Once again, the Daily Mail has been spooking the herd, this time about mental illness. It’s remarkably intolerant of mental illness. It fulminates about the government not paying enough attention to those with mental health problems, then does its level best to undermine the currently inadequate setup even further.

Here’s the latest bit of scaremongering. Many people with depression haven’t got it at all. They’ve got Adult ADHD. Oh really?

The journalist, John Naish, then cites one piece of anecdotal evidence about one adult with putative Adult ADHD. One example. He then goes on to say that Adult ADHD is a comparatively new diagnosis. I wonder why that might be?

Anyway, a certain Mark Williams claims to have been diagnosed with it after years of being diagnosed with depression. His mind apparently is in a constant state of ‘Got to do this, got to do that.’

Well, in that case it’s hard to see how the original diagnosis was made, if you think about it. One of the key symptoms of depression (and I speak as one who knows) is an almost total lack of energy, a pathological wish to simply do nothing. I blog every day, and it’s hard to describe what a struggle it can be, how I have to make myself make an effort.

Mr Naish then quotes some results from the Anxiety and Depression Association of America’s conference last month. I might pay attention to them, but not to him.

This is the man who in the past couple of months claimed that sunshine cuts your blood pressure and makes you thinner. (Not long ago he was banging on about the dangers of melanoma.) He’s asked Does eating rare steak can give you road rage? Is pasteurised milk to blame for the rise in allergies? Is this the magic bullet for cancer?

Interrogative headlines are sloppy journalism. They’re a way of hedging your bets, because if you make a statement, it will come back and bite you in the arse when a few weeks later you make a statement that is contradictory to the first. The Mail is second only to the Express in its ability to do a complete volte face.

By the way, as far as I can ascertain, although he’s been a health journalist for over 20 years (he started at the Times, so appears to be on the road to ruin right now) he doesn’t have any formal medical training. I might expect that from a medical correspondent.

Oh, and pasteurisation of milk was introduced in 1926, and widespread by the 1950s, so I’m not sure why allergies are on the rise some 60 years later, particularly as the press are going apeshit enthusiastic that the consumption of raw milk is on the rise.

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