That is the $20,000 question.
This sort-of article in the NY times (maybe a blog post) does not really answer it.
First, if adults are now taking ADD meds, it can be because there is a real population of the needy who were not diagnosed or medicated. Is that over-prescribing? Well, only if we can find that the people taking it are not fitting the diagnosis of ADD.
That is a valid question, but as the article points out, this report does not really nor can it, really answer that question. So, instead, we tend to look at the question and answer it based on our own ideas. If you think ADD is not a real or wide-spread problem, then, yes, it is over-prescribed. If you think meds are a valid part of treating problematic problems, then this is progress. If you think that perhaps people exhibit ADD symptoms due to their context, such as more stimulus, too little exercise, too little positive work structure, too many boring jobs, and so on, then we can medicate people to help them conform to context, but we are avoiding a full-spectrum approach.
I tend to be in the latter two camps. Meds can help. But it is worth asking if we have the best contexts for learning (kids) or working (bigger kids) for ADD people to be productive and resilient.
Friend posted this link to a Chronicle of HE article about a study of atheists.
Author of blog post Tom Bartlett headlines his review with this headline:
“Do Atheists Really Believe in God?”
“Do Psychologists Really Believe in Skin Test?”
Meh. I think author’s question about whether any imagined external force, God, Squirrel, Bad Luck makes one “anxious’ is the right one. id they bother trying to figure out if one is an atheist, what they think the statement “I dare God to kill my children” means? Like, right now, I am thinking about this, I am aetheist, and I am thinking “what a shitty thing to happen” and I am aware that there is some external mechanism or cause of the badness. I mean, if God does something bad, it is usually through an agent- a flood, a burning topiary, or a bearded guy. It is not like he shows up like Zeus and bangs some chick for no reason. So, really, maybe the statement reminds us of how there are unknowns out there and it is frightening to think about them. So belief in God is really a fear of the unknown. And so the title could have been “Belief in God is fear of the unknown.” So, interesting study. But like 99.9% of social science, what to make of it depends on interpretation.
Wow! Hope for me. The article does state two contradictory results. In the short term, you should avoid wearing out your will power. If you try hard not to eat ice cream, later you will eat something else. So, avoid exposure to the ice cream. In the long term, exercising willpoer increases capacity. So, if ou wnat oa void eating icecream today and tomorrow, keep avoiding it until you can avoid ice cream and cookies afterward. That seems logically problematic since avoiding will power today will make me susceptible to impulses tomorrow. Maybe you build up will power in different arenas, like, going to the gym then helps you control the impulse to eat ice cream and cookies in a month.
Tighten Your Belt, Strengthen Your Mind – New York Times
In psychological studies, even something as simple as using your nondominant hand to brush your teeth for two weeks can increase willpower capacity. People who stick to an exercise program for two months report reducing their impulsive spending, junk food intake, alcohol use and smoking. They also study more, watch less television and do more housework. Other forms of willpower training, like money-management classes, work as well.