medicalization of Ordinary Life. New York: HarperCollins, 2013. LINK

Galvin, Matthew. Otto Learns about His Medicine: A Story about Medication for Children with ADHD. Washington, DC: Magination Press, 1995. LINK

Gazzaniga, Michael S. Tales from Both Sides of the Brain. New York: HarperCollins, 2015. LINK

Grinspoon, Lester, and Peter Hedblom. The Speed Culture: Amphetamine Use and Abuse in America. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1975. LINK

Gross, Mortimer D., and William C. Wilson. Minimal Brain Dysfunction. New York: Brunner/Mazel, 1974. LINK

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Hallowell, Edward M., and John J. Ratey. Driven from Distraction: Getting the Most out of Life with Attention Deficit Disorder. New York: Ballantine Books, 2006. LINK

———. Driven to Distraction: Recognizing and Coping with Attention Deficit Disorder from Childhood through Adulthood. New York: Pantheon Books, 1994. LINK

Healy, David. The Psychopharmacologists: Interviews by Dr. David Healy. New York: Chapman and Hall, 1997. LINK

Hinshaw, S. P. “Is ADHD an impairing condition in childhood and adolescence?” In Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder: State of the Science, Best Practices, edited by P. S. Jensen & J. R. Cooper. Kingston, N.J.: Civic Research Institute, 2002. LINK

Hinshaw, Stephen P., and Richard M. Scheffler. The ADHD Explosion: Myths, Medication, Money and Today’s Push for Performance. New York: Oxford University Press, 2014. LINK

Hoffmann, Heinrich. Struwwelpeter: Merry Stories and Funny Pictures. LINK

Kraus, Jeanne. Cory Stories: A Kid’s Book about Living with ADHD. Washington, DC: Magination Press, 2005. LINK

Lambert, Nadine M. “Stimulant treatment as a risk factor for nicotine use and substance abuse.” In Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder: State of the Science, Best Practices, edited by P. S. Jensen & J. R. Cooper. Kingston, N.J.: Civic Research Institute, 2002. LINK

Lane, Randall. The Zeroes: My Misadventures in the Decade Wall Street Went Insane. New York: Portfolio, 2010. LINK

Mayes, Rick, Catherine Bagwell, and Jennifer Erkulwater. Medicating Children: ADHD and Pediatric Mental Health. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 2009. LINK

Moon, Nathan William. “The Amphetamine Years: A Study of the Medical Applications and Extramedical Consumption of Psychostimulant Drugs in the Postwar United States, 1945–1980.” Thesis, Georgia Institute of Technology, 2009. LINK

Moore, Elaine A. The Amphetamine Debate: The Use of Adderall, Ritalin and Related Drugs for Behavior Modification, Neuroenhancement and Anti-Aging Properties. Jefferson, N.C.: McFarland & Company, 2011. LINK

Moss, Deborah M. Shelley the Hyperactive Turtle. Rockville, Md.: Woodbine House, 1989. LINK

Moynihan, Ray, and Alan Cassels. Selling Sickness: How the World’s Biggest Pharmaceutical Companies Are Turning Us All into Patients. New York: Perseus Books Group, 2005. LINK

Myers, Richard L. The 100 Most Important Chemical Compounds. Westport, Conn.: Greenwood Press, 2007. LINK

Peters, John, et al. Screening for MBD: Physician’s Handbook. Summit, N.J.: CIBA Medical Horizons, 1973. LINK

Pilkey, Dav. Captain Underpants and the Perilous Plot of Professor Poopypants. New York: Scholastic, 2000. LINK

———. Captain Underpants and the Sensational Saga of Sir Stinks-A-Lot. New York: Scholastic, 2015. LINK

Rasmussen, Nicolas. On Speed: The Many Lives of Amphetamine. New York: New York University Press, 2008. LINK

Ross, Dorothea M., and Sheila A. Ross. Hyperactivity: Research, Theory and Action. New York: John Wiley & Sons, 1976. LINK

Safer, Daniel J., and Richard P. Allen. Hyperactive Children: Diagnosis and Management. Baltimore: University Park Press, 1976. LINK

Schrag, Peter, and Diane Divoky. The Myth of the Hyperactive Child. New York: Pantheon Books, 1975. LINK

Sinclair, Upton. I, Candidate for Governor: and How I Got Licked. Oakland: University of California Press, 1994. LINK

Singh, Ilina. “Not Just Naughty: 50 Years of Stimulant Drug Advertising.” In Medicating Modern America: Prescription Drugs in History, edited by Andrea Tone and Elizabeth Siegel Watkins. New York: New York University Press, 2007. LINK

Smith, Matthew. Hyperactive: The Controversial History of ADHD. London: Reaktion Books, 2012. LINK

Surman, Craig B. H., ed. ADHD in Adults: A Practical Guide to Evaluation and Management. New York: Current Clinical Psychiatry, 2013. LINK

Timimi, Sami, and Jonathan Leo, eds. Rethinking ADHD: From Brain to Culture. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2009. LINK

Turner, Steve. A Hard Day’s Write: The Stories Behind Every Beatles Song. New York: HarperCollins, 2005. LINK

Wedge, Marilyn. A Disease Called Childhood: Why ADHD Became an American Epidemic. New York: Penguin, 2015. LINK

Wegmann, Joseph. Psychopharmacology: Straight Talk on Mental Health Medications. Eau Claire, Wis.: Premier Publishing & Media, 2012. LINK

Weikard, Melchior Adam. Der Philosophische Arzt: Philosophische Arzeneykunst oder von Gebrechen der Sensationen, des Verstandes, und des Willens. Frankfurt am Main, Andreaische Buchhandlung‚ 1799. LINK

Weiss, Gabrielle, and Lily Hechtman. Hyperactive Children Grown Up. New York: Guilford Press, 1993. LINK

Wender, Paul. “Hypothesis for a Possible Biochemical Basis of Minimal Brain Dysfunction.” In Neuropsychology of Learning Disorders: Theoretical Approaches, edited by Robert M. Knights and Dirk J. Bakker. Baltimore: University Park Press, 1976. LINK

———. Minimal Brain Dysfunction in Children. New York: John Wiley, 1971. LINK

Wender, Paul H. “Minimal Brain Dysfunction: An Overview.” In Psychopharmacology: A Generation of Progress, edited by M. A. Lipton et al. New York: Ravel Press, 1978, 1429–35.

Whitaker, Robert. Anatomy of an Epidemic. New York: Broadway Paperbacks, 2010.

Whitaker, Robert, and Lisa Cosgrove. Psychiatry Under the Influence: Institutional Corruption, Social Injury, and Prescriptions for Reform. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2015. LINK

PERIODICAL AND WEB ARTICLES

“ADHD Has Repercussions Throughout Adulthood.” Medscape, undated. LINK

Allen, Scott. “Backlash on bipolar diagnoses in children: MGH psychiatrist’s work stirs debate.” Boston Globe, June 17, 2007, A1.

Anderson, Jenny. “Decades of Failing to Recognize ADHD in Girls Has Created a ‘Lost Generation’ of Women.” Quartz, Jan. 19, 2016. LINK

Armstrong, Walter. “Will Success Rock Shire Pharma?” Pharmaceutical Executive, Mar. 10, 2010, 6–10. LINK

“Attention Deficit Disorder Stirs Debate Among Parents” (photo caption) in Chicago Tribune, Dec. 9, 1990, 3.

Barkley, Russell. “I Lost My Brother to ADHD.” ADDitude, undated. LINK

Battista, Judy. “Drug of Focus Is at Center of Suspensions.” NYT, Dec. 1, 2012. LINK

Beck, Melinda. “Mind Games.” Wall Street Journal, Apr. 6, 2010. LINK

“Behavioral Briefs: ADHD Has Repercussions Throughout Adulthood.” Medscape, undated. LINK

Berck, Judith. “Is It Old Age, or A.D.H.D.?” NYT, Sept. 28, 2015. LINK

“Best TV Advertising Campaign.” Medical Marketing & Media, Oct. 9, 2012. http://www.mmm-online.com/best-tv-advertising-campaign/article/262846/.

Bishop, Tyler. “Adderall at Vanderbilt: Causes, Integrity and Safety.” Vanderbilt Hustler, Dec. 5, 2012. LINK

Block, Alex Ben. “ABC Renews ‘General Hospital’ and ‘The Chew,’ Cancels ‘The Revolution.’ ” Hollywood Reporter, Apr. 11, 2012. LINK

Boeck, Scott. “MLB Drug Report: Nearly 1 in 10 Get ADD Exemption.” USA Today, Nov. 30, 2012. LINK

Bohannon, John, “I Fooled Millions into Thinking Chocolate Helps Weight Loss. Here’s How.” io9. LINK

Borzi, Patrick. “Group Comforts Parents of Hyperactive Children.” Miami Herald, Apr. 28, 1988, BR-3.

Brauser, Deborah. “ADHD Med May Offer Drug Option for Binge Eating Disorder.” Medscape Medical News, Jan. 20, 2015. LINK

Brecher, Elinor J. “Why Johnny Can’t Behave.” Miami Herald, Aug. 3, 1990, E1.

Caher, J. “Ritalin Case Puts Parents, Courts on a Collision Course.” New York Law Journal, Aug. 17, 2000, 1.

Calderone, Ana. “Monica Seles Opens Up About Binge Eating Disorder.” People, Feb. 3, 2015. LINK

Carey, Benedict. “Dr. Leon Eisenberg, Pioneer in Autism Studies, Dies at 87.” NYT, Sep. 24, 2009, A39.

———. “John William Money, 84, Sexual Identity Researcher, Dies.” NYT, July 11, 2006. LINK

Carter, Matthew. “Paying Attention: ADHD, and Our Children, Inside and Out.” GoodTherapy.org, Nov. 10, 2009. LINK

Cassels, Caroline. “FDA Okays First Orally Disintegrating Tablet for ADHD in Kids.” Medscape, Jan. 28, 2016. LINK

CDC. “Key Findings of the Prevalence of Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder: Its Diagnosis and Treatment in a Community Based Epidemologic Study.” 2014. LINK

Connor, Daniel F. “Problems of overdiagnosis and overprescribing in ADHD.” Psychiatric Times, Aug. 11, 2011. LINK

Dell’Antonia, K. J. “How Many People Believe A.D.H.D. Is Caused by Poor Parenting?” NYT (Motherlode blog), May 4, 2012. LINK

DeNoon, Daniel. J. “ADHD Drug Does Stunt Growth.” WebMD Health News, July 20, 2007. LINK

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Drell, Martin J. Letter to the Editor. NYT, Feb. 6, 2013. LINK

Editorial. Lancet 301 (1973): 488.

Editors and Readers of ADDitude. “12 Amazing ADHD Superpowers.” LINK

“Efficiency of Brain Held Due to Its ‘Fuel’; Cells Found Speeded Up by Synthetic Drug.” NYT, Apr. 10, 1937, 6.

Elliott, Carl. “The Secret Lives of Big Pharma’s ‘Thought Leaders.’ ” Chronicle of Higher Education, Sept. 12, 2010. LINK

Elmer-Dewitt, Philip. “Behavior: Why Junior Won’t Sit Still.” Time, Nov. 26, 1990, 59. LINK

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Fields, Lisa. “FDA Says ADHD Drug Shortage to End in April.” Consumer Reports, Apr. 5, 2012. LINK

Fink, Paul J. “The Challenge of Treating ADHD.” News, Apr. 1, 2004, 15.

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Gale, Karla. “Ritalin requests often deemed inappropriate.” Reuters Health, Sept. 14, 2006.

George, John. “Promotional ADHD Drug Video Draws FDA’s Rebuke.” Philadelphia Business Journal, Oct. 13, 2008. Accessed Nov. 29, 2015. http://www.bizjournals.com/philadelphia/stories/2008/10/13/story3.html?b=1223870400%255E1713865.

Goode, Erica. “Arnold Hutschnecker, 102, Therapist to Nixon.” NYT, Jan. 3, http://www.nytimes.com/2001/01/03/us/arnold-hutschnecker-102-therapist-to-nixon.html.

Goodman, David W. “Unmasking ADHD in Adults.” Medscape Education Psychiatry & Mental Health, released Aug. 10, 2012. http://www.medscape.org/viewarticle/768677.

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Hamblin, James. “ER Visits Related to Brain Stimulants Have Quadrupled.” Atlantic, Aug. 12, 2013. http://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2013/08/er-visits-related-to-brain-stimulants-have-quadrupled/278568/.

Hancock, LynNell. “Mother’s Little Helper.” Newsweek, Mar. 18, 1996, 51–56.

Haney, Daniel Q. “Drug Helps Hyperactive Kids; No One Knows Why.” The Nashua Telegraph, Apr. 10, 1988, G-3.

Harris, Gardiner. “Drug Maker Told Studies Would Aid It, Papers Say.” NYT, Mar. 19, 2009. http://www.nytimes.com/2009/03/20/us/20psych.html?ref=topics&_r=0.

———. “F.D.A. Finds Short Supply of Attention Deficit Drugs.” NYT, Dec. 31, 2011, A1. http://www.nytimes.com/2012/01/01/health/policy/fda-is-finding-attention-drugs-in-short-supply.html.

Harris, Gardiner, and Benedict Carey. “Researchers Fail to Reveal Full Drug Pay.” NYT, June 8, 2008, A1.

Healy, Michelle. “Childhood ADHD Often Can Linger into Adulthood.” USA Today, Mar. 4, 2013. http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2013/03/04/adhd-adults-childhood/1953789/.

Hochman, Stan. “Victorino’s Positive Spirit Has Helped Him Deal with ADD.” Philly.com, May 5, 2011. articles.philly.com/2011-05-05/sports/29513110_1_attention-deficit-disorder-parents-kid/.

Huffman, Paul. “The Man Who Loves Only Numbers.” Vanity Fair, Nov. 1987, 64.

Hughes, Ruth. “Substance Abuse, ADHD, and Medications: The Real Issues.” CHADD Leadership Blog, Feb. 4, 2013. chaddleadershipblog.blogspot.com/2013/02/substance-abuse-adhd-and-medications.html.

Insel, Thomas. “Director’s Blog: Are Children Overmedicated?” National Institute of Mental Health, June 6, 2014. http://www.nimh.nih.gov/about/director/2014/are-children-overmedicated.shtml.

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Sahakian, Barbara, and Sharon Morein-Zamir. “Professor’s Little Helper.” Nature, Dec. 20, 2007, 1157–59. LINK

Sappell, Joel, and Robert W. Welkos. “Suits, Protests Fuel a Campaign Against Psychiatry.” Los Angeles Times, June 29, 1990, A1. LINK

Schaar, Ted. “Witty Songs.” LINK

Schwarz, Alan. “Abuse of Attention Deficit Pills Graduates into the Workplace.” NYT, April 19, 2015, A1.

———. “Attention-Deficit Drugs Face New Campus Rules.” NYT, May 1, 2013, A10.

———. “Attention Disorder or Not, Pills to Help in School.” NYT, Oct. 9, http://www.nytimes.com/2012/10/09/health/attention-disorder-or-not-children-prescribed-pills-to-help-in-school.html.

———. “Doctors Train to Spot Signs of A.D.H.D. in Children.” NYT, Feb. 19, 2014, A10.

———. “Drowned in a Stream of Prescriptions.” NYT, Feb. 3, 2013, A1. http://www.nytimes.com/2013/02/03/us/concerns-about-adhd-practices-and-amphetamine-addiction.html.

———. “Harvard Student’s Suicide as a Case Study.” NYT, May 1, 2013, A12.

———. “Idea of a New Attention Disorder Spurs Research, and Debate.” NYT, April 12, 2014, A12.

———. “No Link Seen Between Child Stimulant Use and Later Drug Abuse.” NYT, May 30, 2013. http://www.nytimes.com/2013/05/30/health/no-impact-found-for-stimulants-on-later-drug-abuse.html.

———. “Report Says Medication Use Is Rising for Adults With Attention Disorder.” NYT, Mar. 12, 2014, A16. http://www.nytimes.com/2014/03/12/us/report-says-medication-use-is-rising-for-adults-with-attention-disorder.html.

———. “Risky Rise of the Good-Grade Pill.” NYT, June 9, 2012. http://www.nytimes.com/2012/06/10/education/seeking-academic-edge-teenagers-abuse-stimulants.html.

———. “The Selling of Attention Deficit Disorder.” NYT, Dec. 15, 2013, A1. http://www.nytimes.com/2013/12/15/health/the-selling-of-attention-deficit-disorder.html.

———. “Thousands of Toddlers Are Medicated for A.D.H.D., Report Finds, Raising Worries.” NYT, May 17, 2014, A11.

Schwarz, Alan, and Sarah Cohen. “A.D.H.D. Seen in 11% of U.S. Children as Diagnoses Rise.” NYT, Apr. 1, 2013. http://www.nytimes.com/2013/04/01/health/more-diagnoses-of-hyperactivity-causing-concern.html.

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Sherman, Mark. “Justices Sympathetic to Man Deported for Carrying Adderall in Sock.” PBS Newshour, Jan. 14, 2015. http://www.pbs.org/newshour/rundown/justices-sympathetic-man-deported-carrying-adderall-sock/.

Sizemore, Bill. “Did Study Miss the Mark?” Virginian-Pilot, Jan. 23, 2005, A14. Sperling, Dan. “Families Struggle with Kids’ Hyperactive Behavior.” USA Today, Feb. 6, 1990, 4D.

Stepp, Laura Sessions. “A Wonder Drug’s Worst Side Effect.” Washington Post, Feb. 5, 1996, A1.

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Do you have A.D.H.D.? Do you have any family or personal connection to it?

I do not have A.D.H.D., and, as far as I know, have never been suspected of it. A few young relatives were diagnosed 10 to 20 years ago, and from what I’m told have benefited from medication. My attraction to the subject was purely journalistic.

You spent almost five years writing about brain injuries in sports –what brought you to A.D.H.D.?

In mid-2011, having written about 120 articles on concussions for the Times, I was pretty burned out and wanted a change. I chose the Education department because I had heard that some high school kids in my native Westchester County were feeling such academic pressure that they would snort Adderall before the S.A.T.’s. I was horrified — and, because I have my own memories of academic pressure from the 1980s, wanted to find out what was going on. It turned out that Adderall misuse among teenagers was far worse than anyone — grownups, not kids — wanted to admit. My first article for the Times on the subject in June 2012 was not really about A.D.H.D. or Adderall, but about the pressure some kids face to exploit the system.

I thought it would be a single story. But the more I researched the subject I found so many parallels to my concussion work. There was a significant health risk flying under the radar. Those in the industry (football, psychiatry) reacted by either minimizing or outright denying any problem at all. Dubious scientific research was generated, misinterpreted and mishandled by adults who darned well should have known better. And kids were paying the price.

Has anyone you know had problems with abusing Adderall?

No one I am aware of. Of course I met scores of people during my four years of research, but if any friend or family member abused A.D.H.D. medications I have never known about it.

I will say this — my father told me recently that in the 1940s, when he was about 11 years old and overweight, his parents put him on Benzedrine as a diet aid. He liked it. Not because it kept him trim, but because it kept him awake a few extra hours — for listening to baseball games on a radio stashed under his pillow.

Why does the book not use Kristin Parber’s real name?

Kristin is very candid with her story, and in fact has discussed it publicly in the past to help other dealing with problems like hers, but respected that her family might be less open about it than she is. She also did not want people to blame her parents for her struggles — they were merely doing what others told them was best for her. Some people might choose to figure out her real name, but including the family name in the book was not necessary.

Have you ever tried Adderall or other A.D.H.D. medications?

No. I’m not into psychoactive substances much, including alcohol, and don’t have any particular desire to experiment with any. That being said, I’m a high-performing guy who can barely function without coffee, and would certainly welcome something that would provide instant energy and focus. I’ll bet I would love it. All the more reason not to try it.

They say “When in doubt, take it out” — so even though these tidbits and sections would interest many readers, the material didn’t make the final cut. But I saved it to present here and will try to add new material occasionally.

THE REAL FIDGETY PHIL

Chapter 1 of A.D.H.D. Nation introduces “Fidgety Phil,” a fictional little boy featured in Heinrich Hoffmann’s 1845 illustrated book about quirky children. Because Phil drove his parents crazy by wriggling and giggling at dinner and leaning back in his chair, many A.D.H.D advocates and historians have diagnosed Phil with attention deficit and cited him as proof that the disorder has been recognized for almost two centuries. This is preposterous, of course, but it turns out that there really was a Fidgety Phil — Phil Collins, a major league baseball player who was actually a pretty decent pitcher for the (you can’t make this stuff up) Philadelphia Phillies from 1929 to 1935. Collins earned the nickname because he would pull on his uniform pants and cap between pitches; whether he did this because of nerves or to distract hitters has been lost to history.

C.H.A.D.D. AND SHIRE

Expecting Children and Adults with Attention Deficit Disorder, A.D.H.D.’s primary support and advocacy group, to forego pharmaceutical funding is simply unrealistic in today’s world. But the organization must be wary of how it is used to further some benefactors’ objectives. In 2013, a Shire executive admitted to me that his company’s support of C.H.A.D.D. was not necessarily charitable, but “a marketing expense,” as he put it. He continued: “We do support broadly what they are trying to do in the marketplace,” before realizing what he’d just said. “Maybe in society is a better way to say it.”

M.T.A. DISSENT

The Multimodal Treatment of Children in A.D.H.D. study, published in 1999 to great industry and media fanfare, was probably the most pivotal moment in the disorder’s history — the researchers trumpeted the results as proving medication as the best treatment for A.D.H.D., even though behavioral therapy fared reasonably well given the study’s parameters and should have been presented as a viable approach for families to consider. But one of the study’s authors, Dr. William Pelham, was horrified at this irresponsibility and said so. “The results have been widely, prematurely, and inaccurately described as indicating that medication alone is sufficient to treat A.D.H.D.,” he wrote in the newsletter Clinical Psychiatry. Keith Conners had his misgivings, too, but was more subtle in sharing his concerns. Because few of the study’s 19 behavioral-therapy categories actually showed statistically significant differences — as he put it, the method “almost guaranteed no real result” — Dr. Conners did his own analysis, merging the 19 categories into one to see what happened. This method put behavioral therapy in a much better light. Conners’s 2001 paper received little attention then or since.

Alan Schwarz and the New York Times examine ADHD advertising

Fox “Happening Now” talks A.D.H.D. Nation with Alan Schwarz

Partnership for Drug-Free Kids Documentary clip

Schwarz explains the math behind A.D.H.D. diagnosis rates