Researchers, psychologists,and a pharmaceutical company are working hand in hand to invent another disorder to label children with. Out of concern for the millions of children who may not be receiving the “correct” diagnoses and medication needed to make them more alert, perform better, and get better grades, the term “Sluggish Cognitive Tempo” has been coined to describe those millions of children who…uh…act like children.
According to the New York Times, “…some powerful figures in mental health are claiming to have identified a new disorder that could vastly expand the ranks of young people treated for attention problems. Called sluggish cognitive tempo, the condition is said to be characterized by lethargy, daydreaming and slow mental processing. By some researchers’ estimates, it is present in perhaps two million children.
Experts pushing for more research into sluggish cognitive tempo say it is gaining momentum toward recognition as a legitimate disorder — and, as such, a candidate for pharmacological treatment. Some of the condition’s researchers have helped Eli Lilly investigate how its flagship A.D.H.D. drug might treat it…”
Not everyone agrees that SCT is a real disorder.
“We’re seeing a fad in evolution: Just as A.D.H.D. has been the diagnosis du jour for 15 years or so, this is the beginning of another,” said Dr. Allen Frances, an emeritus professor of psychiatry at Duke University. “This is a public health experiment on millions of kids….”
In a blog post (brilliantly titled: ‘No Child Left Undiagnosed’) for Psychology Today, Allen J. Frances, MD, writes… “Sluggish Cognitive Tempo is a remarkably silly name for an even sillier proposal. Its main characteristics are vaguely described but include some combination daydreaming, lethargy, and slow mental processing. Its proponents estimate that SCT afflicts approximately 2 million children. Not surprisingly, Eli Lilly is already on the case.
The Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology is also taking all this very seriously. SCT is featured in 136 pages of its January issue. Included are claims that the question of its existence “seems to be laid to rest as of this issue” and that SCT is gaining momentum toward recognition as a legitimate disorder…”
So, let’s just medicate every child–the nuisance, the pest, the daydreamer–let’s medicate them all. How convenient for everyone and what a boon for pharmaceutical companies. As these “professionals” continue in their quest to pursue diagnoses for dollars, the real expense is to the kids–who are simply being kids.