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ADHD Does Not Exist Hardcover

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 336 pages
  • Publisher: HarperWave; 1 edition (February 18, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 006226673X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0062266736
  • Product Dimensions: 8.3 x 5.6 x 1.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #27,490 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


“Parents will be better armed to ask more of the right questions after reading Saul’s book.” (Publisher's Weekly)

“Sure to ruffle some feathers, ADHD Does Not Exist is provocative and pensive.” (Booklist)

“A provocative, valuable guide for parents, school personnel and medical practitioners who deal with individuals showing symptoms routinely attributed to ADHD.” (Kirkus Review)

“…an accessible, detailed, and well-documented list of rule-outs for those who are exploring an ADHD diagnosis. VERDICT: Essential for parents and teachers.” (Library Journal)

From the Back Cover

A radical new response to a widely misunderstood condition

We are witnessing a global epidemic of attention deficit and hyperactivity disorder. Millions are suffering from attention issues, while millions more are reliant on stimulant medication to perform at school and at work. Despite decades of advancements in neuroscience, the definition of ADHD has remained essentially unchanged since its introduction in 1980, and its prevalence in the population has skyrocketed.

In this controversial and landmark work, Dr. Richard Saul draws from five decades as a practicing physician and researcher in the field to contend that the definition of ADHD as we know it is completely wrong. Instead, he argues that the "disorder" is a cluster of symptoms stemming from more than twenty other conditions, each requiring separate treatment. The detailed list ranges from mild problems like poor eyesight, sleep deprivation, and even boredom in the classroom, to more severe conditions like depression and bipolar disorder.

Through the lens of history and into the present day, Dr. Saul examines "ADHD," exploring the rising cultural and medical trends that have birthed the stimulant epidemic. Both comprehensive and illuminative, ADHD Does Not Exist is essential reading for doctors, practitioners, educators, and individuals who are seeking an honest approach to understanding and treating this complex condition.

More About the Author

Dr. Richard Saul is a professor, clinician, researcher, and radio personality. For more than fifty years Dr. Saul has incorporated his clinical and academic experience into the practice of behavioral neurology and development. He served as the chairman of the department of pediatrics at Highland Park Hospital, and the medical director of an HMO in North Suburban Chicago. While working with the Health Systems Agency, a federal program, he was responsible for containing healthcare costs in Illinois.

Dr. Saul has been a Castle and Connolly Best Doctor in Chicago for the past ten years. His work has been applauded in US News & World Report. He is a member of the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Academy of Neurology, and the Society for Behavior and Development. He earned his M.D. at Chicago Medical School. He lives with his wife outside of Chicago.

Customer Reviews

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Example: How others perceive their odd behavior…they often have no clue, nor do they care.
Linda Rosenbaum
This opinionated, well research text is full of insightful examples that provide a refreshing view on the subject.
Basil Beshkov
Pretty much Dr. Saul explains what causes the symptoms of ADHD, not that ADHD doesn't exist at all.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

19 of 21 people found the following review helpful By ReadingTurtle on March 5, 2014
Format: Hardcover
The title is very misleading. Pretty much Dr. Saul explains what causes the symptoms of ADHD, not that ADHD doesn't exist at all.

The book talks mostly about ADHD in children as opposed to adults. I was looking for more information about ADHD in adults. Dr. Saul's explanation of the symptoms of ADHD in children is good but in adults it was severely lacking. ADHD presents itself differently in adults. I thought the chapter on sleep disorders chapters was best in regards to adult ADHD.

The chapter on mood disorders was good but lacking. I thought it focused far too much on bipolar disorder and not enough on unipolar depression. I was hoping for more of an explanation on how depression causes symptoms of ADHD beyond saying "depression makes you distracted."

The chapters on vision and hearing were excellent. My brother struggled with school terribly when he was a child. No one could figure out how to make him do better. This was before ADHD was common so he was never diagnosed with it. After being held back twice a doctor finally realized he needed tubes in his ears. It was life changing to say the least. His son just got tubes in his ears last month so it's definitely something genetic.

I found the chapter about iron deficiency useful although if iron deficiency is the most common nutritional problem, why wasn't it given more significance in the book?

I'm sure the other chapters are good as well but because I have no background in learning disorders, schizophrenia, asperger's (and so on) it's hard for me to say one way or the other.

What I found most baffling of all was the chapter on neurochemical distractability/impulsivity. Dr. Saul writes that NDI is NOT a formal diagnosis and does not appear in the medical books. What!?
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15 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Nancy R. Bryant, PhD on March 6, 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Dr. Saul's refreshing look at this controversial, but widespread diagnosis is sorely needed, and should be a call to action for any professional in the position of having to assign this too-general label. To be clear, there is absolutely no question in MY mind that individuals of all ages suffer significantly from various combinations of the symptoms associated with the ADHD diagnosis: The problems most certainly DO exist, and they can wreak havoc in people's lives. However, the ADHD diagnosis as it currently written gives no information whatsoever about the CAUSES of the difficulties it describes, a point Dr. Saul illustrates brilliantly. While I too am a bit squeamish about the potentially misleading title of the book, it is in a sense quite accurate: What we are currently calling "ADHD" is really an undifferentiated combination of MANY conditions that can cause similar symptoms, and we do our patients/clients no service by failing to move past the convenient (and now popular) label and truly search out the root causes of their troubling symptoms. Dr. Saul's list of potential causes of "ADHD" symptoms is impressive (though I respectfully suggest that he add Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and Traumatic Brain Injury to his list in future editions of his book!). The author's designation of many possible causes is very consistent with my own experience as a psychologist with a practice focused on assessment: Every client that fits the diagnostic label "ADHD" has a unique and different profile of strengths and challenges, and it is these patterns that best inform intervention, not the generic diagnosis. We owe it to our clients/patients to move beyond a "garbage can" diagnostic approach, and truly work toward differentiating and thoroughly describing the various causes and manifestations of the often significant problems we now pigeonhole so readily with the diagnostic label "ADHD".
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful By kenb on March 11, 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Haven't finished the book yet but based on what I've read so far, it is a must read for all. Based on this and other books I have read, ADHD is over diagnosed and wrongly diagnosed most of the time.
One of the reviews says it doesn't have enough info on adult ADHD. Well so far in my opinion, it does. ADHD appears to be more prevelant in children which the book moslty covers. However, it does touch on adult ADHD which to the average adult should be sufficient. I highly recommend this book for anyone wanting to know more about ADHD and to help protect our children from unnecessary harmful psycotropic drugs and treatments.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Rose Avila on April 13, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
People have been more than sufficiently propagandized and it will take a LONG time to get them to realize that over 20 other illnesses have the SAME symptoms. Doctors are relying on a 5 out of 8 symptoms questionnaire to diagnose it. However, there IS a specific blood test to really know what the problem is. Nobody denies the symptoms, but there is sufficient scientific reason to doubt the overused diagnosis.
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15 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Margaret Thompson on February 24, 2014
Format: Hardcover
Read this book if you want a new perspective on the most-popular ADHD diagnosis. I certainly found it eye-opening. Like so many popular ailments, the answers are never easy, never black and white. I think the author brings up some great points regarding the impacts that our stimulating culture has on the mental and emotional maturity of individuals: children and adults alike.

Parents should be attentiev to their children and address their unique needs. My dear cousin was labeled ADD when he was in grade school but my aunt who is a teacher and quite familiar with the rising prescription of Ritalin etc. for over-active students said "hell no" to the meds and with her husband took the hard effort to teach him how to behave.

I myself have wondered if I have ADHD, but honestly, I think its just life to feel scatter-brained at times. This book confirmed a lot of my instincts that underneath it alll, the real issues are sleep-deprivation, lack of exercise, emotional instability.. etc.

I am reluctant to throw the label out with the bathwater. After years of concentration-trouble, my husband was diagnosed ADHD and the therapy he has subsequently received has been so* helpful - for him and for us. (The ADHD Marriage Workbook: A User-Friendly Guide to Improving Your Relationship was a lifesaver) Are the doctors always right? Is science really the best answer? Why is the sky blue? There are so many questions in life. It's good to be informed, but in the end, you get to decide what works for you.
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