Overdiagnosis of Add Andadha Essay

Submitted By ArianaWoods1
Words: 1071
Pages: 5

In recent years, cases of Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) have grown at alarming rates. (These disorders are often associated together and referred to as AD/HD) One may question whether the children diagnosed with these behavioral disorders truly have them. Often times, children who are simply active are labeled as being “overactive” or “hyper active” by their parents, doctors, and teachers. Medicating ADD and ADHD with drugs like Adderall and Ritalin compromise further study of the child; because the child’s natural temperament is masked by medication. Symptoms of both disorders are synonymous with other disorders like Autism. Over diagnosis and overmedication of ADD and ADHD causes major complications and negative affects for children. ADD or Attention Deficit Disorder is a disorder of attention, organization, and impulse control that appears in childhood and often persisting to adulthood. Hyperactivity may be a feature but is not necessary for a proper diagnosis of the disorder. ADHD, or Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, is a neurobiological disorder manifested by developmentally inappropriate degrees of inattentiveness, impulsiveness, and hyperactivity. To meet criteria of ADHD as set forth in DSM-IV, the patient must display six or more specific symptoms of hyperactivity and impulsivity, for at least six months to a degree that is maladaptive and inconsistent with the patient’s development level. In addition, symptoms must have been present before age seven and there must be clear evidence of functional impairment in at least two settings. The settings are in four separate categories, domestic, social, academic, and occupational. AD/HD is estimated to affect between 3-5 % of the school-aged population. Even though the exact cause of AD/HD remains unknown, it is known that AD/HD is a neurobiologically based disorder. Scientific evidence suggests that AD/HD is genetically transmitted and in many cases results from a chemical imbalance or deficiency in certain neurotransmitters, which are chemicals that help the brain regulate behavior. (http://ada.ky.gov/adhd_def.htm)
Characteristics of ADD and ADHD
From time to time all children will be inattentive, impulsive, and overly active. In the case of AD/HD, these behaviors are the rule, not the exception. AD/HD is diagnosed according to certain characteristics described in the fourth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (American Psychiatric Association, 1994), known as DSM-IV. A child with AD/HD is often described as having a short attention span and as being distractible. The child will have difficulty with one or all parts of the attention process: focusing, sustaining focus, and shifting focus.
According to DSM-IV (pp. 83-84), some symptoms of inattention include: failure to give close attention to details, making careless mistakes in schoolwork or other activities, having difficulty sustaining attention in tasks or play activities, often having difficulty following through on instructions; may fail to finish schoolwork, chores, or duties (not due to oppositional behavior or failure to understand instructions), often avoidant, adverting, or is reluctant to engage in tasks that require sustained mental effort (schoolwork and homework), and often easily distracted by extraneous stimuli.
According to DSM-IV (p. 84), some symptoms of hyperactivity include: often fidgeting with hands or feet or squirms in seat, often leaving seat in classroom or in other situations in which remaining seated is expected, often has difficulty playing or engaging in leisure activities quietly and often talks excessively. Impulsiveness with AD/HD appears when children act before thinking.
Some symptoms of impulsivity include: often blurts out answers before questions have been completed, often has difficulty waiting turn, often interrupts or intrudes on others.
1. Children