Shakespeare, Health Care, Doctors and ADHD

And thou, too careless patient as thou art, Commit'st thy anointed body to the cure Of those physicians that first wounded thee shakespeare richard II“And thou, too careless patient as thou art,
Commit’st thy anointed body to the cure
Of those physicians that first wounded thee”

(King Richard II, act 2, sc. 1)

Call it suspension of disbelief, or rather suspension of belief. But disbelief is called for when, on sundry TV snippets, dedicated to health, we listen to statements whereby doctors are “concerned” about this or that health-issue, e.g. diabetes, cancer, obesity and the like.

The concern is obviously untrue. If there were no illnesses, the massive medical-pharmaceutical-insurance establishment would be deprived of the enormous related profits. Who would then ingest those costly medicines and/or buy the plethora of offered gadgets? Besides, has anyone ever paid attention to the comic litany of “side-effects” associated with the endless list of “new” medicines advertised and promoted to the helpless viewer? From diarrhea to death (sic)?

Most health advice, supported by so-called researches, is contradictory. Examples would fill a book. Who, for example, cannot remember the researches concluding that coffee is bad for us, followed by other researches concluding the exact opposite?

One good advice we never hear from the news channel is to become vegetarians. No need for academic credentials for stating what is statistically obvious – that a vegetarian diet has historically proven more conducive to general health. Or, at least, it has proven the best insurance against the inevitable weaknesses that trigger our illnesses. Bombarded, as we are, by medical propaganda, it is easy (or maybe comfortable, for some), to forget that “All that lives must die, passing through nature to eternity”

Of course. vegetarianism is censored from television because it would hurt the interest of the fast-food and meat industry. In the same line of thought, the TV never shows how animals are killed – if they did, meat consumption would dramatically drop.

The same principle explains why the Pentagon forbids the showing of coffins being unloaded from planes – planes arriving from countries which received the US blessing of “freedom and democracy” via the medium of bombs and drones. It is feared that the viewing would somewhat abate the nationalistic cravings of some warmongers.

But to return to medicine, the case of ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder) shows the deceit of the industry. Perhaps not many know that the ADHD “disease” or “condition” was born in 1987. Was it brought-in by a virus, a microbe or some other pathogen? No, the disease was invented by the pharmaceutical industry. After all the president of one the pharmaceutical multinational is on record for stating that if there are no new illnesses, we must invent them – or so he said at a sales convention.

Does it mean that before 1987 all children were attentive and only moderately active (including ourselves)? Apparently not. In 1775, a German doctor Melchior Adam Weikard wrote in his book “Der Philosophische Arzt”,

“An inattentive person won’t remark anything but will be shallow everywhere. He studies his matters only superficially; his judgements are erroneous and he misconceives the worth of things because he does not spend enough time and patience to search a matter individually or by the piece with the adequate accuracy. Such people only hear half of everything; they memorize or inform only half of it or do it in a messy manner. According to a proverb they generally know a little bit of all and nothing of the whole….They are mostly reckless, often considering imprudent projects, but they are also most inconstant in execution. They treat everything in a light manner since they are not attentive enough to feel denigration or disadvantages.”

I do not know about you, but I will plainly admit that often I have studied “matters only superficially” and did “not spend enough time and patience to search a matter individually or by the piece with the adequate accuracy”. And even today I feel that I “generally know a little bit of all and nothing of the whole.” And as for “imprudent projects” I have a fairly long list.

And yet, today, these characteristics are enough to qualify a person as “affected” by ADHD and in need of pills, the expense for which will further increase the grotesque profits of the sickness industry.

The latest figures on attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) show a growing epidemic in the United States. According to the Centers for Disease Control, 15 percent of high school children are diagnosed with ADHD. The number of those on stimulant medication is at 3.5 million, up from 600,000 two decades ago. ADHD is now the second most common long-term diagnosis in children, narrowly trailing asthma.

These incredible figures reflect a medical reality or an over-medicated craze that has earned billions in profits for the pharmaceutical companies involved. Sales for ADHD drugs like Adderall and Concerta exceeded $9 billion in the United States last year, a more than 500 percent jump from a decade before. The radical spike in diagnoses has coincided with a 20-year marketing effort to promote stimulant prescriptions for children struggling in school, as well as for adults seeking to take control of their lives. The marketing effort has relied on studies and testimonials from doctors who have received massive speaking fees and funding grants from major pharmaceutical companies.

It turns out that some of the ADHD drugs have side effects (who could have guessed), and every now and then some young patients either commit suicide or go on rampages (often deadly). And that the same pills are sought after for their associated psychedelic effect.

So much for ADHD, so much for health.

Of course, this is no concern for the “health industry”. After all, their “more having is but a sauce to make them hunger more” (from Macbeth)

In the Play.  Gaunt reproaches nephew King Richard II for being too eager for flattery.

Shakespeare at Work. The doctors can be actual physicians or a metaphor.

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