No Medical Tests Exist To Confirm Any Child Has a Mental "Disorder"

Behaviors are not A "disease"

There’s no doubt that many parents need help. Whether it is the school complaining about their child’s behavior or the parent observing emotional or educational issues. The problem is that parents are being told their child has a “mental disorder” and needs “medication” but are not being given the facts about these psychiatric labels (mental disorders) or the psychotropic (mind-altering) drugs being prescribed to "treat" children.

The American Psychiatric Association, the American Medical Association and the National Institute of Mental Health all admit that there are no medical tests to confirm mental disorders such as ADHD are a verifiable illness or “disease,” but do nothing to counter the false idea that these are biological/medical conditions.

“There are no objective tests in psychiatry-no X-ray, laboratory, or exam finding that says definitively that someone does or does not have a mental disorder.”

— Allen Frances, Psychiatrist and former DSM-IV Task Force Chairman

Any diagnosis of mental disorder is simply done by the psychiatrist or doctor using a checklist of behaviors which was created by the American Psychiatric Association.

To give an example, using the checklist for "ADHD," one can see that nearly any child could fit the ADHD description. The following ADHD criteria are taken directly from the American Psychiatric Association's Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) checklist for ADHD:


  • Runs or climbs excessively in situations when it is not appropriate
  • Is often on the go
  • Acts as if driven by a motor
  • Blurts out answers
  • Is easily distracted
  • Loses pencils or toys
  • Often doesn't seem to listen
  • Often leaves his or her seat despite being told to sit still

To be perfectly clear — this is all that it takes to diagnose a child with a 'mental disorder' of ADHD; a checklist of behaviors.  There are no blood tests, brain scans, chemical imbalance tests, X-rays or "genetic" markers to prove any child has a mental "illness" called ADHD.

“We do not have an independent, valid test for ADHD, and there is no data to indicate that ADHD is due to a brain malfunction.”

— National Institute of Health (NIH) Consensus Statement

Any diagnosis of mental disorder uses similar checklists of behavior to label a child. This is not to say that children cannot experience emotional or behavioral difficulties but any diagnosis of "mental disorder" is not the same as a diagnosis of verifiable disease or medical condition. There is no genetic test, brain scan, X-Ray, chemical imbalance test or medical test of any kind which can verify mental disorders as disease, requiring dangerous drugs to “treat” them.

Again, no one is saying that children don't experience behavioral issues, act out or have problems in school. The question is this—are they suffering from some biologically proven mental “disease” that can be verified as one would verify a real medical condition? The answer is no. Increasing numbers of parents realize that just because a child fidgets, or loses pencils or toys—criteria for an “ADHD” diagnoses, this doesn’t mean a child is mentally ill.  In fact many medical doctors who actually conduct physical exams will find that children diagnosed “ADHD” can be suffering from heavy metal toxicities, allergies, or simply a poor diet.  The problem is that the label of ADHD stigmatizes the child as “mentally ill.” If in fact a child suffers from lead toxicity, then why not call it lead toxicity? If he hasn’t been taught to read, why don’t we just say he hasn’t been taught to read?

The first thing parents must understand is the issue of informed consent when it comes to any medical or mental health diagnosis of a child—read the Know Your Rights section click here>>

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