Category Archives: Popular Articles


But Mom, video games are my JOB!


Kyle Giersdorf earned $3 million when he won the Fortnite World Cup. He was 16 years old. Suppose it’s after midnight and your son is playing video games. You tell him to turn off the game and go to bed. What are you supposed to say, when your son answers “But video games are my […]

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Why Stinky Socks May Bother Women More Than Men


A couple, returning from vacation, turns on the air-conditioning. The wife is overwhelmed by a terrible stench coming from the ductwork and is convinced that an animal must have died in the house. She tells her husband that they need to hire somebody to get rid of it. His response? “I don’t smell anything.” Both […]

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“I Just Want Her to be Happy”


The Science Talent Search is the leading science competition for American high school students. It’s often referred to as “The Junior Nobel Prize.” According to a recent study, 83 percent of the forty finalists in 2016 were the children of immigrants. Fourteen had parents from India; eleven had parents from China. So twenty-five of the forty […]

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Parenting in the Age of Awfulness


Kyle was absorbed in a videogame on his cellphone, so I asked his mom, “How long has Kyle had a stomach ache?” Mom said, “I’m thinking it’s been about two days.” Then Kyle replied, “Shut up, mom. You don’t know what you’re talking about.” And he gave a snorty laugh, without looking up from his […]

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Blame Parents, Not Kids, for Sexting


If mom and dad installed monitoring software on their middle-schoolers’ phones, it would make a big difference. (Read article on The Wall Street Journal website) Earlier this year I visited a school in turmoil. It began with two students: a sixth-grade girl who I’ll call Emily, and her 14-year-old boyfriend, who I’ll call Justin. Justin begged […]

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‘Unspecified Mental Disorder’? That’s Crazy


Psychiatry’s diagnostic bible has broadened the definition of mental illness to absurdity. (Read article on The Wall Street Journal website) The American Psychiatric Association released a revision of its diagnostic bible in May, the first major rewrite in two decades. “The Fifth Edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders,” or DSM-5, is […]

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Why Not Just Put All the Kids on Medication?


The rate of diagnosis of ADHD among American kids continues to rise. How come? (Read article on the Psychology Today website) I am an MD, board-certified in family practice; and also a PhD psychologist. Over the past 25 years, I have signed off on more than 90,000 patient visits. I have seen first-hand the explosion […]

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Girls’ Knees and Gender Confusion


Does “equal” mean “the same”? (Read article on the Psychology Today website) Thoughts on the 40th Anniversary of Title IX: “Equal” doesn’t mean “The Same” On June 23, 1972, President Richard Nixon signed Title IX into law. According to the Women’s Sports Foundation, just over 294,000 girls competed in high school sports forty years ago. Last year […]

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A.D.H.D. Drugs Have Long-Term Risks


(Read this article on The New York Times website) A teenager complains of difficulty concentrating. The doctor is consulted. The teenager does not meet formal criteria for A.D.H.D., but the doctor says, “Why not try Adderall? Let’s try it and see whether it helps.” A prescription is dispensed. The student reports more energy, improved ability […]

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Child psychiatry is sick with hidden conflicts of interest


(Read article on the NY Daily News website) When I first began writing prescriptions for children 22 years ago, it was unusual for a child to be taking powerful psychiatric drugs. Today it’s common. How did we get here? Dr. Joseph Biederman is part of the answer. He’s an important guy. His title is “chief […]

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