The Overdiagnosis of ADD/ADHD Essay

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Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder is the most widely diagnosed “mental-illness” in children in the United States today, and approximately 99% of children diagnosed are prescribed daily doses of methylphenidate in order to control undesirable behaviors. (Stolzer) Many children exhibit such behaviors as energetic, running, jumping, playing, and excitement in their daily learning activities. But at what point is a child’s exuberant behavior considered to be hyperactive? All children are supposed to be full of life, wonder, and questions. Today, though, it seems that these qualities are not appreciated; they are seen as compulsions that need to be controlled. While it is true that hyperactivity, compulsivity, and inattention are…show more content…
Young children do not have the ability to adequately how they are feeling and the symptoms they are experiencing, so a diagnosis of ADD/ADHD is based on symptoms described by parents and teachers. According to Dr. Rosemary Hutchinson, ADHD is one of the most difficult conditions to diagnose and at least three evaluations with the family should be done before making a diagnosis. It is important for a doctor to have knowledge of the child’s illnesses, developmental milestones, and family life. ADD/ADHD have the symptoms of inattention, hyperactivity, impulsivity are common to a number of other conditions that can be mistaken for ADD/ADHD. Children may show signs of these behaviors due to family and social problems. (Hutchinson)
White boys are diagnosed with ADHD more frequently than white girls, or black or Hispanic children. (SCHNEIDER) Another reason that ADHD may be under recognized in girls because they tend to demonstrate lower levels of disruptive behaviors and higher levels of social impairment, inattention, and internalizing symptoms.Black, Hispanic, rural, and poor children may be diagnosed with ADHD less frequently compared with white children because of various factors, including lack of access to mental health care services, negative parental beliefs about ADHD, or previous negative experiences with mental health treatment.
There are several other issues that may be going on with the
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