Inner America in 2009 is different from any time in history.


The Stanton Peele Addiction Website, December 27, 2009. This blog post also appeared on Stanton's Addiction in Society blog at

What We're Like in 2010

Americans in 2010:

Belief in psychiatric illness and diagnosis is a pervasive fact of life. We think nothing of hearing people announce they are bipolar to explain why their lives are off track and why they are unhappy. This, after years of watching televised ads about depression - could that be you and me? It's as though a single polarized condition were no longer enough to describe our emotional vulnerability as a nation.

We think of our children - if not primarily, then certainly very realistically - as potential diagnoses. Will they display autism spectrum symptoms as they approach age two? Will they (if they are boys) suffer from ADHD and require Adderall in elementary school; if they are girls then bipolar disorder when they approach puberty?

Autism Is at 1:100 : What's Going On?
Tuesday December 22, 2009

According to a new report from the CDC, the number of American eight-year-olds with autism was at 1:100 in 2006, up 60% from 2002. In other words, about 1% of American eight-year-olds had an autism spectrum diagnosis in 2006, and that number is sharply up.

It's important to note that the 1:100 number includes not only medical diagnoses, but also "educational" or "administrative" diagnoses (diagnoses made by schools or other non-medical personnel). The report also states that 40% of those who who received autism diagnoses later lost those diagnoses!

Mood Swings, puberty vs bi-polar?

Can anyone tell me the difference between the mood swings that teens experience due to puberty and the mood swings that teens with bi-polar disorder experience? I think im right in saying that bi-polar disorder is more severe, but i was confused with all of this. If someone could explain each, and maybe explain how a teen may know if they may have bi-polar disorder not just mood swings from puberty.

Thx for the help.

Best Answer - Chosen by Asker

If only it were that easy. If many respond to explain what bipolar is you will see many varied answers. Bipolar manifests somewhat differently in each individual. There are some general categories, but they are very broad.

Mood swings in ppl over 10-12 typically last a week to months. Lasting only days is rare. Lasting only hours is extremely rare. Some ppl go years without an episode. Charting isn't a science. Some ppl cycle with some level of predictability, many don't. I am one who does not.

Does my son have ADHD?
By Dr. Marie Hartwell-Walker

I have a 5 year old son who is very hyper. I'm not sure if he has ADHD but I'm starting to think so. He can't sit still for no more then 2 seconds. It seems as though he isn't listning or his attention is some where else when I'm giving him directions or trying to help him with school work. He gets very frustrated very easily when he doesn't get it right the first time. I have to tell him to do same thing over and over; when he does do it he doesn't complete the task. I'm not sure if I should take him to the doctor or ride it out and see what happens. This has been going on for almost a year and it seems to be getting worse. What should I do?

A: I think you should absolutely take him to a child psychologist for an evaluation. With every failure, his self-esteem is going down. With every frustrated word from you, he is developing the idea that he is dumb or a disappointment. Please find out what is going on with him. Early intervention is often the key to helping a boy like your son develop some self-confidence so he can do his very best.

I wish you well.
Dr. Marie

One responses is for Americans to take mood medications, often many mood medications, and the richest among us the most such medications:

Anna Nicole Smith (age 39)

Anna Nicole Smith died February 9, 2007. March 27, 2007: An accidental overdose of prescription drugs killed former reality TV star and Playboy playmate Anna Nicole Smith, Seminole tribal police Chief Charlie Tiger said Monday.

Heath Ledger (age 28)

Heath Ledger died January 22, 2008 at an apartment in Lower Manhattan from an accidental overdose of prescription medications including painkillers, anti-anxiety drugs and sleeping pills, the New York City medical examiner's office said Wednesday. "Mr. Heath Ledger died as the result of acute intoxication by the combined effects of oxycodone, hydrocodone, diazepam, temazepam, alprazolam, and doxylamine."

Statement from father, Kim, February 6, 2008:

While no medications were taken in excess, we learned today the combination of doctor-prescribed drugs proved lethal for our boy. Heath's accidental death serves as a caution to the hidden dangers of combining prescription medication, even at low dosage.

Michael Jackson (age 50)

Michael Jackson died June 25, 2009.  Aug. 28, 2009 - Acute intoxication with the anesthetic propofol, coupled with the effect of the sedative drug Ativan, killed pop star Michael Jackson on June 25, the Los Angeles County Coroner's Office announced today.

Britanny Murphy (age 32)

Dec. 21, 2009 - Prescription drugs suspected

Oh, and we're obese, at younger and youger ages.

Remember when we thought evolution meant the species became ever better?


Robert MitchumRobert Mitchum arrested for marijuana possession, 1948.