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War Of The Morons
Boy, Pat Kingsley must be howling with laughter louder every day. For those who don't find out the Hollywood goings on whether they like it or not (like, because they live in a cement industry town), Kingsley is Cruise's fired former PR handler. She was replaced by his sister, Lee Ann DeVette, who's mangling things just marvelously, by letting Cruise nut on about Scientology every time there's a camera and a mike in front of his face.

Tom Cruise most recently spoke out against Ritalin, among other things, in an interview with Matt Lauer:

"You don't know the history of psychiatry. I do," Cruise said.

The interview became more heated when Lauer, who said he knew people who had been helped by the attention-deficit disorder drug Ritalin, asked Cruise about the effects of the drug.

"Matt, Matt, you don't even -- you're glib," Cruise responded. "You don't even know what Ritalin is. If you start talking about chemical imbalance, you have to evaluate and read the research papers on how they came up with these theories, Matt, OK. That's what I've done."

Wanna know what I've done, Tom? I've written without Ritalin, and I've written with Ritalin. And you know what? With Ritalin, I write better.

I have ADHD -- diagnosed by a doctor, not a movie star, thank you, which makes my mind seem like it's doubling as a superball at times. Ritalin slows it down and helps me focus. Yes, it is an amphetamine -- but for people like me, who have the brain chemistry of ADHD, it has a calming, focusing effect.

I do have one wish: that somebody had diagnosed me with ADHD when I was still in high school, not when I was in my mid-30s, so I could have been helped by Ritalin years before.

These days, I refer to it as my "Concentration Vitamin"...or, here's a new one: "Better Living Through Avoiding Paying Any Attention To Moronic Cult-Washed Movie Stars."

Place your bets here on whether Tom's career will tank, when, and how far!

Posted by aalkon at June 24, 2005 8:03 PM

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Meanwhile, Fox News shows a fatherly concern for the child.

Posted by: Crid at June 24, 2005 10:45 PM

I have the answer.

Posted by: Amy Alkon at June 25, 2005 1:36 AM

He's batsh*t crazy, that's what he is.

If I end up on the set of MI3, I'm going to feign deafness every time he gets near me.

Posted by: Peggy Archer at June 25, 2005 7:20 AM

Wow...just heard Cruise call Ritalin a "street drug" in theLauer taping. Yeah, kids do sell it. People sell painkillers, too. Should we stop selling them to people in pain? Assclown.

Posted by: Amy Alkon at June 25, 2005 9:51 AM

So - is Ritalin really warranted as much as it seems to be prescribed? Why is ADD a "recent" disease?

Posted by: Radwaste at June 25, 2005 7:12 PM

Just because it wasn't diagnosed doesn't mean it didn't exist. I can spot people who are potential ADHD (or ADD'ers) very fast, memory issues, etc. I don't care what I have -- Ritalin has changed my life. Furthermore, I don't consider ADHD a "disease"; merely a different kind of brain functioning. I have a perfect hunter-gatherer mind -- I can pay attention (of sorts) to 12 things at once -- not so great for a job that requires sitting still at a computer for hours. Getting diagnosed was helpful because, beyond getting this prescription, I became aware that I was scattered, often have little grasp of time, hard time being organized, etc., etc...made me realize I have to work a bit harder to do the stuff most people find easy. And some of the stuff others find hard comes easy to me.

Diagnosis aside, if you could take a drug that would help you do your job better -- and it had few, if any, potential side effects for you...why not? It's 2005. Better living through chemistry, all the way!

Posted by: Amy Alkon at June 25, 2005 8:35 PM

Bravo Amy, well said. I don't like calling mental health disorders "diseases" either. Just because variant brain functioning from so-called "normal" is harder to pin down diagnostically than typical organic disease, doesn't mean science shouldn't try. Nor does it mean that pharmaceuticals aren't worth testing and using for mental health problems just because their results can't be predicted as reliably as they can with other diseases.

Anyone who has ever suffered a significant mental health problem can attest to the frustration and suffering that such problems bring.

An excellent psychiatrist I know likened good mental health to a tapestry that is woven from the many and varied threads that make up the totality of our conscious existence, ranging from our genetic brain chemistry to our environment and the decisions we make interacting with it. The loss or damage to one or more of those threads may have minor or major mental health consequences, depending on other factors too numerous to count - everyone's current state of mental health is unique.

This makes it difficult to pigeonhole mental health diagnoses into neat little categories with specific treatments. Rather, similar characteristics are grouped based on repeated observations, and these are what we currently call mental health disorders.

Posted by: Jeff R at June 25, 2005 10:15 PM

The pharmaceutical industry makes billions of dollars drugging school children and this is a form of genocide: condemning millions of young lives to a drug addicted future. They employ “experts” and lobbyist and hire ex FDA personnel and retired congressman to get pro-drug legislation passed. Newspapers and magazines receive billions of dollars a year in advertising, and investment firms make big bucks touting the latest snake oil; so it would be a rare article indeed that went against Big Pharma. The industry is motivated by the bottom line and shareholders not Science. A Google search of Ritalin and Cocaine, Prozac, school shootings, will show even the most skeptical that something is horribly wrong when 6 million school children ( plans are in place to increase this by 40% each year) are on anti-depressant drugs prescribed to handle “disorders” created to sell the drugs. Michael Hammond

Posted by: michael hammond at August 10, 2005 10:15 AM

Are there abuses? Sure. But attitudes like yours -- this utter panic about Big Pharma, etc. -- is what causes societal prejudice against any sort of pharmaceutical solution whatsoever. I’ve been taking Ritalin since my 30s - for about five years -- and it’s changed my life and my writing life in a most positive way. There can be abuse and laxity in many types of prescriptions, but don’t assume all prescription is abuse. It would have been a life-improving move if somebody had diagnosed me with ADHD at 16 instead of 36 or so.

Posted by: Amy Alkon at August 10, 2005 11:11 AM

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