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A Psychologist's Thoughts on Clinical Practice, Behavior, and Life

Psychology's Absence In Discussion of The Sam Bankman-Fried Case

An article in The Wall Street Journal ("Why Are We So Obsessed with Sam Bankman-Fried's Parents?"/November 10, 2023) aroused several thoughts since, like many articles concerning him, it ignored the emotional problems involved. Apparently Sam had serious psychological issues during childhood which were treated with drugs rather than psychotherapy following his (widely reported) diagnosis with the long popular but unsophisticated notion of Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). The early twentieth-century precursor of this diagnosis in America was "Minimal Brain Dysfunction" (MBD) of which a Harvard psychiatrist then remarked that only a doctor with a minimal brain dysfunction would use it. The symptoms of ADHD are identical to anxiety and depression which are present in virtually all medical and psychological disturbances. Thus it tells you nothing about the underlying cause of a chlld's suffering.

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