Posted by: watchman | March 25, 2009


An off Broadway show is gaining a lot of attention lately. It is called Distracted and details a families struggles with a child’s Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (click here for a review). Though I am no expert, I believe I can safely say that ADHD is the most over-diagnosed psychological problem in the world. I don’t contend that distracted and hyperactive behaviors are a very real problem for families and educators. However, the eagerness to jump to diagnoses and medications is almost distopian.

Severe cases need severe treatments like medication. Familial inconveniences need behavioral work.

Maybe the problem has more to do with our education system. Educational rigidity and a lack of stimulating experiences are difficult for our children to deal with. They have been raised in a society full of fast paced mania, and are then expected  to cooperate with educational solemnity. These children grow up saturated with media noise, but are expected to sit quietly for hours.

In a recent post, John Frye ponders Evangelicalism and how it has been doling out Ritalin to its pastors, hoping to silence them and conform them.

Here is a snippet:

Young people fleeing evangelicalism’s ”balanced” life like rats fleeing a sinking ship are considered misguided at best and rebellious at worst. But what if these youth have gotten in touch with the unbalanced Jesus of the Gospels and want to follow him even if it costs their lives? What if they have caught just a glimpse of the Jesus Who never heard of Ritalin*? These youth aren’t drinking the kool-aid of nice, conformist evangelicalism.

Read the rest of a fine post here.



  1. I like the word distopian. Thanks to Watchman, I just learned it today.

    I agree, we are a Ritalin run society, because we can’t handle all the stimulus we keep feeding ourselves, but also can’t handle not having it either. Did you know that theater driven movie sales have gone up dramatically in the past six months? How is it that as a society in financial “crisis” we continue to maintain the salaries of multi-millionaire sports figures, and pay Hollywood to keep pumping out the films? I think we hate to hurt, and in the case of forced terminations, will hurt someone else first so we don’t have to hurt so much ourselves.

    I really am glad I learned the word distopian; and I saved myself $10 on a movie ticket today by appreciating the value of a stimulating word instead.

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