Disorders and Treatment
- Mental Illness
- Bipolar Disorder
- Mood Disorders
- Borderline Personality
- Mental Health Diagnosis
- Mental Health Treatments
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- Case Studies
ADHD, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, is now considered a common child and adolescent diagnosis. A recently published study at Northwestern University revealed that in 2010, 10.4 million children and teens (under 18) were given a diagnosis of ADHD during doctor outpatient appointments. Ten years earlier, the number was 6.2 million.
The author of the study, Craig Garfield, M.D., attributes the speedy rise in diagnosis to an increase in ADHD awareness. During the past 10 to 15 years, he (and others) believes that expanded awareness has resulted in more physicians recognizing and diagnosing the symptoms. Even parents, teachers, and the general public are now aware that poor concentration, high activity, and impulsive behaviors can be signs of ADHD.
Dr. Garfield may be correct but not all doctors, researchers, or parents agree. There is a multitude of other ADHD increase-theories and subsequent research studies to sift through, and a multitude of conclusions.
There are reputable studies and statistics to support these reasons, also some research that failed to duplicate the original supportive outcomes. What floats into mind while sorting through all the data is:
Despite studies and opinions, ADHD is a daily, problematic reality for many children and adults. There may be some over-medicating going on, but as with depression or bipolar disorder, some people benefit from using prescription medications. There may be over-diagnosing, but there are those who fit the criteria for the ADHD diagnosis.
“Here in the United States, there is a tendency to over-prescribe in some instances. But it pales in comparison to the under-prescription or under-recognition of these problems in children, ... We know from a variety of epidemiologic and other related studies, that as many as half of the children with conditions such as ADHD are not being treated at all.” ~ Peter Jensen (likely Dr. Peter S. Jensen, MD, author of Making the System Work for Your Child with ADHD.)
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