Dr. Phil and ADHD

Dr_phil Last week Sharon Howell made blog post about Dr. Phil dismissing ADD. There was recently a woman on the Dr. Phil show who told him she had ADD/ADHD and he told her that she didn’t. This really doesn’t surprise me at all. Dr. Phil has been doing this to people on his show for years. This has been a very popular topic of discussion in the online ADD/ADHD communities over the past few years too.

So, what do I think of Dr. Phil?

First of all I have never met him in person but, from what I’ve seen of him on his shows and in the media I think he’s pompous jerk! He’s right up there with Jerry Springer and the rest of the has-been talk show hosts! Actually I think he’s worse than the rest of the talk show host because he uses the term Dr. Yes, he was once a licensed psychologist but as far as I know he hasn’t been licensed in any states for quite some time.

He obviously doesn’t seem to get how much damage he does to people on his shows! Sure he wants us to think he’s in it to help people but he’s just doing this stuff for money and ratings now. Just look at what he did to Britney Spears and her family. He told them he wanted to talk to her to help her and her family, then he upset them by speaking to the media! He wants ratings and to be the center of attention.

I’m actually surprised people still watch his show. I know I got bored with him quite a while ago. I say we set him straight and have him come and sit through the next ADDA Conference (the entire conference). After a few hours with us he won’t be doubting the existence of adult ADHD! I’d also love to see the look on his face and ask him "How’s that workin for ya?".

3 Comments

  • Elien

    Reply Reply January 22, 2008

    Wauw, why so angry? I think he’s just trying to say that ADD is being over-diagnosed and that people should also look into other things that might help if you do have ADD:

    After the show, Dr. Phil talks with the audience and he clarifies his point of view. “I’m not saying that there is not a genuine disorder of ADD or hyperactivity or the combination of the two. There absolutely is, but it is so over-diagnosed,” he says.

    Acknowledging that he is not a physician, he says, “You have to put in the conditions that we’re talking about. You’ve got to have the structured parenting. You’ve got to have the proper menu, and then you can teach them to master the situations themselves so they can control what’s going on. And they love that power. They love that mastery. And you’ve got to have this partnership with the educators. You just can’t put those kids in there and say, ‘Whatever. It’s your job.'”
    A woman asks Dr. Phil if ADD is genetic or if it is learned.
    Dr. Lawlis answers saying, “There is some evidence to show that real ADD does have some genetic factors that go into that, so yes. However, it still goes back to the factor that you can make a difference with some alternative approaches. You’re not doomed to be on medication for the rest of your life.”

    Another woman has two kids who were diagnosed with ADD and she has put them on medication. She worries that after a show like this people will look negavtively on her because she uses medication. “It’s not a matter of parenting. I do very well with my kids at home. In the school they need medication,” she explains. She has done a lot of research and runs an ADD support group, and believes that medication is the right thing for her children.
    “I don’t disagree at all if you want to give your child medication, but I’m going to stimulate everyone’s thinking to ask the right questions before they do it,” Dr. Phil reiterates. “In addition to seeing your doctor, in addition to doing these things, make certain that you are doing everything you can do to manage and minimize the disorder. Those pills are not a magic bullet for everybody. If they’re working for you and your children against a backdrop of responsible parenting, then good for you and you shouldn’t substitute my judgment or anyone else’s for your own,” he tells her.
    The woman acknowledges what Dr. Phil has said, and admits that it is hard work. “It’s a lifetime thing dealing with them, teaching them,” she responds.

  • Tara McGillicuddy

    Reply Reply January 22, 2008

    Well, you obviously need to educate yourself about Adult ADHD if you too believe adult ADHD is over diagnosed! And I was talking about adults and not children in this post. If you are going to spam my blog atleast spam in with relevent material!

  • Elizabeth

    Reply Reply February 16, 2015

    Wow, sounds like a typical adhd reaction to a LOGICAL response to someone else’s take on Dr. Phil’s take on adhd ( and her comments WERE more specifically directed at childhood adhd, but THAT was a big part of that particular show..it IS relevant because adhd, and add, don’t begin IN adulthood. The information about environmental issues is pertinent, because all adults with adhd were kids who had adhd that may have never been diagnosed. They can grow up to develop compensatory issues ( ie drinking, drugs)in an effort to stabilize their brain chemistry. Because one has this diagnosis, does not mean they are the one who fully understands the diagnosis in its entirety…and Dr Phil is educated and respectful enough to say “I really don’t know”, or “the medical field can’t conclusively explain everything, but here is the best evidence with which to treat the issue.” If you had cancer, would you be capable of diagnosing and treating yourself? Tara, that explosive adhd temperament won’t get you to the next level. Practice counting to ten, and pick your battles. Oh, btw, I am a thirty five year old female who was diagnosed with add three years ago. I was a bright kid who compensated and fell through the cracks. My adult life would have been much easier if I had met Dr. Phil in my early twenties. Be a light, it is always the best choice. Best if luck to you.

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