Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder: To Medicate or Not to Medicate?

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The medical world has seen many changes and advances over the last century, but possibly none that is as financially lucrative then the prescription medication industry. New drugs turn up everyday and claim to treat more and more conditions. On the corner of every block is a pharmacy and their shelves are stocked with prescription medications and it seems they are here to stay. The question is, to medicate or not to medicate?
Most regularly we turn to prescription drugs for everything from acne to severe back pain. The condition known as Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder (ADHD) is no different. ADHD is a behavioral disorder commonly diagnosed in school-aged children ages 5-17 years old about 8% to 10% of that population
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Adding to that difficulty of diagnosis the symptoms of other issues like depression, anxiety, and different types of learning disabilities are similar. So how do we know if someone is suffering from ADHD and it is not actually something else? Only Medical Doctors (MD), Nurse Practitioners (NP), or another licensed mental health professional can diagnose Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder such as Psychiatrists, Clinical psychologist, or Licensed Clinical Social Workers (LCSW).
The American Medical Association (AMA), American Academy of Pediatrics (APP) Guidelines and Evaluation for the Child with Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder are tools used in conjunction with American Psychiatric Association’s (APA) Diagnostic and Statistical Manual-IV (DSM-IV). The criterion used is specific to appropriately diagnose ADHD ensuring a national standard. During the medical practitioners evaluation the following are measured against the DSM-IV criteria [but are not limited to], age symptoms began, length of symptoms, occurrence of symptoms in multiple settings etc (cdc.gov).
Once a person or their loved one is diagnosed with ADHD, the following questions usually follow. How did we get Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder? Did I cause it or was I born with it? Can cure it? Unfortunately, the causes and risks for Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder are not clear. There are strong links to genetic pre-dispositions, which was found in studies done on twins
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