When my daughter was around 5, we noticed that every now and again she would go totally crazy. I think the current term is hyper, I suspect that schizo is now politically incorrect. It was disturbing to watch because she was totally out of control, over-excited, tons of energy, reason went out of the window, and it was impossible to control her. It would last an hour or two, then she would calm down and be perfectly normal.

Our first thought was not “oh she's sick better get her to the doctor”, it was more like “what can be causing this.”

I suspect, nowdays, a trip to the doctor's would have resolved in a Ritalin prescription and the diagnosis of ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyper-Activity Disorder) without a great deal of investigation.

Still we cared about what was happening to our daughter and so we watched and made connections and ever realized that it was the green food coloring found in sweets and cakes that was causing the problem. No green food coloring, no problem. Eat something green and out-of-control.

I treated one 14 year old young man who had been diagnosed with ADHD and was taking medication – but it was not enough. He was a very intelligent young man and I suspect this is quite often a factor in ADHD – boredom in school. His home life meant his parents had little time to give him the attention and love he craved, so he acted out because that brought him the attention and excitement he needed in his young life.

Peter Breggin MD writes about abandoning responsibility for our children in his book Toxic Psychiatry where he suggests that medication for ADHD is simply a substitution for the love and attention our children need.

A recent New York Times article suggests that around 1 in 10 school age children sufferers from ADHD, and that 1 in 5 of 14-18 year old boys will also receive that diagnosis.

Just looking at the numbers, anyone with any sense would realize that this is not a mental health problem – it's affecting just too many people. It must either be an environmental problem or misdiagnosis.

A Netherlands study reports that around 2 out of every 3 diagnosed cases of ADHD is actually food hypersensitivity – as it was in my daughter's case.

The three main problem food areas are Dairy, Wheat, and Colorings / Additives.

So if your child is going a little crazy from time to time, do a little investigation yourself by eliminating food types from their diet and see if that makes any difference. If it does not then spend a little more fun time with them and enjoy their presence in your life, rather than treat them as a nuisance getting in the way of what you would rather be doing. Once you get them started on medication they will probably be hooked for life. The side effects of these drugs long-term are unknown and I suspect we will have a major epidemic of mental illness – because of drugs like Ritalin – in 20 or 30 years time.