Reply To: have you heard of him?

#104135
Spaceboy 99
Participant

Hey there,

So, I did a little research on this guy (I’d never heard of him), and I’m afraid I think he’s largely full of blather. There’s a WSJ article here: https://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/magazine/daniel-amen-is-the-most-popular-psychiatrist-in-america-to-most-researchers-and-scientists-thats-a-very-bad-thing/2012/08/07/467ed52c-c540-11e1-8c16-5080b717c13e_story.html?noredirect=on&utm_term=.20df0a38824b That goes into what some of what he thinks, how he tests, and the wider scientific community’s response to his methods.

From reading some of his material, you’re mostly right. What he does is uses a radioactive isotope and scanning equipment to supposedly map levels of brain function, and by comparing the results to 7 ‘archetype’ images discerns ‘which type of adhd you have’. However, the DSM-V denotes 3 types of ADHD, not 7, and reading through his material, he seems to be conflating what I would describe as distinct conditions. 3 of his 7 types are in line with the DSM-V descriptors, but then he has three others, which seem to be ADHD comorbid with depression, comorbid with Anxiety, Comorbid with hypersensitivite, and comorbid with something else I can’t remember.

I tend to recoil whenever I see that ‘this one person knows something nobody else does’, because 99 times out of 100, that one person is merely a charlatan. I’ve seen nothing on his pages that convinces me otherwise, his tests strike me as somewhat patronising, given that if it was so easy to diagnose ADHD, the entire medical community would have adopted it by now, and while I didn’t see anything immediately alarming in his treatment methods (he acknowledged that certain forms of adhd (his forms) are non-responsive to stimulant medications and advocated dietary control), I saw one comment in response to an article posted on Additude, actually, that claimed he had prescribed psychotropics to an infant without actually seeing the patient.

Long story short, I’d give the guy a wide berth, particularly as this ’10-15 minute test’ costs $3,500, and the entire scientific community says it’s bunkum.